Zombies Help Illustrate Piracy Problem on Android


Android Piracy Problem

Got the urge to kill some zombies? You can now do it for free on your Android device.

Madfinger Games, developer of the popular iOS and Android game “Dead Trigger”, recently dropped its price on the latter’s Google Play service. And by “dropped” we actually mean: eliminated. The game is now available for free, reduced from its original 99-cent asking price.

The main reason? Every software developer’s nightmare: piracy.

Madfinger recently posted this on their official Facebook page:

“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. – However, even for one buck, the piracy rate is soooo giant, that we finally decided to provide DEAD TRIGGER for free.”

So if you’re an Android user, downloading this addictive zombie game just became a no-brainer (pun intended!)

Conversely, iOS users will still need to pay $0.99 to give zombies the “Double Tap”.

Dead Trigger for Android

Madfinger isn’t the only developer to be – well, mad – about Android’s piracy problem. Within two weeks of releasing their Football Manager Handheld game, developer Sports Interactive stated that the estimated piracy rate was a shocking 9:1.

In case you failed Grade 4 math, that means one game sale for every nine illegal downloads.

Korean developer com2uS (developer of one of my personal favourites – Homerun Battle,) once said piracy rates are as high as 98%.

Google’s solution to this? Look to the Bean!

App encryption is a new feature being developed as part of the Android Jelly Bean 4.1 application, which developers describe like so:

“From Jelly Bean and forward, paid apps in Google Play are encrypted with a device-specific key before they are delivered and stored on the device.”

Time will tell if this feature will help fix the problem. In the meantime, will this issue make developers hesitant to port their iOS games over to Android?

Although don’t forget – piracy may not be a bad thing.

[via theguardian]


  • Really now?

    This story is making the rounds, so mission acomplished for Madfinger. But I can’t believe how small minded this is. Say 9:1 is the piracy rate, that’s still potentially a lot of people buying, and the others? They are finding out whether your game design is worth paying for. I’ve never pirated a game, I love the industry too much. But I wish all these companies could pull their heads out of you know where and continue to provide experiences that people WANT to pay for. I mean you made a game about shooting zombies… Did you expect game of the year and piles of cash on your desks?? Hypocrites (aren’t we all though).

  • definingsound

    “Dead Trigger” push “in-app purchases” (IAP’s) hard, so I think that MadFinger has dropped the price from $0.99 to $0 (not a big change at all) to pursue the business model that many many other publishers have gone to. 3 of the top 5 IAP’s are $2.99 or more. These piracy numbers are unfounded, and the real reason for the price drop is to compete with other great $0 games that use IAP’s for revenue.

  • Thanks for the comment. Well, this article only speaks to what Madfinger actually said, not what they actually mean. And what they said was – the main reason is piracy. Are the numbers unfounded? Maybe so, I can’t speak for the source. But it’s an interesting story nonetheless. Although I would say if they are unfounded, why is there more than one developer complaining about the same thing? They may just be estimates, but there can be no doubt that piracy is rampant.

  • What do you mean by “want” to pay for? No one “wants” to pay for anything! Are you insinuating some kind of “donation” system? (i.e. like our game, then give us money?)

  • Really

    Actually I do want to pay for my games. I am aware that there are costs envolved in making them, and I want the developpers to make money from their labours. I certainly don’t think they should promote pirating, but attacking it seems unnecessarily aggressive. We’re moving to all online and everything is digital. We used to lend each other games and music tapes, record off the radio etc. that’s not how it works anymore, “pirating” has taken the place of the activities. It’s just easier and more adapted to the online age. Adobe now has me as a paying customer because I used to pirate their software. I used that pirated software to learn how to use it. Now I’d rather stick to what I know and I can afford it (Creative Cloud makes it even easier)

  • Really

    True, “piracy” is rampant. So were mixtapes and people lending each other media before it was coined as piracy. It’s just so much more visible now, with statistics and whatnot. I understand the burden on content makers, but those like Rovio and Adobe who get that it’s just the new way to share things seem all the less stressed out as far as companies go. You’re not “losing money

  • Really

    Oh man guys I give up. This commenting system is the laggiest and buggiest I’ve ever encountered on iOS… Amd we’re “iPhoneinCanada”!! I’d be a regular commenter here if it weren’t for this, and I’m certainly not the only one miffed by this. Please guys, do something about this.

  • Do you have a Disqus account? If so, I haven’t found it to be that buggy. Then again, I admittedly haven’t used it on my mobile device, because I can’t type as fast on there. I prefer to use my laptop. 🙂 I’ll pass your feedback along though.

  • But if you have a Disqus account and access from a computer (non-mobile) it works great. But I do agree, it should be great from a mobile perspective as well.

  • Very good point. Piracy is rampant everywhere, not just with games. I posted a link within my article, to that Rovio story. They have an interesting perspective on it.

  • Kudos to you for wanting to pay for games and give developers what they deserve. However my guess is that most people do not share that opinion with you. I’d wager the majority of people would rather just get it for free!

  • Really

    Yes as I recall, it works fine on the mac. But I don’t read blogs on my mac, I lazily read them when I wake up in bed. When I have something to say, that’s when I’d say it. I’m not going to make a note of it and reply hours later on my mac… Which frankly is missing the point. Replying on a site that’s about iOS should be easy to do on an iOS device. All I’m saying really. You’re certainly not the only site with this problem, but man this is the one I wish I could comment on regularly, hence why I’m taking the time to write this now. Funny thing is, my mac is open just a few feet away, but browsing and replying to blogs is such an iPhone type task to me that I didn’t even think to hop over there and write this comment!

  • Can you tell us the error message you get when trying to comment from your iPhone? Or send a screenshot link via our contract form.

  • Btw thanks for continuing to comment on this site despite this continued frustration! We encourage it and have fun reading and responding!