Goat Simulator dev - Stance on piracy
“I don’t know if you’ve seen but, over on The Pirate Bay, Minecraft is the most popular pirated game and Goat Simulator is number two.”
“Yeah, it’s really hilarious,” says Anton Westbergh, CEO of Coffee Stains Studios, and programmer of Goat Simulator.
It’s not the reaction I was expecting.
“I think it’s kind of an achievement,” he continues. “My first reaction was ‘Hooray! We’re top on Pirate Bay. From the launch up till last week we’ve been in the top. I don’t know how many copies that is but heck of a lot of copies definitely.”
Anton Westbergh wrote:We see it as showing how big the interest is in our game. I wouldn’t say we’re overly concerned with the piracy. We really hope that sooner or later the people who pirated the game will maybe buy it.
I don’t want to encourage people to pirate our game. You want to sell as many games as possible but we mainly see the pirates as people who wouldn’t have bought the game initially anyways.
It’s a lot from the viral success of the game and it’s one of these games which people just have to try. Probably a lot more people than are interested in Call of Duty because while it’s a very mainstream game it’s sort of a niche game that appeals to a core gamer. But Goat Simulator... my mum could download that.
I’d never thought of Goat Simulator as a universal experience but what Westbergh says made sense, Call of Duty has a barrier to entry that Goat Simulator doesn’t. To put it another way, we will all be equally unfamiliar with playing as a goat.
Besides, Coffee Stain hope to draw players in through updates.
What we try to do with our games is maintain them with lots of updates. We hope that if people really like our games they’re going to convert into paying customers. If you get it from The Pirate Bay you won’t have all the latest updates. I don’t know if you can use the workshop but there’s lots of things that you can only access if you have the real product.
We’re working on this big patch which will be released in May. We’re adding split screen co-op support and other cool stuff.
Even with all the piracy, Goat Simulator has turned things around for Coffee Stain, giving them the freedom to work on bigger projects. “Before Goat Simulator we were pressed, not super stressed but we knew we had little bit less than a year to finish our next project, whatever that would be. Then we started Goat Simulator. And, with the success of the game, it’s pretty safe to say we have a bit more than a year now.
It’s really nice.
Anton Westbergh's stance on piracy has blown me away, I wish more game developers were as humble as he is. Several games have been ruined with imposing DRM measures and it's good to see a dev taking a laid back approach for once. Goat Simulator is still really cheap and I'm certain many of those who downloaded his game from the pirate bay will be happy to buy it.
We are only temporary custodians of the particles which made us - Stephen Hawking
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