Many paid games are available in pirated versions. How common and how dangerous is piracy?
Many games on Google Play are paid but players still want to download them for free. Some players do not even hesitate to write emails and ask developers to give them their game for free. And, sometimes, they also use threats or misdemeanors. If it does not help, they try to download free games from illegal sources. Hacked, cracked, pirated. How many there are pirates and are pirated games safe?
According to available statistics, up to 95% of all paid Android games are stolen. While game authors often use anti-piracy protection, this is not reliable, but, indeed, rather the opposite. Many pirate servers offer cracked games or some patches, which allow to play paid games for free or to get some free items for them.
But the problem is that while apps from Google Play from most developers are safe, hacked games can contain malicious code that can take over the phone and can do unexpected things. The least problematic is the display of different ads and messages, in the worst case scenario, hacked games can also send paid SMS messages or call high-rate lines - and then the free game can be really costly. And, according to experts, there is also the possibility of theft of money through mobile banking.
It is no wonder that the amount of malware for smartphones is steeply growing on mobile phones. The Sophos security company named among the top four trends for 2018 the explosion of malicious Android software and adds some statistics: Last year, this company received 10 million samples of suspicious software from Android phones and 77% of them was malware. The most common were the harmful Rootnik family codes followed by Pornclick and Axent malware.
Kaspersky Lab warns also, naming the bank malware and ransomware for cell phones. Less risk, at least in terms of damage, is malware advertising software, which only make life unpleasant to users.
Developers often feel frustrated. "We offer our games at a very low price of no more than 2 dollars, yet people are still writing to us to make them free, and hacked versions are unfortunately found on pirated servers," one of the developers, who did not want to be named, told us. "The problem is not only that then it is hard to pay for the development of the game - and it is so hard to expect new games to come - but also that a lot of hacked games are not working properly and users are writing us that the games are not working or that they have infected their smartphone - and when we ask them for a Google Play transaction number to verify it, they admit they have downloaded the game illegally. What should we tell them? What do they expect?" he adds.
Android piracy is widespread, Apple's iOS is better. According to available estimates, "only" 50-60 percent, so only "every" second application, is stolen on iOS.
Someone might think that when Google sells the apps on Google Play, it will fight the piracy, or at least it will not support it, but it seems, from the outside, that it is not the case. A number of hacks and hacked paid games can be easily found on Google's search engine, even though Google is undoubtedly able to remove them from search engine results.
The result is that many studios offer only one or two adventure games and then they stop developing them. They simply don't have money and they do not want to destroy their works with ads. Classic point-and-click adventures are a minority genre, so without the support of players who like these games they probably have no chance to thrive. Still, we hope that new exciting games will still appear - and we will have something to write about and something to play.