this week. Minecraft, if you’re unfamiliar, is the massively successful indie game that’s been taking the gaming world by storm for months now. As such, Notch has become a respected personality in the indie world.
According to Notch, piracy is not theft. But, even more than that, piracy should be viewed as a potentially positive thing. As Notch explains:
“Piracy is not theft…If you steal a car, the original is lost. If you copy a game, there are simply more of them in the world….There is no such thing as a ‘lost sale’…Is a bad review a lost sale? What about a missed ship date?”
While Notch may be spot on about the notion that piracy always retains the original version of the good, it’s the bit that states that piracy doesn’t necessarily translate to a lost sale that causes a problem. In the minds of developers and publishers, once the good is gone, it’s impossible to make money from that pirate. Notch, up next, offers a counter to that point.
“Treat game development as a service…Make a game last longer than a week. You can’t pirate an online account.”
Breaking it down: rather than just releasing a game into the wild and hoping for money to roll in, developers should constantly update their game with new content. Those that pirate the product won’t be privy to the additions and changes because, as Notch says, they can’t simply pirate an account.
By constantly offering new, amazing in-game content, developers encourage gamers to go legit and pick up a full copy with real money. Sure, it may be more work on behalf of the creators, but it does a lot to combat piracy, something that probably isn’t going away.