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Zeno Clash Devs on Piracy, Demo Plans

Ars Technica has an interesting article on the reaction of developer ACE Team to finding their recently released combat game Zeno Clash available for illegal download. Carlos Bordeu of the Chilean developer commented on BitTorrent Sites explaining the impact of piracy on an independent developer, saying in some cases they were surprised to find a positive reaction: "We've received several mails and posts in our own forums of people who pirated the game that decided to buy it because of the message. I don't know if it is a significant percent, or whether this is good strategy as a whole... but it has sparked some very positive reactions in the community." Here is the statement they made on the torrent sites, indicating a demo is in the works:

Iím 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 donít 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 itís release.

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

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102. Re: Zeno Clash v. Piracy May 4, 2009, 14:04 Tumbler
Just tie everything to online accounts and leave the really hardcore pirates to play on buggy emulated servers.

This has pros and cons. As a consumer I think it should remain anonomous like we saw in the past. You enter a CD key and if it's valid that is the end of it. Connecting those CD keys to an account with personal info and a user name makes it harder to resell games and such but that's a compromise I think is fair in the end... Relic has been fair with reassigning those keys in the past, I bought a used copy of CoH, Opposing Fronts, and when I went to link it to my account for online play it informed me that it would be unregistering it from another and that would only be possible for a limited number of times...

Seems reasonable all things considered. The software works out of the box but online content, MP games, etc, is more exclusive content for software owners. (IE Eventually reselling the game will not enable access to the online content for the new user). The devs/pubs that insist on authenticating each install and guarding their program from all comers, legit and not, are giving this industry a black eye.

Verno you've mentioned on several occasions how annoyed you get that Pirates can play new releases that they got for free before you can play them as a legit paying customer, or that they are playing the same game for free that you had to pay for... The reality I see is that in many cases the Pirates are using a superior product. It's available sooner, it loads with less trouble, and it costs nothing... The publisher by comparison makes you wait till some arbitrary date he decides, then forces you to register and live with all kinds of crazy hoops to jump through, charges a premium price, and offers no return policy. And all that comes with access to online content that the pirate would not have...which in the end feels like a joke most of the time in my opinion.

The question I keep asking myself is, "Why am I a paying customer?" Most of the games I enjoy are all online games so Piracy doesn't really offer much that I want but the software is available and playing "by the rules" doesn't seem to offer me much but an easy way to lose money...

I spend a lot more money on gamefly and steam sales now. PC software in general has gotten so bad that I avoid purchasing almost ANYTHING. New OS's, new versions of office, new versions of almost anything is bound to have all kinds of hooks in it that make it a ripoff for me.

I still use a copy of Office 2000 because I can install it across my home computer and laptop without a problem. I stayed with XP much longer than necessary because I could use my copy on my laptop and home computer. (although now I've ended up with several licenses from broken laptops, etc and have enough codes to satisfy...) Software companies across the board have taken the gloves off when it comes to consumers. I recall buying a DVD backup program from Fry's several years ago, it required activations and after formatting my HDD enough times those activations ran out and the response I got was, "You shouldn't be installing this program on other peoples computers." I think I paid $30 or something, and I ended up finding free tools that do the same thing, but WTF?! I bought your product legally and that is my reward?! And this isn't uncommon. Software companies across the board are basically trying to steal money from consumers in my opinion. And maybe this is what they have to do to survive. Software isn't tremendously different than it was 10 years ago so with all those older versions available convincing people to buy the new 2009 version has got to be getting impossibly hard... It's all fucked up. And my wallet is the drug of choice to fix their problems it seems. Who cares what the software does right or wrong, just get the money...

This comment was edited on May 4, 2009, 14:05. down in flames after discounting their currency!
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