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App Store Developer Speaks Out On Game Piracy

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the arr-me-hearties dept.

Games 762

theguythatwrotethisthing sends in a write-up of his experience releasing an iPhone game on the App Store. By using a software flag to distinguish between high scores submitted by pirates and those submitted by users who purchased the game, the piracy rate is estimated at around 80% during the first week after release. Since a common excuse for piracy is "try before you buy," they also looked at the related iPhone DeviceIDs to see how many of the pirates went on to purchase the game. None of them did.

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First pirate! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29855037)

Harrr!

Re:First pirate! (4, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855237)

The "try before you buy" excuse that people give as a reason to pirate (very popular here at Slashdot) has always been a steaming pile of bullshit, as is the tale that PirateBay is primarily used for legitimate torrent downloads. Pure bullshit. Honestly, it's difficult to take people that say these things seriously.

But of course, information wants to be free as in beer at a frat party. Stallman says so.

Re:First pirate! (0)

wierdling (609715) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855323)

I don't pirate to "try before you buy". I pirate because I can't afford the software, and I need it (want it?). But, I have purchased 3 rather high dollar 3D graphics programs that I pirated. I purchased them because I liked them, and when I managed to get the cash together, I wanted to make sure that the company that made them got some of my scratch. Sure, I could have only stuck with what I could afford at the time, but then I would only be using Truespace, and the other 3 companies (Truespace was what turned me on to graphic art, me and my brother purchased it back in 96, the other three I pirated before I purchased) would not have gotten any money out of me.

So to say it is total bullshit is not correct. Some of us really do purchase the software we pirate first. It just takes awhile.

Re:First pirate! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29855337)

But, I have purchased 3 rather high dollar 3D graphics programs that I pirated. I purchased them because I liked them, and when I managed to get the cash together, I wanted to make sure that the company that made them got some of my scratch.

OH PLEASE! Good grief, I suppose you've told that tripe enough times you actually believe it...

Re:First pirate! (0)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855341)

Actually, you couldn't me more dead wrong.

Even according to Stallman, the value of information is that it be free, as in /freedom/, not as a product.

Re:First pirate! (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29855377)

All this example shows is that the system works. They tried. It sucked. They didn't buy.

Re:First pirate! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29855295)

You pirates give us ninjas a bad reputation!

Maybe the game sucked? (4, Insightful)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855041)

But seriously, I think the app store really needs to give you a trial period before you have to pay for apps. So many of the programs out there are crap, I'm not willing to pay for 5 programs just to find one that does what I want.

Re:Maybe the game sucked? (5, Insightful)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855057)

If an app is good, you should be able to find independently written positive reviews for it. There's always the score provided in the app store, too. I release most of my code under BSD/GPL licenses, but I absolutely require people to abide by the terms as I own the copyrights. There's no excuse for violating the rights of others, regardless of how little faith you might have in "so many of the programs" available for purchase. If you've got that little faith in the app store, maybe you shouldn't bother with it in the first place.

Re:Maybe the game sucked? (1, Informative)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855119)

Well, I didn't choose to bother with the Apple App store, I've only used it on my girlfriends phone. I'm holding out for an Android phone for myself. I haven't used their market yet but rumor has it that they do allow trial periods.

Re:Maybe the game sucked? (1)

KillerBob (217953) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855383)

Well, I didn't choose to bother with the Apple App store, I've only used it on my girlfriends phone. I'm holding out for an Android phone for myself. I haven't used their market yet but rumor has it that they do allow trial periods.

I have yet to encounter an app on the Android market that I had to pay to download/install. I've run into a few which then said "this is a limited/trial version, please pay to use the full-featured version"... such apps get promptly uninstalled without even being tried.... I wish that those app developpers would put in their app description that it was a trial version of something they expect you to pay for. It's not that I'm cheap, it's that it's a phone, and I really don't see the point in paying for extra applications when I can get diversions for free. That's all I'm really looking for: something to waste time on when I'm on the bus or waiting for a movie to start or something.

The thing of the app market, though, is that you have to be smart. My phone vendor put their own app market as an option on the phone, too. If I go to the cell phone company's app market, I'm presented with games and applications and such, but every single thing on the Rogers market is pay-to-download. Needless to say, I removed the link from my home screen, and ignore it when I see it in the menu. But I'm concerned that many people won't think to check the Google market because the telco's app market was prominently displayed on the home screen.

Re:Maybe the game sucked? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29855059)

Or, maybe the pirates are only after free stuffz, and the try before you buy ideology is just something they (we) have learned to say in order to justify pirating.

Now that I think about it, why would I pay for something I can get for free?

Re:Maybe the game sucked? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29855099)

Now that I think about it, why would I pay for something I can get for free?

To recognise and reward the effort put in by the developer for something that was useful or fun for you.

Re:Maybe the game sucked? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29855245)

Now that I think about it, why would I pay for something I can get for free?

To recognize and reward the effort put in by the developer for something that was useful or fun for you.

I don't think so. I think most people who are playing a pirated game will not stop mid-game and say, you know what? I really enjoy, this, I am going out to the store to buy it. I think the author of the article is right, software pirates are using flimsy excuses to justify their morally wrong actions.

To be fair, I should mention that I got my hands on a free copy of Homeworld back in the day from a friend. And while I fell in love with the game, I would never buy it. Why? I already had it! Why spend money on something I already have! However, when Homeworld Cataclysm came out, and later Homeworld 2, you can bet your ass I was first in line to purchase both games.

So, for the pirates out there, stop with the excuses, and be honest with yourself. You are a lazy sad sack who would rather find enjoyment in the hard work of others, without contributing to the effort. Perhaps then you will realize just how indefensible your actions truly are.

Re:Maybe the game sucked? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29855345)

Sheer nonsense. Software developers are supposed to give everything away for free beer or something and musicians make all their money on t-shirts, so fuck buying their tunes. Is this your first day on Slashdot? The key rule is that *someone else* will pay for whatever you just downloaded. It's never your problem, man.

Re:Maybe the game sucked? (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855111)

Maybe, but I've personally never pirated an app. But there's some I've not purchased that I might of had there been a trial available.

Re:Maybe the game sucked? (1)

PixetaledPikachu (1007305) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855179)

Now that I think about it, why would I pay for something I can get for free?

let me rephrase that : "Now that I think about it, why would I pay for something I can get by stealing?"

Re:Maybe the game sucked? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855283)

So I can stick it to the man!

Re:Maybe the game sucked? (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855317)

If you delete it after 24 hours then it's ok. Al Gore made sure to include that law when inventing the internet.

Re:Maybe the game sucked? (1)

Amarantine (1100187) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855109)

I found that quite a few games offer a "free" or "light" demo version of the game, posted in the AppStore as a separate app.

Re:Maybe the game sucked? (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855129)

I was looking for ssh apps on my girlfriends iPhone the other day. None of them offered demo versions. I looked online for reviews, and they were mixed so I opted just to forget about it instead of wasting my money.

Re:Maybe the game sucked? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29855165)

Or maybe people are just thieving scum?
I don't get to taste the food in my local restaurant before ordering either.
Grow up and accept the truth. pirates are leeches and pathetic thieves, nothing more intellectual or elegant than that

Re:Maybe the game sucked? (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855305)

Yeah amazingly absolutely no thieves thought it was good yet people who bought the game have liked it and his sales are increasing thanks in part to word of mouth.

App Store Shmapp Store. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29855043)

Back in my day we were happy to plug in our Atari 2600 and slap in our favourite Space Invaders cartridge. We didn't need no "App store," what is that anyway, some place to buy appetizers? Oh I know, there's an app for that, god damnit Bobby Joe.

Ad-supported? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29855045)

Could developers just release an ad-supported version for pirates to download? LIke on that Cydia store or something? I'm not too familiar with the whole submission process, but that should recover some income...

Pirate Entitlement (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29855161)

They would only continue to crack and use the ad-free versions. It's been tried before.

Software pirates have an inflated sense of entitlement (which is why they are circumventing the payment structure instead of either paying for things or suffering the indignity of not having access to things they refuse to pay for in the presence of a payment structure); settling for second-class software versions is not part of their agenda.

I would only ask pirates not to fool themselves into hypocrisy over what they are doing, making excuses and deflecting guilt. Realize that you are a psychopath, whether you decide to hide the fact or not. :)

Re:Pirate Entitlement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29855231)

Some people collect stamps, others collect bits and bytes.

Some pirates are thiefs, others are just people that enjoy doing something fun and get a rush from it, like sky diving. Its dangerous in its own way, fun and people like it.

The reality is the harm done by software piracy to the world is I'd say is about equal to sky diving.

Now the bankers that just stole 3 trillion from the US taxpayers? Oh right go get some 16 year old nerd on his computer not hurting anyone...

Re:Pirate Entitlement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29855397)

"Realize that you are a psychopath, whether you decide to hide the fact or not. :)

Double-edged sword this is.

Thinking that anything can be sold at the price seller wants is the other edge and at least as psychopatic as pirating. ;)

Didn't think App Store piracy was that big (5, Interesting)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855051)

It seems strange to me considering the pricing and how much more convenient it is (at least IMO) to just use the App store. In fact, all the apps I've got on my iPhone are from the App store and were either free there or I paid for them.

That's not to say I'm fervently anti-piracy, I'll admit that I've downloaded a fair amount of movies, music and software in my life but it's almost always been because it was too expensive, not yet released where I live or simply much more convenient to do so.

As an example, a piece large expensive "professional" software that I want to use at home for fun or some minor non-commercial purpose isn't something I'm about to pony up $300 or whatever it costs for (I try to use open source when there is a good alternative), I've also downloaded games simply because I wasn't willing to pay full price to play it once for a few hours with a friend or two and then never play again. As for music and movies it tends to be a combination of pricing ($20 for an album I've never heard that probably only has a handful of good songs?), convenience (DRM) and it simply not being available where I live yet (woohoo, ordering Region 1 DVDs from the US). But a $4 iPhone game that can be downloaded in a minute at the click of a button? That seems pointless to me...

/Mikael

Re:Didn't think App Store piracy was that big (3, Insightful)

JonathanBoyd (644397) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855077)

Sounds like you're just making excuses to justify yourself.

If something's expensive, why do you feel the right to watch it/listen to it/use it, when others have to pay? Isn't it more ethical to just not pay? As for convenience, that's no excuse at all, it's just laziness. Given the ease of legally downloading these days, it's even less of an excuse. As for pirating professional software for 'fun' or 'non-commercial' use, if you don't need all the features, then why not get a more limited program that does what you want and actually compensate a developer? On the other hand, if you do need the features, then pay the money or don't use it.

You don't have a right to use something for free just because you think it's too expensive.

Re:Didn't think App Store piracy was that big (0)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855125)

It's like you just chose not to read half the words in my original comment.

If something's expensive, why do you feel the right to watch it/listen to it/use it, when others have to pay?

Well, this is the classic "try before you buy" combined with factors like "I have a few friends over and --- asks me if I have a specific album", in both cases I'm unlikely to listen to it again and the act of listening to it once will actually be a waste of my time.

As for convenience, that's no excuse at all, it's just laziness. Given the ease of legally downloading these days, it's even less of an excuse.

I see you missed the "(DRM)" bit in my post, I like to have control over data, something which I suspect I'm not alone in here on slashdot.

As for pirating professional software for 'fun' or 'non-commercial' use, if you don't need all the features, then why not get a more limited program that does what you want and actually compensate a developer? On the other hand, if you do need the features, then pay the money or don't use it.

If I pirate it I generally want to use specific features not available in open source alternatives (as I pointed out! Please do yourself and everyone else a favor and read comments before replying to them.). Also, just because I feel like using some Maya-specific feature that isn't available in Blender doesn't mean it would make any sense whatsoever for me to shell out $3000+ for a Maya license, no one pays for Maya unless they're doing for-pay work (and the developers are well aware of this and the "trial" version is a joke).

You don't have a right to use something for free just because you think it's too expensive.

I can definitely think of quite a few situations in which a vast majority of people would disagree with this argument (e.g. AIDS medicine licensing).

/Mikael

Re:Didn't think App Store piracy was that big (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29855215)

I can definitely think of quite a few situations in which a vast majority of people would disagree with this argument (e.g. AIDS medicine licensing).

/Mikael

Are you seriously equating pirating software for entertainment/leisure pursuits with licensing costs for medicine which saves lives?

Re:Didn't think App Store piracy was that big (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29855255)

It's like you just chose not to read half the words in my original comment.

I think he understood your comment better than you did.

If something's expensive, why do you feel the right to watch it/listen to it/use it, when others have to pay?

Well, this is the classic "try before you buy" combined with factors like "I have a few friends over and --- asks me if I have a specific album", in both cases I'm unlikely to listen to it again and the act of listening to it once will actually be a waste of my time.

If it will be such a waste later then don't download or buy the album. Anyway, it is clear that "try before you buy" is a myth.

As for convenience, that's no excuse at all, it's just laziness. Given the ease of legally downloading these days, it's even less of an excuse.

I see you missed the "(DRM)" bit in my post, I like to have control over data, something which I suspect I'm not alone in here on slashdot.

If people didn't pirate, there would be no need for DRM. I blame you in part for DRM.

As for pirating professional software for 'fun' or 'non-commercial' use, if you don't need all the features, then why not get a more limited program that does what you want and actually compensate a developer? On the other hand, if you do need the features, then pay the money or don't use it.

If I pirate it I generally want to use specific features not available in open source alternatives (as I pointed out! Please do yourself and everyone else a favor and read comments before replying to them.). Also, just because I feel like using some Maya-specific feature that isn't available in Blender doesn't mean it would make any sense whatsoever for me to shell out $3000+ for a Maya license, no one pays for Maya unless they're doing for-pay work (and the developers are well aware of this and the "trial" version is a joke).

If it's too expensive, then don't use it, period. Or roll your own -- Blender is open source. You do the painstaking research on how to implement the feature. You do the exhausting labor to code, tune, and polish. Then you have the feature. Until then, you're exploiting the developer's effort unjustly.

You don't have a right to use something for free just because you think it's too expensive.

I can definitely think of quite a few situations in which a vast majority of people would disagree with this argument (e.g. AIDS medicine licensing).

/Mikael

Oh please. Maya and the latest Black Eyed Peas single are not AIDS medication.

Re:Didn't think App Store piracy was that big (3, Insightful)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855151)

>>As for convenience, that's no excuse at all, it's just laziness. Given the ease of legally downloading these days, it's even less of an excuse.

When I bought MATLAB, it came in the mail nearly 9 months after I began the process to buy it. We had licensed some MATLAB code that we needed to pay a yearly royalty fee on it, so this delay would have cost me XX,000 dollars had I not had access to computer labs with MATLAB on it to run and debug the code on it.

The best part is? When they finally mailed it out to us, 6 months after billing my company / me thousands of dollars for it, they forgot to put the software in the box. Sure, it had a packing slip that said the CD should be in there, but nothing was inside the box but a manual. Their online download system is a POS as well.

Re:Didn't think App Store piracy was that big (4, Funny)

jimicus (737525) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855301)

When they finally mailed it out to us, 6 months after billing my company / me thousands of dollars for it,

Is your company in the habit of paying bills for items you haven't received yet?

Re:Didn't think App Store piracy was that big (1, Interesting)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855173)

Sounds like you're just making excuses to justify yourself.

Uh, that's exactly what he said he was doing. Nice detective work there, Sherlock.

I'm not the biggest warezing cheerleader, but there's something about people on high horses that really chaps my hide. Here's a tip: if you, or any of your choirboy pals, ever made or gave a mix tape in your life, you're just as guilty as this guy. If you ever checked out a book from a library, you're just as morally complicit. This guy's no hero, but at least he's not a self-righteous hypocrite.

Re:Didn't think App Store piracy was that big (1)

ivucica (1001089) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855243)

I don't use it, but if I wanted to, I would not be able to, so I'll ask: are prices for 3ds max fair? That's abuse of monopoly if you ask me. Autodesk is going around buying any piece of modelling software that's worth anything, and then charging ridiculous prices. So it would not surprise me if the piracy of 3ds max is be enormous.

Re:Didn't think App Store piracy was that big (0, Flamebait)

Wildclaw (15718) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855375)

If something's expensive, why do you feel the right to watch it/listen to it/use it, when others have to pay? Isn't it more ethical to just not pay?

What gives you the moral right to restrict him from listening to/using it. It isn't like there is some law of scarcity involved that makes it necessary to restrict access? No, in fact, the only reason to restrict access to him is so that you can feel superior. You own the lebensraum. Not him. And you just have to make that point.

As for convenience, that's no excuse at all, it's just laziness.

Laziness is the greatest virtue of all. It is mother of all inventions. Those who claim that it is a sin, are those who want to strive backwards into the middle ages.

As for pirating professional software for 'fun' or 'non-commercial' use, if you don't need all the features, then why not get a more limited program that does what you want and actually compensate a developer?

Why get a more limited program when the more advanced programs costs the exact same amount to copy. It is just wasting the resources of society to go with an inferior product. Of course, wasting resources is exactly what you are promoting. Efficiency is not in your vocabulary.

You don't have a right to use something for free just because you think it's too expensive.

You have the right to claim that, but it doesn't make it true.

Re:Didn't think App Store piracy was that big (5, Interesting)

BorgDrone (64343) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855095)

(..) I've downloaded a fair amount of movies, music and software in my life but it's almost always been because it was too expensive, not yet released where I live or simply much more convenient to do so. (...) But a $4 iPhone game that can be downloaded in a minute at the click of a button? That seems pointless to me...

Same here, I've spent more money on software in the year I've had my iPhone than in the decade before that. If I can buy a great game like Monkey Island for a few euro's it's not even worth the effort to pirate it.

I would happily pay an honest price for (on-demand) movies and series if only it was as convenient as buying app-store apps and if it would actually be available over here. For example: the new Stargate series, it'll be years before it's on TV here, and they'll probably mess up the order (I have no clue why they do this, but they can's seem to ever show any series in the correct order over here), stop halfway through a season, broadcast it at random times, etc. It's almost as if they don't want people to follow the series.

Re:Didn't think App Store piracy was that big (1)

kalidasa (577403) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855199)

In the US, you can download the episodes straight to your iPhone, $1.99 for standard def, the morning after the air. I just downloaded episode 5 a minute ago (but in high def to a computer at $2.99). The series is very obviously patterning its visual and dramatic style, and some of the character development, after BSG.

Re:Didn't think App Store piracy was that big (4, Insightful)

Carthag (643047) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855209)

For example: the new Stargate series, it'll be years before it's on TV here, and they'll probably mess up the order (I have no clue why they do this, but they can's seem to ever show any series in the correct order over here), stop halfway through a season, broadcast it at random times, etc. It's almost as if they don't want people to follow the series.

Easy; it's filler, the content being commercials.

simplicity is mention in TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29855163)

he says he was surprised it was easier to pirate games than to buy them.

Re:simplicity is mention in TFA (1)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855201)

I know, but it still involves jailbreaking and doing a bit of setup before the pirated download becomes easier than a legit download.

/Mikael

Re:Didn't think App Store piracy was that big (1)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855211)

That's not to say I'm fervently anti-piracy, I'll admit that I've downloaded a fair amount of movies, music and software in my life but it's almost always been because it was too expensive, not yet released where I live or simply much more convenient to do so.

As an example, a piece large expensive "professional" software that I want to use at home for fun or some minor non-commercial purpose isn't something I'm about to pony up $300 or whatever it costs for....

So what would you pay for a movie, a song or a copy of "professional" software? All of these cost corporations/people time and money. Would you only pay $10 for a copy of some software that took $25m to develop or a movie with a $100m budget? Why do you only stop at things you can anonymously download and create a perfect copy of?

Cue car analogy:
I don't think a 2009 Ford Mustang is worth $20,000, does that mean I should be able to go out and "download" (read: steal) one from a car dealer's lot? In both cases the author of the software/movie/song and automaker aren't being compensated Sure there are some great companies out there that can build you a car from scratch (kit cars) which are akin to the legitimate use of jailbreaking the iPhone; but there might be some companies that also allow you to disable car alarms and tracking systems. Those would be equivalent to enabling you to download cracked iPhone apps.

I would bet that most people who pirate stuff from the internet would never allow the fruits of all of their labor to go for free. Even FOSS companies might give away their software, have associated income streams, like Professional Services and Support to make up for the lost revenue due to giving away the software.

Re:Didn't think App Store piracy was that big (1)

Andorin (1624303) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855329)

I don't think a 2009 Ford Mustang is worth $20,000, does that mean I should be able to go out and "download" (read: steal) one from a car dealer's lot?

You lost right here, when you compared digital files to physical objects. Try again.

Re:Didn't think App Store piracy was that big (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29855349)

Some companies have already solved this, by offering fully-featured, but very cheap, versions of their software for non-commercial use. This has drawbacks of course, as professionals may make the models in the non-commercial ones and then use a single commercial one for release. I don't see how this differ from a piracy problem and it would make the hobbyist, schools etc. happy.

Another method would make a renting system. For an expensive software for $300, you could say prices like $10 per 8 hours actual usage or something. This will allow hobbyist to use the software when they have time and still pay for the small amount of time they actually use it, instead of buying an eternal license. It wouldn't pay off for professionals, since once they have used the software for 240 hours, they might as well have bought it. I am sure a professional will use the software for more than that. Again, there could be a commercial and non-commercial renting fee, so small business which just need to use it for a few days would pay more than the occational hobbyist. Again, before anyone mentions that this system is easy to pirate, it is not supposed to solve piracy. It is already possible to pirate. It is just for giving the users, who actually want to pay and be legal, an actual reasonable price to do so.

This system can of course also be used for music, movies etc., as we already know from online movie renting.

it's almost always been because youre' a thief (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29855321)

with no concept of morality

flagged? (3, Interesting)

Ash.D.Giles (1278606) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855063)

How exactly do you set a software flag to determine whether it's pirated or not?

Re:flagged? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29855141)

That's exactly what I want to know. If it was a key that was generated each time the app was sold then it would be obvious there was pirates when one key shows up continuously... but flagged? I am not sure how that works unless it has some pretty fancy DRM in the game.

Low attention span? (2, Funny)

Veggiesama (1203068) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855065)

One interesting note is that the most pirate scores are submitted for Story level, then Rounds, then survival. This is the same order that the game types show up in our menus. This may point out that Pirates generally have a lower attention span – they quickly move on to the next game.

There's a really good reason why pirated scores are submitted in that order, and I would tell you, but there's a shiny red ball outside and I gotta catch it.

BRB

what about a different delivery system? (1)

MoFoQ (584566) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855067)

have they ruled out the reason why they haven't sold any to those pirates is because...they aren't really pirates but people who despise the App Store and it's restrictions?

Of course, due to the terms and conditions that the developer signed with Apple, they can't release it on Cydia as a pay-ware.
(if it was good and if it was on Cydia for a reasonable price, I have no problems opening up my wallet)

Re:what about a different delivery system? (2, Insightful)

Veggiesama (1203068) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855083)

have they ruled out the reason why they haven't sold any to those pirates is because...they aren't really pirates but people who despise the App Store and it's restrictions?

Are you suggesting that these so-called pirates are actually peaceful protesters performing civil disobedience? MLK Jr. would be so proud!

Re:what about a different delivery system? (1)

cj1127 (1077329) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855311)

Those that don't like the terms & conditions of their iPhone contract shouldn't have signed it.

Pirate Flag... (2, Interesting)

Manip (656104) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855073)

Without knowing exactly how this so called "Pirate Flag" works we cannot say that it is recording correct data. Frankly an 80% piracy rate seems a little difficult to believe given how most iPhone users I know use their phones (most use stock firmware, since they're still on warranty, and people have spent up to £800 and don't want to 'brick' it).

Most iPhones owners are happy to use the App' Store and iTunes. That is one of the reasons they purchased the device, to give them access to a huge array of high quality applications.

Re:Pirate Flag... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29855089)

basically there are some generic copy protection methods you can use on Iphone software, and some ripping tools to copy the games.

the generic tools will copy the game, but not remove the protection, so you can use it to monitor the spread of your app.

more recent ripping tools also patch out that check, so if anything 80% will be lower than the actual piracy rate.

Demographics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29855259)

How many of the pirates are kids with iPod Touches. I've heard from my brother who is still in high school, that the [anecdotal] majority of them are jailbroken and full of pirated apps.

Ads (3, Interesting)

ModernGeek (601932) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855075)

If I were this developer, I would display ads to the pirates, be it within the game or on an HTML formatted score board. This would hopefully recoup some of the lost money, and would keep everybody happy. I would be interested in their take on the idea.

Re:Ads (2, Insightful)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855085)

I don't think you understand how the target audience in question thinks and behaves.

Re:Ads (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29855113)

If I were this developer, I would display ads to the pirates, be it within the game or on an HTML formatted score board. This would hopefully recoup some of the lost money, and would keep everybody happy. I would be interested in their take on the idea.

If I were this developer I'd see about installing a heaping helping of malware onto their iPhone.

Re:Ads (1)

laederkeps (976361) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855187)

If I were this developer I'd see about installing a heaping helping of malware onto their iPhone.

Yes, because as we all know it is impossible for a piracy detector to throw a false positive (i.e. flag a legitimate user as a pirate). Right? Right [arstechnica.com] ?

Re:Ads (1)

Demena (966987) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855155)

Well. If I were the developer I would have the pirated versions start large downloads from someplace so that it would wind up cheaper to buy the app.

Informal Study Shows Pirates Provide Free Advocacy (0)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855087)

By using a software flag to distinguish between high scores submitted by pirates and those submitted by users who purchased the game, the piracy rate is estimated at around 80%

so, all this informal study shows is 80% of REVIEWS are provided by pirates. There could be plenty who decide never to rate the game, and of course the ratio of rated vs unrated in each of these two categories is not tracked nor is it mentioned.

let's turn this on it's head, shall we?

The higher the piracy rate of your game, the greater word-of-mouth you will receive, so if you like market exposure, slap a weak DRM scheme on it, make it good, and claim it's "unpiratable", then let the money roll in.

oh fudge... (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855107)

It seems I misread the meaning of "high scores"

I stil think my point stands, but.. nothing to see here, move along.

Re:oh fudge... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29855331)

Big fat imbecile. STFU and die.

not surprising. (2, Insightful)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855091)

When I did pirate back in the day it was mostly because i simply couldnt afford the things i wanted. Now that I CAN afford to buy the software i need, i NEVER pirate. Those that pirate are rarely going to pay, those that dont pirate usually will pay. Pretty simple really. For me personally,I cant tell you how freakin giddy i was the other day when i bought an mp3 off amazon the other day for $.79. I selected, purchased and downloaded it in the time it took to install itunes so i could do the same thing.

Re:not surprising. (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855149)

Indeed. Back in High School (oh, I had no job either) you would have had a hard time finding anything on the computer that was actually paid for.

These days, it's the other way around.

Re:not surprising. (1)

stikves (127823) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855265)

Same here. There is absolutely no reason to pirate if you can pay for it.

And if I don't want to pay for something, it's either not worth it - That also means, it's not worth my time either.

Or... It's too expensive for the purpose. Then I try to find an open source / trial alternative, or get it through my university.

This has worked for me for long time now.

Lost era (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29855097)

The mighty ships o' th' honest swashbucklers be havin' sunk due t' encumberance.

Piracy on Android is much worse (2, Interesting)

phonewebcam (446772) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855101)

Unfortunately the usual places carry the lot. One conspiracy theory goes that as Google at heart are an advertising company, rather than play DRM/lockdown why not "encourage" authors to give away apps funded by ads - in which case what does piracy matter?

On the plus side... (1)

dazaris (461468) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855103)

You 're going to get a huge amount of publicity for your new game by having your article posted on Slashdot.

I just don't think it's possible! (2, Insightful)

pHus10n (1443071) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855121)

I work in a communications squadron, and I know at least 15 people with iPhones ---- I only know of one of them that has jailbroken his phone, and that was specifically for the purpose of switching carriers. So.... is my sample unusual because of a higher-than-normal standard of integrity (military personnel)? I mean... these are comm geeks; jailbreaking a phone would be trivial.

Re:I just don't think it's possible! (1)

DMalic (1118167) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855205)

yeah, I really don't buy this. None of the people I know with iphones have jailbroken them either. They *don't buy the apps*. While it's heartbreaking to see massive numbers of pirated downloads, your game isn't worth four bucks to most. It may not even be worth the time of putting in a credit card number.

Re:I just don't think it's possible! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29855281)

I've mentioned this above [slashdot.org] , but will repost it here:

How many of the pirates are kids with iPod Touches. I've heard from my brother who is still in high school, that the [anecdotal] majority of them are jailbroken and full of pirated apps.

Another example (5, Informative)

happy (7659) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855123)

I am the iPhone developer for the Notifications app (see http://www.appnotifications.com/ [appnotifications.com] ). On the first day my app was published on appulous (that happened very quickly after my app was on the appstore), the piracy rate was 99.3%. On that 99.3% I had about 1% who bought the application after trying it.

That was in the beginning of September, I now have a total piracy rate of about 50%. My app requires network and connects on my server, therefor my stats are pretty accurate. I think the piracy rate would be way higher than 50% if my app did not have to connect to my server.

Re:Another example (1)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855351)

If you know who the pirates are, then why don't you cripple their "experience"?

Re:Another example (1)

RenHoek (101570) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855381)

Do you feel that the pirates raised the reputation of your app in any way and thus lead to more sales?

I mean, look at Photoshop. Every 15 year old has an illegal copy of Photoshop on his computer. But this just means that in 10 years, every 25 year old has a proficiency in using Photoshop, leading to businesses using Photoshop as the de facto standard. This means huge sales Photoshop.

Are you seeing any of this back for your application?

An admission... (4, Interesting)

cybereal (621599) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855127)

I must admit that prior to the days when I had money to throw away on games as I saw fit I truly did pirate a game now and then for the sake of a trial period. I found it effective, but mainly in convincing me not to buy the game. And see, there is this unexpected factor I discovered, actually only recently, that severely impacts this chain of actions...

Basically it amounts to this: I find, all too often, that many games are not worth playing beyond the amount you normally get in a demo! I have downloaded so many demo games, especially racing or fighting games, on the PlayStation Network or XBOX Live and found that... well that was enough. To spend $60 more dollars simply to add a few levels and get the same experience was not a valuable prospect for me.

I won't try to claim that any significant portion of these piracy observations can be explained by what I'm describing. I would say it's not without merit though. In these days, there are so many games. I mean, honestly, I think there are more games released in a year than I could humanly play through in their entirety. Even filtering out the disinteresting games I would still never have the time, given work and other responsibilities, to finish anywhere near say, 10% of the releases in a year.

So to go from trial period to purchase, especially on a game that's likely a shallow me-too on the iPhone... well let's demonstrate the thought process with another nugget: I have downloaded probably 25 different "Light" games and never even tried them before I deleted them because I simply lost all interest.

Surprised? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29855137)

Worthless, piece-of-shit, scum-bag fuck-tards steal games and never go back to pay for them while justifying their pathetic existence with more lies. Nope, I'm not surprised at all. I say you sabotage the non iTunes version so it fries their devices. Let the little assholes deal with that!

sample size? (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855139)

if only 100 people bought it, it's not really enought o pass judement is it.

How Many Displaced Sales? (2)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855143)

the piracy rate is estimated at around 80% during the first week after release. Since a common excuse for piracy is "try before you buy," they also looked at the related iPhone DeviceIDs to see how many of the pirates went on to purchase the game. None of them did.

Interesting answers to irrelevant questions.

Here's the money question: How many sales were displaced?

Suppose we want that information: Can you think of a test which would detect displaced sales?

Contrast with the GPL mentality (0, Flamebait)

glennrrr (592457) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855355)

So here we have the argument that the developer isn't actually losing any sales. All of those pirated copies don't actually hurt him. And this might be nearly true, financially. Piracy in this scenario, is more a crime of insult. The pirate is telling the developer who put a good deal of who he is as a person and an engineer into a product that the developer and the product are worth nothing; and that the pirate can do as he pleases with the intellectual property of the developer.

I'm seeing a connection, if only by analogy, with the ferocity by which GPL advocates protect GPL'd software from being used for profit by closed source projects.

Let's say I used a GPL'd library in a closed sourced iPhone app. First, I would be unlikely to be caught, because I mean, who would notice? Second, I wouldn't actually be harming whomever wrote it. I'm not taking bread from their table; and unlike the case of the pirated iPhone app, the original author is very explicitly not wanting to profit from the code. But if informed of my treachery, I'm pretty sure that the author and the entire GPL community would be furious that I was using their property for commercial gain (without releasing the source). I have not done this, and would not do this, but it would be really convenient for me if the ATSC liba52 decoder was under BSD or MIT license.

In both cases, the major wrong would appear to be getting value from someone else's labor without respecting or acknowledging that person and his right to dispose of his work product as he sees fit. But I would think the case of the app piracy is worse because the enabling of piracy is causing non-zero harm to the developer in addition to the insult.

And I would think that anyone who thinks piracy is OK or a victimless crime should also promote the MIT licenses over the GPL.

Ya that's the real issue (2, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855371)

Unfortunately, I can't think of a good way to test for it, but you are right on about the issue. The issue is NOT how many people got a copy without paying. The issue is if it was impossible, how many people would have payed?

Reason this is important is because it tells you how much it matters to actually try and fight against it. Fighting copyright infringement takes time and money. Also, the more onerous the DRM you introduce, the more you piss off legit customers and thus the less money you make. So the trick is to find the best balance that gets you the most sales. To do that the most effectively, you need to know how many copies are actual lost sales, and how many would have just done without.

You can compare it in some ways to shrinkage prevention at a store. All stores have problems with shoplifting, and in that case there is real loss since you lose the value of the item stolen. Ok well you could certainly reduce it a whole lot by hiring armed professional guards and forcing all employees and customers to undergo a strip search when they leave. You might even come close to zero. However, the problem is your business would go bust because nobody would shop there, never mind the extreme cost of such security. Thus stores don't do that. Their goal is not to stop all shrinkage, their goal is to maximize profit and that means stopping as much as they can cheaply, and without driving customers away.

Same deal with copying software. I suspect you'd find that a rather large number of the people would simply do without. They aren't lost sales, they would buy it if they couldn't have it for free.

Missing the point (1)

Ferretski (160396) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855145)

I think most people here are missing the point about why there are so many pirates.

As a non-jail broken iPhone owner, I'd say 80% of the apps I get on the iTunes store are free. Sure I've paid a few bucks here and there for things I'll use a lot, but given I'm going to get bored of whatever game it is in 2-seconds flat, I can't even justify the few dollars. In this case, I wouldn't buy the game that is used in this example.

But make it free, and now there's no reason NOT to download it.

Re:Missing the point (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29855177)

So the developer's time and effort is worthless? F*ck you, too, then.

Re:Missing the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29855293)

What a cheap-ass piece of shit.

Whats the game? (1)

Mechanist.tm (1124543) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855147)

Whats the game. I'd like to know what the cost is and how good the game is. If its inexpensive for what the game is then there is no reason to pirate it. Cost does have alot to do with why people pirate things. Im not saying thats its right. I have bought a few games and wish that i hand pirated them as they were so bad. Is there a way to get a refund on the app store if you dont like a game/app ?

Re:Whats the game? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29855233)

What does it matter. Stealing is wrong. Period. End of discussion. You are not entitled to anything, simply because you don't like the conditions that come with it.

Re:Whats the game? (1)

Mechanist.tm (1124543) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855247)

You are a tool. Period. End of Discussion. Cant even discuss the topic!!!

You can't beat pirates (5, Insightful)

Veggiesama (1203068) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855153)

If you slash the price of the game in half in a few months and re-advertise it (like Steam has been doing with their weekly sales), then you will see another jump in sales. If you cut it down to 1/4, you will get even more sales. Some people think $4 is a good price, but others won't pay more than $2, and still some will wait for the $1 or $0.50 sale.

Each step allows you to reel in more buyers, because everybody has their own price threshold.

Games depreciate in value quickly--that's just how it is. Eventually the game won't be worth anything to anyone. Then you should give it out for free, along with a big fat advertisement for your next game. You ARE working on the next game, right?

Some people wouldn't pay a cent for the game in the first place, and they are the real pirates. You can't negotiate with them, so don't even bother. It's wasted development time to fight them. Even if you somehow make your game unpirate-able, they will just ignore your game and find something else to occupy their time.

What you CAN do is try to net the would-be pirates who simply have a lower price threshold. Also you might net a few guilt-ridden pirates who think they are "redeeming their sins" by eventually buying the game they pirated, even though it's been a few months since release and the price has dropped significantly in the meantime. You might also pick up a few people who just like thinking they're getting a good deal.

Re:You can't beat pirates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29855275)

It's an interesting technique that you propose, however,

How would you respond if your employer wanted to "play around" with your hourly rate to modify your desire to work? What if he wanted to pay you less than what your time is worth?

Your strategy seems to be asking me to do the same to my own time and my own products. The fact of the matter is, game development is a time consuming process. Lets say each area of an iphone app takes 100 man hours to make a polished game.

100 hours on design
100 hours on programming
100 hours on sound
100 hours on art
100 hours on bugtesting and playtesting
100 hours on design, marketing, advertising

In a traditional development house, multiple people tackle each of these areas. On these bite-sized games, often only one or two people take on the entire workload. So, that all boils down to 600 hours. At 8 hours a day, that would take 75 days, or just around 2 and a half months.

And then, after all of my effort, what are my efforts worth? Let's say I write a killer iPhone app. Lets say I get 10,000 people who acquire the full game, and 80% of them pirate it. That leaves us with 2,000 paying customers. I'll arbitrarily say that my time is worth $15/hour. I would like to recoop $9000 from the sale of the game. Then, at best case, I would average out $4.5 per title.

I suppose, looking at the numbers, your technique could possibly be a logical one. Shift the price lower for a preorder (does the App Store allow preorders like Steam does?). Launch at 100%. Go on sale after X days. Release a dollar expansion pack. Sell the combination for some amount that is less than 100%.

Still, 80% is a bitch.

Free software (2, Insightful)

emanem (1356033) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855191)

Is it free or not?
Jokes apart, compare this with World of Goo feedback. Given that 80% of WoG players could have a pirated version of the game, still devs don't complain and indeed made a give-us-what-you-want birthday sale.
And apparently it worked.
Apparently people want freedom to do what they want with their devices, they want to install what and from where they prefer.
The app store model is broken...too much control in Apple's hands...people don't like this so the chances that they'll use a pirated version are higher.
I don't own an iPhone, but a PS3. When I had to sign up to play SF4 online on their PSN I was so mad at them. Sony doesn't own my PS3, they don't own the copy of the game and don't own the connection used to move data between my host an other players.
Again, the point is simple: piracy will always be there, and most of all, don't think that the 80% of pirated copies would translated automatically in sold software. You're wrong.

Ciao!

Re:Free software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29855339)

Sony also seems to acknowledge that by not charging you a single cent for it.

FTA.... (1)

Rooked_One (591287) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855223)

"they also looked at the related iPhone DeviceIDs to see how many of the pirates went on to purchase the game. None of them did."

It did not occur to this gentleman this his game.... sucked. Read that again and pretend Mitch Hedburg said it... it will be funny. And that part tooo.

If the 80% number is correct, problem is.. (1)

eddy (18759) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855287)

... in distribution. The most likely explanation, as I see it, is simply that the cracked version has been 'going around' while the application itself remains anonymous in the store. No way is 80% representative for a high-visibility item in the app store; the ratio of vanilla to jailbroken phones can't possibly be tilted in that direction at this time. I think being cracked exposed your app to more people than if it hadn't been, and you're thinking about the math wrong, because most of those 80% pirates wouldn't have even known your app existed if the hadn't gotten it through their iphone-app torrent RSS feed or whatever.

I'd also like to point out that 'try-before-you-buy' doesn't mean "you try then you buy", it also means "you try and you don't buy [but also don't use the app]". I didn't check the OA, but how many of those IDs tried it and then didn't come back? Those are legitimate triers-not-buyers.

So yeah, that's todays excuse.

PS. My iphone isn't currently jailbroken, but back when it was, it never had a cracked app on it.

Cry me a river (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29855303)

How many games have gone public domain? Less than 20%? How many games have had their source code opened?

When you start respecting your end of the copyright bargain, I'll start worrying about it being broken by the public.

It is simple (4, Interesting)

Wildclaw (15718) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855335)

To start out with, I would like to mention that I have pirated a lot in my lifetime. I pirated more when I was unemployed and poor, because I had lots of time and less money. I still pirate some, but nowadays I also buy more now that I am earning good money. But anyway, here is my viewpoint of piracy.

Most of the excuses pirates use are just that, excuses.

* Try before you buy! It does happen, but rarely.
* Everything sucks! Then why are you pirating it in the first place?
* Damn the evil publishers!! You really believe most pirates are like that?

Want to hear a valid excuse

* It is free to pirate, so I don't have to worry about money.

Now, you will here people mention that these games aren't really that expensive. But that misses the point. There is a huge difference between cheap and free, and it affects behavior a lot. When something is free, you can consume it without feeling like you have to get value out of it. And that gains a certain amount of freedom which is very difficult to compete with if you are trying to charge for a product.

Now, the article in question I actually found was fairly unbiased. It did mention that piracy is high as soon as the game is released. This is not strange at all. As pirates have no restrictions on them in regard to money, they will play whatever they feel like. And the newest thing on the market is simply an easy target.

This may point out that Pirates generally have a lower attention span they quickly move on to the next game

This is a nice observation in the article. I would say that it isn't attention span per se. It is just that pirates have a fare wider selection of items to select from. Again, having to do with the freedom I mentioned above.

The author goes on to discuss ways to combat piracy. And here I want to mention an important thing. If you use piracy protection to fight against piracy, then you are using it wrong. If you use piracy protection to steal customers from a competing product that doesn't have piracy protection then you are doing it right.

If you fail to understand the difference, it is simple. Pirates buy products too. And they are more likely to buy something if they get value out of it beyond legal ownership. This is why authenticated multi player mode is a very efficient piracy protection mechanism. It gives the pirates something that they want to buy, without providing any negative effects on other customers (who may or may not pirate other products).

It is the same in other businesses. If a pirate has to decided between buying a CD of one artist, or attending a live performance of another artist, guess what they will choose. Same with DVD vs. movie theater.

Of course, there are always pirates that won't buy anything. Either because they have no money, or because they intend to use that money for other things. But, those are the kind of pirates that simply aren't worth spending any effort on. At best you can hope that their money habits will change over time, and that you as a developer will be a beneficiary.

Not asking real question? (3, Insightful)

Nomen Publicus (1150725) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855343)

Surely the real question is: How many of the people who are using pirated copies would pay for a copy if the pirated copies were not available?

This is the RIAA fallacy, presuming that all pirated copies represent lost revenue.

From the desk of an iPhone pirate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29855357)

I refuse to pay for any apps on my iPhone because of the fact that Apple is too insane about thinking something you pay for and own is in all reality still 110% theirs to control and do what they want when they want. Therefor if I just encourage these amateur crashware script kiddies to continue to ride on the coat tails of Apple screwing people over I am in turn encouraging the insane belief that no matter how much money I pay I never own a fucking thing much less have the freedom to do what I want when I want. Pardon me for not being one of the weak minded who bends over and spreads their cheeks for an good reaming from the self proclaimed permanent owners of everything no matter what.

People should get paid for their work? Excuse the fuck out of me I should not have anybody else in control of something *I* bought and paid for.

So, if you dance with the devil you get burned by the flames. Jailbreak and voila! Now I control MY phone and do my part to chip away at a piece of one seriously fucked up business model which is to screw and screw some more anybody they can. In regards to thinking a server connection will solve any woes...if the idea for the app is even half decent it will have a free clone that usually will pale the original piece of garbage to begin with. Besides, some apps you cannot even get in the app store because the author does not want to have to wipe their mouth clean with the back of their hand after pleasuring the Apple God. No need to provide any support to that kind of crooked forced scarcity to fuel their crooked business model. If you don't like how people are fighting back and demonstrating what they want, use some of your coat tail money to go call somebody who gives a fuck.

Apple and their lackeys publishing in the app store can all go eat a dick.

How many? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29855367)

Percentage from _first week_?

Really valid statistics. And total amount sold isn't told anywhere. 80% of what? Ten? Thousand?

Either you know people making the game or you trust (ie. you are a fool) what they say and buy something you don't know or you wait and see what others have to say about the game. That takes several weeks or couple of months.

So it's blindingly obvious that unknown game is _at first_ mostly pirated, they have nothing to lose as they didn't pay for it and this is not even news.

Either article writer/seller is making twisted statistics on purpose or doesn't understand how selling software works. I'll bet they didn't have tv and magazine commercials about it starting months before release date.

Retention period... (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#29855393)

What about some more detail?
Of those users, those who bought it and those who pirated it, how long did they continue playing for? Perhaps the pirates try it (because theres nothing to lose from doing so) and decide it's not worth it... Do any of those pirates come back for more later? You did point out that they seem to have a shorter attention span and quickly move from one game option to the next, perhaps they quickly get bored of the game and don't consider it worth spending money on.

Incidentally, i would not randomly buy a game i hadn't played before, i might consider buying it if i'd played it on a friends device (who may or may not have pirated it). I don't trust online reviews or demo versions (a lot of demos offer the first great level of a game, when you buy the full game you find the remaining levels are crap).

I might pirate it to try it out, but i probably wouldn't drop $4 on the off chance (i hate things which are priced x.99, its more hassle than its worth and is anyone really stupid enough to think 3.99 is really much different from 4.00?), the idea of a beat em up game with the iphone control method seems very strange.

Very few games hold my interest, i might play a couple of hours tops... I have maybe a small handful of games which i can keep coming back to, most of them involve networked play.

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