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Why Jailbreaking and GameMaker Don’t Mix

icon-xcodeWe were reminded in March by a GameMaker Community topic that jailbroken iDevices are useless for testing iOS games made with GameMaker Studio. If you weren’t already aware, here is a recap; section 7 of the GameMaker Studio FAQ simply states that jailbroken devices can not be used, “sorry”.

Jailbreaking is a process that removes software restrictions on an iOS device and gives the owner root control. This is usually an automated process achieved by using a downloadable program. One major aspect of jailbreaking is that it allows for installation of non-iTunes store content, which makes it a favorable host for pirated mobile software.

Jailbreaking is popular amongst a fair few; a good several million device-owners at least. Though in comparison with non-jailbroken devices, it is very much a minority action. Still, now and in the future, there will be GameMaker Studio owners with a jailbroken device wondering why YoYo Games, the company developing the software, blocks them from testing their games. But why don’t jailbreaking and GameMaker mix?

First, most software-based businesses don’t want to attract a market of people who may support piracy or “hacking”, for lack of a better word. YoYo Games faces its own challenges resisting piracy, and the company doesn’t need to indirectly fuel that fire by welcoming users they may consider unsavory.

Besides this, YoYo Games can’t be seen devaluing GameMaker’s reputation by allowing people to avoid the developer fee that Apple requires from everyone who wants to make legitimate iOS applications. Who knows what hot water YoYo Games could get into if they began pandering to a breed of illegitimate developers who wanted to build bogus software. Reaction from Apple? Bad press? Actually, maybe good press?

If you are hoping YoYo Games might change their stance on jailbreaking, don’t hold your breath. It would be a disappointing and risky move on their part if they were to be more lenient with this issue. Although it might seem like they are getting in your way, YoYo Games are being professional and giving you a hint; if you are going to commit to developing mobile software, you need to smarten up and stick to official avenues.

To be fair, not all people who jailbreak will steal games and media – with the system opened up, it is possible to make great customizations to iOS itself, and install unofficial free apps from developers who target the jailbreaking community. The bad news is Apple really, really doesn’t like jailbreaking.

To use a massive clichรƒยฉ, Apple has its own ecosystem in a secret walled garden. You know what you are buying into when you take that iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch home with you. If you decide to “rebel” against this and tweak the device to your extended liking, you may enjoy some benefits (depending on what you consider beneficial) but you will also experience negative repercussions. For those on the GameMaker scene, one repercussion may be that you can not fully utilize your beloved game development software. Maybe it’s time to hit that restore button.

What do you think?

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  1. Cool! I’m the OP of the above mentioned Jailbreak post on GMC! Thanks TV ๐Ÿ˜€

    Before I write this, I’d just like to ask anyone if they have PROVEN that you can’t test your GMS games on your iDevice (with a legit app dev license). The YYG FAQ page may SAY that testing on Jailbroken devices is unsupported, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that was just a lie to cover their arse. They definitely don’t want Apple on their case. So, if anyone can provide proof that you can’t test on a jailbroken device, please tell me.

    Now behold, my life story ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I had an iPhone 3G back in the day, and that was jailbroken. Now I own an iPhone 4S, and you guessed it, it’s jailbroken. I have installed heaps of tweaks and apps that increase my phone’s productivity and overall awesome-ness. I’ll list some of these below with what they do:

    CleverPin: Disables my passcode when I’m connected to my home WiFi.
    Double@: Inserts my email address when I type @@ anywhere, very handy for surfing the web.
    FakeClockUP: Speeds my iPhone animations up, makes transitioning through different menus extremely fast.
    Infiniboard: Most iPhones scroll horizontally and have paging. My phone scrolls vertically, and doesn’t snap to any ‘page’.
    Infinifolders: As many apps in a folder as one could need.
    ManualCorrect: Ever heard of those “Autocorrect sucks” websites? Yeah, this fixes that.
    NCSettings: Gives me shortcuts for wifi, brightness, airplane and practically anything else in my notification pull-down.
    Opener: Let’s me open maps or websites with Chrome (or other) instead of Safari or Apple Maps.
    Plugication: Automatically starts playing music when I put in earphones.
    Springtomize: Tons of stuff.
    WinterBoard: Lets me make my iPhone sexy. If you wan to see, visit
    PowerPLAY: Let’s me skip songs by just holding the volume buttons, or pause and play by pressing them both.
    +Heaps more.

    My iPhone is pretty much my life. I use this thing so much everyday to organize my life and so much more. In my opinion, I SHOULD be able to customize my phone to suit my specific needs. Without Jailbreaks, this would be impossible. Apple like to keep a firm grip on their software.

    Now, I also bought an iPad for uni and work several months ago. I instantly jailbroke it, and it was perfect for uni. I could do anything I wanted on it. Unfortunately for me, I stupidly installed a bad tweak and hadn’t installed the “safe mode” tweak that had recently been created. I lost my jailbreak, and had to restore my iPad to Apple’s locked down iOS. Needless to say, I kind of hate my iPad now. It’s nowhere near as productive, and is a pain to use. I even considered trading it with my girlfriend’s iPad 2, as hers was jailbroken.

    About pirating apps. Installous used to be the way people downloaded pirated apps. That’s gone now. I’m not sure if there is a new way to do this, but it’s definitely not as popular as installous was. Pirated apps are no longer the huge problem they once were, and with Apple’s huge app market, I doubt this would create a huge dent in any Indie’s pocket (excluding Notch).

    Apple actually looks at a lot of the jailbreak tweaks to get ideas for iOS updates. It’s not unknown for a jailbreak tweak to become redundent because Apple adds it to the list of their default iOS features.

    Let’s not forget, jailbreaking is LEGAL, at least in Australia. You aren’t committing a crime if you jailbreak, you’re just smart. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Nice post TV.

  2. Anyone who pirates from indies is a sad, sad person. Btw, I have a cousin who jailbroke his Iphone to pirate stuff, its hard to get stuff thats on the app store, most of the stuff he pirates is from the cydia store

  3. I very much doubt many consumers have the first clue about what they are agreeing to when they buy into a closed system like iOS.

    Until very recently phone jail-breaking was a protected consumer right in the US. It still should be.

  4. So I pay for Game Maker Studio, I pay my Apple Developer fees, I submit my apps to the App Store through the proper channels, and I’m still treated like a “second-class citizen” because I want to extend the capabilities of my phone? I can’t test my apps on my phone to make sure they are the best quality I can provide because my phone is jailbroken, and therefore it’s obviously going to be used to pirate apps. Maybe I’ll pirate my own apps! Penalizing someone because they have the capability to pirate is like arresting someone for fishing without a license just because they have a fishing supplies stored on their boat. Anyone with a computer and an Internet connection has the capability to pirate. It doesn’t mean they will or that they should be treated like they will. This is ridiculous, really. I fail to see how me having a jailbroken phone has any effect on Game Maker at all. Software makers don’t have to inconvenience their customers just because the customer has done something with their device that someone else “really, really doesn’t like.” The only person that my jailbroken phone is currently hurting is me, and that’s not my fault. That’s the choice of the software maker. Also, why can a rooted Android device be used but not a jailbroken iPhone? Both rooting and jailbreaking allow for piracy.

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