Last month I explained why Western mobile game developers need to worry about app piracy and copycatting, even outside of Asia, and promised to offer some protection tips. This post will review six strategies worth considering, based on best practices that I’ve learned developing games over two decades, adapted for the mobile environment. Game developers deal with hacking and piracy no matter what our platform of choice (the recent PS4 jailbreak, illegal MMORPG servers, server hacking, etc.), but as it fast becomes the industry’s largest market, bad actors are focusing more and more of their energies on mobile.
Before I get into the specifics, a couple disclaimers:
Security strategies are reliable only if they’re implemented before launching your game to the public. This is very important to keep in mind, so I’ll explain in more detail down the way.
No solution is ever bulletproof, esepcially on a platform which evolves so quickly, and so many people motivated to hack your game for profit.
As you’ll see, these solutions are less about creating impregnanable barriers, as slowing down and discouraging would-be hackers. The vast majority of mobile game hacking and piracy is motivated by profit, so the more time-consuming an app’s security systems are to penetrate, the less attractive a target it is.