One of the reasons mobile games developers and publishers are excited about in-app purchases is their potential for negating the effects of app piracy. Someone might be able to download a cracked game for free, but if its business model is in-app payments, then piracy becomes just a distribution channel.
That’s the theory. But UK developer Mobile Pie has put the cat among those pigeons by claiming that the £26.99 IAP option in its My Star game saw a 93% piracy rate in October, thanks to a tool called iAP Cracker.
“When I ran the October report from analytics and it showed that we had over a 10 times multiple for revenue month on month, I was ready to stage an intervention,” creative director Will Luton tells PocketGamer.biz. “Digging deeper in to our server records, however, we realised that the IAPs were actually spoofed on a jailbroken phone using iAP Cracker.”
Luton warns that the October stats could simply be one or two players trousering as many virtual credits as they can, but the implications are worrying for the wider iOS ecosystem – where freemium games using IAP are increasingly dominant in the games charts.
Luton has separately tweeted a link to this website, which explains how iAP Cracker works, and which links on to a Google Doc spreadsheet showing which games it does and doesn’t work for. Is yours on it?