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Hit survival game Soulmask is publicly shaming banned players on Steam

If you do something naughty in Soulmask you might expect to have your account banned but the developer is going one step further on Steam.

Hit survival game Soulmask is publicly shaming banned players on Steam: A character from Soulmask stands wearing a heavily elaborate mask.

Since launch Soulmask has been hitting it out of the park, both in terms of player number counts but also with the flow of information. There’s been a ton of short Q&A sessions each covering things players want to know, a few different patches, and generally players have been kept up to date with what’s going on. There’s also a different kind of information the developer is regularly sharing.

As an online survival game, you can expect that some players will need to be removed from the ecosystem to maintain the game’s balance and prevent cheating. What’s unusual in how the developer behind Soulmask is approaching bans is in communicating them. Roughly every week a list of players that have been banned is being posted as a Steam announcement, albeit with identifying information obscured.

“Soulmask is very concerned about the fairness of the game and is fully committed to creating a favorable playing environment,” the posts read. “If any player is found to have violated the rules, we will take actions such as issuing warnings, imposing speech bans, or even banning accounts.”

The posts then go on to detail the players who have been banned either permanently from the game, or have received temporary restrictions. The lists provide both the reason for the ban and the Steam ID of the player, though some digits are removed to make sure that the exact account cannot be identified.

It’s an odd way to publicize bans and not one that many games adopt. One example of this approach is PvPvE shooter Escape from Tarkov which regularly posts spreadsheets of banned players on its X, formerly Twitter, account. Other games do give information about bans, but tend to keep things vague with only numbers of accounts banned, such as in the case of PUBG’s regular updates.

It’s understandable that Soulmask would wish to be seen to be taking action against cheaters, especially in its early days when its community is bedding in, but it feels like a potentially risky approach. We’ll have to see if there are any repercussions for announcing bans in this way but in the meantime it’s good to see that the developer is, at least, trying to prune the troublesome parts of its community.

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Soulmask is out in Steam Early Access now and you can grab it with 10% off until Thursday, June 13. Check out the full ban list announcement over on the game page.

You can also take a look at our guide to the best RPGs you can play in 2024, or peer into the future with our guide to the best upcoming games coming to PC.

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