TinyBuild chief Alex Nichiporchik published a blog post today about how well Lazy Bear Games' PC/mobile game Punch Club has sold, how often it's pirated, and how the games' piracy rates seem to shift as it gets localized for different regions.
The sales stats alone are intriguing: Punch Club has sold over 300,000 copies across PC and mobile platforms since its January debut, and been pirated over 1.6 million times (~1.1m on PC, ~514k on mobile, 90 percent of which is on Android.)
But what's potentially more interesting is how Nichiporchik makes a point of calling out specific regions of the world where fellow devs who take the time to localize their game may see spikes in pirated copies.
For example, when Punch Club gained post-launch support for Brazilian Portugese, sales of the game rose in the region -- but installs "skyrocketed" according to Nichiporchick, suggesting pirates in the region are far more likely to pirate games that have been translated into the dominant language.
"Brazil likes to pirate localized games," wrote Nichiporchik, alongside the chart excerpted below.
In the same post Nichiporchik compares game sales vs. installs (gleaned from the company's sales data and analytics tools) across various regions and posits that Germany has the highest rate of people actually buying the game vs. pirating it (46 percent) followed by the U.S. (26.2 percent) and France (18.8 percent.)
Even so, with a rate of 300k sold to 1.6 million pirated in just over three months, Nichiporchik acknowledges that piracy is a significant problem for Punch Club across all regions and mulls methods to minimize it in the future.
"Looking back I believe what we should’ve done is enabled cross-platfrom (sic) saves on launch," wrote Nichiporchik. "This way people who pirate the PC version may have converted better into buyers on mobile or vice-versa."
While some pirates predict piracy on PC will soon become nigh-impossible, it remains an enduring problem for game developers across all platforms -- most notably PC and Android, where developers regularly report piracy rates of 90 percent or more.