You may have heard of the “Dead Trigger” game on Android devices which recently dropped its price from 0.99 to “free”. That may sound great deal for this awesome game but the reasons behind “Madfinger Games” decision may not seem so obvious. Why did this happen ?
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.
This may or may not true about the game and the decision they’ve made but piracy of apps is a problem for indie developers more than for companies.
The problem with apps piracy is not that it is easy to do but it is a psychological situation where people are more comfortable spending money on physical objects/utilities/services than an app for a digital appliances. In other words we have been taught to “value” physical objects or services that are accomplished by using manual labor. The “software/app”, even if as a concept is over 30 years old, it is more common “word” nowadays with the rise of smartphones. People are not educated to value the mental effort of a developer (or of a group of developers) to build an app that will help them accomplish something, make their life easier or entertain them.
Unfortunately piracy on mobile apps will not go away by spending money on educating-terrorizing(?) people “NOT TO PIRATE” but, by educating from k12 to “Value the work done by a developer”.
While I was reading about the topic of “piracy on apps” I came across a cartoon titled “This is how I feel about buying apps” that captures this interesting aspect of our purchasing behavior. We will spend $4 on coffee, or $500 on devices that you can argue we don’t really need. However, when it comes to buying, apps, we suddenly get really cheap or hesitate to buy it.
- Dead Trigger THD zombie-killing Android FPS hands-on (slashgear.com)