Confirmed 98% piracy ratio

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by Borundin, Dec 24, 2010.

  1. Borundin

    Borundin New Member

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    Confirmed 99.8% piracy ratio

    These things can drive you crazy of course but still felt I should report my findings since it was actually much worse than I believed. I launched Heavy Hogur on Dec 6th then on Dec 21st the first pirated copy was available on the internet. Since then the game has been heavily pirated. There is an online check so I know how many Demo and Full version installations there are (of those online while playing). Demo installations are not included.

    By now the piracy ratio is 97.7% and getting increasingly worse :eek: (meaning just 2 out of 100 has a legitimate copy)
    Update: 98.8% 2010-12-27. See page 3 for chart
    Update2: 99.8% 2011-05-21 (yep you read that right)

    Counting the legal installations are the hard part but I am pretty confident they're not that much off. Anyone else having similar numbers? The target audience for this game is male players between 25 and 45 years old. Maybe they're more used to downloading pirated games?
     
    #1 Borundin, Dec 24, 2010
    Last edited: May 21, 2011
  2. meds

    meds New Member

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    Ouch, not to doubt what you're saying but are you absolutely certain the piracy rate is *that* high? That is insane.

    Try getting the game on Steam maybe, 50 cent sales is better than nothing..
     
  3. Jack Norton

    Indie Author

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    What is that online check? maybe people who bought are playing behind a firewall or blocked your app so you can't know for sure... still I think a piracy rate of around 90% sadly is normal for anything aimed at your audience (male, 24-45 years).
     
  4. cliffski

    Moderator Original Member

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    Sadly this doesn't surprise me. There is not really a business case any more for making singleplayer PC games. I'm sure there are some exceptions, with people doing well, but I know I will never make another PC game that doesn't have at least some integrated online component (like GSB does).

    Nobody pirates farmville or evony, which is one reason those games do so well. It's sad but true, piracy of pc games is pretty much out of control.

    On the other hand, making it really awkward and inconvenient for pirates to get a working, legit full copy of your game is pretty easy. All pirate sites allow anonymous membership, and anonymous uploads.
    Why make it easy for people to pirate your work? :D
     
  5. zoombapup

    Moderator Original Member

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    You raise a good point Cliff. I've been considering what I should do with Damzel in regards to online components.

    The easiest would be to have an auto-updated list of inventory items available. Ideally I want to allow a sort of store system so I can roll out new items for the sandbox mode.

    Think I'll do that. Then see what else can be both modded and online to make the purchase more compelling.
     
  6. joe

    joe
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    While I agree that you have much better chances be successful when you have an online / multiplayer online game, we should also point out that it's still possible for single player games to be successful - just have a look at the numbers of the indie humble bundle.

    but yeah, it is an exception.
     
  7. Desktop Gaming

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    What surprises me about it, is how the hell does somebody manage to release a game on 6th December, and not have anybody pirate it before 21st December - that's more than two weeks whereas most games get pirated within hours if not minutes of release.
     
  8. cliffski

    Moderator Original Member

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    yes, you can still make money. But for the same effort and development cost, an online game will make you so much more money.
    That's why we are swamped with online games. Smart investors don't put money behind a platform where everyone can take the product for free. Why would they?

    Plus the humble bundle is a big exception. It's like saying Starcraft 2 is a typical strategy game, in terms of success.
     
  9. Jack Norton

    Indie Author

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    I think it's particularly true for certain kind of games. While RPG like Bioware's or The Witcher can sell MILLION copies, a typical pure action game will not likely reach it. Will be played by even more people, but not legally.
    I found interesting this interview:
    http://www.andriasang.com/e/blog/2010/09/22/no_pc_super_sfiv/
    In which the producer of street fighter said:
     
  10. Bram

    Indie Author Greenlit

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    I saw 96% for my iPhone game.
    It really is that high.

    I compared the nr of names on the online leaderboard with sales.
    For names, i used the name that people gave their phone, so no duplicates caused by multiple people playing on same device.
    If anything, the real rate was even higher, as many people would name their iphone 'My iPhone' e.g.

    I stopped letting me bothered by it.
    Concentrate on you real customers.
     
  11. richtaur

    Indie Author

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    Here's a thought for you.

    I frequent indie gaming news sites A LOT. I'm both a developer and a consumer and I try to stay updated on new games, new tech, etc. I haven't heard of your game until just now. My GF watched the gameplay video with me and she thought it was really cute. (She would buy it if it was available on Mac!)

    So your game, like most games, will end up on torrent sites and get pirated. And those sites organically get a ton of traffic. My guess would be that most people who have actually heard about your game found it first on a torrent site. And at that point, it's a bit late to turn them into customers.

    My suggestion would be to seriously beef up your marketing efforts. Because I think you've got a solid game, and it sounds like people are interested in it and want to play it, but they need to find it first on your "Buy Now" page and not on a "Pirate Now" page.

    Your game looks great! Best of luck.
     
  12. puggy

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    It's not so much an online/multiplayer game but more of a single player game which connects to the internet and has checks.

    The settlers 7 is a good example of this, while there is multiplayer aspects to it, you can't start the game without logging in to ubisoft first, even for the single player aspects with game saves being on there servers. They do compensate you for this with some extra stuff, which is nice but i havn't seen any working pirate version's (though i looked a while ago as i was curious to see how effective it was).

    Most people have always on broadband internet and when on the go with laptops there's an increasing amount of wireless connections and 3g broadband. It's the way things are going to combat piracy.
     
  13. Adrian Lopez

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    I was thinking along similar lines as richtaur. Back in the days of sneakernet piracy people could obtain commercial games for free from friends or other acquaintances, but the best-selling games were still available in stores where lots of people were exposed to them and lots of people bought them. These days you have portals instead of stores, but portals are often saturated with uninteresting games, making it more difficult to find the gems among the junk.

    The way the Internet facilitates copying is no doubt a factor here, but I think that lack of visibility is also a significant factor. When your game is buried under a pile of junk games and people's only exposure to your game is via torrents, piracy is bound to be high. Successful games are also pirated, but those are successful because they sell.

    Having said that, if more people bought games instead of just copying them we'd have more and better games available.
     
  14. GDI

    GDI New Member

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    I'm surprised there isn't yet any official torrent site that hosts official demos. That way when people search for torrent of your game, more traffic will be redirected to the official site, lessening the ad revenue that's needed to keep the pirate torrent sites alive.

    An official torrent tracker is the single thing I request from up-and-coming indie portals. Setting one up just for a single game or a few is pointless.
     
  15. Grey Alien

    Indie Author

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    So it seems like releasing a pure PC game is suicide these days, is that right? Unless it connects to some kind of server to verify player is legit. I thought cross platform was the answer but then I hear about huge piracy on iPhone, is that just on jailbroken devices?
     
  16. papillon

    Indie Author

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    Suicide? Must people be so dramatic? Clearly games get pirated a lot. Games are also still sold, and people make money from them. Sometimes a lot of money.

    There's huge piracy on everything - the important thing is to make sure you get sales and that pirates aren't costing you actual money on top of lost opportunities.
     
  17. zoombapup

    Moderator Original Member

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    A friend was telling me that out of some 6000 downloads of his iphone game, roughtly 99.9% were pirates.

    He's now gone ad-funded and released the game for free.

    Apparently, all it takes is to download your game, then patch it with some program (apparently a touch/drag) and its deprotected and ready to share. So yes, piracy on iphone seems pretty rife too.
     
  18. CasualInsider

    CasualInsider New Member

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    Only jailbroken phones can run pirated apps.

    It's not suicide to release downloadable games. It would be a much better strategy to release games early in development and let people preorder to get updates free. I like micropayments too even with games which are not just free.

    Mininova hosts a copy of my game's demo. It has had 15,000 downloads since I upload it 373 days ago. Probably a couple of sales have come from that. :)
     
  19. Grey Alien

    Indie Author

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    Well glad it's not total suicide releasing download Indie games then (I'm not talking about casual games where there is a big non-pirating market). Getting on Steam probably helps a lot once you've mined direct sales, but then by then the game could be ultra-pirated...I used to take the attitude of not worry about them and just focus on making a good game. Wonder if that's still valid.
     
  20. Jack Norton

    Indie Author

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    Mostly action/arcade get pirated. For SOME REASON (loyalty? not sure) games that are RPGs, strategy, simulations still get pirated but by much lower amount.
    Just an example Spidweb has no DRM, lots of his games pirated and makes plenty of money.
    But I agree with Cliff, why not have a online only component? it enhances gameplay (fight against friend fleets) and helps protecting from piracy. That's the best solution IMHO.
     

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