piracy countermeasures?

Discussion in 'Public Game Developers Forum' started by chickdigger802, Oct 11, 2010.

  1. chickdigger802

    chickdigger802 Well-Known Member

    Apr 14, 2009
    Atlanta GA
    I'm planning to do a pretty awesome game which probably won't be coming out for a while (a year or 2?) and was wondering what are some good ways to fight against piracy? Does any of the online services have any way to detect cracked software? (gc,plus+,openfient,crystal etc)? Besides going free + iap, anyone else find good ways to counter piracy? I remember beejive did something that blacklisted your phone if you ran a cracked software, but I think that's server side. So ya... any insight?
  2. StevePerks

    StevePerks Active Member

    Apr 8, 2010
    I've just implemented some effective anti-piracy code for Line Ninja. I've not had brilliant download volumes from the App Store so far and I'm getting about a 10:1 ratio of cracked versions versus the official version.

    How do I know? At the moment the current version implements the piracy check but doesn't disable the game in any way, but posts the stats to a simple hosted aspx page on a Windows Server. Today I've just submitted an update for Line Ninja in which the game ends at a score of 12 ands prompts the user to buy the official version if it detects a cracked version is running. Note the posting of data to the server is not necessary for the piracy check, I do it purely to collect the stats.

    My code implements a method I found published that checks the app for an encryption flag (cracked versions are generally unencrypted). At the moment this seems to be a valid check against the automated cracking tools used. I considered it a worthwhile investment of my time, only taking a few hours to implement and test.

    If anyone wants any further information or some sample code then please feel free to PM me.
  3. sticktron

    sticktron Well-Known Member

    The automated tools are used first on everything. Then if your app is any good, and people want it, it gets put in a queue for case-specific cracking, which has a fast turnaround (hours not weeks).

    You are only wasting time on copy protection that could be better spent on the app. Only a smal fraction of downloaders would pay forth game before trying it anyway, if they wanted it at all. People would save their money for the EA and Gameloft games, not even try the thousands upon thousands of risky no-name apps.
  4. Donovan1209

    Donovan1209 Well-Known Member

    Jan 28, 2010
    United States
    Alright, here it goes, my dark past. Well, actually not so dark. When I was jailbroken ages ago, I was against piracy. But then I wanted to try out apps I was thinking about purchasing, and if I liked them I'd get them. So I downloaded "Stick Skater" and when I opened it, it said something along the lines of "this is not a legal copy" or something like that. I don't know if that helps. (But for the record I did by Stick Skater anyway)
  5. chickdigger802

    chickdigger802 Well-Known Member

    Apr 14, 2009
    Atlanta GA
    lol it's ok. About everyone that has jb their devices has probably dabbed in ********** before =)

    Weirdly I must have been a minority, who 'tried' the big wig games because they were pretty expensive and the free version usually comes out a long time afterwards. If the app is under $5 I usually buy it if I'm half interested =)

    Now I have a disposable income, I usually just buy what ever I want lol.
  6. sticktron

    sticktron Well-Known Member

    It's Human nature: we can consume more information than we can obtain for money. So, people generally buy what media they can afford, and obtain the rest through sharing. This is true for books, newspapers, magazines, CDs, DVDs and now digital content.

    It's good for the collective intelligence, and yet still profitable. Yes there will be freeloaders, but they're not the ones who are spending or have money TO spend, for that matter. Small potatoes.
  7. EssentialParadox

    EssentialParadox Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2009
    UK / Toronto
    It's good to hear devs are still coming up with new and custom anti-piracy measures. For as long as we continue to combat piracy in every little way we can, even despite the fact that the apps will likely be cracked eventually, when there exists enough faulty pirated apps out there, it makes piracy that teensy bit more labor-intensive and irritating. And as most ex-pirates will probably tell you, there is always that 'last straw' that eventually turns them to the reliability of the legal option.

    There are more free games on the app store than we could consume in a lifetime. You can't justify piracy.
  8. Bmamba

    Bmamba Well-Known Member

    Dec 10, 2009
    Game dev
    There just a bunch of douche bag...! they buy a 800$ phone but can t buy a 3$ games for it.?!?!
    Each version of ironfist was protected against piracy... but it usually get cracked within a week.
  9. BlueSolarSoftware

    BlueSolarSoftware Well-Known Member

    Oct 9, 2009
    iPhone Developer
    If your game isn't coming out for over a year, you should worry about finishing your game first before thinking about adding piracy protection.

    Freemium is becoming a viable business model. Pirates will have to go find something else to bootleg. Arggg.
  10. miiifan

    miiifan Well-Known Member

    I tend to agree with this. Getting into an arms race with pirates is an uphill battle not worth the time and effort; time and effort that would definitely be better spent improving the app.

    I see an upside to piracy though: pirates crack and download virtually everything, but they only keep and use the apps they enjoy. These are the apps they tell their friends and family about, and many of these friends and family members do not pirate apps. It's the same logic as how websites like Free App A Day work: install a large userbase who download for free, and let word of mouth takes over. Of course, if your app is not appealing, neither will help.
  11. HeshamAmiri

    HeshamAmiri Well-Known Member

    Aug 19, 2010
    I agree, trying any form of piracy protection is just a waste of time. No matter what the app will get cracked.

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