July 24, 2012, 8:30 AM — Well here's a sad story from the Android world. A few weeks ago mobile game developer Madfinger released its zombie shooting game Dead Trigger for 99 cents on the App Store and Google Play. The game has been generally well received and is remarkable for how good it looks. A buck isn't much to pay for a decent mobile game, right?
Apparently it is. As of yesterday Dead Trigger on Google Play has had its price slashed to free. Why? According to the dev (via Facebook), the decision was made due to 'unbelievable piracy.' Here's the full post:
Regarding price drop. HERE is our statement. 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. Anyway - DEAD TRIGGER is not FREEMIUM, it always was and still remains FREE-TO-PLAY, that means, all players are able to play it without IAP! We stand up for this statement, because all members of our team are playing (and enjoying) DEAD TRIGGER without IAP.
So how high is unbelievably high? AndroidCentral wanted to know and reached out to Madfinger for clarification. As of the time of this writing Madfinger hadn't responded.
I'm also not clear on why a high piracy rate would cause you to drop the price of your game to zero, unless the pirated version had been modified in some way?
Regardless, I find it kind of depressing that people pirate a $1 game. How cheap can you be? Some percentage of those stealing the game will be doing so because they don't have a credit card or are for some reason prevented from using Google Play, but I don't think that covers a "soooo giant" number of software thefts.
So it's sad that people won't even spend a buck for a game.
What's even sadder is that apparently some of the people who paid $1 are mad that the game is now free, feeling they were somehow ripped off. See Dead Trigger fans dead angry after game goes free to play at Pocket Gamer or check some of the 1 star reviews at Google Play such as:
I Pay For This, And Some Time Later, They Just Give This Game Away For Free, Which It Should Have Been In The First Place!!! Last MadFinger Game I'll Ever Purchase!!! FU MadFinger!!! Complaints & Objections Have Been Submitted. -Dante Filth
Update: thanks for the price change madfinger. Nothing like giving your paying customers the middle finger... -Matthew
Have emailed developer hoping to hear explanation regarding why free all of a sudden and any compensation of sort to ppl who paid. UPDATE: no reply till now. They just don't care. Regret support for this company. Will spread news to all my friends to boycott them. -winston
Really Winston, you're going to organize a boycott because you bought a 99 cent game that subsequently was offered for free? You mad, bro?
This is why we Android users can't have nice things -- we're too cheap and whiny to be worth developing for! I really can't blame app developers for wanting to stick to iOS if this is the kind of nonsense they can expect when they move to Android.
OK that's a gross generalization and I'm sure there are just as many iOS consumers who are whiny. But the piracy situation seems to be much worse on Android than it is on iOS. I'm not entirely sure how Google combat piracy while keeping Android as open as it is, though.
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