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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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90. Re: Zeno Clash v. Piracy May 2, 2009, 08:11 StingingVelvet
 
The problem here is that your sense of morality is comprised of absolutes. You are either a noble and honorable consumer who buys everything you have or you are a scum-sucking thief who steals everything and then laughs about it. There's no middle ground. If a pirate buys a game, obviously it's only to ease their conscience and not to reward a developer for making a good game.

The best analogy I can think of is the D&D alignment system. Lawful Good, Chaotic Good, Lawful Neutral, Chaotic Evil, etc. Based on your arguments, it seems like you only believe in Lawful Good and Chaotic Evil.

And you have +20 on your rationalization ability, but you're the only one it's effective on.

The simple fact of the matter is that "I'm going to take your product, use it as much as I want, then decide whether to pay you for it" is complete B.S.. You have done a great job making it sound completely cool and OK and not at all stealing from struggling developers, but that's exactly what it is.

I'm not saying it doesn't benefit you, or for that matter the consumer, but that's not the point. If I go to a restaurant I have never been to before, you bet your ass I would like to eat the meal, then decide if it was good enough to purchase. I can't do that though, because I ate the meal either way and need to pay for the privledge. If you play a game and never pay anything for it, you stole the game... the problem with your "moral middle-ground" is that you miss the obvious moral absolute sitting right in front of you.

If you really want to never pay for anything you don't know for certain you enjoy before hand, only buy games with demos. No demo? No sale. And tell the publisher why. Or just buy games praised by trusted persons, which is what I do, and I am rarely dissapointed (f'ing Saint's Row 2!).

All you're doing now is adding to the piracy statistics, adding seeds to pirated games for those who will NOT buy them, no matter what, and most importantly, to me anyway, contributing to the low opinion of PC game sales.
 
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