Account Sharing - 3 device rule
We’d like to clarify some feedback/questions we have received recently concerning account sharing and the integrity of the personal and alliance leaderboards (global honor leaderboard, personal tournament, alliance leaderboard, and contest leaderboard) in Samurai Siege and Rival Kingdoms.
To use the Service, you may be supplied with an account (“Account”), which will require you to submit your full name, date of birth, time zone, e-mail address; select a username and/or password; and/or connect your Facebook or Google account (“Login Information”). You shall not share the Account or the Login Information, nor let anyone else access your Account or do anything else that might jeopardize the security of your Account. In the event you become aware of or reasonably suspect any breach of security, including, but not limited to, any loss, theft, or unauthorized disclosure of the Login Information, you must immediately notify SpaceApe, pursuant to Section 9.5, and modify your Login Information. You are solely responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of the Login Information, and you will be responsible for all uses of the Login Information, including, but not limited to, purchases, whether or not authorized by you. You are responsible for anything that happens through your Account.
The purpose of this clause was to ensure Space Ape is not responsible if players compromise their own personal security by sharing their passwords with others on the Internet. For example, sometimes dishonest people will claim to sell “hacks” or buy accounts but in reality these are scams to trick players into handing over their personal login information that can then be used for illegal activity such as social engineering attacks against that person or their friends. This is something we take very seriously, hence the rule.
It was never intended that this clause be relied on to penalise players who do share accounts. Our policy, up until now, was to not concern ourselves as developers with who was playing the account. The reason for this is that it is technically very difficult to enforce rules that effectively stop account sharing without limiting options for millions of people who legitimately play across their phones and tablets, or move their accounts when they upgrade their devices. This policy is consistent with that of all other major developers games in the strategy genre.
Various technical solutions exist for making it more difficult to share accounts. These include:
- Limiting the number of devices that can be associated to an account to, say 3 without going through an additional verification step to identify yourself on each active device.
- Blocking access to the same account from different locations (eg if a device is being accessed from different countries regularly, we flag that as suspicious).
- Removing account sharing between devices.
Only the last option will actually eradicate account sharing. Many active players have their account synced to 2 or 3 devices, most have them synced to 2 so the first option feels reasonable but still would not prevent sharing between 3 or more people physically in the same location. The only way it really goes away is to remove account transfer between devices entirely, which would disadvantage millions of people who play on more than one device.
Samurai Siege and Rival Kingdoms are highly charged competitive games, particularly at the top levels and any change to our policies always affects some players positively and others negatively. For this reason we are very reluctant to ever retrospectively change how the game works and feel that there is a very high bar to justify changing how we rank players against each other, and an even higher bar to retroactively change leaderboard results. Of course we will do so in clear cut cases of cheating (eg if a player manages to bypass our anti-hacking detection, we will of course remove them, but that happens very rarely).
We will not be altering any past results in Samurai Siege or Rival Kingdoms or entertain any requests to investigate who was actually playing accounts.
We will, however, be introducing some changes to the account sharing rule effective immediately:
- To be entitled to any leaderboard rank based rewards, you must compete in the contest on a max of 3 separate devices. If you play on more than 3 devices you will still be eligible for regular rewards and scores will not be adjusted for alliance tournaments. However, you will not be eligible for any leaderboard rank based rewards and will be removed from the final ranking of Personal Tournament. This will be a hard requirement and the evidence contained in our server logs will be final. If you are aiming for the top spot and have previously shared your login details it is incumbent upon you to change your passwords and ensure those you have shared with do not log in during the contest.
- Should we decide to issue any rewards or recognition based on rankings in the global personal or alliance leaderboard, we will exclude those who have played on more than 3 devices in the preceding month.
To be clear we will not:
- Make any adjustment to the personal leader honor board or alter past contest or war results because of alleged account sharing.
- Actively penalise those who access their account from multiple devices. The “max 3 device” rule will only be technically enforced for the top position in individual and alliance contests.
- Show any leniency or exceptions if your account is jeopardised or banned as a result of conduct of another player to whom you have shared your logins.
We understand this is a sensitive and highly emotionally charged topic, and some players will feel we have not gone far enough to discourage or prevent account sharing but feel this strikes the right balance between ensuring the game is fair and ensuring that the vast majority of people who play legitimately across multiple devices are not penalised.
If you are still having problems or concerns, please contact us via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.