UE4 - Anti-piracy BP time bomb with real date for Steam?

Hi, I have faced an impressive amount of piracy for games released on Steam, IMPRESSIVE… you have no idea, how much and how “fast” even 1 hour after a release or an update, you can already find it in up to 10 piracy sites, that strong… :eek:, and now I’m working on a time bomb, using a “UTcnow” node, it is very easy to use this node to take the time from a machine… but, a lot of people do not have the right date, others use a piracy windows version with a changed date to, for example year 2040, then using this node is useless… because you could also affect people who did buy your game, others could change their windows date manually,

So, what can I do? is there another method to make a timebomb? could you take the time from Steam? even do, you can actually play offline…LOL


There is no answer, basically.

^ This ^…

That ‘Timebomb’ idea will either fail spectacularly or just backfire!
Be honest dude, how many copies have you sold so far anyway?
You should focus instead on trying to build up a community imho.
Fighting piracy is like Trump trying to fix coroni (already given up). :stuck_out_tongue:

LOL…I have friends (developers) who have massive communities on Steam, and they say that most of the questions on their Discord channels come from people who play the decrypted cracked versions … so they basically never respond, and their sales never reflect their followers, so. … trying to build a community without anti-piracy, it makes the sales curve go down even faster until it is impossible to handle; it’s like Trump trying to lie, and say that there is no problem, and people are safe, while Covid spreads even faster by not taking any action… If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem, because you are not helping to prevent it.


If ^ this ^ was true as a general rule, Steamspy would show a massive fall off in numbers and it isn’t!:wink: You need to release free demos at the beginning though, then what’s there to pirate? That’s the thing about Indie game dev atm. As a lone indie you have no shot at success. Even a small team has a better chance, as you can devote resources to Community while you attempt a kickstarter / indiegogo campaign, while also contacting streamers / publishers / influencers. Its been like this since 2012-2014. Its a dream killer for many, but there you go…

So how would the big boys handle this? piracy is like covid?

Piracy is huge on physical products as well, so firms spend their way out of it on celebs / brand marketing mostly.
Large players can also offer free games with sign-in and ‘addictive Loot boxes’, which is its own controversial topic.
Piracy is just a reality of life and the cost of doing business. It always has been, travel to SEAsia / SAmerica. But…
You can outsell piracy! However Indies rarely have a marketing budget, so they can’t spend their way to a solution.:wink:

Steam isn’t a friend of indies, its their enemy! But most devs still prefer to let it ‘use them’ instead of them ‘using it’.
Same goes for all the app stores!!! There’s no money to be made on there. This is the biggest open secret on here…

The people who pirate your game are either those who boycott your stupid DMR requiring you to be online for a single player game (UBI being your leading example for this BS), or poor folks/kids who cannot afford to pay for the actual thing and have to settle for an inferior version.

More often than not, those who pirate a game and like it will actually purchase said game if it has replayability value and/or they can finally afford to purchase it outright.

Instead of focusing on anti piracy - which is BS since there is literally nothing you can do about it - focus on the product by releasing new DLCs, updates, fixes, new features etc.
The new content alone is usually enough to keep your company running.

going free to play is also an immediate anti-piracy noteworthy method.
make an area of the game free to play, and those who like and enjoy your game end up purchasing the upgrades.
This is tried and true, you have examples from world of war craft to dungeons and dragons online, to black desert, to literally another billion examples.
Mind you, most of those are MMOs, so they require you to be online. Single player experiences are harder to find with this format, but they usually exist in the way of a Demo as explained above. Same concept, different pathway.

Another innovative approach is to let people mod away like there is no tomorrow… Ark could potentially be an example of this if the people running Wildcard weren’t so obtuse as to completely ignore any player feedback… they did lead on steam sales for several months, maybe even years. Again, this can also come down to the fact the game is mostly MMO and yea you can pirate it, but the latest version update is needed to join a server and all of that.

Re the statement that the appstore(s) make you no money. Thats BS and you know it.
Look at ■■■■ games like Game of War that make 0 logical sense to anyone and have “packages” being sold for $99 and idiots who purchase one a day or more… (again its an MMO, jeez, i guess all i do is read about MMOs)…

There is potential to be able to make money on there, but yes, your APK is immediately put onto another billion mirrors that offer it free (not sure how many root their phone voiding warranty in America though, in Europe you definitely have less of a market to begin with, not going to argue against that one).

either way, the point is/was… make an mmo? Joking. I hate MMOs, can’t argue that most of them are extremely successfully though.

No, the point is, piracy is there and isn’t going to go away. The more you fight it, the more your sales drop…

Basically this.

If you equate warez copies with sales then you are kidding yourself. Instead, understand that these people are all potential customers. The real problems are aim bots, wall hacks, database breaches etc.

Sure, make a sht game / app, and spend money instead marketing it on Facebook to fools.
People have been getting scammed like this since the beginning of time with no easy fixes.
But a scam is just a scam, its not a sustainable biz model to most devs here so why sell it…

There is potential, but its not always easy or ethical money (something recurring / something reliable)… What percentage of people selling apps or games today on Steam or any of the App stores, is going to be around or able to put steaks in the freezer 10 years from now? Many are just out to make a quick buck like dodgy influencers or chancers like McAfee talking up crypto-coins to families who can’t afford it. This is just fake news cesspit marketing, its not sustainable…

What’s rooting go to do with side-loading though?:confused:

Less of a market to scam people or less of a market overall and if so, why do you think that?

the people buying packs for game of war or mobile command at $99 a pop would likely crucify you if they read this.
its neither a scam nor “not sustainable”, just because we think they are insane (and they probably are).

most phones require rooting to install the apps from which you download the pirated apps. Particularly Apple products, where you need jailbreak just to make the phone usable since Apple doesn’t give a **** about ease of use and functionality.

Overall, for 2 reasons. They pirate more / purchase less. They actually own their phones outright and root them far more often.

I’d say, keep developing the game, add content, tweak things. That helps. Without exception, all the pirated copies of my game I see people playing online and V1.0. I see them having problems, and I think ‘well, serves you right’…

Captain Hook is very good at getting the game out there is 10 seconds flat, but very bad at keeping it up to date.

There is no good solution to preventing piracy of single player games. No matter what you do you are going to lose. Even the sophisticated DRM solutions can’t stop the pirates and it only aggravates and punish the legit customers.

It should be as easy and cheap as possible to be a legit customer so it can “compete” with the ease of being a pirate. If your anti-pirate solution begins targeting your legit customers then you are worse off than letting some pirates through.

The only way you can ensure that everyone pay for your game is if you release it as a service like with Google Stadia but the popularity of that is not that great so I really don’t know how profitable that is compared to the regular PC market.

Depends on popularity and need.
Hacking a game is as much a job as making one mind you. Completely different set of skills, but skills people don’t really get paid for nonetheless (much like making games now! XP)

When a popular game comes out, there is a definite rush to crack it and put it up. However even with those folks that do it -lets say- professionally (if playing fortnite on YouTube can be a profession don’t anyone dare argue hacking games isn’t a profession) there is a diminishing return on investment over keeping up with updates.

Getting the crack out 1st to 5th makes sense. Releasing every update when you have a list of another 20 games that were just released to still crack does not.

Are these people detrimental to us developers?
Personally I don’t think so. I encourage them to keep tearing DMRs that are always online on single player (Rockstar too! Forgot about thay) apart…
Do they cost us sales? I doubt it. In fact, I think skyrim is skyrim ONLY because of the hackers that made it free.
(let’s not blame them for the bugs, thats totally Bethesda ;P)

Ps: what’s your game? Why doesn’t the community spotlight feature it more often given you are always the in the top 10 answer hub / you do Epic’s job ?

Actually, I have no idea how to tell Epic about it… :rolleyes:

PS: I it’s your sort of thing, PM me, I’ll do you a key…

Some of these people later worked for the largest game companies, hence, in a twist were in part responsible for game (and financial) success stories.

Awesome stuff. Sent (or rather fumbled… what’s with visitor messages? XD) you a pm re the spotlight.

@unit23 true, so not only are they not detrimental, they end up enriching the community…

Anyway let’s keep in mind that neither I nor anyone here is advocating for piracy (because you could totally take statements out of context and construe that).

We are basically in totum just saying that it doesn’t really matter to sales.

Well, all of us except the OP maybe. :stuck_out_tongue:

I like it, and It has gained several nice reviews and comments in a very short period of time, wich is cool, I’m not a bad person for fighting piracy… :frowning: don’t hate me, they messed with me first.

So you endorse it for the sake of crowded communities? Not a big percentage of piracy customers are going to convert enough, to enrich your community, and if it does… I already commented about my friend not participating nor promoting at his Discord and other places, just because there is no legitimate questions to answer, and lot of cons, when this community constantly asks: how to update my fake game V1 to Version 5, ohhh… yes… go to this link to this piracy site or watch this video. so he has to constantly bann everybody and growing numbers are not converting to sales that much either, there is no justification, but I get your point of using it as a bluff… LOL, still not convinced, in my mind piracy is ilegal and that’s it, also it corrupts the system, and I do understand that it is not going to go away, but still, you could try to do something to lower this nasty curve, at least, to make them harder to find.

Just a brief example: Once upon a time, one of the biggest gamming companies, was promoting massive discounts like 90% to 70% for all their games, because they were celebrating X years of being in the bussines; that day I was making a copyright claim to one piracy site and voila, that site was releasing, the lattest update of those games, and they had them in their frontpage with a subtitle (new updates, and the update dates or version), and, this site was also promoting those cracked games with banners, and I thought: “this is why”

I really feel sad when i watch Indie developers with nice games, lowering their price from $19 to $1.99… in 2 or 3 months, after years of work.

Got my first game out on Steam and within the first hour pirated versions were everywhere. Been browsing through the forums to see what other devs perspectives were on piracy and now I feel depressed… Worked on my title for 4+ years while working a full-time day job to support the project financially.