Madfinger Games last week announced the relaunch of its game Dead Trigger, a zombie FPS for smartphones, as a free Android app. The company blamed "unbelievably high" and "soooo giant" piracy rates on Google's mobile platform. On Monday, the company did the same for the iOS version of its game. As a result, you can now download the game for free from the official Apple App Store: itunes.apple.com/app/dead-trigger/id533079551.
So, is Madfinger blaming piracy for the iOS relaunch like they did for the Android one? Not exactly. On the company's Facebook Page, which was used to criticize for Android piracy rates, the announcement was straightforward and didn't really explain much:
Great news, guys! DEAD TRIGGER is avalaible for free on the AppStore now! Moreover update 1.1.2 is finally out and should be visible on the AppStore for the moment. Enjoy!
Maybe the company just wanted to offer both version for free. Either way, the company still considers piracy to be a problem on both Android and iOS. Here's what Madfinger CEO Marek Raba told GameZebo:
There are several myths about pirates. When I read the forums, I get tired of the excuses for downloading the game for free. The most typical example is made by players who allegedly download a pirated copy because a demo version did not exist to try, allowing them to decide whether or not they wanted to buy it. In our case, that’s simply not true. Some of our games have demos, but the piracy rate was same for games with demo as for games without.
Another one often repeated is that, while they might have a jailbroken device, they still buy games anyway. Then I do not understand how the number of pirates on iOS is comparable with the amount of jailbroken devices. Of course, I know that some jailbreak users are paying for games as well, but could it be around 1% at the most?
Another ridiculous comment is that developers of games should attend more to their games by providing new upgrades, contents, etc, to protect their games from piracy. In my opinion, the amount of piracy is equal to how easy the pirating is, and the game developer has nothing to do with it. It is really very sad for us and the gaming industry that with a few clicks of a mouse (err.. touches), a user can install the game and use it for free. It‘s definitely more easy than setting up an account on iTunes or Google Play, filling out large forms and answering all security questions.
Dead Trigger was originally available for $0.99. When it became free on Android, many Dead Trigger users who paid for the game began posting angry one-star reviews on the app's Google Play store webpage. The same hasn't happened on the app's App Store webpage, yet.
Piracy is a serious problem for both platforms, but the general consensus is that the issue is much more serious on Google's Android than it is on Apple's iOS (see also iOS app developer: Android is designed for piracy). Some say this is because Apple users are simply more willing to spend money than Google users. Others believe that since Android has a larger market share, it also has a larger group of pirates.
I think the problem comes down to a much lower barrier to entry: on Android, you can sideload apps after changing a setting in the operating system, while iOS requires you to first jailbreak the operating system. Either way, as Raba points out, it's still relatively easy to pirate apps on both platforms when compared to setting up an account to get them legally.