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Developer Drops Game Price To $0 Citing Android Piracy

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the step-two-still-unknown dept.

Android 433

hypnosec writes with news of a curious way of fighting piracy. From the article: "Android based devices are being activated at the rate of million a day and users are downloading apps and games at a rate never seen before. Despite these promising stats, developers of Android based games and apps are not really keen on porting games and apps that have been successful on iOS to Android. Why? Rampant piracy on Android! Madfinger Games has joined the long list of developers who have recently turned their paid Android based game, Dead Trigger, to a free one. Originally priced at $0.99 on Play Store, the first person shooter game is now available for free . The iOS version of the game still costs $0.99 and hasn't been made free." Zero-cost, but certainly not Free Software; one has to wonder whether Open Source games with a "donation" build in the store would do better than proprietary games with upfront costs.

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Good news everyone! (5, Insightful)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#40741713)

From Google:

From Jelly Bean and forward, paid apps in Google Play are encrypted with a device-specific key before they are delivered and stored on the device. We know you work hard building your apps. We work hard to protect your investment.

Well in about 5+ years, when developers can abandon earlier versions, that should really help out a lot.

And they wonder why iOS stays on top. It's not just because of numbers of hipness, you know. It's also because, for developers, it means not having to deal with Google's sloppy, haphazard approach in Android to everything the Apple does so professionally in iOS (especially when it comes to the App Store vs. the Android Marketplace). This is just another example.

Re:Good news everyone! (5, Funny)

Annirak (181684) | about 2 years ago | (#40741785)

I need a +1 cranky mod option.

Re:Good news everyone! (5, Funny)

Tr3vin (1220548) | about 2 years ago | (#40741797)

Yes, because there is no piracy on iOS.

There is - far less (5, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#40741947)

The article mentions the piracy rate for iOS, the rate is orders of magnitude smaller.

Everyone expects some piracy, but when 90+% of your "sales" are piracy you cannot support any app - especially so if there is any server component, or any support load at all.

Re:There is - far less (5, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | about 2 years ago | (#40742185)

If random people with illegitimate copies are allowed to use your servers to patch or for gameplay, then you are doing it wrong.

Re:Good news everyone! (1)

myurr (468709) | about 2 years ago | (#40741957)

Not only that but there's a relatively simple solution with today's tools. Allow people to play the game for a bit for free but then make a single in app purchase to play it through to completion. As long as you're very up front about this then you're effectively giving people a free trial, and putting a block on piracy. I'm sure it's not a fool proof block, just look at the problems on iOS right now, but hopefully it's at least another step that doesn't harm genuine users but makes it a bit more difficult for the pirates.

Re:Good news everyone! (3, Informative)

P-niiice (1703362) | about 2 years ago | (#40742123)

Hyep, that would get cracked in about 43 seconds. Android crackers have cracked pretty much all in-app protections. We even have apps that crack other apps and remove ads from them.

Re:Good news everyone! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40742243)

NO NO NO. "make a single in app purchase to play it through to completion" This is akin to saying "Thanks for buying the game, but I want you not to bother playing it because it can't be completed"

This is why the fun is being sucked out of freemium games. The games are simply not "Free" at all. If it was a simple matter of in-game endorsement ads (eg locations, food, clothing) nobody would give quite the damn about it affecting game play. But nearly all freemium is based on money in exchange for time. So instead of spending an hour an playing the game, you can pay a dollar and skip all the "playing" altogether. This is bone headed logic. Grindy MMO games have embraced this and have run their games into the ground (see Nexon's MapleStory and Mabinogi) by making it impossible to play for free. Forget play balance. Just make it so the only way you can play the game is pay 1$ every 2 minutes of play like an arcade.

See the problem is that this is an artificial barrier, and unless the game has a real-time component, the same people pirating the game are also going to hack the game to not have to ever pay for any aspect of the game. Games that have a real time component are harder to hack around because updates to the game invalidate the copy stored on the device, and it won't work with the server. Peer to Peer games don't have this ability.

So no, this isn't a solution.

The "right" solution is to not develop Android games, or to run the "game" on your hardware (eg server) and only have the part of the game that resides on the device be a feedback mechanism. This doesn't work well for anything realtime, but that's the right solution.

Re:Good news everyone! (-1, Troll)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about 2 years ago | (#40741959)

Piracy is on every platform but if the majority decide to be a pack of freetards then it's not worth a developer's time. Google does need to address is because eventually developers will get sick and tired of it.

Re:Good news everyone! (4, Insightful)

SomePgmr (2021234) | about 2 years ago | (#40742057)

I've owned both, and a quick google search looks to overwhelmingly confirm my suspicions. iOS sales outnumber Android sales 9:1. Android apps on both platforms are pirated 2,300% more often for the Android version vs the iOS version. Meanwhile, Android users (by percentage) are consistently years behind on system software, so there's little reason to expect any of this to change soon.

Of course, the list goes on. Let's not make stupid excuses for a bad market experience just because, as users, we like Android better.

Re:Good news everyone! (-1, Flamebait)

flatt (513465) | about 2 years ago | (#40741803)

Article: Posted by Unknown Lamer on Monday July 23, @03:56PM

Comment: by crazyjj (2598719) on Monday July 23, @03:56PM

How's that astroturfing working out for you?

Re:Good news everyone! (5, Informative)

X0563511 (793323) | about 2 years ago | (#40742025)

See that * next to crazyjj that you carefully omitted from your summary?

That means he pays slashdot. So he can see such articles 10 minutes or so before they post. He had plenty of time to write that up.

Re:Good news everyone! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40742031)

Maybe you didn't notice the star next to the username, indicating the person is a subscriber and can see articles earlier. But keep pushing a conspiracy theory, it's so fun to watch.

Re:Good news everyone! (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about 2 years ago | (#40742203)

Derp.

Re:Good news everyone! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40741849)

Depends on how this is implemented. Somebody will manage to decrypt them...

Re:Good news everyone! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40741855)

That sort of DRM will do nothing to prevent game copying. If it can be executed it can be copied.

Re:Good news everyone! (3, Insightful)

johnlcallaway (165670) | about 2 years ago | (#40741885)

It's also because, for developers, it means not having to deal with Google's open, flexible approach in Android to everything the Apple controls with an iron fist in iOS (especially when it comes to the App Store vs. the Android Marketplace).

There .. fixed that for you.

Re:Good news everyone! (3, Interesting)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 2 years ago | (#40741993)

It's also because, for developers, it means not having to deal with Google's open, flexible approach in Android to everything the Apple controls with an iron fist in iOS (especially when it comes to the App Store vs. the Android Marketplace).

More than three billion dollars paid to iOS developers. How much money has ended up in Android developers' pockets?

Re:Good news everyone! (1, Interesting)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 2 years ago | (#40741897)

Since when did iOS stay on top? Android steam rolled it in the smartphone market and is about to do the same to tablets.

Re:Good news everyone! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40741937)

Hur dur, I'm a fanboy of something you're a fanboy of.

Re:Good news everyone! (5, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 2 years ago | (#40742067)

Well, except in the whole old-style 'making money' sense. Apple devices still occupy the most profitable 10% of the market. I suspect that Google and Apple are both happy with this: Google wants lots of Android users so it can collect information about them for advertising and make money out of them, Apple wants the high-margin part of the market to make the biggest profit from direct sales.

Re:Good news everyone! (4, Insightful)

DurendalMac (736637) | about 2 years ago | (#40742115)

And Apple is still making more from iPhones and the app ecosystem than the rest of the smartphone market combined. Yep, they sure got steamrolled!

Re:Good news everyone! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40742155)

Android phone is steam rolling anything. Android sales are on the decline and eventually all the major manufactures will stop making them or go out of business.

http://www.tgdaily.com/mobility-brief/61070-android-suffers-first-ever-market-share-decline
http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2012/06/android-market-share-stalls-version-4-0-sees-a-7-percent-install-base/
http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/is-androids-market-share-peaking/
http://macdailynews.com/2012/04/25/googles-android-on-the-decline-as-apple-iphone-takes-59-share-of-u-s-top-three-carriers/
http://www.information-age.com/channels/comms-and-networking/perspectives-and-trends/2101723/androids-tablet-market-share-in-decline.thtml
http://www.forbes.com/sites/terokuittinen/2012/01/31/android-share-dive-aftershocks/
http://www.zdnet.com/idcs-tablet-forecast-skips-rt-sees-android-decline-4010026409/

http://www.gev.com/2012/07/the-bankruptcy-trifecta-nokia-rim-and-htc-following-palms-footsteps/

Re:Good news everyone! (-1, Flamebait)

msauve (701917) | about 2 years ago | (#40741975)

Of course, with IOS, unless your customers are jailbroken, all apps have to be sold through Apple. So there's 100% piracy, although Apple only steals 30%, like any successful parasite.

Re:Good news everyone! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40742145)

Of course, with IOS, unless your customers are jailbroken, all apps have to be sold through Apple. So there's 100% piracy, although Apple only steals 30%, like any successful parasite.

Been working on a sales model that "tried" to take less than the 30%, however, when you start looking at the volume of product at $0.99 credit processing fees eat up most of that 30%. Now there are a lot of tricks to manage that (like how Apple will bundle purchases and do one transaction at the end of the day, but for the vast majority we just couldn't offer more than 70% on sales that less than $.99. Now for higher priced stuff, the credit fee percentage drops because most of it is tied in transaction fees which run around $.20 per transaction, so on a $10 purchase it is a much lower percentage.

We are looking at alternative models like dwolla that don't charge for transactions under $10.00 but not enough people are on that platform to build a business model around it.

Just wondering (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40741755)

one has to wonder whether Open Source games with a "donation" build in the store would do better than proprietary games with upfront costs.

Wonder all you want, the answer is no.

Re:Just wondering (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40741781)

Considering the shit they develop is no better than free flash games online, they should be glad they get any money at all.

Re:Just wondering (2)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 2 years ago | (#40741965)

That's the case with most mobile development (by number of titles). Mobile is low investment, low risk. If your game completely fails and you sell 5000 copies you're only out a few tens of thousands of dollars or small hundreds of thousands, which can be recouped by a single title doing very well. Make 20 games for 100k each and hope one makes you 2 million dollars sort of thing.

Part of game development is the creative exercise of trying to tell a story or come up with a compelling mechanic. The risk of open source is that everyone wants to be the guy who decides the story, or the gameplay etc. and why not just make your own game for next to nothing that you sell in the app store for next to nothing in that scenario?

But yes lots of mobile games are basically shitty flash games that seem like student projects, because a lot of them are. The school I'm at produces 2 or 3 student project games a year, plus we do part of the university mobile app etc.

Re:Just wondering (4, Interesting)

dattaway (3088) | about 2 years ago | (#40742001)

Sure would be nice to have a "tip jar" donation button. *click* *click* *click* I sure would be sending quarters by the dozens...concept has been around for decades...

Re:Just wondering (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40742153)

Yeah, because people who refuse to pay $0.99 up-front are totally likely to "click click click" for dollars worth of donations after the fact. I'm sure a "tip button" is going to totally subvert piracy on Android.

Logic has been around for millennia. Perhaps you should try applying that.

Re:Just wondering (1)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#40742213)

Sure would be nice to have a "tip jar" donation button. *click* *click* *click* I sure would be sending quarters by the dozens...concept has been around for decades...

Its called in game advertising. If you know you cannot make money in the app store on "sales" you can make money selling ad space.

Its not that big of a deal, either. So the first big money grab was done by people selling in the ITMS. That doesn't mean every money grab for the rest of history has to also be there.

Re:Just wondering (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40742043)

+1 Insightful

I created an Android application for an online community out of boredom, having come across a conversation where people said how cool it would be if such an application existed. It has just over 4000 users, and I have people in public forums begging me to develop an iOS version. Since I don't have a Mac or an iOS device, I put a donate button in the application, citing the desire to shore up money for an iOS version of that application. After four months in the field, I've received a whopping $2.

Re:Just wondering (1)

Shikaku (1129753) | about 2 years ago | (#40742105)

Make a mini kickstarter then, if you still care about it. Say "Anyone who donates more than X dollars gets a free copy of the iOS version and helps release it."

Re:Just wondering (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40742265)

I thought about that, and didn't really feel comfortable about taking money up front. Between my job and misanthropy sometimes I can't bring myself to work on something I'm not interested in, and I might not find a port of an application I've already done to a device I don't use very interesting.

Re:Just wondering (1)

Mystra_x64 (1108487) | about 2 years ago | (#40742215)

>an Android application
>donate button in the application
>for iOS version

Well, duh.

SOPA is coming back (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40741793)

This is Lamar Smith, I'm in your Secret internet club and I am using this as evidence to bring back SOPA. I am also forcing nerds to be evicted from their basements and force them to shave their neckbeards. Also I'm making sure Half Life 3 is only released on Origin.

Re:SOPA is coming back (1)

bky1701 (979071) | about 2 years ago | (#40741811)

"I am also forcing nerds to be evicted from their basements and force them to shave their neckbeards. Also I'm making sure Half Life 3 is only released on Origin."

You have no idea the ancient evil you have just unleashed upon the world!

Why? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40741799)

I don't get it. He chose to drop his revenue from low to nothing, and argues that he *had* to do it?

Anyone else smell bullshit?

Re:Why? (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 2 years ago | (#40742033)

Makes sense. He's figuring that he's making no money on this version. Better to buy your way into marketshare and hope the next version sells for something. That might be a terrible plan that will fail horribly, but much bigger companies have tried strategies of losing money to get marketshare (AMD for example).

For whatever he was getting before, which was probably in the single thousands of dollars, he has gotten free press on the android version (more players = more potential buyers of the next version), and he's made iphone sales for a few thousand blogger/journalist types who want to be able to talk intelligently about what the game actually is but only have iPhones (and after all, who cares about a dollar, so rather than walking all the way to the end of the hall to pick up a droid for testing you can just download this and go).

Re:Why? (2)

X0563511 (793323) | about 2 years ago | (#40742053)

Explanation:

1. You "buy" the app and it can phone home all your juicy details
2. You pirate the app and it doesn't phone home.

So, if he drops the price to "free" then more people will get it via legitimate means than via piracy, so while he loses out on sale revenue, he gets all the data he was digging for instead.

Re:Why? (2)

Andy Dodd (701) | about 2 years ago | (#40742167)

More specifically - Even when it cost $1, 90% of the revenue from the game was in-app purchases.

No other game on Android that I'm aware of had an initial purchase price set when combined with the heavy pushing of IAPs post-installation.

You can have an initial purchase price, or you can push IAPs heavily - but you can't do both and have users accept that.

Re:Why? (2)

greentshirt (1308037) | about 2 years ago | (#40742075)

free app + google ads, which seems to have been lost in the panicked summaries

Re:Why? (5, Informative)

Andy Dodd (701) | about 2 years ago | (#40742121)

He didn't... Dead Trigger is a "freemium" app - given how critical in-app-purchases (IAPs) are for that game, it should never have had an initial purchase price assigned to it.

90%+ of their revenue was from IAPs to begin with.

They're blaming it on piracy - but plenty of other developers are having no issues with piracy. The fact was they put in a perfect recipe to drive people towards piracy - not making your app worth the money paid for it. Dead Trigger's reliance on IAP meant that the initial purchase price did nothing but anger users.

How Apple's phantom taxes hide billions in profit (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40741817)

On Tuesday, Apple is set to report financial results for the second quarter. Analysts are expecting net income of $9.8 billion. But whatever figure Apple reports won't reflect its true profit, because the company hides some of it with an unusual tax maneuver.
Apple Inc., already the world's most valuable company, understates its profits compared with other multinationals. It's building up an overlooked asset in the form of billions of dollars, tucked away for tax bills it may never pay.
Tax experts say the company could easily eliminate these phantom tax obligations. That would boost Apple's profits for the past three years by as much $10.5 billion, according to calculations by The Associated Press.
While investors might rejoice if Apple suddenly added $10.5 billion to its profits, unilaterally erasing a massive U.S. tax obligation could tarnish its reputation as a relatively responsible payer of U.S. taxes. Instead, the company is lobbying to change U.S. law so that it can erase its liabilities in a less conspicuous fashion. The issue has become part of the presidential campaign.
Like other companies, Apple typically keeps profits on overseas sales in overseas accounts. When someone buys an iPad in Paris or Sydney, for instance, the profit stays outside the United States.
Apple may pay some corporate income taxes on that profit to the country where it sells the iPad, but it minimizes these by using various accounting moves to shift profits to countries with low tax rates. For example the strategy known as "Double Irish With a Dutch Sandwich," routes profits through Irish and Dutch subsidiaries and then to the Caribbean.
When it comes to using creative tax techniques, Apple is no different from other multinational corporations, says Robert Willens, an independent accounting expert.
And just like other corporations, Apple leaves cash overseas. If it brought it home to the U.S., it would have to pay federal income taxes on the money (though it would get a credit for foreign taxes already paid). In Apple's case, those overseas accounts have grown to a staggering $74 billion — equal to the market value of Citigroup Inc.

Because, you know... (4, Insightful)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | about 2 years ago | (#40741825)

Re:Because, you know... (1)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | about 2 years ago | (#40741903)

That's about getting free in-app purchases not downloading paid apps for free.

Re:Because, you know... (-1, Troll)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about 2 years ago | (#40741929)

piracy exists on every platform. The question is can you at least get enough people to pay for it to make it worth your while. Obviously a lot of people are finding that hard to do on Android. People just don't understand being a total freetard doesn't work when the majority agrees and decides to do the same thing.

Re:Because, you know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40742007)

Most likely due to the jail break requirement piracy stays lower on IOS. While it is pretty easy to jail break the device if you know what you are doing it is a bit hairy for some noob. As far as I am concerned Installous is better than the App Store on IOS and I actually buy apps on Android more than on IOS because I don't have a pretty interface to pirate the dollar apps/games.

Re:Because, you know... (4, Interesting)

bhlowe (1803290) | about 2 years ago | (#40742019)

That wasn't said-- but comparatively, Android users are MORE UNETHICAL and SPEND LESS MONEY*. Part of that is Apple users have more disposable income.. but also jailbreaking is not widespread. Most jailbreaks on newer hardware are tethered, meaning you need to be near your computer if you want to restart your phone for any reason--not worth it for most. *Disclaimer, not all Android users are cheap, bastards of low moral character. Some restrictions apply.

Sad (3, Insightful)

Sez Zero (586611) | about 2 years ago | (#40741833)

The number of "I want my dollar back" post at that Facebook link is really sad.

Re:Sad (5, Informative)

Vintermann (400722) | about 2 years ago | (#40741907)

Sometimes it's appropriate. I bought Early Bird for Android. Later they made it free, which I'm OK with. What's not OK is making the free version (which I was automatically "upgraded" to) have intrusive ads.

Re:Sad (2)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about 2 years ago | (#40742091)

The game was worth more than $1 anyway but their reactions just show why, imo, mobile gaming is bound to die. People expect something for nothing and maybe that's fine when you're making pacman clones but the effort put into mobile games is going to reach the same as full games at some point and continuing to expect free games or even $1 games that are worth playing is just not going to happen.

I certainly wouldn't want to gamble my personal finances on it.

could have had activation as in app purchase (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 2 years ago | (#40741841)

could have had activation as in app purchase. but stats show people are more likely to download and pirate a game that has an upfront cost(so you get wider circulation).

they got in-app purchases afaik in the game. that's why they're doing this free giveaway. and no they're not giving in-game gold to those who paid for it.

*Correction (5, Insightful)

redemtionboy (890616) | about 2 years ago | (#40741853)

Developer drops game price to $0, failing to cite that it was a really shitty game that charged for upgrades.

Oh yeah, that'll show them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40741857)

How dare you pirate my game, I'll make it free now so that I'll be 100% certain to get no income.

Re:Oh yeah, that'll show them. (4, Insightful)

bky1701 (979071) | about 2 years ago | (#40741895)

More like they sell things in-game, and this was just a publicity stunt.

Company you've never heard of changes pricing (4, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 years ago | (#40741871)

Reports today indicate a small developer you've never heard of, has altered how they will finance a product you've never heard of. The pricing cited factors commonly referenced in the field the product competes in, but no supporting data was provided. Tune in at 11 for detailed analysis about how free products differ from open source ones, with a panelist who barely understands economics or copyright law.

Re:Company you've never heard of changes pricing (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 2 years ago | (#40741967)

Specifically went out of my way to side load the Amazon Store on my Android phone so I could buy a certain ad-ware-free version of a particular game. The Android market only had the free version and I found the ads quite annoying.

Of course everyone's heard about this game.

Never heard of the one with the whiney developer.

Re:Company you've never heard of changes pricing (2)

arkhan_jg (618674) | about 2 years ago | (#40742241)

Well this particular app looks like a standard freemium app - in order to progress, you have to buy in-app purchases to get decent weapons and equipment. They start you out with a proper gun, then take it away on the third level - but of course, you can buy it back with real money. And they had the gall to charge a fee for the game in the first place? Not to mention in game ads for their other games, plus the usual obnoxious pop ups to get you to 'get free gold'.

Frankly its a rip off even now it's 'free'. And since they didn't bother to implement the check against the play store to see if you'd bought it, this seems much more a marketing trick to get headlines rather than a decent Dev getting ripped off.

Un installed.

Most of my friends who use Android don't buy apps (-1, Troll)

mTor (18585) | about 2 years ago | (#40741879)

I have 31 apps on my Android phone. 50% of them are paid apps. I have not paid for any of them. Finding paid apps for free is as easy as plugging in the name of the app into google + app + cracked.

I do not like paying for apps. I've never paid for apps and never will pay for apps.

Major reason why I use Android is precisely because I can download paid apps for free.

Developers should find other business models. Keep Android free please!

Re:Most of my friends who use Android don't buy ap (1, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#40741987)

I do not like paying for apps. I've never paid for apps and never will pay for apps.

And that's why I don't develop for Android.

Enjoy your "free", generally ad-laden apps.

Developers should find other business models.

They are, it's called "develop for platforms where you get paid".

Re:Most of my friends who use Android don't buy ap (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 2 years ago | (#40742077)

Just...wow. We are never going to get nice things on the platform if idiots like you are too cheap to pony up $.99 to at least give TOKEN support to developing stuff. Do i love paying for an FTP app? no, but at the same time, its $.99 and if it doesnt work there are 10 more out there, im sure one will.

Re:Most of my friends who use Android don't buy ap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40742079)

Shouldn't you be out occupying a park and shitting in a bush?

Re:Most of my friends who use Android don't buy ap (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 2 years ago | (#40742093)

Do you have any justification as to what makes you entitled to pirate the applications? Just because you can?

Re:Most of my friends who use Android don't buy ap (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 2 years ago | (#40742161)

Developers ARE finding other business models and you aren't hearing them. You've got your fingers in your ears, eyes closed and you're screaming 'I can't hear you!'

When you open your eyes next time what you'll have no paid apps to pirate.

Read the freaking story title for fucks sake.

Why support the people who scream 'give me for free!!' when instead you can support people that are happy to blow money on fart apps.

I can't help but think this will teach you exactly what 'you get what you pay for' actually means.

Informative is such the perfect mod for your post, I hope other developers find your post as informative of Android users line of thought as I have.

Re:Most of my friends who use Android don't buy ap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40742279)

You shouldn't try to troll with this account on the topic of Android, as it has a clear anti-Google history.
Maybe use another account or post AC?

So..buy Android, right? (0)

rastoboy29 (807168) | about 2 years ago | (#40741887)

All I'm getting from this is I should buy and Android phone if I want free games.

Re:So..buy Android, right? (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 2 years ago | (#40742061)

Yes, you are, and you are incredibly naive. What kind of games do you expect if NO ONE pays for them?

Re:So..buy Android, right? (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about 2 years ago | (#40742095)

Which is the prevailing attitude around here. Look, if nobody makes money on software. Nobody's going to write much of it, other than the basement kids who will stop maintenance the day they have their first child and need to get a real job. I'm sure you want your business to depend on that.

Re:So..buy Android, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40742129)

The ones I see all over the Apple App Store?

Seriously, have you guys looked at that crap?

Re:So..buy Android, right? (1)

Krneki (1192201) | about 2 years ago | (#40742189)

And you got a nice proof that piracy lower the games cost.

Which is why streaming software is the way to go (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about 2 years ago | (#40741893)

As in, executables that run in a browser (e.g. spoon.net). Less piracy. At this point, there's no way I'd mess with a phone app, or an old fashioned installible. Either one will be pirated by a bunch of giggling teenage basement hackers in seconds.

Yes, I could go broke by releasing my stuff as open source instead. You first.

Re:Which is why streaming software is the way to g (2)

bky1701 (979071) | about 2 years ago | (#40741931)

"Less piracy. At this point, there's no way I'd mess with a phone app, or an old fashioned installible."

At no point have I ever, nor do I ever intend to, depends upon programs which I do not control. The "we control your data" model is bound for a big crash as soon as it causes a billion dollar lawsuit.

Re:Which is why streaming software is the way to g (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about 2 years ago | (#40741961)

They just want to take away what remaining ownership you have over the software. That's all. Is that so bad?

Re:Which is why streaming software is the way to g (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about 2 years ago | (#40742009)

"They" just want to take away what remaining ownership I have over the software I've written. That's all. Is that so bad?

Yes, if you're in business, it is. If I made cars, you wouldn't get them for free either.

Re:Which is why streaming software is the way to g (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about 2 years ago | (#40742085)

What does that have to do with anything? Cars have little to do with the subject of copyright and the like!

"They" just want to take away what remaining ownership I have over the software I've written.

I don't believe you own the copy someone bought. The one on someone else's hard drive. Well, it's a good thing I can refrain from using things I think are garbage (like "The Cloud," where I lose all local access to the data, but that really only works for games).

Re:Which is why streaming software is the way to g (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about 2 years ago | (#40742193)

What does that have to do with anything?
Ow. Stupidity hurts! It has to do with ownership and property rights. Heard of them. They're what keeps people from wandering into your house and taking your XBox games off your kitchen table and taking them back to their house because they figure that they're entitled to them because.... just because.

Re:Which is why streaming software is the way to g (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about 2 years ago | (#40742221)

Heard of them.

Not sure what they have to do with this case, though. I mentioned how The Cloud essentially removes ownership of local copies from the end user, and then you brought up cars.

because they figure that they're entitled to them because

Yes, but this is about software.

Re:Which is why streaming software is the way to g (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about 2 years ago | (#40742267)

Yes, but this is about software.?No, it's about property rights. If I make a sculpture, or a machine, it's mine and I can sell it and nobody has the right to take it and use it or give away copies for free, but somehow it's different for software. Please explain, ethically and legally, why that is?

Re:Which is why streaming software is the way to g (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about 2 years ago | (#40741971)

There's controlling your data and controlling your application. It's quite possible to make a web app that stores files locally. I control the app. You control your data.

Re:Which is why streaming software is the way to g (2)

bky1701 (979071) | about 2 years ago | (#40742003)

Yeah, and what do I do with the data if it is only readable by your program? What if I need to access it without internet? I am not at all interested in this new scam.

Re:Which is why streaming software is the way to g (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about 2 years ago | (#40742069)

And I wouldn't blame you if that was the case. Look, there's no reason to do that. It pisses people off and there are pretty standard formats for most things. There's also no reason to save data to "the cloud" either. Who needs that kind of liability? I'd rather you save it locally, in RTF or csv, preferably.

Re:Which is why streaming software is the way to g (1)

bky1701 (979071) | about 2 years ago | (#40742097)

Good for you, then. That's not how the majority of this new wave of "online app" programs work, though. Even then, there is still the question about using it offline and having to depend upon external resources which might go down, both of which are in my mind prohibitive to any serious consideration.

Re:Which is why streaming software is the way to g (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about 2 years ago | (#40742131)

The market will take care of apps that lock in too much. IBM tried that in the 80s with personal computers. It didn't work out so well.

Re:Which is why streaming software is the way to g (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 2 years ago | (#40742143)

It's possible to do that. Creating a web app that stores the data locally in a form that is useful even if the web app becomes inaccessible, however, is far more difficult. I can still access spreadsheet files created on my Psion Series 3 that I dumped on a hard disk 20 almost years ago in their native format by running the Series 3a emulator in DOSBox and exporting them in some other format (although CSV is the only one that I can open directly, but I can use an old version of another spreadsheet as an intermediate for better preservation of formulae. Good luck doing that with a web app...

I'm glad (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40741911)

I don't know about you guys, but many I know say things like this to me, "Hey you're a programmer. You should develop an iPhone or Android app and make a lot of money!"

When I try to explain to them the reality, I just get trite responses back or their eyes glaze over.

There's plenty of demand for your product when it's free. Like when you help them with their computer problems (for free) and they say, "You should do this for a living!"

A donate option couldn't hurt (1)

B33RM17 (1243330) | about 2 years ago | (#40741949)

I've seen many apps, not just games, that were offered for free on Android and in many reviews the user said they would pay for the app. Now you can't say that means they would go back and pay now, but it seems to me, if people are given the option to donate instead of being forced to pay upfront, they will opt to put forth some cash for what they consider good work. Haven't music artists done this to some success with making their music available online?

funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40741955)

Funny because there game is unplayable on jelly bean and that had been the original reason they lowered the price on the game. Also funny how people have the realty distortion field over apple being uncrackble in the way of piracy

Re:funny (1)

EGSonikku (519478) | about 2 years ago | (#40742135)

I don't recall anyone here claiming that iPhone piracy doesn't exist. All anyone has said is that it is much more common on Android, and that developers in general make more money selling on iOS than Android. These are facts.

It's not piracy (1)

Cyko_01 (1092499) | about 2 years ago | (#40742005)

your game just sucks

Re:It's not piracy (5, Insightful)

Andy Dodd (701) | about 2 years ago | (#40742225)

Dead Trigger is fun until you reach the point where it pushes you to buy ingame cash with real money.

TFA leaves out a critical aspect of Dead Trigger - It was one of the only examples of a "freemium" game that relied HEAVILY on in-app purchases, which also had an initial purchase price.

Note that they're not citing any piracy problems with their more expensive (but not "freemium" in their payment structure) games.

The way the article is written, it makes it sound like the developer is hurting and this has dropped their revenues to zero - which is bullshit. 90% of Dead Trigger's revenue was from IAPs to begin with. Dropping the purchase price to zero helps them by exposing more users to their IAP push.

Why ask such silly questions when posting these? (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 2 years ago | (#40742027)

If OSS with a donation worked as well currently EA, Blizzard, Valve, ID and every other developer on the planet would do the same. Why do you propose such silly questions when it clearly doesn't work to generate more revenue since the greedy bastards aren't doing it.

Its far more profitable to get money up front, then get some more for DLC so the game actually feels complete. You certainly don't give out the source, someone else could make a better version and give it away for free until it becomes more popular and then start charging. Hence the price will always go to 0 as someone out there will make some mods for free, there are plenty of kids who are more than capable and live at home with no costs and plenty of time. They just can't create a really coherent work of art like a game from scratch in the limited time they have.

Ripp off! :-( (2)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 years ago | (#40742047)

Information wants to be free. Why should programmers get a pass when musicians and moviemakers don't?

Re:Ripp off! :-( (1)

bky1701 (979071) | about 2 years ago | (#40742187)

Because some people are hypocrites, and others are just idiots. Logical answers often seem more so afar than they do when their implications reach you. On the other hand, some people try to actually practice what they preach and use open source or similar, and if they are programmers, find ways to make money without having to resort to DRM and other shady means of controlling information.

Re:Ripp off! :-( (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about 2 years ago | (#40742229)

OK, so I'll go to your house and take your XBox games, your books and your checkbook, because "information wants to be free" and all that's information, right? Even money.

milk them dry! (1)

znrt (2424692) | about 2 years ago | (#40742107)

this is just another crappy shooter clone. who would pay for that?
oh, wait ... .

Free advertising on Slashdot (5, Insightful)

dmesg0 (1342071) | about 2 years ago | (#40742127)

1. Create a game with in-app-purchases, but sell it for 1$ instead of for 0$
2. Drop the price to 0 and get free advertisement on Slashdot
3. Profit! (from in-app-purchases)

But where's the ??? part?

 

Gimmick? (3, Informative)

DaFallus (805248) | about 2 years ago | (#40742173)

This developer is shady. Check the reviews for this game on Google Play [google.com] . Apparently you can't get very far in the game without buying weapons/upgrades that cost real money. There are a fair number of complaints from people spending $5 for in-game credits, not receiving the credits, and getting no response from the developers.

Re:Gimmick? (1)

P-niiice (1703362) | about 2 years ago | (#40742239)

Shadowgun is amazing but I'm to a part that is literally impossible to do on a freaking phone. I want to bash in the skull of this developer. Game is fun though.
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