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Butterscotch Shenanigans Forums • View topic - Protecting against piracy

Protecting against piracy

Just some talk about general Butterscotchy stuff here.
So I was listening to your GDC video and I know a way you can protect your game but it does have some down sides.

Right off the bat you might think license verification. That won't work since people can use lucky patcher.

What you will have to do is make it so they have to leave a rating. You see when someone pirates a game (I think this is only for paid but who knows) they can't make a review. The downside though is that they haven't played yet so they don't know what to give so I guess you could put 'click here to rate us to verify your purchase and edit your rating later on depending on how you like the game"

Now with steam I'm not sure.
Last edited by bscotchAdam on 21 Sep 2015 20:12, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Edited post title to summarize contents

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It turns out that the VAST majority of people who pirate games are not even willing to purchase them. So blocking piracy does not generally increase game revenue.

The problem with setting up a "wall" that forces all players to somehow prove that they aren't pirates is that it annoys the crap out of the few honest players who bought the game. Even though most players are pirates, the honest ones feel like you're also accusing THEM of piracy when you put up a block. So then you generate bad will amongst true fans. And then pirates will just find a workaround anyway!

So piracy checks need to be behind the scenes whenever possible. On Steam a similar idea to what you're suggesting is to check that the player is logged into Steam, because Steam itself has a lot of piracy protections. Players won't be interrupted by this, and it will catch most pirates. We can't do this on Google Play Games or iOS Game Center though, because players have to opt-in to those systems.

Unfortunately, the harder the developers fight the harder the pirates fight back. And there are many more of them than us, so it's a losing battle. By completely blocking access to the game, pirates are encouraged to develop workarounds, and those workarounds can end up creating serious problems.

So we'll instead just try to block them from the web-connected parts of the game, since that's where we'll actually lose money due to pirates using up our bandwidth and server resources. That way honest players get to jump right into the game before we ask them to prove ownership, and pirates will mostly just play the part of the game they have stolen access to.

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The sad part about it is that since Steam use ONE protection system, pirates just have to do ONE workaround for the games to work, and then they can modify the thing easily to crack new games.

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And, further, a game only has to be cracked ONCE and then everyone can steal it. So you have a team of devs working their butts off to protect their game. They all have to work together to get it to work. Then thousands of hackers descend on it, some by themselves, some in teams, and only one has to figure it out.

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This is just something that you can't stop these days :(

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