Team Meat’s Tommy Refenes on the problems with DRM


Tommy Refenes (Team Meat Developer) has published a new post on his blog VA==65731089732bGI2XZMh, all about the problems with DRM, the impact is having on the industry and how it’s more likely to make people want to pirate titles.

Refenes wrote in his post;

“I think I can safely say that Super Meat Boy has been pirated at least 200,000 times. We are closing in on 2 million sales and assuming a 10% piracy to sales ratio does not seem unreasonable.

“As a forward thinking developer who exists in the present, I realize and accept that a pirated copy of a digital game does not equate to money being taken out of my pocket. Team Meat shows no loss in our year end totals due to piracy and neither should any other developer.”

Refenes says that piracy will always exist and that DRM is potentially flawed not making for a smart business and economical plan.

“The reality of our current software age is the internet is more efficient at breaking things than companies are at creating them” he continued. “A company will spend massive amounts of money on DRM and the internet will break it in a matter of days in most cases. When the DRM is broken is it worth the money spent to implement it?”

“Did the week of unbroken DRM for your game gain you any sales from potential pirates due to the inability to pirate at launch? Again, there is no way of telling and as such cannot be used as an accurate justification for spending money.”

Refenes added that DRM does nothing for a game’s favour among potential buyers and that players are less-likely to pirate of a game is easy to run and isn’t marred by always-online DRM blockers.

“Unfortunately there is nothing anyone can do to actively stop their game from being pirated,” he explained. “I do believe people are less likely to pirate your software if the software is easy to buy, easy to run, and does what is advertised.”

“You can’t force a person to buy your software no more than you can prevent a person from stealing it. People have to WANT to buy your software, people have to WANT to support you.”

The blog post follows the massive criticism that’s been hurled at EA and Maxis following the release of the most recent Sim City which uses DRM for anti-piracy measures.

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Sometimes writer, wannabe animator and podcast creator that talks far too much. Coleman is a collection of atoms that formed in Gosport and relocated to London.