iPhone piracy raising 95%

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Post: #1
Hi mates!

What do you think about this?
http://www.casualgaming.biz/news/29397/F...racy-rates

Do you have any ideas to mitigate it?

Thanks.
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Post: #2
Meh estimates are that only 1 iphone out of 10 is jailbroken.

Since they can get apps free (and have nothing better to do all day) they obviously download much more than non-jailbroken ones (hence the 90% piracy rate).

If someone goes far enough to jailbreak his phone you shouldn't even consider him a potential customer.

Focus on the other 90%.

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Najdorf Wrote:Meh estimates are that only 1 iphone out of 10 is jailbroken.

Since they can get apps free (and have nothing better to do all day) they obviously download much more than non-jailbroken ones (hence the 90% piracy rate).

If someone goes far enough to jailbreak his phone you shouldn't even consider him a potential customer.

Focus on the other 90%.

Don't understand you very well.
Do you mean only 10% iPhones are jail broken? It makes no sense. Do you have any source? I thought a lot iPhones were jailbroken.

Thanks for reply.
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Post: #4
riruilo Wrote:Do you mean only 10% iPhones are jail broken? It makes no sense. Do you have any source? I thought a lot iPhones were jailbroken.
I've heard smaller numbers, maybe as high as 7%, but Apple announced in September that they've sold over 50 million iPhone OS devices so jailbroken devices almost certainly number in the millions.

The situation in that article is a little misleading however. They counted a 0-day crack against the 1st day of sales. Seeing a 95% piracy rate at that point isn't a nice thing to wake up to but I doubt that rate was sustained beyond the first day.
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Post: #5
I'm seeing pretty large piracy numbers, maybe 50% or more.

I detect if the user is running a pirated copy and disable features, and eventually disable the whole game after enough runs. Anytime they try to use something disabled I pop up a dialog asking them to buy the game with a link to the App Store. Does it work? No clue. Grin
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Bachus Wrote:I'm seeing pretty large piracy numbers, maybe 50% or more.

I detect if the user is running a pirated copy and disable features, and eventually disable the whole game after enough runs. Anytime they try to use something disabled I pop up a dialog asking them to buy the game with a link to the App Store. Does it work? No clue. Grin

Is that legal?
BTW: do you have any idea (numbers or %) about pirated copies converted to legal copies bacause of you dialog?
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Post: #7
I think piracy rate is misleading - I'd rather see raw numbers. If game A sells one copy and game B sells 10,000 copies, they're going to see different piracy "rates."

The number of pirates is pretty much constant (you'll get at least 3000 downloads from pirates, maybe more for a AAA app) but number of sales is wildly variable.

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smasher Wrote:I think piracy rate is misleading - I'd rather see raw numbers.

I agree. I think this is blown out of proportion. Lately I've seen a few articles on how piracy is rampant on iPhone. These numbers are dramatized IMHO. Like as if things have magically changed recently or something. Rolleyes

Look, iPhone apps were ridiculously easy to crack on opening day, even though many of us didn't realize just *how* easy. That situation hasn't really changed. This isn't just an iPhone topic either. Those who are wigging out about piracy are missing the key point: Apparently some people are actually buying apps (as in: they're actually paying for them). Woah, imagine that! There are people who either don't care, or are too lazy to pirate, or don't know better, or quite frankly, aren't dishonest in the first place. Those are the customers you should be focusing on selling products to, not trying to outsmart pirates. Leave the poor pirates alone!
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AnotherJake Wrote:I agree. I think this is blown out of proportion. Lately I've seen a few articles on how piracy is rampant on iPhone. These numbers are dramatized IMHO. Like as if things have magically changed recently or something. Rolleyes

Look, iPhone apps were ridiculously easy to crack on opening day, even though many of us didn't realize just *how* easy. That situation hasn't really changed. This isn't just an iPhone topic either. Those who are wigging out about piracy are missing the key point: Apparently some people are actually buying apps (as in: they're actually paying for them). Woah, imagine that! There are people who either don't care, or are too lazy to pirate, or don't know better, or quite frankly, aren't dishonest in the first place. Those are the customers you should be focusing on selling products to, not trying to outsmart pirates. Leave the poor pirates alone!

Yes, I agree, but perhpas you can minimize pirate rate, or give something more to honest people (thru internet or whatever)
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Post: #10
The best way to combat iPhone piracy for newly released games is to release them for free [in a demo mode] and offer the full game as an in-app purchase. To my knowledge, in-app purchased features have not been cracked. Plus it shuts up the "I just wanted to try before I buy" pirate whiners.
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DaFalcon Wrote:The best way to combat iPhone piracy for newly released games is to release them for free [in a demo mode] and offer the full game as an in-app purchase. To my knowledge, in-app purchased features have not been cracked. Plus it shuts up the "I just wanted to try before I buy" pirate whiners.

The try before you buy idea is a great thing about in app purchases. Unfortunately, for non-consumable products, there's no way to stop in app purchases from being cracked. On the most basic level, all they have to do is crack the binary to circumvent the local check for the existing purchase. The most simplistic way to store the purchase is in NSUserDefaults. Changing a setting in NSUserDefaults doesn't require much work at all. In fact, it's so easy, I can almost do it telepathically. Moving up from that, you could store it as some other type of data and hide the meaning of the key, or other little tricks like bit shifting strings and stuff -- still child's play for a cracker. A step up from that might even be to use the keychain to store your purchase validation. Now, they probably can't realistically crack the keychain itself, but so what? All they gotta do then is bypass the keychain check from the app side. Okay, so then do silent checks later on in the program. Offer a red herring or two. ... So now we're back where we started before IAP. Make no mistake about it, IAP is most definitely "crackable", and probably more easily than most realize. However, with the ability for developers to shift things around from app to app, in terms of how and where they validate purchases, I doubt there will ever be a universal script that'll crack apps as easily as they generally can now. They'll probably have to work just a tiny bit harder, which is merely entertainment for pirates. I think it'll help the less popular apps since pirates won't bother with those right away, but the popular apps will be cracked like walnuts in a matter of days at the very most, no matter what.

Like I said, it's best to just leave the poor pirates alone and forget about "protecting" your app from piracy. Better to focus on making an easy and smooth in app purchasing experience IMHO.
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Post: #12
riruilo Wrote:Is that legal?

In what way would it be illegal? They're stealing from me and I'm preventing full access to my game. They're lucky I don't do anything more malicious. >Smile

Quote:BTW: do you have any idea (numbers or %) about pirated copies converted to legal copies bacause of you dialog?

Not right now. I don't do any phoning home on legit copies.

One thing I can say is that the vast majority of pirates seem to only launch a pirated app once or twice and then never again. Most of them download apps from huge torrents with many apps, or just download everything that gets released. They only target specifically the most popular apps.
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Bachus Wrote:One thing I can say is that the vast majority of pirates seem to only launch a pirated app once or twice and then never again. Most of them download apps from huge torrents with many apps, or just download everything that gets released. They only target specifically the most popular apps.

That's very curious.
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Personally I agree with the position that you're better off trying to serve your legit customers well and ignoring the pirates. On a platform like the iPhone, pirating requires so much more effort than on computers (jailbreaking etc) that the pirates are mostly people who are determined to pirate, and likely would never purchase your game no matter what you do.

But I'm hoping the piracy-is-rampant articles keep appearing in the media - maybe they'll drive away some of the bulk of developers that the iphone-makes-overnight-millionaires stories brought in. Wink
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AnotherJake Wrote:... However, with the ability for developers to shift things around from app to app, in terms of how and where they validate purchases, I doubt there will ever be a universal script that'll crack apps as easily as they generally can now. ...

I take that back. They may very well be able to crack most IAP apps with one maneuver. In fact, it could be even easier than it was before IAP since they wouldn't have to even bother distributing cracked apps. It just occurred to me that if I were a pirate, I'd be focusing on hooking into Store Kit and figuring out a way to intercept the purchase process so no one has to pay anything and they wind up getting valid purchases without iTunes knowing a thing about it.
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