Recovering Account for Pocket Knights (A Bank of Innovation/GCREST Game)

This is a record regarding my account recovery experience for Pocket Knights (ポケットナイツ). It also serves as a warning as I am certain this is roughly the same process for any games developed or published by GCREST, G-Games, and Bank of Innovation. If you play CocoPPa Play, Pocket Land, or any of their avatar/selfie games, this could be important information for you.

Ever since upgrading to iOS 9.0.2, I’ve been experiencing abrupt termination of the game where it’ll load up and then shortly close on itself. However, it becomes stable after starting it up about 2 more times after the initial closure. I would report this abnormal behaviour to Bank of Innovation (BOI) but my Japanese skills are quite laughable, and due to being overly self-conscious about my poor ability to construct sentences in Japanese, I opted to uninstall the game instead.

I was fully aware that my save data would be removed from my device. In fact, I have deleted the game before and I’ve never had any issues logging back into my account since all it required was my email and password. The problem this time was that I couldn’t get my password to work. I must have changed it and genius me didn’t leave write it down or leave any password hints anywhere.

This is where the fun begins.

As there is a confidentiality clause attached to the emails sent from BOI customer support, I can’t disclose or quote the exact contents, but what I can tell you is that you need to be aware of EVERY LITTLE DETAIL of your account since you need to prove to them that you are the account owner. And by every little detail, I mean any information that’s not visible/made public to other players such as the quantity of all items you possess. I shit you not. What you may consider little things end up being vital to getting your account back. =___=

The initial email contained the support form with the general information like when the problem occurred, what the problem was, etc. Along with all those answers, I also gave them my ID number and in-game nickname. Customer support wrote back not long after and informed me that I had to answer an account-related question to make sure that it belonged to me.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t answer it because I never paid attention to what I consider “the little things”. I offered a recent screencap I had of the game that happened to correspond to the question and explained the differences. Sadly, screenshots cannot be used as proof (since anyone can take them or grab one from the Internet. Obviously, I was too dumb to realize this then). But what surprised me was that they ignored my offer of presenting iTunes receipt numbers of premium currency I purchased. I figured that they’d be able to match or trace that to my in-game account. I know Mobage/DeNA can since I went through roughly the same account recovery process with them for Defender of Texel.

Well, since I failed the first question, their next email contained 3 more questions. I have no idea if I had to actually provide answers to them all or whether answering 1 was sufficient. Regardless, I replied to all three. For one, I had to dig up the answer, but the other two were easier since I recalled looking at the information they were asking for recently. ^^ Thank goodness for that or else it would have been another “I’m not sure, sorry”. .___.;;;

The answers proved satisfactory and I was told that I had to wait while they investigated my account. (The translation I got from Google Translate was “fraud investigation”.) Once it was done, I will get an email with instructions on how to get back into it.

It took them 5 days to give me those instructions. :/ I’m not sure why it took so long but I suspect that such investigations are handled by another department so there’s probably some communication delay between them. Or maybe those 5 days were to see if anyone else tries to bust into my account? Whatever the reason is, I’m glad I was able to get back to playing the game.

I felt bad for dropping off the map and not being able to reach any of my guild mates to tell them what was wrong. They fared fine without me, of course. Unsure if they really noticed I wasn’t participating in the guild battles. ^^; I made mention of my absence on the guild message board anyway. 😛

To end this, let’s review the lessons from this anecdote:

  1. Always be aware of every detail in your game. EVERYTHING is important; dates, colours, names of everything, quantity of premium currency, quantity of regular currency … Everything.
    .
  2. Don’t forget your password. Ever.

Bonus musings!:

Random thoughts that came from this experience:

  • Aside from being surprised at Pocket Knights support not considering my iTunes receipts as proof, I was equally surprised that they answered on weekends. o_O Most of the correspondence occurred on their Saturday and Sunday. I appreciate Bank of Innovation being so dedicated to help customers. Actually, is this normal for Japanese customer service?
    .
  • I kept thinking that if I hacked/stole someone’s game, I don’t think I’d spend money on it. And even if I did, why should the developer be worried about fraud because I’d be giving them money.
    .
  • I lost all the items I won from the special boss and event because I didn’t long in before they were deleted from my box. 😦
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