26 Oct

TapFu Banner

Independent iPhone App developer “Smells Like Donkey” has revealed statistics showing that over 80% of the users playing their recently released game Tap-Fu have played the game using an illegally acquired version of the game. Though the game only costs $1.99 and received some positive reviews, the developers state in their blog that it is in fact easier to obtain a pirated version of the game, rather than buy a legitimate version of the game in the App store. For more information, please take the jump.

Smells Like Donkey states they have begun to explore possible ways to counter this high-piracy rate, but states despite the fact it is relatively easy for them to identify an¬†illegitimate¬†copy of the game, it might be hard to combat piracy effectively. Additionally, they state they do not believe they lost a very large number of sales due to piracy, as many users would not have bought the game in the first place. Below is a graph depicting the amount of pirated copies that logged into the Tap-Fu leaderboards during the first week of the game’s release.

TapFu PiracyRate

Do you think Apple should address the weak DRM-system used on the iPhone as soon as possible, or do you believe the distribution of illegitimate copies in facts creates bigger exposure for games? Let us know in the comments below!

4 thoughts on “iPhone Dev Reveals Piracy Stats”

  1. Good games get bought. Bad games get pirated. Sometimes good games are pirated and then bought. Same goes for movies & music. For every person who pirates exclusively there are hundreds who pirate a little and spend a lot more.

    Starcraft is the perfect example. One of the best selling PC games of all time, but it’s also one of the most pirated.

    It’s a fact: good games that deserve money will make money. Shit, on the other hand, will be downloaded, tried out, and promptly deleted.

    Although digital distribution will definitely affect piracy. Many times a pirate will steal a game, enjoy it, and buy a copy because he wants a hard copy and the permanence that comes with it. If games are only digital, like iPhone games, this doesn’t apply. The only reason for someone to purchase it would be to support the developer.

    Also, the low cost of these games has people thinking “It’s only 2 bucks–it’s hardly stealing.” Because the game is on a phone, it’s perceived as having less value.

  2. Actually, the company also posted stats on how many of the pirates upgraded to the legitimate version (the exact same game, except for the fact that you actually paid) and it came out at a whopping 0%.

  3. Well that’s because of the perceived value of cell phone games and, to be honest, the actual value of them.

    For instance–I pirated Assassin’s Creed when it first came out, but I bought it after I beat it because I enjoyed it. I played Oblivion using a friend’s disc, having paid nothing for the enjoyment, and I naturally purchased the GOTY edition immediately thereafter.

    This is why demos are important. This is why demos need to be longer, more involved, and give the player a real idea of the final product. And every game should have one.

    But the problem is I’m talking about ‘real’ piracy–not cell phone game piracy which many think is just BS.

  4. “they state they do not believe they lost a very large number of sales due to piracy, as many users would not have bought the game in the first place.”

    Says it all.

Comments are closed.