For a small independent games studio in Essex, the attention of hackers around the world could be a far more frightening prospect than Chelmsford-based Semaeopus is finding it.
Fortunately for founders Rich Metson and Pontus Schoenberg, the community of technologically-inclined tinkerers is expressing genuine excitement about their forthcoming stealth hacking game Off Grid.
Endorsements have poured in from former Anonymous and LulzSec hackers as well as from cyber security professionals, propelling its crowdfunding campaign to its initial £20,000 goal last weekend.
The game offers players a satirical exploration of a near-future dystopia where corporate data collection has sponsored an almost omnipresent level of state surveillance.
Now in the very final stages of its development, Off Grid's playable demo has won Semaeopus a lot of praise for its authentic portrayal of hacker culture and unique game mechanics.
Dr Gabriella Coleman, an anthropologist at McGill University in Canada, who focuses on hacker culture and online activism, appeared in a recent discussion with Mr Metson about the game.
The indie studio has been backed by Creative England and the UK Games Fund, receiving funding from the British government for the potential economic benefits a growing company could provide to the country.
Speaking about the game's ideas regarding hacking, Mr Metson and hacker and activist Lauri Love discussed what the term "hacker" meant to them – drawing largely from a culture described by journalist Steven Levy in his 1984 book Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution.
"It's nice not to have the scary mask on," said Mr Love, regarding the theatrical faces which hackers are often presented as wearing – as well as the infamous Anonymous mask.
Mr Love, who was accused of hacking into US government computers and won his appeal against extradition earlier this year, explained his interpretation of the word as something more applicable to people who play and create with computer technology than criminals.
"It is people like Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who created the web, he would be described as a hacker in my definition. It's about thinking outside the box more than breaking things, or stealing things, or destroying things."
The game encourages this ethic of thinking outside of the box by, instead of testing players' ability to collect guns and armour, requiring them to manoeuvre through their environment by making data the player's most powerful weapon.
It's a mechanic that stresses privacy, and a unique style of game play that differentiates Off Grid from action games such as Watch Dogs, demonstrating how computer networks offer individuals the ability to impact human behaviour.
Off Grid is designed to be played with a normal games controller rather than through the command line, Mr Metson said.
But even if players aren't directly learning how to hack per se, "the broader principles of network security and device vulnerabilities" should help players "start to think critically of the devices they own, how well they secure their own networks, and what the dangers of leaving seemingly innocuous data with badly secured services can be," he added.
Semaeopus has described the development of Off Grid as "open production" allowing the community of its players to collaborate on developing new levels and tools which they'll be able to share.
Mr Metson told Sky News: "Off Grid has some overlap conceptually with South Park, in that important themes are wrapped up in tongue-in-cheek humour.
"Like South Park's speedy turnaround of episodes to approach topical issues, Off Grid's modding tools make it possible to produce a new level in a matter of days in order to ape news and current events."
It is extensively moddable, explained Mr Metson, who said: "Players and modders can create their own levels, storylines, characters, hackable devices and in game hacking tools and this list will continue to expand too."
"This moddability means that players can expand upon the games mechanics and add in new layers of detail and realism for each other, and extend some of the authenticity with us as developers. It means the game itself has the potential to be a 'living thing' and constantly evolving reflection of the digital world we live with."
"Off Grid has dark humour at its centre, and the state of this crazy Orwellian hot-mess of a world we live in is ripe for modders to exploit humorous interpretations," Mr Metson told Sky News.
"The incredible importance and relevance of the issues around hacking, digital rights, and data privacy in everyday life mean that there is a mine of inspiration available for mods to be created and the game to be expanded."
Lauri Love will feature in the game as a character, alongside other security experts – some of them former hacktivists – who are also supporting the game.
More from Essex
"It's quite nice to just be a character not vilified," said Mr Love.
"I've already been a fictional character in Department of Justice indictments that may have resulted in me being locked up for 99 years, and I feel that rather than being locked up for 99 years, informing a cultural process through this game is much nicer for me."