Android app piracy convinces developer to offer Dead Trigger for free
When you think of piracy, you might think of music or movies or PC software, but you might not think of smartphone apps—especially ones that cost only a dollar. Try telling that to Mad Finger Games, though, and you might get some angry looks.
Mad Finger Games released zombie shooter Dead Trigger on both the iOS and Android for just $1—the lowest price point allowed for paid apps on both stores. At the time, the developers didn’t release quite how popular the game was going to be, hence the modest price tag. Within weeks, though, the company made the Android version free in response to widespread piracy of the app.
In a statement on Facebook, Mad Finger Games said that piracy on Android is “unbelievably high,” and that, even though it cost only $1, “the piracy rate is soooo [sic] giant, that [the company] finally decided to provide Dead Trigger for free.”
On one hand, offering the app for free is somewhat of a wise mover for Mad Finger Games, as this means fans are at least downloading Dead Trigger directly from the source, which might make them consider a purchase in the future. However, this also poses a problem, and should serve as a warning for developers: Even cheap apps are not safe from piracy.
The worry with app piracy is the effect it might have on smartphone software development in the future. After all, why would you put all your time and effort into an app you were hoping to charge for if users simply pirate the software instead? On the other hand, I can’t help but wonder if making a paid app free in response to piracy is really the best way to go—it does seem to set a bad precedent.
Do you think Mad Finger Games made the right call? How do you think developers could solve piracy? Let us know in the comments.