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Punch Club finds out most gamers pirated its game: 90% of mobile pirates were on Android

Posted: , by Victor H.

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Punch Club finds out most gamers pirated its game: 90  of mobile pirates were on Android

One of the most popular games on mobile recently, Punch Club, a fighting game where you build up your character, let him learn skills and ultimately take on other fighters, is getting pirated a lot.

The game is available on both PC and mobile, and unfortunately the piracy rate is very high on both platforms. In fact, there are more people who have pirated the game than people who have actually paid to play it: at 300,000 legal downloads, there are over 1.137 million pirates on PC / Mac / Linux and more than 500,000 on mobile.

Interestingly - but not surprisingly - Android accounts for 90% of those 500k pirated copies of the game, while iOS accounts for the remainder. 

This is not where the interesting numbers stop, though, as the game developer TinyBuild ran some stats to see where the game is pirated the most. At first, China took a prominent place as Chinese users were installing the pirated version, finding no difficulty in the fact that it was only available in English. Interestingly, right after the developer added Brazilian Portuguese local version, piracy rates from Brazil skyrocketed from near zero. Gamers in Brazil obviously like their games localized before they are pirated.

For every Android sale, there were 12 pirates

Brazil was also the top market for pirates, while China and Russia were a distant second and third.

Those were countries, where a very small percentage of people actually bought the game. Compare this with markets like the United States, Germany and France, where there were still quite a few pirates, but also a high number of gamers who bought the game. The highest percentage of buyers to hackers was actually in Germany: 46%, compared with 26.2% in the United States and 18.8% in France.

The sad bottom line is that Punch Club was available in torrents hours after the official launch. For every Android sale, there were 12 pirates, while for every PC sale there were 4 pirates. For every iOS sale there were 2 pirates.

TinyBuild ends on a positive note for developers: localize your game for Western market, as people there are actually buying their games.

source: TinyBuild

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posted on 22 Mar 2016, 11:48 4

1. gaming64 (Posts: 234; Member since: 22 Mar 2016)

Minecraft PE is obviously the most pirated mobile game ever.

posted on 22 Mar 2016, 11:50 2

2. Tziggy14 (Posts: 481; Member since: 02 Sep 2014)

No surprise there. Android is like Windows, you don't necesarrily need to go to the official software stores to download and get the programs running. i downloaded Sonic CD for off of an unknown website years back.

posted on 22 Mar 2016, 12:05

7. AlikMalix (Posts: 6698; Member since: 16 Jul 2014)

Apparently iOS can do the same. I never looked into pirating anything. If I can't afford it - I don't steal. But go ahead and be proud of that....

posted on 22 Mar 2016, 16:04

33. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 11679; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


posted on 22 Mar 2016, 16:12 1

35. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 11679; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)

I won't lie. When I first got an iPhone and I jailbroke it, I did it to steal apps. But my stealing is I wanted the chance to simply try them first. Because I bought at the time a lot of apps that after I bought them turned out to be garbage and I couldn't get a refund on them.

Once I tried them and liked them, then I removed them and paid for them with no issue. If I didn't like them I removed them, after all I only had 16GB of space and I dont need something I'm not going to use hogging my space.

This is why Google is better. You buy an app, you have a time to return them and get a refund and they automatically are removed. That's a much better than Apple model.

As far as stealing. People steal. Cracking someone because they took something, so what. It's them not you.

I wouldn't even say anything to discourage them from doing such because nothing you say will change such a person. You may as well encourage them to keep stealing. After all they aren't going to stop.

After all, why should they? If the develper is not smart enough to put some type of theft deterrent in their app, why should we feel sorry for them if it gets stolen?

Stealing is wrong. But some people don't see taking apps as stealing because usually music and apps are sold by the millions and more people usually pay vs steal and thus the creators don't lose any money. They just don't make as much as they potentially could.

Even with deterrents as we have seen with PC games and operating system like Windows, is a determined thief is still goign to steal. Windows XP was the highly most stolen version of Windows period. With most stolen copies where? CHINA AND BRAZIL.

I'm not saying it's right, just saying it is up to the developer to be smarter than the crook. Its not hard to do.

If you don't want an app stolen you make the game free to a point which lets people try and get hooked. Then make it so they have to pay for extras or to move forward. If they like the game and want to keep going, they have no choice but to pay or they won't get to play. If the person never buys, you lost nothing. They only get to play a very small part of the game, or only have access to certain features without paying.

posted on 22 Mar 2016, 21:39 1

46. Konsento (Posts: 136; Member since: 10 Apr 2015)

"If the develper is not smart enough to put some type of theft deterrent in their app, why should we feel sorry for them if it gets stolen?"

What the heck? Why is it the developer's responsibility to prevent theft? Isn't that the people doing it?

posted on 22 Mar 2016, 23:42

48. ibend (Posts: 5741; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)

dev can try to prevent pirating, and most of dev already do that, but it'll just delay those cracker from pirating it, it'll still pirated sooner or later

posted on 23 Mar 2016, 04:54

54. Inotamira (Posts: 173; Member since: 06 Feb 2016)

No no, a convenience store should just leave that safe open, should just leave money lying on the counter, should just leave the doors unlocked so people can come and go as they please with no one there. No body will steal that stuff, right?

posted on 23 Mar 2016, 06:34

55. elitewolverine (Posts: 5192; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)

No, the devs trust the google store to keep pirates at bay. But like the open ended android it is. Basically it is a fat asleep guard, who hands out the keys.

Come on, 300k legal downloads vs 1.3million pirates...

posted on 23 Mar 2016, 06:50

56. Inotamira (Posts: 173; Member since: 06 Feb 2016)

Right, because that's the issue, how longs it been since you've pulled your head out for air?

posted on 22 Mar 2016, 11:51 3

3. bubbadoes (Posts: 1225; Member since: 03 May 2012)

the joys of android...pirated apps, and one os update phones!

posted on 23 Mar 2016, 00:11

49. ibend (Posts: 5741; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)

and its not just pirated game, some even come with unlimited digital currency , or unlock everything mod, now you can fully enjoy all feature on those game

posted on 22 Mar 2016, 11:52 1

4. artificialintelligence (Posts: 154; Member since: 05 Dec 2015)

There is nothing wrong with pirating sure it's kills the developers in sales but not everyone can afford games especially in different countries think of it like robing hood I fully support pirating

posted on 22 Mar 2016, 11:55 1

5. gaming64 (Posts: 234; Member since: 22 Mar 2016)

The world was never perfect in the first place. Commiting piracy is actually a crime really but since 1/4 of the world's population is doing it at the moment, you may as well not give a darn.

posted on 22 Mar 2016, 12:02 11

6. AlikMalix (Posts: 6698; Member since: 16 Jul 2014)


You get the biggest F.U.!!! If everyone paid for games legitimately, IAPs would have been cheap to non existent. Next time retards like you get a job, I'd like you to give that paycheck to someone else - you don't deserve it.

Games are not necessary for life. If your hungry or your kids are hungry I can support stealing food when you have no choice, but games are not necessary to survive and it's someone's paycheck you're stealing.

90% android users make me sick!!!!

posted on 22 Mar 2016, 12:11 9

8. natypes (Posts: 1104; Member since: 02 Feb 2015)

Somebody is angry lmao

posted on 22 Mar 2016, 12:12 2

9. artificialintelligence (Posts: 154; Member since: 05 Dec 2015)


posted on 22 Mar 2016, 12:41 3

13. AlikMalix (Posts: 6698; Member since: 16 Jul 2014)

I don't care how you feel about this, developing software, marketing, overhead costs, need to be compensated. What if all developers just say ef-it, and stop developing for android because of mentality like @artificial. And apparently 90% of android users are the same. Android may have the same fate as Windows MP - as anyone that wants to try Windows and why they're not - everytime it will be "lack of apps". You can have all the customization and formed out android versions you want - without apps it's all crap.

To: artificialintelegence - you keep LOL-ing... imagine one day, after receiving your paycheck in the mail - it's like only $20 instead of $200? And you need that money to pay for bills, food, and gas. Now that's how this developer is feeling - they got to pay for employees, insurance, leasing office, equipment that they bought on credit. And you're Just like "LOL".

Enjoy that game, woohoo u saved 99 cents.

posted on 22 Mar 2016, 14:20 3

20. Wiencon (Posts: 1949; Member since: 06 Aug 2014)

As a programmer and amateur musician: F.ck you

posted on 22 Mar 2016, 14:47 3

21. rick_mobile (Posts: 331; Member since: 13 Dec 2010)

oh please shut up, half the apps in the app store are copies of eachother. When I was developing for iOS you could have the same exact structure and same function in an app, just change the sprites, colors, name, then submit it as a new app and apple would most of the time accept it. The same goes for games and any other tool app.

posted on 22 Mar 2016, 14:49 2

22. Jason2k13 (Posts: 1230; Member since: 28 Mar 2013)

So you're saying we should steal things that we don't don't need? I hope you don't have children, because they can't eat games.

posted on 22 Mar 2016, 14:52 4

23. TerryTerius (Posts: 2008; Member since: 10 Apr 2014)

Just to be clear, there's a difference between saying 90% of Android users are thieves, and 90% of the people that have downloaded this game pirated it. There are a billion and a half Android users. I seriously doubt 1,350,000,000 are thieves.

posted on 22 Mar 2016, 15:45 1

26. AlikMalix (Posts: 6698; Member since: 16 Jul 2014)

I knew someone will catch that. Good job. But this is only one example - you don't think other popular apps get pirated on android just the same?

Overall 90% of users that pirated this app are android - it is very conceivable that this is pretty much average throughout the google play store. Even on PA, one of the biggest "features" of android that everyone brags about is the ability to pirate apps... People that care about pirating apps do not buy iOS products - this they all consolidate in android.

posted on 22 Mar 2016, 15:45 2

27. willard12 (Posts: 1820; Member since: 04 Jul 2012)

You're a real genius. An OS accounts 90% of pirates for one game. That in no way means 90% of android users are pirating. Let me make it even easier for you. 84% of the world's smartphone users are on Android. All things being equal, 84% of the pirates should come from Android. At 90%, android only slightly breaks the curve. You make good points on piracy then you have to go and ruin it with your Android bashing. 100% of idiots make me sick.

But guess what else hurts people's income.....price fixing. And after 4 years of APPEALS, it took the Supreme Court to slap down Apple. Yet, you continue to support them. Inconsistent outrage.


posted on 22 Mar 2016, 15:47 1

28. avalon2105 (Posts: 291; Member since: 12 Jul 2014)

You are making same mistake as every f**kin' developer around. Look at the numbers posted and you will realize that best legal to illegal ratio is in rich countries (no wonder) like Germany and US. You can't expect people that make 10 times less than someone in Germany or US to pay the same price for software.
If they "localized" the prices first this wouldn't be an issue.
iOS is better in this regard because of their "locked garden" approach and significant market share only in rich countries. Even in generally poor countries small number of rich people will go for Apple products and be able to afford to pay more for software.
And your analogy that stealing software is same as stealing physical objects is wrong and stupid.

posted on 22 Mar 2016, 15:49 1

29. AlikMalix (Posts: 6698; Member since: 16 Jul 2014)

Yes, you're right... So it's ok to pirate apps if the app is bad. /s. What are you implying? Just becaus the app is cheap it's ok to steal?

Did you consider the fact that maybe devs don't want to put any effort sometimes because idiots pirate a 99 cent apps - making it not even worth the effort to be original. This is a problem and android is responsible for 90% of it (give or take)

posted on 22 Mar 2016, 15:50 1

30. AlikMalix (Posts: 6698; Member since: 16 Jul 2014)

Because paying an extra $2 for a book really does not affect me!!!

posted on 22 Mar 2016, 16:00 1

32. AlikMalix (Posts: 6698; Member since: 16 Jul 2014)

My analogy that getting something for free while someone else worked their time and effort to make it is stealing. Developers don't work countless hours to sell one app once - they hope to regain the costs and make profit by selling hundreds or thousands copies.

This developer is an example - they would otherwise have made 50% more with this app, but YOU decided that their efforts aren't worth it and take it for free - imagine you made a great invention spend 5 thousand dollars at a Possibility make 10 times that = $50,000. But people just used your idea and profited from it themselves and you only made 10% of what you should have capitalized on - leaving you $5000. You also have to pay your workers, pay the bills, and the rent for your shop. How would you feel?

I dot care if it's iOS or android users - this is WRONG!!! The fact that I'm arguing with you about this - tells me who I'm dealing with here. I don't care if you can't afford a video game because you live in poor country - it doesn't give you the right to just take it because it's possible. And don't give me that BS that this is coming from mostly poor countries either - all of you fandroids are bragging about ability to pirate on android - all of you. Making apps isn't a hobby - it's a business - you put in time to make money, but people are willing to use your time and not pay for it.

You are despicable to argue against this.

posted on 22 Mar 2016, 16:26

36. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 11679; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)

Here is how I see it. Lets say a dev makes a game which took him maybe a year to make. Lets say he sells his game for 99 cents and he sells 5M copies and maybe 1M get stolen. he made $5M minus taxes for one year of work. Wouldn't you say he was well compensated?

He only made the app once. What exactly is his overhead? Many apps in the app store are ripoffs. Which means, most devs simply downloaded someone elses work, took the package opened it in the SDK made changes and posted it as their own.

How much money shoudl a dev who stole someone elses idea make in the first place? I say not a penny. Theft is wrong no matter the reaosns or circumsatnces.

But get over it it happens. If devs want to actually prevent theft there is a simple easy way.

Make the game free. Allow the user to play the game either with a timer or the game goes to a point and stops and then you have to buy it officially to keep going. Once they pay, the game should download what is left and be tied to that users device.

Because here is what you're missing. If I own several devices or dont own them. As long as a device has access to my account, I can download the game to several devices. Even though so many is allowed on IOS for example, I've never had any issue downloading a game I purchased to more than 5 devices.

Apple has a terruible app store policy. All games an apps should be free to try for 24 hours. After that you shouild be required to pay for the app is removed automatically. Google allows you to try an app and then if you dont like it you can return for a full refund. They allow more than enough time for you to spend 5 mins or so and se if its work what is being asked.

Most apps on IOS no matter how good they may look, most of them suck and I lost a lot of money buying an app that made lots of false or half-ass claims.

I've temporarily stolen an app to try it. If I dont like it I remove it. After all why keep what I dont like? If I like it I go and buy it so I can have the most recent version available.

So I sole it first, only to buy it later. What crime did I commit? Teh dev still got his money. Now everyone doesnt do this. Usually more peopel buy vs steal. This time it wasnt the case. Hwoever if 500,000 peopel bought the app, he mae more money off one app hem the vast majority of the peopel in the world will make workign everyday until they die.

I'd say he was well compensated. Stealing is wrong. But so is greed.

If I reposted an app to the app store, I would let it cost until I get what i think is fair. If I made $1M off a single app, I would make it free later or free to a point with an extra in-app purchase to keep going.

posted on 22 Mar 2016, 17:34

37. avalon2105 (Posts: 291; Member since: 12 Jul 2014)

I intended this to be a conversation and not a fight so you don't need to respond with combative tone.
Developer is at best losing potential sales since there is no way to prove those pirates would actually buy the game. Likewise, when somebody cracks the game once it doesn't put any further strain on the developer since it's not using their servers or bandwidth for hosting or downloading.
You also assume that I downloaded the pirated version of this game without any proof or reasonable doubt that I did it. I don't have any pirated games or other apps on my phone. I use free software exclusively.
And as a further possibility you refuse to accept that someone is downloading pirated version for a "test run" before committing to purchase. Like I said in my first comment piracy is higher in poor countries/regions/cities/etc so people want to be damn sure they like the app or that it can run smoothly on their hardware before purchasing.
I currently have 74 games in my Steam library and I played pirated version of 65+ of them before purchasing. Rest were included in bundles I bought for some (pirate tested) games.
Those developers would never see a 0,01$ of my money without pirating. Maybe 5 or 10% of those 1,137 million people will actually like the game and buy it. Even 1% would be 11370 new sales.

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