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Old Dec 3, 2012, 10:18 PM   #1
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Piracy Cripples iOS Game in Less than a Week




When software piracy is mentioned, it is usually in reference to PC games and movies downloaded off of illegal sites. Very little attention is given to the piracy of iOS games, which has become a huge problem for some developers.

Hunted Cow, the team behind the title Battle Dungeon, was forced to shut down its game this afternoon because the servers could not handle the load created by significant numbers of pirated copies of the game. Here's what the team told fans:
Quote:
Unfortunately we have taken Battle Dungeon down for the forseeable future. This was due to high levels of server load created by large numbers of pirated copies of the game. The high load revealed technical issues which we don't feel we can fix to the level that our paying customers deserve.
In a forum post, the developers went on to explain that after a pirated .ipa surfaced on the internet, the number of people joining the game multiplied. As they were not paying customers, Hunted Cow was left without resources to maintain the server. Battle Dungeon, which is no longer available in the App Store, was a game that impressed app review site Touch Arcade.
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Battle Dungeon offered up gameplay in the vein of Outwitters [Free] and Hero Academy [Free], with a 3D environment, XCOM style action points and an RPG twist. The ability to level up characters and buy better equipment was balanced against a point-cost system in which having more powerful champions meant playing with fewer of them. It was an appealing package for anyone who wanted more "crunch" and micromangement out of their async strategy games.
Players who invested money in the game will have the opportunity to get a refund by contacting support, which will include the $4.99 purchase price and any cash spent on in-app purchase.

Article Link: Piracy Cripples iOS Game in Less than a Week
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 10:21 PM   #2
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 10:24 PM   #3
itsthenewdc
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A crappy thing indeed, but if they're refunding 100% of the money they earned from the legit users, won't he be losing money, as they've obviously had costs along the way? :/
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 10:29 PM   #4
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But but but, piracy doesn't hurt anyone since its just a copy and people who won't really play it wont buy it! (Says internet idiots who never actually created anything.)

Its sad to see this happen. Piracy really does hurt the little guy more then people realize.

People deserve to be paid for their work. Period.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 10:32 PM   #5
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i pirate games, and if i like them i'll buy them. if i dont i delete the game.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 10:52 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by ZacNicholson View Post
i pirate games, and if i like them i'll buy them. if i dont i delete the game.
Then you're a thief.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 10:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZacNicholson View Post
i pirate games, and if i like them i'll buy them. if i dont i delete the game.
Then why don't you go down to the store, shoplift a pair of headphones, then if you like them go back and pay for them, or if you don't chuck them out?
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 11:38 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by ZacNicholson View Post
i pirate games, and if i like them i'll buy them. if i dont i delete the game.
Thank you for admitting to criminal activity in a public forum. I hope the administrators will turn over any and all identifying information about you to the authorities so that they can get a search warrant and seize all of your systems.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZacNicholson View Post
i pirate games, and if i like them i'll buy them. if i dont i delete the game.
Congrats! You are a thief.

Edit: I see now that this fact has already been made known.
So I shall change my response: you are an ass.

Last edited by THOPMedia; Dec 4, 2012 at 03:03 AM. Reason: Argument had already been made
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 03:18 AM   #10
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i pirate games, and if i like them i'll buy them. if i dont i delete the game.
For every one like you (assuming you aren't lying to yourself as well as us), you encourage and support an ecosystem of around 10 to 100 others who are even less honorable than you

App piracy is a sad fact. Crooks exist. The developers of this game were a little stupid in not figuring out ahead of time a business plan and marketing strategy that would take advantage of this piracy instead of being killed by it.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 06:24 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by ZacNicholson View Post
i steal cars, and if i like them i'll buy them. if i dont i return them to the dealer.
Fixed your post. Think you would get arrested for that?
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 12:03 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by ZacNicholson View Post
i pirate games, and if i like them i'll buy them. if i dont i delete the game.
Talk about a sense of entitlement. Did you even read the story? The pirated copies cost the developers money not just in lost revenue from sales but bandwidth on their servers.

You have no excuse to pirate. Some games offer a "lite" or "free" version and you can always read the reviews and watch the review videos before you purchase.

In most cases, you are risking less money than an average meal at a takeout restaurant.

Do you expect to eat for free at a local fast food joint and then only pay if you like it?
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 03:58 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by ZacNicholson View Post
i pirate games, and if i like them i'll buy them. if i dont i delete the game.
That is what the free demo version is for.
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 02:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZacNicholson View Post
i pirate games, and if i like them i'll buy them. if i dont i delete the game.
You understand you just admitted, publicly, to being a thief?

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by brayhite View Post
This analogy doesn't work, considering software doesn't have a CoGS associated with it.

But for the sake of the analogy, I'll say this: what the pirate guy said is no different than someone buying a pair of headphones, trying it out for 29 days, then on the 30th day returning it for a full refund or keeping it. The only difference, assuming he's true to his word, is that he doesn't have to provide a "downpayment" so to speak.

So really, in his case, it's only wrong if you think people should provide money upfront. In the same breath, do you think it's outrageous if the local frozen yogurt shop won't let you sample their flavors without money down? Or if a car dealership wouldn't let you test drive before buying?
What a lousy attempt to excuse theft.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Makosuke View Post
There's a relatively important distinction to be made between two types of pirated software that at least a few people don't seem to be grasping:

A: In the case of a music album, a movie, or a "traditional" game, if you pirate it, try it, and decide to buy it, the original producer wasn't directly harmed by the action, at least in theory. And if some good-for-nothing jerk pirates it and doesn't pay, but never was going to in the first place, he's benefitting from somebody else's hard work that he has no right to and deserves to get punched in the face, but again, he's not actually causing active harm to the creators of said work. Might even be helping them, if he tells a friend who's not quite so much of a lout how awesome the game/album/movie is and that friend goes out and buys it.

Leaving aside the large grey area of abandonware or things that aren't available legally, at any price, in your country.

There is a much, much different case, however, which applies to situations like this story:

B: For software that has a cost of supplying service, such as (mainly, really) an online game that requires servers to support it, if somebody pirates it and doesn't pay for it, then the developer is having to support the pirated user with actual outlay of resources, without the corresponding compensation expected for it.

It doesn't take a genius to tell the difference between those two versions.

Now, in type A, it is certainly possible for everybody to pirate something, to the point that nobody buys it and the creator just can't make enough money to justify producing the material. It has certainly happened in at least some cases. But there are other cases where the opposite has played out, and a large middle ground (the modern movie industry, for example) where it seems to be more or less a wash. The analogy of intangible good piracy = shoplifting, however, just isn't 100% equivalent.

Type B is a different matter entirely--that's pretty much directly equivalent to shoplifting. You're stealing something--bandwith and server resources--that you're not paying for. You can only make the argument you're not if you're either 12 years old and not too sharp, or just an idiot. Or an unashamed pirate, which probably puts you in one or both of the other categories.


And I should add that I hate DRM with a passion (and when given the option, didn't put it on the books I've published online, so my money is where my mouth is), but if it comes down to no DRM = no game for anybody, you don't really have much choice.

I'll also add that even if this story turned out to not be true (which I can't honestly see why--if they're not selling the game and giving refunds, there's no marketing benefit for the company), the above still holds entirely true.
It's an imaginary distinction. In both cases it's theft. Ridiculous attempt to make it look like stealing is ok.
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 04:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZacNicholson View Post
i pirate games--<SNIP>
Okay, so you're a software criminal
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Old Dec 6, 2012, 09:43 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by ZacNicholson View Post
i pirate games, and if i like them i'll buy them. if i dont i delete the game.
"But officer, I was just TRYING this new Big screen TV out... if I liked it, I was going to go back and pay for it, I SWEAR! If I didn't like it I was going to bring it back...."

Stealing is stealing. You can lie about your motives all you want, it doesn't change the fact that as soon as you download something you don't have the rights to without paying for it, you have STOLEN it. It's the same as if you walked into Best Buy and walked out with a TV. You can't do that, why do you think it's ok to do it here?

At least be an honest thief lol... people will at least respect you for that

Last edited by dejo; Dec 11, 2012 at 01:04 PM. Reason: Removed insult.
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 10:30 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by ZacNicholson View Post
i pirate games, and if i like them i'll buy them. if i dont i delete the game.
For every one of you, theres a hundred who say the same thing then don't actually buy the game.

The real issue here was the amount of pirated copies was so overwhelming that it crippled the multiplayer servers.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 04:46 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by ZacNicholson View Post
i pirate games, and if i like them i'll buy them. if i dont i delete the game.
i.e. a demo...
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 01:07 PM   #19
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i pirate games, and if i like them i'll buy them. if i dont i delete the game.
Such a pleasant fiction.
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 01:42 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by ZacNicholson View Post
i pirate games, and if i like them i'll buy them. if i dont i delete the game.
Sure you do!
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 10:56 PM   #21
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Pirates are cowards. Traditionally you had to have some balls to steal something, (in real life) but to pirate something via the internet requires nothing at all. They do it because there's little risk and they never have to face the people they steal from.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 10:58 PM   #22
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They do it because there's little risk and they never have to face the people they steal from.
It's mainly because of how easy it is. Apple could easily patch the way apps are codesigned.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 10:34 PM   #23
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A crappy thing indeed, but if they're refunding 100% of the money they earned from the legit users, won't he be losing money, as they've obviously had costs along the way? :/
Yup. What a shame. You work so hard and put hours into the development of a game, spending a lot of money to do so. You briefly get excited because, hey, people LOVE what you did and the money starts coming in. And then, this. You end up refunding everybody, shutting it down, all your hard work is down the toilet AND you lost money in the process.

How likely are you to work on that second great idea you had?

Piracy DOES hurt, folks. Pay for your software.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 10:36 PM   #24
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Mobile piracy is HUGE, luckily for me my game doesn't require a server otherwise it might cost me more to run it than what I make with it.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 10:39 PM   #25
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if I'm not mistaken, you could go the freemium route. offline mode for non-paying users, but if you want to play online, buy inapp purchase. that way people can't pirate the game?
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