Football Manager Devs Hire More Staff Thanks to DRM

Football Manager Devs Hire More Staff Thanks to DRM

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Sports Interactive claims that two weeks of piracy-free sales last year was enough to hire 18 more developers.

If a company could ensure two weeks' worth of game sales where the game couldn't be pirated, how much money does it stand to make? According to Sports Interactive, two weeks of piracy-free sales will earn enough money to hire several new staff members.

Last year's Football Manager 2012 opened to strong sales figures. Publisher Sega and Sports Interactive believe that the boost in revenue was due to newly implemented copy-protection that temporarily foiled software crackers. As a result, the company was able to take on an additional "17 or 18" developers to help add over 900 new features for Football Manager 2013.

Studio director Miles Jacobson confirms that the two weeks of piracy-free sales have been beneficial, and it sounds like the DRM trend will stay. "The new game has a new system being used, and as of the time of talking the Beta hadn't been cracked," he says.

"If we can hold a few more weeks, it would be a benefit to retail and ourselves. And ultimately for the consumer, because once again if we do much better this year, we will invest that back into the studio, take on more people and do more features."

Football Manager 2012 was the first game in the series to require the use of Steam to activate the product online; a move which sparked outrage in the community where players claimed to run into issues running Valve's gaming platform.

Source: MCV

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"The Beta has not been cracked" - I thought he was talking about the retail version? I am confused.

So they are running under the assumption that the piracy crowd looked online and said "Gah! Foiled again! Guess I'll go spend money instead of waiting until someone inevitably cracks this game!" That's cute.

Frankly this makes them come off as naive dicks. Why not just congratulate yourselves on making a game that people wanted to buy and take the increased sales as a cue that you are evolving your game in the right direction (despite your DRM, not because of it).

because it didnt have anything to do with the TF2 promotion with the fancy shoes and fancy scarf that it came with, seriously if they really think it was because of the DRM they are understimating the worlds biggest hat simulator.

Is this "Football Manager 2013"? There's a working crack as of two weeks ago apparently.

From what I can gather they put it on Steam, you want to know why your sales went up? it's not because of DRM (Although that probably helped a bit) but it's because it's on Steam, any game on Steam sells better then if it wasn't on Steam, there's a huge (tens of thousands, easily) audience of people that would never see your game otherwise.

Plumerou:
because it didnt have anything to do with the TF2 promotion with the fancy shoes and fancy scarf that it came with, seriously if they really think it was because of the DRM they are understimating the worlds biggest hat simulator.

TF2 promotion? ok that was definitely it.
People buy $100 rings that serve no tangible purpose on that game, it can sell anything.

Monsterfurby:
"The Beta has not been cracked" - I thought he was talking about the retail version? I am confused.

They are talking about the 2013 retail game and the 2013 beta.

Timothy Chang:
Football Manager 2012 was the first game in the series to require the use of Steam to activate the product online; a move which sparked outrage in the community where players claimed to run into issues running Valve's gaming platform.

So, they have been released on Steam for the first time (which is the biggest PC Gaming Platform and revels in great popularity), but they attribute their sales to piracy instead of that?
Also, can someone provide more Info on what exactly this "copy protection" entails?

Or is this another one of those *oh so hilarious* CVG/MCV misquote stories that The Escapist always seems to go along with?

http://penny-arcade.com/report/editorial-article/ea-never-called-dead-space-too-scary-but-the-misleading-headlines-are-the-s
http://www.cinemablend.com/games/Future-Publishing-Writer-Outs-Shady-Publishers-Paid-Review-Scores-More-47988.html

The sales for this game must be a lot larger than I thought possible, piracy or otherwise. Must be an american culture thing.

Scars Unseen:
So they are running under the assumption that the piracy crowd looked online and said "Gah! Foiled again! Guess I'll go spend money instead of waiting until someone inevitably cracks this game!" That's cute.

This about sums it up. I will never understand why developers go to assumption is that preventing piracy means those people who didn't want to pay for your game will now pay for it, full price, at launch. Aside from them having no evidence I know of to back it up, it just does not make on bit of sense.

But I guess I was lying when I said I'll never understand it. The reason they keep saying it is obvious: they either want to, or have to where a publisher or investors are involved, justify their efforts to the people who actually buy their game and are the only ones ever inconvenienced by this stuff. They're just hoping if they keep feeding everyone the same bullshit that eventually people will believe them.

I'd be surprised if they got 17 or 18 more SALES, let alone enough to hire 17 or 18 more PEOPLE.

I'm not wholly surprised by this, Football Manager is definitely had one of the highest piracy rates amongst it's player base, going by anecdotal evidence on the variety of Football Manager fan forums.

So actually this is a time where I'm willing to attribute it to Steam's DRM instead of it just being down to being on Steam. Some FM fans can be obsessed to say the least, so I can imagine if they can't get it pirated day 1, they would go and buy it on Steam instead.

Plumerou:
because it didnt have anything to do with the TF2 promotion with the fancy shoes and fancy scarf that it came with, seriously if they really think it was because of the DRM they are understimating the worlds biggest hat simulator.

Pretty much this. In a game where people spend thousands of dollars for a virtual hat on fire. You think $60 will set them back?

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Steam games are easily cracked as any other form of DRM.

People didn't buy it because they suddenly couldn't pirate it. They bought it because it was on Steam.

Steam is DRM, yes, but to say more people bought it because they couldn't pirate it is silly. They can pirate it whenever they want, they just wanted to buy it. Don't get me wrong, this is a good thing, but I feel he kind of thinks it's doing well for the wrong reasons.

Scars Unseen:
So they are running under the assumption that the piracy crowd looked online and said "Gah! Foiled again! Guess I'll go spend money instead of waiting until someone inevitably cracks this game!" That's cute.

Frankly this makes them come off as naive dicks. Why not just congratulate yourselves on making a game that people wanted to buy and take the increased sales as a cue that you are evolving your game in the right direction (despite your DRM, not because of it).

Ever heard of like for like sales figures? Its very easy for the, they launch a new version every year and they can compare first weeks sales without steam to first weeks sales with steam.

albino boo:

Scars Unseen:
So they are running under the assumption that the piracy crowd looked online and said "Gah! Foiled again! Guess I'll go spend money instead of waiting until someone inevitably cracks this game!" That's cute.

Frankly this makes them come off as naive dicks. Why not just congratulate yourselves on making a game that people wanted to buy and take the increased sales as a cue that you are evolving your game in the right direction (despite your DRM, not because of it).

Ever heard of like for like sales figures? Its very easy for the, they launch a new version every year and they can compare first weeks sales without steam to first weeks sales with steam.

And you would attribute that difference to DRM rather than them putting the game on the most popular digital distribution service on the world?

albino boo:

Scars Unseen:
So they are running under the assumption that the piracy crowd looked online and said "Gah! Foiled again! Guess I'll go spend money instead of waiting until someone inevitably cracks this game!" That's cute.

Frankly this makes them come off as naive dicks. Why not just congratulate yourselves on making a game that people wanted to buy and take the increased sales as a cue that you are evolving your game in the right direction (despite your DRM, not because of it).

Ever heard of like for like sales figures? Its very easy for the, they launch a new version every year and they can compare first weeks sales without steam to first weeks sales with steam.

Well, I'd say that Steam as the distributing platform has more to do than steam the DRM program. Having your game in Steam increases revenue, simply because Steam is extremely effective at generating awareness of its catalog.
All else being equal (including DRM quality) a PC game on Steam will always sell more than a game that is not on Steam.

Ya I'm gonna chalk this up to Steam. I've yet to see any program that hasn't been able to be pirated (and I'd love to see someone prove me wrong). Wasn't this also like the main display in the steam store for like two weeks? You'd think they'd attribute some of it to being front and center to the largest PC game consumer market lol

... so they didn't sell more copies because this game was better than their previous game? Good to know.

Regardless of how you feel about DRM or TF2 hats their statement is just bad science. You can't take your control experiment (presumably Football Manager 2011) change multiple parameters (DRM, sales venues, extras, and, I hope actual game play) then make an absolute statement that one of those parameters was responsible for the new result. The extra sales could just as easily be due to extra exposure the previous game got because it was pirated so much. The best they can reasonably say right now is that there might be a correlation between DRM and their improved sales.

No, they bought it because it got released on Steam and it had HATS.

so a niche game found a lot more sales because they put it on Steam?

they included TF2 items and they think they got more sales because of drm?

excuse me while I go laugh until I puke

Well, people have already pointed out the increase in players can be attributed to things like TF 2 cross promotion, putting it on steam in the first place, and the game being so niche that pirates may not have even wanted to BOTHER cracking it very quickly so I will add just one more thing.

Mr. Miles Jacobson, you are an idiot, and you should feel bad for being this utterly stupid.

Ummm, Steam DRM is cracked like clockwork. There is a chance that, you know, that many people just bought your product because they liked it... weird, I know.

There is of course a chance that some sales were increased by there being no pirated version for a couple of weeks, but no one really has any way of telling that. But I'm willing to bet that it wasn't pirated because pirates weren't interested in the game, not because of some crazy new DRM they used (which is neither crazy or new). Those groups of crackers don't do it for public release, but it always leaks from them to the public. They do it for themselves and other groups. But they are falling into that logical fallacy where people will universally pirate it given the chance or that a pirated copy is a lost sale.

Really, it sounds like they had low expectations for their game. And now they are thinking in flawed terms about what their actual sales means.

I'd just like to point out that the game has been available on steam since the 09 version, but last year was the first time it used steamworks exclusively. So it's not just down to it suddenly becoming available on the platform, as some people in this thread are assuming.

As for hats, I really really hope that isn't the reason :p

Edit: also, third top seller on steam behind Assassins Creed 3 and Black Ops 2, a niche game? I suppose football is the worlds largest niche then. ;)

Those people that bought the game brand new in the first couple of weeks most likely would have done so with or without the ability to pirate the game. Naivety.

Also, as people have said, bringing your game to Steam; sales spike. Including promotions; bigger sales spike.

"We beat the piracy!", yeah right...

If no one cracked the game, I imagine it really speaks more to the lack of interest in said game, in my opinion

If the only DRM it used was steams built-in one, I can't imagine the game not being cracked on day1 on account of difficulty because steam DRM seems to be nothing less than a joke to break at this point.
If difficulty isn't an issue, it's just the cracker groups being completely uninterested in the game that prevents a crack from coming out.

If, however, the game IS hard to crack then the DRM is probably so intrusive that some customers go "fooled me once, shame on you...." and not buy the sequel.

For all those who said that the series saw an increase of sales from their previous year because they started selling it on Steam, you are missing something. Football Manager 2009 was the first entry into the series that was made available through Valves digital distribution service Steam. They also released Football Manager 2010 and 2011 on Steam as well.

The thing that makes Football Manager 2012 special to Steam is that it was the first title in the series to require EVERYONE who purchased the game to install and run the game through Steam.

I too think it is silly to believe Steam's DRM helped boost the game's sales. However, it clearly was not because they put it on Steam since the game had already been on Steam.

As for the hats, that was only a pre-order bonus. That would have only affected pre-sales. They are talking about the post-launch sales.

Frankly, when we're seeing dev studios been shut down left right and centre, I think it's a pleasant change for a developer to be able to actually hire more people, regardless of whether the reasons are what they say they are or they got the wrong idea + it's a bit of naivety from a dev team that only puts out one game a year who never had a game on Steam's DRM before. Either way, I don't mind, they're doing well + power to 'em.

elexis:
The sales for this game must be a lot larger than I thought possible, piracy or otherwise. Must be an american culture thing.

I would tend to think it's actually because of Europe that sales of this game are high.

It's Europe that has a mad fever for the FIFA games, for example. In the US it's American Football, not soccer, that's (far, far) more popular.

I can search for numbers, since I admit that I'm not entirely certain, but that's what I'd imagine to be true, at least.

Edit: On topic, I definitely think that it's Steam, not the lack of piracy, that is accounting for all of the increased sales. Having a TF2 promotion would also be a massive increase in sales, obviously.

Sir Ollie:

Plumerou:
because it didnt have anything to do with the TF2 promotion with the fancy shoes and fancy scarf that it came with, seriously if they really think it was because of the DRM they are understimating the worlds biggest hat simulator.

Pretty much this. In a game where people spend thousands of dollars for a virtual hat on fire. You think $60 will set them back?

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Steam games are easily cracked as any other form of DRM.

I just had a "stupid American" moment. I couldn't figure out why there was a soccer ball in that picture when the game was about football. Then the light came on in my head and I felt really stupid.

OT: Yes, two weeks of piracy free sales, in exchange for a lifetime of your game inconveniencing legitimate users. Between consumer and producer though, I wouldn't tell that to any Vulcans; logic like that is known to give them aneurisms.

Glad to see more developers but, nope all DRM is crackable, Steam is just pretty awesome.

Try releasing with stand-alone DRM and not being on Steam and see how your sales fare, rocks-for-brains...

 

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