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Old Dec 3, 2012, 10:18 PM   #1
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Piracy Cripples iOS Game in Less than a Week




When software piracy is mentioned, it is usually in reference to PC games and movies downloaded off of illegal sites. Very little attention is given to the piracy of iOS games, which has become a huge problem for some developers.

Hunted Cow, the team behind the title Battle Dungeon, was forced to shut down its game this afternoon because the servers could not handle the load created by significant numbers of pirated copies of the game. Here's what the team told fans:
Quote:
Unfortunately we have taken Battle Dungeon down for the forseeable future. This was due to high levels of server load created by large numbers of pirated copies of the game. The high load revealed technical issues which we don't feel we can fix to the level that our paying customers deserve.
In a forum post, the developers went on to explain that after a pirated .ipa surfaced on the internet, the number of people joining the game multiplied. As they were not paying customers, Hunted Cow was left without resources to maintain the server. Battle Dungeon, which is no longer available in the App Store, was a game that impressed app review site Touch Arcade.
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Battle Dungeon offered up gameplay in the vein of Outwitters [Free] and Hero Academy [Free], with a 3D environment, XCOM style action points and an RPG twist. The ability to level up characters and buy better equipment was balanced against a point-cost system in which having more powerful champions meant playing with fewer of them. It was an appealing package for anyone who wanted more "crunch" and micromangement out of their async strategy games.
Players who invested money in the game will have the opportunity to get a refund by contacting support, which will include the $4.99 purchase price and any cash spent on in-app purchase.

Article Link: Piracy Cripples iOS Game in Less than a Week
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 10:21 PM   #2
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 10:24 PM   #3
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A crappy thing indeed, but if they're refunding 100% of the money they earned from the legit users, won't he be losing money, as they've obviously had costs along the way? :/
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 10:29 PM   #4
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But but but, piracy doesn't hurt anyone since its just a copy and people who won't really play it wont buy it! (Says internet idiots who never actually created anything.)

Its sad to see this happen. Piracy really does hurt the little guy more then people realize.

People deserve to be paid for their work. Period.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 10:32 PM   #5
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i pirate games, and if i like them i'll buy them. if i dont i delete the game.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 10:33 PM   #6
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If they can differentiate between pirated copy and original copy of the client software, why don't they just restrict access to the server for the pirated one?
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 10:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itsthenewdc View Post
A crappy thing indeed, but if they're refunding 100% of the money they earned from the legit users, won't he be losing money, as they've obviously had costs along the way? :/
Yup. What a shame. You work so hard and put hours into the development of a game, spending a lot of money to do so. You briefly get excited because, hey, people LOVE what you did and the money starts coming in. And then, this. You end up refunding everybody, shutting it down, all your hard work is down the toilet AND you lost money in the process.

How likely are you to work on that second great idea you had?

Piracy DOES hurt, folks. Pay for your software.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 10:36 PM   #8
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Mobile piracy is HUGE, luckily for me my game doesn't require a server otherwise it might cost me more to run it than what I make with it.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 10:39 PM   #9
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if I'm not mistaken, you could go the freemium route. offline mode for non-paying users, but if you want to play online, buy inapp purchase. that way people can't pirate the game?
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 10:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRumors View Post
Image


When piracy is mentioned, it is usually in referral to PC games and movies downloaded off of illegal sites. Very little attention is given to the piracy of iOS games, which has become a huge problem for some developers.

Hunted Cow, the team behind the title Battle Dungeon was forced to shut down its game this afternoon, because the servers could not handle the load created by significant numbers of pirated copies of the game. Here's what the team told fans:
In a forum post, the developers went on to explain that after a pirated .ipa surfaced on the internet, the number of people joining the game multiplied. As they were not paying customers, Hunted Cow was left without resources to maintain the server. Battle Dungeon, which is no longer available in the App Store, was a game that impressed app review site Touch Arcade.
Players who invested money in the game will have the opportunity to get a refund by contacting support, which will include the $4.99 purchase price and any cash spent on in-app purchase.

Article Link: Piracy Cripples iOS Game in Less than a Week
Guess this developer never made an Android game.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 10:43 PM   #11
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Can't something be done to keep non paying users from contacting the server? Many console games can do this, why not IOS?
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 10:46 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by notjustjay View Post
How likely are you to work on that second great idea you had?

Piracy DOES hurt, folks. Pay for your software.
And how likely is someone else to try their FIRST idea (if server-based)? Less likely thanks to pirates. I have an iOS game in the works, and some awesome multiplayer ideas—but they’re shelved because piracy makes server-based systems more difficult. I’m one guy, self0funded—there are only so many challenges I can tackle. Pirates make multiplayer, and ad-free play, and IAP-free play, all harder to deal with.

I know some people like to think piracy is good and developers who lose their shirt making their dream simply deserve what they get, since some devs do succeed anyway.

What about the ones that would have succeeded without pirates? It happens. Piracy makes a difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoEw View Post
Can't something be done to keep non paying users from contacting the server? Many console games can do this, why not IOS?
Things can be done—depending on the specifics of how the app is built and why it’s built that way. Apple and some engine-makers can (and do) also help solve such problems (in some cases).

But if a developer fails to beat the pirates... it’s not the developers fault first and foremost, it’s the pirates. If thieves break the lock on my door... I could have had a bigger lock, but if I focused on my roof instead, say, it’s still the thieves at fault for their own crimes.

Put another way, if someone has an awesome new game idea for me to play, but they’re not savvy about fighting pirates and don’t have money to hire others, I STILL don’t want to be deprived of that game.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 10:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoEw View Post
Can't something be done to keep non paying users from contacting the server? Many console games can do this, why not IOS?
Because there is no differentiation between a non paying user and a paying user. Sometimes developers will block access to jailbroken devices, but this just hurts paying customers on jailbroken devices, and usually is worked around quickly.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 10:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoEw View Post
Can't something be done to keep non paying users from contacting the server? Many console games can do this, why not IOS?
Apple doesn't share user information to app developers. This is a fundamental system of protecting your privacy.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 10:52 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by ZacNicholson View Post
i pirate games, and if i like them i'll buy them. if i dont i delete the game.
Then you're a thief.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 10:53 PM   #16
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But people have been saying that they have only been jailbreaking to customize. You don't think they have really been jailbreaking to pirate software ?
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 10:55 PM   #17
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If they truly believe that the surge in server load was due to pirates, then they should be able to lock them out. Lots of apps have pretty strong measures to beat pirates. Heck, even some popular paid jailbreak tweaks aren't cracked.

And don't blame jailbreaking in particular for this, as any non-jailbroken user can do the same.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 10:56 PM   #18
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Pirates are cowards. Traditionally you had to have some balls to steal something, (in real life) but to pirate something via the internet requires nothing at all. They do it because there's little risk and they never have to face the people they steal from.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 10:57 PM   #19
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As much as I hate people pirating things, I think this developer simply don't know how to control their online system. They may well require customers to create a log-in and set up their own payment system, or require in-app purchase for online functionalities. There are always thieves, especially for softwares. Don't blame the thieves. Blame your security system. I'm sure in Android there must be 10 times more pirates than in iOS given the difficulty in jailbreaking newer iOS devices. Then why are there some Android developers still afloat? People are cheap and they will steal your thing if it's very easy to do so. It's life.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 10:58 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZacNicholson View Post
i pirate games, and if i like them i'll buy them. if i dont i delete the game.
Then why don't you go down to the store, shoplift a pair of headphones, then if you like them go back and pay for them, or if you don't chuck them out?
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 10:58 PM   #21
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We can all run around and blame pirates but there could be another issue at play here.

Who is to say that the servers would not have crashed anyhow?

This could just be the case of a developer underestimates the loads their servers would suffer from when it goes live, said servers crash and instead of saying that they stuffed up they blame pirates.

The media are all over the story, people feel sorry for the company and feel that they shouldn't be punished any further by them claiming a refund.

The company then no longer goes broke from their own incompetence.

OR it could just be pirates...
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 10:58 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by mrsir2009 View Post
They do it because there's little risk and they never have to face the people they steal from.
It's mainly because of how easy it is. Apple could easily patch the way apps are codesigned.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 11:01 PM   #23
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Fuq the pirates

I'm willing to pay double the asking price of this game to the developer to help them come up with a way to fight the pirates. It's sad that all these app purchasers would LET the pirates win like this. Fight back dammit!
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 11:03 PM   #24
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I've actually found torrents of software I've written. I did two things:

1 - I contacted the web hosts and had the torrents taken down.

2 - I added in some code that assigns each user a unique ID. I can shut down users that pirate the app.

I've never had to actually use #2 before (I've found that only 2% or so of my users use pirated versions, and I suspect many of them wouldn't pay if I shut them down, and they don't seem to be seeding out torrents, so I don't really care,) but I put it in as a safeguard for if I ever need it.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 11:04 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by kd5jos View Post
I'm willing to pay double the asking price of this game to the developer to help them come up with a way to fight the pirates. It's sad that all these app purchasers would LET the pirates win like this. Fight back dammit!
Pirates ruin everything for everyone. Thanks to them we've had to put up with annoying anti-piracy measures like having to put a game's DVD in every single frickin' time you play the game. Grr.
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