A marketing and data gathering firm known as RedShell Analytics came under fire from gamers who found out that it was embedded in many major gaming titles out there, from Elder Scrolls Online to Conan Exiles, and from Warhammer: Vermintide II to Injustice 2; even Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 and Civilization VI use it.
The issue was that RedShell’s embedded SDK into various games resulted in data gathering that breached user’s privacy information, including tracking their online footprints, purchasing habits, and other personal data that was being fed back to the development studios for social marketing and data management. RedShell’s data collection was also oftentimes used for targeted advertisements.
According to DualShockers, gamers put together an exhaustive list of games that feature the RedShell Analytics software via a Google Doc, and have been reporting the issue to game developers.
Various communities on Reddit have also been bringing attention to RedShell and its privacy invasion antics.
As some of you may know, it’s now unlawful for companies to participate in data gathering without acknowledgment or consent from users, as part of the European Unions new General Data Protection Regulation. Companies that did not comply with the new GDPR rules have opted to shut down some of their services, including some games, such as Loadout and Super Monday Night Combat.
According to Bleeping Computer, a number of developers and community managers made posts on Reddit or the Steam community threads to announce that they would “pledge to remove” the RedShell data gathering SDK.
- Elder Scrolls Online (Pledged to remove it)
- Conan Exiles (Pledged to remove it)
- Ylands (Removed)
- Holy Potatoes! We’re in Space?! (Pledged to remove it)
- All Total War games, (Pledged to remove it)
- Warhammer: Vermintide II, (Pledged to remove it)
- My Time At Portia, (Pledged to remove it)
- Dead by Daylight, (Pledged to remove it)
- Battlerite, (Pledged to remove it)
- AER Memories of Old, (Pledged to remove it)
- Magic the Gathering Arena, (Pledged to remove it)
- Secret World Legends (Pledged to remove it)
- Hunt: Showdown (Pledged to remove it)
- Escapists 2 (Pledged to remove it)
- Omensight (Pledged to remove it)
Not every studio using the RedShell analytics tool have been open about removing it. In fact, there are still a list of games where the developers have not responded yet in terms of acknowledging the SDK.
- Civilization VI,
- Kerbal Space Program,
- Guardians of Ember,
- The Onion Knights,
- Realm Grinder,
- Heroine Anthem Zero,
- Warhammer 40k Eternal Crusade,
- Eternal Card Game
- Sniper Ghost Warrior 3
- Astro Boy: Edge of Time
- Ballistic Overkill
- Cabals: Card Blitz
- CityBattle | Virtual Earth
- Doodle God
- Doodle God Blitz
- Dungeon Rushers
- My Free Farm 2
- SOS & SOS Classic
- Tales from Candlekeep: Tomb of Annihilation
- War Robots
- Survived By
- Injustice 2
- The Wild Eight
- Yoku’s Island Express
- Raging Justice
- Warriors: Rise to Glory!
- Clone Drone in the Danger Zone
- League of Pirates
- Doodle God: Genesis Secrets
I imagine there could be some serious issues for companies who don’t remove RedShell, since GDPR requires companies who use privacy data collection to allow users to opt-in or opt-out of such programs.
(Thanks for the news tip Correctus)