Monday, December 14, 2009

Piracy? Already?

I'm doing very little work, marketing-wise, at the moment. Version 1.1 will be coming out in January with global high scoring. I'm waiting for that to be finished before doing too much PR. As such, I expect little initial interest in Flaboo! Word-of-mouth takes time and nobody knows a game exits until PR happens. Right?

Thus, I am - perhaps naively - stunned to find there are already countless crack sites out there with Flaboo! listed among their downloadable content. That's less than a week.

I have always assumed piracy was linked to price-point and that with Flaboo only being $1 I had little chance of being added to the list of cracked software.

As I say, naive.

If they can't afford a dollar then I can only imagine that the guys pirating it are genuinely needy: you know, destitute, smelly individuals with little chance or hope of a good life living in cardboard boxes while eking out a living selling matchsticks supplemented by their sales of iPhone games from the backs of lorries piled high with louse-infested sacks of games.

Hang-on... these are kids with iPhones.


Second, I'm surprised by the number of random people who now contact me thus: Dude - your game looks sweet and I'd love to give it a 5 star review in the app-store. Can you give me a promo code?

These aren't reviewers - who are entirely welcome to a code - but regular kids who just fancy trying their luck. To avoid paying a dollar. One. Dollar.

All I need is a few reviews saying: 'Dis shud be free' and I'll have the set.

The wonderful thing about technology is that it is a social catalyst: society morphs with it, often becoming unrecognisable in a short span of time. Some of that change is bad. The internet's anonymity and cheap data transfer have made piracy more pervasive than ever before.

However, with each negative change that new technology brings there is a corresponding change for good. In this particular case the world's vocabulary has been increased by one wonderful word.



  1. As I understand it, those who would install cracked apps must be using jailbroken iPhones and as such, don't have much use for the app store to begin with. Upside: you're not actually losing a dollar ($.69?) to them in the first place as they're not buying a damned thing to begin with.

  2. People pirate games when they can. Cos people generally don't care. Heres an excellent anecdote - I told my friend from high school (who now lives in Australia) about my game (so ive known this guy for 20+ years). First response,"oh great where can i download it?" (as in a cracked version). So I don't really think of any "reason" as to why people pirate any more. That little puzzle has long left the building.

  3. Grats on getting featured in "Hot New Games" Dene! Looks like Apple are going to take care of the PR for you!

  4. Blimey - didn't see that. Thanks for the heads-up. That's a nice surprise.

  5. It's unfortunate that this sort of thing happens, but I wouldn't take the fact that it's on a piracy site to mean there's no correlation between that and the price. Everything's going to be on those sorts of sites, but the quantity to measure is how many people download it from said sites. It's probably getting fewer 'steal's than more expensive games.

    Of course, requesting that sort of information will probably get you nowhere, so it's sort of moot. Also, don't take this response as justification of such behavior. I'm a developer myself and I abhor software theft. Just dropping by from Touch Arcade to check out the site. Good luck with your game!