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Amnesia Postmortem - Piracy? "Screw It"

The Frictional Games Blog has a postmortem on Amnesia: Dark Descent, the horror game that was first released a little over two years ago (thanks Joao). They explain why they can only estimate how many copies they've sold at around a million, and how they are still managing to sell about 10,000 copies per month. They estimate the game cost $360K to make, and has since earned ten times that amount, prompting them to offer this perspective on piracy: "It has been over a year since we even thought about piracy. With sales as good as above we cannot really see this as an issue worth more than two lines in this post, so screw it."

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28. Re: Amnesia Postmortem - Piracy? Sep 14, 2012, 06:58 Prez
 
Not to mention that they only could produce such a game for $360K because other pioneers introduced, developed and established the technology in far more expensive products, who logically can't really afford to ignore piracy on the same level.

That's a fair point, but the I'm thinking they could have used the Unreal SDK like "The Ball" and "Sanctum" (both great indie games imho) or the seminal Source Engine and have made the game every bit as good while not costing an arm and a leg.
 
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Goodbye my Monte boy. May you rest in the peace you never knew in life.
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27. Re: Amnesia Postmortem - Piracy? Sep 14, 2012, 06:41 ibm
 
I have a similar experience with Sleeping Dogs, bought on Steam and it freezes whilst loading the first brand logo page, downloaded the hacked exe and now it freezes when loading the first level, oh well, at least I get to see the menu screen now.  
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26. Re: Amnesia Postmortem - Piracy? Sep 14, 2012, 06:10 Golwar
 
Good for Frictional Games, but I remember how they went almost bankrupt in production several times and didn't really know what kind of game they wanted to develop exactly till the very end.

So I call this a lucky shot and surely not an example for the complete industry.
Not to mention that they only could produce such a game for $360K because other pioneers introduced, developed and established the technology in far more expensive products, who logically can't really afford to ignore piracy on the same level.
 
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25. Re: Amnesia Postmortem - Piracy? Sep 14, 2012, 05:28 Bhruic
 
eRe4s3r wrote on Sep 14, 2012, 02:44:
And this is why Kickstarting is the future, no cut to Publishers, 100% profit to the game developers.. I think Publishers are scared shitless right now

Again, this idea that they get 100% of the profit is silly. Unless they are going to put up the expense of individual storefronts for every game, someone is going to be selling the games for them. And that someone is going to be taking a cut. Yes, they get more of the profits than they would with the traditional publisher route, but it's definitely not 100%.
 
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24. Re: Amnesia Postmortem - Piracy? "Screw It" Sep 14, 2012, 05:11 pagb
 
In my case, I bought Amnesia and it didn't start at all. After wasting an hour trying to make it work, I downloaded a pirated copy and it worked like a charm.  
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23. Re: Amnesia Postmortem - Piracy? Sep 14, 2012, 04:52 jdreyer
 
^Drag0n^ wrote on Sep 13, 2012, 23:13:
"The truth about piracy sure does hurt, don't it?"

After hearing activision, ea, and boobiesoft whine so much, it's nice to occasionally hear the truth: piracy is pretty much irrelevant.

I think this is not the right way to think about it. Piracy hurts for sure, it's just that these guys had so many legit sales that they still made plenty of money and were spared the burden of thinking about it.

The truth is that we're seeing publishers taking actions that are drastically changing the face of PC gaming in response to piracy. If piracy were truly irrelevant, they wouldn't bother with these radical changes. Perhaps the biggest change is the move away from local client hosted games to server hosted games. The effects are marked:

* BF2 ran locally and allowed the game to be fully modded. BF 3 has no SP vs. bots, only the campaign. And it's basically unmoddable. Other new shooters are online only: Tribes and Planetside 2.

* Back in the day RPGs were SP affairs you played on your own machine, offline, by yourself. Today, with a few exceptions, all RPGs are online server based.

* RTS genre used to have an SP campaign with online mode which could also be played vs. AI. Today you have RTS moving to online Free to Play (C&C, DOTA, etc.) so everything is online controlled at the server.

I really dislike this move to always online/free to play/server hosted crap. It puts control in the hands of the publishers instead of the gamers. It's essentially the consolification of PC gaming, as each game becomes an unmoddable walled garden.
 
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22. Re: Amnesia Postmortem - Piracy? Sep 14, 2012, 04:00 mag
 
eRe4s3r wrote on Sep 14, 2012, 02:44:
And this is why Kickstarting is the future, no cut to Publishers, 100% profit to the game developers.. I think Publishers are scared shitless right now

There's room for both. You won't get Skyrim or GTA or Dark Souls from a Kickstarter. Content is expensive.
 
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21. Re: Amnesia Postmortem - Piracy? Sep 14, 2012, 02:44 eRe4s3r
 
And this is why Kickstarting is the future, no cut to Publishers, 100% profit to the game developers.. I think Publishers are scared shitless right now  
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20. Re: Amnesia Postmortem - Piracy? Sep 14, 2012, 02:14 Draugr
 
Guys, you don't get it do you?
THINK OF ALL THE EXTRA COPIES THEY COULD HAVE SOLD IF THEY HAD SOMETHING LIKE UBISOFTS DRM SCHEME!!~!


 
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19. Re: Amnesia Postmortem - Piracy? Sep 14, 2012, 01:20 McJammiepants
 
SlimRam wrote on Sep 14, 2012, 01:11:
Damn, the way everyone jizzes over this game apparently it's awesome? The minute I read that there were no weapons I thought, "Well dammit, if I can't blow the torso out from under some ugly, attacking monsters face with a double-barrel shotgun...what's the point?" .....must look into this further, hmmmmmm

The point is to have your helpless balls scared into your throat.
 
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18. Re: Amnesia Postmortem - Piracy? "Screw It" Sep 14, 2012, 01:11 SlimRam
 
Damn, the way everyone jizzes over this game apparently it's awesome? The minute I read that there were no weapons I thought, "Well dammit, if I can't blow the torso out from under some ugly, attacking monsters face with a double-barrel shotgun...what's the point?" .....must look into this further, hmmmmmm  
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"Angels with silver wings, shouldn't know suffering, I wish I could take the pain for you

If God has a master plan, that only He understands, I hope it's your eyes He's seeing through"

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17. Re: Amnesia Postmortem - Piracy? Sep 13, 2012, 23:27 Bhruic
 
Prez wrote on Sep 13, 2012, 23:14:
It's a million units sold according to the entry, not a million dollars. Considering that the lowest the game ever sold for (outside of indie bundles, which they are apparently not counting in their figuring) was $5, that would indicate a minimum baseline of $5 million, which makes the (quoted from the blog entry) "10 times as much money as the $360k it cost to make" confusing, even using their accounting for the number sold in the ultra cheap indie bundles. Of course, many of us bought it at $10 or $20...

You're overlooking the money that goes to the publisher/distributors. Assuming they take around 30%, and assuming they averaged $5 per copy, then net profit of around $3.6 million sounds about right.
 
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16. Re: Amnesia Postmortem - Piracy? Sep 13, 2012, 23:14 Prez
 
Jerykk wrote on Sep 13, 2012, 22:47:
Only $1 million? Disappointing. If A Machine For Pigs doesn't sell at least $5 million, it's not worth continuing the franchise.

It's a million units sold according to the entry, not a million dollars. Considering that the lowest the game ever sold for (outside of indie bundles, which they are apparently not counting in their figuring) was $5, that would indicate a minimum baseline of $5 million, which makes the (quoted from the blog entry) "10 times as much money as the $360k it cost to make" confusing, even using their accounting for the number sold in the ultra cheap indie bundles. Of course, many of us bought it at $10 or $20...

This comment was edited on Sep 13, 2012, 23:19.
 
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15. Re: Amnesia Postmortem - Piracy? "Screw It" Sep 13, 2012, 23:13 ^Drag0n^
 
"The truth about piracy sure does hurt, don't it?"

After hearing activision, ea, and boobiesoft whine so much, it's nice to occasionally hear the truth: piracy is pretty much irrelevant.
 
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14. Re: Amnesia Postmortem - Piracy? Sep 13, 2012, 22:47 Jerykk
 
Only $1 million? Disappointing. If A Machine For Pigs doesn't sell at least $5 million, it's not worth continuing the franchise.  
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13. Re: Amnesia Postmortem - Piracy? Sep 13, 2012, 22:44 Lorcin
 
Well according to steam I own it. I don't remember buying it, and have never played it but hey apparently I bought it too!

(damn those indie bundles - I don't do horror anymore).
 
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12. Re: Amnesia Postmortem - Piracy? Sep 13, 2012, 22:27 Prez
 
One place where I HAVE seen DRM work well is in pre-release protection from steam. Mostly because they don't even download the final .exe file to computers (or even have it on retail disks) until after the unlock date. And while thats a slight inconvenience, something like that I'm willing to put up with if it means they won't do some crazy thing like always online DRM.

Truth. The reality is that contrary to conventional wisdom, most PC gamers are not anti-DRM. They are against excessive and anti-consumer DRM. In my opinion, Steam has been most effective in this regard simply because it makes the paid-for versions of the games it sells more desirable to most consumers than the warez versions through the multiple value-adding features it employs. Putting good games (and if you are a fan of the genre Amnesia is better than just "good") on a good service with lots of features that many people want is the most effective anti-piracy measure around in my view.
 
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Goodbye my Monte boy. May you rest in the peace you never knew in life.
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11. Re: Amnesia Postmortem - Piracy? "Screw It" Sep 13, 2012, 22:20 Dev
 
A very healthy attitude towards piracy and one I'd like to see more often. IMO, DRM mostly affects legitimate customers, and only stops the most casual of piracy.

One place where I HAVE seen DRM work well is in pre-release protection from steam. Mostly because they don't even download the final .exe file to computers (or even have it on retail disks) until after the unlock date. And while thats a slight inconvenience, something like that I'm willing to put up with if it means they won't do some crazy thing like always online DRM.
 
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10. Re: More Big Picture Details Sep 13, 2012, 22:03 swedishfriend
 
I know, right. 100,000 is an amazing amount of copies to sell and they managed over a million with virtually no advertising budget. Truly astounding!  
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9. Re: Amnesia Postmortem - Piracy? Sep 13, 2012, 21:54 Cram
 
Darks wrote on Sep 13, 2012, 21:38:
Its been said thousands of times, you make a great game and it will sell. make a shitty game and it will be pirated.

Indeed it is a great game, but it helps when your game only costs customers $20 and has often been found on sale for $4.99-$9.99 for well over a year.
 
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48 Replies. 3 pages. Viewing page 2.
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