Yes indeed, we’ve been hacked.
Or rather, our game, “Alien Avian Attack” has.
Just yesterday I was performing that oh-so-important marketing test known as “the google search”, when lo and behold, smack in the middle of a chinese wares website, I found the hack. It seems that some kind folk in the middle kingdom have taken our android apk, dis-combobulated it, and re-assembled it with what I can only assume are han characters.
Now ordinarily, one would expect that, as software blokes who are trying to earn a living on the software flowing from the tips of our fingers, we would be quite angry with this. But in reality, the strange matter of fact is, that I’m not at all that fussed. In fact, I’m curiously sort of flattered – someone out there in the big wide world thought that our game was good enough to spend the time to translate and hack it to bits.
The second and more important reality is that there is in fact, no easy way for exceedingly small western companies like us to find and evaluate the way that games of the handheld variety can even be sold within the Chinese market. In the western world, although there is always in my mind some suspicion of large corporate entities (mostly due to their anonymity), in China, our intelligence on the trustworthiness of software companies and distributors is almost non-existent. As our primary outlet for “Alien Avian Attack” is at present, Google, this is quite problematic – their inability to get past the Chinese government means that that there is not a trustworthy western proxy company that we can trust to negotiate and license stuff fairly.
So the end result: both the Chinese and ourselves have very little choice. They can’t easily get our game without pirating it, and because we’re a microscopic developer we can’t easily sell it to them.
To me, this is the real crime. It’s also a huge hole in the market that I hope someone fills sometime soon. Clearly the Chinese populace wants access to the worlds’ software, but clearly the folks making the rules in the middle kingdom see things differently. And thus, is the Chilli Burn China Problem. Pity.