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Sports Interactive's Miles Jacobson 'angry and upset' about 90% piracy rate for Football Manager on Android
By Will Wilson 24 April 2012
Game Name: Football Manager Handheld 2012 | Developer: Sports Interactive | Publisher: Sega | Format: Android | Genre: Simulation, Sports
Despite the widespread enthusiasm on video game website forums shown by the large Android gaming community for 'droid titles, the sheer scale of piracy happening on the platform continues to hit developers hard.

Sports Interactive is one such company now reconsidering its approach to Android after the studio discovered that its star title Football Manager Handheld 2012 had been downloaded illegally countless times, with just 10 per cent of its players actually purchasing the game.

Speaking to Pocket Gamer earlier today, Sports Interactive studio director Miles Jacobson was understandably frustrated at the number of illegal downloads of Football Manager Handheld 2012.

"Typically piracy gets worse further into a games cycle, but to have them at launch was a real shock - particularly as the demand for the game on social networks had been so high," Jacobson said.

"On Android, there's no valid copy protection that I'm aware of... It's just so easy for people to pirate on the platform."

Crossed the line

Despite the dispiriting number of legal purchases of its game, Sports Interactive is not going to pack in Android development just yet, with Miles saying that he'll "make that decision in a couple of months based on actual sales".

"Much as I am angry and upset about the piracy situation, I can't let that cause a knee-jerk reaction regarding future games - if we reach our sales targets on the platform, we'll work on it again in the future."

One route that other developers have taken with Android is to make the games freemium, which shifts content out of the hands of those downloading the game, but thanks to "various business and legal reasons" it wasn't an avenue Sports Interactive wants to explore.

"We want to live in a world with honest people and no need for DRM. I doubt either of those will happen in my lifetime, unfortunately."
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