Hey there all. Figured with all the flames spurting up everywhere, I would take a few moments to tackle a very serious subject. Yes, I know we try to keep it light hearted round here but I felt I do need to take a few moments to touch on this subject matter …and then move on. Put down the pitchforks and torches as there will be no rioting allowed here. Let’s dive in, shall we?
(Thanks PKE for the image)
Many players were alerted to something in their games they may not have expected to see. A violation pop up. Why is this happening and why now?
(If you legally bought ALL your Clams from your App Market via the proper route through your TinyCo game and still found yourself missing some, contact them via your game menu.)
Help & Support…
From here you can see the basics of their description. Still do not understand them? Have more questions? There is always that really cool contact feature in the top right of your Menu in your game. Just drop them a message. Or use the “Was this Helpful?” at the bottom.
Now on with it…
WHY WAS MY GAME SENT THE ALERT?
This is something you will need to address personally to TinyCo. Personal situations and matters are always best left ONLY between the parties involved. If YOU feel you received the message in error, then reach out to them. I am sure they will be more than happy to discuss it more privately with you one on one. Please do not ask any of the Addicts to get involved in the matter. This is COMPLETELY out of our hands and it is not our place or right to get involved at all.
To others seeing this happen, be kind and respectful. It is not anyone else’s place to be the Judge, Jury, and Executioner of these situations. You do not know the circumstances and situations of the players involved. Allow ONLY those involved to handle it. Attacking any other reader goes against our site Guidelines and will not be allowed.
Now let’s take a lil deeper look into this. WARNING: THIS IS MY PERSONAL TAKE ON THIS! That means that the words are of my own, my personal thoughts, and from my perspective. You may not like it or agree with it, but it is here to offer you a broader view on the situation and help you see a much bigger picture going on.
WHAT IS A HACK/CHEAT?
To put this in simplistic terms, this is when a person who does NOT work for TinyCo creates an altered version of the game and provides it to other players.
WHY ARE THEY A BAD THING?
If you take an original item and make changes to it, it is no longer the original. Due to this, the NEWLY created item has not been properly tested to perform and work as the original was. There are no guidelines they followed or that they had to abide by. No regulations. It won’t have the most current and up to date changes and patches that the original would get. The information and details can be completely wrong and out of date. Who knows how it will react to your device. Who knows if there is a patch fix if it will even help as the patches are made for the original not an altered version.
Simply put, they can be full of glitches. Making your game harder to run a lot of the times and more prone to issues. This is something TinyCo did NOT approve of or make. Someone else did.
On a more serious note, think of it this way. Someone created a file of their own and you put it on your device. What else is in that file? You basically just installed malware/virus onto your device. Now step back and think of all the personal info you have on that device that you just gave a complete stranger access to. Bank accounts? Passwords? Personal Pics? Etc. Feeling oh so comfy still?
WHAT ABOUT 3rd PARTY PURCHASES?
A 3rd Party Purchase is anyone OTHER than TinyCo and your App Market (Google, Amazon, Apple) that you buy items for the game from. So that “friend” on Facebook that offered to hook you up, they are a 3rd party. That “deal” you found online or on eBay, that is a 3rd party.
HOW DO THEY KNOW WHAT CLAMS I BOUGHT?
TinyCo does have ways to track each and every Clam in a players game. It will show them what are bought and paid for through the App Markets and what ones were obtained through “Outside Sources” aka 3rd Party.
It is very easy for them to track if you bought 500 Clams then obtained 1500 more from elsewhere. So if you saw a huge drop in the count, it was them taking back the “Outside Source” obtained Clams.
If you did NOT go through any Outside Source or 3rd Party to obtain Clams, but still seem to be missing some…please report it to them via your in game menu and they will look into the matter.
WHY ARE 3rd PARTY PURCHASES BAD?
Here again you are giving personal information AND a payment to someone not authorized or held to any accountability. Where is that money going? Will they take more than you told them they could? Is it reliable?
Think of it as this, you work a long 60 hour week at your job. At the end of the week you go to pick up your paycheck and it is $0. So you just worked really hard for nothing. Feel good about it? Now think how those workers that made the game you’re playing feel when people take food off their table and money out of their paychecks for all the time, hard work, and effort they put in. Seem fair?
You want lowered prices for items? You help bring them down by paying into the game the right way. If more money is given to someone else and is lost and the costs to make the game goes up, so will prices of items in the game to cover that difference. If the Company continues to not make money on the game to pay its employees, to keep the lights on in the building, to get copyrights, to pay lawyer fees, etc… the game gets shuts down and everyone that put all that time and effort and money into it now have nothing to show for it. Sound like a good idea?
Now for an even “funner” side, you just gave payment information to a stranger. Do they now have access to a major credit card or bank account? Did you have to fill out any information with your address? What if it does not work, are they gonna refund you? (You didn’t buy it from TinyCo so they do not owe you the refund for a faulty purchase.) Do you really trust this unknown person?
Let me shine a lil more light on it for you. Last year another App Game we write about ran into a very sad and sticky situation. A handful of people tried to pass themselves off as reliable outside sources of “product and deals”. Many players tossed money at them only to find out not only were the items promised not delivered, they lost their games and all they worked for, their bank accounts were wiped out, identity theft, break ins at their homes (for those that provided addresses on those “fill out” forms), on and on and on. A lot of good people lost a lot and are still fighting to get it back…and I am not talking about just a silly game. Still sound like a good deal?
I will sum this all up by saying this, it is bad. Bad for the Company that makes the game, bad for all the honest players who are putting their money in the game to have someone else ruin it and drive prices up even more for them, and bad for you in so many ways.
WHAT DOES TINYCO HAVE TO SAY ABOUT IT?
Because I really do like to allow many voices heard and a bigger picture seen… here is a great breakdown of it all from Matt @ TinyCo
Today we are rolling out enhanced anti-cheating measures in Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff, the most noticeable of which is that we are removing clams from players caught cheating. The goal of these measures is to curb a recent rise in players using unauthorized versions of the game to illicitly earn clams and in-game content.
This change affects less than 1% of the total daily user base. While the total number of users is small, it had grown enough in recent months to warrant decisive action and additional protections. Due to this growth, we saw three troubling trends:
- Increased posting of cheats and cheating accounts on social media
- A similar increase in phishing scams purporting to be cheats
- Bugs stemming only from players having used a cheat, taking TinyCo Support resources away from legitimate players
In the past, this behavior has been minimal enough to warrant case-by-case action by TinyCo. As it increases, however, it damages the overall experience for legitimate players and distorts the feedback we receive about the game.
Moreover, we cannot guarantee the stability or safety of a game that has used a cheat. We have an obligation to protect our players as much as we can from phishing scams, so we are working to get both phishing scams and cheats removed. In the meantime, we must stress the oldest Internet safety rules:
- Do not give out your username and password to anyone on the Internet
- Do not download software from an untrusted source
Privacy and malware concerns aside, we cannot guarantee the stability of a game that has used a cheat, and TinyCo Support will be unable to provide assistance to any issues that do arise.
We would like to continue providing a fun experience for all of these players, which is why we are not banning players at this time. In the future, however, we will ban the account of any player found cheating a second time.
If you love the game, then we want to hear from you, and we want to give you the ability to continue playing. If you have any comments or questions about this, please do comment or send them my way. We’ll do our best to give answers when we can, and we will discuss every piece of feedback with the team.
Here is a link to another great conversation and a way to really understand it all from Matt…
Once again always thinking of the players.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON KEEPING THOSE PLAYERS THAT VIOLATED AROUND?
As stated above, there may be more circumstance involved with some of these accounts we do not know about nor that are our business. I for one applaud TinyCo in the manner in which they did this. Why? Mainly due to there are still people who naively think everything online is trustworthy. As with the other app, many players can be blindly misled into believing something was OK.
I also find it a great show of the Company’s willingness to be open to their players when they offered many a “Second Chance”. I am sure that there is not one of us that can say we NEVER in our lives messed up. Not one. If given a Second Chance do we become a better person from it? With this, only time will tell.
The playing field was just leveled. The risk of any further violation has been halted and everyone is aware of the consequences. Further abuse by the same person will result in their game permanently terminated. Going forward I see this as a way of making the game and the community around it even stronger. I once again am amazed at just what TinyCo does for its players and community and the professionalism they showed on this matter just keeps moving them up in my book.
Now for something I am sure you will ask…
WHY ISN’T MY COMMENT ON THIS POST?
(Outside the usual Moderation wait period of course) To avoid this post from turning into a “troll” or “flame war” or “player bashing” post (I saw the other sites and what they turned into, NO THANKS!) … I will not be allowing any comments that go against Addicts Guidelines. Just in case you are curious, here are Our Site Guidelines. If you would like to ask any further questions on the matter or want to have a CALM and reasonable discussion, you are welcome to add to the comments. We however will NOT allow it to turn into a finger pointing or degrading comment war, so please keep the focus on a HELPFUL AND RESPECTFUL way of communicating. No pitchforks or torches allowed. Angry mobs can go find another castle to storm.
Comments on this matter will only be allowed on THIS post and no where else. So please don’t try to put them elsewhere.
Remember, there is always a bigger picture to things than that which only you can see. You may not completely understand something, that is OK. We will do all we can to try and help you understand and if we do not know, just ask TinyCo. They are happy to help out too. It is their game after all.
In the end just play the game, enjoy it, have fun, chat it up with other readers, make new friends, and see the world through eyes other than your own. You may learn a lot and end up finding you like things you never did before. Give respect and you will be amazed at what you get in return. Kindness goes a long way.