Why game companies like Sony are using anti-cheat and anti-piracy technology (VB Live)

Presented by Denuvo

Piracy, app cloning, and multiplayer cheating continue to target games of every size. Join VB’s Dean Takahashi and others to learn how game publishers and developers can protect their franchise, preserve their app store and in-app purchase revenues, and retain players in this VB Live event.

Register here for free.

Along with the explosion of the video game market has come an explosion of cheating and piracy. It’s become significantly more sophisticated and organized, too. Players are tired of having no chance of winning, and that’s having a big impact on the industry, says Reinhard Blaukovitsch, managing director at Denuvo by Irdeto. In fact, Denuvo’s global gaming survey found that in-game cheating drives 78% of gamers away, and 46% said that they’re less likely to buy in-game content.

Cheaters aren’t just hackers, but players who are maliciously wielding bots that they can buy on the black market for not a whole lot of money. And piracy isn’t just ripping off the DRM and distributing for free, which reduces revenues for the publishers — if the pirated game appears on the market before the official release it can nuke a developer’s profits. It’s also ripping off in-game advertisements or in-game purchasing. Thieves are even reskinning apps, changing their appearance but keeping the logic and the content intact, and redistributing it. Some will redistribute it to simply make money, but some are redistributing these apps with malware or ransomware.

“The most important things developers and publishers can do to arm themselves against pirates and cheating is be aware,” Blaukovitsch says. “If you buy a bicycle, you also buy a lock. If you develop a game, you also include some anti-piracy measures from the very beginning.”

That means protecting your content when you do alpha, when you do open or closed beta, and when you finally release your game. Your development branch on Steam is vulnerable too, and pirates scan these sites and find unprotected executables for games. And if you release on multiple platforms, whether it’s Epic or Steam or Origin or Uplay, make sure you protect on all platforms. If a game comes out unprotected on one platform, a pirated version will undermine sales on all your platforms.

There are a number of anti-piracy and anti-cheat prevention methods, and depending on the type of game, there might be different prevention metrics, Blaukovitsch says, and it’s important to ensure you know how to wrap your game up tight from the start. The technology has evolved, too, he says, and solutions like Denuvo offer tremendous ease of execution and don’t require changing your source code. Once you’ve set it up, the company can profile your beta build to ensure it’s integrated in the right spot, and runs automatically. During the lifetime of your game, if you patch in new graphics card support or other updates, they’ll re-encrypt the new executable to protect it again.

Protecting your game from hackers, cheaters, and pirates offers concrete results, Blaukovitsch says. Protected games have a higher initial spike in sales because of that protection, and there’s a clear higher purchase pattern for the protected versus unprotected games.

“We see frustration from hackers or pirates,” he adds. “We’ve seen comments where they say, I can’t wait any longer, because there’s no crack coming along. I’ll just buy the game.”

The good thing is major publishers are not only very well aware of the threats to their assets, but they’re beginning to raise awareness in the development community as well. For instance, Sony announced they’ll be using Denuvo’s anti-cheat API for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, highlighting the need for successful anti-cheat technology.

To learn more about how developers can integrate security and protection for their games from the very start, how anti-cheat and anti-piracy technology can protect your assets, and more, don’t miss this VB Live event.

Don’t miss out!

Register here for free.

You’ll learn about:

  • The various threats in video games and how they affect gamers’ experience
  • How piracy impacts your revenue and how you can protect your game
  • How cheaters operate and how an anti-cheat solution can help maximize engagement
  • And more

Speakers:

  • Phil Koskinas, Anti-Cheat Lead, Riot Games
  • Nick Peterson, Senior Software Engineer, Riot Games
  • Reinhard Blaukovitsch, Managing Director, Denuvo by Irdeto
  • Dean Takahashi, Lead Writer, GamesBeat (moderator)

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