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Android game Dead Trigger forced to go free

23 July 2012

Madfinger Games have been forced to make their new game Dead Trigger free after high levels of piracy of the $0.99 download. The game maker told of the change on a post on facebook, “At first we intend to make this game available for as many people as possible – that’s why it was for as little as buck. – It was much less than 8$ for SHADOWGUN but on the other hand we didn’t dare to provide it for free, since we hadn’t got XP with free-to-play format so far. – However, even for one buck, the piracy rate is soooo giant, that we finally decided to provide DEAD TRIGGER for free.” The game is still priced at $0.99 on itunes and the game had been on sale since July. Some users who have paid for the game before being offered free are not too pleased.

Piracy has been a big issue on the Android platform for app developers with some choosing not to release a version for it just for this reason. There is currently no real mechanism to copy protect games, with Android being popular in countries where piracy is quite a problem. Google has tried in the past to deal with the issue and there is some progress with new version of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean using app encryption. The Android developers blog said, “From Jelly Bean and forward, paid apps in Google Play are encrypted with a device-specific key before they are delivered and stored on the device. We know you work hard building your apps. We work hard to protect your investment.”

Madfinger are hoping to still make money from ads and in-app-purchase (IAP) with the money. Its orginal idea was to offer a premimum game for $0.99 and then make more profit via IAP. The Dead Trigger game can be download from Googles Play Store and has, since going free, seen the number of installs increase dramatically.

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