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Piracy on the App Store

08-10-2015, 01:47 PM
#1
Piracy on the App Store

How are your piracy rates on the App Store?

For every copy of Furdemption sold, 2.69 copies are pirated. We used Flurry data to compare to actual sales. Our App is premium with no IAP, currently selling for $2.99. Just thought I would share. At what rates are your games pirated?

Cheers,
Brian

Making apps and taking naps since 2013. Protect the sloths and the environment.

Our hottest game: King Rabbit

Our flagship game: Furdemption

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08-27-2015, 06:37 PM
#2
I didn't know how bad piracy was on iOS until I saw an article on Gamesutra recently. I think that particular developer's data was 60% pirated vs 40% sales ratio. It was 70% vs 30% on Android.

I don't suppose there's anyway of finding out whether it's certain territories which pirate games more?

Rich

08-27-2015, 07:50 PM
#3
We always had large play numbers in China which didn't match the number of downloads which we suspect is piracy. When we released on Android our piracy numbers went way up. Mostly Russia.

I would love to read that Gamasutra article if you have a link.

Community Manager
Spunge Games
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09-13-2015, 05:10 PM
#4
@rexxie apologies I haven't been on here for a bit. The link is:

http://gamasutra.com/blogs/AkselJunk...ifications.php

Also Ustwo have mentioned that 40% paid for Monument Valley on iOS and something like 5% on Android.

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/2..._were_paid.php

Last edited by Option4Studios; 09-13-2015 at 05:11 PM. Reason: Added url
09-14-2015, 04:38 PM
#5
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 859
It's hard to call it piracy on Android when MV was the Amazon free app of the day.

I always wonder how accurate these piracy stats. I can't really think of any when they could accurately tell.
09-14-2015, 11:19 PM
#6
Those who can pirate iOS games have plenty of technical skills & time & patience, they will not buy premium games anyway, so fighting them will be even more costly than just let them be your free users. They might be good for exposure purpose, I guess.
09-15-2015, 04:28 AM
#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpiritBomb Studios View Post
Those who can pirate iOS games have plenty of technical skills & time & patience, they will not buy premium games anyway, so fighting them will be even more costly than just let them be your free users. They might be good for exposure purpose, I guess.
Unfortunately they also devote their time and patience towards distributing your games to people who don't have skills, time & patience and might even have been customers. The "Oh they'd never have been customers anyway" argument is as old as piracy and with modern digital distribution methods, very dangerous.
If you've got a popular game that's already got traction it's less of a problem, but if it's new and still trying to get visibility in the App Store, the loss of sales (or downloads) from the proper store to pirate sites who make money off google ads, means you're not just losing potential customers, you're also losing a huge amount of chart position, reviews and critical visibility that you need to get your game successful initially.
09-15-2015, 04:13 PM
#8
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 859
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zwilnik View Post
Unfortunately they also devote their time and patience towards distributing your games to people who don't have skills, time & patience and might even have been customers. The "Oh they'd never have been customers anyway" argument is as old as piracy and with modern digital distribution methods, very dangerous.
If you've got a popular game that's already got traction it's less of a problem, but if it's new and still trying to get visibility in the App Store, the loss of sales (or downloads) from the proper store to pirate sites who make money off google ads, means you're not just losing potential customers, you're also losing a huge amount of chart position, reviews and critical visibility that you need to get your game successful initially.
It's only going to lose you chart position if those games are getting proportionally more piracy than the other apps. I don't see any reason to think that that is the case.
09-15-2015, 09:55 PM
#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zwilnik View Post
Unfortunately they also devote their time and patience towards distributing your games to people who don't have skills, time & patience and might even have been customers. The "Oh they'd never have been customers anyway" argument is as old as piracy and with modern digital distribution methods, very dangerous.
If you've got a popular game that's already got traction it's less of a problem, but if it's new and still trying to get visibility in the App Store, the loss of sales (or downloads) from the proper store to pirate sites who make money off google ads, means you're not just losing potential customers, you're also losing a huge amount of chart position, reviews and critical visibility that you need to get your game successful initially.
Piracy is ILLEGAL, and I do know the feeling of being pirated.
But it is even more dangerous to try fighting it on your own. If you don't have unlimited resource, I'd think it would be better to save them for better things: improve marketing, customer service, game quality,... or find smarter ways to monetize even when you're pirated (for example, adding display ads or cross-promotion banners leading to your original games,...)

For the second argument, I agree with dancj

Last edited by SpiritBomb Studios; 09-15-2015 at 09:56 PM. Reason: grammar check
09-16-2015, 10:11 AM
#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by dancj View Post
It's only going to lose you chart position if those games are getting proportionally more piracy than the other apps. I don't see any reason to think that that is the case.
Only when all apps lose the same percentage of sales to piracy, which isn't the case. The apps with lower visibility (new, smaller ad budget etc.) will typically lose a much higher number of sales initially. For instance if 500 people pirate every game on launch, that's terminal for a smaller dev but not even a blip for a larger one in terms of chart position.