Have a look at the Android games out there in the Play Store that you come across a word of cloning, quite literally. Also, it’s an open truth now that Android ‘is’ suffering a piracy issue! In fact it’s tough to realize the line among the two? Android Malwares have been out there since as early as 2011 but, do you we need to tackle with Android app piracy and cloning issues and how it can be done?
The Cloned Android Apps are just everywhere
Well, the cloning issues came into fore just post the Flappy Bird debacle. Just in a month when creator Dong Nguyen removed his games, there were around 800 clones found of it. This was an exceptional case reason being it’s not usual that a developer removes successful games by themselves. On the basis of your cynicism, you can interpret the copies as a tribute that fills the gap Flappy Bird lacked and makes the most of its success.
So in that regard, Google interfered and made an effort to stop the avalanche of games that had “Flappy” in it. However there was a bigger issue that the favorite search giant has been attempting to deal with, that’s to leverage a successful app name.
So can you tell the number of times you clicked on a game in search results just to realize it’s not the title you were looking for? Rather it’s something with a similar name designed to trick and exploit the original.
How does the Law work?
So for you to know names and non-functional elements come under copyright law, while game mechanics must be patented. Patents are surely a costly affair taking years to secure hence indie developers can’t have their hands on them. In fact as you pursue a case with copyright infringement it tends to be costly and noting mostly games have shorter life span, it doesn’t make economic sense.
Cloning is explicitly dishonest endeavor immensely prevalent in the videogame industry. Only less amount of people are going to argue against taking good game mechanics and then build on them. On the flip side there are deliberate endeavors to cash on another’s success; however on this scale at times it’s difficult to realize the line.
The Piracy On Android Issue
So can you tell the number of people who pirated the game would have bought it? It’s quite difficult to tell in case of indie developers as it makes life troublesome and lest they came up with something that excites you then they sure deserve a reward for the same.
So how piracy issue has drawn away in last few years?
Piracy is what draws the freemium model same as Madfinger where a lot of developers went on making their games free and built in advertising or in-app purchases or at times both. After all when the official game is free, why to pirate?
Yet another reason to not pirate apps is malware. After all the apps which have been hacked get infected easily and when you side load you expose yourself to serious risk.
Now Google does present some policies and of late even a patent was filed that described how to flag pirated Play Store apps. But is that enough what it’s doing?
What’s the Way Out?
Truth be told, there is just no easy solution to combat piracy and cloning and all you can do is make endeavors to build on older games, improve them and make efforts to present new elements as well as advance them.
What can You do?
At your end the apps can be reported in the Play Store like you just require sliding down to the bottom and tapping “Flag as inappropriate”. Later on you can vote with your choices and your cash. Lastly, support indie developers as they are responsible for the great innovation in gaming.
Jitendra Jain is marketing and sales head at Octal Info Solution, a leading mobile app development company, offering platform to hire android app developers for your own app development project. Connect with him on Twitter , Facebook , Linkedin and go through his ideas on distinct topics.