STOLEN RMN GAMES ON STEAM

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Oh, it looks like that Reddit thread has also caught another game, Orpheus, so that brings the count up to 11. This one's not for sale, it's just listed as Coming Soon with screenshots matching the RMN game in question and, like the others, it's an older game (uploaded to RMN in 2013). So far it also looks like Ocean remains the only exception to the other pattern of "small, more obscure games by inactive developers with no contact information outside of RMN".

Garnudo Games:
https://store.steampowered.com/app/959960/Orpheus/

RMN Page:
https://rpgmaker.net/games/4890/

Out of curiosity: Has anyone tried downloading one of these games to see if there's an actual game there or if it's just malware? I'm wondering if there's any connection to that icth io scare from a few months back.
okay everyone is taking this well and calmly and that's great BUT IF ANYONE EVER TRIES THIS SHIT WITH ONE OF MY GAMES IMMA PULL AN AK AND SEND THAT MOTHERFUCKER TO THE CEMETERY

author
We're aware of it and dealt with it as much as we could, however due to the fact that most of these devs have been gone for years and that Steam doesn't accept proof unless it's given by the devs themselves we can't exactly do much more than we already have.

I've talked to the Steam staff and they are not willing to bend on this, so there's really nothing that we can do except keep an eye on your own games and jump up if any others are taken. I've emailed the devs in question but alas, I doubt we'll see this guy taken down.

What the camel humping fuck? Why is that how Steam thinks the burden of proof works? Shouldn't the fucking burden of proof be on the DEV to prove that he DIDN'T steal what he's selling? What other fucking marketplace works this way, physical or digital?? So the hurdle to clear is THE VICTIM OF YOUR THEFT NEEDS TO HAVE GONE DARK? And that's it?

If this guy starts selling ABL or Sunsets or something I am going to DO MURDER

Actually Ocean is one of my favorite devs so damn...Ocean...if there's anything I can actually do to help, "legally, legalish, or otherwise", I am down.
I don't have a device I can afford to deliberately potentially infect with malware, so I can't check how safe these games even are unfortunately.

However, considering they bothered to make a generic template they shoved a few game-specific facts into and they look to have taken their own screenshots (in addition to stealing several from the RMN pages of course), my guess is the full games are present, though that doesn't mean they're free of malware.

It's hard to tell what their goal even is. If it's to make money, I doubt they're making much even with the sheer number of games involved and they're taking some (admittedly low) legal risks to do so. If it's to distribute malware, then it's odd that they would be charging money at all since putting all the games up for free would be far more effective. Of the two, it's probably better if malware is their goal since that's something everyone can flag their games for, not just the developers.

On another note, it also looks like they've been at this since all the way back in September too. Their older games are hard to find connections to since a lot of them have generic names like "break the blocks", but I did make one discovery. The original name for "Infinite road" has been left in the video and one of the screenshots. This is a free Google Play app named "Branches" by BaTatTa. Unfortunately, even though the original game is from 2017, the developer's contact site no longer exists and there is no other contact information given.

Garnudo Games Steam page for Infinite road: https://store.steampowered.com/app/929840/Infinite_road/
Google Play store page for Branches: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=mobi.batata.branches

I have to wonder if all of this serves as their way of testing just how much they can get away with. They moved on from stealing app games and changing the names in September to stealing old RPG's and leaving the names intact outside of sometimes adding "RPG" to the end in October.

Some of the games are also likely asset flips, such as Click the Business appearing to be an unmodified version of the tutorial project from this Unity asset store item: https://assetstore.unity.com/packages/templates/idle-clicker-business-tycoon-simulation-94393

Oh, and one final bit of weirdness that I've discovered. One of their games is called "Suzaku Fly VR". It doesn't have a video, but the screenshots look like it's a game where you fly an eagle through portals or something. However, the Steam label for buying it says "Buy It's good to be a pirate RPG" and, sure enough, "It's good to be a pirate" is an old game on RMN. I have no idea if the file tied to this game is the eagle game or the RPG, but it's safe to say that it it's not the RPG then they have that one too and likely plan to try selling it in the near future.

Garnudo Games Suzaku Fly VR page: https://store.steampowered.com/app/951280/Suzaku_Fly_VR/
It's good to be a pirate RMN page: https://rpgmaker.net/games/1292/

EDIT: I just found another one from September, Energy Nodes, this time from the iOS app store.
Steam Page: https://store.steampowered.com/app/935030/Energy_nodes/
App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/US/app/id871041093?mt=8

It also looks like the screenshots from "Suzaku Fly VR" are from a Google Play game called "Eagle VR Flight Simulator", which isn't even currently on the Play store anymore (though I did see a download for it on at least one site).

Even if these aren't all RMN games, it's probably best to try to track them down since they're still games being stolen and we might be able to get in touch with at least one more developer concerning the matter.
I honestly wouldn't be surprised if the entire thing is motivated by a desire to make money. After all, it only costs $100 to put a game on Steam. And there are people that will buy up games just to say they have x amount of titles in their library.

Add, in the fact that these games are being sold for $1.00 to $2.00 at most. And your left with titles that might be tempting to such people. Especially when those games go on sale for $.49 to $.69.
author=StormCrow
(...)
Actually Ocean is one of my favorite devs so damn...Ocean...if there's anything I can actually do to help, "legally, legalish, or otherwise", I am down.

It's sad to see Ocean involved in this for sure. I think he's still on the go though, so if there is anything we can do to support him in particular, I hope he lets us know when he is back.
I just came across yet another one stolen from RMN. It looks like their game "Black Hangman" is actually the file for "Dragon Knight:Royal quest" with the store title and screenshots swapped. The name of the game you actually buy is still "Dragon Knight Royal Quest RPG" and there's a thread on the Steam page for it where someone was excited to see a "Final fantasy 1-3 Dragon quest type" game. Others in the thread noted the sprites were stolen and later on they note that "they completely changed the game".

Steam Page: https://store.steampowered.com/app/951810/Black_Hangman/
RMN Page: https://rpgmaker.net/games/7710/

I've also already sent a message to riderx40 concerning the matter.
If I'm understanding this correctly, some of the games stolen were make with the pirated versions of 2k3. Could that potentially be a legal angle to use against the person stealing games, since they're technically trying to sell content made with software and resources that they do not legally own, or would that be difficult to prove?
It would probably be easier to catch them on using ripped sprites since a whole lot of old freeware RPG Maker games have at least some character/environment/enemy sprites (and music) from SNES and NES games. That said, I'm not sure how much that would even accomplish.

When they were called out for using Lufia 2 sprites in "It's good to be a pirate" on the Steam store by people who weren't aware that the game itself was stolen freeware, they left the file the same while changing the store name to "Suzaku Fly VR" and replacing the screenshots. They've done the same thing with "Dragon Knight:Royal quest" and changing the name and screenshots to "Black Hangman" while leaving the file itself unchanged by the looks of things. Suzaku Fly looks to have been taken off sale entirely now (clicking on my link above still leads to a Steam page, but there's nothing to buy), and I assume the same would be true with "Black Hangman".

The other issue is that trying to push such an angle could potentially negatively impact the original developers since at the end of the day they're also using ripped sprites, even if they're not trying to profit from it.
author=Seeric
The other issue is that trying to push such an angle could potentially negatively impact the original developers since at the end of the day they're also using ripped sprites, even if they're not trying to profit from it.
Fair enough. That'd be the last thing I'd want to happen.
unity
You're magical to me.
12596
It seems like people are already flagging some of their stuff as copyright breaking, but then they replace the offending game with a different game they didn't make. -_-
Yeah, I'm not sure pushing the pirate angle would be a good idea. Since, I imagine it might be bring unnecessary flack down on sites like RPGMaker.net and the like for hosting games made with pirated versions of the software in the first place.

Though, you'd think a person trying to steal games like this would at least have the common sense to replace any copyrighted material before putting them up. After all, you can't use music from games like Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and so on without permission.
Hey, it looks like Garnudo's version of Island Sky got taken down!

Unfortunately, it also looks like everything else is still up, which seems to indicate that either Garnudo Games took it down themselves to avoid trouble or Valve simply doesn't punish publishers for stealing content beyond removing individual games that have claims filed against them.
It's more likely that Ocean's claim went through because he's the original creator. Others haven't because, well, their creators have left the site behind, apparently. The only other person who hasn't, that I know of, has decided to remove their download but I don't think they wanted to engage in talking to steam since their game had rips and they probably figured it'd get taken down for that. (Not fucking likely. Terra Incognita is still up after all).
Sunflower Games
The most beautiful user on RMN!
13352

Steam uses something called Steam Direct. To add a new game to Steam you need to pay 100 USD. The first thing you do is name your game. This is automatic and as far as I can tell there is no review taken at this time.

After that there are 2 things you need to submit to Steam to get reviewed. You need to submit your store page and your game download.

Your store page includes a lot of stuff. Pictures, video, description, etc...
The download must be packaged into SDK (I have a tutorial on how to do this too.)

Both your store page and download will be reviewed. I'm not actually sure if they play your game. I think they just make sure it can launch in Steam (ie. the files are set up properly in Steam.) After approval, you can update your game at any time. Steam will not check what is in your update.

As for the store page, if you can manage to get a game page on RMN, I imagine you can get one on Steam.

author=JIHAUS
Hey everyone,

I apologize if this isn't the right board for this, but I wanted to make you all aware of a "publisher" on Steam who is selling some of the games on this site without the permission of the creators. I first saw this when Ocean pointed out that he found his first game, Island Sky, on steam, a game that he of course had no intention of ever selling. We then found another three RMN games being sold by this publisher; based on what happened with Island Sky I'm fairly certain these aren't legit either.

Here are the steam links to the games we found so far:

https://store.steampowered.com/app/955730/Island_sky_RPG/
https://store.steampowered.com/app/952530/Prison_Break_RPG/
https://store.steampowered.com/app/955230/Shadows_Light_RPG/
https://store.steampowered.com/app/955720/Sunshine_RPG/
https://store.steampowered.com/app/959940/Inside/
https://store.steampowered.com/app/955850/Three_Treason_Theories_RPG/
https://store.steampowered.com/app/954900/The_Blight/
https://store.steampowered.com/app/955820/Stationary/
https://store.steampowered.com/app/954930/Slimes_RPG/
https://store.steampowered.com/app/955770/Lost_and_Found_RPG/
https://store.steampowered.com/app/959960/Orpheus/

For convenience, here are the corresponding RMN pages:

https://rpgmaker.net/games/110/
https://rpgmaker.net/games/3686/
https://rpgmaker.net/games/6524/
https://rpgmaker.net/games/3876/
https://rpgmaker.net/games/4333/
https://rpgmaker.net/games/6740/
https://rpgmaker.net/games/4788/
https://rpgmaker.net/games/6977/
https://rpgmaker.net/games/6670/
https://rpgmaker.net/games/6551/
https://rpgmaker.net/games/4890/

EDIT: Some non-RMN games courtesy of Seeric

Infinite Road/Branches:
https://store.steampowered.com/app/929840/Infinite_road/
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=mobi.batata.branches

Energy Nodes:
Steam Page: https://store.steampowered.com/app/935030/Energy_nodes/
App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/US/app/id871041093?mt=8


This is of course extremely scummy; stealing aside, it's even worse when someone tries to make money off of a free game you made for fun as was the case with Island Sky. My friends and I have flagged Island Sky on Steam but I'm not sure how long any kind of action will take, as it's still up after a week. Nonetheless I wanted to make everyone aware of this as this seems like exactly the kind of thing that might fly under the radar on Steam. I'll be sending PMs to the creators of these games to let them know as well.

EDIT: Updated with the additional games Seeric found below

We need to widely publish this. Steam needs a scandal because uhhh... (I hate Steam, cuz it memory leaks and forces me to keep making new accounts).

Also, if someone made Oracle of Tao less RTP, I'd be up for someone stealing it (exposure). But I have a feeling it would lack many of my game's quirks so no.
Should this be circulating in the gaming press? Absolutely.

Are gaming outlets going to care enough about RPG Maker games to write about this? Unlikely. And therein lies the challenge.
author=Sgt M
Should this be circulating in the gaming press? Absolutely.

Are gaming outlets going to care enough about RPG Maker games to write about this? Unlikely. And therein lies the challenge.


Yeah that's what sucks about all of this; our side of the industry is so small compared to others that this kind of story would get overlooked for more "newsworthy" things. To put it more cynically, there's not enough money at stake in all this for it to blow up like we'd hope it would. I suppose we'll just have to remain vigilant and try to spread the word where we can, and definitely watch out for all of our projects in case it happens to us.
better than someone making a game page of ur game on itchio containing a 11 MB virus
author=bicfarmer
better than someone making a game page of ur game on itchio containing a 11 MB virus


I think the difference here is that itch tends to be pretty good about taking action if something is reported as stolen, virus-infected or not. At this point it feels like the initial theft is slightly less of an issue than Valve's apparent refusal to take action against Garnudo Games except on an individual basis.

I could understand having some leniency if a developer/publisher has a game with a stolen sprite or song, but if they've already been forced to take down a game because the game itself is stolen I think it's absurd not to ban them from your platform outright.
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