A 99 cent price tag still isn’t enough to stop mobile pirates.
When Mad Finger Games first released their new mobile game Dead Trigger, it hoped to reach as many people as possible. What it didn’t expect was to achieve that goal through piracy. Despite the game’s low price point of a single dollar, piracy figures for the Android version went through the roof while official installs were practically non-existent. In a last-ditch effort to save the game, the developer switched out the paid Android version for a free-to-play model that has since shown tremendous success, bringing to light some of the difficulties in publishing for the mobile platform.
“Regarding price drop,” Mad Finger Games announced via Facebook. “The main reason: piracy rate on Android devices, that was unbelievably high. 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 … However, even for one buck, the piracy rate is soooo giant, that we finally decided to provide Dead Trigger for free.”
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.