Last week we reported that Madfinger games had made Dead Trigger free because of piracy. The logic of making a game free because some people weren’t paying for it escaped me, and I felt the more likely scenario was that they thought they could make more money from in-app purchases when more people played the free game.
Chris Pruett (developer of Windup Knight) has recently made some tweets indicating that Android piracy is not the problem Madfinger games has made it out to be.
Lotta press about Android piracy lately. For the record, our piracy rate [on Windup Knight] is about 12% on Android and about 15% on iOS. When Wind-up Knight for iOS was a paid app, the piracy rate was more like 80%. For both Android and iOS, close to 100% of our pirate users are in China . Those users can’t buy things on Android anyway.
I think piracy is, as always, a red herring. You can’t stop it, but as long as it’s slightly arduous, it’s not a lot of lost sales. Because a huge number of people who pirate software would never buy it in a million years. You aren’t losing a sale to them. Piracy starts to matter only when pirate users can cost you money in other ways, e.g. network bandwidth and server cost. Yet another reason to be a free app in today’s mobile marketplace.