An unusual story was sent our way by players of Kingdom Conquest 2, a freemium town-building, dungeon-crawling, and card-battling game from Sega. We received an email from two KC2 players and forum users who claimed that a Sega employee had been awarding themselves additional resources, which allowed this employee to conquer other players in the game. While companies like Sega often give employees extra in-game currency to help play-testing, it’s usually not at the expense of other players, so we reached out to Sega for an official response.
Here’s Sega’s response, which does not indicate that the person was an employee. It’s from Chris Olson, vice president of Digital Business at Sega of America.
“It has recently come to our attention that a Kingdom Conquest 2 account has violated our company’s rules of conduct. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused to any of our players. To ensure we provide the best possible experience for our players, this account will be banned. We strive to deliver quality games with fair and balanced gameplay. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact http://help.kingdomconquest.
And here’s the original news tip from a KC2 forum user reporting the suspicious behavior:
I would like to point you guys to the following thread on the official Kingdom Conquest 2 forums
A sega employee has basicly been playing the game in “god” mode by giving his own personal account monsters and ressources.
Players became suspicious when they saw the player rolling out monsters that it was incredibly unlikely any player could have obtained in the current timeframe of the game and an inquiry was made on the forums. Hacking was suspected but sega answered after a while rather vaguely that there was no hack, just a sega employee that had given himself things in order to do “live-testing” as they called it.
This off course caused immediate uproar since the player had been playing for the servers 2nd best alliance, the best Japanese one, and had been attacking other players and taking important game objectives from others.
More responses has been given by sega (or rather their forum moderators) that admits that the employee has been acting on his own, rather than actually testing anything. Since the game charges money for monster cards and various other goods players are now demanding reimboursements for what they lost fighting the sega employee.
Our take is that play-testing is an important and necessary part of developing a game, but it’s never OK to literally attack your customers and give yourself an advantage if you have access to unlimited in-game funds. This Sega employee crossed the line, and though it apparently won’t cost them their job, at least Sega has been alerted to their inappropriate behavior and cancelled their account. For the denizens of kingdoms conquered by this lone warlord, that will have to be justice enough.