Easier iPhone piracy threatens developers

Easier iPhone piracy threatens developers
Aaron Lee

By Aaron Lee

January 4th 2013 at 3:20PM

New hacks surface, while Hunted Cow shuts down its pirated game after one week

Newly emerged hacks that make iPhone piracy more straightforward threaten to make life harder for game developers on the platform.

Zeusmos and Kuaiyong are two newly launched services that allow one-tap, instant installs of pirated apps on any iOS device, TNW reports.

No jailbreak is required for these apps to work, which makes them a significant threat to Apple and its development community.

The unnamed 15-year-old creator of Zeusmos claimed it’s just a way to enable homebrew apps without having to buy an annual Apple developer licence, but doesn’t acknowledge that what it does is enable piracy.

Zeusmos and Kuaiyong could make game piracy more accessible, which would be especially dangerous for developers who solely create titles for iOS devices.

Last month mobile developer Hunted Cow shut down the servers for its iOS game Battle Dungeon, a 3D multiplayer action game, after only one week, because of a startling 90 per cent piracy rate – according to Pocket Tactics.

“After a pirated version of the .ipa surfaced on the net, we saw around ten times the amount of people joining the game compared to the amount of sales,” Hunted Cow director Andrew Mulholland told Pocket Tactics.

Battle Dungeon’s multiplayer nature meant it required servers to host matches, which Hunted Cow had to pay to maintain.

He added: “If they were all legitimate sales, it would have given us the resources to work on it further, however the way it was going it just wasn’t viable.”

Though not directly linked to the new hacks, Hunted Cow’s story is symptomatic of the eventually outcome of increased app store piracy, which is developers shutting down their titles and in other cases choosing not to work on the platform at all.

Last month, Installous, a pirating app for jail-broken iOS devices from the community Hackulous, was shutdown.

Image: Doug Belshaw/Flickr