Zeno Clash and Piracy

#1 Edited by MattyFTM (14327 posts) -

ACE Team, the indie developers of Zeno Clash have taken a rather unusual stance against piracy. Rather than attempting to put a stop to it, the developers have been responding to the Comments section of Zeno Clash torrents, pleading with downloaders to buy the game if they enjoy it.

Carlos Bordeu
said:

I’m one of the developers of Zeno Clash. I would appreciate you read this if you are about to download this file.

Zeno Clash is an independently funded game by a very small and sacrificed group of people. The only way in which we can continue making games like this (or a sequel) is to have good sales.

I am aware that at this moment there is still no demo of the game, but we are working on one which will be available soon.

We cannot do anything to stop piracy of the game (and honestly don’t intend to do so) but if you are downloading because you wish to try before you buy, I would ask that you purchase the game (and support the independent game development scene) if you enjoy it. We plan on updating Zeno Clash with DLC and continuing support for the game long after it’s release.

Thanks for taking the time to read this… hopefully it will make a difference.

Carlos Bordeu
ACE Team

Personally, I'm sceptical of this working. Most people who actually care about the developers wouldn't even consider downloading it illegally in the first place. There is a chance that some people weren't prepared to pay for such an unusual game without playing it first. This might work on them, but I'm still sceptical. And now that a demo is out, those people aren't going to need to resort to file sharing to try the game out.

So what do you guys think of this attempt? Will it work?

Also, unrelated to piracy he says "We plan on updating Zeno Clash with DLC and continuing support for the game long after it’s release." which is definitely awesome news.

EDIT: I found this article which goes into more detail. They talked to Calos Bordeu of ACE Team and he said "Our ‘anti-piracy’ technique is basically the best approach we thought was possible. I think appealing to the conscience of people who download the game is the best we can do. Zeno Clash is not an expensive game. We don’t believe in restrictive DRM. We honestly think that ‘converting’ the people who download the game into buyers is a much better strategy than trying to fight them. We are also improving the original game, so it will include features and content that people who download the game will probably miss."

They also have quotes from the comments section from downloaders, which seems to have an extremely positive response, with plenty of people saying they will buy the game if they like it. Who knows if they will actually buy the game, but I'd like to think they will:

“It was a touching comment (seriously) I will dl it and see if I like it and then will see if I buy it or not.”

“I love how the developers are commenting in here. Thanks a lot for doing it, instead of fighting the piracy.”

“I have not bought a game in 5 years, but the attitude of the developers has made me want to purchase their game. Fuck, if I like this game, I’m gonna buy it!”

“Developers like this deserve the money. They didn’t come on here with a preconceived notion that we are all thieves who don’t buy our software. I like that, because I and most of the people who use this actually do buy the software and other goods that we enjoy.”

Moderator
#2 Posted by atejas (3057 posts) -

Emotional blackmail ftw.

#3 Posted by Drebin_893 (2891 posts) -

I don't know if it will work but I want to give that guy a hug.

#4 Posted by Budster (134 posts) -

Well they already have a demo out so I guess people can try and see it. I already tried it and once i have some money I'm getting my ZENO clash on, also privacy just needs to go away, thanks to that we now have shitty DRM's that plague PC gaming grrrr. thank god for steam

#5 Posted by guiseppe (2837 posts) -

This has been used before and works on some people, but not in the bigger picture. Still, it's good that they realize that they can't stop piracy and therefore won't spend time or money in trying to do so.

#6 Posted by animateria (3252 posts) -

Nah.

Pirates are pirates.

Asses are asses.

#7 Posted by PureRok (4235 posts) -

I tried the demo, didn't like it. I'm glad that a developer (indie or not) finally realizes that you can't stop digital piracy no matter how hard you try.

#8 Posted by Dr_Feelgood38 (1550 posts) -

Sometimes it works:

"i highly encourage anyone who has downloaded this game to buy it as well.

if we want more good indie games with minimal to no DRM software, then we must support the devs that output them.

the game is only 20 dollars on steam, i would strongly suggest everyone buy it!
."
Sometimes it doesn't:
"lol that wasn't a real guy on the dev team...He just copy and pasted that shit and filled in his own fucken name. Pfft. Somehow I think enough people will buy it seeing it got a number 2 rating on IGN"
In the end, this won't work. It will get a few guilty people to get the game eventually, but in the long run pirates will keep on pirating.

#9 Posted by MattyFTM (14327 posts) -
Dr_Feelgood38 said:
" Sometimes it doesn't:
"lol that wasn't a real guy on the dev team...He just copy and pasted that shit and filled in his own fucken name. Pfft. Somehow I think enough people will buy it seeing it got a number 2 rating on IGN""
Some people are idiots and will try to derail any attempt to stop piracy. It got an 8.4 on IGN, not a 2. That guy is an idiot.
Moderator
#10 Edited by Scooper (7882 posts) -

When I'm not completely sold on a game but I still would like to play it I just don't play it. People shouldn't give in to the urge of torrenting. The demo's out but the problem with it is it's just a too big file to download just for a demo. I don't want to waste my bandwidth on it

#11 Posted by Diamond (8634 posts) -

It's smart on their part because they realize there's no point in them getting upset.  They don't have the money or power to curb the piracy, and getting angry and ranting only seems to piss off pirates more.

#12 Posted by jmrwacko (2444 posts) -

The best way to fight piracy would be to release killer DLC. Cracked games usually can't be patched, and since DLC will be released solely through steam, having great downloadable content will give most pirates incentive to buy a legit copy. Having a vibrant mod community helps as well.

#13 Edited by Al3xand3r (7574 posts) -

Cracked games can and do get patches, and DLC is also released. If a solution was so simple, people would certainly be using it. As for vibrant mod communities, not every game can achieve that. Usually one tramples over all the rest. Half-Life a decade ago, Half-Life 2 nowadays (though it's mostly dying also it seems). But Zeno Clash is a single player title so even mods could probably be run just fine.

And yes, this won't "work" but hey, if one guy is convinced, that's a win. What do you expect? To see 0 downloads because of a message? Lol.

Until all games can somehow be uncrackable, pirates will be pirates. What devs should do is cater and please legitimate customers, not try to stop piracy in ways that annoy the customers more than they help against piracy. That is all they can do, and frankly, it seems sufficient enough. Blockbuster games still get millions of sales so the market's clearly there despite piracy.

#14 Posted by Jayge_ (10222 posts) -

I'm actually going to buy this game because of that, regardless of whether or not it runs on my current computer.

#15 Posted by insanejedi (655 posts) -
MattyFTM said:

“It was a touching comment (seriously) I will dl it and see if I like it and then will see if I buy it or not.”

“I love how the developers are commenting in here. Thanks a lot for doing it, instead of fighting the piracy.”

“I have not bought a game in 5 years, but the attitude of the developers has made me want to purchase their game. Fuck, if I like this game, I’m gonna buy it!”

“Developers like this deserve the money. They didn’t come on here with a preconceived notion that we are all thieves who don’t buy our software. I like that, because I and most of the people who use this actually do buy the software and other goods that we enjoy.”

"
I would put those in the comments section as a developer. Like deviously put the "official" developer comment in the comments section and then get like 900 comments on the torrent saying "fuck this, I'm not downloading this. I'm going to buy it!"

Or EVEN BETTER

I'll post on the torrent comments saying that this torrent contains spyware, viruses and all that other fun stuff, destroying the reputation of the torrent and no one ends up downloading it. :D
#16 Posted by Al3xand3r (7574 posts) -

Yeah that will totally work, people don't have virus scanners.

#17 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11413 posts) -

This idea is nice and idealistic, but the cynic in me says that the Human Race lacks conscience and even those who don't regularly pirate will take advantage of this easy steal. But hey, maybe I'm wrong and this game will sell a bajillion copies. Who Knows?

#18 Posted by Dr_Feelgood38 (1550 posts) -
insanejedi said:
"MattyFTM said:

“It was a touching comment (seriously) I will dl it and see if I like it and then will see if I buy it or not.”

“I love how the developers are commenting in here. Thanks a lot for doing it, instead of fighting the piracy.”

“I have not bought a game in 5 years, but the attitude of the developers has made me want to purchase their game. Fuck, if I like this game, I’m gonna buy it!”

“Developers like this deserve the money. They didn’t come on here with a preconceived notion that we are all thieves who don’t buy our software. I like that, because I and most of the people who use this actually do buy the software and other goods that we enjoy.”

"
I would put those in the comments section as a developer. Like deviously put the "official" developer comment in the comments section and then get like 900 comments on the torrent saying "fuck this, I'm not downloading this. I'm going to buy it!"Or EVEN BETTERI'll post on the torrent comments saying that this torrent contains spyware, viruses and all that other fun stuff, destroying the reputation of the torrent and no one ends up downloading it. :D"
I used to pirate everything. That doesn't stop anyone from doing anything.
#19 Posted by Al3xand3r (7574 posts) -
ArbitraryWater said:
"This idea is nice and idealistic, but the cynic in me says that the Human Race lacks conscience and even those who don't regularly pirate will take advantage of this easy steal. But hey, maybe I'm wrong and this game will sell a bajillion copies. Who Knows?"
It wouldn't sell bajillion copies even without piracy.
#20 Posted by MattyFTM (14327 posts) -
Al3xand3r said:
"ArbitraryWater said:
"This idea is nice and idealistic, but the cynic in me says that the Human Race lacks conscience and even those who don't regularly pirate will take advantage of this easy steal. But hey, maybe I'm wrong and this game will sell a bajillion copies. Who Knows?"
It wouldn't sell bajillion copies even without piracy."
How much exactly is a bajillion?
Moderator
#21 Edited by Al3xand3r (7574 posts) -

Less than a gazillion? You really had to ask that?

#22 Posted by Hamz (6846 posts) -

I've said it before and will continue to do so. The way to stop piracy is not to combat the pirates in some virtual battle where the only solution seems to be ever more restrictive and stupid methods of DRM, but rather conversion. Understand why people pirate and then see how you can change their mind and actually get them to pay for games instead. Trying to convert people from piracy to a legitimate and legal purchase of a game benefits a lot more people than it does to slap some SecuRom DRM solution to a game and treat everyone as a potential pirate.

If only a lot more developers and publishers would take a less aggressive approach to piracy we probably wouldn't be in this cold war style situation.

#23 Edited by Al3xand3r (7574 posts) -

People pirate because they want free shit Hamz, how do you combat that? Offering your game for free by default? I mean, I guess that's what micro transaction based games do, but it's not like you can apply that on every type of game, and if you do, you'll probably piss off existing buyers. It won''t work for single player games for example. And if it does, well, that's a form of DRM too really, if you have to be connected online, logged on your account, purchasing the levels and weapons or whatever individually... Still, I'll stop here cos I don't think you wanna turn this thread into the other mess that was that "I pirate games, so what" thread, which is more fitting for a general discussion like this anyway. I'll say I agree in that they should mostly try to cater to the legitimate customers since pirates crack any form of protection anyway, but not because I think that will convert the pirates to customers, or anything, it's usually an excuse of someone to say they steal due to DRM, especially since only a couple of DRM I know are so annoying as to really piss someone off, and both seem to be dying. Starforce and SecuRom that is. Well, SecuRom lives on but at least not their "advanced" protection features but rather just the cd checks and what not. I'm fine with that. Yet I'll still crack the legit copy and I find it annoying when that's done in multi player games where I can't just do that as I'll not be able to play them on legit servers until I remove the crack, so it makes it a disc swapping chore but that's a rant for another day... Lol. So, yeah, pirates will be pirates, cater to your customers.

#24 Posted by Meowayne (6084 posts) -

Of course this will work. Or in other words: It will work many times better than restrictive, "anti piracy" measures. Which are known to work, er, not at all. Never. Screwing over the customer is the worst way to approach piracy, this is confirmed every two weeks, but still companies try.

#25 Posted by JJOR64 (18881 posts) -

Sound interesting but, this will not stop them from downloading it.

#26 Posted by Engine357 (33 posts) -

ACE Should just post their game on Pirating websites themselves, only when you start the game it comes up as Superman 64, and every time you miss a ring it unleashes a worm somewhere in your hardrive.

#27 Posted by LordAndrew (14417 posts) -

Yeah, that would be a great way to make sure no one supports them in the future.

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