My RPG Maker game was noticed by a company!!

WaywardMartian

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I can't get any work done today because I'm waiting for a piece of equipment to come in and I have nothing to do but follow the drama and do some Google-style research.

- Yodo1 is a real actual company. What they do is take Western games and localise them for the Chinese market. They stick their own ad software into it to make money.

- Yes, they've worked with some bigger properties like one of the Transformers games.

- Mostly they work on sheer volume so if you're some indie nobody, you got the 'hello [insert name here] we see you have a game that we could stick our ad software into' form letter. They don't care about you or your game but maybe they can make some money off it.

- I was almost on Team Well Maybe We Are Too Cynical, Google Thinks They're Not Bad, Maybe You'll Get A Few Bucks Out Of It until you posted that email from them. 'We wouldn't waste our time scamming a nobody like you, also don't listen to anyone advising caution, they're just crazy.' It's setting off all my 'you're getting negged and isolated' alarms. Even the paragraph about 'we just want to help you by putting in ads, and good luck finding someone else who'll do that for you' feels like forced teaming. The whole email is 'you're nothing without us, you need us.'

I mean, I get it. It's the dream many of us have - to be Noticed by a Big Company. But this thread is like ... you ever had a friend and they're dating someone who's just completely awful and every time you point out how mean they are your friend just digs in all 'oh, you just don't know him like I do' or 'she's not like that, really' and your friend just keeps getting more and more defensive until they stop talking to you ... until they come back three years later with a black eye and a 'why didn't you warn me?' We're warning you. The company is real but you'd better read the fine print really, really carefully.
 

Trihan

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I can't get any work done today because I'm waiting for a piece of equipment to come in and I have nothing to do but follow the drama and do some Google-style research.

- Yodo1 is a real actual company. What they do is take Western games and localise them for the Chinese market. They stick their own ad software into it to make money.

- Yes, they've worked with some bigger properties like one of the Transformers games.

- Mostly they work on sheer volume so if you're some indie nobody, you got the 'hello [insert name here] we see you have a game that we could stick our ad software into' form letter. They don't care about you or your game but maybe they can make some money off it.

- I was almost on Team Well Maybe We Are Too Cynical, Google Thinks They're Not Bad, Maybe You'll Get A Few Bucks Out Of It until you posted that email from them. 'We wouldn't waste our time scamming a nobody like you, also don't listen to anyone advising caution, they're just crazy.' It's setting off all my 'you're getting negged and isolated' alarms. Even the paragraph about 'we just want to help you by putting in ads, and good luck finding someone else who'll do that for you' feels like forced teaming. The whole email is 'you're nothing without us, you need us.'

I mean, I get it. It's the dream many of us have - to be Noticed by a Big Company. But this thread is like ... you ever had a friend and they're dating someone who's just completely awful and every time you point out how mean they are your friend just digs in all 'oh, you just don't know him like I do' or 'she's not like that, really' and your friend just keeps getting more and more defensive until they stop talking to you ... until they come back three years later with a black eye and a 'why didn't you warn me?' We're warning you. The company is real but you'd better read the fine print really, really carefully.
1000% agree with you on the vibe of the email response.
 

mlogan

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@A_Higher_Plane , please avoid double posting, as it is against the forum rules. You can use the "Edit" function on your posts to add additional information you've forgotten or respond to multiple people. You can review our forum rules here. Thank you.

 

mosoku

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I agree with what seems to be the consensus of the group here. It's a bad idea to work with this company.
 

A_Higher_Plane

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Aw as the OP of this thread, I think that I will change my mind about working with this company. There is a consensus of agreement here about this and the messages on Discord with a rep of this company shows that it seems. What do you guys think?
 

AphoticAmaranth

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As everyone else has said, it's definitely suspicious. To be honest, I don't think they even played your game.

Even if it was legitimate (which I highly doubt so), I would advise against it, for the sake of your reputation. Assuming you've already sold your game to consumers. How do you think they would feel about paying for a game without ads, only to have ads added in later? I personally would never buy anything from such a developer ever again.
 

A_Higher_Plane

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As everyone else has said, it's definitely suspicious. To be honest, I don't think they even played your game.

Even if it was legitimate (which I highly doubt so), I would advise against it, for the sake of your reputation. Assuming you've already sold your game to consumers. How do you think they would feel about paying for a game without ads, only to have ads added in later? I personally would never buy anything from such a developer ever again.
What are you talking about in the second part/paragraph? Did you even read that my game isn't even in the prototype stage of its production?
 

AphoticAmaranth

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What are you talking about in the second part/paragraph? Did you even read that my game isn't even in the prototype stage of its production?

My bad, thought they were going to add ads to your existing game.

My point still stands though, the fact that they initially wanted to add ads to an existing paid game is a huge red flag.
 

Frostorm

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Ok, I don't wanna sound racist, but I would avoid any partnership/deal/agreement with a China-based company. The business culture there is very cutthroat; I don't believe for a second they're doing anything out of kindness/generosity/etc... Also, it's silly to use testimonials from a company's own website. That's pretty much just self-boasting, and they can literally write w/e they want on there. How do you know if those testimonials are even real or if it's just something their intern wrote in 10mins?

Alright, let's just say for the sake of argument, all the testimonials are true. But the email convo you had w/ them really shows their character. I wouldn't want to do business w/ anyone like that. Besides, they are mostly into the Chinese mobile games market. Ask yourself, is that the target audience you're going for?

Also, put yourself in the other guy's shoes (the guy you're communicating w/). He's probably being pressured by his boss/supervisor to "catch" as many "devs" as possible. Perhaps he has a quota or something. That's one possible reason he sounds eager to play your unfinished game. Especially considering that they're sending out emails left and right to random indie devs. So don't believe for a second that they're doing this to help you. Business is not an altruistic activity.

Tbh, I would have more respect for them if they just flat out said they're doing this, not to help you, but because they see potential profits in you. There is no shame in such thinking in the business world. In fact, it's the status quo. They would actually seem more honest if they approached you in that manner, instead of putting on this fake "we're doing this to benefit you" schtick.

Edit: If you're serious about the ADS & In-Game Purchases/Microtransactions thing, then I'd recommend you do some "window shopping". Look at some of Yodo1's competitors and check out their terms/rates/conditions compared to Yodo1. Maybe you can even bring it up in that email convo and see how that guy reacts. In short, don't do anything w/o doing your homework.
 
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Shaz

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It all sounds fishy to me ... like, they don't care about your game, and they probably haven't even played it, but if they send out the email to enough people, some of them are bound to bite, right? They may be a legitimate company, but that doesn't mean they're reputable. You mustn't have read that whole reddit thread because you quoted the first post that gave them a good review, but there were plenty of others that offered warnings (note I haven't read all of this thread so maybe some others have been quoted here as well).

I can't count the number of emails I've received offering to help me improve my website - "it looks good now, but we can really make it stand out". The only website I had where they could have gotten my email address had absolutely nothing on it that was visible to the public - I deliberately set it up so anyone going to the domain would get a blank page (as it is not intended to be a public website) and all the content needs to be linked individually. It was obvious they hadn't even looked at the site - how could it possibly "look good now"? They just got my name from whois and sent the email, no doubt all done by bots. Sounds like a similar situation, where they are just harvesting contact details from whatever platform(s) you've published on.

I personally wouldn't take discussions any further. The only people who benefit from their proposal is them.

If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
 

The Stranger

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Yeah, don't be blinded by the dream of striking it rich and thinking they see something in your work no one else does. They care about your game as long as they can inject their ads, which you don't get to dictate the nature of, into it.

You've also got the legal side of things to worry about. Do you even know how to go about challenging companies that publish things internationally? What if they do something you don't like, such as not pay you, for example. Would you know where to even begin to start a legal battle with them? Hell! Do you even have the money to do so? It's one of those things that could be good, but which sounds too good to be true. For all you know, they could take your work and claim it as their own, and you might even lose all rights to said work.

Whatever you decide to do, just be careful. There's a lot of unscrupulous people and organisations out there, and being legit and legal doesn't make them right. After all, laws can be used to justify a lot of dodgy sh*t.
 
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A_Higher_Plane

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Yeah I agree that this sounds suspicious/fishy about how they want to work with me. The guy really wants to play my unfinished Unity prototype. And also I agree with others that they probably didn't even play the demo version of my RM game.
 

ericv00

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Heart-breaking, I know. A lot of us are cynical because most of us have been played before in some way or another. ("paid in exposure" anyone?) Trust me, we feel for you.

Just keep working at it. Don't let this stuff discourage you.
 

Andar

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Oh I think that they're just a company that wants to keep making money. They have made $150 million so far. They are just businesspeople.
OK - that is actually another big red flag.

sorry - if they made 150 million, then there is no reason to be interested in the unfinished game of an inexperienced independent developer - not unless they are specifically targeting the inexperienced, and that in itself would point to a scam.

But what's wrong with trying out the "analytics" with the beta version of my game?
if it truly is analytic - nothing.
unfortunately it is much more likely in my opinion that they will hide something like a spambot inside that analytic.

Things like this always remind me of something I was told years ago in a training course for engineers.
One of the other engineers in that course told a story where he was offered a high-paid job for a construction company where he could basically have gotten any pay he wanted for it - on one condition.
he would have to accept responsibility for a multi-million dollar construction that was two days from being complete, basically only waiting for government checkup to open. A construction that he knew nothing about.
He declined, because most likely the company cut corners on that construction and the previous engineer who worked there during construction was either fired or quit because he didn't want to take that responsibility, and the company was just looking for a scapegoat to take the fall when something really happened.


There is an old saying - if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is...


EDIT:
and another flag that no one here even mentioned of trying:
I have run yodo1 through whois.com
the registrar (read:hoster) is a mass-hosting chinese company, and the registrant (read: the company owner of yodo1) didn't even place a name or adress for the company into the registry.
in most western countries you are required to place your name and adress into the registry for legal reasons, that they didn't do so and the rest is also a bad sign.
 
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gstv87

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they have wanted to install their SDK API on my game
shady, at best.
if their company is about distribution, they can take care of anything related to the money chain *outside* of your product.
you're basically a provider for them.... you give them material, they buy it from you, and then they go make their business elsewhere.
the only reason why anyone would want to put extra content into a finished product, is to tunnel in *other* content from other providers.... AKA, advertising.
that already is invasive enough. (still somewhat legal, under the right circumstances, but still invasive and very much uncalled for. If there's a need for advertisement, you build it into the code from the beginning, you don't add it after the fact.)
and from there, they can modify your code to do whatever they want, if they're up to no good.

I don't speak Russian, but I can read *engineer* and *lawyer*


if it was me, and I was in the mood, I'd give them the software still knowing what they can do to it, and *then* call them out for it.
when backlash comes my way, I'd make it known that I gave the software "as is", and they hacked it.
nowhere would there be a paper trail saying that I authorized anything, and it would be plain simple theft on their part.
boom.
 

Marquise*

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When I saw one name on those company deserved I was like "RUN AWAY"
Andar has it right thought, by having a partnership you are phishing your own info to them, which is another "RUN AWAY" for me, even if sometimes I need to trust way more some deserving ones.

My own uninformed impressions at first on my paranoid mind were two things;
Will you retain the rights of your work/creation or will it ends legally signed off your hands and into theirs? Which is a MAJOR NO-NO in my book, as you cannot control your IP or freely do sequels in that way.
Is there a way they'd use any games just to add some data phishing/retrieval code somewhere in it?

I'd usually look over all external sites unrelated to them for their previous work and handling their clients and partners, but I saw you got around it already.

So, whatever you do, good luck and take care and be careful.
 

A_Higher_Plane

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But why is this "scamming thing" going on?
Also, this company has made $150m. Why would they scam others like me? I am not such a good Game Dev yet.
 

gstv87

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But why is this "scamming thing" going on?
because they mostly make games for mobile, and mobile users can't gauge a game until after they've paid for it, and when faced with doing it, the prices are so low that nobody really bothers.
and since there's millions of users of mobile, the profit is significant even when dealing with literal cents.
 

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