Zynga cracks down on cheaters in Empires & Allies

Over the past few weeks, a number of Empires & Allies players discovered an exploit within the game's coding that allowed them to spawn high level units (read: powerful units) in their Empires without actually paying for them, or otherwise completing the steps necessary to earn them fairly. Whether or not you've ever used this exploit (or one like it) yourself, Zynga has finally found the exact problem that allowed these players to cheat and it has stopped it in its tracks.

Putting it simply, the exploit no longer works. If you were a player that had spawned some of these high level units in your account, you'll find that over the next week, every illegally generated unit will be removed from the game. Apparently, this exploit left a lot of identifiable characters within these units, so Zynga knows exactly which ones to remove, and which to leave alone (in theory). Unfortunately, some users may have unknowingly received some illegal units in their own games, as free gifts or wall bonuses from other players. Those too will be removed, but Zynga makes a point on the game's official forums that those particular users will not have any further action taken against their accounts.

What will happen to the actual cheaters? Aside from losing their fake units, it's not really known whether Zynga will actually ban them or not. I suppose we'll just have to wait and see if those players who tried to trick the system are allowed to continue playing along with the rest of us. Either way, it raises a valid question - should someone who is caught cheating or manipulating a Facebook game be allowed to continue playing?

Well, what do you think? If you found out some of your enemies in World Domination (or another player-vs-player feature) were using illegally created units to defeat you, what sort of punishment would you give them? Should they be allowed to play the game, or should they be banned for their actions? Sound off in the comments.