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.