Imagine that you are a developer that has spent months working on a new App Store title that you think might actually have a shot at becoming the latest smash hit game. For the team at Hunted Cow, that dream never got to be lived out.
In less than a week, the team was forced to pull its Battle Dungeon game from the App Store because its servers were being overloaded by users that had pirated the game using a cracked .ipa file posted on a discussion forum. The official Battle Dungeon website now shows this notice:
Unfortunately we have taken Battle Dungeon down for the forseeable future. This was due to high levels of server load created by large numbers of pirated copies of the game. The high load revealed technical issues which we don’t feel we can fix to the level that our paying customers deserve.
This is a disappointing situation for Hunted Cow, as its Battle Dungeon game had received praise from a number of different sources. It’s a shame that a select community of users has to ruin the App Store experience for others.
Even worse, the use of piracy makes the jailbreaking community as a whole look bad. While a number of users jailbreak solely for the purpose of piracy, others use jailbreaking in a productive manner to better their iOS devices.
iFans previously interviewed Italian jailbreak developer Filippo Bigarella, who claimed that the piracy ratio can be bad as 40:1. That is one legitimate copy sold for every 40 pirated copies. This number is only in reference to the Cydia Store, but the situation is probably almost equally as bad in terms of the App Store.
As soon as someone starts selling software, he gets to know piracy. I don’t have any app on the App Store (yet), so I can only speak for what regards the Cydia Store: unfortunately, there is a widespread ecosystem of “unofficial” repos, that are used to repackage products from the Cydia Store and putting them up for free. From some data collected by other developers and elaborating some stats, I think the average ratio between pirates and legit users is around 40 : 1.
Hopefully this serves as a reminder to anyone that has pirated App Store apps or games in the past. You might be saving a few dollars here and there, but you’re hurting the developers that devote so much time to releasing those iOS titles, and giving the jailbreaking community a bad reputation at the same time.
While not everyone actually has a method of paying for paid apps, that doesn’t serve as an excuse for piracy. Before you pirate, truly think about the negative impact that your actions could have. And yes, it’s illegal. iFans has a zero tolerance policy against discussions that help facilitate piracy within our forums, and promptly disciplines all users that violate this rule.
What’s your stance on piracy?