I was inspired by my last entry to talk about this, so here goes.
What do I think of piracy and how do I plan to combat it?
Well, here's the trick... you don't try to combat piracy. That's stupid and you should feel stupid if you think it can ever be done.
I mentioned that for a while, Digital Merchandizing will be as far as I can go, and I realize that yes, that will make such things a subject of piracy.
The truth is, I don't give a fuck. I mean I'd rather people not do it but I'm not gonna try to stop them, because that always works so well doesn't it? Also, being a little into psychology and how the human mind works, I'd guess that the majority of piracy that happens in the video game industry is not because someone is thinking "oh hell yes i can get all this free shit time to exploit that!". I never thought like that, and I don't actually know anyone who thinks like that about piracy.
Piracy is at fault of mostly, DEVELOPERS! Who'da thought? Well here's the thinking behind it, most people who pirate a game and end up liking it do actually buy it if it's accessible.
Why does this happen? Oh, maybe you forgot to add a free demo or a trial version, or maybe you are over charging or better yet, have some terrible clunky DRM like Windows Live Arcade.
TellTale studios, the guys behind Mount & Blade: Warband and others of that series, give you a limited trial (up to level 7) and then you can definitely see if the game is for you, and if you want to go full hog with it, you'll buy it, it's moderately priced, accessible and doesn't come packed with terrible DRM.
What I'm saying is that these guys know what they are doing, and for an even better example, let's have a look at Valve, to date one of the most heralded and renowned developers on the surface of Earth. They don't use DRM! They usually have a demo of some sort and best of all the man behind it all (Gabe Newell) beleives the same thing I do, if you are having problems with piracy, its your fault, not your players!
As time has gone by games have become very much for some developers a money industry rather than one you are in to enjoy, see EA and Activision for examples.
When was the last time since 2006 that EA or Activision made a game (not published, developed) that was really good?
If you said anything other than Mirror's Edge you don't know what a good game is, get out.
Call of Duty and Battlefield are one of the most pirated games to date, and it's not because of the DRM or that players want to see it before hand to make sure it isn't infact the opposite of the same drivel they always want, nope! Those idiots actually buy the games!
The truth is that the majority of the pirates who illegally download and distribute these games have no real interest in playing them, but they want to see the companies producing them suffer for making garbage!
That's right, the main force behind piracy is psychological! Spite is the largest wellspring for cyber-piracy ANYWHERE.
No one really looks at EA or Activision and thinks "I SURE WOULD LIKE TO WORK THERE ONE DAY, I SURE WOULD LIKE TO MEET BOBBY KOTICK" do they? In fact as a developer I fear that I will become ensnared in their publisher crosshairs.
Though at least EA does have a sense of justice. Anyway, back to the point of piracy.
Trying to stop it happening is futile, and there have been several attempts both large-scale and small which have all failed. Free-to-play models seem to be the best way to avoid it happening, and that's sorta what I'm doing but not with in-game DLC since again, I don't believe in bringing any barriers of monetary worth into gameplay.
So, what's my stance on piracy? Well I'm not against it, why would I be? I'm guilty of it myself. To now get all indignant about it would be both hypocritical and show that I'm only in the industry for money.
I love making games, and I love spraying people with all my glorious filth! There need be no barrier between thy consumer and thy filth. Though if you want an artbook or a T-shirt or just want to give us some encouraging coins in donation then yeah we can work something out!
Thursday, 20 March 2014
The CCC Piracy Philosophy
To my superiors, I am Robert, to my inferiors... I am Mr. Clark, but to my friends, I am Biz. An almost anarchist who began his grassroots in game design with tabletop games written in MS Word, Modules in Neverwinter Nights, Projects in RPG maker, but now finally, I am moving onto Unity. Feared by many, respected by more. I'm a pretty okay guy, and my story to non-profit aimed success has just been make what I want to make. And make something of it. So I have done just that.