[Rant] Dead Trigger goes free, causes outrage bigger than a zombie invasion
Dead Trigger hit the Play Store on July 3, and people went nuts. Honestly, I can’t blame them. It’s a beautiful game that I’ve had a blast playing (and kind of sucking at), runs great on my tab, and it’s only 99cents. I’ll give Madfinger Games credit, as I don’t get a lot of games for Android. This one was worth the download.
A few days ago though, all hell broke loose and now a lot of the once satisfied gamers are now out for blood (or brrraaains) after Madfinger randomly changed the price of the app to $0…free…nothing. No change to an in-app purchase or freemium format. Just, free.
The change was initially reported by Android Police a few days ago. I thought it was odd to price drop so quickly after release, especially considering the download count was good. I didn’t however expect the huge shit storm of angry customers that followed. Madfinger posted this announcement about the price change on their Facebook page, and I bolded the points of humor.
“Regarding price drop. HERE is our statement. The main reason: piracy rate on Android devices, that was unbelievably high. At first we intend to make this game available for as many people as possible – that’s why it was for as little as buck. – It was much less than 8$ 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.”
They followed up later in the thread with the following after getting ripped on for a while:
“Guys, thank you for your support! FYI, we absolutely understand, that people are angry because they paid for sth that is now for free! We understand that it could seems to be unfair to someone… On the other hand, we just hope that those people might consider three-weeks-earlier gaming of DT worth one buck. That’s all.”
Wow. Why don’t you just just shorten the official statement to “you Android guys are a bunch of app pirate assholes”. Yes, piracy is a problem. It’s always a problem which you recognize and accept when you’re a developer who charges for a product. However, releasing statements that seem rather suggestive a large majority of the Android community are a bunch of thieves is a bit ridiculous. Even if unintentional, that is a pretty poorly worded response to the change in price. I have to wonder if anyone proof read that statement before they put it up.
And last I checked, you can jailbreak an iOS device and pirate apps as well, but you’re still charging those guys. Last I checked, piracy is piracy, correct?
Yes, people are pissed. They have every right to be, and it’s not totally about the 99cents out of pocket. It’s the principle behind the change just 2 weeks after it was released, and the suggestion thrown out there that the masses of us pirate the apps and don’t shell out any cash. It’s a dollar, one single dollar. It’s nothing difficult to hand over to support a good app. Yes, there are plenty of people on any platform that will pirate apps, but your handling of this has been borderline pathetic. We would still now happily pay the cost for the game, but instead you rip your revenue out from under your own feet. To those who still want to support them, there are additional items you can buy via in-app purchase, but aren’t essential to winning the game. At least this is some revenue they’re able to get. Cutting out the download revenue is still a poor choice. Something is better than nothing.
Unfortunately Madfinger didn’t release any numbers or stats to confirm the “soooo giant” piracy issue they had. We just have to take it at face value that we rip off devs.
And no, I’m not supporting piracy in any way, or saying they’re the only bad guys in this. There’s honestly no reason for it. If you can afford $200 for that phone you’re carrying, or more if you didn’t get a subsidized price, don’t be an asshole. Pay for your app and don’t waste anyone’s time with whatever lame excuse you’re telling yourself.
Good job there Madfinger. Cutting off the nose to spite the face.