A frequent issue with mobile gaming today, as the hardcore consumer says, lies in the idea that almost all mobile gaming is “freemium” or that a game offers micro-transaction options. With an extremely high rate of piracy in mobile gaming today, it’s no wonder that developers model their titles to have post-paid support options for their companies, and that’s entirely your fault.

If you’re not a fan of mobile gaming today, it’s likely because you’re downloading titles only to find that they have micro-transactions after your install. Some gamers may also call this “pay-to-win” gaming, though that isn’t always the case. With the dramatic hold of piracy in mobile gaming today, predominately on Android, developers are being forced into the post-paid method of development, and small companies can’t afford to start up on Android – explaining why games still launch on iOS before other platforms. According to developer UsTwoGames on Twitter, only 1/20 installations of their hottest title come through the official app store. With staggering numbers like these, UsTwoGames isn’t put off by the popularity despite the huge percentage of piracy on the title.

While the numbers out of UsTwoGames show a significantly lower piracy rate on iOS, you can see that with our open culture of piracy on their most famous title, it would be quite hard to maintain a decent development team on mobile. The title in question, Monument Valley is just $3.99 on the Google Play store and compares directly with titles that can sell for upward of $9.99 on Xbox LIVE or the PlayStation network. Due to huge piracy rates, the title’s initial content offering has clearly been cut at this reduced price point, only to have DLC offerings set at $1.99 per pack in the application. With this price model, you can see why UsTwoGames only finds piracy of their title as an “interesting fact,” but it also becomes clear as to how we need to change.

As one of many games following this model, UsTwoGames made it clear that this is both standard and tried to prevent their true customers from disliking them when speaking about the news on their official Twitter account.

This begs the question, “What are we willing to do to change the way games are made?” If we truly are looking for better development on the mobile front, are we willing to pay for our games? If we do not pay for our games, and we do receive these high quality triple-A titles we will all be forced into DRM and always-online policies. Otherwise, look forward to more of the same on the mobile front as developers are finding more profits, and sustainable profits on the free-to-play and DLC centered content in a world full of corruption and piracy.