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Developer claims that piracy was out of hand with its zombie shooter

When it comes to purchasing apps on platforms like iOS, Android, or Windows Phone, 99 cents seems to be the "sweet spot" that will spark a user to take the chance to hit the "Purchase" button without a second thought. Many of the most popular games on smartphones like Angry Birds or Cut The Rope sell for just 99 cents.
 
Madfinger Games, makers of the popular title Shadowgun, thought it had a winning combination by offering its latest zombie shooter, Dead Trigger, for 99 cents on the Android platform. However, despite the low price tag, piracy was a big problem with the game according to the developers.
 
Regarding price drop. HERE is our statement. The main reason: piracy rate on Android devices, that was unbelievably high. At first we intend to make this game available for as many people as possible - that's why it was for as little as buck. - It was much less than 8$ for SHADOWGUN…
 
However, even for one buck, the piracy rate is soooo giant, that we finally decided to provide DEAD TRIGGER for free.
 
 
Madfinger Games as a result has turned Dead Trigger into a free game with available in-app purchases. The company is quick to point out that this isn't a move to make the game a “freemium” title and that users can still play through the game without ever making an in-app purchase.
 
Interestingly, Dead Trigger is still available for 99 cents in the Apple App Store.

Sources: The Verge, Facebook



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By xthetenth on 7/25/2012 8:24:48 AM , Rating: 2
It makes a lot of sense. One potential way to keep the market growing is to bundle the new games with the old for at least some of the paid stuff. For example, if a player on one of a publisher's games has bought premium time (basically just an increase in rewards), why not make it work for all their games? That way there's more inducement to play that publisher's games, the premium time looks like a better deal, and gets the player looking at the paid stuff for the new games. That way the new games are boosted by the old rather than held back. It's a really sound business model when done right, and it significantly reduces the potential of shovelware. The main potential issue is blatant cash grubbing, but that tends to be seriously discouraged by it pissing off players. I'm kind of hopeful that free to play games won't be nearly as dependent on the traditional stuff like marketing and a big name as on simply being good. Unfortunately, the styles of games where it works really well seem to be somewhat limited. I don't see much appeal in most single player games where things like a coherent single narrative and game balance get in the way, for example.


"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer














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