Victorian dueling game Gentlemen! was released in July for iOS and Android, with limited popularity but excellent reviews. Yann Seznec, director of studio Lucky Frame, says that over 50,000 people have downloaded his game on Android — far more than the 2,000 copies he hoped to sell overall. Unfortunately, only 144 of those people actually paid. Like many other mobile developers, Seznec is frustrated by his game's piracy rate. But in a blog post, he lays out the complicated factors around it, avoiding a simple condemnation of Android or the desire for free stuff.
"The number of pirates just confirmed to us that we made a game that people love to play," he writes. And 95 percent of the pirated copies went to Russia and China — countries he'd barely considered when selling the game. "The main problem is that most of these pirates probably exist in a commercial ecosystem where the Google Play Store does not even exist," he says. "It doesn't occur to them to buy any games from there at all."