Q&A Microsoft Store game save automatically recovered after a full reformat and with a new Microsoft account. How is that possible?

IkariGradius

Level 2
Verified
Jan 17, 2019
71
Something weird happened on one of our computers, and I wanted to have your opinions on the matter.

My wife's playing Township on her Windows 10 desktop. The game is quite popular and is from the Microsoft Store. On the game settings, I have linked it to her Facebook account for save sync. A few days ago, I made a full reformat of her computer using the latest Windows 10 on USB (meaning reformatting and deleting every partition on every drive) and logged in using her new Microsoft account. This is a new Microsoft account that was never linked in any way to this computer. Upon reinstall, the very first thing I did was going to the Microsoft Store and download Township. To my surprise, upon launch, her game was restored to the way it was (her level, virtual coins, etc...), meaning her save was recovered.

What puzzles me is how's that possible? Here save couldn't have been loaded from a cloud save (new Microsoft account and not logged into Facebook or anything, as nothing else was installed). She doesn't play the game on any other device, so it couldn't have been loaded from some sort of network sync (if that's even a thing for games). My only guess is that Township logs your unique device ID and automatically loads your save from there.

While I've seen this behavior in some softwares (iolo System Mechanic will recover your license using your device ID even after a full reformat, for example), however I've never seen this happen with a game before. To my knowledge, if you log in to a reformated/reseted Windows/Mac/Android/iOS with a new account, you'll never recover a game save...

What's your take on this? Am I missing something obvious? I'd be glad if you guys could lighten me up as I love knowing how my tech works...
 
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Solution
A quick look in the game privacy policy might give you the answer:

B - PERSONAL DATA THAT WE COLLECT AND PROCESS​

We may collect the following categories of personal data relating to our existing or prospective individual customers:

a) Contact information (such as name or nickname or email or other identification information (if required under applicable law) you submit as part of your register for our Services or log-in or via social networks);

b) Data about your account and game progress, we create a Playrix-specific ID for you when you use the Services;

c) Your IP address and unique mobile device identification numbers (such as your device ID, advertising ID, MAC address);

d) Data about your device...

pablozi

Level 27
Verified
Trusted
Jun 14, 2011
1,595
A quick look in the game privacy policy might give you the answer:

B - PERSONAL DATA THAT WE COLLECT AND PROCESS​

We may collect the following categories of personal data relating to our existing or prospective individual customers:

a) Contact information (such as name or nickname or email or other identification information (if required under applicable law) you submit as part of your register for our Services or log-in or via social networks);

b) Data about your account and game progress, we create a Playrix-specific ID for you when you use the Services;

c) Your IP address and unique mobile device identification numbers (such as your device ID, advertising ID, MAC address);

d) Data about your device, such as manufacturer, operating system, CPU, RAM, browser type and language;

e) Broad location data (e.g. country or city-level location);

f) Precise geolocation data (GPS, with your consent);

g) Data we collect with cookies and similar technologies Cookies Notice;

h) Data (such as your nickname, profile picture) we receive if you link a third party tool with the Service (such as Facebook, Google or Weibo);

i) details of orders (amount spent, date, time, vouchers or offers used);

j) Data to fight fraud (such as refund abuse in games or click fraud in advertising);

k) Data from platforms that the games run on (such as to verify payment);

l) Data for advertising and analytics purposes, so we can provide you a better Service;

m) Your messages to the Services (such as chat logs and player support tickets) any feedback you submitted about your experience with us; and/or

n) Other data you choose to give us.
 
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