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Editorial / Poll: Was it correct for MadFinger Games to make Dead Trigger free?

Dead Trigger has been in the news pretty prominently for the past few weeks. First the launch excitement, then the launch itself, then all the talk about the implementation of IAPs in a paid game, followed by anticipation of a big update and finally the furor over the fact that the game has gone free.

Before I go on any further, let’s just keep in mind that the game was only $0.99. So by making Dead Trigger free, that’s all you lose. And that’s not really much, is it? But the thing is, it’s not about the money and how much (or little) it cost initially. It’s more than that – it’s the way MadFinger has treated its most ardent fans by making their best-selling game (50,000+ downloads) free after just two weeks.

According to a reply on Twitter to one of their followers, MadFinger stated that the reason they went free was because Dead Trigger had an 80% piracy rate. Ok, I don’t know the inner workings of the game industry and how much actually piracy ruins things for developers, but I find 80% to be pretty hard to swallow, especially since the game has sold pretty well on Google Play and had been close to the top of the ‘Top Paid’ charts. I would love it if MadFinger backed up their claims instead of just plucking some magical number from the sky.

Anyways, after the update, I have noticed a few things. One is that the game has gotten a tad more difficult. No surprises here – it’s now a full freemium game and they need people to buy IAPs to offset the cost of developing and publishing the game. But those who bought the game and invested in IAPs before the update are left short-changed because they didn’t anticipate a sudden increase in difficulty.

Personally speaking, I think MadFinger should at least reimburse those who bought the game with some in-game currency. I have seen many games go free on iOS and they reimburse those who initially bought the game (Major Mayhem is the latest example). Otherwise, MadFinger should just refund those who want a refund, because they have grounds to ask for one.

So that’s my take on this whole fiasco. What is your take on it? Were MadFinger justified in making Dead Trigger a free game after just two weeks, and at the same time one of the top-selling games on Google Play in that period of time? Is their excuse of an 80% piracy buy-able? Cast your vote and expand on your thoughts in the comments.

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