P2P Best Practices
Solid State Networks
August 30th, 2010
Best Practices for Using P2P Technology with Online Games
We believe that P2P Technology offers a number of compelling benefits to game developers, publishers, and even consumers. Implementing the following best practices will help to foster a better understanding of the technology and the numerous advantages which it can provide.
The confidence with respect to the use and deployment of P2P Technology will be advanced by demonstrating consideration for game consumers through three simple directives:
- Transparency – Make visible and readily accessible information about the presence and operational activity of the P2P technology.
- Control – Provide the ability to manage, operate and remove the P2P technology in an intuitive and conspicuous manner to the user.
- Privacy – Ensure the absolute privacy and security of personal information and user originated files.
Recommended Best Practices for Using P2P Technology with Games
- During the installation of an application that utilizes P2P Technology to download a Game, Game Update, and/or User-Originated Game Content:
- a. Inform the user in a clear and conspicuous manner that P2P Technology is being installed on the user’s system;
- b. Make readily available a plain language explanation of the relevant functionality of the P2P Technology that may materially affect their system resources and/or data; and
- c. If any game files will be redistributed to other users after their installation and incorporation into the game, then disclose this behavior to users in a clear and conspicuous manner.
- Provide a conspicuous, intuitive interface that indicates when the P2P Technology is operating, such as by displaying a system tray icon, in the task bar and/or within the game interface and clearly disclosing if delivery of an Update via P2P Technology will occur after the game closes.
- Provide users with a clear and conspicuous way to disable the P2P Technology at any time either by closing the application or via a control accessible from within the application’s main user interface. Ensure that the operational settings that govern the P2P Technology, once set by the user to reflect their preferences, persist as desired by the user through system logout, shutdown, startup or restart.
- Never enable other users to access any files or directories other than those necessary to the games, updates, and/or user-originated game content being distributed by the P2P technology. The P2P Technology must not permit the distribution of other user-originated files.
- Notify the user if any of the user’s personally identifiable information (PII) provided in conjunction with the operation of the P2P Technology will be shared with any outside parties. Obtain consent from the user before any such activity begins.
- Ensure that complete removal of the P2P Technology is simple to do and explained in plain language.
Download the Best Practices for Using P2P Technology with Online Games (PDF format). You can also download: How Solid State Networks Complies with Best Practices for P2P Technology in Game Delivery (PDF format) to see how our products implement these directives.
To learn more about our position on P2P technology and its implementation with online games and patches, please see:
- User Engagement: A Simple and Intuitive P2P Participation Policy by Solid State Networks’ CEO Rick Buonincontri
- Responsible Use of P2P (video)
We welcome your feedback on P2P technology, implementation, and the P2P Best Practices for Games.