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While developer Ustwo says that a small number of those free installs are legitimate, it seems that piracy continues to be a major problem for premium games on Google's platform.

Christian Nutt, Contributor

January 5, 2015

1 Min Read

While reports of Android piracy are nothing new, Ustwo -- developers of critical darling and major hit Monument Valley -- shed light on how stark the reality can be with a a single tweet today: "Interesting fact: Only 5 percent of Monument Valley installs on Android are paid for," the tweet from the official Ustwo Twitter account reads in part.

Now, that doesn't mean that 95 percent of Monument Valley installs were pirated -- but the available data from Ustwo's follow-up tweets suggests that most were. The poster went on to clarify that this 5 percent figure excludes legitimate free copies obtained during a one-day promotion on the Amazon Appstore, but does include a "small number" of other legitimate free installs. 

Conversely, 40 percent of Monument Valley iOS installs were paid, Ustwo said. 

In 2012, developer Madfinger Games told Gamasutra that piracy for Shadowgun reached 90 percent on the Android platform at its apex. Indie studio Lucky Frame also reported incredible rates of piracy on Android in this blog post -- over 99 percent, against a much smaller number of installs. These are far from isolated reports; here's another blog from a dev claiming 99 percent piracy on Android. 

Pirated copies of Android games are easily found online and are simple to install on devices; another significant factor in piracy is that Chinese players lack access to the Google Play store and rely on other app stores which Western developers lack access to -- and which sometimes feature pirated copies of Western games. 

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