Illegal downloading of Choice/Hosted Games


#1

I found a website online with people requesting for my game to be pirated and modded. I signed up, then added my own post to the thread that read like this:

I am the creator of the game, The Kepler Colony: Evacuation. It took me over four years to create this game. If you really can’t afford the 2-3 dollar cost, then by all means, download a copied apk. Perhaps later, when you can afford it, you will pay for real. In the meantime, a good review would be very much appreciated.

Cheat modes… There is already a major money boost if you play as China. Playing as Switzerland also gives a big money boost after the asteroid is revealed to the public. In future updates I will add more game modes including a direct money cheat for any nation.

A few hours later I was as banned. Reason: Spam replies claiming to be dev of games.

I added the bold - I only ever posted one message. The irony of the banning from a dubious site is not lost on me either!
I’m not going to name the site as that would be advertising for them.

My question is, what should we do in a situation like this?


#2

Yuck. I hate that shit. I saw some sites pirating Trial of the Demon Hunter a few years ago, but apparently there’s not really anything we can do. :confused:


#3

My reply on the site was basically intended to do four things:

  1. Let users of the site know that I know what they are doing.
  2. Give permission for the users of the site to ‘steal’ my game - on the caveat that they genuinely can’t afford it.
  3. Let the users who were downloading ‘because they wanted a cheat mode’ know that a cheat mode will be added (yeah, no one really believes that the real reason they are downloading is for a cheat mode, but I can play along)
  4. Hopefully get some more advertisement for the game.

#4

I’m sorry to hear of this.

If the site itself is not on the up-and-up (and the way you were treated seems to show they are not) it might be hard for an individual to do more. Sometimes the publisher can contact the hosts and inform them of the activity and then the isp will follow through but idk the exact procedures used.


#5

I know the site and I just pinged Axiom telling him that you were the real author of the game and that if he wants he can find you here


#6

Wow nice response to the person who’s the author of a game you supposedly like. Maybe this was a misunderstanding and they’re not going to “unlock” the game for free given the responses, but considering the game asked for an unlocked version and there does seem to be mods to unlock premium content and full games on the site for other games I don’t think that is an unreasonable assumption to make.


#7

It’s not just my game on there…

There’s a Zombie Exodus patch as well.
@JimD

Also just found The Great Tournament 2

He seems to be doing good business by pirating the games we make under the claim that they are just mods…


#8

Put a mandatory 4th wall breaking in the game?


#9

What do you mean? (excuse my ignorance)


#10

Yeah, Axiom has many “mods” of CoG games


#11

Yeah there are many “unlocked” choice of games and hosted games on there it seems from the description. Not just mods.


#12

There’s an app, used by them, that lets you bypass in-game purchases, maybe knowing the app could give CoG the chance to defense against this “hackers”?


#13

The only legit way to do that would be to make COG and Hosted games always online and connected to Google Play or the App Store.


#14

Perhaps, but that is super annoying to some people.


#15

Hackers gonna hack. Especially for a small company like CoG, there are cost-benefit calculations that need to be made about how much of their time they spend playing whack-a-mole with pirate sites and how much time they spend making the games good enough that people are happy to pay money for them. They’ve (I think rightly) chosen to lean mostly in the latter direction.


#16

As much as I love to defend my favorite CoG/HG games, I don’t have 24/7 internet so playing online is a no-go for me.


#17

Hence my message was - ‘only steal if you can’t afford’ not ‘STOP THIS NOW!!’


#18

Yeah, I’m sure of that but maybe it can be make something like an antivirus that works specially for that app, so it would be more difficult to make “unlocked” games.
I’m talking without knowing how hard could be doing somewhat like that and
I perfectly understand that maybe it’s not worth the effort


#19

On the other hand, if this was intentional, then it was kind of an aggressively dick move.

Obviously, pirate hunting doesn’t bring any cash home for the company or the authors, but in a case where the pirate site attacks the creator, a DMCA takedown for all COG material on that site might be in order. IANAL of course.


#20

Yes, your message was more than generous, and I wholly agree with @Ramidel that the site’s response was mean-spirited cockishness.