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Indie game Gentlemen! was bought 144 times, pirated over 50,000

S. Prell, @SamPrell

Gentlemen! by Lucky Frame is a popular indie title for Android tablets, iPad, PC and Mac that has players swap gravity, chuck knives, and send homing pigeons at one another in local multiplayer deathmatches. It has garnered critical praise and the Android version has been downloaded more than 50,000 times - unfortunately, as of four days ago, only 144 of those downloads were legitimate, while the rest were pirated.

Yann Seznec, director of Lucky Frame, shared the disparaging data via a Gamasutra blog, where he tried to decipher why things went south. The largest group of pirates, Seznec found, came from Russia and China, where "... most of these pirates probably exist in a commercial ecosystem where the Google Play store does not even exist, and it doesn't occur to them to buy any games from there at all."

Seznec also pointed out that the game had some unlikely competition - South Korean singer Psy's hit, "Gentleman" - that made the game difficult to discover thanks to a flood of apps which hoped to capitalize on the song's viral success. The whole story is a bit heartbreaking, and Seznec wrote that for the moment, he doesn't have much of a conclusion to make, but that he and his team have a lot to learn going forward.

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