Perhaps too much access to our operating systems and PCs is being given to Electronic Arts’ solution, which is not alone (Call of Duty has been using Ricochet for two years now).
Let’s see the publisher’s explanation: “EA anticheat is a kernel-mode anticheat and anti-tamper solution developed in-house at Electronic Arts. PC cheat developers have increasingly moved into the kernel, so we need kernel-mode protections to ensure fair play and tackle PC cheat developers on an even playing field. As tech-inclined video gamers, it is essential to ensure that any kernel anticheat included in our games acts with a strong focus on the privacy and security of our PC gamers.
Third-party anticheat solutions are often opaque to our teams and prevent us from implementing additional privacy controls or customizations that provide greater accuracy and granularity for EA-specific game modes. With EA anticheat, we have full stack ownership of the security & privacy posture, so we can fix security issues as soon as they arise. Needing kernel-level anticheat varies on a game-by-game basis. For highly competitive games with many online modes, such as Battlefield 2042, kernel-mode protection is vital. When cheat programs operate in kernel space, they can make their cheat functionally invisible to anticheat solutions that live in user-mode.
Unfortunately, the last few years have seen a significant increase in cheats and cheat techniques operating in kernel-mode, so the only reliable way to detect and block these is to continue to have our anticheat work there as well. In addition to EA anticheat protecting our PC players from cheaters, our console players who match with PC opponents through Battlefield 2042’s cross-play features will also be protected from cheaters operating on PC platforms.
We’ve conducted extensive internal and independent performance and stability assessments to ensure EA anticheat is as performant and lightweight as possible. EA anticheat will have a negligible impact on your gameplay. It only runs when a game with EA anticheat protection included is running. All anticheat processes shut down when the game does. If you uninstalled all of your EA games with EA anticheat protection, EA anticheat will automatically uninstall and remove itself from your PC. You can manually uninstall it whenever you choose, and it will be removed entirely from your PC.
Please note that if you uninstall EA anticheat, any games that require EA anticheat protection (like Battlefield 2042) will not be playable until EA anticheat is reinstalled. If you would like to reinstall EA anticheat, we’ve made it as easy as possible with simple prompts in the game launch process. […] EA anticheat does not gather any information about your browsing history, applications not connected to EA games, or anything not directly related to anticheat protection. We’ve worked with independent, 3rd party computer security and privacy services firms to ensure EA anticheat operates with data privacy top of mind.”
So, the publisher is dropping EAC (Easy Anticheat) and switching to its in-house technology, and the first such game will be Battlefield 2042 when its sixth season begins in October. After Riot’s solution, Vanguard, received a lot of attacks in 2020 when it was running in the background even when Valorant wasn’t, now EA can’t afford to keep it running in the background while giving it very deep access on our systems (raising security issues).
If the technology works here (=no complaints from the public), it’s only a matter of time before it’s deployed in Apex Legends.