Popular Android Dev Blasts Pirates for Forcing Him Freemium

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Popular Android Dev Blasts Pirates for Forcing Him Freemium

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Last week developer Rabas made his game free-to-play, and now he explains why.

You may recall that Dead Trigger - the zombie gun-fun app from Madfinger Games - went free-to-play on Android last week, and the developer cited piracy as the reason why. Madfinger CEO Marek Rabas has since gone on the record with a lengthy statement, blasting some "ridiculous myths" that he says pirates use to justify their actions.

"I think that games development is not easy job," Rabas declares, as he denies any desire on his studio's part to become the next Disney. "Yes, we love it, but as a developer you must be able to endure many things." But he gets very angry when he contemplates the piracy rate, which according to him accounts for "80% to 90% of the people [who] do not respect your hard work and steal the game."

Rabas first takes issue with the crowd who claim that, because there was no demo, they pirated in order to try before they bought. "In our case, that's simply not true. Some of our games have demos, but the piracy rate was same for games with demo as for games without." Then there's the bunch who say that they still pay for games even though they have a jailbroken device. "Then I do not understand how the number of pirates on iOS is comparable with the amount of jailbroken devices." If the number of pirates is comparable with the number of jailbroken devices then, Rabas says, the number of people legitimately purchasing on a jailbroken device can't be large. He estimates it at less than 1%.

Then there's those who say that developers should do more to make their games attractive to buyers. Frequent updates, new content and other goodies will sweeten the pot and keep customers coming back. "In my opinion, the amount of piracy is equal to how easy the pirating is, and the game developer has nothing to do with it." Rabas thinks that in an age when anyone - no matter how technically adept - can pirate at the flick of a finger, new content does nothing to prevent piracy. "[Piracy is] definitely more easy than setting up an account on iTunes or Google Play, filling out large forms and answering all security questions."

Rabas knows he's not going to be popular for saying it, but he's tired of making games for the 80% to 90%, the players who say they love games like his but who aren't prepared to pay for them. He hopes the companies who make the hardware will do their bit to help the market become secure, but for the moment he thinks his only option is to go freemium.. He'd rather do that and anger the hardcore players than go broke. "What would you do, if you have to take care about your family, employees, etc?"

The full text of Rabas' statement can be found here.

Source: Eurogamer

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Someone did tell him that his games will be cracked no matter what right? F2P is the solution in his case and if he utilizes it correctly then they'll be raking in tons of dough.

Welcome to the Publisher's bandwagon, refreshments are served 24 hours a day in the buffet cart.

Perhaps if he hadn't decided a paid app, that then withheld the good weapons, and other bits for people willing to pay extra, he may have found the market a little more forgiving. (I use iOS, so my experience is based on the App Store version of Dead Trigger which at the time was $4.99, and charged for gold, and automatic weapons.)

You made two mistakes. One, charging for half a game and expecting people to pay even more for the rest of it. Two, releasing on Android, an OS you should have known is open, and should have known it has a massive piracy problem.

Cry moar, your tears are delicious.

The question isn't how many people pirated, the question is how many people purchased. If not enough people bought for you to stay in business then quit. Don't whine about it, just quit and find another job. Let other suckers make the fun games you want to play. Business programming/project management pays more and is less stressful than developing games.

Making people buy half the game then selling them the other half through pushy in-game stores is scummy and doesn't deserve a reward. I hope this guy gets out of the business, he obviously can't hack it.

"Ridiculous myths"? Like blaming Pirates for the failure your terrible business model?

That guy is ridiculous. The 'try before you buy' piracy exists, demos or not. The blame for that lies squarely with game publisher's and retailer's policies of 'fuck you consumer, no refunds ever'.

I mean, would you pay € 50 to purchase a plain box with unknown content that contains 'a game' that may or may not work and may or may not be enjoyable? No, you wouldn't. And gamers as a whole are no exception to this sentiment. I do feel that the effect of buying a game you already downloaded for free is also overestimated, but the high prices and no returning or refunding policies are definately contributing to piracy.
Just apply it to any other product: Would you buy a car that looks shiny in the showroom, but that may have the engine missing and you're not allowed to get your money back if it turns out that way?
Yet, games developers often try to sell this ridiculous concept.

Also, like others pointed out, the guy tried to sell half games for full price. People don't like being scammed like that, so his business got sunk over it. That's how it works.

Was going to say 'Inb4 pirates slamming a guy who's working hard to make a game complaining that lots of people are stealing it'

However pirates and pirate defenders are so quick off the mark to attack anybody who critiques or complains about what happens, it's impossible. :(

Blablahb:
That guy is ridiculous. The 'try before you buy' piracy exists, demos or not. The blame for that lies squarely with game publisher's and retailer's policies of 'fuck you consumer, no refunds ever'.

I mean, would you pay € 50 to purchase a plain box with unknown content that contains 'a game' that may or may not work and may or may not be enjoyable? No, you wouldn't. And gamers as a whole are no exception to this sentiment. I do feel that the effect of buying a game you already downloaded for free is also overestimated, but the high prices and no returning or refunding policies are definately contributing to piracy.

Also, like others pointed out, the guy tried to sell half games for full price. People don't like being scammed like that, so his business got sunk over it. That's how it works.

BLAH BLAH, the same old tried justification for theft. I only robbed the bank because they wouldn't lend me the money to by a Ferrari. If you don't like something don't buy it and he will soon got out of business. If you like it enough to steal a half game the you can pay for it. Anything else amoral bullshit.

So who was saying piracy benefitted the industry? If you still think that your delusional, pirates are mostly scum who cannot justify their actions.

Piracy is surely less of a problem on iOS - on Android, well I can only agree that piracy is a huge concern, it stops developers even targetting the Android platform.

I will say though, that Dead Trigger didn't feel too bad, I got some 'gold' to buy the nice weapons, it didn't feel like the game was being held to ransom - I'd happily pay a few quid for the game if it wasn't freemium, more than I spent on 'gold' for sure.

Between this and all the feminism threads, I'm starting to believe that a large portion of the Escapist community has no capacity to take criticism. Justify piracy all you want, you do it because it's free. If you had to pay a dollar each time you pirated a game, all your excuses would evaporate.

I personally hold no real sympathy for someone who makes yet another hackneyed zombie FPS, charges 5 dollars for it with no demo and then tries to charge more for more perks. I didn't buy nor pirate it, but it's strange how through the whole rant he never says what is wrong with "freemium" and why it's so horrible to go to it. It's become the norm on Android for a reason, and quality games that do it right make shittons of money on it.

In business, you adapt, you don't endlessly bitch and moan about people taking the path of least resistance to get your game and expect the government to swoop in and bail you out by passing censorship laws or expect people to just change because you "debunked" them.

Stripes:
So who was saying piracy benefitted the industry? If you still think that your delusional, pirates are mostly scum who cannot justify their actions.

Well the thing is most pirates dont give a flying fuck what game developers think and dont need to justify their actions to anybody. Its the small minority of pussy assed little bitches who think they are entitled to everything that you hear trying to justify it.

hentropy:
I didn't buy nor pirate it, but it's strange how through the whole rant he never says what is wrong with "freemium" and why it's so horrible to go to it.

Technically, he does. See, he wanted to charge people to buy the game AND for the "Freemium" style perks. And now he can't double-dip!

I'm sure if I tried very, very hard, I could give less of a fuck about this guy's whinging. But I don't give enough of a fuck to put in the extra effort.

I would like to see some proof that 80-90% of people pirated his game. Other than "It made 80-90% less money than we predicted".

I would also like to see proof that the majority of people who pirated the game would have bought it if they couldn't have pirated it.

As I've said before,
1) No one ever blames bad sales on the product being shit anymore, it's always some scapegoat or another like "piracy" or "used sales".
2) There are so many free-to-play games on the Android market that no one is going risk spending money on what may or may not be a shit game.

albino boo:

Blablahb:
That guy is ridiculous. The 'try before you buy' piracy exists, demos or not. The blame for that lies squarely with game publisher's and retailer's policies of 'fuck you consumer, no refunds ever'.

I mean, would you pay € 50 to purchase a plain box with unknown content that contains 'a game' that may or may not work and may or may not be enjoyable? No, you wouldn't. And gamers as a whole are no exception to this sentiment. I do feel that the effect of buying a game you already downloaded for free is also overestimated, but the high prices and no returning or refunding policies are definately contributing to piracy.

Also, like others pointed out, the guy tried to sell half games for full price. People don't like being scammed like that, so his business got sunk over it. That's how it works.

BLAH BLAH, the same old tried justification for theft. I only robbed the bank because they wouldn't lend me the money to by a Ferrari. If you don't like something don't buy it and he will soon got out of business. If you like it enough to steal a half game the you can pay for it. Anything else amoral bullshit.

If it makes no difference to the sale figures, what does it matter? Who are you to enforce your morality onto others?

rembrandtqeinstein:
The question isn't how many people pirated, the question is how many people purchased.

Actually, that is the question: How many people are PLAYING THE GAME, with or without paying? See, that tells us that the game is good enough that people want to play it. If a game was truly awful, or just boring and uninteresting, people wouldn't play it.

If someone goes out of their way to pirate a game and play it, the only reasonable conclusion to draw is that they are interested in the game. And if they're playing on a pirated copy, that means they enjoy it enough to continue playing. Any other conclusion is just blindly ignoring reason.

The Plunk:
I would also like to see proof that the majority of people who pirated the game would have bought it if they couldn't have pirated it.

But that burden of proof isn't on him. He made the product. It's his. So anyone that HAS the product that didn't PAY him for the product is clearly in the wrong. See, by downloading and using the product, they've made a clear statement: "I am interested in this game."

Which assumption makes more sense? A: Someone goes out of their way to illegally download and spend time playing a game in which they have no interest, or B: Someone is interested in a game, but before they can see the price tag, they find out they can just get it for free. People don't go out of their way to get things they're not interested in, but people LOVE to get stuff for free.

To in any way conclude that the majority of pirated copies are not some kind of lost sale? It's borderline psychotic in its complete disregard for reality.

As I've said before,
1) No one ever blames bad sales on the product being shit anymore, it's always some scapegoat or another like "piracy" or "used sales".
2) There are so many free-to-play games on the Android market that no one is going risk spending money on what may or may not be a shit game.

And do you know what the proper solution is to either of those? Don't play the game. If the game is crap, or you suspect it might be crap, just go with one of the many other games. If you don't like the developer's business practice? Go support another developer.

The fact that these pirates can't just walk away from the game is even further proof that they very much want it. It's just they want it for free. It has nothing to do with the quality of the game (Check the data -- better games get pirated more). It has nothing to do with the business practices of the developer. There are only two factors:

1. They want the game.
2. They can get it for free.

And that's it. Those are the only two facts. If you choose to bring any other element into this, the burden of proof is on you.

The Plunk:
I would like to see some proof that 80-90% of people pirated his game. Other than "It made 80-90% less money than we predicted".

I would also like to see proof that the majority of people who pirated the game would have bought it if they couldn't have pirated it.

As I've said before,
1) No one ever blames bad sales on the product being shit anymore, it's always some scapegoat or another like "piracy" or "used sales".
2) There are so many free-to-play games on the Android market that no one is going risk spending money on what may or may not be a shit game.

You do know that the Android is notorious for high piracy rates right? Because it is an open platform? Most games have to be free to play to be able to make any money because of piracy. Just because you want to seem all tough denying piracy as a problem, it is. More so on the Android.

Hell, heres another article about the same problem.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/118653-Unbelievably-High-Android-Piracy-Drives-Dev-to-Free-To-Play

Even ANDROID ITSELF acknowledges the piracy problem.

"This isn't the first time the Android platform has been recognized for its piracy problems. Even outside of the occasional console emulator, official apps can see anywhere from 5 to 9 illegal downloads per legitimate purchase. The open-source nature of Android seems to make piracy harder to combat compared to other operating systems, as noted by the fact that Dead Trigger's iOS version still requires a 99 cent purchase."

The Plunk:
I would like to see some proof that 80-90% of people pirated his game. Other than "It made 80-90% less money than we predicted".

I would also like to see proof that the majority of people who pirated the game would have bought it if they couldn't have pirated it.

In regards to figuring out rate of piracy, it's kind of easy with things such as mobile games. Dead Trigger features several online features, such as Twitter/Facebook updates and in-app purchases, things that indicate that someone plays the game. From there it's easy to figure out by pure numbers in regards to how many people are playing the game versus how many people bought the game. I'm not sure how much really did pirate, but at the same time whatever percentage did pirate is actually from an easy to see correlation, not as you said a drop in expected sales.

As I've said before,
1) No one ever blames bad sales on the product being shit anymore, it's always some scapegoat or another like "piracy" or "used sales".

Sometimes the scapegoat of piracy exists for a reason: it doesn't always happen, but sometimes you get the odd game, often digital games, that piracy actually has a negative effect on, enough so that other games go free-to-play from the start in order to avoid the potential of piracy ruining sales. Dead Trigger is one of those rare games where piracy actually may have had a negative effect.

2) There are so many free-to-play games on the Android market that no one is going risk spending money on what may or may not be a shit game.

That isn't an excuse. If you can afford an Android then you can afford to pay a dollar for a game. If you think the game may be shit and don't want to waste the dollar, then don't play it. You can't just turn around and play it for free because "It may be shit", since if you think it may be shit, you shouldn't try to go out and play it. This is an excuse maybe to bring demos to the Android store, but not to pirate games

If it makes no difference to the sale figures, what does it matter? Who are you to enforce your morality onto others?

Because with the exception of maybe "I can't get this game in my country legally anyways, so piracy is the ONLY way I can play it", there is no other justification for piracy. Even if it doesn't affect sales figures for certain games, it's still piss-poor behavior. If you can afford the console/device necessary to play the game, you can afford to play the game. If you can't afford to play it, either save up money or don't play the game.

I don't think piracy killed his game. I think making a derivative, sub-par, genre-heavy shooter with an overt money extraction mechanism was a terrible idea.

Dastardly:

rembrandtqeinstein:
The question isn't how many people pirated, the question is how many people purchased.

Actually, that is the question: How many people are PLAYING THE GAME, with or without paying? See, that tells us that the game is good enough that people want to play it. If a game was truly awful, or just boring and uninteresting, people wouldn't play it.

If someone goes out of their way to pirate a game and play it, the only reasonable conclusion to draw is that they are interested in the game. And if they're playing on a pirated copy, that means they enjoy it enough to continue playing. Any other conclusion is just blindly ignoring reason.

No, it shows that they enjoy the game, but not enough to warrant paying the price that the developer has set for it.

The Plunk:
I would also like to see proof that the majority of people who pirated the game would have bought it if they couldn't have pirated it.

But that burden of proof isn't on him. He made the product. It's his. So anyone that HAS the product that didn't PAY him for the product is clearly in the wrong. See, by downloading and using the product, they've made a clear statement: "I am interested in this game."

Which assumption makes more sense? A: Someone goes out of their way to illegally download and spend time playing a game in which they have no interest, or B: Someone is interested in a game, but before they can see the price tag, they find out they can just get it for free. People don't go out of their way to get things they're not interested in, but people LOVE to get stuff for free.

To in any way conclude that the majority of pirated copies are not some kind of lost sale? It's borderline psychotic in its complete disregard for reality.

Piracy hardly requires one to go "out of their way". And piracy does not show interest because I expect a lot of pirates will play it for just a few minutes before moving onto something else.

As I've said before,
1) No one ever blames bad sales on the product being shit anymore, it's always some scapegoat or another like "piracy" or "used sales".
2) There are so many free-to-play games on the Android market that no one is going risk spending money on what may or may not be a shit game.

And do you know what the proper solution is to either of those? Don't play the game. If the game is crap, or you suspect it might be crap, just go with one of the many other games. If you don't like the developer's business practice? Go support another developer.

How do you know the game is crap if you haven't played it?

The fact that these pirates can't just walk away from the game is even further proof that they very much want it. It's just they want it for free. It has nothing to do with the quality of the game (Check the data -- better games get pirated more). It has nothing to do with the business practices of the developer. There are only two factors:

1. They want the game.
2. They can get it for free.

And that's it. Those are the only two facts. If you choose to bring any other element into this, the burden of proof is on you.

Hence why going free-to-play solves all of the problems. The cheapskates get to play for free and the developer gets to keep control of their game and continue to make profit through microtransactions.

thethird0611:

The Plunk:
I would like to see some proof that 80-90% of people pirated his game. Other than "It made 80-90% less money than we predicted".

I would also like to see proof that the majority of people who pirated the game would have bought it if they couldn't have pirated it.

As I've said before,
1) No one ever blames bad sales on the product being shit anymore, it's always some scapegoat or another like "piracy" or "used sales".
2) There are so many free-to-play games on the Android market that no one is going risk spending money on what may or may not be a shit game.

You do know that the Android is notorious for high piracy rates right? Because it is an open platform? Most games have to be free to play to be able to make any money because of piracy. Just because you want to seem all tough denying piracy as a problem, it is. More so on the Android.

Hell, heres another article about the same problem.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/118653-Unbelievably-High-Android-Piracy-Drives-Dev-to-Free-To-Play

Even ANDROID ITSELF acknowledges the piracy problem.

"This isn't the first time the Android platform has been recognized for its piracy problems. Even outside of the occasional console emulator, official apps can see anywhere from 5 to 9 illegal downloads per legitimate purchase. The open-source nature of Android seems to make piracy harder to combat compared to other operating systems, as noted by the fact that Dead Trigger's iOS version still requires a 99 cent purchase."

I refuse to believe that 80-90% of people playing a game are pirates. It's absurd.
Also, the PC is an open source platform, yet piracy hasn't crippled PC gaming, has it?

Eternal_Lament:

The Plunk:
I would like to see some proof that 80-90% of people pirated his game. Other than "It made 80-90% less money than we predicted".

I would also like to see proof that the majority of people who pirated the game would have bought it if they couldn't have pirated it.

In regards to figuring out rate of piracy, it's kind of easy with things such as mobile games. Dead Trigger features several online features, such as Twitter/Facebook updates and in-app purchases, things that indicate that someone plays the game. From there it's easy to figure out by pure numbers in regards to how many people are playing the game versus how many people bought the game. I'm not sure how much really did pirate, but at the same time whatever percentage did pirate is actually from an easy to see correlation, not as you said a drop in expected sales.

I'd still like to see some proof from this guy in the article.

As I've said before,
1) No one ever blames bad sales on the product being shit anymore, it's always some scapegoat or another like "piracy" or "used sales".

Sometimes the scapegoat of piracy exists for a reason: it doesn't always happen, but sometimes you get the odd game, often digital games, that piracy actually has a negative effect on, enough so that other games go free-to-play from the start in order to avoid the potential of piracy ruining sales. Dead Trigger is one of those rare games where piracy actually may have had a negative effect.

Most of these games like Dead Trigger would have flopped with or without piracy. The free-to-play model is the way forward.

2) There are so many free-to-play games on the Android market that no one is going risk spending money on what may or may not be a shit game.

That isn't an excuse. If you can afford an Android then you can afford to pay a dollar for a game. If you think the game may be shit and don't want to waste the dollar, then don't play it. You can't just turn around and play it for free because "It may be shit", since if you think it may be shit, you shouldn't try to go out and play it. This is an excuse maybe to bring demos to the Android store, but not to pirate games

Then no one plays the game and we all lose.

If it makes no difference to the sale figures, what does it matter? Who are you to enforce your morality onto others?

Because with the exception of maybe "I can't get this game in my country legally anyways, so piracy is the ONLY way I can play it", there is no other justification for piracy. Even if it doesn't affect sales figures for certain games, it's still piss-poor behavior. If you can afford the console/device necessary to play the game, you can afford to play the game. If you can't afford to play it, either save up money or don't play the game.

I don't think there's any point in worrying about what technically immoral things some people may be getting up to if it doesn't have any effects on other people. That's like people complaining about gay marriage.

The Plunk:
No, it shows that they enjoy the game, but not enough to warrant paying the price that the developer has set for it.

Now, is that because the price is unreasonable, or because every price ever is unreasonable when placed next to Free? Again, basic human psychology here: Free beats ANY price. Consider those name-your-own-price bundles where folks couldn't be bothered to chip in a penny.

But that's beside the point. The point is this: we must recognize piracy as an expression of interest in the game. Not interested = wouldn't even download. And, as you rightly mentioned, they're just not "$X interested." Maybe it's $60. Maybe it's $10. Maybe it's $5. They're not interested enough to pay full price.

Okay. But they are, without a doubt, greater than "$0 interested" in the game. They might have paid half price, or maybe a couple bucks, but it stands to reason that (if a free, pirated version were not available) this person would have paid at least something.

And that's a lost sale. Not a full-price sale, but it's clearly lost revenue. How much exactly? That we can't know, because we introduce the FREE version that undercuts any price, meaning the developer is engaged in unfair competition with their own product.

Now, I could allow that there are a few pirates out there with minor brain damage, and they have a habit of downloading and playing things while having at all times zero interest in the product. But they hardly make up the majority, as someone of that intellectual caliber will almost certainly drink motor oil or roll around in used needles or forget to breathe before long.

Most pirates? By pirating the game, they have expressed greater than $0 worth of interest in the product. The introduction of a free version means the developer isn't able to benefit from that interest -- maybe it's just $.50, who knows? That's a lost sale.

It's sad how many people will blast this guy because they want to justify their actions.

Piracy is never justifiable, if you wanna pirate something, fine do so, but don't think it somehow makes you better than someone who shoplifts.

If you pirate games, you are breaking the law no matter how you justify it.

and just because I said that

The Plunk:

I'd still like to see some proof from this guy in the article.

If you read the article from last week, you would see that that very proof. It mentions the very nature that Android piracy is higher than other devices. I believe it even links to the full interview that the guy did that explains the ratios of played versions of the game versus bough versions of the game

Most of these games like Dead Trigger would have flopped with or without piracy. The free-to-play model is the way forward.

So the pirates are simply showing developers the error of their ways in regards to business models? I don't buy that argument. Besides, as discussed, this was on the ANDROID version of the game. The game is also available on the iPhone, a more closed device than the Android, where sales are decent. Maybe the markets are different between iPhone and Android, but I'm going to take a guess that sales for the Android version would've been better if it weren't for the rampant piracy of the game.

Then no one plays the game and we all lose.

How? No seriously, how does going about the model of "I want to play the game. Can I afford it? No? Okay, I wont play it then until I can afford it" cause everyone to lose? In what scenario does legitimate spending somehow ruin everything? Are you saying that if you personally can't afford the game then rather than being patient and saving enough money to play it that you'll just go and pirate it? That's just entitlement to a whole new level.

I don't think there's any point in worrying about what technically immoral things some people may be getting up to if it doesn't have any effects on other people. That's like people complaining about gay marriage.

First off, don't cheapen the argument by saying that people complaining about piracy is akin to complaining about gay marriage. It cheapens the argument and is frankly insulting. Me and several others in the thread have complained about piracy, are we also intent on getting rid of gay marriage? Second, this scenario isn't "technically" immoral, it's just straight up immoral. The guy takes time and money to make a game, releases it for the ultra cheap at 99 cents, and because of stupid pirates that go "Herp a derp, I want ur game but don't want to pay for it! It's my right to play whatever I want, even if you worked on this, so I'll pirate it! Herp derp, whatever, I do what I want!", he now isn't getting properly compensated for his work.

I don't understand pirating minor apps that cost in the neighborhood of a couple bucks, that are delivered digitally onto a device for which the user is paying in the neighborhood of 50 times the app cost per month to use it. If you have an app capable phone, you ain't poor under any definition. (you might be poor and be stupid enough to put way too many resources into a phone, I suppose).

I don't know about this company, but many app companies are just starting out in the software biz. Android is a tough market.

Ok, well this is going to be fun! Just because you cant believe it doesnt make it not real. Lets look at some truth to these things.

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-04-24-football-manager-dev-hopes-to-stick-with-android-despite-9-1-piracy-rate

Just from their verified statistics, there is a 5:1 piracy rate. Thats low balling their estimate to! Now pair that with this news post and...
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/118653-Unbelievably-High-Android-Piracy-Drives-Dev-to-Free-To-Play

You do know that the Android system is also set up for users to mess around and change things right? PC is a base system developed for the masses as an easy to use tool for a personal computer.

Two different concepts, two different uses, two different effects on piracy.

Again, just because you 'cant believe' piracy isnt that high, doesnt mean it isnt. Evidence (even statistical evidence), supports that piracy isnt running paid apps to the ground in the Android area.

Saviordd1:
It's sad how many people will blast this guy because they want to justify their actions.

Piracy is never justifiable, if you wanna pirate something, fine do so, but don't think it somehow makes you better than someone who shoplifts.

People aren't blasting the guy because they defend pirates, rather mr. Rabas is derided because he might aswell blame the wind.
Pirates exists sure as gravity. Everything gets pirated. Pirates are not your audience. You simply ignore them and you certainly cannot stop them.

Plenty of good games do sell very well.
So if your game doesn't sell it means the legit guys aren't interested either and you should look more closely at your own product.

Oh god why did Critical Miss have to make that comic...

dont charge rediculous amounts of money for a min of game and a life time of cut scenes *cough* fps's *cough* then people wont do it. it doesnt cost the world for a box and a disc or even just an online download and if u charged less then more would buy it...

ive got more respect for pirates who have the guts and honesty to just outright say they are pirating because they dont want to pay money

Dastardly:

If someone goes out of their way to pirate a game and play it, the only reasonable conclusion to draw is that they are interested in the game.

Interested, or dedicated to it? When you buy a game, you are dedicated to it. Yes, you can't argue that people aren't interested in a game when they pirate it, but you can't expect that interest to mean the game has value to that person. Say this guy could see exactly how many people played his game, and that's what he's basing his comments on. Does he have the facts about how long each player played? If they just booted it for a few minutes, he might get a unique ID on that person having played it, but I doubt he knows if that person liked it enough to care to play it more. It's THOSE people he should be concerned about, because they did pirate it, and they did like it enough to keep playing. To those, the game does have value, and it is criminal for them to keep playing without paying for it.

His mistake is trying to poke holes in the pirates' arguments. It's a waste of time, because pirates themselves don't believe their own arguments. The constant whining excuses that pirates make, their defensiveness, their copy-pasted monologues, aren't meant to convince us. They're trying to convince themselves. They're telling all this tripe to themselves in an attempt to justify their own bad behavior. They're twisting their beliefs to suit their actions rather than vice versa (a trick that humans excel at), and latching onto these tattered shreds of self-justifying nonsense to nourish their own selfish delusions.

It's like climate change denialists. They know perfectly well that their arguments are blatant lies, but they just don't want to admit that their own selfishness and laziness are contributing to the ecosystem collapse, so they stick their fingers in their ears and prattle on about already-disproven counterstudies.

Signa:
It's THOSE people he should be concerned about, because they did pirate it, and they did like it enough to keep playing. To those, the game does have value, and it is criminal for them to keep playing without paying for it.

To be clear, it's criminal regardless. If you don't feel you have enough information about a product to buy it, you don't buy it. You go try to find information from another source, and come back when you feel more confident. You don't just take the product without paying, and then decide whether or not it was worth paying for after the fact.

It's the same logic as going to a car lot that tells you 'No test drives,' and deciding to just sneak in and 'test drive' after hours on your own by taking the car home. Even if you don't keep it, what you did is clearly wrong and not a mature way to handle the situation. Instead, you just tell them, "No test drives? I'll go buy my car elsewhere." And then you never touch that product again.

Reasons:

1. If you're trying to send the message that you don't like their policies, going back and stealing the product later doesn't do that. It shows them you very much want their product, but you're just a criminal jackass. If you don't buy it, don't steal it, and just walk away, now they have reason to believe their policies lost them a customer.

(Corollary to 1: If your leaving doesn't make a big enough impact to change their policies, sorry. You must be in the minority. So move on. Don't try to fake your way to the majority by trying to hurt them extra. You don't want them, they don't want you, it's done.)

2. If you're trying to send the message that you don't like their prices, just don't buy it. And don't pirate it, either, and give them the easy scapegoat. See, if no one plays it, they'll lower the price until people start buying it. In doing so, you'll see the average price of games come down. But these companies know they can't compete with "Free," so they have no reason to even bother trying as long as people defend piracy.

(In short, piracy directly prevents the market dialogue we need in order to push publishers to lower their prices.)

Dastardly:

Signa:
It's THOSE people he should be concerned about, because they did pirate it, and they did like it enough to keep playing. To those, the game does have value, and it is criminal for them to keep playing without paying for it.

To be clear, it's criminal regardless. If you don't feel you have enough information about a product to buy it, you don't buy it. You go try to find information from another source, and come back when you feel more confident. You don't just take the product without paying, and then decide whether or not it was worth paying for after the fact.

It's the same logic as going to a car lot that tells you 'No test drives,' and deciding to just sneak in and 'test drive' after hours on your own by taking the car home. Even if you don't keep it, what you did is clearly wrong and not a mature way to handle the situation. Instead, you just tell them, "No test drives? I'll go buy my car elsewhere." And then you never touch that product again.

Reasons:

1. If you're trying to send the message that you don't like their policies, going back and stealing the product later doesn't do that. It shows them you very much want their product, but you're just a criminal jackass. If you don't buy it, don't steal it, and just walk away, now they have reason to believe their policies lost them a customer.

(Corollary to 1: If your leaving doesn't make a big enough impact to change their policies, sorry. You must be in the minority. So move on. Don't try to fake your way to the majority by trying to hurt them extra. You don't want them, they don't want you, it's done.)

2. If you're trying to send the message that you don't like their prices, just don't buy it. And don't pirate it, either, and give them the easy scapegoat. See, if no one plays it, they'll lower the price until people start buying it. In doing so, you'll see the average price of games come down. But these companies know they can't compete with "Free," so they have no reason to even bother trying as long as people defend piracy.

(In short, piracy directly prevents the market dialogue we need in order to push publishers to lower their prices.)

yada yada yada, same old anti-piracy rant and analogies (why is it always cars?). Look, if these guys were trustworthy, they wouldn't be bitching about losing a dollar per game played when they have other revenue sources in-game. They just want to scam you legally. Defending them and their ilk is just setting you or someone else up to be screwed.

Piracy is a service issue. It's more or less a proven fact with services like Steam. They weren't offering a valid service by charging an admission fee that anyone wanted to pay. Mature response or not, people did it, and the game got more exposure. Those that liked it paid for the extra content. Those that didn't, aren't anyone the devs should be concerned with.

Signa:
yada yada yada, same old anti-piracy rant and analogies (why is it always cars?). Look, if these guys were trustworthy, they wouldn't be bitching about losing a dollar per game played when they have other revenue sources in-game. They just want to scam you legally. Defending them and their ilk is just setting you or someone else up to be screwed.

Who's defending them? I hate the practice of charging "admission" and then also charging "per ride." It's why I'm not playing The Secret World, for instance. So I'm on board with hating that business model. And do you know what I do about it?

I do not support their games, either by buying them or by playing them. Because if I buy it, I'm telling them it's okay. And if I play it via piracy, I'm still just telling them their product is a-okay... but I just don't want to spend money.

Piracy is a service issue. It's more or less a proven fact with services like Steam. They weren't offering a valid service by charging an admission fee that anyone wanted to pay. Mature response or not, people did it, and the game got more exposure. Those that liked it paid for the extra content. Those that didn't, aren't anyone the devs should be concerned with.

1. Steam is DRM that also provides a service. And because Steam's DRM largely curtails piracy, it allows them to experiment with pricing without having to compete with "free." The result? Lower prices on a great many games. Thank you for proving my point -- maybe do the same for your own?

2. I love that you believe we can't assume that any pirated copies represent lost sales, but you readily assume that none of them do. What about folks that would have bought the game... but then a friend said, "Nah, here, I have a free copy." The hardcore pirates aren't the issue, it's the people on the fence.

A game can be as awesome as it wants. It can run as smoothly as it wants. It can be anything and everything to everyone at the same time. But none of that matters if someone can get it for FREE.

So you can yaddayadda all you want. When a game drops the DRM, it still gets pirated to hell. When a game is good, solid, and everyone likes it, it still gets pirated to hell. When a game comes down in price, or even allows people to name their own, it still gets pirated to hell. And what that means is that all of the excuses are complete fabrications.

And not a word of this defends developers for shady or annoying business practices.

I agree that piracy is problematic.

That said, he has stated several things that are outright wrong.

1. He cannot know many times his game is pirated. He may be right, he may be wrong, but to estimate so pessimistically and make blanket statement makes him appear unintelligent and like he jumps to conclusion about things.

2. Ad supported games are actually a fantastic idea. Now he can add the total downloads of his game for his stats and charge more from advertisers. He simply needs to make a non ad supported version of the game for people who pay. Sure, people will still pirate the non ad supported version, but those numbers will sharply decline because it's now easier to get the ad supported version versus pirating the non ad supported version.

3. The thing that hurts this games sales is previous games shortcomings. I bought their game, Shadowgun, and after playing that I wouldn't buy another product without trying it out. And they don't have a demo of the game he is talking about. So, with that in mind, you make bad games, people remember it, and then you have to pay for past mistakes. I didn't pirate this game, I skipped it completely without any interest despite my love of zombie games.

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