Android app goes free due to high piracy rate

We have heard that the PC platform is a bad one to use for games because of the high chances that the game could be pirated. As it turns out, the developers of a recent shooter game claim that the Android platform is also filled with pirates.

The development team is Madfinger Games, who previously made the third person sci-fi shooter Shadowgun for iOS and Android products. In June, the team released its second game, a zombie-themed FPS called Dead Trigger. The game came out for just 99 cents for both iOS and Android. Indeed, Google showed off Dead Trigger during its Google I/O conference as a way to show off the hardware of the Nexus 7 tablet.

However, while the game is still priced for 99 cents for iOS devices, Madfinger Games has now turned Dead Trigger into a totally free game to download for Android. In a statement on their Facebook page, the development team says:

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. - It was much less than 8$ for SHADOWGUN but on the other hand we didn't dare to provide it for free, since we hadn't got XP with free-to-play format so far. - However, even for one buck, the piracy rate is soooo giant, that we finally decided to provide DEAD TRIGGER for free.

The statement seems to be a huge indictment against the Android operating system.

Source: Dead Trigger Facebook page | Image via Madfinger Games

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I really liked that game, apart from the usual having to pay to unlock more weapons etc in order to finish the game, but sadly this is the norm now even for new games with the "free to play" attitude. Crysis 3 will be going down that route, Activisions fish game has been doing it for years and I personally abhor it especially as I have been gaming for over 30 years and this stuff used to be free, I know someone used a phrase on here to describe it which was quite apt, something like pay to complete or something, but better sounding

I know I have gone off topic slightly but it is this attitude that game developers have which is bringing gaming to an expensive hobby

BeLGaRaTh said,
I really liked that game, apart from the usual having to pay to unlock more weapons etc in order to finish the game, but sadly this is the norm now even for new games with the "free to play" attitude. Crysis 3 will be going down that route, Activisions fish game has been doing it for years and I personally abhor it especially as I have been gaming for over 30 years and this stuff used to be free, I know someone used a phrase on here to describe it which was quite apt, something like pay to complete or something, but better sounding

I know I have gone off topic slightly but it is this attitude that game developers have which is bringing gaming to an expensive hobby

SOB, really? I was looking forward to Crysis 3. So the $60+ they sell the game for gives them no profit? Or at least not enough to warrant me owning the 'full game' without additional purchases? smdh

I can completely understand addons. They are extras to the game, but in order to even finish the main game I purchased I must spend additional money??

KCRic said,
SOB, really? I was looking forward to Crysis 3. So the $60+ they sell the game for gives them no profit? Or at least not enough to warrant me owning the 'full game' without additional purchases? smdh

I can completely understand addons. They are extras to the game, but in order to even finish the main game I purchased I must spend additional money??


What about those DLC's I'ts total BS imho, pay a few bucks to get a few maps.
"back in the day, it was considered an update". Totally different attitude nowadays. Maximizing profit

Paying for an app only to have to pay more for the app to fully function makes no cents.
Androids claim to fame is its 100% full of piracy, and 90% of the apps are ad-driven or 'in-app' purchase profit.

Android users on the whole are more savvy as well, and have technical background with their devices that make it much easier to 'rip off the man'. iOS relies on a small group of people to allow you to pirate. I have yet to see an android device that couldn't be rooted.

srbeen said,
Paying for an app only to have to pay more for the app to fully function makes no cents.
Androids claim to fame is its 100% full of piracy, and 90% of the apps are ad-driven or 'in-app' purchase profit.

Android users on the whole are more savvy as well, and have technical background with their devices that make it much easier to 'rip off the man'. iOS relies on a small group of people to allow you to pirate. I have yet to see an android device that couldn't be rooted.

Lets talk about the Droid series then...

Being able to enter
$su
#do some stuff /in/this/data/directory

is not equal to

#write to /this/system/file

ie. su =/= unlocked bootloader

The main problem is this: many people in the EU at least, do not have a credit-card by default. Many people that do, are afraid to use it on-line because of all the warnings and bad news about credit-cards on tv (consumer programs) and read in consumer magazines.

That is exactly why Apple sells iTunes (gift)Cards, Nintendo sells Wii Points cards and Sony sells PSN cards. So, for many people, the option for Google Play/Android is not buying since unable to pay or pirate.

I'm not saying this is good, but it can be explained. Google Play should start selling it's own cards or start accepting other payment methods, I think.

For some-one who we are giving a tablet, we bought a prepaid VISA card so she can buy things in Play without any worries. But many people don't know this, plus it's also rather expensive: every deposit onto the card costs €2, and since most people don't want/need to put €100 on it at once, it does get expensive really quickly. But she doesn't have to pirate in any case.

rvdv said,
The main problem is this: many people in the EU at least, do not have a credit-card by default. Many people that do, are afraid to use it on-line because of all the warnings and bad news about credit-cards on tv (consumer programs) and read in consumer magazines.

That is exactly why Apple sells iTunes (gift)Cards, Nintendo sells Wii Points cards and Sony sells PSN cards. So, for many people, the option for Google Play/Android is not buying since unable to pay or pirate.

I'm not saying this is good, but it can be explained. Google Play should start selling it's own cards or start accepting other payment methods, I think.

For some-one who we are giving a tablet, we bought a prepaid VISA card so she can buy things in Play without any worries. But many people don't know this, plus it's also rather expensive: every deposit onto the card costs €2, and since most people don't want/need to put €100 on it at once, it does get expensive really quickly. But she doesn't have to pirate in any case.

This may contribute, but isn't a deal-breaker for most people. https://support.google.com/goo....py?hl=en&answer=167794

There is also prepaid credit cards and programs like entropay.com
Granted on $50 you will lose about $9-10 after factoring in activation and transaction fee losses.

if i got a pay / go credit card where i am its costs about 10/15$
plus 10$ a month to keep it active (monthly charge)

and i'm expected to consider this a viable payment option
for a 1$ game when it costs me 20 to 25$ for the card ?

This guy make a good point.. touches on the root of piracy
Obviously there needs to be easier ways to buy stuff..
For example how many people will pirate Windows 8
when its RTM and its not in stores yet ?
I've already seen many comments around here where
people stated this specific problem !

Anyway, the game is now free-to-play. This kind of free-to-play but 'encouraged' to use in-app purchases seems to be the trend now. Even though the devs say that the game can be played without IAP, obviously IAPs can be a viable source of revenue instead of the game purchase itself. Though then again, $0.99 is not a lot for a good game.

Just saying, if 1% of people buy IAPs of $1, but downloads of the game increased 100x after it became free, revenues would remain unchanged (though I admit the 100x number is a bit ridiculous).

And also, if you compare piracy percentages between iOS and Android, is it not surprising at all? Obviously piracy on Android will be higher, considering that Android is on all sorts of phones (cheap prepaid ones to the most expensive). The target market of the cheaper phones might not even have a credit card! (Google should ideally implement carrier-billing for these countries).

And with Android being in widespread use globally, I'm guessing that in some parts of the world with no official Google Play access (China?), they resort to obtaining good games such as this from "other sources" (i.e. pirating). Especially when (many people say that) good games for Android are limited, any good game will have this effect magnified.

Not to mention also that you can install APKs on Android without jailbreaking or rooting, which makes it easier. But then again, those who want to pirate will do so regardless of the difficulty. That same game for iOS is also being pirated, just that the percentage of pirated copies of the game on iOS is significantly less.

That's my 2c. Personally I don't really play games on my phone, and would never have heard of Shadowgun or Dead Trigger if the latter didn't become free and get a bit of attention on tech news sites.

I wish the devs good luck with their attempt at the free-to-play format. Hope it works well for them and that we get more good Android games. It would be sad otherwise (for the Android platform, not for me - I don't get the appeal of playing games on my phone).

Edited by Kai Y, Jul 24 2012, 9:17am :

One additional point should be made about Android. The Play Store only gives you 15 minutes to decide if you like an app, before the refund window closes. That is not very much time to decide if you like a game, or to decide if an app works with your way of doing things.

Whoa hang on a minute:
1. Is piracy even a thing on Android these days?
2. These guys appear to be giving NO evidence of how they've detected this 'piracy' in their Facebook post.
3. I'm told the weapon models are almost stolen from CoD 4
4. Point 3 is the sort of BS I'm talking about in point 2.
5. Oh and finally, if they knew for sure it was Piracy, wouldn't they just pull the app from the market rather than sit back and cry?

R-Metal said,
Lol they pirate a game not to pay a buck??! ****ing retards.

i bet the amount of piracy would have been the same even if the game cost 1 cent.

For one thing transferring money online is often viewed as a bad idea !
I know plenty of people that won't even check a bank balance online etc
Only under extremely rare circumstances will i do business online..
And lets not forget many people don't have credit cards, AND
Pay to use cards can have MASSIVE service fees attached to them !
Further more many countries have dramatically different laws in regards to technology
Its possible that for those reasons a co. may not even sell their product to you
because of legal reasons..

Actually i think i know who the retards are around here..
Kids that have lots of mouthy attitude and little to no intelligence
to back their mouth up.. congrats on a dazzling vulgar display of ignorance !

The whole concept of intellectual property is stupid. It doesn't make any sense to try to sell information.

Beaux said,
The whole concept of intellectual property is stupid. It doesn't make any sense to try to sell information.
A game is information??

15*2(98.6754X)+5(56*XY) = C
Answer: C = Call of Durrrty

KCRic said,
A game is information??

15*2(98.6754X)+5(56*XY) = C
Answer: C = Call of Durrrty

Anything that can be transfered over the internet is information.

Beaux said,
The whole concept of intellectual property is stupid. It doesn't make any sense to try to sell information.

What are you saying exactly? That it should not be illegal to use software you haven't paid for? If it wasn't illegal then mainstream services for pirating, like Napster back in the day, would be extremely prevalent. Why would anyone pay for something they could easily get for free? If people don't pay for software then why would any company want to spend money developing it?

Sure, Open Source has some success stories, but would you really want to live in a world where those offerings are the only thing again?

Since iPhone is more of a toy, anyway, it is only fitting that it is best for playing games. I prefer a real phone that can actually make/receive calls reliably and do something productive. That's why I have an Android phone.

fuzi0719 said,
Since iPhone is more of a toy, anyway, it is only fitting that it is best for playing games. I prefer a real phone that can actually make/receive calls reliably and do something productive. That's why I have an Android phone.

Okay Mr. Fud. As someone who has used each platform for over a year I can honestly say you are full of it. Out of the box I have to say I like iOS better, it does a lot without having to download a bunch of apps, but if you don't mind installing apps and trying things out Android has more options. Neither platform has major problems that I have seen.

Well i guess the story is App Dev's learn about piracy..
Welcome to 2012
oh and by the way you should have waited until 2013 to release it
because its a well known fact that piracy is almost defeated and
will be completely gone once the Mayan calendar ends..

what ? theres something wrong with this article.

Piracy on Android ? is that a joke ?

i was thinking that happens only to iOS ..

hehehe

Google, ill never trust you, no matter what !

Google needs to do a massive clean up of Play, there is too many dud crap apps on there for small price tags.

Now days I buy most of my mobile stuff, but only after I've been able to try it. I don't care if I can get a refund, I'm not using my credit card with the risk of the app being completely useless, made by some 15 year old douche.

Nashy said,
Google needs to do a massive clean up of Play, there is too many dud crap apps on there for small price tags.

Now days I buy most of my mobile stuff, but only after I've been able to try it. I don't care if I can get a refund, I'm not using my credit card with the risk of the app being completely useless, made by some 15 year old douche.

and do you think google will clean it up for you, lol.
I tjought pirating was bad with windows based programs but pirating a .99c game lol, shows you the respect that comes with android. Probably half the android drones on here that are always saying how good the OS is and how there phones fly to the moon and back are probably the types that are pirating these games. you lousy ****ers cant even pay for a game that's less than a buck.

WinRT said,
^this! hahahah

Mmhmm, I buy everything I want from the Play Store. A few days ago someone stopped by the irc channel i was in asking how to install this apk he downloaded from a torrent and im like why don't you google how to do that too you <expletive deleted>.

Nashy said,
Google needs to do a massive clean up of Play, there is too many dud crap apps on there for small price tags.

Now days I buy most of my mobile stuff, but only after I've been able to try it. I don't care if I can get a refund, I'm not using my credit card with the risk of the app being completely useless, made by some 15 year old douche.


Brool Cory Sto !!!

Here's mine-
I stick to buying quality apps for iOS. I first read impressions on toucharcade forums. My backup android phone is strictly a backup and has bare essential freeware apps on it. Quality of apps is off compared to their iOS counterparts.

korupt_one said,

and do you think google will clean it up for you, lol.
I tjought pirating was bad with windows based programs but pirating a .99c game lol, shows you the respect that comes with android. Probably half the android drones on here that are always saying how good the OS is and how there phones fly to the moon and back are probably the types that are pirating these games. you lousy ****ers cant even pay for a game that's less than a buck.

I think iOS is great. I think WP is great. I think Meego is great. It's a phone, I don't give a ****. I buy Android because the best phones happen to run that OS.

But something tells me it doesn't matter. Your comment lingers of a condescending person who won't accept what anyone else has to say.

That's right, I am judging you based on one comment.

I'm a lousy fer? How am I? I download heaps of games on my phone. If they are playable, and I like them, they get purchased. I have $100's worth of apps on both iOS and Android. So don't call me a lousy fer.

korupt_one said,

and do you think google will clean it up for you, lol.
I tjought pirating was bad with windows based programs but pirating a .99c game lol, shows you the respect that comes with android. Probably half the android drones on here that are always saying how good the OS is and how there phones fly to the moon and back are probably the types that are pirating these games. you lousy ****ers cant even pay for a game that's less than a buck.

Because people with iOS devices don't EVER pirate anything. Give me a break you hypocrite. Take you moral high ground superiority complex holier-than-thou rant elsewhere.

There are idiots with every OS out there. iOS is no exception.

KCRic said,
Because people with iOS devices don't EVER pirate anything. Give me a break you hypocrite. Take you moral high ground superiority complex holier-than-thou rant elsewhere.

There are idiots with every OS out there. iOS is no exception.


You are right. There are pirates on every platform. Just the fact that Apple makes life a little tough for jailbreakers everytime they push iOS update. On Android however, you just need to enable unknown sources.

I paid for that game on iOS and Android and then I spent over 40 bucks on guns in iOS... I know some folks are gonna scream that they were cheated, but it was pretty decent game...

Jack O Neill said,
I paid for that game on iOS and Android and then I spent over 40 bucks on guns in iOS... I know some folks are gonna scream that they were cheated, but it was pretty decent game...

Tried it on the Nexus 7, can't be arsed without a gamepad of some sort. Is there a good Android gamepad? I've seen a few Bluetooth ones but wasn't sure what I should be looking for.

Deranged said,

Tried it on the Nexus 7, can't be arsed without a gamepad of some sort. Is there a good Android gamepad? I've seen a few Bluetooth ones but wasn't sure what I should be looking for.
Yeah, the problem with games like this is it's absolutely miserable to play on a touchscreen device. You NEED a controller for a game like this, or keyboard/mouse. I have no problem paying for the game. The game looks great for a FPS on Android, but the controls like any other FPS game on a touchscreen device, absolutely sucks!

tsupersonic said,
Yeah, the problem with games like this is it's absolutely miserable to play on a touchscreen device. You NEED a controller for a game like this, or keyboard/mouse. I have no problem paying for the game. The game looks great for a FPS on Android, but the controls like any other FPS game on a touchscreen device, absolutely sucks!

Apparently Gamestop is selling their own Android gamepad now, but it's pretty much reserves only at this point.

thatguyandrew1992 said,

Seems better than what they were gettin on Android ahah

they sold more than 100k copies before they went free..

Brandon said,
make something unique and not just rehashing games.

So it can be even more popular with pirates?

Brandon said,
make something unique and not just rehashing games.

I guess you can steal a Honda Civic without consequences then? It looks like any other cars on the street.

myxomatosis said,

I guess you can steal a Honda Civic without consequences then? It looks like any other cars on the street.

The difference is that you don't take anything away from anyone when you copy software. It would be like getting the design for the car and building your own from scratch, identical to the Civic, with Honda emblems.

Someone working a low-income job, no game consoles, only a old PC, and all his games are pirated, is NOT affecting sales - he wouldn't have bought the game regardless. Many people out there download games that they wouldn't buy, and these people do not affect sales of those games.

I don't advocate software piracy, but it seems silly to give up a revenue stream for an app just because it's popular among software pirates, there are still a lot of people out there who don't pirate software, and there's some who pirate software they intend to buy when they have some cash.

bkellner said,

The difference is that you don't take anything away from anyone when you copy software. It would be like getting the design for the car and building your own from scratch, identical to the Civic, with Honda emblems.

Someone working a low-income job, no game consoles, only a old PC, and all his games are pirated, is NOT affecting sales - he wouldn't have bought the game regardless. Many people out there download games that they wouldn't buy, and these people do not affect sales of those games.

I don't advocate software piracy, but it seems silly to give up a revenue stream for an app just because it's popular among software pirates, there are still a lot of people out there who don't pirate software, and there's some who pirate software they intend to buy when they have some cash.

That is not true. There is a cost to develop software; that cost is something the company expects to recover by sales of their product. When people pirate they are getting a copy without buying it. It is no different than sneaking into a movie theater or concert. You are getting a service you didn't pay for.

People make the “I wasn't going to buy it anyway so no harm done” argument all the time, but that is also faulty. If you take the time to find a working illegal copy and install it then clearly you have some interest in the product. Any sales person will tell you that interest equals a possible sale. Games are pretty cheap regardless of your income level; people find a way to pay for the things they want.

I will admit there have been a few times when I installed a pirated game just because the company didn't offer a demo and I wanted to see if it was worth paying for. I always give myself a 1-2 hour of play limit on those, by then I should know if I am interested in the game. That is a slippery slope. I know some people who claim to do the same thing, but what they really do is play the game until they have finished it or are tired of it and then make their decision (which is almost always NOT to buy it), that is also cheating.

The Tone I got from his statement, left me thinking they will probably not be focusing on Android when they develop future games..