Players of the free-to-play mobile title Game of Thrones: Conquest claim to have found bots that are exploiting the game's mechanics and cheating players out of money used on in-app purchases.
The main bot (dubbed the Three-Eyed Raven) gathers and sells information on other players, which tends to be information that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to find through fair gameplay.
This is a good reminder for mobile developers about the risks involved with player information that can be collected for malicious use in competitive multiplayer games.
As reported by The Daily Dot, players who use the bot can pay to figure out the coordinates and histories of specific players, find resources, automate many of the game’s required actions.
Players unaware of the bots spend money in an attempt to maintain what territory they do acquire, but because of the cheating, those in-game purchases are made in vain.
Other bots have reportedly been discovered, designed to exploit weaknesses in player kingdoms by automatically detecting enemy movement and attacks, allowing players to respond in record time.
Apparently attempts to bring the bots to the attention of WB Games through official support channels have been met with little success, with the company stating that they're "looking into methods of preventing all bots that have been reported to us. Any players admitting to using such bots will be dealt with appropriately.”
Conquest players have suggested that WB Games implement a new app interface to protect private information.
Because WB Games' terms of service makes legal action by the player base difficult, they've also urged the studio to take legal action against the supposedly identified creator of the bot, claiming the bots' exploitation of user data equates to a breach of contract.