Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 23rd Jul 2012 12:57 UTC
Google Without giving any detailed information, Madfinger Games announced that because the piracy rates of their game Dead Trigger were so high on Android, they made the game available for free. This sucks balls. I'm interested in more detailed statistics, especially where, exactly, the piracy rate is highest, considering you can only get paid Google Play applications in 31 countries, and then, often only with a credit card (which many people outside of the US don't have and/or use). It wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if those piracy rates mostly come from places without paid applications support and/or with lousy payment options. In any case, Google needs to get its act together with the Play Store.
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What about kids?
by dsmogor on Mon 23rd Jul 2012 13:13 UTC
dsmogor
Member since:
2005-09-01

who don't have credit cards anyway (US or else). I guess they are most frequent consumers of games given low price could easily pay for them without parents permission.
For countries with low credit card penetration, carrier based payment is in fact the only remaining option.

Reply Score: 3

RE: What about kids?
by smashIt on Mon 23rd Jul 2012 13:58 UTC in reply to "What about kids?"
smashIt Member since:
2005-07-06

who don't have credit cards anyway (US or else).


I live in austria, and out of all my friends and relatives only 2 have a credit card

even amazon had to implement aditional payment-methods here

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: What about kids?
by voidlogic on Mon 23rd Jul 2012 14:04 UTC in reply to "RE: What about kids?"
voidlogic Member since:
2005-09-03

Are you going to tell us how you pay for things? What are the alternate payment options?

I have always considered a CC the currency of the 21st century... I don't personally know anyone who does not have one.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: What about kids?
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 23rd Jul 2012 14:10 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What about kids?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

We use debit cards for everything. Credit cards are a rarity, and almost exclusively used for travel. Our entire payment system is built around debit cards - both in real stores and online.

My Google Play/App Store/WP Marketplace accounts use my parents' credit card. They have one for travel. It's my only option. For many of my friends who don't have credit cards or parents with a card, they're out of luck.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: What about kids?
by _txf_ on Mon 23rd Jul 2012 14:15 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: What about kids?"
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

I don't use my credit cards a lot. But I do have them.

You are aware you can just ask your bank for one ?

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: What about kids?
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 23rd Jul 2012 14:28 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: What about kids?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I don't use my credit cards a lot. But I do have them.

You are aware you can just ask your bank for one ?


A credit card costs money. On top of that, it's a cultural thing. A least here in The Netherlands, credit cards carry a stigma, because they're associated with spending money you don't have and getting into serious financial trouble. People are actually afraid of them, and would rather not own one. As far as payment methods go, credit cards are pretty damn expensive.

With a debit card you spend the money you actually own. That seems like a small difference, but it's actually a huge conceptual shift.

Edited 2012-07-23 14:29 UTC

Reply Score: 7

RE[6]: What about kids?
by _txf_ on Mon 23rd Jul 2012 14:44 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: What about kids?"
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

Personally I've never had issues. I just set payment to 100% and never spend over my limits.

These days there are also other kinds of credit cards. Here in Portugal we have MBnet which is like a virtual credit card for online shopping. You set a limit and whatever you buy gets taken out of your account like a debit card. It is recognized internationally as a credit card and works well.

You can also get pre-paid (I imagine it is only used for travelling).

But either way I like having a safety net. Sure I pay for it, but you never know when you're going to have an emergency.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: What about kids?
by EvilMonkeySlayer on Mon 23rd Jul 2012 15:25 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: What about kids?"
EvilMonkeySlayer Member since:
2010-04-08

I think it's more common over here (Europe) that you shouldn't spend money you don't have.

I myself have never owned a credit card, I've got my visa debit card provided by my bank and that's it.

Reply Score: 5

RE[6]: What about kids?
by earksiinni on Tue 24th Jul 2012 06:00 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: What about kids?"
earksiinni Member since:
2009-03-27

Not sure why I've never read this yet when credit cards get debated here, but the big reason why many (maybe most?) Americans use credit cards is because credit card companies offer cash back bonuses. Most people that I know pay their balance off in full every month, but we end up saving money with 1%-5% cash back or by earning frequent flier miles. It makes me feel silly when I pay $3 for milk with a credit card, but hey, I'm getting money back, so why not? Most credit cards do not charge a fee for using/having them, and if you pay your balance off in full within a month you pay no interest whatsoever. Also, debit cards here often charge a small ($0.25) transaction fee. In other words, it has nothing whatsoever to do with a cultural difference.

Of course, for all that money that the companies lose on their cash back bonuses, they more than make up for in fees and those times when someone gets desperate and puts down an important payment on a high interest credit card...

Edited 2012-07-24 06:01 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: What about kids?
by voidlogic on Mon 23rd Jul 2012 14:19 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: What about kids?"
voidlogic Member since:
2005-09-03

My debit card works anywhere my credit card works online... is this not the case with European debit cards?

I wasn't even considering debit and credit cards to be different in terms of this discussion...

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: What about kids?
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 23rd Jul 2012 14:23 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: What about kids?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

is this not the case with European debit cards?


Nope. They are two entirely different things, and not interchangeable. Play wants a credit card, not a debit card.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: What about kids?
by Laurence on Mon 23rd Jul 2012 14:50 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: What about kids?"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26


Nope. They are two entirely different things, and not interchangeable. Play wants a credit card, not a debit card.

They are interchangeable in the UK (eg VISA Debit) and my debit card works on Google Play.

Edited 2012-07-23 14:50 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: What about kids?
by JAlexoid on Tue 24th Jul 2012 01:09 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: What about kids?"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

It depends on the bank. Banks choose to enable internet transactions or not. Too many want the security of a CC, before they allow you to pay online.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: What about kids?
by henderson101 on Mon 23rd Jul 2012 15:36 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: What about kids?"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

"is this not the case with European debit cards?


Nope. They are two entirely different things, and not interchangeable. Play wants a credit card, not a debit card.
"

Not in the UK. I use my Debit Card anywhere a US company wants a Credit Card with zero issues.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: What about kids?
by aorth on Mon 23rd Jul 2012 15:44 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: What about kids?"
aorth Member since:
2011-10-26

For what it's worth, my Google Checkout account uses a US-based Debit Card. ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: What about kids?
by gan17 on Mon 23rd Jul 2012 18:26 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: What about kids?"
gan17 Member since:
2008-06-03

Play wants a credit card, not a debit card.

Eh?! I use a Visa Debit tied to a regular savings account for my Google Wallet/Play, Paypal, iTunes, etc.

No problems here. Singapore, btw.

Edit:
Google Wallet's main FAQ page also states that it accepts Debit and Electron cards, fyi. Of course, it might be dependent on your bank's policy.

Edited 2012-07-23 18:35 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: What about kids?
by pgeorgi on Mon 23rd Jul 2012 20:14 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: What about kids?"
pgeorgi Member since:
2010-02-18

Google Wallet's main FAQ page also states that it accepts Debit and Electron cards, fyi. Of course, it might be dependent on your bank's policy.

Debit cards in Western Europe are usually bank issued - Visa, Mastercard, Amex et al have nothing to do with it.

OTOH, we have a working inter-bank transfer system (electronic and paper) for 60 years or so. That's not true for the USA, nor I suppose, for emerging economies.

Visa and the others (and that's what we call "credit card" here) are expensive, have the bad rap that Thom mentioned, can't be use universally (many merchants only accept the bank issued cards) - and are the ones supported by US multinationals in their online shops.

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: What about kids?
by Savior on Mon 23rd Jul 2012 19:20 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: What about kids?"
Savior Member since:
2006-09-02

I live in Hungary, and (for the time being, while one is free ;) ) I own two debit cards, one Mastercard and one Visa. I've yet to find a page that does not accept them. And they are debit cards alright, I can't pay with them if I don't have money on the associated bank account. I'd be very much surprised if the Dutch system was different.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: What about kids?
by zadintuvas on Mon 23rd Jul 2012 20:08 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: What about kids?"
zadintuvas Member since:
2012-07-23

Here in Lithuania (EU) you can get a few debit cards "for buying online" which are accepted just like credit cards. I just got one (Debit MasterCard) and have no problems buying stuff online. You can also get Visa Virtuon card here, which is made exclusively for online use (it does not have magnetic stripe or chip inside).

However, majority of debit cards (Maestro and Visa Electron) can't be used for such things unless seller has his shop integrated with your bank (each bank provides his own API for payments). If seller does not support your bank, you have to make money transfer yourself.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: What about kids?
by JAlexoid on Tue 24th Jul 2012 01:12 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: What about kids?"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Virtuon is backed by the same system that backs Visa's CC online payments. Debit cards usually are managed exclusively by the banks. (That is true in Lithuania as is in most Europe)

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: What about kids?
by WereCatf on Mon 23rd Jul 2012 20:32 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: What about kids?"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

"is this not the case with European debit cards?


Nope. They are two entirely different things, and not interchangeable. Play wants a credit card, not a debit card.
"

I use a debit card on Google Play, PayPal, Steam and plenty of other places just fine.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: What about kids?
by tanishaj on Mon 23rd Jul 2012 14:25 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: What about kids?"
tanishaj Member since:
2010-12-22

My debit card works anywhere my credit card works online... is this not the case with European debit cards?


This is pretty much a U.S. phenomenon. Even in Canada, there is nothing like the "VISA debit" cards you see in the US. Debit cards and credit cards are very different animals. If a merchant only accepts credit, debit card carriers are out-of-luck.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: What about kids?
by bouhko on Mon 23rd Jul 2012 16:26 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: What about kids?"
bouhko Member since:
2010-06-24

This whole discussion makes me think we could really use an overhaul of the whole banking/payment system. I mean it's 2012 and we still have incompatible banking card systems. And don't even get me started on the hugely overpriced fees we have to pay to do cross-borders account-to-account payments.

That's just ridiculous. Some guys (e.g https://www.simple.com/) seem to have started working on a solution to this, but it's US only at the moment.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: What about kids?
by 0brad0 on Mon 23rd Jul 2012 21:52 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: What about kids?"
0brad0 Member since:
2007-05-05


This is pretty much a U.S. phenomenon. Even in Canada, there is nothing like the "VISA debit" cards you see in the US. Debit cards and credit cards are very different animals. If a merchant only accepts credit, debit card carriers are out-of-luck.


Not true. Over the last 2 years VISA debit cards have come to Canada as well.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: What about kids?
by henderson101 on Mon 23rd Jul 2012 15:35 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: What about kids?"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

We use debit cards for everything.


Yes here too. Except, in the UK our Debit Cards have a provider linked to them. They still act *just like* a Debit Card (money comes from personal bank account, lack of funds will prevent use etc), but because they are Visa/MasterCard (majority, some used to be Solo), they will also work anywhere a "credit card" is required. Personally, my Debit Card is with Barclays and is a Visa Debit. It works everywhere, world wide, where Visa is accepted. If your cards don't work like that, well, they should.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: What about kids?
by IvoLimmen on Mon 23rd Jul 2012 19:32 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: What about kids?"
IvoLimmen Member since:
2005-07-06

I myself also live in the Netherlands. Ever since I started working I own a credit card. Even though the name implies credit does not mean you can use it wisely: everything I pay is automatically subtracted from my normal account. I don't pay extra fees or pay my stuff in parts each month. I think a lot of fellow Dutchmen don't know about this option and therefore don't use a credit card. I have to say that I only own a credit card simply because I want to buy stuff online and if it is not a Dutch shop you either need PayPal (that can actually pay from your normal account; I linked it to my ING-account) or credit card.

Personally my travel experience is weird; I do bring my credit card to every country I visit, but every place I go has to option to simply use my debit card (And I prefer that because the credit card cost extra).
I even had that option in Thailand in 2001 (yes I was stunned by that too).

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: What about kids?
by Bobthearch on Tue 24th Jul 2012 00:32 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: What about kids?"
Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

In "the States" you get a debit card every time you open a checking account. My bank uses Visa, but I suppose there are others that use Mastercard instead. Use the debit card just like a credit card, at any place that accepts credit cards, and the purchase is deducted right from the checking account.

I can't imagine paying cash for everything. Cash is easily lost, stolen, and destroyed. Take a vacation or make a major shopping trip to town and you'd have to have hundreds, or thousands, of dollars in cash. Who carries that much cash around nowadays?

It's especially difficult, or at least inconvenient, to even buy gas (petrol) without a Visa/Mastercard since any modern station has pay-at-the-pump. Many stations ~only~ have pay-at-the-pump, especially late at night.

Interesting to learn that other countries' banking habits and customs are so different. I've been to Australia a few times and banking seems very similar to the U.S. system, with credit/debit cards being very common.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: What about kids?
by Alfman on Tue 24th Jul 2012 01:35 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: What about kids?"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Bobthearch,

"Cash is easily lost, stolen, and destroyed. Take a vacation or make a major shopping trip to town and you'd have to have hundreds, or thousands, of dollars in cash. Who carries that much cash around nowadays?"

Ah yes, but who has a credit card and hasn't been denied transactions on the card due to "suspicious activity" while on vacation? I've been seeing more and more of these false positives in recent years.

Once I even had my ATM account disabled and I could not withdraw money to pay my rent. This was on a friday and I called my bank to beg them to access my own money and they refused to do anything about it until monday...needless to say, my rent was late and I was extremely upset. But that's the truth, if you don't have cash, your money is at the whim of somebody else.

And you can't even blame the companies for eyeing purchases with such suspicion, so called "identify theft" is rampant given the inherent insecurity behind our payment systems in the US. Use the card at a restaurant, it can be trivially copied with a pen, smartphone camera, or even carbon paper. There are even reports of credit card skimmers at gas stations and ATMs where the credit card is copied without ever leaving your hand. This is because US credit cards are stuck in the past, decades behind state of the art cryptography.

Who knows when the US will finally adapt secure charge cards? Probably when they finally come around to using metric [/sarcasm].



"It's especially difficult, or at least inconvenient, to even buy gas (petrol) without a Visa/Mastercard since any modern station has pay-at-the-pump. Many stations ~only~ have pay-at-the-pump, especially late at night."

Really? I've seen the exact opposite, here in new york state many gas stations are encouraging cash use because high merchant fees on card transactions are skimming away at profit margins.

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: What about kids?
by Bobthearch on Tue 24th Jul 2012 01:49 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: What about kids?"
Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

I don't disagree with any of your comments on credit card security. While I've never had a card shut off in mid-transaction, I've seen it happen.

re gas stations: If you're paying cash at many stations you have to go in, wait in line, and pre-pay for fuel. Then after fueling you have to go back in, stand in line again, and wait for change or a receipt.

By comparison, using the card at the pump is very fast and easy. Furthermore, it protects the station owners from drive-offs (people pumping fuel and not paying).

And, as I mentioned, many stations are unattended at night (some stations don't have clerks at all) and the only way to get fuel is by inserting a Visa/Mastercard at the pump.

As a result, you really need a card for traveling. You can't even make a motel reservation, even if paying cash, without giving a credit card number. Pretty sure airline tickets and rental cars are the same situation.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: What about kids?
by zima on Fri 27th Jul 2012 09:59 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: What about kids?"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Interesting to learn that other countries' banking habits and customs are so different. I've been to Australia a few times and banking seems very similar to the U.S. system, with credit/debit cards being very common.

Better tend to not think about the US as typical-anything, as a rule of thumb (go through lists of various societal stats and such, Wiki has plenty of them)
WRT to the example of banking systems... what's with the insistence on checks, like there's no wire transfers?

Still, virtually any shop around here (central Europe) has debit card reader, also fuel stations.

It's especially difficult, or at least inconvenient, to even buy gas (petrol) without a Visa/Mastercard

So... you can't even buy diesel or LPG at a random fuel station? ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: What about kids?
by JAlexoid on Tue 24th Jul 2012 01:06 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: What about kids?"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Irony is that in NL it's a total PITA that people don't have a real option for a web payment enabled debit card(like Visa virtual - http://www.visaeurope.com/en/cardholders/prepaid/virtual_cards.aspx )

Or at least, I haven't noticed when I was there.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: What about kids?
by smashIt on Mon 23rd Jul 2012 14:58 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What about kids?"
smashIt Member since:
2005-07-06

Are you going to tell us how you pay for things?


cash when possible

What are the alternate payment options?


on amazon.at direct debit and purchase orders in addition to credit cards
amazo.co.uk won't accept direct debit and purchase orders

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: What about kids?
by Wafflez on Mon 23rd Jul 2012 15:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What about kids?"
Wafflez Member since:
2011-06-26

Well I don't know anyone who has a credit card.

Closest thing I and all my friends have is a "virtual" or "online" MasterCard credit card for purchases with PayPal, etc. But it works like a debit card anyways. ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: What about kids?
by zima on Mon 30th Jul 2012 23:30 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What about kids?"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

I have always considered a CC the currency of the 21st century...

Calling credit cards specifically "the currency of the 21st century" almost couldn't be further from the truth... they are sort of obsolete, mostly just about the number, at their core virtually lacking modern security concepts - being from the times of blissful innocence.

Debit cards OTOH... (typically "online" in the sense that they require connection and authorisation for operations; but, historically, that complicated "online" - in the web sense - transactions)

Reply Score: 2

RE: What about kids?
by izomiac on Tue 24th Jul 2012 02:20 UTC in reply to "What about kids?"
izomiac Member since:
2006-07-26

I suspect this is the major reason. I'm an American and before I went to college I didn't have a credit card (technically Visa Debit). I did buy games in stores, but was unable to do so online.

Perhaps modern children have the option of buying prepaid cards, but if not then piracy may be their best option for acquiring the game. I know I wouldn't want to justify every purchase to my parents and borrow their credit card (or explain when the monthly cell phone bill came in).

Of course, does it really matter? If you can't buy the game then you aren't a potential customer. It'll show up in the piracy rate, but popularity will increase and sales will likely increase. OTOH, it's a poor business decision to market toward those who cannot buy your product. You can either provide more payment options or market toward a demographic who can use your preferred payment method.

Reply Score: 1

How about company owners?
by dsmogor on Mon 23rd Jul 2012 13:16 UTC
dsmogor
Member since:
2005-09-01

Who would like to get a proper receipt/invoice for tax deduction purposes. Lack of thereof makes Google Play a no go for any kind of professional purchases.

Reply Score: 1

RE: How about company owners?
by avgalen on Mon 23rd Jul 2012 13:23 UTC in reply to "How about company owners?"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

The article is about a 99 cent game.
The store is called Google Play.

What makes you think this has anything to do with "company owners"

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: How about company owners?
by dsmogor on Mon 23rd Jul 2012 14:20 UTC in reply to "RE: How about company owners?"
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

Play or not, there a lot of $50 pro apps in there.
Apparently developers disagree with you.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by ephracis
by ephracis on Mon 23rd Jul 2012 14:51 UTC
ephracis
Member since:
2007-09-23

My bank (Swedbank) has a free service where I can create a digital credit card. I choose the amount of money, the expiration date (default of one month) and I get an image of a credit card in my browser containing all information I need (number,name,ccv,etc).

I really enjoy this. I could setup a card with an expiration date far into the future and use it everywhere if I want to. However, I choose to always create a new card whenever I need to buy something online. That way I never have to fear that the information will get stolen and someone will start to charge me, since I already spent all the money that is associated with the card (and it only lasts a month anyway). Also makes it a bit harder to spend my money which is always a good thing.

And I also want to add to what Thom said. Carrying a CC has a stigma associated with it. Not only does the card itself cost money, but the whole idea is that you spend money you don't have and pay interest on it. Most young adults here don't have a CC, they only carry a debit card.

I know more friends who have a land line (!) than a credit card. ;)

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by ephracis
by henderson101 on Mon 23rd Jul 2012 15:44 UTC in reply to "Comment by ephracis"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

And I also want to add to what Thom said. Carrying a CC has a stigma associated with it. Not only does the card itself cost money, but the whole idea is that you spend money you don't have and pay interest on it. Most young adults here don't have a CC, they only carry a debit card


That is down to your bank. I personally have 1 credit card, issued by the Credit Card company associated with my bank. It's VISA (as VISA is more popular in the UK that pretty much all other credit brands) and it costs me nothing. No fee. Never has been one. It charges me interest, yes, but that's only when I use it.

The main reason to have a Credit Card in the UK these days is for online purchases. Our banks set a precedence that Debit Card purchases are "final" online. So, if we want any kind of security and "come back" when a purchase goes wrong, we need to use Credit Cards. Online fraud is growing, and Debit Cards provide little protection (depending on who you bank with.)

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by ephracis
by Soulbender on Mon 23rd Jul 2012 18:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by ephracis"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Our banks set a precedence that Debit Card purchases are "final" online. So, if we want any kind of security and "come back" when a purchase goes wrong, we need to use Credit Cards.


I was going to say "that sounds a bit odd" but then I realized who have the most to benefit from credit cards....

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by ephracis
by Apricot on Mon 23rd Jul 2012 17:10 UTC in reply to "Comment by ephracis"
Apricot Member since:
2012-07-23

Same here, and I agree with everything, but sadly the e-card service doesn't seem to work with Google Play anymore since a while back. ;)

Presumably because they draw a tiny amount first to check if the card works, and that locks the e-card somehow, like it can only be used to purchase things at one place or something. I don't know if that's true, but in any case it doesn't work.

I have resorted to buying a "spendon" prepaid card in a kiosk(pressbyrån) if I want to buy things on Google Play...

Reply Score: 1

I'd like to call BS on this............
by OMRebel on Mon 23rd Jul 2012 15:11 UTC
OMRebel
Member since:
2005-11-14

I'm gonna call PS on piracy being the reason the 99 cent app was changed to free. I think this is a publicity stunt. I downloaded it today to see what the fuss was about, and found the game's controls to be really cruddy on my Galaxy S II (pretty much like all FPS games on phones). I think this was just a way for the developers to create a "buzz" around the game in hopes to get people to download it and spend money on the IAP's.

Now, I'm not saying piracy doesn't happen - of course it does. And Google has addressed this in Jelly Bean. But, I am wondering HOW the developer is able to track how many times their app was actually pirated? Word of mouth? News groups? And like Thom asked, where was the piracy taking place? The developers seem rather short on stats and more focused on getting the word around about their app.

Reply Score: 7

libray Member since:
2005-08-27

Obviously since the firms who want to benefit intellectual property must only be evil right?
If the game was only pirated 10% then would that be OK?
How about 25%? 50%? 80%? 99%?

Reply Score: 2

OMRebel Member since:
2005-11-14

Obviously since the firms who want to benefit intellectual property must only be evil right?
If the game was only pirated 10% then would that be OK?
How about 25%? 50%? 80%? 99%?


I can make up numbers too. I am asking how many times was their game pirated? They didn't post any stats at all - which is telling in their motives. They are getting their free advertisement.

Reply Score: 2

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

It's perfectly possible for a game to fail for other reasons than piracy, you know.

Also, a pirated instance is not necessarily the same as a lost sale. It's only a lost sale if that person would otherwise have purchase the game, which isn't necessarily the case. That doesn't make piracy Ok, of course, but something one should take into account when looking at these numbers.

Reply Score: 3

fatjoe Member since:
2010-01-12

I too call BS on this.


This game was part of a sale right after introduction which usually means a LOT of sales. Not in this case however, since

1. due to publisher error, it was available (visible) on only a few devices (none of my phones and tablets)
2. according to the reviews, it was very buggy.


PS. I have bought all their other games and they are pretty okey.

Edited 2012-07-23 17:20 UTC

Reply Score: 3

bouhko Member since:
2010-06-24

Regarding how they track the pirated copy, they claim (on their FB page) that they use an analytics library that's bundled in the game (and it's therefore bundled in the pirated version too if it's just a copy of the APK).
Then, it's just a matter of comparing the number from the analytics report to the sales from the store.

But yeah, I'd really like to see more data, especially from other game publishers.

Reply Score: 2

v Does it matter who stole it?
by jefro on Mon 23rd Jul 2012 15:37 UTC
Comment by itanic
by itanic on Mon 23rd Jul 2012 15:56 UTC
itanic
Member since:
2008-08-03

Credit cards are typically free or very cheap, for the buyer. They're paid for by the sellers, typically 2-3% of every transaction. It's also prohibited by Visa, etc. to charge extra to cover these transaction fees. That's why many places will offer a 'cash discount' instead.

Edited 2012-07-23 15:57 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by itanic
by pepa on Tue 24th Jul 2012 03:29 UTC in reply to "Comment by itanic"
pepa Member since:
2005-07-08

I've often been giving payment options online, where it specifically stated that they charge a fee for using a credit card. So I'm not sure to what extent Visa is enforcing this.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by itanic
by Alfman on Tue 24th Jul 2012 04:17 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by itanic"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

pepa,

"I've often been giving payment options online, where it specifically stated that they charge a fee for using a credit card. So I'm not sure to what extent Visa is enforcing this."

Just this month Visa & MasterCard settled a 7 billion dollar lawsuit over price fixing.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-07-13/visa-mastercard-settle-mer...
"The agreement, which provides for a temporary reduction in rates for merchants and allows them to impose surcharges on customer purchases, follows a seven-year legal battle with U.S. retailers that accused the two largest payment networks of conspiring with banks to fix swipe fees, or interchange."

I've heard from other sources as well that surcharge fee prohibitions may be eliminated.

For a long time now, I've seen more and more merchants explicitly passing along the fees to customers (or waive fees for cash paying customers), like gas stations and mechanics. And to be honest, I think it's the only way to make credit card companies compete for lower fees, which is good in the long term. It will just take a while for these changes to adjust themselves.

Ideally the credit/debit card fees should be tacked onto the receipt so that the customer knows how much they're paying their credit card company for the transaction. This would put an end to "reward programs" once consumers realise the rewards are actually a negative cashflow for them. Instead they'll hunt down cards with lower fees, which is as it should be.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by itanic
by pepa on Tue 24th Jul 2012 05:14 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by itanic"
pepa Member since:
2005-07-08

Thanks, very informative. I agree, these things should be more explicit.

Reply Score: 2

frevd
Member since:
2012-07-23

A week ago we experienced this issue firsthand, when we wanted to publish our game (Lilli Adventures 3D).
Whenever a developer adds a new package (e.g. a patch to a new version), a lot of automated file sharing gets triggered. Right overnight after we published, the web was full of hundreds of blogs featuring our game, all coming with download links. We didn't tell anybody, so this was fully automated, and after the patch to version 1.1 we could see it again. We also have proof of at least 150 illegal downloads, as some people really pressed the support link and emailed us, complaining that they couldn't play the illegally downloaded version. It's up to you now to extrapolate the real numbers of downloads (some filesharers had counters, they showed thousands of downloads). The contents in the blogs where mostly exact copies, and the links often the same, though we collected about 100 of them and send out DMCA take-down notices for each of them (manually).
Fortunately we had implemented Google's LVL check and didn't allow people to play the pirated game. But a single cracked app (luckily the interest wasn't high enough yet) could produce a real threat to us.
The real problem are those services that spread one download to dozens of filesharers. It is managable, but it sucks.
I'm unsure if we ever will publish an app again, because it makes no sense, economically. People don't even want to spend as little as 99ct for some game worth some months of work. The only choice is to use in-app payment or produce spam apps.
People don't want to pay for things any more, but producers of course need to get at least some money in order to have bread on the table. If that's no longer possible, the app environment will change to what is possible - i.e. apps heavily relying on selling play time or in-game things and making people addicted, or other, most profane types of games. That's what they want it seems. Normal games don't pay the development costs anymore.
Next time we publish a game, we'll take that into account and publish a free game with in-app payments. There is no other real option for a small team of developers.
But true, credit cards are a no-go in most parts of europe, e.g. here in Germany, we pay with debit cards. But I don't think that's the problem here. Normally you can pay for apps using your carrier, i.e. it will automatically appear on your phone invoice.

Reply Score: 6

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

But true, credit cards are a no-go in most parts of europe, e.g. here in Germany, we pay with debit cards. But I don't think that's the problem here.


No, it isn't. I read a study not too long ago where it was estimated that over 80% of the Android piracy happens in the US. But when talking about movies/music/whatever, people will insist that piracy would go away if prices were lower, which, as we've seen with these 99 cent apps and games, is a bunch of BS.

Whether anyone wants to admit or not, the reason why most people pirate is because they want free shit. That's the way it is, and that's the way it's always going to be.

Reply Score: 4

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Link please. I'd be very interested.

Reply Score: 1

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Link please. I'd be very interested.


It was actually here on your site:

http://www.osnews.com/story/23853/Android_Software_Piracy_Rampant_D...

And I was wrong, the figure was actually 70%. Still though... does it really surprise you that many people (probably the majority of them) pirate for no other reason than because they want free shit, and would do so no matter what the price was? Is it a fact you're willing to concede?


Here's another article on the subject:

http://www.wired.com/gamelife/2012/05/wired-uk-android-game-piracy

Reply Score: 3

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

It was actually here on your site:


Heh, I usually remember what I link to ;) . Thanks though, I need to dive back into that.

Edited 2012-07-23 17:55 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

So piracy would go away if Americans were more honest?

Reply Score: 2

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

So piracy would go away if Americans were more honest?


Piracy is never going away.

Reply Score: 2

South American here
by reduz on Mon 23rd Jul 2012 16:40 UTC
reduz
Member since:
2006-02-25

Piracy here exists simply because most people can't pay using credit card. Banks are much more strict with who gets them and limits are much smaller. Some countries also disallow international purchases.
I have no problems myself, but most of my friends simply can't pay for the apps and pirate them.

Google could try talking to the carriers about paying for apps consumes phone credit (just like an sms) as an alternative, but there are too many and demand huge fees, so there isn't much of a point.

Until this changes, piracy will still be huge in places like Latin America or Asia, even though Android completely dominates the market.

Edited 2012-07-23 16:40 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Clarification
by SVPirate on Mon 23rd Jul 2012 18:40 UTC
SVPirate
Member since:
2007-07-01

Firstly you don't need a credit card, you need a valid payment card i.e. credit or debit card to pay for the Play Store, any Visa, Mastercard etc. is fine. No need to go into debt for Google.

World finance lesson: Every UK bank account for over-16s comes with a Debit Card included (although I think for 2 years they are in-store only) so everyone in the UK prettymuch has the means to pay for Play Store stuff. Also dreaded debt incurring credit cards are common in the UK, not so much in mainland Europe so it's totally not the case that not many people use them outside the US. Basically, pretty-much everyone in the developed world (and a lot of people outside it too, including lots of stolen ones ;) ) has some kind of Visa or Mastercard that works with the Play Store.

Secondly you only need a payment card to buy paid apps. Free ones will download without any payment details.

As for who's pirating 99p games? Well the usual suspects, people who have grown up on the idea that they can freeload everywhere and it doesn't matter. Steal music, steal games, steal movies, no-one cares right? Stick it to the man!

Well no, what you're actually doing is sticking it to the hardworking people who create all this stuff and basically saying 'we don't care about your stuff'. They might only get a tiny share but that little scrap is what they live off.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Clarification
by gan17 on Mon 23rd Jul 2012 19:39 UTC in reply to "Clarification"
gan17 Member since:
2008-06-03

As for who's pirating 99p games? Well the usual suspects, people who have grown up on the idea that they can freeload everywhere and it doesn't matter. Steal music, steal games, steal movies, no-one cares right? Stick it to the man!

This is why I'm often skeptical when a dev/company claims it's "a sale lost" whenever someone pirates. It's not like the person was ever going to pay for the product anyway. Take away all the avenues for piracy and he/she would probably just ignore the product and not buy it at all.

Of course, I completely understand that some people pirate simply because they have no access to the said product. Like in many southeast Asian countries where film piracy is rampant because the movies never arrive at their local theaters, or maybe someone not having access to a certain application store due to it not being allowed in by his nation's firewall or whatnot..... but that's still technically not "a sale lost" since they couldn't have purchased the product legally anyway.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Clarification
by ze_jerkface on Tue 24th Jul 2012 14:39 UTC in reply to "RE: Clarification"
ze_jerkface Member since:
2012-06-22

Yes I bet all the Americans with $80 cell bills would never have bought a $1 game.

Just as all the pc gaming pirates with $2000 gaming pcs never would have bought a $60 game.

They all would have given up gaming and volunteered at a local hospital.

People pirate because they want free stuff. That's all there is to it.

Reply Score: 2

Piracy Rates
by Alfman on Mon 23rd Jul 2012 19:08 UTC
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

Can anyone tell me how they go about measuring software "piracy" in the first place?


Even if a publisher had a way to track software installs, it seems difficult to distinguish between legal and illegal copies. Is there a fudge factor to compensate for legitimate transfers and fair use rights, or is every install per unique device above the number of copies sold considered a violation whether it is technically a copyright violation or not?


I ask this question generically since like Thom has remarked, this publisher has released no numbers and we're left to take them at their word.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Piracy Rates
by ze_jerkface on Tue 24th Jul 2012 14:35 UTC in reply to "Piracy Rates"
ze_jerkface Member since:
2012-06-22

You can also look at completed torrents.

PC gaming tops the piracy charts which mirrors what developers report in their tracking.

Oh and you can track uninstalls.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Piracy Rates
by Alfman on Tue 24th Jul 2012 15:15 UTC in reply to "RE: Piracy Rates"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

ze_jerkface,

"PC gaming tops the piracy charts which mirrors what developers report in their tracking."

That may be the case, however if they haven't factored in fair use or even reinstalls, then you have to concede that the simple tracking you've proposed will catch non-infringing uses. Now maybe they do account for this, or maybe they do not, but it sounds like you don't know. It is not a big deal, just don't rush to brush the whole issue under the rug.

Reply Score: 2

In-app purchases
by WorknMan on Mon 23rd Jul 2012 20:11 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

A friend of mine on G+ said that when the game was a paid app, it still had in-app purchases. He also had this to say:

BTW, this is how you know for a fact it is all BS ...

The pirated version? STILL required IAP to play - since the "orbs" you have to buy (or whatever it was in that game) were not cracked - so ... The piracy distribution was actually HELPING the company put the game into more hands and increasing the likelyhood of IAP, since the game is useless without it.


Edited 2012-07-23 20:11 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Wow just wow...
by george.n on Mon 23rd Jul 2012 20:23 UTC
george.n
Member since:
2012-06-18

"which many people outside of the US don't have and/or use"..

I skimmed through the comments and noted a few pointing it out and I will join also... I'm really focusing on the use of the word of "many" in that statement... Credit Cards are NOT the only method of payment. There is such a thing as Debit Cards, One time use cards, Online only cards, etc... go to your local bank and get a bloody clue. Most countries in the world has one form or the other and they are all equally valid.

Some countries have in-country only cards even. While credit cards may not be the primary method of payment for the rest of the world don't be so short sighted and think that that is the reason as to why people don't pay for games, apps, etc.

Where I live piracy is a huge issue and not only on smart phones or tablets. It's sort of the norm. The older generation are more likely to pay than the younger ones and that is because starting with the youngest - there's the cool factor, moving up you get egoists who want to show their 1337 skills even tho they can't hack a phone to save their life, the working force go for and pay for it if they want and the story continues.

I admit I have not paid for one app or game on my phone but I am just as happy being blasted with ads. I haven't rooted my phone and see no reason to. The reason I don't pay for them it's because I rarely have the time to actually use the phone for any thing else but work... so the ads is fair game.

Reply Score: 2

RE:
by kurkosdr on Mon 23rd Jul 2012 22:05 UTC
kurkosdr
Member since:
2011-04-11

I HATE having to use a credit card to buy from Market/Play Store. Of course, I use a prepaid card, but the problem is that I have to load a minimum of 30Euros in the card. So if I want to by a 3Euro game and my prepaid card is low, I will actually have to give 30Euros. Sure, 27 Euros will remain in the card, but I would prefer to have them in coins and banknotes.

Google should implement some kind of a gift card.

And yes, I have never, ever pirated an Android app (despite having never having bought a music CD or a movie DVD or PC software). For some reason, when stuff is offered at reasonable prices and when you witness the closed-ness of the iPhone, you don't have the urge to exploit the openess of your device to pirate.

Edited 2012-07-23 22:10 UTC

Reply Score: 1

read the reviews
by stabbyjones on Tue 24th Jul 2012 02:02 UTC
stabbyjones
Member since:
2008-04-15

This game was not only crap, but was also double dipping by making it almost impossible to finish without paying more for upgrades.

Reply Score: 3

Lots of denial here
by ze_jerkface on Tue 24th Jul 2012 04:44 UTC
ze_jerkface
Member since:
2012-06-22

Tracking piracy isn't hard, just have the app hit a website post install with a unique id and then compare to sales.

There was some Android dev that did this a while back and showed how piracy rates were high even in Western countries except for Japan. This interestingly mirrors pc gaming piracy.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Lots of denial here
by Alfman on Tue 24th Jul 2012 13:46 UTC in reply to "Lots of denial here"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

ze_jerkface,

"Tracking piracy isn't hard, just have the app hit a website post install with a unique id and then compare to sales."

I thought of this too, but such a trivial approach will flag some false positives especially with fair use rights like loaning the software, which really isn't copyright infringement at all. One could could categorically add it to "piracy" statistics, but it wouldn't be entirely accurate.

I don't know how many people loan out software on tablets, but on computers loaning out games is incredibly popular and if not accounted for might account for a significant portion of additional hits for bugged-software.

Does anyone have numbers, or know whether the publishers do? I hope they don't gloss over these details, but I have a feeling they might.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Lots of denial here
by ze_jerkface on Tue 24th Jul 2012 14:33 UTC in reply to "RE: Lots of denial here"
ze_jerkface Member since:
2012-06-22

How many people actually loan out $1 Android games? You can also do further tracking with updates and even if you wrote off 5% as false positives you would still have a majority not paying for the games. Android and pc gaming are rife with piracy, is that just a reality that is too harsh for some of you?

It's so pathetic that people here are making excuses for pirating $1 games, especially when data plans are a premium.

As I said before Android piracy statistics are similar to pc gaming. Japan consistently has low piracy rates while there are countries like South Korea where they are outrageously high. It's a moral problem, too many Westerners will pay $5 for coffee but think they are entitled to free games/music/movies.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Lots of denial here
by Alfman on Tue 24th Jul 2012 14:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Lots of denial here"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

ze_jerkface,

"How many people actually loan out $1 Android games? You can also do further tracking with updates and even if you wrote off 5% as false positives you would still have a majority not paying for the games. Android and pc gaming are rife with piracy, is that just a reality that is too harsh for some of you?"

Perhaps they are, however if your not taking fair use, then you may be over estimating it. In fact, publishers may be over estimating it without even being aware about it. I really don't know what the numbers are, but your posts indicate that you don't either. You have to admit that you are making assumptions.

I'm not saying copyright infringement isn't a problem, I'm just questioning the statistics.


"It's so pathetic that people here are making excuses for pirating $1 games, especially when data plans are a premium."

I can find no reason for you to respond in this manor to my post.

Reply Score: 2

Free ? Are you kidding ?
by Tractor on Tue 24th Jul 2012 08:53 UTC
Tractor
Member since:
2006-08-18

Hey, that's a classical "Free" game with pretentfully optional but in fact compulsory in-game purchases.
You can "try to play" without paying, yes, but, for some reason, you won't be able to progress beyond a certain point, or extremely slowly, and by missing critical elements which can only be bought.

This is ultra-classical in-game purchase mechanics, which generates a ton of money for the game editor, since the early free period is only meant to "addict" the player, then frustrate it, and get the money from in-game purchase to remove frustration.

How come this could be called "free" ???

Reply Score: 2

Comment by dragos.pop
by dragos.pop on Tue 24th Jul 2012 09:37 UTC
dragos.pop
Member since:
2010-01-08

Technically speaking, in Romania we don't really have credit cards. But we have debit cards - same thing, but without a credit limit, or with overdraft - that is if your salary is payed in the associated account.

But almost everybody I know has a bank card, most of them Visa Electron or Maestro, but I did use them to buy from android market (err... Play).

It is true that most Romanians are afraid to use it of online payment, some even prefer to get the mony out from a cash machine and pay cash at supermarket... but any way, a lot of people pay online also.

About piracy... in Romania it is a normal thing for normal people, and even very small companies.

Reply Score: 2