Saints Row Publisher Not Interested In Uplay-Style DRM

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Saints Row Publisher Not Interested In Uplay-Style DRM

Deep Silver logo

The CEO of Saints Row publisher Deep Silver says the only effective way to fight piracy is to ignore piracy.

Ask around and most people will tell you that the biggest problem with the PC as a gaming platform, at least in the eyes of major publishers, is piracy. It's absolutely rampant, orders of magnitude worse than consoles, and costs publishers bazillions of dollars in lost revenue every year. But Dr. Klemens Kundratitz, CEO of Saints Row IV and Metro: Last Light publisher Deep Silver, sees the matter a little differently.

Kundratitz told Penny Arcade that the PC remains a priority for the publisher, citing the Metro franchise as "first and foremost a PC brand. In the first iteration, it was launched on Xbox 360 and PC, but it is at its heart a PC product." And while console sales for Metro: Last Light were greater, he said the PC "has a very decent share" of the total and also enjoys a "very active and committed community."

Yet while piracy is a problem, Deep Silver isn't looking to tie its games down to a proprietary DRM system like Origin or Uplay. "Uplay is not the way we want to approach things, definitely. I think we just need to make sure that the games we publish are worth the money, and certainly there is always this piracy situation that any publisher has. No publisher can tackle [piracy], really," he said. "In a business plan, we typically ignore it. It's not something that is new, it's something that has been part of our business for decades. As a publisher you just live with it, yes?"

Source: Penny Arcade

Permalink

Good, Uplay is a plague on several decent and good games (IE Far Cry 3/Blood Dragon/etc) that should be removed from it. Also not focusing on piracy could be a good idea for them and focus on DLC and fixing up their game instead.

While I definitely don't disagree with what they are saying, and I think Deep Silver are a good publisher, I do have to wonder if anything in particular prompted this.

Statement just seemed to come completely out of the blue, is all.

Ok Deep Silver, you're doing a very good job of convincing me that Ranger Hardcore mode as DLC really was baggage that you got from THQ. I know you had the whole season pass thing, but it was for pretty cheap DLC and overall pretty good DLC, so I'll allow it. Keep up the good work.

Andy Shandy:
While I definitely don't disagree with what they are saying, and I think Deep Silver are a good publisher, I do have to wonder if anything in particular prompted this.

Statement just seemed to come completely out of the blue, is all.

Well the people who were interviewing them asked if they were interested in using any form of DRM, and they said no. What prompted the person who asked, to ask, I can't give you that, sadly.

Cecilo:

Andy Shandy:
While I definitely don't disagree with what they are saying, and I think Deep Silver are a good publisher, I do have to wonder if anything in particular prompted this.

Statement just seemed to come completely out of the blue, is all.

Well the people who were interviewing them asked if they were interested in using any form of DRM, and they said no. What prompted the person who asked, to ask, I can't give you that, sadly.

Ah well that makes sense (at least on the answer from Deep Silver anyway) then. Cheers :D

Piracy isnt actually all that rampant, it is just played up as a boogyman by corporate douchebags who want to make some folk blindly accept their scare tactic DRM

http://www.forbes.com/sites/emmawoollacott/2013/05/15/finally-some-objective-figures-on-games-piracy/

According to this there are a little over 13 million pirates WORLD WIDE as of two years ago. And most of those are in smaller countries where the large publishers and game companies dont have much penetration in the way of stores, advertisments, shipping ect.

As for the OT; Deep Silver is awesome. I am glad I buy a lot of their games. I wish more pubs and devs would share their outlook on things.

Andy Chalk:

Kundratitz told Penny Arcade that the PC remains a priority for the publisher, citing the Metro franchise as "first and foremost a PC brand. In the first iteration, it was launched on Xbox 360 and PC, but it is at its heart a PC product."

The developers (4A) don't seem to agree Metro is a PC product - it was designed from the ground up with consoles in mind.

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-inside-metro-last-light

I'll take his word over the marketing department / publisher any day who only jumped on it after THQ folded and absolutely had no say in the development process anyway.

I will inflict upon the pirates the greatest insult an enemy can suffer: to be ignored.

In a business plan, we typically ignore it. It's not something that is new, it's something that has been part of our business for decades. As a publisher you just live with it, yes?

I like that part, it has weight.

Thank you Deep Silver. Good move and nice to see a "big" publisher say that.
I will forgive you for Ride To Hell because of this.

Keep on doing good!

Ballsy statement to hear from a publisher. Let's hope it proves beneficial for them.

What a sensible approach. Now if only UbiSoft and EA had the same views.

Lt. Rocky:
Ballsy statement to hear from a publisher. Let's hope it proves beneficial for them.

It's been reported that games that dont have DRM that get pirated, often get purchased by the same pirates if the game is good.

Often times people will pirate a game to see if it's actually worth the price, and unlike console games, buying a game on the PC does not guarantee a return policy.

This is why I say more games on the PC need a type of demo that shows off more than just the first level or two.

I disagree. The best way to deal with pirates is to program your games to call out pirates when they use a pirated game (possibly by uploading a rigged 'pirated' copy to the torrents before the actual pirates crack it), either only cosmetically or an obvious "this isn't a bug in the program code, it's a bug in your moral code trolololol" alteration.

Examples that come to mind include the characters of Alan Wake suddenly sporting eye-patches, an invincible pink scorpion that follows you EVERYWHERE on Serious Sam 3, or (my personal favorite because of the delicious irony) how on Game Dev Tycoon you'd end up having your profits drop like a stone from, you guessed it, pirates stealing the game you worked so hard on.

And then there's the Spyro 2 game that had an entire host of "fuck you's" one after the other so that it took two whole months for there to be a fully cracked version of the game.

Infernal Lawyer:
I disagree. The best way to deal with pirates is to program your games to call out pirates when they use a pirated game (possibly by uploading a rigged 'pirated' copy to the torrents before the actual pirates crack it), either only cosmetically or an obvious "this isn't a bug in the program code, it's a bug in your moral code trolololol" alteration.

Examples that come to mind include the characters of Alan Wake suddenly sporting eye-patches, an invincible pink scorpion that follows you EVERYWHERE on Serious Sam 3, or (my personal favorite because of the delicious irony) how on Game Dev Tycoon you'd end up having your profits drop like a stone from, you guessed it, pirates stealing the game you worked so hard on.

And then there's the Spyro 2 game that had an entire host of "fuck you's" one after the other so that it took two whole months for there to be a fully cracked version of the game.

Right, because Piracy means you lose money, rather than not gain any money. Simple equation right now, if you make a game for 100 bucks in capital, and sell it for 10 bucks per copy, you only need to sell 10 copies to break even, right? Now if you sell 5 copies and another 5 get pirated, what happens? You only make 50 bucks, you do NOT gain 50 and then lose 50 just because of pirates. At least the eye-patch and invincible pink scorpion were tongue-in-cheek and in fact, with the scorpion have evolved into a futile goal of beating it. At least bring logic when you make such "injoke measures".

Also, its been proven that such "anti-piracy" measures can backfire, Titan Quest anyone?

A-D.:

Infernal Lawyer:
Snip

Right, because Piracy means you lose money, rather than not gain any money. Simple equation right now, if you make a game for 100 bucks in capital, and sell it for 10 bucks per copy, you only need to sell 10 copies to break even, right? Now if you sell 5 copies and another 5 get pirated, what happens? You only make 50 bucks, you do NOT gain 50 and then lose 50 just because of pirates. At least the eye-patch and invincible pink scorpion were tongue-in-cheek and in fact, with the scorpion have evolved into a futile goal of beating it. At least bring logic when you make such "injoke measures".

I honestly have no idea why you're blathering on about stats and sales and whatnot. That has absolutely nothing to do with my comment, which was about what traps the developers should leave for pirated versions of their game, not why piracy is bad.

You didn't even make any sort of point. "Piracy means you don't get sales, rather than actively lose money?" Oh. I SEE. And that's supposed to be good, is it?

If you pirate a game and it turns out that the developers left you a little unpleasant surprise, you have no right to complain, because you got what you paid for. End of story. I don't care about your arguments about how piracy are or aren't a loss of sales or whatever, because that's completely irrelevant to what I was saying.

Also, its been proven that such "anti-piracy" measures can backfire, Titan Quest anyone?

I have to agree here, that was a horrible 'trap' that just convinced people that the actual game was broken and not worth buying, hence the "an OBVIOUS alteration to the code". But then again, in the mentioned Spyro game, the exact same thing pretty much happened, except that a fairy would politely tell you "you're a dirty thief and nasty shit is gonna happen soon :) toodles!" not long after you started playing. Plus, if your gun suddenly starts shooting chickens (such as in the pirated version of Crysis Warhead), you'd have to be a moron not to read between the lines and realize that it maaaaaay just be intentional, right?

Infernal Lawyer:

A-D.:

Infernal Lawyer:
Snip

Right, because Piracy means you lose money, rather than not gain any money. Simple equation right now, if you make a game for 100 bucks in capital, and sell it for 10 bucks per copy, you only need to sell 10 copies to break even, right? Now if you sell 5 copies and another 5 get pirated, what happens? You only make 50 bucks, you do NOT gain 50 and then lose 50 just because of pirates. At least the eye-patch and invincible pink scorpion were tongue-in-cheek and in fact, with the scorpion have evolved into a futile goal of beating it. At least bring logic when you make such "injoke measures".

I honestly have no idea why you're blathering on about stats and sales and whatnot. That has absolutely nothing to do with my comment, which was about what traps the developers should leave for pirated versions of their game, not why piracy is bad.

You didn't even make any sort of point. "Piracy means you don't get sales, rather than actively lose money?" Oh. I SEE. And that's supposed to be good, is it?

If you pirate a game and it turns out that the developers left you a little unpleasant surprise, you have no right to complain, because you got what you paid for. End of story. I don't care about your arguments about how piracy are or aren't a loss of sales or whatever, because that's completely irrelevant to what I was saying.

Also, its been proven that such "anti-piracy" measures can backfire, Titan Quest anyone?

I have to agree here, that was a horrible 'trap' that just convinced people that the actual game was broken and not worth buying, hence the "an OBVIOUS alteration to the code". But then again, in the mentioned Spyro game, the exact same thing pretty much happened, except that a fairy would politely tell you "you're a dirty thief and nasty shit is gonna happen soon :) toodles!" not long after you started playing. Plus, if your gun suddenly starts shooting chickens (such as in the pirated version of Crysis Warhead), you'd have to be a moron not to read between the lines and realize that it maaaaaay just be intentional, right?

Yes, because "obvious" anti-piracy measures along the lines of illogical thinking that piracy actually makes you lose money, rather than not gain any additional money was not the obvious point i was making. If you include methods like that, for one they have to be obvious and logical, in case of Titan Quest it wasnt and people thought it was a bug and then word-of-mouth did the rest, plus the developers accusing basicly everyone of being a pirate didnt help them either.

So yes, obviously you arent interested because you fail to grasp the simple correlation of events there. If you include them, there is a chance it backfires, either badly or in a good way, for example the pink scorpion in serious sam 3 has been actually popular that people who have bought the game pirated it anyway just so they could try and kill it.

Which means, its best to leave them out entirely, it would be a much better idea to create a "early end" in the gamecode when you pirate it, granted that might be really hard to code, but think of it as a really long demo, so you play and eventually the game just ends, maybe with a "seems you had fun, why not buy it?" screen at the end of it. At least its a better alternative than beating potential customers over the head with "piracy is bad, mkay" bollocks.

In short, Deep Silver taking the high road and just ignoring piracy and focusing on making good games (well..SOME good games) is a much better idea than coding in new "traps" or "fuck you" measures, or another DRM tool you have to use.

Well, it about time a publisher finally figured that out.

Fun Fact: The enemy most publishers are trying to fight isn't so much piracy as much as used game sales and Gamestop.

A-D.:

Yes, because "obvious" anti-piracy measures along the lines of illogical thinking that piracy actually makes you lose money, rather than not gain any additional money was not the obvious point i was making. If you include methods like that, for one they have to be obvious and logical, in case of Titan Quest it wasnt and people thought it was a bug and then word-of-mouth did the rest, plus the developers accusing basicly everyone of being a pirate didnt help them either.

So yes, obviously you arent interested because you fail to grasp the simple correlation of events there. If you include them, there is a chance it backfires, either badly or in a good way, for example the pink scorpion in serious sam 3 has been actually popular that people who have bought the game pirated it anyway just so they could try and kill it.

Which means, its best to leave them out entirely, it would be a much better idea to create a "early end" in the gamecode when you pirate it, granted that might be really hard to code, but think of it as a really long demo, so you play and eventually the game just ends, maybe with a "seems you had fun, why not buy it?" screen at the end of it. At least its a better alternative than beating potential customers over the head with "piracy is bad, mkay" bollocks.

In short, Deep Silver taking the high road and just ignoring piracy and focusing on making good games (well..SOME good games) is a much better idea than coding in new "traps" or "fuck you" measures, or another DRM tool you have to use.

I have to say, I like the idea of a game stopping halfway 'through' and asking the pirate to actually buy the game. It would certainly kill the "There's no demo or said demo isn't good enough, therefore I have to pirate it to see if it's worth my money" argument. On the other hand, they may just decide it's not worth paying for a game they've already gone halfway through, ESPECIALLY if you don't let them transfer their save file to the legitimate version. But it's impossible to tell how many people will do that I suppose, just as impossible to tell how many pirates would have bought the game if they couldn't have gotten it for free, I suppose, so let's not go down discussing that. Regardless, the idea certainly has promise.

I still think you're failing at the "it's not money lost, only sales" argument though. I'm not about to claim that every pirated copy is a lost sale (cue pants-on-head-retarded "G'DURR"), but to claim that ACTUAL lost sales are anything other then lost sales, hence lost money in the bank, is ridiculous in my eyes. I mean, seeing as we're not talking about how piracy increases sales or anything like that here (which I'd otherwise be relatively willing to give merit to), I honestly don't see what you are trying to say, since you're still pretty much saying "piracy = less sales, but it's different because of reasons". If you could have sold fifteen copies of something but you only sell ten because of external sources, that's still less money in the bank whatever way you cut it.

About the chance of the trap 'backfiring' I don't and I will never see what the problem with people pirating a copy of a game that they have already paid for, ESPECIALLY if there's some amusing extra in the pirated version. Now, if someone actually decided not to buy the game because the pirated version actually sounded more appealing (by the developer's actions, not just by stripping out the DRM or other restrictions, mind you), THAT would have been worth mentioning... but I seriously doubt that there are any cases of that happening. I mean, if you're going to argue that piracy isn't lost sales or money or whatever, you can hardly argue that someone getting an altered copy of a game they already own is a bad thing at all either.

And yes. As I said in my first AND second post, they have to be "obvious and logical" so that they aren't assumed to just be bugs in a shitty game. Stop acting like that was your idea :P

In any case, while I don't think that 'taking the high road' is the best way to deal with pirates (I mean come on, putting pirates in a Game Dev simulator is just too awesome), it certainly isn't a BAD idea, as anything that doesn't end up punishing legitimate users is good in my books. So, good on Deep Silver I suppose?

Infernal Lawyer:
Le Snip

Actually the point was towards the measure in Game Dev Tycoon. If you pirated it, and the Devs were real clever to put it up on PBay themselves by the way to get more attention and free publicity, you would eventually make minus because of "piracy". But thats not how piracy works, or any economical math. If you have 100 Dollars and make a game with it, which you sell for 10 Dollar per copy, you have to sell 10 copies, to get even, if you sell 11 copies, you make 10 Dollar profit. Easy so far right? Now in the game, it tells you that you lose money because people pirate. Same example, 100 Dollar capital, you make 10 copies because you just want to break even. 5 copies are bought, which nets you 50 Dollar and gets you half of your expenses back. But 10 people are playing, which means you got pirated. But you still have those other 5 Copies sitting in the store on the shelf. Just because the game is played by 100 people, or 1000, does not mean that to simply break even, you have to sell merely 10 copies.

Its not logical that you would lose money because you started with a set budget to begin with, the 100 Dollars, the game has a set price and a set amount, 10 copies for each 10 Dollar, you sell those 10, you are back where you started. Whether only one copy is sold and then copied 100 times, or you sell your 10 copies which then get copied 100 times you will NOT lose money from this, if the intended number sold to recoup the investment, as in your 100 Dollars, no matter how many pirates play your game, you will NOT EVER lose money.

Thats why Game Dev Tycoon is illogical, it basicly goes with the industry bullshit view that piracy is somehow causing them to lose money, when in fact it is their ridiculous budgets, advertising and all that crap. And that its coming from a Indie Dev who by all rights should know better is what is the most embarassing part, i mean EA, Ubisoft? You could at least understand if they did it..but a Indie? Really?

In short, thats why such methods have to be really clever, or you should leave them out completely. Titan Quest proved that word of mouth is a very powerful tool. It might have been a legitimate feature against pirates, but since pirates got the game and thought it was a bug and that information spread, legitimate customers didnt buy it. Conversly Game Dev Tycoon is guilty of a similar transgression, the game or its developers assume the potential customer and/or pirate is an Idiot who fails at basic math. And in my opinion, its better to be save than sorry and just dont do it. Piracy is a service and money problem, either the service sucks, or you dont have the funds. You can wait for the price to go down in case of the money issue, but if you got 3 Install Limits, Starforce DRM, Disk Checks and whatnot...yeah you cant get rid of them without "pirating" essentially. Especially if the EULA/TOS is applicable for you (which it seems to be in the US) which means you arent allowed to remove any DRM, even if said DRM blows up your computer in the next 5 seconds.

Last time I checked their games all used Steamworks.
Which is DRM.

So of course they're not looking at making their own service, when they're happy using Valve's.

A-D.:

Infernal Lawyer:
Le Snip

Le Counter Snip

So your issue was the misinterpretation of piracy in Game Dev Tycoon?

Not how I think piracy works in real life?

That explains EVERYTHING.

Please accept my apologies for my initial hostility. I didn't realize that you were talking about game mechanics and not actual piracy.

Still. Even though if the implementation may not be factually accurate, if the comedy gold of pirates going onto forums and whining "Urr ehhm geee, why are people stealing my game, is there some sort of DRM function I can use in this to stop it?" doesn't bring an smile to your face, you don't have a soul :P

As for what I think about actual piracy... Well, I pretty much agree with your last paragraph TBH. Unless you're sidestepping plain-ass broken DRM or you are simply not capable of buying something even if you had the cash (i.e. if you live in a country that doesn't sell it or if you're a gaming aficionado who wants to try something that's simply not for sale anymore, anywhere), there's no excuse for piracy.

Still. I stand by my statement that, when actually done well (I mean, hell, even DRM isn't awful by default, just look at Steam), setting pitfalls or even just tongue-in-cheek jokes (as you put it) into the code is a good way to call pirates out, as it doesn't punish customers. And come on, as long as it's painfully obvious that the devs are screwing with them, pirates have no right to complain when the game pulls a fast one on them.

And again, sorry for the misunderstanding, I get really embarrassed when I find out I'm barking up the wrong tree XP

jackpipsam:
Last time I checked their games all used Steamworks.
Which is DRM.

This is what I was going to point out. If they really intend to fight piracy by ignoring piracy, I'd like to see them just release their games DRM-free, say on GOG.com, or perhaps even DRM-free on non-Steam stores.

Infernal Lawyer:

A-D.:

Infernal Lawyer:
Le Snip

Le Counter Snip

snip

May I contribute what I think are the 5 main causes for piracy?
1. Kids. As we're moving more and more digital only, most of the kids and teenagers can not get the games they want to play - after all, who gives their kids their credit card details? They want to play them, though, and so they resort to piracy.

2. Kids yet again. Most kids and teenagers don't get that much money from their parents (even if you'd think they did get a lot, what with all the iPhones flying around). Most of the kids and teenagers simply don't have much money.

3. People that are, simply put, poor. Thus people who can afford a half way to decent computer, but can't afford games (just for the record, half way decent computer is around 200-300 Euros, and that's it for a few years).

4. People who actually want to see if a game is any good before they buy it. And that isn't just up to some point to see if the gameplay is good. If the ending of a great story is rubbish, you're going to assume the game is not worth buying. If it's going to directly tell you "buy the game, maggot", then it's unlikely that people will indeed buy the game (except if it's really really good, which is unlikely). Imagine a black text screen popping up 4 and a half hours into Bioshock: Infinite telling you to go and buy the game. Yeeeaaahhh... that's comforting, isn't it? A black text screen appearing in the middle of the game when stuff hasn't even really happened yet, that's going to make people buy the game.
Also, 1-3 wouldn't buy the game either way, why not let more people actually play it? It's not as if something got stolen and was then gone - at least that's how I see it.

5. Piracy basically becoming completely normal (this is the status quo here, in many ex-USSR countries and in China). Here and in the ex-USSR countries this has happened simply due to just how much films and games used to cost (most were imported, too, making them even more expensive). In China, it's the status quo due to how restrictive the government is. It's pretty hard to legitimately get your hands on games from "the west" in China - without resorting to piracy, that is.

There is one other group of games which I think actually deserves to get pirated and not paid for: games using Games for Windows Live. That software is... restrictive and badly designed, to say the least. I live in a country in which it is even completely impossible to legitimately play a game using GFWL without using a crack for it. Thanks to this, I haven't been subjected to it in its entirety (what I've had to go through, though... BLARGH).

It has been often pointed out that piracy is at it's core a service problem. The only pirates that are actually of interest are those that could afford the game but consciously choose to pirate instead. People that pirate more than they could afford obviously aren't lost sales, and the real pirates that make bootleg copies and resell them won't be deterred by things like uplay.
But it has been shown many times that the one group of pirates that might actually buy games can be motivated to do so by simply offering a good and conveniently accessible product. Steam sales have almost certainly gotten more pirates to buy games than the steam DRM ever did.

Infernal Lawyer:

A-D.:

Infernal Lawyer:
Le Snip

Le Counter Snip

War of the Snips

My ideal solution would be a "Pirate Edition" of Games. Think of say Skyrim, or GTA5, or Fallout New Vegas. You can legally obtain a copy of those games, free of charge. BUT there is a trade-off, you do not get patches, you do not get DLC, you do not get any support, essentially they are coded in a way that makes them unable to run with patches, DLC or anything, even if you crack it or whatever. They are completely DRM free and only minimally cut (say Skyrim without the crafting, or GTA5 without the Car Tuning), basicly you cut out the fat from it and give a running, fully functional bare-bones version, free.

Now, you download that, from the Devs themselves, its a one-time copy, which means that you can play it through once in its entirety, say in Skyrim's example, you get all the mainquest and all the guild quests. Once you finished them, you are greeted with a screen that goes "I hope you enjoyed this game, since you had so much fun playing our product, why not support us? Buy the game and get access to patches and future DLC offerings and *insert all cut features here*"

What you have now is a complete game demo, you can play the whole game and check whether you find it fun, is the story good, is there replay value, how balance is, does it run on your machine and so forth. All of that is essentially answered. Of course chances are the actual game will still be pirated, that happens, you cant really prevent that. Someone, somewhere will crack the DRM and whatnot and the game will be pirated, BUT you may have just gotten all those people who arent sure whether the game is good, or runs reliably to buy your game, or the next one. Sure they might not buy it at full price, but as long as they purchase it, its better for the developers than if they hadnt.

At the end of the day, a customer who gives you money, even if its not the full price you were hoping for, is better than a lost customer who will not purchase your product. And even pirates have their upside, they might tell their friends, or eventually buy your game, word of mouth is a good tool for anyone. Instead of punishing people, you should lure them in with good offerings. Steam Sales are one such a case, you could argue that Steam is DRM, but since you get games for real cheap, its a trade-off you are willing to take. Or as the saying goes "You have more luck catching flies with honey than with vinegar".

Matthi205:
Giant Snip: The Return

All your examples, or reasonings come back down to the 2 core problems i pointed out.

1: Money
2: Service and Availability

People who have the money, but pirate anyway, they will never buy the product. There are those pirates who do it because "free is best", they should never be the audience you want to appeal to, let alone punish everyone because of them. You will not gain anything, you do not win. Its proverbially the fight against windmills there, the only solution is to cut your losses and ignore them, because the more DRM schemes you employ, the more you turn people who are customers, or would-be customers into the "free is best" Pirates.

A potential fix, see above.

Glaice:
Good, Uplay is a plague on several decent and good games (IE Far Cry 3/Blood Dragon/etc) that should be removed from it. Also not focusing on piracy could be a good idea for them and focus on DLC and fixing up their game instead.

The only reason I ever use Uplay is to get those extra goodies like extra knifebelt in AC

And why would they be, it's not like that kind of drm actually works, it just annoys paying customers for no reason.

A-D.:

Infernal Lawyer:
Le Snip

Actually the point was towards the measure in Game Dev Tycoon. If you pirated it, and the Devs were real clever to put it up on PBay themselves by the way to get more attention and free publicity, you would eventually make minus because of "piracy". But thats not how piracy works, or any economical math. If you have 100 Dollars and make a game with it, which you sell for 10 Dollar per copy, you have to sell 10 copies, to get even, if you sell 11 copies, you make 10 Dollar profit. Easy so far right? Now in the game, it tells you that you lose money because people pirate. Same example, 100 Dollar capital, you make 10 copies because you just want to break even. 5 copies are bought, which nets you 50 Dollar and gets you half of your expenses back. But 10 people are playing, which means you got pirated. But you still have those other 5 Copies sitting in the store on the shelf. Just because the game is played by 100 people, or 1000, does not mean that to simply break even, you have to sell merely 10 copies.

Its not logical that you would lose money because you started with a set budget to begin with, the 100 Dollars, the game has a set price and a set amount, 10 copies for each 10 Dollar, you sell those 10, you are back where you started. Whether only one copy is sold and then copied 100 times, or you sell your 10 copies which then get copied 100 times you will NOT lose money from this, if the intended number sold to recoup the investment, as in your 100 Dollars, no matter how many pirates play your game, you will NOT EVER lose money.

Thats why Game Dev Tycoon is illogical, it basicly goes with the industry bullshit view that piracy is somehow causing them to lose money, when in fact it is their ridiculous budgets, advertising and all that crap. And that its coming from a Indie Dev who by all rights should know better is what is the most embarassing part, i mean EA, Ubisoft? You could at least understand if they did it..but a Indie? Really?

In short, thats why such methods have to be really clever, or you should leave them out completely. Titan Quest proved that word of mouth is a very powerful tool. It might have been a legitimate feature against pirates, but since pirates got the game and thought it was a bug and that information spread, legitimate customers didnt buy it. Conversly Game Dev Tycoon is guilty of a similar transgression, the game or its developers assume the potential customer and/or pirate is an Idiot who fails at basic math. And in my opinion, its better to be save than sorry and just dont do it. Piracy is a service and money problem, either the service sucks, or you dont have the funds. You can wait for the price to go down in case of the money issue, but if you got 3 Install Limits, Starforce DRM, Disk Checks and whatnot...yeah you cant get rid of them without "pirating" essentially. Especially if the EULA/TOS is applicable for you (which it seems to be in the US) which means you arent allowed to remove any DRM, even if said DRM blows up your computer in the next 5 seconds.

What about the money going into developing the game? Time, energy, paychecks for programmers and designers, tech...

You're pretending that the game developer starts at zero and any sales they make is total profit which is totally and utterly wrong.

And any games pirated IS lost money.

If selling 10 copies got them $100 and selling 5 (because 5 stole it) is only $50 that is $50 that they SHOULD have earned and didn't because someone stole. It's quite simple.

Now stop selling 500 dollars on each Saints Row game and I might actually buy from you.

jackpipsam:
Last time I checked their games all used Steamworks.
Which is DRM.

So of course they're not looking at making their own service, when they're happy using Valve's.

But, of course, that's different. Why? Because ponies.

lylemcd:
What about the money going into developing the game? Time, energy, paychecks for programmers and designers, tech...

You're pretending that the game developer starts at zero and any sales they make is total profit which is totally and utterly wrong.

And any games pirated IS lost money.

If selling 10 copies got them $100 and selling 5 (because 5 stole it) is only $50 that is $50 that they SHOULD have earned and didn't because someone stole. It's quite simple.

Wages are included. At least they would be if you use real world examples. If you put 10 Million capital into a game, i.e. 10 million it takes to make the game, the wages for the people working on it are included in that. You dont pay 10 million for the game to suddenly pop into existence, but rather it costs you 10 million to pay your employees who work on that game. As such the 10 million is the initial capital spent, hence you have to make 10 million back to break even on the initial expense. I simplified it by using smaller amounts. Hence the 100 and 10 figures.

Also no, pirated games is NOT lost money. Simple logic experiment. Lets assume there are 1 million video game players, therefore the potential consumer base is equally 1 million. As such you can make a game with the goal of selling 1 million copies, ergo sell your game to everyone. Regardless of any factor, you will not sell 1 million copies to those 1 million potential customers. Because not everyone will want your game, therefore making 1 million copies, and only 200.000 of those sell, you are left with 800.000 unsold copies. Following me so far? That is the Atari Principle of 83, they made so much games, in fact more than there were consoles because they thought they could sell more consoles since more games exist that people would buy, they didnt. This is before the Internet was a big thing and before video game piracy was as rampant as it became in the last 15 years.

Now back to the original example, if you have 10 copies that you need to sell, 5 are sold, the other 5 copies are still in circulation and can still be sold, therefore if 100 people play your game, while only 10 copies were made, it is irrelevant as long as you sold those 10 copies. You do not magically lose money because someone pirates your game. You lose money if you are unable to sell your game, piracy is not the cause people might not buy your game, as with the above example. You can not make a game based on the assumption that every possible customer buys it, because they wont, regardless of factors like piracy.

The solution is simple, only spend what you can reasonably make back. If you have a core audience that will buy your game, plan accordingly. If 200.000 People are highly likely to like and buy your product, only spend as much money that you can make at least a large portion of it back. Simple math, 200.000 copies a 50 bucks is 10 million. If you spend 10 million only, with a near-assured customer base of 200.000 customers, you earn back your expenses, you do not make a profit, but you also make no deficit. Any copy sold beyond the 200.000 mark is pure profit. If 400.000 copies sell, at the 50 dollar pricetag, you make 10 million in pure profit, if those 400.000 sell at 25 bucks each, you still break even.

Piracy is not the problem. Failure to plan ahead is.

Me derping. Seriously. Pretend that the delete function exists please.

Infernal Lawyer:

To be fair, they're not stopping people from buying their game outside of Steam. Does The Witcher get shit for being on Steam, despite being made by CD Projekt, who own DRM-less free GOG.com of all things? Because if it does, I must have missed it.

Well, that makes sense. The Witcher is available on GoG.com, as is the sequel. If Saints Row is also available on GOG, you've got an argument.

*Checks GOG.com*

Not there.

Well, at least you can buy a physical copy and play it without DRM, provided it doesn't use Steamworks....

*checks online*

Apparently, it does.

So! To recap:

CD Projekt releasing a Steam version alongside a DRM-free version doesn't get the same kind of crap as a DRM-only game gets for being DRM-only. Where's the surprising part?

Zachary Amaranth:

Infernal Lawyer:

Brain fart

Snip

I'm going to up and say that I was focusing on an entirely different game for a lot of posts on this thread, and thought we were talking about that for some reason. Completely forgot about Deep Silver.

Let's forget about this little incident please XD

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