Gamemaker anti-piracy bug destroys developer assets

Gamemaker anti-piracy bug destroys developer assets
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

November 29th 2012 at 12:46PM

YoYo Games patches tool to remove 'destructive' security measures affecting legitimate users

YoYo Games has updated its GameMaker: Studio tool to fix a bug mistaking legitimate users for software pirates.

As reported by PlayerAttack, a recent update had introduced the error which caused the tool to trigger its anti-piracy measures, replacing resources with a picture of a skull and crossbones and causing it to crash.

The DRM also includes hidden features enabling YoYo Games to detect games created using an illegal version of the engine.

Some users who had not backed up their work have said that as a result of the bug, some of their assets were destroyed, with one developer stating they had spent $500 on the program before experiencing the error.

YoYo Games head of development Mike Dailly said the new update would remove some of the “destructive” anti-piracy measures currently integrated into the tech to prevent a future repeat, and that it would adopt more passive methods to help protect legitimate users.

He said however that the company could not completely remove GameMaker’s security measures, as it would result in “vast numbers” of people pirating the tool.

“I totally understand that those who have paid for GameMaker and are getting this are feeling very upset by the whole matter, and I can only apologise for the problems,” said Dailly on the GameMaker forum.

“As to why it’s in there should be reasonably clear. GameMaker has traditionally been one of the most pirated programs around, and it’s simply not right that some pay good money for it, while others simply pirate it. We try hard to make it as smooth an experience as possible for paying users, but are constantly fighting pirates understanding of the protection systems.

“We’d love to be able to remove the protection completely, but we know that vast numbers would simply copy it if it was that easy. There are many levels to the current protection system, and while many are visible like this, there are also many hidden so that we can always tell when a final game was created with a crack.”

Since the update, users have said they are no longer experiencing problems.