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Piracy forced Dead Trigger Android to go free instead of 79p

by Mark Tyson on 23 July 2012, 17:00

Tags: Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), PC

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A popular zombie shooting FPS for smartphones, Dead Trigger is now available free to download from the Google Play store. The developer, Madfinger Games, previously had the game on sale for a piffling $0.99 (79p) but in the face of mass piracy has decided to just let anyone have the game for free. The iOS version is still $0.99.

Madfinger Games, also developers of the Shadowgun and Samurai mobile games series, issued a statement on its Facebook page to explain the decision. “Regarding price drop. HERE is our statement. The main reason: piracy rate on Android devices, that was unbelievably high.” The company previously thought the bargain basement price tag would prevent mass piracy but it proved not to be the case. “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. Anyway - DEAD TRIGGER is not FREEMIUM, it always was and still remains FREE-TO-PLAY, that means, 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.” Indeed the developer may still be able to make money though IAP (In App Purchases), with many many more downloads due to its new free price tag it will be interesting to see how that income compares to income from games sales.

This latest episode in the Android piracy saga has annoyed a lot of people who recently bought the Dead Trigger game using their hard earned cash. Writing a one star review on Google Play, a typical buyer, feeling a bit cheated, said “Feel I have wasted money. Now FREE, where’s my £0.75” another said “Seriously?!?! I Pay For This, And Some Time Later, They Just Give This Game Away For Free, Which It Should Have Been In The First Place!!! Last MadFinger Game I'll Ever Purchase!!! FU MadFinger!!!” and most simply of all another annoyed user spat “I want my money back”.

Looking at the other side of the equation, if games developing companies find it less and less rewarding to develop for the Android platform then new software development may decline. There are several examples of Android developers becoming frustrated with the piracy rate of their apps. Appy Entertainment told of the crippling Android piracy rate in October last year. “The piracy rate on Android was 70 to 1 compared to 3 to 1 on iOS”. Another developer thought piracy was too cultivated a word for what is happening on Android, likening the situation more to the lawlessness of the Wild West.

Google’s new Android Jelly Bean 4.1 OS offers App Encryption functions that mean “paid apps are always transferred and stored in encrypted form” tied to a device specific key. Google’s description of App Encryption states “We know you work hard building your apps. We work hard to protect your investment.” However I would say it will be quite a long time before Android Jelly Bean OS and newer devices make up the majority of the Android ecosystem.

HEXUS Forums :: 45 Comments

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The sense of entitlement some people have is just unbelievable. That level of moaning because they have been “cheated” from a whole 75 pence.

I can barely imagine how demoralised Madfinger Games must feel right now.
Just like to say that I paid for it and I think it's a shame that there's so much piracy with even such a low price BUT I would ask how they arrived at said figure.
The sense of entitlement some people have is just unbelievable. That level of moaning because they have been “cheated” from a whole 75 pence. I can barely imagine how demoralised Madfinger Games must feel right now.
It IS annoying (and I'm one of the folks who happily paid the 75p - actually I'd have paid a lot more to not have any IAP's - say £10) to feel that you've paid for something that a lot of folks are now getting for nothing. So don't trot out that “you're a cheapskate” nonsense - it's not the amount it's the principle! :p

Actually pseudo joking aside, it's the pirates that I'm a LOT more angry at - heck 75p (or whatever the dollar/cent equivalent is) doesn't buy you more than a choccie bar these days, and some folks begrudge even that. :censored:

I'm lead to wonder though whether app developers are also being a little bit lazy. I've certainly had Android apps that were pretty firmly locked to one device, and you had to “deactivate” that install to be able to migrate it to another one. So if one company can do it, then surely others can too. Although it would mean that you'd have to get the software and buy a license key as two operations I guess, but I'm sure that there's a way to streamline that too. Or allow you to download the software, but you then have to register it (in app) and the app checks (every few startups) whether you're on the same device and aborts if you aren't.

Game's not bad either (Galaxy SIII for me) although I've spotted a couple of horrendous bugs in the version I got (for which there's since been a patch - maybe quashing the problems I found). Only downside is that it drains your battery pretty horribly.
`people` will complain even when its pirated……
“OMG!” it was 75p but is now FREE! Then people moan they spent 75p to help dev' a game. Final proof many gamers have more teeth than I.Q.