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I've just got done talking to the CEO of our independent game studio about one of our projects nearing completion. We're considering canning the whole project for a number of reasons:

  • There are partly, some quality issues. Combat can be fun and in depth but for the most part you can get by with mashing buttons. It leaves the feeling that the advanced combat was really tagged on just to add something. When in reality a lot of work went into it.

  • The game didn't end up as envisioned. It's become really a mindless combat game when originally story was planned to be important. Now the story is rather nonexistent.

  • And probably the biggest issue. Rather recently we've been getting reports from testers that the game is being reported as a virus(in a few cases). We looked into this and found it's the way the engine was made. We're using a 3rd party engine and while originally the maker was very approachable, he's become rather unreachable and apathetic to our problems.

Me and him have talked a long time on this and we lean on it not being releasable. This would also though be a very big hit to the lead programmer who's put in a considerable amount of time on this, nearly a year.

What ramifications would happen if this is released? I'm told it could get on steam, and I'm thinking it could be pulled and really hurt our image. Also I mentioned we could be backlisted by our publisher if they consider the virus issue to be deceiving them. Could we be sued? Would you consider it releasable?

I think this is a very important decision every game studio might have to make one day and I'd really like as much input as I can get.

Thank you

[edit] Also it might matter that we have another version of the game already being made for html5 which is being developed in house with our own custom engine. We're thinking of just focusing on this and learning from our mistakes.

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Slap on a 'beta' sticker and release it for free. It will either die immediately or create enough demand to justify a rewrite. If you don't it will just wallow and keep re-appearing like an uninvited step cousin at a Sunday lunch. –  Luke Van In Oct 27 '11 at 7:37
    
I have purchased several games that have been flagged as viruses by various AV software. If you can narrow it down to specific antivirus software and provide a guide for telling the antivirus to ignore it, it may be less of an issue. –  Philip Oct 27 '11 at 14:17

1 Answer 1

You could try and contact some of the antivirus makers. This could be caused because of a false positive in their database. If it is they will probably remove it. Since almost all antivirus makers share the same database the change can propagate through.

If you let them know now and you do eventually publish the game this problem might have gone away by then.

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+1. Some antivirus program is finding malware that isn't there in your engine. That's a bug in the antivirus program, not in the engine, and is far easier for the antivirus maker to fix than for the engine maker. –  Baffe Boyois Oct 27 '11 at 16:52
    
To find out which antivirus makers to contact about the false positive you can submit it to virustotal.com who will check your program against lots of them for free. –  Adam Oct 28 '11 at 22:17

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