It’s a tough old life being an iOS developer, struggling to get noticed among hundreds of thousands of apps. But Gameized appears to be doing alright for itself; it’s Fingerkicks game drew more than 17,000 players in just a few days.
At 99¢ a pop, you’d think that’d be cause for celebration. On the contrary, Gameized is in a huff with the App Store, and understandably so.
After Apple’s 30% cut, Gameized should be looking at $11,781 profit from those 17,000 players, but it pocketed less than $800. What the frick?
It seems that over 90% of the players on the Fingerkicks leaderboard are in fact thieves, having acquired the game on jailbroken iPhones without paying 99¢.
In a sombre Gameized blog post, titled 'The huge success of an AppStore failure', Luís Fonseca writes: “There is an unfortunate dark side to Apple app development that is often hushed or overlooked. It’s a hard-learned lesson that took us completely by surprise; our story is a cautionary tale for all developers new to creating apps for Apple.”
Fonseca continues: “Most bewildering of all is that even with all their rhetoric chastising piracy and intellectual property theft, Apple apparently has no functional counter-piracy safeguards in place on their Game Center – essentially permitting users to play pirated software on their Game Center without any fear of reprisals or consequence.”
Luís reiterates that Gameized “loves Apple” and is “sympathetic to Apple’s plight”, but concludes: “we will be forced to reevaluate our plans for other iOS games until Apple fixes this humiliating piracy problem.” Oh dear.