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September 22, 2020
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Piracy. Is it now just a silly habit?

by Paul Johnson on 08/20/14 04:45:00 pm   Expert Blogs   Featured Blogs

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.


It's been a busy time for us over at Rubicon Towers. We've started working now on our next "proper" game, but for a while we've been punting out a number of smaller titles just for the crack, and the hope of getting lucky. Flappy Bird lucky.

I'm trying to maintain some credibility and not fill this post with ad spam so I won't be linking them, but a description isn't hard - slots games, coin dozer games and something we're very proud of - Zombies: Dead in 20.

(Sorry, had to.)

Prior to zombies (paid), all those other quickie titles were free to play affairs containing very optional iap's but mainly funded by advertising. They had no cover price and we'd gotten used to tracking progress by looking at chartboost instead of store stats. We've not released a paid app for quite a while now.

Zombies is a no-brainer game developed in a couple of weeks. It's very simple, looks decent, has zombies. It has a cover price so people who hate freemium won't diss it. We hoped it might get lucky.

We were wrong. Despite all these plus points, and the built-in twitter and facebook options, we've not done well at all. £40 worth of sales over the "launch" weekend. This isn't a gripe btw, the game took almost no time to make and doesn't deserve to earn on merit, it was all about rolling the dice and hoping for the best so fair enough.

But I still want the game to do well even if it isn't to be the next Flappy or 2048 craze. So every day I've been doing a "search all" on twitter to see if that one customer of ours is posting any scores.

Not initially. But finally, tonight, I saw a ton of hits. Twitter is starting to finally light up about Zombies: Dead in 20 after several days of silence. W00T!!!!

Only they're not scores. They're all links to places you can download a cracked version of the game. Yeah, seriously. It costs a buck.

As a developer of many long years, I'm very familiar with piracy and have made arguments against it many times. And you've heard them many times. And possibly argued against them many times. It's old and I'm not going there again.

No, this too-long-winded post has one single point only.

I'm not going to preach to that person that he shouldn't steal. Not going to remind him that he's taking food from my family's mouths. Not even gonna tell him he's an asshole. No, I have just one thing to say.

It's a dollar. You should be embarrassed.

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