Tommy Refenes, developer of Super Meat Boy shares his opinion about DRM’s impact, an effective measure against piracy on his blog.

“I think I can safely say that Super Meat Boy has been pirated at least 200,000 times. We are closing in on 2 million sales and assuming a 10% piracy to sales ratio does not seem unreasonable,” Refenes wrote on his blog.

“As a forward thinking developer who exists in the present, I realize and accept that a pirated copy of a digital game does not equate to money being taken out of my pocket. Team Meat shows no loss in our year end totals due to piracy and neither should any other developer.”

Super Meat Boy

He adds, “With the SimCity fiasco and several companies trying to find new ways to combat piracy and stating piracy has negatively affected their bottom line I wonder if they’ve taken the time to accurately try to determine what their losses are due to piracy.”

“Companies try to combat piracy of their software with DRM but if loss due to pirated software is not calculable to an accurate amount does the implementation of DRM provide a return on investment? It is impossible to say yes to this statement.”

The reality of our current software age is the internet is more efficient at breaking things than companies are at creating them. A company will spend massive amounts of money on DRM and the internet will break it in a matter of days in most cases. When the DRM is broken is it worth the money spent to implement it?

Simcity (2)

Did the week of unbroken DRM for your game gain you any sales from potential pirates due to the inability to pirate at launch? Again, there is no way of telling and as such cannot be used as an accurate justification for spending money,” he added.

Refenes feels that DRM does nothing for a game’s favour among potential buyers and that players are less-likely to pirate a game that is easy to run and the key to Lessen piracy lies within the game makers themselves.

He went on to state, “Unfortunately there is nothing anyone can do to actively stop their game from being pirated. I do believe people are less likely to pirate your software if the software is easy to buy, easy to run, and does what is advertised.

You can’t force a person to buy your software no more than you can prevent a person from stealing it. People have to WANT to buy your software, people have to WANT to support you.”

“Respect your customers and they may in turn respect your efforts enough to purchase your game instead of pirating it,” he concluded.

What’s your take on DRM?

 

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