Case Study: N3twork's Tetris®

About N3twork’s Tetris® Mobile

Based in San Francisco, N3twork is dedicated to creating new types of games, media, and technology. Being one of the global leaders in game development, it has worked to release titles like Funko Pop! Blitz and Legendary: Game of Heroes.

The studio is also responsible for developing and distributing a mobile game app featuring the world’s most iconic and loved puzzle game of all time: Tetris®. Released at the beginning of 2020, the game has seen more than 12 million downloads and currently offers four different game modes:

  • Tetris Primetime: Users compete synchronously with other players across the globe and win real money prizes.
  • Tetris Royale: Groups of 100 players battle against each other and climb the game leaderboard.
  • Tetris Together: Players create their own sessions and play with friends.
  • Solo Marathon: The most well-known game mode isalso available offline for players who just want to improve their skills.

From the beginning, N3twork’s development dedicated to the Tetris app has had an ambitious vision:

“When we came up with the idea for Tetris Primetime, the vision was that the best Tetris players in the world could earn a living playing the game, without relying on other work. And when you commit to that kind of vision, you have to make sure that the game is working and that it’s fair.”

Mehmet Yavuz Açıkalın,

Data & Insights Lead, N3twork

The Challenge

Fraudsters after cash prizes

It was time for N3twork to find the perfect partner to help achieve their mission. Even before launching the game, the studio already expected to face bots in the Tetris Primetime modality, which awards cash prizes to players.

N3twork performed an exhaustive search for a partner that could help them combat their in-app fraud concerns and promote fair play. The team ultimately chose Unbotify due to their reputation and specialty in the gaming market and for their unique and sophisticated detection algorithms.

To ensure Unbotify could deliver on its promise to reduce in-app fraud, the N3twork team created custom bots to test whether Unbotify’s detection technology would meet their expectations. Unbotify was able to detect 99.8% of the created bots with no false-positives, and with this exceptional success, N3twork rolled out the solution to Tetris Primetime.

“Unbotify gives us a sense of peace knowing we have a dedicated data science team to our bot problem”

Mehmet Yavuz Açıkalın,

Data & Insights Lead, N3twork

The Solution

Error-proof, bot-busting technology

Combatting in-app fraud threats due to bots is an exhaustive task. 10% of all games experience in-app fraud and most games with cash prizes have fraudsters infiltrating these apps. If you’re not careful, your cash prizes reserved for users can be snatched by these fraudsters without your knowing by appearing as legitimate users.

By using machine learning and leveraging the complexity of anonymized sensor data from human-device interaction, Unbotify can discern the patterns that distinguish between humans and bots. This not only helps keep bots out of your app, but also provides powerful insight as to how your real users are interacting with the game and with each level of difficulty.

These findings help to fine-tune the gaming experience and create levels that are challenging enough to users, but not in a way that incentivizes players to seek cheating methods.

The Results

Bot-free Community

For N3twork, the insights gained from their users’ behaviors in the Tetris app led to a shocking discovery:  some fraudsters were in fact hybrid threats: a real user would play up to a certain milestone, and then activate a bot (usually an emulator) to carry on with the rest of the game.

As a premium solution - Unbotify dedicates a data scientist to tailor machine learning models to every game’s unique characteristics. Thanks to that approach, N3twork could benefit from false-positive rates as low as 0% and a visual proof for every fraudulent session, empowering them to take action with confidence. From there, it’s easy to weed out the bots, incentivize fair play and take back control of the gaming economy.

Thanks to Unbotify’s technology, N3twork can now mitigate the risk of cheating users with confidence and significantly improve the gameplay experience for the Tetris app, fulfilling its mission to only award prizes to real players.

  • Geared up for the launch one step ahead of cheaters
  • Prevented bot attacks in over 10% of games
  • Freed up resources to improve security even further

Take control of your bot problem with our help. As a member of the Fair Play Alliance, Unbotify is truly committed to help brands foster healthy communities and unlock the best possible online experiences for their users.