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Google Android piracy rate 9:1 for Football Manager Handheld

Sports Interactive believes the piracy rate is abnormally high, but still supports the platform

Football Manager Handheld developer Sports Interactive believes there's still promise in the Android platform despite seeing a 9:1 piracy rate on the platform. With Football Manager only on the market for two weeks, Sports Interactive studio director Miles Jacobson said the piracy rate is already the worst he's ever seen due to certain factors.

"For a start, there's no working copy protection on the platform currently, so it's pretty easy for someone to get it working. The platform is also very popular in some countries where there's a larger piracy problem than in others," Jacobson told Eurogamer.

Jacobson cites the piracy rate of Football Manager 2009 for PC, Mac, and PlayStation Portable, as 5:1 up until the middle of March. He also notes that piracy creates extra costs for the studio.

"Typically piracy gets worse later into a game's lifecycle, so this would have ended worse than that, as the Android version likely will too," he said.

"There are server costs for downloads of skins, extra customer support and QA costs (because many pirates still ask for customer service), costs of looking into future business models to protect things better, costs associated with taking down links to pirated versions of the game - all these things take time, money and have an opportunity cost too, as that time could be spent doing other things."

Despite the rampant piracy, Jacobson still wants to support the Android platform.

"If it doesn't hit targets, then we won't be doing another one for the platform - that's a simple business decision though for a couple of months' time," he said. "We certainly hope to continue to support it - there are still lots of honest people out there who want games on their platform of choice, and we want to be able to provide that to them. So hopefully we still can!"

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Mike Williams: M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.
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