Apple's iPhone/iPod Touch is a lot like Sony's PSP in many ways: they both play games, movies and music -- and now both
can struggle with the effects of piracy
. According to iPhone developer Smells Like Donkey
, about 80 percent
of all downloads of Tap-Fu
were illegally downloaded.
The developer notes that learning how to pirate games off the iPhone is surprisingly easy, thanks to "a kernel patch that bypasses Apple's DRM system" that "would take an average person 5 minutes in Google to find." Additionally, the developer discovered that an average of zero percent
of pirates end up purchasing a legitimate copy of Tap-Fu
-- it seems marking the game down to $1.99 didn't discourage anyone from taking a free ride.
"It is kind of depressing," the developer admits. However, other iPhone developers are encouraged to take a proactive approach in lieu of Apple's slow response to the piracy situation. "Detecting a pirated app is quite simple to do," the developer notes. "Probably the first thing we'll try is popping up a message reminding people that they really should buy the game if they like it and conveniently provide links to do so." An alternate plan to generate revenue? DLC. "This forces the pirates to change their strategy significantly and it might be a while before it becomes feasible to attack this system."