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Blocking countries for security of the game

  • October 18, 2019

By default, everyone in the world can access your game. That might appear a good thing—who would want to limit their audience and cripple their chances to invite more people to play and engage with their brand? From a marketer’s point of view, that sounds ridiculous and yet sometimes necessary to compartmentalize and block some traffic to your site—for reasons of security, bandwidth stability or even legal and financial regulations. Such decisions need to be properly assessed and solved to minimize the potential risks to the organized game.
How should you go about it for your competition site?

There are two groups of reasons for blocking whole countries from accessing your skilled game: technical and legal/financial.

The technical side includes issues of security and stability of the skilled game. First, it is important to establish the scope and the scale of the game, because it is unlikely for a site aimed at a local market with a limited audience (local governments, NGOs, sports competitions) to attract international traffic. For example, a Spot the Ball game aimed at football fans of a local league club would hardly attract too much traffic from Russia. Further analysis would show that Russian traffic is more likely to be malicious. Some would think just editing .htaccess to block a couple of IPs from accessing the site would suffice, but it rarely is enough. That is why Tentacle offers to determine such threats and address them effectively.

Another aspect is the legal framework applicable to the game. The legal and financial framework gets more complicated by the day and it is easy to miss or be confused by them. A game organized outside of the EU, say for a US company, needs to adhere to the GDPR regulations and standards, even if only one EU citizen would participate. If the organizers are not targeting the EU audiences, it would be advisable to (politely) restrict their access to the game. There are as many combinations and solutions as there are countries and conflicting laws.

Payment processors like Stripe, PayPal and many others often restrict the countries from where the funds can be sent and would block the payments and the account if any of the red flags appear anytime during the transaction. Troubles with payment processors are a nuisance to both the organizers, the users and the game developers, so it is advised to analyse and forecast any red flags, outline “problematic” countries and structure the payments and payment processors accordingly.

All the matters of security, both technical and legal, should be consulted with professionals to establish the risks, potential threats and ways to mitigate them. When Tentacle Solutions provide skilled games to their clients, they offer the fifteen years of experience in organizing and developing skilled games to solve any problems with blocking and restricting certain countries from accessing the skilled game site with malicious intents.

All the matters of security, both technical and legal, should be consulted with professionals to establish the risks, potential threats and the ways to mitigate them.