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piracy

07-23-2012, 08:11 PM
#1
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 37
piracy

We're a teeny weeny two person indie company struggling to get some visibility for our first game, Run Fatty Run. I'd love to know what other devs do about piracy? Just ignore it? Send nasty emails? Cease and desists?

Our game was featured by a couple of jailbreak sites, and got a lot more love and attention there than its getting anywhere else
07-23-2012, 08:25 PM
#2
Joined: Jan 2011
Location: UK
Posts: 195
As long as Jailbreaking remains legal and people have free access to the internets, piracy will always exist in some way or another

I doubt your "teeny weeny two person indie company" will have the resources to file C&Ds against even the most blatant of copyright cases (not just talking about piracy), so if I were you I wouldn't worry about it

Put more effort into creating games people would be willing to purchase in order to support the developers

Our games have been extensively pirated too, so I am not just saying this based on vague assumptions

07-23-2012, 08:35 PM
#3
Joined: Jul 2012
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 2
It's best to ignore it. There are always people who will pirate stuff, if nothing else for the challenge and lolz.

As nvx said, it's much better to channel your time and energy into making fun and interesting games people will want to buy.
07-23-2012, 10:04 PM
#4
Joined: Mar 2012
Location: California
Posts: 31
You should use that extra exposure to your advantage. Extra eyes on your game, means you can market your future games to more people. I wouldn't look at the jailbroken downloads as lost revenue either, because those people weren't going to buy it anyway. They would have gotten any game there because it was free.

Games become popular from people talking about them, they may not have bought your game, but at the very least they are giving you free advertisement by showing your game around.

Twitter: RuizNick
07-23-2012, 11:00 PM
#5
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 37
Oh, we're happy about it, if anything. For one thing, its interesting that it gets downloads when put in a place where people can see it.

It would just be interesting to know how others respond? I've worked in games for a long time, but for publishers, so I've never given it much thought.

disparitygames.com
07-24-2012, 04:15 PM
#6
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: California, USA
Posts: 2,143
I don't worry about it. The first time I saw my game on a pirate site I was a little angry, mainly because two pirate sites were arguing about who stole the pirated version from whom. You both stole it from me.

Other than that, my advice is don't put any thought into it. If Adobe and all the big companies can't protect their software, and if Apple can't or won't, niether can you or I.
07-25-2012, 07:21 AM
#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by schplurg View Post
I don't worry about it. The first time I saw my game on a pirate site I was a little angry, mainly because two pirate sites were arguing about who stole the pirated version from whom. You both stole it from me.

Other than that, my advice is don't put any thought into it. If Adobe and all the big companies can't protect their software, and if Apple can't or won't, niether can you or I.
That's some pretty sound advice.

You definitely can't stop piracy so your best bet is to turn it into a positive (more people playing your app) and focus your attention towards people who are paying for your app.
07-28-2012, 09:59 PM
#8
Joined: May 2012
Location: New York
Posts: 1,367
In the spirit of full disclosure and honesty (and hoping I don't receive too much flak for this): I have a jailbroken iPhone. But I operate on one principle: If I like the game/app, I buy it. No exceptions. I have absolutely no qualms against rewarding someone who has invested time and money on something that I ultimately enjoy or find very useful.

But I have been burned before. And after receiving 5,10,20 dollars invoices from iTunes for apps that I had deleted because they were bad, or I ended up not liking, I had had enough.

If the app has a Lite version, perfect! If it doesn't, I resort to the jailbreak sites to try the apps out before a purchase.

Out of the 150+ apps I currently have on my phone, 80% are instabuys or free upon launch/promotion (I'm a sucker for awesome artwork and fresh ideas yet researched with reviews, trailers and gameplay videos to convince me to purchase/download) and the other 20% are apps that didn't initially convince me, so I got them pirated but was instantly hooked, deleted them and gladly purchased them.

If it's a free app, I send them a small donation via IAP.
I've got receipts!

Sadly, on the other end of the spectrum I've got friends who adamantly avoid paying for any app no matter how much they like it or find it useful.


I know this doesn't answer your question, but I just though I'd share app piracy from a user stand point. Please don't find my actions despicable. I just think it's a fair balance between a developers work and intentions and a user's trust and money.

.

Last edited by Eoghann; 07-28-2012 at 10:01 PM.
07-29-2012, 11:54 AM
#9
Thanks for your honesty, it sounds like your morals are in the right place and that's what counts. I think that your approach describes a bit of a grey area that applies also to other things like music and movies. Its definitely not something with an obvious answer. Unfortunately I too know people that jailbreak and don't pay for anything. What was interesting is that to them it also came down to how easy it was. When I asked them about jailbreaking getting harder and taking longer they conceded that they thought soon jailbreaking would be hard enough that they wouldn't bother and instead pay through the app store.

Out of interest as a user where do you find your games? I'm a dev and I see us having two main problems, the biggest being visibility and the secondary being piracy. We just launched a new game Stunt Guy which is fun (although technically I'm biased as I made it ) and free but my biggest fear is just that it gets lost amongst the flood of crapware. On a console you can rely on review sites but I think that with the App Store review sites must get so many emails about this and that that invariably they'll miss some decent games.

Our first game (NinjaTrials) has been out on the store maybe two years now and is even free to play and yet not many downloads. It might seem like I've gone off topic but I'd say that number one concern should be getting heard and not worrying about piracy as much.
07-29-2012, 12:42 PM
#10
Joined: May 2012
Location: New York
Posts: 1,367
Quote:
Originally Posted by sinuous View Post
Out of interest as a user where do you find your games? I'm a dev and I see us having two main problems, the biggest being visibility and the secondary being piracy. We just launched a new game Stunt Guy which is fun (although technically I'm biased as I made it ) and free but my biggest fear is just that it gets lost amongst the flood of crapware. On a console you can rely on review sites but I think that with the App Store review sites must get so many emails about this and that that invariably they'll miss some decent games.

Our first game (NinjaTrials) has been out on the store maybe two years now and is even free to play and yet not many downloads. It might seem like I've gone off topic but I'd say that number one concern should be getting heard and not worrying about piracy as much.
Yeah, a ton of good games get lost in the slew of crapware, clones and rip offs that emerge in the app store. Not to mention the games that have generated a lot of buzz and take the App Store by storm. I've found that the App Store is not the most comprehensive tool in finding games that are good but haven't gotten the proper exposure. They always get swept under the rug by big name games or games that generated lot's of buzz.

My main sources are the Toucharcade forums/iPhone app, and Appshopper. Appspy is also very useful. I also frequent FreeAppaDay from time to time. I have bookmarked all those sites. I tend to browse the What's New Popular and What's New All portions. I have discovered some great gems with these tools that would have otherwise gone unnoticed if I depended solely on the App Store telling me what's good.

Marketing is really important, it's being discussed by other devs in this thread and I think it's really useful what they're suggesting:
http://forums.toucharcade.com/showthread.php?t=143411

I did find the Stunt Guy app through Appshopper the other day. Didn't know you were from Kempt. Funny game, I like it.
I also got the Bar Fight app through your in game advertisement.

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