London studio Sports Interactive is facing the ‘worst ever’ piracy rates affecting sales of its Android edition of Football Manager, an executive at the company has said.
Miles Jacobson, the studio’s director, also believes that the conversion rate between pirated and purchased copies of the game will likely worsen.
“There’s no working copy protection on the [Android] platform currently, so it’s pretty easy for someone to get it working," Jacobson (pictured) told Eurogamer.
"The platform is also very popular in some countries where there’s a larger piracy problem than in others.
"Typically piracy gets worse later into a game’s lifecycle, so this would have ended worse than that, as the Android version likely will too."
Eurogamer paraphrased Jacobson as saying the piracy rate on Android “is the worst he’s ever seen”.
Sports Interactive implemented a mandatory Steam online verification for its latest PC edition of Football Manager. Users only needed to verify the game once, yet the company faced protests for this piracy countermeasure.
Sports Interactive said it enjoyed an upsurge in sales due to the anti-piracy measure.
The Android version, which has relatively little anti-piracy protection, has not yet hit sales targets.
"I’m still confident it will do over time, but it’s really disappointing that there are so many people out there who love our work, and spend countless hours being entertained by it, but don’t think we deserve to get paid for that entertainment,” he said.
"If it doesn’t hit targets, then we won’t be doing another one for the platform – that’s a simple business decision though for a couple of months’ time."
The majority of game revenue on iOS is now delivered through in-game transactions on free-to-play titles. This process itself circumvents traditional piracy techniques by virtue of offering a game for free and encouraging a direct-from-company purchase of in-game items, all controlled through the developer’s server infrastructure.
Android Piracy rates for Appy Entertainment’s Facefighter game were 2,330 per cent higher than on its iOS counterpart, studio exec Steven Sargent said in October.