Piracy a Major Problem on iPhone, Claims Ngmoco

It’s one of the downsides of the advent of the internet: the PC in each and every home essentially gives us the tools to get our hands on games illegally with just a few clicks of the mouse. That said, despite the relative ease of stealing gaming, nobody would ever have expected piracy levels to hit as high as 90 per cent.

That’s the astonishing claim being made by Ngmoco, the publisher of Rolando, telling attendees at the Game Developers Conference China that first week piracy levels on the iPhone have been known to hit such heights.

According to Gamasutra, Ngmoco VP Alan Yu stated that the company’s estimates suggest that piracy can reach anywhere between 50 and 90 per cent of all downloads in a game’s first week on sale on the App Store, a figure that’s unprecedented, even when compared to the most gloomy of previous predictions.

Yu also lamented the budget nature of iPhone games in his speech, stating that games priced over $10 would ‘be a good business to have’, although admitting that starting off low and dropping the price as the months fly past is “not necessarily good, and not necessarily bad either’ in itself.

Still, if 90 per cent of first week adopters are getting their titles for nothing anyway, a publisher’s price structure becomes a little redundant. Just how close this figure is to reality is, of course, a matter of conjecture, but the fact that one of the iPhone’s most successful publishers has spoken out about the issue suggests that those selling games in smaller numbers must really be suffering.