July 23, 2012 | by Andrew Kameka
Those dirty, stinking pirates have claimed another victim in highly-rated zombie shooter Dead Trigger. Following rampant piracy of the $0.99 game, developer MadFinger Games decided to do away with the price and make Dead Trigger completely free. There really wasn’t much else that could have been done according to a Facebook update published a short while ago.
“Even for one buck,” MadFinger explained, “The piracy rate is soooo giant, that we finally decided to provide DEAD TRIGGER for free.”
Despite the 99-cent price tag, Dead Trigger was widely distributed on illegal sharing sites. That led to the game being dropped to be completely free within two weeks of its release. When an important update that added several new features – including new weapons, zombies, environments, and game modes – the price of the Dead Trigger dropped.
MadFinger originally intended to make the game “available for as many people as possible,” which is why it sold for $1 rather than the $5 people typically pay for a game of this quality. To make up for the difference, the developer included in-app purchases that provides shortcuts towards getting better weapons and gear. Unlike most freemium titles, these purchases are not necessary to win the game. The hope is that newcomers to Dead Trigger will make IAP upgrades as a way to shorten the process and still generate revenue for the developer.
The Dead Trigger situation is a sad state of affairs on the piracy problem on Android - a problem Google has tried unsuccessfully to rectify. Some developers use authentication that requires a web connection every time the game starts, which can be incredibly annoying to honest paying customers, and others use copy-protection that can easily be circumvented. Beyond that, there are even people who pirate free games. And I mean free as in already costs $0.00 and is available in the Google Play Store.