Confirmed 98% piracy ratio

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

  1. Olofson

    Original Member

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    Well, I was sort of expecting that one would at least use some basic encryption or at least scrambling of all data, and extract the key for that from the key file - but that's a lot of work just to keep the cracker busy for an extra ten minutes. ;)

    EDIT: Of course, provided the cracker has a key file, it's more like ten seconds: "Ok, the one valid return value is 0x4a7e65c3 rather than 1."
     
  2. cliffski

    Moderator Original Member

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    I have eleven accounts on one warez forum.
    It's easy.
    All of them use free email accounts.
    It's easy.
    I can sign up a fake hotmail account with my eyes closed.
    I'd guess 95% of the gratuitous space battles cracked links are dead. Of the working ones, I'd say 90% of them are fakes uploaded by me.
     
  3. Jack Norton

    Indie Author

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    Someone should program a full suit of spambot/fake crack/fake demo generator, then all indies could spam those warez forums making them useless :D
     
  4. zoombapup

    Moderator Original Member

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    And thats pretty much exactly what I'm proposing. If we ALL do the fake stuff, then eventually people get tired of hitting fakes and will actually start to buy. Of course a hardcore will create a more "chain of trust" approach, but the less anonymous you make these things the easier it is for people to be dealt with legally.

    Certainly, I doubt anyone would be downloading warez if they had to sign up for it with their own email address or their own name.

    Make the warez sites less productive for casual users is what I suggest. You do that by spending some time making fake crap. Even if there are non-fakes still up, you can bet that if a player hits one or two fakes, they wont bother with a third "real" copy.
     
  5. speeder

    speeder New Member

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    Actually, Warez sites several are fake themselves.

    People that get pirated stuff know from where to get it safely.


    For example, in 26 of december I uploaded the beta of my game (that btw: has no DRM and is free to download).

    In 27 of december I uploaded it to around 700 shareware sites.

    30 minutes later, doing a google search for "Paddle Wars" showed up several warez site, including "Paddle Wars: Hit The Wall Beta 4 crack" (I never searched for those words, proving that they specifically scan shareware sites to generate those fake crack pages), with a link to a file that is a virus.

    Some hours later Google was swamped with "pirated" copies of my game (almost all of them fake).
     
  6. Adrian Lopez

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    They could do this and remain anonymous through the use of public key digital signatures.
     
  7. cliffski

    Moderator Original Member

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    If it's anonymous, how do they stop me joining?
     
  8. Adrian Lopez

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    They don't. Signatures only provide the anonymous identity to which trust may be attached. Users who post lots of working games would be trusted, while those who post non-working games would not. You could still join as a way to keep track of what people are uploading and where (for takedown purposes), but the strategy of spreading non-working copies of your games would be harder to pull off consistently.
     
  9. Bad Sector

    Original Member

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    It is anonymous in the "you don't use your real life name". You still use a handle (nickname) and you somehow have to prove you're worth having the privilege (most likely by uploading enough of stuff somewhere for people download).

    However due to the complexities involved i don't think something like this will ever catch on with any significant number of people :p
     
  10. cyodine

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    How terrible is the ad-supported business model? I mean would it be worth it to spread to warez sites working versions of your game, yet with ads, so at least you get some revenue off the pirates?
     
  11. danhezee

    danhezee New Member

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    Just to chime in. Look at wikipedia, I think the 8th largest site in the world, they are begging for $16 million in donations to keep it free to use. I guarantee you that a majority of sites with either advertising space or paid subscriptions in the top 5,000 make well over $16 million a year.

    Also, 34 of the top 100 grossing iphone apps were free to play/use. On top of that all of Zynga's games are free to play, yet the company is almost as big as EA. That means users/players are willing to purchase download-able content, and wont be offended if your game has advertising space.

    If your business model doesn't reflect this reality you will not succeed. You do not want to create a business based off the success of an outlier, such as Dwarf Fortress. It is statistically not in your favor to clone the Dwarf Fortress model. Or create the next Black Ops, Starcraft 2, or a $0.99 app for the iphone.

    On top of all that, I assume without any research on my part that the creators of Dwarf Fortress started the project as a hobby.
     
  12. cliffski

    Moderator Original Member

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    I've been doing it for years.
     
  13. Adrian Lopez

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    Fair enough, but have you been doing so in places where there's an established chain of trust? That was the context of my reply, which was not intended as a general statement against the strategy of spreading fake copies of your games.
     
  14. zoombapup

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    Not sure I buy this argument. You say that dwarf fortress is an outlier, but so is Zynga. You mention that 34 apps out of 100 are free, so that means the others are all paid.

    I've seen articles which suggest that DLC on services like XBLA have done relatively poorly, with the occasional outlier doing really well. Personally, I don't mind buying DLC if it offer value, so it is pretty much the same as a normal sale, but usually the DLC tries to expand on the original offer somehow.

    In the end, I dont think there's ever going to be a one size fits all way to run a business or generate revenue and with entertainment based businesses it seems like timing and quality are very high on the "how to do well" list.
     
  15. Vino

    Vino New Member

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    The pirates who know what they're doing will be able to find the non-fake torrents easily. Most pirates don't really know what they're doing though, they just go to whatever their favorite torrent aggregation site is and download whatever's at the top of the search results list. That's going to be 90% of your users, and if 90% of their searches are fakes then they're going to be stymied.

    The last thing I pirated (a while ago, honestly) was a piece of utility software and it worked except for one particular bit of it. I loved the shit out of the software but the broken part pissed me off so bad that I ended up buying it, which I had half a mind of doing in the first place but there was no demo and I wanted to try it out. Anyway the point is that I think there's a good chance that an average end user would be frustrated by a broken pirated build enough to either stop playing or pay. If they play a pirated build and it's obvious that it's broken because it's pirated then I think they won't blame the developer for it so it's win/win for us.
     
  16. Pogacha

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    My latest wrapper has a support and a feedback button that allows the user to easily communicate with me ... it is fun how the people who download a keygen once in a while miss the <already bought> button and click on the support one and go to my site in the browser and send me an email with the keygen data :p
     
  17. Olofson

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    :D

    So, you just make the "already bought" button harder to find, and then hack a mail filter that adds any received keys to the blacklist in the next minor update of the game. ;)
     
  18. Jack Norton

    Indie Author

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    I had the best experience last year. A guy complaining about a crashing bug on Magic Stones. He made lots of posts in my forums, so looked like an "expert" of the game. Somehow he insist about the bug so I get in touch with him with chat (something I'll never do again).
    After about 30-40minutes, since he was complaining about that bug that I couldn't reproduce on my Mac, I ask him about the serial number. He replies with a well known serial user/name that was posted in warez forums shortly after the game was released, which wasn't working anymore (so pirates would play the broken early version).
    The guy started apologizing, coming up with crazy excuses "It was my brother Pc" etc ;)
    It was so hilarious that I just told him to buy the game and stop wasting my time :)
     
  19. Pogacha

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    Actually I had so few (5 or 6) of them that it doesn't worth ...
     
  20. Borundin

    Borundin New Member

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