Piracy-Crippled Game From Hunted Cow Returns to App Store as 'Battle Dungeon: Risen'

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Mar 29, 2013.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Last December, asynchronous multiplayer strategy game Battle Dungeon hit the App Store. Less than a week after the game was released, an .ipa file surfaced on the internet and illicitly obtained copies of Battle Dungeon caused a huge amount of stress on the game's servers.

    The team behind Battle Dungeon, Hunted Cow, was forced to shut it down after the server load caused technical difficulties that the team did not have the resources to fix.

    Hunted Cow did not give up on Battle Dungeon and has today released a new version of the game in the App Store. Battle Dungeon: Risen is a redesigned single player version of Battle Dungeon that features a number of improvements.

    Battle Dungeon: Risen offers up all new content, along with improved graphics and a lower price. The game has also been stripped of in-app purchases, allowing all upgrades to be obtained with gold earned in the game.
    As a turn-based strategy game, Battle Dungeon: Risen features 12 different scenarios to play through with several different classes, massive battles, and an array of items to earn.

    Battle Dungeon: Risen can be downloaded for the iPad and the iPhone from the App Store for $1.99. [Direct Link]

    Article Link: Piracy-Crippled Game From Hunted Cow Returns to App Store as 'Battle Dungeon: Risen'
  2. iMacFarlane macrumors 65816


    Apr 5, 2012
    Adrift in a sea of possibilities
    Looks neat and all, but until I see a sentence that specifically states that the single-player experience in no way requires server connectivity, no thanks. Sad that we've found ourselves here, isn't it?
  3. Joe-Diver macrumors 6502


    Aug 2, 2009
  4. jclo Editor


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2012
    It doesn't require server connectivity.
  5. nagromme macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    It's a shame that server-side/multiplayer gaming can be at the mercy of pirates.

    Yes, some multiplayer games succeed anyway. Others fail for a stupid reason like this, and it shouldn't be that way. Small developers are the most vulnerable.

    Pirates: you are stealing actual money from the people who make what you seem to love playing! (Because if you weren't playing, the servers wouldn't be overloaded.)

    If you like someone's creative work, pay them for it.
  6. SmoMo macrumors regular


    Aug 20, 2011
    I dont fully understand what happened.

    So are the developers saying that they sold X copies of the game, but for every legitimate copy there were Y pirate copies being played?

    I don't understand how this resulted in their server experiencing too much congestion unless Y is a really large number right?
    Even if 99% of the copies were pirate I am surprised the server could not cope, after-all surely they were prepared for that eventuality in case they had actually managed to sell that many copies.

    Perhaps they were using a scalable cloud service and they just couldn't afford to keep it running due to such poor sales, and emphasising the large number of pirate copies was a way to save face.

    I don't know, so I would take what they say at face value, but I'd love to know the value of Y.
  7. Tulipone macrumors 6502

    Jan 30, 2009
    Huntingdon UK
    Well I thought it looked great. Bought it. Controls, in my opinion, make it unplayable. Can't be arsed.
  8. Unggoy Murderer macrumors 6502

    Jan 28, 2011
    Livingston, Scotland
    Well said Sir.

    On a side note, I hate people who say "I download stuff to try it out. If I like it, I'll buy it." The logic is so stupid, it's like stealing a car for a weekend, and then going back to the dealership, or driving it off a pier.

    Just buy stuff, or look up reviews. Save the economy, and small businesses.
  9. NewAnger macrumors 6502a

    Apr 24, 2012
    Denver Colorado
    The game is already on the usual "piracy" sites including the one that replaced apptracker.
  10. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
  11. APlotdevice macrumors 68040


    Sep 3, 2011
    This is by far the best part of the announcement.
  12. cmChimera macrumors 68040


    Feb 12, 2010
    No it's not. 1. When you steal a car, you're not leaving the original car behind. 2. You get to test drive cars.
  13. oneMadRssn macrumors 601


    Sep 8, 2011
    New England
    Pirating software is not theft. It is wrong, it is morally reprehensible, the people who do it are culpable, but it is not the crime of theft nor should it be analogized to it. It's plain different.

    Theft, as defined by some the top legal minds, is only applies to things that are commoditizable and exhaustible. Meaning, it only applies to things that can be bought and sold, and only when the wrong committed deprives the rightful owner of doing what they want with it.

    Infringing on someones copyright does not deprive the original owner of buying, selling, copying, etc. their original copy. Also, the right to copy and sell copies is not really a commodity, not in the traditional sense anyway.

    Of all analogies to common crimes, infringing a copyright is most similar to trespass. The copyright owner has this metaphorical piece of property, and the infringer goes onto this property and uses it. He does not deprive the owner of their use (he stays out of his way), and he does not lower the properties value. He is intruding on the owner's right to exclude, that is all.
  14. holmesf macrumors 6502a

    Sep 30, 2001
    In this case it's theft because it's not merely copyright infringement. The software is backed by real services that have real costs per user. Each pirate using the servers has a real associated cost to them.
  15. oneMadRssn macrumors 601


    Sep 8, 2011
    New England
    That's true, but it's similar to someone sneaking into a theater and taking a seat, thereby depriving someone else of a seat. It's still similar to trespass, not theft. The thing being stolen is commoditized in this case, but I still don't think its exhaustible.

    The server limit is artificial in a way. Would it still be piracy if the developer sold a million copies in a day, and his server was overloaded? Sure, his pickets would be stuffed with cash at the end of the month, but servers take time to upgrade or expand, right? I don't like to blame the victim, but in this case the victim is partially responsible (maybe 10% responsible). He could have designed his server-side software to be more scalable, and he could have also easily prevented unauthorized users from accessing the server. To say they didn't expect piracy is naive really.

    What the pirates did is wrong, but it's just not the same as theft. I still maintain its the same as trespass.
  16. holmesf macrumors 6502a

    Sep 30, 2001
    The server isn't limited in an artificial way. More paying customers would allow more servers, as you said. Developers don't really need to "plan" for the selling a million copies overnight scenario because that would just be a case of counting chickens before they hatch. Most small-time developers struggle and few succeed. So not the same thing.
  17. BiigBiscuit macrumors member

    Aug 23, 2011
    I was just going to say the same. Stealing is taking the original while piracy leaves the original in tact and duplicates it.
  18. iGrip macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2010

    Downloading a song is like stealing a car and driving it off a pier. OK.
  19. anarchopath, Mar 29, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2013

    anarchopath macrumors member


    Feb 7, 2013
    Finally someone on the internet who can think with his brain instead of his emotions.

    Scarcity is the root concept you seem to be getting at. Concepts of property arose to avoid conflict over scarce resources. Almost universally, moral norms and justice systems across humanity stem from concepts of property in scarce resources. This development is automatic, spontaneous, a necessary fact of the human condition, across almost every culture throughout different times on different continents. To my point, for concepts of property to be valued and respected in society, a class of people calling themselves "government" isn't required to invent the concept and impose it on society. Free markets, religious folk, justice systems, families, communities, naturally develop and value property due to it's capacity to reduce conflict over scarce resources.

    Property is wholly separate from government grants of monopoly privilege. These do not arise naturally in society without government inventing and imposing them. Examples of these are copyrights and patents, and the fact that their supporters refer to them as "property" no more makes them so than a random guy becomes your father just because him and his friends refer to him as your father. To be clear:
    A) government grants of monopoly privilege have utterly nothing to do with property
    B) by definition, free markets don't automatically value and develop government granted monopoly privileges
    C) government grants of monopoly privilege fly in the face of property based moral norms and justice systems, because they rely on violence to restrict what peaceful people can do with their own actual property

    So no, copying files has utterly nothing to do with theft. When you steal a car, it's theft because the car is scarce—the owner can't control it while you do. When you copy a file, it isn't theft because the owner's of control over his scarce resource (data on a computer chip, or something) isn't violated.
  20. soundr macrumors newbie

    Mar 27, 2012
    1. Then lets compare it to counterfeiting money. I'm sure you see nothing wrong with that.

    2. You don't get to test drive cars without permission.
  21. aristokrat macrumors regular

    Apr 15, 2007
    Finally, someone on the internet who hides behind semantic arguments to support immoral acts. Scarcity is not what gives rise to the definition, but rather a society's legal definition of property rights, be they physical or intellectual. If the definition of property rights includes that a king is allowed to take anything he wants from his subjects, then his claiming of any good, no matter how scarce, is not theft, even though he is depriving its original owner of its use. On the other hand, if a society defines property rights to include things like ideas or books, then appropriating them for your own use is theft.

    Stealing is simply the violation of property rights, and property rights define what is stealing. Making semantic arguments about scarcity and deprivation of use are moot points. There is no universal law or code of conduct, and thus there is no absolute definition of theft. But since society currently includes intellectual property in the definitions of property rights, taking intellectual is theft.
  22. bonehead macrumors regular

    Feb 18, 2002
    Lost Angeles
    Do you like getting paid for the work you do? Don't you think a worker should benefit from the fruits of their labor? Copying files is not paying a worker for their output. I would think a person with your views wouldn't want to shaft their brother worker.
  23. anarchopath macrumors member


    Feb 7, 2013
    Yes, within strict limits (based on property first, and then contract). So for example regarding property, someone doesn't deserve to get paid for a statue that he built from gold bars taken out of your house while you were away. And regarding contracts, I don't expect you to pay me for the work I do for my clients.

    You're talking about justice. Like I said originally, justice is a concept stemming from the root of property.

    Within reasonable limits, sure; but not necessarily. Like I said, if someone labors to make a statue out of gold bars stolen from your home, he doesn't deserve to benefit from that. And a street performer doesn't deserve the money of everyone who happens to see him.

    Ok, but so what? People don't just automatically deserve money by mere virtue of the fact that they've labored.

    No, you're making stuff up to rationalize your belief system ex post facto. Property is independent of a person's opinion about rights. Whether theft has occurred has nothing to do with whether you believe someone had some mystical "right", or even whether several people agree with you.
  24. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    Oh look, MR has decided to post another story from this whiney developer.

    Sheesh, once they publish about you just once, it doesn't matter what you have to say anymore, they'll just publish it.

    I really need to make my own crappy server based app so that MR will cover it for me.

    Hey guys, I'm going to limit Battery Status to only receive statuses from 5 other computers on your network, because if you have people running illegal copies on your network, you might consume too much bandwidth, and you wouldn't want that.

    In a few months, I'll just upload a new version of Battery Status that completely lacks the networking features and Mac Rumors will run a second article on it. Worked with Mailbox. Worked with Hunted Cow. Why wouldn't it work for me?
  25. Rajani Isa macrumors 65816

    Rajani Isa

    Jun 8, 2010
    Rogue Valley, Oregon

    Except in this case, you're also sneaking behind the concession stand and getting a soda.

    In this specific case the big/main issue was that the pirated copies used the official servers. This meant not only did they not get money for each copy, but unlike someone sneaking in a theatre to steal a seat, each copy caused additional expense (unlike most other pirated software, which either is single/offline play or uses unofficial servers). Even if they didn't have the money right away from Apple, with the sales of all those copies they could of gotten credit, no doubt, to get the needed extra server capacity and tech support.

    Note I don't care to get in a general property rights debate; I am just referring to the specific case with Battle Dungeon.


    So how do you know it's crappy? :)

    And oh noes, someone tried to make a multi-player game you can play over the internet! (Mailbox being server based, that you might have a point on).

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