The struggle against RMT (Real Money Trading) and bots is an eternal war among MMORPG developers. Some companies fair better than others, and it takes a long time to get rid of the problem, if that ever happens. It would seem that Square Enix is working hard to keep RMT from becoming a problem in their MMORPG, Final Fantasy XIV.
A Final Fantasy XIV RMT ban is a pretty big deal for many players. Those that get caught up in ban waves aren’t supposed to make new accounts, and will often get hit with HWID bans that lock out their hardware from just making a new account. Many players won’t put the time or effort into ban evasion after that point.
Over 7,000 accounts were terminated in the latest ban wave, larger than most ban waves for the game. The developer has been cracking down on RMT for some time, but it’s always an uphill battle. Botters and Gil sellers are not the only issues either. Square Enix has begun pushing back against buyers as well. Sometimes, they will issue temporary bans for first-time buyers, but if you get caught, you will usually lose the account.
In this ban wave, 6,099 accounts were permanently terminated for participating in RMT or prohibited activities, and three accounts were temporarily suspended. That means mostly buyers and a smaller number of sellers had their accounts nuked. A banwave of a similar size happened last year as well. Most banwaves account for substantially fewer accounts, numbering around 3,000 or so.
Additionally, 1,385 accounts were terminated for RMT advertising, and 207 accounts were banned for botting activity not related to RMT vendors. All of the bans mentioned were completed between Sept. 22 and 28. This means that in the month of September, more than 24,000 accounts have been nuked from the game. And the month before that saw one even bigger ban wave when more than 10,000 accounts got banned.
It’s not just those buying and selling Gil getting banned either. Recently, Square Enix made a policy change to make it a violation of the game’s terms of service to advertise play-along services in-game. This was a big problem in the Party Finder, where players would advertise Duty or dungeon clears for Gil. This was a huge spam problem and a much-needed change.