Don't Complain About Piracy When You Create Crappy Games

from the crappy-game-meet-crappy-sales dept

This story really boggles my mind. Recently, Steven Sargent, studio exec of Appy Entertainment, took to the press to complain about the Google Android platform. The first part of the small interview was a complaint about the amount of piracy on the Android platform compared to the iPhone, 70:1 and 3:1 respectively. This isn't too surprising to most who are familiar with the Android platform as it is far easier to side load apps on it than the iPhone. However, that is not the worst part of the complaint.

Right after he complains about the amount of piracy, Sargent goes right into complaining about general development for the Android platform. "There are too many devices for a company of our size to deal with the compatibility on Android. Compatibility was a real nightmare." He then followed up with a complaint about getting textures and audio to work.

I really don't know what to tell this guy other than the following. You admit to creating a crappy game with spotty compatibility across phones and then have the gall to complain about piracy rates? Seriously? Do you not see a correlation between the two complaints? We have already seen that some amount of piracy is due to underserved customers. In this case, I don't think it's a stretch to say a lot of the piracy, or more likely the low sales numbers, is to due to the spotty performance of the game rather than the platform itself.

When you give potential consumers no reason to be confident in the performance of a game on the platform for which it is sold, they will attempt to test the game prior to making a decision to buying it. If that game ends up not working, they will not buy it. Not because they got the game for free, but because it lived up to the expectation of crappiness that you as the developer instilled upon them.

Filed Under: crappy games, drm, video games

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  1. icon
    E. Zachary Knight (profile), 1 Nov 2011 @ 12:44pm


    Also, if the code is crappy, why would someone pirate crappy software?

    I listed one specific case of someone wanting to test the compatibility of the game.

    Aren't you the one who says that the best content is pirated more than the crappy content?

    I didn't say that. A trio of researchers said it. As for this game, there are no numbers given other than a ratio. So as far as we know they sold one copy and 70 people downloaded it. Or 1000 people bought it and 70000 people downloaded it. Without a number for either side, we don't really know how bad the piracy of the game really was.

    What does that say for the top grossing Android apps, how often are they pirated?

    Haven't really looked into it. But it is probably just as high as any other popular game whether for Android, the PC or iPhone.

    Why, as a developer, should I write apps for a platform that is plagued by piracy?

    Why as a developer would you ignore millions of potential sales just to avoid piracy? We have already talked about Valve's efforts in Russia that has netted them the most profitable country in Europe.

    As I explained here, piracy isn't the problem. It is the lack of effort on the part of the developer to give customers a reason to buy.

    The pirates flock to the Android platform because of the easy access to pirated applications.

    Pirates will pirate no matter what platform they are on. But there are a lot of valuable customers on the Android platform who are willing to pay for quality products. They just need a reason to buy. If you follow the path of Appy here, you will not be giving them a reason to buy.

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