I read today that it’s estimated 90% of people playing the full PC version of World Of Goo have a pirated copy (note: the authors 2Dboy chose not to include any copy protection). Edit: For those being pedantic about this figure, here’s how it was estimated; but arguing the exact number is chronically missing the point.
You see, this is why PC gamers can’t have nice things anymore. It’s why desperate publishers reach for horrible, broken DRM measures to try to stamp out piracy, universally failing of course and often upsetting the small minority of paying customers they have left into the bargain. This is why games companies like closed, proprietary boxes which are harder to crack (without resorting to often detectable hardware modification). It’s sad, because it’s these jerks which are increasingly making the PC primarily ‘the WOW platform’.
People who rip off the good work of hard-working small developers like this are, without exception, reprehensible, despicable little sods. No excuses - don’t give me that crap that you pirated it because you didn’t know if you’d like it; play the damn demo instead. And if you couldn’t afford it - well, if you can’t afford something you don’t get to have it, you whining, self-righteous little crybaby.
Everyone who complains about copy protection on Steam, and DRM in general should stop and do something practical instead. Ask PC gamers you know or encounter about how many pirated games they have in their collection. Then, kick them in the nuts (because let’s face it, most of them are going to be male) precisely that number of times. Steel toe-caps are an optional but recommended accessory. Make a note to do this every week until they buy real copies.
I can understand (but not condone) poor students dabbling in pirated super-expensive pro software that they couldn’t possibly afford, in order to expand their education (luckily, most companies do educational or cut-down versions these says of course). But for frivalous entertainment, when the price isn’t high, and especially when this is a small company who happens to have come up with something great and needs a revenue stream to do more great things, it’s just unforgiveable.
But, no doubt the little buggers will continue to get away with it, and turn the PC into a place where only subscription-based products will turn a reasonable profit for their creators, and self-contained product won’t sell well enough whether they’re crippled with DRM or not. No doubt the pirates will be justifying their actions with stupid excuses while they ride the platform into the grave. Well done, gitbags.