Game Dev tinyBuild Codes Analytics Into Punch Club, Pinpoints Locations Of 1.5 Million Pirated Copies Vs 300K Units Sold

Piracy is often cited a reason why many game developers don’t focus their efforts on the PC. Here at HotHardware, we believe the PC is the ultimate gaming platform and urge developers to leverage the PC to properly showcase their wares, but there is no denying that a large number of PC gamers pirate games. How that piracy impacts actual, real-world sales is a matter of debate, since many pirates probably wouldn’t have made a purchase in the first place, but the fact remains piracy is a very real thing in the PC and developers remain concerned.

punch club

It turns out PC gamers aren’t alone, though. Many Android users are willing to pirate games as well, especially in China and Brazil.

tinyBuild, the game developer behind Punch Club, recently launch the game and hit an important milestone – they sold 300,000 units. Unfortunately, that number is dwarfed by the almost 1.6 million times the game has been pirated.

In a post that went live earlier on its website, tinyBuild CEO Alex Nichiporchik said, “Today we celebrate Punch Club crossing 300,000 units sold – a huge milestone for tinyBuild and Lazy Bear Games. Being number geeks, we planted plenty of analytics into all versions of the game to figure out the exact number of…pirated copies of Punch Club. We even went further and decided to see how localization might impact piracy, and have some interesting regional stats.”
punch club activations

There are numerous details on how tinyBuild arrived at their numbers in the post. What the company found was that the game had been pirated over 1 million times on the PC and over 500K times on Android (the game was pirated on iOS as well, but to a much smaller degree), and that torrents hit the web almost immediate after launch. Digging deeper, piracy in China began right away (with the English version of the game), but exploded when a localized version was introduced in Brazil.

piracy graph
From the data gathered by tinyBuild, the company has discerned that Germany had the highest bought-rate of the game, with the United States and France coming in just behind. By analyzing the data, tinyBear’s CEO concludes that “localizing games to Western European languages pays off, and has a very low piracy rate.” He also says that “Looking back I believe what we should’ve done is enabled cross-platform saves on launch. This way people who pirate the PC version may have converted better into buyers on mobile or vice-versa.”

We’re certain this data won’t translate across every game genre and platform, but it is interesting nonetheless. If there are any game developers in the audience, we’d love to get your thoughts on the matter – please comment below if you’ve got an opinion.

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