Football Manager Boss Speaks Out Against Android Piracy
"If it doesn't hit targets, then we won't be doing another one for the platform."
Miles Jacobson, boss of Sports Interactive, has spoken out against the levels of piracy of the developer's best-selling Football Manager series on the Android platform.
"For a start, there's no working copy protection on the platform currently, so it's pretty easy for someone to get it working," he said in an interview with Eurogamer. "The platform is also very popular in some countries where there's a larger piracy problem than in others."
Discussing the ongoing costs associated with keeping the game alive, he also provided an insight into the larger problems of piracy, and the associated costs that go beyond the initial lost sale.
"There are server costs for downloads of skins, extra customer support and QA costs (because many pirates still ask for customer service), costs of looking into future business models to protect things better, costs associated with taking down links to pirated versions of the game - all these things take time, money and have an opportunity cost too, as that time could be spent doing other things."
"It hasn't hit the targets we require as yet. 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.
"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."
It's not all doom and gloom however, as the developer hopes to continue delivering the series to those paying customers who have supported the game to date.
"We certainly hope to continue to support it - there are still lots of honest people out there who want games on their platform of choice, and we want to be able to provide that to them. So hopefully we still can!"
"Whilst it's not true that each illegally downloaded game is a lost sale, there is a proportion that are - even if that was as low as 10 per cent, that would make a massive difference for developers and, in many cases, is the difference between a studio or franchise surviving, or not."
"There are no excuses for any form of piracy," he concluded. "If you don't want to pay the price set for a game, don't pay it, and don't play it! Gaming is an entertainment form, it's not a human right."