We’ve heard horror stories of piracy from iPhone developers before, but PocketGamer has news of an iPad developer also suffering from a surprising amount of customers who likely didn’t actually pay for their software. Qwiboo says that its iPad app, Aqua Globs HD, is seeing about 50% of its customers on the OpenFeint leaderboards have obtained the app illegally. Vladimir Roth says that the number of users who have actually submitted an OpenFeint score is double the number of legitimately sold apps so far.
Now, you can bring up the usual arguments against worrying about a number like this — that pirates likely wouldn’t have purchased the game anyway, or that many of them would pay if given the chance — but that’s a significant number, especially for a system that’s supposed to be as closed as the iPad. Roth also says that piracy has been higher for him on the iPad than on the iPhone, and that pricing plays a big part. iPad apps tend to be more expensive (he says that they often don’t provide extra functionality, though that obviously differs from app to app), and customers who prefer universal versions don’t like paying twice for the same app.
Still, the app in question is $1.99 — that’s hardly breaking the bank. It’s disappointing to see that even with all of the authentication and verification built in to a platform like the App Store, piracy is still a significant issue.