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:
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.
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.
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.”