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Konvoy Ventures is a thesis driven venture capital firm focused on the video gaming industry. We invest in infrastructure technology, tools, and platforms.

New Investment: EQU8 (Anti-Cheat)

Why Konvoy invested in EQU8

Cheating is a part of gaming. There are many different forms of cheating and motivations for players to cheat. A player can cheat by themselves against the computer (harmless) or they may cheat in online multiplayer games against other people (harmful).

As we explored this theme, we found this to be a major issue that ultimately led us to an investment in EQU8. We are thrilled to partner with the EQU8 team as they battle what we believe to be one of the most crucial pain points in online gaming.

Why do people cheat in online multiplayer games?

We decided to dive into the motivation to cheat in online games, and discovered two primary drivers:

  1. The cheater wants to cause chaos and frustration for other players. This “trolling” (ruining the experience for everyone) rational is very common.
  2. The cheater wants to feel superior over their competition (even if they are not). We have all wondered what it is like to be great at an activity you may be average at. In video gaming, players have the unique ability to cheat and feel like the best player in the lobby.

What is the cost of cheating?

  • For the players: When a player cheats, their fun is gained at the direct loss of someone else’s experience. Gabe Newell, the founder of Valve, said “cheating is a negative-sum game, where a minority benefits less than the majority is harmed.”
  • For the game developers: In a Irdeto gaming survey, 77% of online gamers stated they would likely stop playing a multiplayer game online if they thought other players were cheating. Also, 48% of online gamers said that they would buy less in-game content as a result of cheating (for example, Fortnite does $300M+ per month of in-game sales).

How much are people actually cheating?

Cheating is arguably the biggest problem plaguing multiplayer PC games with cheats easily available online costing anywhere from $10 to $500 per download. Cheating is so prevalent in popular multiplayer games that Apex Legends banned 500,000 accounts in the first month after release. According to Irdeto, 12% of online gamers (4% always, 8% sometimes) admit to using instruments such as modified game files and hardware tools regularly to cheat.

Why we invested into EQU8?

EQU8 is teaming up with game developers to battle online cheating. While the game is being played, EQU8 will monitor to see if any of the code being run and executed is different than the standard game code that was shipped. These differences are flagged as potential cheats and sent to the EQU8 servers with details on what code was run differently and any program that may have intervened.