news\ Feb 27, 2013 at 8:00 pm

Piracy killed multiplayer in the new Battle Dungeon for iOS

Battle Dungeon

Late last year, the strategy sim Battle Dungeon released on the App Store and promptly died. Its killers? The developer — and a lot of piracy.

Now it's coming back, more or less, at the end of March.

Hunted Cow Studios made the decision to remove its game in December, when pirated copies flooded the servers and, worse, created technical issues that plagued the team. At the time, Hunted Cow offered refunds to customers, including compensation for any in-app purchases. The game alone cost $4.99.

"With single-player games you release them and don't really know to what extent a game is being pirated," the developer wrote on its website last year. "However, when you release a multiplayer game that requires account creation to play, you suddenly get a much clearer picture. The answer? Around 90 percent of our signups were coming from pirated copies of our game.

"With single-player games, this isn't that big a deal, piracy can help popularity and even help increase legitimate sales. Civil War and Tank Battle are still high in the charts and doing great. But when you host multiplayer servers every player playing your game has a cost, and 10 signups to every legitimate sale was a ratio none of us expected to have to cover."

Hunted Cow concluded that "multiplayer mobile titles need to be 'free to play,' with a heavy and appealing bias towards in app purchases if you wish to cover the costs of server hosting."

Now the developer has brought Battle Dungeon back as Battle Dungeon: Risen, but it didn't go with the free-to-play model. This is a single-player-only affair, and it features new maps, enemies, lighting effects, and a full solo campaign. It also has a lower price point at $1.99.

The company also recently announced on its website that it will be working with The Lordz Games Studio "on various mobile strategy games in 2013."

Follow @wita on Twitter.

[via PocketGamer]

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Stephanie Carmichael Twitter: @wita
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