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Piracy - What to do?

From what I can tell about 10% of the downloads for The Hopping Dead were legit. The other 90% were from piracy sites, I even managed to track down some sites that had the game. So I'm trying to decide if I release a "Free" version of the game or just update the current version to be free and toss in some ads.

Just curious if anyone has any thoughts or experience with this. I'm currently leaning towards just updating the current game to be free with ads.

Comments

  • jigglybeanjigglybean Posts: 1,584Member

    You could read this

    I forget what game it was but it offered a multiplayer function and it actually had more players on their servers than sales. Something like 75% of their game was pirated.

    You have to decide if its costing you money or not. Or, try and turn it in to a PR thing and generate more sales. Maybe a light hearted story and then send out press releases to the mobile gaming sites

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  • RondoRocketRondoRocket Posts: 411Member

    Very good article @jigglybean.

    Each time I release a game I try something different with ads, IAP, free or paid but I had no idea piracy was so bad with iOS. But this is the first paid game I've released in a few years... guess the times have changed!

    Maybe I'll release a Lite version and see what happens. I'm guessing what is done is done and updating the paid version to a free with ads version won't change anything. I'll just use this as an experiment. :)

  • LovejoyLovejoy Posts: 2,078Member

    @RondoRocket hmm, are you sure your game is being pirated that bad? iOS iapps are not known to be hugely pirated, at least to that extent of 90%.

    Keep in mind that if you gave out promo codes, they are not going to count towards income earned but will show as app sales. Also, there are a lot of sites that show iOS apps but they end up linking to the app store, so you still get your money.

    Fortuna Infortuna Forti Una

  • RondoRocketRondoRocket Posts: 411Member

    @Lovejoy... sadly, I think it's pretty accurate. Even if I subtract the promo codes the math still doesn't work. I was under the same impression that there wasn't a bad piracy issue with iOS. The one pirating site I found my game on even had a download counter that said it had been downloaded 100 times... and that was just one site.

  • LovejoyLovejoy Posts: 2,078Member

    @RondoRocket said:
    Lovejoy... sadly, I think it's pretty accurate. Even if I subtract the promo codes the math still doesn't work. I was under the same impression that there wasn't a bad piracy issue with iOS. The one pirating site I found my game on even had a download counter that said it had been downloaded 100 times... and that was just one site.

    That is just terrible :(

    Fortuna Infortuna Forti Una

  • RondoRocketRondoRocket Posts: 411Member

    @Lovejoy said:
    That is just terrible :(

    It is... but I'm guessing most of the people that pirated the game wouldn't have bought it anyways. Oh well. :/

  • jigglybeanjigglybean Posts: 1,584Member

    Did you track this down to a country? Or has the pirating happened across the globe? Because if it was say just in Russia, which is very common, you could just boycott that country. But the problem then is, you are missing out on a big market

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  • jay2dxjay2dx Posts: 606Member

    how can you even tell the amount of downloads that are legit and pirated!

  • RondoRocketRondoRocket Posts: 411Member

    @jay2dx said:
    how can you even tell the amount of downloads that are legit and pirated!

    I can't but I can do math and I can loosely use GameCenter players and subtract promo codes then look at the amount of paid downloads and know it's a fraction of the number of players online. And from my experience the number of people on GameCenter is not nearly accurate for the total number of downloads. So my percentages could be worse.

  • ArmellineArmelline Posts: 4,753Member, PRO

    From what I understand, piracy is a huge problem in China, with more people using the piracy stores than Apple's own store. It's a problem that it's just not worth worrying about. Big corporations have spent decades trying to prevent piracy, and they have all failed. In the West, piracy is less of an issue but still a fairly prominent one. Ultimately, someone that wants to hack or pirate your game will do so, and time spent trying to stop them will be wasted time.

    I'd just try to resist the temptation to see a pirated copy as a lost sale, and move on. When I had my wonderful old Dreamcast, back when I was a student, I legitimately bought maybe 1/4 of the games I had. How many of those games I downloaded would I have actually paid for? Maybe one. Maybe.

    When Apple first released the App Store, I was using a jailbroken iPod touch. I'd jailbroken it to install games back when Apple were on their "web app only" kick. Since it was still jailbroken when the App Store came out, I installed a few pirated games. It was absurdly easy. Then I realised I was a) earning decent money at the time and b) pirating games that cost 99c and so I stopped very quickly. It had just been habit, I guess, something I was used to from when there was no legitimate source of games. I started using the App Store and never looked back. I don't even jailbreak any more.

    I'd bet 90% of those pirated copies are from China, and the remaining 10% are kids and teenagers who really wouldn't pay for your game anyway. I'd just ignore it entirely, if I were you, and focus on making great games instead of worrying about people who want everything for free.

  • RondoRocketRondoRocket Posts: 411Member

    @Armelline good info! Initially it was a shock since I hadn't released a paid app in years and I knew nothing about piracy on iOS. But I got some good feedback in this thread and they day is looking brighter! Now I'm off to McDonalds to get a value meal with my Hopping Dead money!

  • jigglybeanjigglybean Posts: 1,584Member
    edited March 2015

    I think that the industry needs to lean hard on Apple, Google and Amazon. They take a huge slice of the pie from a sale and they need to do much more to prevent this from happening.

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  • LovejoyLovejoy Posts: 2,078Member

    @RondoRocket said:
    Now I'm off to McDonalds to get a value meal with my Hopping Dead money!

    Maybe upgrade to a steak dinner in a few weeks? :p

    Fortuna Infortuna Forti Una

  • RondoRocketRondoRocket Posts: 411Member

    @Lovejoy said:
    Maybe upgrade to a steak dinner in a few weeks? :p

    You dream bigger than I do my friend! I might super size my meal... and maybe toss in an apple pie - if I dare! :o

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