One iPhone App Developers' Experience With iPhone App Pirates: Not Worth Worrying About

from the focus-on-providing-value dept

Tom was the first of a few to send in this account from the developer of the iPhone game iCombat on his experience with “pirated” versions of the app. Basically, he didn’t try to block them, but put in a way to track authorized vs. unauthorized uses, and at a certain level pushed the unauthorized users to a splash page, asking them to purchase the game. His conclusion? Piracy really isn’t a huge deal, and probably not worth wasting too much time trying to stop:

  • The goal behind launching an app isn’t thwarting pirates, it is getting users and generating sales so leave the “making a point” anti-piracy measures to the big guys. The competition is so fierce to get noticed in the App store that any attention is good attention….
  • In most cases there is not a direct cannibalization of your sales by people using cracked copies – unless you have a high priced niche app the cost is negligible and the market is not zero sum….
  • There is a ton of anger and energy spent thinking about pirates…. this energy should be put into creating better apps and focusing on the top line potential. In my case there are design issues that I should have focused on rather than trying to spoil the pirate’s experience.

This is certainly the same general conclusion we’ve seen in other areas as well. Focusing on “piracy” rather than providing more value for your real customers almost always backfires.

Filed Under: , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “One iPhone App Developers' Experience With iPhone App Pirates: Not Worth Worrying About”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
headkase (profile) says:

DRM As A Systemic Failure.

I got into an debate with a person I consider a troll within the domain of piracy. I couldn’t stop my rebuttal simply because it previous threads the individual I call the troll just really got under my skin.

The rebuttal post can be found: Here. And is part of: This Thread.

Please take that web of issues and improve it if you like!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: DRM As A Systemic Failure.

But unfortunately, the Business often takes piracy to the extreme, and the DRM debate overcomes the focus of the business instead of creating games, music, content which people *want* to buy.

But with any system based on “Secrets” such as DRM, the “Secrets” eventually come out, thusly making the business focus more on creating a stronger, more robust DRM.

This is done by diverting budget from product development to DRM overhead costs. And instead of making games, music, content which people *want* to buy, dev dollars are invested in making DRM stronger, instead of the actual product.

It’s a viscous self-defeating cycle, and over what? A college student who can’t afford a game whose retail cost is $60.00, of which there is $25.00 in game development and another $35.00 in fully loaded DRM costs (systems/people/call center for “unlock” services)? Then what? Sue the college student for all the money they don’t have?

Oh vey!

headkase (profile) says:

Re: Re: Standardization

We’re not even out of our diapers yet. Standardizing your game engines and asset formats and focus on what people actually want to buy: stories. See linked post in the GP for a distribution model. What I like best about it is that with actual usage of assets a common pool of money is distributed. You make a fancy armor and 300 people actually wear it in various realms of this dynamic distribution scheme. These 300 people give a sliver of a monthly subscription they pay to their local node. Major publishers run nodes and they are traversable in the that customers can mix and match any bits from any connection and a flat-rate monthly fee is charged to the customer to use as much as they can pull down through their pipe. As a platform this does not even need to be a general purpose machine. It doesn’t need to be a PC it could be a locked-down purely dedicated entertainment device. They can be distributed into different markings for various levels of performance akin to how models of cell-phones are marketed today. Some hackers will physically crack machines to acquire content but most citizens will see the complete multimedia media machine adequate for everything they actually need to do. I’d own a debugging rig just to damn the laws!

Anonymous Coward says:

iPhone is a closed system

Majority of the iPhones are unhacked and cannot install pirated stuff anyways. So what is the point.

A million years ago I used to have unregistered winzip. After trial period the software still worked albeit with a few irritating stuff (waiting + random placement of “okay” button). Nothing new.

Gene Cavanaugh (profile) says:

Piracy in the media

But as always, the truth is in the middle (piracy is not always bad, or if bad, not something worth worrying about in all cases, but in some cases is very bad and should be fought).
Unfortunately, the positions taken are always extreme – the attitudes are that is is always bad (causing people to shoot themselves in the foot) or always okay (causing people to bury their heads in the sand).

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...