App Piracy Percentages?

Discussion in 'iOS Programming' started by khushsingh88, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. khushsingh88, Sep 13, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 14, 2011

    khushsingh88 macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2008
    Hi I recently released my iOS game, The Red Leaves. I wasn't expecting miracles with my downloads but what I saw was pretty much unbelievable. Checking my app sales, 5 days I sold 21 apps which is tiny but not the shocking stat. I had 348 players on game center - expecting the worst I found my game on loads of sites. Now I've heard devs saying they have piracy percentages of 5% but mine is a whopping 94%!

    Is there any advice for the new dev on the block?

    For those interested sales equated to $20.79, lost sales through piracy equated to $323.73! I feel like I was just robbed!
  2. iMattcotv macrumors 6502


    Jun 22, 2010
    Haha same with on Cydia bro!

    If my themes sales that were pirated were to be added up, the total would be in the $100,000's -_-

    I know that feel bro.

    Theres literally nothing you can do. If the app is good enough, it WILL make you money, but the better it is, the more money you will also lose.
  3. khushsingh88 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2008
    Thanks for the reassurance! Got any advertising ideas?
  4. kbfr08 macrumors 6502

    Mar 16, 2007
    I'm willing to bet that most of the people pirating the apps are under 18, and don't have a credit card, debit card, or access to one. I'd bet you'll see piracy drop in december/january and sales pick up, since I'm sure most people get itunes gift cards for christmas. If it was my game, I'd make it free and use in-app purchases, since you're fighting a loosing battle otherwise.
  5. maril1111 macrumors 68000


    Mar 14, 2010
    This or make use of apple's in app advertisement, idk how it works but it could be to your benefit.
  6. h1r0ll3r macrumors 68040


    Dec 28, 2009
    Agreed. Most older people that are capable/knowledgeable about jailbreaking can usually afford the money for an app....usually. You're pretty much stuck as once your app it pirated, it's game over. I've read quite a few post on MR about devs getting the shaft on their apps. One I recall was in the same boat as you as his app had a 90+% piracy rate. Bummer but that's how it is apparently. The free app with in-app purchases sounds like a good alternative.
  7. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    But also you gotta remember that not every pirated app equals a lost sale.
    Those people never intended on paying for any apps they have pirated probably.
  8. brett429 macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2009
    Wow, that sucks. App piracy really pisses me off (even though I'm not a dev). I mean, someone would drop $.99 on a soda or something without a second thought, but spend that kind of money on an application that someone had to design and market from the ground up? That's just too much to ask.

    Is there some way you can compare the purchases of your app to the list of people on Game Center and remove the users who pirated the app? Apple's really gotta figure something out when it comes to app piracy. Surely there's a way to cross-check app purchases on a database to figure out if it was legitimately purchased?
  9. iMattcotv macrumors 6502


    Jun 22, 2010
    Honestly, you'd b very surprised.

    My little brother jailbreaks his ipod touch every chance he gets (and even tells me about ios versions being jailbreakable. yesterday he told me about ios5 beta 7 & redsnow & im like... O_O how do u even,...)

    Hes 9. This is no joke.

    BTW OP, excellent job on the website layout! the game seems decent (though to be critical here, its too basic. If you want to hit the angry birds type consumers, you will need to add a unique physics function.
    Think fragger, angrybirds, cut the rope. try to do something that involves a swipe, fling or tap that makes one object obstruct another, but in a way thats unique compared to those games)
  10. khushsingh88 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2008
    Thanks for all the replies, they're really helpful and supportive. This is just my first game so I don't think its time to quite yet :) thanks for everything guys!
  11. lefooey macrumors member

    Dec 26, 2009
    Spokane, WA
    Cute little game. Did you built it from scratch or use a framework like Corona?

    There's some additional code you can add to help detect jailbroken devices and copied apps, but the jury's out on how effective that is.
  12. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    My understanding is that In-App Purchases and their receipts cannot be faked. Thus, I would suggest releasing a free, locked demo of your game onto the app store, and have a full version that's able to be unlocked through an In-App Purchase.

    Not that I went that route with my game, but in my case, I don't think it matters as as far as I can tell, my game wasn't popular enough to be jailbroken anyways.
  13. dejo Moderator


    Staff Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    The Centennial State
    Just be aware that Apple may decide to reject such an app since it violates 2.9 of the App Store Review Guidelines (access requires paid program):
  14. admanimal macrumors 68040

    Apr 22, 2005
    I would be willing to bet that upwards of 90% of people using a pirated version of any given app would not pay for it if that was the only option.
  15. 1458279 Suspended


    May 1, 2010
    If he's getting people signed up on Game Center, they have to at least start using the app. The real question would be, of ALL the downloads, how many are using the app on a regular basis. Game Center should indicate that after a few months.

    This also brings up a second unmentioned issue: there is no standard for which apps should be a certain price. If you look at Infinity Blade, it justifies a higher price, however, there's no rule that says a simple basic app can't be the same price.

    It's not like a regular store where you 'kinda' get what you pay for. With the app store, you don't know if one .99 app is as good as another .99 app.

    Consider some of the apps based on open source or sample code.

    I'm not beating up on this app, but looking at the video it does look pretty simple.
  16. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    It'd bet it's closer to 99.5%, probably, given that free apps get 200x as many downloads as do $0.99 apps.
  17. larswik macrumors 68000

    Sep 8, 2006
    Wow, I read this thread and I had no idea this level of hacking existed with apps and jail broken phones. It seems that Apple would take that extra step with the game center to verify that you downloaded that app before it let you play.

    What a bummer.
  18. 1458279 Suspended


    May 1, 2010
    Apple has a time limit on my device that stops me from putting my test apps on it until I renew it.
    They keep track of how many devices are allowed to access my iTunes account.

    They require you to develop on their computer and follow their rules.

    But they don't check to see if people are steeling the product we produce.

    I just read this a few days back.

    With all the importance given to quality apps, these guys are going to have to do something to attract quality app developers.
  19. firewood macrumors 604

    Jul 29, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    Reports are that some huge percentage of these downloads are from kids with no money (iPod Touch was a gift). You can hardly lose a sale to someone who has no financial means to buy an app (e.g. there's no money on the table to "lose"). They just download every free game in sight.

    If you can detect this usage, best bet is to start popping up advertising a couple days after your app figures this out.

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