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iPhone: Our solution to hacking: Give it Away. Whack 'em All is now FREE.

01-21-2009, 01:16 PM
#1
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 336
Our solution to hacking: Give it Away. Whack 'em All is now FREE.

You may have read about our recent efforts to explore and reconcile the differences between iPhone game developers and game hackers (see: http://digg.com/apple/Game_Developer...ftware_Cracker).
Over the past two weeks, we've read hundreds of comments, articles, and forum postings on the many sides of this important issue. Game developers want recognition, revenue, and customer feedback for their products and services. Hackers (and often, customers) want try-before-you-buy mechanisms, higher quality and more accurate advertising of products, reasonable prices, and, of course, free stuff wherever possible.

Fairlady Media has opted to address these issues by releasing a FREE full-featured version of Whack 'em All (http://whackemall.com), which will be supported by ad revenue.

We will also continue to support a 99-cent version for those customers who wish to have an ad-free version of the game. This new approach is a risk for our small company because typically ad revenue from a single user playing our game will only be a small fraction of what we could have earned from a 99-cent download. We will need to get many, many more downloads to generate enough revenue to continue game development. Plus, if people continue to use the hacked version of the game, then there is still a revenue loss. However, if the new approach works, it will serve as an example of how the needs of developers, hackers, and customers can be met with an alternate business model.

We continue to seek a response from Apple about these issues and will report back on this site if we are successful. If you or someone you know can point us to a resource within Apple, please let us know.

Thanks to everyone for your support and for all the great feedback we've gotten, we greatly appreciate it! Please continue to support us by downloading and playing the game if you haven't already. If you have friends with an iPhone or iPod, tell them about our game! If you have any issues with the game, or have additional feedback for us, please let us know.

Thanks!
01-21-2009, 02:20 PM
#2
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 136
good luck with the experiment. From what I would guess the hackers will still get the full ad free version and hack it.

IT will reduce the hit, but won't stop it..

01-21-2009, 02:37 PM
#3
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 336
Thanks. Right now with the paid version, 50 percent of the users play the hacked version. My husband has continued his conversations with the hacker of our game, and posted those comments on his blog, in case any of you are interested. See: http://www.jrtb.com/blog/

We're going to continue to track all our numbers and post them on our website so that other devs can benefit from our experiences.
01-21-2009, 02:45 PM
#4
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: In My Head
Posts: 3,358
That's a shame, sorry to hear you guys are forced into this solution, but on the other hand it does seem like a fairly good way to curb the hacking problem...

Gamecenter:1337brian
01-21-2009, 02:51 PM
#5
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: In My Head
Posts: 3,358
FTA - "Also what iíve heard App Store is a goldmine for Apple. So piracy doesnít seem to hurt them financelly. Cracking $.99 game doesnít hurt them at all compared to bigger software piratism"

What a moron, i guess he fails to see the that the Dev's, not Apple lose when people decide to crack apps...

Gamecenter:1337brian
01-21-2009, 03:15 PM
#6
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 136
Whats really sad is that when you ask a hacker WHY do they do this, almost always it's about the money. I can almost understand it on a console where your paying 60.00 a pop for crap, but come on most of the iPhone apps are between 1 dollar and 10 dollars.

Hardly breaking anyone's bank!

The best thing I can say is make a quality title and your efforts will be rewrded by the masses not the minority!
01-21-2009, 03:21 PM
#7
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 208
How can people even bother to crack an 0,99 cent app? its pretty pathetic.

I have so much respect for what so many developers do (both with the iPhone SDK and on the newer consols) but I also have a lot of develepors I don't have much respect for.

giving me support after launch is a instant way of earning my respect and willing to buy future products.

releasing something half done and not fixing it is a good way to make me stay away from you.

Pirates... I don't get them... Maybe its just because they want to see if it really will work and because of the credit they get when they tell their pirate friends "oh yeah! and I got this for free! You know, hacker style!"
01-21-2009, 03:41 PM
#8
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 136
Well speaking as a former "pirate" I used to do some of this, but saw the light a few years back (especially since I had children)

I was under the notion that I needed everything or I was missing out on something. So as soon as something came out I bought what I could and pirated a few others, but than I got to the point of becoming a collector and not a player of these games.

I had 20/30 games I never played sitting there. yeah I was cool I had everything I wanted but enjoyed none of them because I was chasing the next big one.

I took a look at myself, sold the equipment that did this and decided to be a little more patient and read some reviews, wait for some used copies, or what for a price drop.

See I thought a good game was only good for a few days after it's release.

A good game is good 6 months from now, a year from now even. Since than I have been enjoying my games more. I don't feel the pressure to be L33T, and I'm not risking my families survival on some gaming binge.

Most iPhone developers are just little guys trying to make a name for themselves and they should be supported. EA, UBISOFT, and the other BIG guys mostly care nothing about the games but profit...
01-21-2009, 03:56 PM
#9
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorfdad View Post
Well speaking as a former "pirate" I used to do some of this, but saw the light a few years back (especially since I had children)

I was under the notion that I needed everything or I was missing out on something. So as soon as something came out I bought what I could and pirated a few others, but than I got to the point of becoming a collector and not a player of these games.

I had 20/30 games I never played sitting there. yeah I was cool I had everything I wanted but enjoyed none of them because I was chasing the next big one.

I took a look at myself, sold the equipment that did this and decided to be a little more patient and read some reviews, wait for some used copies, or what for a price drop.

See I thought a good game was only good for a few days after it's release.

A good game is good 6 months from now, a year from now even. Since than I have been enjoying my games more. I don't feel the pressure to be L33T, and I'm not risking my families survival on some gaming binge.

Most iPhone developers are just little guys trying to make a name for themselves and they should be supported. EA, UBISOFT, and the other BIG guys mostly care nothing about the games but profit...
Very well said; great post.
01-21-2009, 04:59 PM
#10
I think this will stop almost all, cracked versions of your game. DLing a cracked app can take quite some time so why wouldn't you just DL the free version in 30 seconds from the appstore.