Close
Are you sure? Are you sure you want to report this comment? I understand, report it. Cancel

Dead Trigger set free due to "unbelievably high" Android app piracy

Dead Trigger set free due to "unbelievably high" Android app piracy

Mon 23 Jul 2012 9:38pm GMT / 5:38pm EDT / 2:38pm PDT
Mobile

Madfinger drops the price on its 99-cent shooter due to Android piracy

Madfinger has decided to make its newest game, Dead Trigger, absolutely free on the Google Play Store due to "unbelievably high" Android app piracy. The title was released at the end of June for 99 cents, with in-app purchases also supporting the game. Today, Madfinger released a statement on the game's Facebook page about the price drop.

"The main reason: piracy rate on Android devices, that was unbelievably high. 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. - 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," said the Czech-based company.

"However, even for one buck, the piracy rate is soooo giant, that we finally decided to provide Dead Trigger for free. "

This is not the first time that developers have complained about the high piracy rate on the Android platform. Two months ago, Football Manager developer Sports Interactive cited a 9:1 piracy rate on Android. It's a problem Google will need to fix, especially with Microsoft entering the app store market soon.

15 Comments

Andy Samson
QA Supervisor

235 179 0.8
The games are dirt cheap and yet people still resort to piracy. People are being conditioned into thinking games are throw-aways that costs a buck, and now they are not worth spending on. They've become mediums for Ads. This business model is degrading games and in the long run it will bring the industry to its knees.

Posted:2 years ago

#1

Adam Campbell
Associate Producer

1,165 948 0.8

Posted:2 years ago

#2

Dave Herod
Senior Programmer

525 768 1.5
I would imagine it's probably kids who haven't got credit cards, so they can't actually pay anything at all. Or people who don't want to input payment details so would rather just pirate it. I don't think the actual value is important, it's getting people to pay in the first place which is a big barrier.

Posted:2 years ago

#3

Alfonso Sexto
Lead Tester

806 636 0.8
Then you hear people that keeps saying that piracy is not as big of a deal.

Well, they should thing again... It was only a lousy Dollar for crying out loud!

Posted:2 years ago

#4

Peter Dwyer
Games Designer/Developer

481 290 0.6
Interesting take but, technically 1 dollar was the entry fee, followed by god knows how many more dollars in in-app purchases.

There seems to be a rebellion around games with in-app at the moment. People are starting to feel ripped off again. It's also doubtful the piracy had anything at all to do with price. Google Play simply has no protection for apps and so it's not exactly a chore for anyone to get any app for free on the service.

When google start taking app security seriously, then we will see piracy rates drop. Until then there is simply no barrier for anyone from a child to a determined pirate.

Posted:2 years ago

#5

Robin Clarke
Producer

303 691 2.3
We've seen this play out so many times, on J2ME and iOS before as well.

1. Make a game that's tightly targeted to the demographic would are most likely to know how to circumvent paying. (3D, console genre, teenager-friendly content)

2. Complain about ratio of pirates (most of whom would never have paid) to paying customers.

3. Make the game free (with IAPs), when anyone could have seen that it should have been free in the first place.

The number of Android devices out there, the lax security and the relative scarcity of high quality content means that the pirate:legit ratio will always be terrible.

There's a point at which you should probably just accept that you're not going to get everyone in China and Russia (and most people under the age of 15 in North America and Europe) from paying up, and instead focus on how best to serve the players that will pay.

Posted:2 years ago

#6
Google really is missing a trick by not having gift cards like Apple has for iTunes.

Posted:2 years ago

#7

Andrew
Animator

148 158 1.1
If the argument that everone who pirates a product is a lost sale was true I could accept a wider argument on this. But we all know that only a small portion of people who pirate a product would actually buy it if it was their only way to get it.

So yes, there might be a 9:1 (or whatever) ratio of pirated copies to legit ones. But that does no equate to a 9:1 ratio of lost sales vs sales. That number is probably more like 1:10. I would guess......

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Andrew on 24th July 2012 1:34pm

Posted:2 years ago

#8

Nicholas Pantazis
Senior Editor

1,020 1,467 1.4
Completely agreed with Robin and Alex. While piracy is an unfortunate reality, it's also been shown through many independent studies that most pirates in ANY market would never have purchased that product legitimately, and this includes the pirates of similarly cheap $.99 iTunes music. Instead of looking at pirates as lost sales, ignore them, and focus on benefiting and increasing your actual consumer base.

Also, people are kidding themselves if they don't think piracy is rampant on iOS as well. It takes a jailbreak, sure, but that's a common practice among the tech savvy, which games like this target pretty much exclusively.

Posted:2 years ago

#9

Nicholas Pantazis
Senior Editor

1,020 1,467 1.4
Completely agreed with Robin and Alex. While piracy is an unfortunate reality, it's also been shown through many independent studies that most pirates in ANY market would never have purchased that product legitimately, and this includes the pirates of similarly cheap $.99 iTunes music. Instead of looking at pirates as lost sales, ignore them, and focus on benefiting and increasing your actual consumer base.

Also, people are kidding themselves if they don't think piracy is rampant on iOS as well. It takes a jailbreak, sure, but that's a common practice among the tech savvy, which games like this target pretty much exclusively.

Posted:2 years ago

#10

Peter Dwyer
Games Designer/Developer

481 290 0.6
I see most people here get it. Piracy figures are always misleading as they don't represent lost sales. This stopped being a legitimate excuse for poor sales a long while ago as games like angry birds have so ably shown.

Posted:2 years ago

#11

Ian Brown
IT Developer / IT Infrastructure

107 26 0.2

Posted:2 years ago

#12
Another instance that disproves the theory that people pirate games because of their high price which some people use to justify piracy.

The other theory is Ian's above, that just because they pirate it doesn't mean they would've bought it in the first place, true to a degree but what it means is that they definitely won't buy it.

The arguments defending piracy are old and tiresome, it's theft pure and simple. I'm not saying I haven't downloaded anything but don't try and justify it as anything else.

Posted:2 years ago

#13

Robin Clarke
Producer

303 691 2.3
I don't think anyone is defending piracy. Just pointing out that it's never going to be completely eradicated. You seldom hear successful companies railing against it.

Posted:2 years ago

#14

Nicholas Pantazis
Senior Editor

1,020 1,467 1.4
Piracy isn't good, but it's a reality of the market. The problem is people use it as a scapegoat for other failings.

Posted:2 years ago

#15

Login or register to post

Take part in the GamesIndustry community

Register now