DRM is a hot topic at the moment, particularly with the recent furore over SimCity's 'always-connected' debacle. Super Meat Boy developer Tommy Refenes has chimed in by calling out the practice as more dangerous for companies than piracy.
"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," Refenes wrote
. "Team Meat shows no loss in our year end totals due to piracy and neither should any other developer."
He pointed to the fact that sales of Super Meat Boy
have nearly hit 2 million units, with pirated copies estimated to be around 200,000 - "a 10% piracy to sales ration [that] does not seem unreasonable."
"The reality of our current software age is the internet is more efficient at breaking things than companies are at creating them," Refenes added. "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?
"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."
The blog closes on the idea that a game's success comes from establishing a good relationship with the consumer, and offering a product that is good enough to pay for. "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 canít 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."