The Piracy in Android, How to Fight It?

A few days ago we commented on here MadFinger decided to lower the price of 0.99 euros Dead Trigger zero due to high piracy suffering. Normally their games cost more money, 4.99 euros, but on this occasion they wanted to put a very competitive price to avoid the temptation of piracy.

This strategy did not work. We can look for the causes in the hidden costs of such application, with purchases within the game, which had bad press (in fact here we did a negative criticism), but it is also true that there has been very good reviews. Then I do not think that that is the main cause.

Piracy is fought with good prices, or not?

I’ve always believed that the best deterrence to combat piracy are good prices. Throw on the floor prices makes sold more and it may even make more money than with high prices, due to the volume. The cost of the product must be such that the time that is lost to the pirate copy does not deserve the penalty.

Steam, the aplicacion-tienda of video games for PC, offers a good example of that lower prices for people to buy. In the period of sale, as we are, connected users are multiplied by four, which means low prices to attract buyers.

In the case of Dead Trigger, the price of 0.99 euros is really very low. Indeed Android only we will see lower prices when developers put it to 0.99 cents and the rest of currency leave them in automatic conversion. The next step give the game (which is what they have done in MadFinger, since they expect to get money for purchases within the application). IE, 0.99 is not sufficiently attractive for Android users.

Ease of purchase

To prevent piracy, it is essential that the purchase is very simple. It can not be harder to buy than to pirate, since users tend to find the easy way out. In this aspect the apps store are a huge plus.

In the case of Google Play, the purchase is very simple. Simply navigate to the application that we want to download, is to buy, we authorize and that’s all. The difference with the free application download process is minimal.

But to make it simple it is essential to have a credit card, clear. And we must keep in mind that younger people do not usually have it and does have a mobile phone with Android. Unable to buy, what it does is to hack. Google should work more on this aspect, create prepaid cards (in the style of iTunes) and also reach more agreements with operators for payment in monthly bill.

Easy to hack

It is impossible to prevent piracy. I.e., if someone wants to hack, you will get. The only thing you can do is put obstacles to that piracy is tedious and thus lean people to pay to avoid discomfort. This strategy, combined with low prices, it can be very effective in.

Android piracy is quite simple. Simply download the apk, run it and is already installed. Be made directly from the phone, without the need of a computer, or make patches and not anything close to what was normal in a PC. Google did not think this topic when he designed the Android system and it is now paying for it.

Occasionally refers to mechanisms of copy protection, but it is still fairly easy to hack into Android. To attract developers and people to buy more Google it should work in this aspect. Total protection is impossible but you can add some difficulty.

Piracy as a neuronal process

On the issue of piracy there is also something intrinsic in our brain. If something can be free, too complicated to be get it and very cheap to be the product, I want it free. And this is more charged when obtaining the free product does not leave others without the possibility of having the product (i.e. hack a digital product is not the same that steal a material product, since the cost of another identical digital product is zero).

There are many studies indicating that the zero price is irresistible. If we put two very different quality products, cheap and bad one and another of something more expensive and good, the majority of the people is inclined to the expensive. However if you put the wrong product free, almost everyone pulls for free. It is something that we have in the brain as a species and avoid it requires a dose of critical thinking, anti-instinto, very important.

But we have that reflect about what is behind a product: a company or an independent developer that makes good products, possibly launching the next bombing of Android if your work is properly paid. And if it does not, to the best ideas are left by the wayside or go to other platforms where it is usually pay more.


The problem of piracy in Android is surely unsolvable in the short term. But things can be made by Improve. Put low prices is essential, but this, as we have seen with MadFinger, is not enough. There are other aspects to work.

Google has to improve ways to pay, introducing improvements that are not limited to credit cards not to exclude anyone. You also need to improve their anti-piracy systems, so that it is always more comfortable to buy to find the apk in some hidden Forum.

And finally, Advanced Android users we must evangelize, explaining that paying one euro for an application is less than our monthly spending on gratuities, and if we leave tips in a bar when really the only thing they have done is to do its job right, why not do it to a software developer for our Android?a

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