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Piracy Inspires Android Developer to Release App for Free

MADFinger Games, developers of the zombie first-person shooter Dead Finger, have taken to heart the phrase “if you can’t beat them, join them”.

A few days ago they released a new update to Dead Finger, and in addition to bug fixes the game also became free to play. Naturally this upset the many people who had bought the app before the price drop, so earlier today MadFinger posted an explanation on their Facebook page:

Regarding price drop. HERE is our statement. The main reason: piracy rate on Android devices, that was unbelievably high. 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. Anyway – DEAD TRIGGER is not FREEMIUM, it always was and still remains FREE-TO-PLAY, that means, all players are able to play it without IAP! We stand up for this statement, because all members of our team are playing (and enjoying) DEAD TRIGGER without IAP.

As much as this might bother you, I’m not so sure that this developer has actually been harmed by the piracy. At most it cost them a dollar per pirated game, but in exchange for that there was always the chance that the pirate might buy stuff inside the game – and that is especially true if the pirate really likes the game. This, I think, is why MADFinger decided to accept the inevitable; the potential for sales inside the app likely outweigh the loss of a buck on each sale.

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