Noodlecake has been porting games over to Android for a while now, among them the superb Wayward Souls ($7.99) and the more recent Shooting Stars ($2.99). As Noodlecake noted in a recent blog, finding an audience for premium games on iOS is getting trickier by the day, but it still has faith that there’s an audience out there for the company’s games, which is why it went with a $2.99 price for Shooting Stars. However, the situation over on the Android side of the universe is even more desperate; of all the Android installs of Wayward Souls, Rocketcat Games’ roguelike hit, only 11% were paid and the rest were pirated. These numbers prove once more that when developers claim there’s no money to be made on Android for premium games, they are pretty much spot on. It’s hard to motivate a developer to go through the wringer of porting to the many different Android devices only to see the game pirated.
In order to “counter" piracy, NoodleCake decided to get ahead of the pirates by pirating its own version of Shooting Stars as a kind of marketing experiment. It has modified the game so that Boss 3 is “Daft Premium," a new boss exclusive to this pirated version (isn’t it unfair that pirates get exclusive content? Of course, they always do plunder, so I guess it makes sense..). The pirate (sounds funny, I know) first has to defeat a wave of difficult bosses and then a final boss, who has unlimited health. Upon their certain demise, these players are gently encouraged to go check out the full game and help the developers by actually paying money for it.
Of course, Noodlecake doesn’t have any illusions that this move will defeat piracy and engender many reformed pirates, but it sees it as a fun marketing tactic (and, I guess, a great seed for a blog post). Noodlecake invites anyone interested in how the experiment turns out to go to the blog and ask. Fun idea, I have to say. And now after all this talk about pirates, let’s see if I can stop thinking about the famous Captain Jack Sparrow.