Yesterday, TouchArcade‘s Tof Eklund spotted Hunted Cow’s announcement that they were pulling the newly-released Battle Dungeon from the App Store due to a gob-smacking 90% piracy rate. Hunted Cow director Andrew Mulholland was understandably vexed when I spoke to him yesterday. “It’s pretty shitty, but we’ll just learn from it,” he said.
After investing months of work into Battle Dungeon, the decision to kill the product after just a week on the market couldn’t have been an easy one – but Hunted Cow felt as if they had no other choice.
“After a pirated version of the .ipa surfaced on the net, we saw around ten times the amount of people joining the game compared to the amount of sales,” Mulholland told me. A multiplayer game like Battle Dungeon requires servers to host matches – servers that Hunted Cow has to pay to maintain. ”If they were all legitimate sales, it would have given us the resources to work on it further, however the way it was going it just wasn’t viable.”
Hunted Cow has a thriving browser game business that pre-dates their ventures into iOS. I asked Mulholland if his decision to pull the plug on Battle Dungeon was indicative of a larger retreat from iOS – but he denied that. “We’ve got several other titles in production for iOS, however they aren’t online multiplayer with our own server which was the main issue really.”
This is an awful way for a promising game to go out – and if this story serves to scare off would-be iOS devs, then we’re all poorer for the actions of a few.