So Drew suggested I elaborate a bit on the piracy levels I reported on my last journal, when I mentioned we had released "Fling!" on the Android Market.
I can't give you guys whole numbers, but to sum it up, the game was being pirated since the first day it was released. So far, we estimate it has been pirated over one hundred times the amount of sales we currently have, which is money at least I sure would have loved having (especially considering my personal financial situation, which I will not elaborate on), since we're a small company, and that sort of piracy does hurt us considerably...
If you're wondering how we're estimating those numbers, our ping server, which receives a ping from every new copy of Fling the first time it is ran, and thus lets us see how many new copies are around, shows us how many pings we're getting each hour or so, and we can compare that to how many sales we had so far.
It's quite disappointing how people are pirating a game that costs as much as 1 USD. It's not that expensive. And it has a lot of content, including several free updates, the first that is going to be released soon. So for those of you who say that piracy is not a lost sale, I'd say that you're right. It's a single lost sale, it's a lot of lost sales.
My boss is pretty optimistic though. He believes in the "Piracy can lead to more sales" idea, though I'm not comfortable with either our current sales on Fling for Android or the idea that although the game is being pirated in the hundreds an hour, someone out of those hundreds is going to decide to buy the game.
For my final paragraph on this journal entry, we implemented Google's Market Licensing stuff to help fight piracy. However, it is horribly easy to disable. In fact, seems like other game studios don't even bother with that at all. And we're probably going to follow them in that particular point at least.