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Android Dev Claims Piracy Pushed It To Offer App Free

Mad Finger Games is now claiming that it was forced to offer its latest Zombie-infested title, Dead Trigger, for free because Android piracy is "unbelievably high." Previously the app was offered for a mere $0.99 on Google Play while also utilizing in-app purchases so that gamers could progress faster.

"At first we intend to make this game available for as many people as possible - that's why it was for as little as buck," the company said on Facebook. "It was much less than 8$ for Shadowgun but on the other hand we didn't dare to provide it for free, since we hadn't got XP with free-to-play format so far. However, even for one buck, the piracy rate is soooo giant, that we finally decided to provide Dead Trigger for free."

The in-app purchasing system still exists, but players can complete the game without having to make a purchase, the company said. "All players are able to play it without IAP! We stand up for this statement, because all members of our team are playing (and enjoying) Dead Trigger without IAP."

Is piracy really that rampant on Android? Because of the platform's open-source nature, users can easily install pirated games on their device by simply allowing non-Market apps. Even more, there are apps offered on Google Play that allow users to back up their apps onto a PC, thus making it easy to distribute. There are even social apps listed on Google Play that feature app trading.

Eurogamer reports that Sports Interactive boss Miles Jacobson made a similar complaint earlier this year, saying that pirated copies of Football Manager were being downloaded at a ratio of 9:1, compared to the purchased versions. He pointed out there's no working copy protection on Android, so it's simple to install the pirated app and jump right into the game without having to pay a dime.

"The platform is also very popular in some countries where there's a larger piracy problem than in others," he said. "It's really disappointing that there are so many people out there who love our work, and spend countless hours being entertained by it, but don't think we deserve to get paid for that entertainment. There are no excuses for any form of piracy - if you don't want to pay the price set for a game, don't pay it, and don't play it! Gaming is an entertainment form, it's not a human right."

A study conducted by Yankee Group and Skyhook revealed last year that Apple customers download six times more paid apps than Android consumers. It also showed that Android developers make "much less" money from the sales of paid apps than Apple iOS developers -- 75 of those developers blamed the loss of revenue on "rampant piracy." 53-percent of those developers said Google is "too lax" on its Android Market policies, whereas 27-percent saw Android piracy as a "huge problem."

Currently the iOS version of Dead Trigger still remains as a paid download on iTunes.

 

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  • CaedenV
    last I checked people tend to pirate things that they are curious about, not things that they genuinely want, and want to see more titles of in the future. If my game couldn't sell for $1, then I would be much more concerned about my game being unwanted than I would be about pirates. Besides, they are still making a killing on microtransactions, otherwise they would not bother to dev the game to begin with.
    Reply
  • garrick
    why not have ads and generate revenue that way?
    Reply
  • MoulaZX
    I'd be very happy to pay as much as $10 for a fully fledged decent Android Game. I REFUSE however to play this 'Freemium' bullsh*t a lot of developers seem to be pushing for lately for a game that is pretty cool at first, then you realize after about 30 minutes of play and finishing the tutorials that to make any real further progress you have to pay. So, yea sure $0.99 to buy it, but over the year just to have any decent amount of fun with it, you might end up laying an extra $50 on top? What a joke. I'd happily pirate their crap day in and day out, if this is the future of Android Apps.

    I understand this doesn't solve the piracy issue, but there is no way I'm the only one who is frustrated with this new game model developers are pushing and in turn, turn towards just downloading a cracked version online.

    Thinking out loud for a moment, what if, instead of paying a small fee or just being free, they leave the game free to download then, as the player progresses to different sections of the game, they have to 'unlock' the rest of it by paying the same flat fee, so that in the end the fully unlocked game will cost to the total of say $10-15 for EVERYONE, with no advantages given by the current model of buying in-game currency... And having those unlocks in the form of 'license keys' attached to the Google account the App was downloaded should prevent the piracy... similar to say how when I flash a new ROM on my phone and reinstall "My Backup Pro" on first launch it checks to authenticate the fact I've paid to unlock the full version.
    Reply
  • IndignantSkeptic
    Looks like the entertainment paid for by advertisers business model is the only way to go, but even that might be under threat because I heard some people even telling others about getting certain software to block ads. That's just really low.
    Reply
  • the_krasno
    I pirated a lot of games. My steam game library has over 200 titles. I buy the things I want, I pirate the things I want to check out.
    Reply
  • it's a misunderstanding, people don't buy most apps/games because they suck. good things are just really rare these days, but if i see a good game like deus ex 3 or portal 2 i buy them immediately because they're great and because i want to support the developers and show them that their product is popular.
    many millions think like me and don't just buy stuff because it's available, so some developers got the wrong idea of making fast money by releasing useless apps/games.
    it's not piracy, it's common sense
    Reply
  • hokkdawg
    Dear Board of Directors:

    We have taken your XX million dollars and have not produced a quality product to date that will give you a return on your investment.

    But for realz, it's not our fault! Everybody pirates our game! Blame android! Keep giving our software company money, we can't face facts that our people SUCK at writing cool games!

    Sincerely,
    Management of Mad Finger Games

    P.S. We don't want to go get real jobs, it's not our fault our product got pirated.
    Reply
  • doomtomb
    CaedenVlast I checked people tend to pirate things that they are curious about, not things that they genuinely want, and want to see more titles of in the future. If my game couldn't sell for $1, then I would be much more concerned about my game being unwanted than I would be about pirates. Besides, they are still making a killing on microtransactions, otherwise they would not bother to dev the game to begin with.You are so wrong. Thats why there are demos of games. If you pirate the whole game then whats stopping you from playing through it all with never paying?
    Reply
  • aggroboy
    CaedenVlast I checked people tend to pirate things that they are curious about, not things that they genuinely want, and want to see more titles of in the future. If my game couldn't sell for $1, then I would be much more concerned about my game being unwanted than I would be about pirates. Besides, they are still making a killing on microtransactions, otherwise they would not bother to dev the game to begin with.Do you have any data on human purchasing behaviour and piracy, or are you making all this up?
    Reply
  • Parrdacc
    Okay, I do not play a lot of games on Android or even the Apple iOS, when I had one. The real truth is most of the apps/games are just plain junk, garbage, and sewage made just to get your money. This goes for both Android and Apple. If you take all the current apps/games out there for both; more than half of them are worthless. So pay $.99 only to find out it reeks. No thanks and that my friends is why most people "pirate". They will pay for the good stuff, I have and I am sure countless others have as well after we have put on the knee highs and rubber gloves and waded through all the crab first.

    The problem is not the consumer, but the developers. They need to realize the consumer is no longer forced to buy something just cause it is the only way. Technology has allowed for the consumer to know the true quality of a product now and they will not pay for junk. They will pay for quality though and that is the next problem. Dev's are so used to the old model that has been around for decades in which they develop something then turn around and sell it for whatever sum of money and people will just buy it. Sorry no longer. Wake up. Quality and usefulness, not quality "and/or" usefulness", are what will make you money.
    Reply