My RPG Maker game was noticed by a company!!

A_Higher_Plane

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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.
But what do you mean here exactly? How exactly is this "scamming"? It sounds legit.

They likely "made" $150m by scamming others like you.
Good point!
 

gstv87

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But what do you mean here exactly? How exactly is this "scamming"? It sounds legit.
because they're taking your product at a price, and altering it after the fact to recover several times that price.
if they were legit, they'd pay you a consistent cut for each download, effectively earning you a percentage of the whole profit, with a product "as it is".... whatever it would earn, that's what they'd have.
if it was to flop, they'd lose revenue as well, but with this they can keep earning money they don't have to declare to you.
 

A_Higher_Plane

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because they're taking your product at a price, and altering it after the fact to recover several times that price.
if they were legit, they'd pay you a consistent cut for each download, effectively earning you a percentage of the whole profit, with a product "as it is".... whatever it would earn, that's what they'd have.
if it was to flop, they'd lose revenue as well, but with this they can keep earning money they don't have to declare to you.
I'm not "getting" it. How exactly would this scam work?
 

Shaz

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this company has made $150m
You are assuming they are telling you the truth. Honestly, if they have made that much money, why are they interested in your unfinished game? What could they possibly gain with a small game that isn't finished and doesn't have any following? Other than a developer who is so flattered that someone has noticed their game that they don't consider the things that could go wrong, and who has no experience with contracts, knowing if they're getting screwed, or finances/legal support to fight back if they do get screwed.

I'm surprised this thread is still going.

It really seems like you just want someone to tell you it's legit and go for it. If you want to do it, then do it. You have to make your own decisions, and you have to accept the consequences. MAYBE nothing bad will happen and you'll make a bit of money. Nobody in the 4 pages of this thread, apart from you, thinks that is the case.

We get new members joining here often enough, posting about APIs they want people to add to their games, that we have had to make an addition to forum rules to warn against it.

Personally I would decline, and if they persisted, ask them not to contact me again. But it's your choice, and your risk to take.
 
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A_Higher_Plane

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You are assuming they are telling you the truth. Honestly, if they have made that much money, why are they interested in your unfinished game? What could they possibly gain with a small game that isn't finished and doesn't have any following? Other than a developer who is so flattered that someone has noticed their game that they don't consider the things that could go wrong, and who has no experience with contracts, knowing if they're getting screwed, or finances/legal support to fight back if they do get screwed.

I'm surprised this thread is still going.

It really seems like you just want someone to tell you it's legit and go for it. If you want to do it, then do it. You have to make your own decisions, and you have to accept the consequences. MAYBE nothing bad will happen and you'll make a bit of money. Nobody in the 4 pages of this thread, apart from you, thinks that is the case.

We get new members joining here often enough, posting about APIs they want people to add to their games, that we have had to make an addition to forum rules to warn against it.

Personally I would decline, and if they persisted, ask them not to contact me again. But it's your choice, and your risk to take.
1) The $150m revenue made figure I got online off of Google, not from them.
2) I have already decided to not do it. I have told the rep I can't work with him/them.
3) I have asked here now in this thread because I want to understand this situation and these types of scams more often. I have dodged a bullet here and want to know more just in case another scammer would want to scam me.

I had honestly really wanted a publishing deal with a company. I really wanted this to be true. But I can't believe it anymore. I will just search a publisher (if I even ever finish this game) by myself.
 

A_Higher_Plane

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I wonder... what do the scammers hope to accomplish with this thing? If they are "phishing", then what are they phishing for? What are they hoping to find? What can they do with my prototype to "scam" me and make money off of me or get "vulnerable" information from me? Please let me know!!
 

Andar

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1) one possibility is that they place ads there and gain money for those ads, but don't pay that money out to you. and they make that official by the phrasing of the contract, so it's completely legal.
because the contract says you'll only get paid out if the ad-money is larger than 100 dollars, and scrap games rarely get that much money from ads. But if they get their ads into a hundred scrap games, all of them only making 50$ in advertisements, then they never have to pay out but get one hundred times 50$ for their own revenue.

2) advertisements and links don't have to pay out to become valuable. They place links and ads in your game for cheap, then google detect those links and moves their target website higher in its web searches because they are linked more often.
You don't get anything because almost no one clicks on the links (especially not if combined with 1 above), but they can still sell the "improvement in google ranking" to their other customers.

3) if you have no control over the advertisements, then they can place questionable advertisements in your game (R18 ads or even worse), and you get all the flak for those ads while the people placing them get their money from the few people who buy their products.
why do you think spam mails exist? it costs nothing to send them out by using other people's resources (botnets created either by viruses or by such offers to naive simpletons who are flattered), and even one sell for ten thousand free spammails is pure profit.

and that are only the three possibilities that come first to mind, there are other cases for fraud as well...
 

A_Higher_Plane

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Okay, makes sense. But they said that that someone was going to use the feedback from the players in order to get QA feedback and that could make my game better.
 

JohnDoeNews

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Well... (might be said already. I did read about 2 pages of replies, but not everything) If you don't know what that APK does, then that is a red flag. You should at least for a large part understand what the APK does to your game... Or even worse: To your players devices.

Another thing you might want to know before you install anything is why. Why do they want that APK in your project? They say it is to make your game better... But why do they care if your game is better? There is something they gain. Even if it turns out to be a real company. (Since no company does ever anything for free. Ever. Foundations do, companies make money, one way or another.)

If they did not tell you how they profit from this deal, or even deny to profit from it at all, then they probably profit at your expense.

I wonder... what do the scammers hope to accomplish with this thing? If they are "phishing", then what are they phishing for? What are they hoping to find? What can they do with my prototype to "scam" me and make money off of me or get "vulnerable" information from me? Please let me know!!
If they are fishing, they fish for information. Like payment details, credit card numbers. Sometimes they look for home addresses in combination with expensive purchases. If they indeed are fishing, then they might also not mind paying a visit to one of your players, if they just bought a 4k TV with a PS5. But most likely hackers fish for bank details.
------

If you want ads in your game, to increase your income, then be smart about it: Instead of them coming to you, you find someone, hire someone you trust to put the ads in for you. And please, not just unskippable ads in an overlay... Because indeed no-one ever clicks them (unless by accident...). Instead reward your player for watching an ad. Make the ad optional, and reward the player with some form of currency that otherwise is hard to get.
 

Animebryan

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Your naivety is the real red flag here. It makes me wonder how old are you? Because I find it hard to believe that a grown adult simply hasn't grasped this concept that we live in a world full of scumbags & inhuman degenerates that would lie, cheat & steal from others just to get ahead in life, no matter how little 'gain' they gain from it.

If you want to work with a LEGIT company or publisher, first you need to EARN it. Ask yourself, from their perspective, why would THEY want to work with you? What do they gain from it? What do you have to offer that they can't find anywhere else? If you don't have anything truly significant to offer, then a legit company won't even waste their time on you.

You need to actually produce at least a game or two with whatever game making software you feel comfortable with, have it become a success & popular, then add that to your 'portfolio' to show that you possess the kind of talent that they want. There are NO SHORTCUTS to make this happen! There is no easy road to accomplish this.

I should also mention that even LEGIT companies like Nintendo, Electronics Arts (EA), Bethesda, Blizzard, Konami, Capcom, etc, are capable of screwing over developers, so you can't let your guard down even if they're legit. Most businesses are out to accomplish 1 thing above all else, and that's to make a PROFIT! A lot of businesses only care about you as long as you help make them money. But the moment you start to become a liability or a 'Financial Black Hole' to them, like what Konami thought of Hideo Kojima, they won't hesitate to cut you loose & milk whatever franchise you provided or worked on for them.

In fact, my recommendation for you is not to sign up with any pre-established publisher or company & instead, become an Independent Developer. Start your own game making studio. Invest your own money (if you have a steady income) & hire a team of developers to handle whatever tasks you can't handle yourself. This way, you don't have to worry about trust issues with cutthroat businesses & their shady contracts or scams.

Sorry for the long response but I hope this will help open your eyes that we live in a harsh, deceptive world were you really shouldn't be so desperate to find opportunity because that's exactly what scammers are looking for, someone to fill with a false sense of hope and dreams & exploit their naivety and ignorance to use them for their own goals.
 
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A_Higher_Plane

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@JohnDoeNews No, I don't know what an "APK" does to you. I know that it's an Android's system file. But here is what I have found online now:

"Can APK files be harmful?

Because the APK files install apps on your system, they can pose a serious security threat. A person will malicious intentions could modify the APK before you install it, then use it as a digital Trojan horse to install and run malware. Thus, you need to ensure that the site you use is reliable."

Is this what you mean?

@Animebryan Well I had believed them because 1) They had mentioned details about my game that they have emailed me about before. Maybe they thought that I have potential as a Game Dev. 2) The Reddit post I had linked earlier has said that they're legitimate. 3) Google says that they have made $150m. 4) I thought that such a rich company could afford to put in ads in every completed mobile game and make money by quantity. and 5) I am a gullible person anyway. Oh and I'm desperate to make money too.

I had received their first email from a bot, I'm sure. So I had replied to it and have asked whether it is a scam and someone has manually (I think) has replied to it and has said that they are not a scam.
 

TeiRaven

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If you want to learn about spotting scammers, I recommend you take a look at the videos I linked before--Mark Rober's Glitterbomb, and The Modern Rogue on Phishing and 419 Scams, as well as their video on Five Outrageous Con Men. It's not the be-all end-all of research on cons, of course, but they're all very fun to listen to videos that break down how some common scams work, how some very classic scams worked ("I've got a bridge to sell you" was a real thing, but never that straightforward) and some of the "hallmarks of a con" that can help you spot them when they turn up.

Scams aren't always about getting your money--or they can contain some very roundabout ways of getting your money (watch the Mark Rober video for how the "this is Amazon, your account has been charged $300" scam works, it's fascinating). Or they can be about getting information, classic phishing attacks. Sometimes (often, even) they use tactics of both. Sometimes the goal is to get you to install malware, so your device becomes part of a botnet for sending more malicious emails, or part of a DDoS attack. There are so many reasons people do scummy, scammy things.

In this case, I think Andar probably has the right idea--by getting a game from you, they get something to put their ads in that they didn't have to work on and, if you don't know what to look for in a contract, they'll never have to pay out to you on. Although I think JohnDoeNews has a great point as well--are they packaging spyware into your game? What ads are they going to be showing? Hmm. It's definitely something to be leery of.

And the QA they mentioned may or may not even exist. As Jack Sparrow said, "you can always trust a dishonest man to be dishonest, honestly." What's one more lie to tell someone they're already lying to? Similarly: it's illegal to wear a bulletproof vest while robbing a bank in New Jersey. That'll solve armed bank robberies in New Jersey! ....waaaait........

Regardless, once you've been scammed, you'll probably be in for a bunch more attempts. The person that scammed you will sell your email address, phone number--whatever ways they have to contact you, whatever information they have about you--to other scammers, because you're a valid mark.

The short version, unfortunately, is that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
 

RCXDan

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@Animebryan already covered it in greater detail than I could possible have.

But I do have a relevant point: if you actually want feedback, reach out to people here even if what you make isn't RPG Maker specifically. Try to get involved with the people who stream games, like Hawkzombie or Studio Blue and have them look at your stuff because nine times out of ten they know what they're talking about.

@Animebryan Well I had believed them because 1) They had mentioned details about my game that they have emailed me about before. Maybe they thought that I have potential as a Game Dev. 2) The Reddit post I had linked earlier has said that they're legitimate. 3) Google says that they have made $150m. 4) I thought that such a rich company could afford to put in ads in every completed mobile game and make money by quantity. and 5) I am a gullible person anyway. Oh and I'm desperate to make money too.

Ignoring all of the other points that were raised in this thread and the fact you yourself literally admit that you're gullible, making games for money is genuinely the wrong move.

With no connections, a following or good marketing, you will never pay out. Even if your game is genuinely one-of-a-kind amazing by all metrics, financial success should never be the end goal.
 

A_Higher_Plane

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What would you guys have me do in order to make constant money? Here are some ideas:

  • Finish my college with a degree in Information Systems and apply for entry-level jobs as a programmer.
  • Apply for a "legitimate" company or studio to work as a video game developer.
  • Work as a freelancer online on websites like Upwork. I doubt that I can keep my it constant like a job.
  • Create my own games and publish/market them with a publisher. IDK if I can do this.
  • Create my own studio with staff and make games. But I can't afford it.
 

JohnDoeNews

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Yeah, kinda. A Trojan horse is actually a very broad term. It is anything harmful that presents itself as something nice, just to be taking in willingly.

So... They say: "We liked your game so much and we played it personally" yet they use a bot to send that email to you? Now I am 100% sure: Fishing scam.

That bot sends the same email to hundreds of developers an hour. If they send it to as many devs as possible, there is sooner or later someone going to fall for their scam.

(That is why it is called fishing. Lots of bait, but they only need one to bite once in a while.)

100% a scam. They really did not play your game, then wrote a bot to let you know they liked it. They already had that bot and probably never ever saw your game.

-

I kinda feel sad for you. You were so hyped and thought you were getting a break trough. That can't be a nice feeling. But I am also really glad that you asked about it before you actually got scammed.
 

Frostorm

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If they did not tell you how they profit from this deal, or even deny to profit from it at all, then they probably profit at your expense.
This cannot be more true. The company in question seems to be saying that they're doing this for OP's benefit. We all know that's horse poo...

Your naivety is the real red flag here.
I have to agree, OP's various threads and posts lead me to believe he's ⪅18yo. Not saying that it's a bad thing or anything wrong with that. Age is something everyone goes through anyway. But that's just the vibe I've gotten thus far.

3) Google says that they have made $150m.
That doesn't actually mean they have $150m in cash or other liquid assets. Rather, it is more likely that they've presented their financial statements in a way as to loosely allege they have $150m. If you know anything about accounting or finance, then you'll know this is not hard to do at all and is actually somewhat common practice (especially in China!). Like, maybe they own a building worth $x million, adding that value but neglecting to disclose $ owed on the property. There are many many ways to fudge numbers, a lot of which are totally legal too. I'm not gonna lie, I always fudged the numbers to the IRS when I was running a small business (restaurant), lol. I'd just pocket any cash earnings and only report credit/debit transactions + a small fraction of the cash sales to make it look more realistic. Just some food for thought. Anyway, it's good that you've decided not to pursue this any longer. There were red flags left and right. Ignoring them is the right move.

Edit: Did the company say they're worth $150mil, or earned $150mil? If the latter, was that net or gross? In a fiscal year, I presume?

Edit2: Instead of just Googling flashy headlines like "this company has $150mil", you should instead look into the company's financials in detail. In the earnings report, look at their financial statements such as balance sheet, income statement, cash flow statement, etc...
 
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A_Higher_Plane

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@JohnDoeNews Well I am not "100%" certain that it was from a bot. And the rep has said that he had played my RMMV as well as someone else and that it is "Zelda-esque". But it is not Zelda-esque but more like FF-esque. He had never even heard of RPG Maker which I find rather odd.

@Frostorm @Animebryan I am actually 30+ and have been practicing making games for 10 years since 2011. See at my profile here: "Joined Oct 2, 2015". I've joined here before many of you posters to this thread have joined. Maybe you think this way because I'm very gullible?
 
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Frostorm

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@A_Higher_Plane I guess we are actually similar age then! I was born in 1990, so 31 rn. Gawd, I dreaded hitting 30 for the longest time, lol.
 

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We often say good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement. At least you asked about something you didn't know about to find out unlike most.
 

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