Chinese Apex Legends players could soon face being region locked on separate servers, if some vocal fans get their wishes - and even some Chinese players want it too.
The calls for China to be excluded into its own region, and not part of the main Asian servers, arise from both the problem of cheaters and hackers in Apex Legends, as well as lessons learned from other games like PUBG.
PUBG Corp. eventually gave into demand and placed a region lock on China, but it took a lot of complaining from players about the high number of cheats for action to be taken.
Developers are understandably reluctant to introduce region locks, concerned with accusations of favoritism, or even racism, as well as making queue times longer in impacted regions.
The delay in doing a region lock for PUBG may have led to some players putting down the game forever, as they couldn't escape the plague of hackers, and Apex Legends fans are worried about this repeating with the newest trending game in battle royale.
Making matters complicated, Apex Legends isn't even officially available in China yet, which means Respawn/EA can't even take legal action against cheats from the country, according to a concept artist at Respawn.
Cheats for Apex Legends can be purchased very easily in China, for as little as $1, with more advanced hacks casting up to around $450, according to Abacus.
But, not everyone in China is a cheat, and some are even embarrassed of the reputation they have. On Chinese social platform WeChat, numerous posts supported region lock: "As a Chinese, I could only say I can’t object to being [region] locked. We deserve such punishment. Or maybe they should charge us rather than making it free-to-play.”
Some fans think it might already be too late for the Asian region though, pointing out that Asian Twitch streamers have already grown tired of playing Apex because of all the cheaters, and Twitch viewership is suffering as a result.
Other players in the Asian region are manually selecting foreign servers, and just putting up with the high-latency, rather than have to face cheaters so frequently.