WTF?! Apparently, REvil ransomware isn't alone in picking the July 4 weekend to strike -- hackers have broken their way into Apex Legends, taking over the game's playlists and notifications with a message to "Save Titanfall"... from hackers breaking that game into an "unplayable" state.
The hacked in-game content was first spotted by Apex Legends News on Twitter, with players being limited to the hacked (and broken) "SaveTitanfall" playlist. While it initially seemed to be solely limited to PC players, it also spread to those on Xbox and the PS4.
The hacked content was replaced with text protesting the state of Titanfall and incidents of hacking in the game, along with a promotion of the website SaveTitanfall.com.
Players are being given this "Important Message" after finishing a match. pic.twitter.com/SGKvduO95p— Apex Legends News (@alphaINTEL) July 4, 2021
That website is part of a campaign that claims that the 2014 FPS is "unplayable" as it is, with hackers filling lobbies with bots and blocking any legitimate players from connecting, and even preventing private lobbies from running.
There's plenty of documentation of the game's issues on the site, by both gaming media and community posts on Reddit and Steam. With "over three years" of fans trying to raise the issue, it would be hard to not feel that EA and Respawn have abandoned the title.
The website goes a step further, describing the continued sales of Titanfall in such an unstable state -- still listed at $20 on both Origin and Steam -- as "an act of fraud."
However, it turns out that the creators of SaveTitanfall.com aren't the ones responsible for the attack, but have had their campaign co-opted by the hackers. TF Remnant Fleet -- the "biggest original Titanfall community" and who created the site with the help of the NoSkill modding community -- disavowed the attacks and sought to clear their name, with admin RedShield stating to IGN:
I would like the Apex Legends' community, on behalf of the TF Remnant Fleet and the Titanfall community, [to know] that we stand with you.
We are not behind the recent attacks and have no control over them, and that's something that we know the pain of very well. We empathize with you, and hope that things can return to normalcy soon. At the very least, even if Titanfall doesn't get fixed, we hope that Apex Legends can be, as I know that's a game that far more people cherish just as much as we cherish our game.
According to RedShield, the attacks might have been from someone trying to tar Remnant Fleet's name but were more likely simply a well-intentioned hacker who wanted to raise awareness for their campaign, since the hackers quickly updated their content to say they weren't affiliated with SaveTitanfall.com.
Thankfully, the company quickly jumped on the issue, providing hourly updates until they could confirm that matchmaking was fixed with server-side updates. Still, it's not a good time for either fans or developers at Respawn, especially as both Apex and Titanfall -- as well as the latter's sequel -- were only last month hit by a wave of DDOS attacks.