Ron Carmel of 2D Boy, the developers of last year’s indie puzzler World of Goo, thinks DRM isn’t just a bad idea for small-time independent developers, but for everyone else as well. His solution? Don’t bother with it at all.
Ron Carmel and 2D Boy know something about piracy. Their award-winning and critically lauded puzzle game, World of Goo, made headlines last year not just for being an outstanding game, but for having an outstanding piracy rate of 90 percent. So you’d think Carmel would be all about putting up rows of fences to keep the pirates at bay, but DRM, he believes, isn’t the right way to do it.
As Carmel sees it, with DRM, “anything that is of interest gets cracked, and the cracked version ends up having a better user experience than the legit version because you don’t have to input in some 32-character serial number.”
Though he wasn’t ready with a solution to the piracy problem, Carmel sounds like he has a very acute sense of how unavoidable it is. “[A game is] going to get cracked even with DRM, it’s going to be available very quickly, so we don’t see the point in having DRM,” he said. “Piracy rates have been released before, and there’s no difference between World of Goo and other games.”
Considering piracy’s inevitable, there’s no point to DRM other than to fill the wallets of the DRM provider, Carmel argued. “Don’t bother with DRM – it’s a waste of time,” he said. “You just end up giving the DRM provider money.”
Indeed, Carmel seems to be all about keeping money in developers’ pockets and not in anyone else’s. He urged indie developers to embrace publishing through digital distribution, and avoid wasting money trying to get games published and distributed through retail.
“Retail distribution – which is what publishers are good at – doesn’t generate many sales for indie games,” Carmel said. “Go with digital distribution – you won’t need a publisher for this. Self-fund your game – and when you get to retail, go for per-country flat-fee deals.”[Via GameSpot]