Over the weekend, a group of motivated individuals began telling us stories of woe involving erroneous Steam bans by Valve's anti-cheat software. Unclear as to the reason for their ban and hip to Valve's never comment stance that it had on VAC, these Modern Warfare 2 PC users were ticked off and worst of all, banned from jamming on their sixty-dollar purchase. But all is well now. Valve has reversed many, if not all, of the erroneous bans and given a gift of goodwill to those effected.
Valve boss Gabe Newell sent an email to erroneously VAC-banned users yesterday afternoon, explaining that the automated system was in error. According to him, a signature check issue was caused "by a combination of conditions occurring while Steam was updating the disk image of a game." It wasn't the game itself as some of the banned users speculated on the Steam forums.
Because Steam allows Valve to reverse bans, the studio has. Newell said around 12,000 bad bans over the last two weeks have been overturned.
In an equally excellent move, more than play play in Modern Warfare 2 is being restored by Valve and Newell. The studio is attempting to restore faith and trust--and probably score a few brownie points by casual, unaffected onlookers like us--by giving each erroneously banned player two free Steam copies of Left 4 Dead 2, one for them and one for a friend. Newell also issued an apology for the "frustration" and "angst" this situation caused. Little do these new owners of L4D2 know that these same feelings will come back three-fold when some jerk splits from the group in a suicidal safehouse dash.