Someone stole our game - Need Help

Switz

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Umm hello everybody. Not the way I'd like to introduce myself and I have no idea if this post is considered appropriate or in the right area.

This morning I stumbled on a surprise. Someone was selling my first game (Einlanzer on Steam) under a different name. They where calling it "Core of Eternity" on itch.io.

The reason I am here is because while drudging through the gloroius internet, it appears that the "developer" is very frequent and well known on your forums, but often changes aliases when caught like he (or they, hearing it may be a couple doing it) will probably soon do.

The developer is called "Lunatic Games". I think before they where called "Ellis Studios" and before even that they where called "Dragon Game Designs".

Anyway, I'm sure mods and frequent forum users know about them. I'm just wanting your help to keep my games from surfacing under one of their aliases and report them through PM/Email. The only person who will be advertising our soon to be released new game will be me sometime around July 2020.

Heres a bunch of proof they stole my game:

Here is their store page (before she took it down)
eHX0mQM.jpg


They ripped the description of our first game right off our store page. Even had the gall to sell the game more than what we have it priced at after 2 years:
https://store.steampowered.com/app/553760/Einlanzer/

Then, they used the images from our new game under development from here:
Divided Reigns Dev Page
3Ypf9j2.png

SO5Kou4.png
 
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E

Eye

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Aw, that is quite a nasty surprise indeed. That sucks.

Thanks for the heads up.
Yes, they have tried to get their hands on our members’ money on several occasions. :(

Pity our bloodhound @Ripper; is taking some time off, he can smell fraud from miles away.

If we’ll detect another con trick with one of your games we’ll notify you, though I wonder if they’ll be so bold to try again now that you are on to them and have mentioned it to us.

Anyway, good luck with the development of your new game.
 

Couchpotato

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Yep I remember these guys when I was news-editor. It was all thanks to @TheRealFluent that these frauds were called out. Sorry they stole your game it's not the first time.
 
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Couchpotato

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Yes, Fluent was the first detective. :thumbsup: I remember that as well.
Heck I even defended them at first but the evidence Fluent found basically condemned them. That developer even stole free games and resold them on other platforms.

I cant find the old threads though as Fluent closed his first account.
 
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Couchpotato

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Thanks I missed that @Eye.

These guys just just don't stop. I'm surprised Steam and other platforms haven't taken action against them. Guess like most scammers overseas they get away with it.

In this case they just keep changing the studios name.
 
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pibbuR

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Now, that's nasty. I hope you manage to stop them.

I decided to buy Einlanzer (with the soundtrack) on Steam. It's not the type of game I normally buy (JRPG, JRPG like), but I felt like doing it as an act of support. I realise that a symbolic act doesn't mean that much in the long run, but … And costing about the same as buying a cup of coffee, it wasn't actually expensive.

a pibbur who suspects that watchers may find that cup of coffee expensive, but then, this is Norway.
 
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Pongo

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Yeah that sucks. @Switz;, have you reported it to itch.io? If so, let us know the outcome please. I reported their Kickstarter thing and had an unhelpful exchange with their complaints department, who sent me several general "cut and pasted" replies to my specific and repeated complaint. I got the impression that they didn't particularly care (or maybe the bot I was emailing didn't "get it"), which was pretty disappointing. Itch.io should do something about this though.
 
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Switz

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Hey everyone, yeah in my digging I figured you guy would have no trouble knowing who these guys where.

Thank you for buying Einlanzer! I should say Einlanzer is not "my game" either, it's my co-developers. We joined forces after Einlanzer to start working on Divided Reigns. He's the true victim, especially if they indeed used a ripped version of the game and not just plagerized and used our artwork in our new game for their store page.

The store page was taken down by Lunatic Games due to me reaching out directly to them. However, they still have an advertising thread where we finally got a response from itch.io

Their words are that they are aware and that this is an on-going case? I'm assuming from the PV Games incident back in August if you care to dig around enough.

I have to admit, I'm pretty shocked with itch.io's speed of that's the case. They need to shut any developer using that bank account down seeing this group has been on their agenda for a while it seems. I'm also surprised they did not do anything yesterday beyond just informing us that they are investigating. I believe our case and evidence is pretty straight forward. I can understand it taking a bit if this was not a repeat offender, but this is ridiculous
 
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4ugui

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Hey everyone, yeah in my digging I figured you guy would have no trouble knowing who these guys where.

Thank you for buying Einlanzer! I should say Einlanzer is not "my game" either, it's my co-developers. We joined forces after Einlanzer to start working on Divided Reigns. He's the true victim, especially if they indeed used a ripped version of the game and not just plagerized and used our artwork in our new game for their store page.

The store page was taken down by Lunatic Games due to me reaching out directly to them. However, they still have an advertising thread where we finally got a response from itch.io

Their words are that they are aware and that this is an on-going case? I'm assuming from the PV Games incident back in August if you care to dig around enough.

I have to admit, I'm pretty shocked with itch.io's speed of that's the case. They need to shut any developer using that bank account down seeing this group has been on their agenda for a while it seems. I'm also surprised they did not do anything yesterday beyond just informing us that they are investigating. I believe our case and evidence is pretty straight forward. I can understand it taking a bit if this was not a repeat offender, but this is ridiculous

Did they have a source code too?
 
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Wisdom

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I think we will start to see more of these types of scams, mostly due to climate change.

I hope you get them shut down.
 
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Carnifex

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I also picked up Einlanzer recently, due to the review I read here and suggestions from a mate that had played the game. I've not played it yet, hoping to get into it maybe early next year. That's completely shocking that someone would steal your property, I hope it's all sorted out soon and the miscreants involved receive some sort of harsh punishment.
 
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TheRealFluent

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Hey guys, just saw this thread and that I was mentioned. I did discover their plot when they sent me the demo for a game called Cave of Sorrows, which they were Kickstarting and I believe had already raised close to $20k (I could be wrong on the numbers, it's been awhile.) I noticed it had used assets from other games such as NWN, and I forget how but I managed to find the original RPGMaker module it was stolen from, a fanmade free module (that was unfinished) called The Red Hand of Doom. They also sold many other "RPGs" on itch.io that promised 100+ hours of incredible content that ended up being the worst, unfinished messes of "games" that I'd ever played. They have changed named several times and I even caught them on Steam under the name "whitefish" or something (again, it's been awhile, memory is hazy). I also caught Demons Age which was also apparently stolen, and this is where it gets tricky.

Here's where it gets controversial. I believed back then that Hobgoblin42, one of the creators behind Realms Beyond and the one who claimed they owned the assets used in Demons Age, was somehow involved with Ellis Studios. It didn't smell right to me, the game Demons Age disappearing from Steam after I blew the whistle and left a warning curator review that the game was a scam (it was also unfinished and flat out terrible.) Realms Beyond claimed to be the owner of those assets and again Kickstarted a project promising to bring back the Chaos Chronicles legacy which Demons Age was also based around (that's a whole separate drama and history, you can search it if you want.) To this day I'm still not sure if Realms Beyond is legit or not, but they sure did raise a nice chunk of change on Kickstarter. Time will tell, but this was just my honest opinion at the time, and I'm still a bit wary.

Sorry to hear your game was stolen by these scum. I'm really glad you caught them. So Einzlanzer is your game then and legit? I will give it a peek and see if it's my thing. Best of luck to you in the future. :party:
 
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daveyd

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Here's where it gets controversial. I believed back then that Hobgoblin42, one of the creators behind Realms Beyond and the one who claimed they owned the assets used in Demons Age, was somehow involved with Ellis Studios. It didn't smell right to me, the game Demons Age disappearing from Steam after I blew the whistle and left a warning curator review that the game was a scam (it was also unfinished and flat out terrible.) Realms Beyond claimed to be the owner of those assets and again Kickstarted a project promising to bring back the Chaos Chronicles legacy which Demons Age was also based around (that's a whole separate drama and history, you can search it if you want.) To this day I'm still not sure if Realms Beyond is legit or not, but they sure did raise a nice chunk of change on Kickstarter. Time will tell, but this was just my honest opinion at the time, and I'm still a bit wary.

I can appreciate being skeptical of crowdfunding games in general, but you're way off the mark on RB. It's definitely a legit game project and see zero reason to think otherwise. Even if their KS updates may seem a bit sparse, many backers converse with the lead writer / designer almost every day on their Discord.

Also, remember Myrthos played an early demo at Gamescom and wrote a preview. I think he has met Hobgoblin aka Peter before that when he was working for Coreplay on Chaos Chronicles. Eye was there too IIRC.

But I know there's probably nothing at this point any of us can say to convince you otherwise. The combat beta demo is planned to be sent out to those who backed high enough for it in early 2020 (I'm not one of them, alas) but there's no NDA so there will surely be youtube videos of gameplay. Maybe then you'll finally realize what a silly conspiracy theory this is.
 
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rune_74

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I can appreciate being skeptical of crowdfunding games in general, but you're way off the mark on RB. It's definitely a legit game project and see zero reason to think otherwise. Even if their KS updates may seem a bit sparse, many backers converse with the lead writer / designer almost every day on their Discord.

Also, remember Myrthos played an early demo at Gamescom and wrote a preview. I think he has met Hobgoblin aka Peter before that when he was working for Coreplay on Chaos Chronicles. Eye was there too IIRC.

But I know there's probably nothing at this point any of us can say to convince you otherwise. The combat beta demo is planned to be sent out to those who backed high enough for it in early 2020 (I'm not one of them, alas) but there's no NDA so there will surely be youtube videos of gameplay. Maybe then you'll finally realize what a silly conspiracy theory this is.

This didn't age well;)
 
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daveyd

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This didn't age well;)

Sure, Realms Beyond is in development Hell, but Fluent's theory that the RB project has anything to do with Ellis Studios (or whatever these people are calling themselves this week) is still complete rubbish.
 
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