Cut the Rope Developer Speaks Out on Piracy Problem

Cut the Rope Developer Speaks Out on Piracy Problem

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The Android platform's piracy issues makes iOS ZeptoLab's top priority.

If Android wants to be a serious alternative to the iOS, it needs to deal with its piracy issues. So long as things remain as they are, ZeptoLab will make the iOS version of Cut the Rope, its sweet-chewing monster puzzle game, ZeptoLab's top priority for updates and extras. Though ZeptoLab acknowledges that many Android users who download pirated versions of their game do so unwittingly, it's still a major problem for this Russian developer. Cut the Rope is still available on Android, but its recent release Parachute Ninja is only available on the iStore.

ZeptoLab thinks that most of its Android problems are down to unwitting pirates, people who want to buy the game but are directed to a pirated version when they search for it. ZeptoLab CEO Misha Lyalin calls this an "honest mistake" made by people who didn't realize that their search engine had led them astray. Android does deliver their app to thousands of new users, which Lyalin sees as a plus, but so long as piracy remains endemic on Android ZeptoLab will concentrate on the iOS version.

Lyalin doesn't see how ZeptoLab can deal with the problem directly without ruining the play experience. "While we do try to take down most copycats and pirates," says Lyalin, "a lot of ways to protect our games would be not very user-friendly or won't meet our quality standards. Because the user is the most important piece of our puzzle, we generally choose to focus on adopting our business model - utilizing ads and in-app purchases - rather than taking on pirates."

Source: Gamasutra

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Let's punish our paying customers for something they're completely uninvolved in!

The Lunatic:
Let's punish our paying customers for something they're completely uninvolved in!

"Let's punish our employees for the management's poor business decisions."

In before someone complains about the developer trying to secu... dammit nevermind.

The Lunatic:
Let's punish our paying customers for something they're completely uninvolved in!

No, it's "let's focus on a version of the game that people are actually paying for".

J. Mazarin:
No, it's "let's focus on a version of the game that people are actually paying for".

Which wouldn't be worthwhile if a boatload of people hadn't bought the first version.

J. Mazarin:

The Lunatic:
Let's punish our paying customers for something they're completely uninvolved in!

No, it's "let's focus on a version of the game that people are actually paying for".

I agree, why should they develop for a platform they are unlikely to see much of a profit from?

News like this is disheartening, we keep tells developers that cheap and open games combat piracy and yet the Android platform is apparently rife with piracy.

Anybody still want to argue that copy-protection is useless?

The Lunatic:
Let's punish our paying customers for something they're completely uninvolved in!

Now you're thinking logically!

J. Mazarin:

No, it's "let's focus on a version of the game that people are actually paying for".

Of course, people are actually paying for both....

I'm sure the Android platform will be deeply hurt by Zeptolab not releasing game updates for their game "Cut the Rope".

In fact I believe they should throw away their concept for the entire platform around openness and basically everyone being able to release and install anything he/she wants and employ Always Online DRM so Zeptolabs "property" can be protected!

It's not like Android has an even higher market share than iOS and is in general a lot bigger:
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On the other hand, the third Humble Android Bundle: http://www.humblebundle.com/ seems to be doing rather well and I haven't heard any complaints from those guys...

80.000 copies sold already at an average of $6.13

Zachary Amaranth:

Of course, people are actually paying for both....

Not a high enough percentage, according to the developer (and many others).

So, rather than attempting to unsuccessfully implement DRM or any other useless tactic, they're simply taking their business elsewhere.

I'm not seeing the problem.

J. Mazarin:

Zachary Amaranth:

Of course, people are actually paying for both....

Not a high enough percentage, according to the developer (and many others).

So, rather than attempting to unsuccessfully implement DRM or any other useless tactic, they're simply taking their business elsewhere.

I'm not seeing the problem.

Didn't you hear? The "If at first you don't succeed, just declare it impossible" logic only applies when its convenient for gamers.

If only us dutchies were capable of paying for games and content... Android market only allows creditcard payment, and those are quite uncommon over here.

Kwil:
Anybody still want to argue that copy-protection is useless?

Um, yes. Every developer that uses it in some form claims it works. It isn't hard to crack an iOS device and pirate games anyway.

ThePS1Fan:

Kwil:
Anybody still want to argue that copy-protection is useless?

Um, yes. Every developer that uses it in some form claims it works. It isn't hard to crack an iOS device and pirate games anyway.

Because if enforcement isn't perfect, it shouldn't be attempted? Is that the logic you're using here?

Dexter111:
I'm sure the Android platform will be deeply hurt by Zeptolab not releasing game updates for their game "Cut the Rope".

...

On the other hand, the third Humble Android Bundle: http://www.humblebundle.com/ seems to be doing rather well and I haven't heard any complaints from those guys...

80.000 copies sold already at an average of $6.13

Well said sir.

Kwil:

ThePS1Fan:

Kwil:
Anybody still want to argue that copy-protection is useless?

Um, yes. Every developer that uses it in some form claims it works. It isn't hard to crack an iOS device and pirate games anyway.

Because if enforcement isn't perfect, it shouldn't be attempted? Is that the logic you're using here?

No, if the enforcement can be completely circumvented with very little effort you should look to better means of enforcement.
The app store is actually a pretty solid means of preventing piracy. Not because of it's closed nature, evident by the fact that it is circumvented easily enough, but because it's more convenient. The only people who do pirate on iOS won't pay for apps regardless of what you do. Maybe a less open Android market would be better, seeing as how the developer even says most piracy is the fault of the market leading legitimate customers to pirate unknowingly. But as for copy protection, if people want to get free apps they'll get free apps. Service problem, not pricing problem.

Has anyone seen TotalBiscuit's mailbox where he explains one of the problems of app sales? The general gist of it is that sales would be much higher and piracy lower if they included more payment methods. Especially the method of paying via phone bill. That has been around long before any of these newer payment methods and allows ANYONE with a phone to pay for the product. So the theory is that the more ways there are to buy your product allow for more sales because the people who can't buy it because of the methods of payment are not "forced" to pirate it.

ThePS1Fan:

Kwil:

ThePS1Fan:

Um, yes. Every developer that uses it in some form claims it works. It isn't hard to crack an iOS device and pirate games anyway.

Because if enforcement isn't perfect, it shouldn't be attempted? Is that the logic you're using here?

No, if the enforcement can be completely circumvented with very little effort you should look to better means of enforcement.

You should really bring your vast insight to sign companies. They'd realize what a waste of time it is to try selling signs that say "Staff Only", "Keep Out", "Stay off the Grass", etc. Obviously such things are completely useless and nobody would ever buy them.

Oh wait..

Here's the clue you seem to be missing: Enforcement doesn't need to be perfect, or even that good. Just good enough to make it a pain for most people. That copy-protection gets broken so shouldn't be used makes as much sense a laws get broken so shouldn't be used. It's bollocks.

I'm sure the android markets will totally shut down and because they aren't participating.

Don't let the knob hit you on the way out fellas.

Just more kindergarten politics. The issue is that the company is not concentrating on their paying customers but paying attention to the ones that should be disregarded. They should just release an ad-supported version of the game. I love the drama that comes from companies who don't actually use their brains. Have a pay version and an ad-supported version, like most apps used to be like.

I think it's funny that companies that make BS games are always the ones flapping their jaws in regards to this.

J. Mazarin:

Zachary Amaranth:

Of course, people are actually paying for both....

Not a high enough percentage, according to the developer (and many others).

So, rather than attempting to unsuccessfully implement DRM or any other useless tactic, they're simply taking their business elsewhere.

I'm not seeing the problem.

Of course, if their claims are legit, it has less to do with a need for DRM and more to do with a legitimate attempt to get people to download the correct version. This is, of course, assuming it's legit.

But then, if it's not, the question is whether they're also honest about it not being profitable or if it's another studio having a tantrum.

Aeshi:

Didn't you hear? The "If at first you don't succeed, just declare it impossible" logic only applies when its convenient for gamers.

Ah, the "two wrongs make a right" logic is apparently a valid one.

 

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