Stardock CEO Wants To Maximize Sales, Not Stop Piracy
from the he-understands-it dept
We have often questioned the intentions of those who try to fight and stop piracy at all costs. We have even raised the question in the past, “Which is more important, stopping piracy or increasing sales?” We are not alone in asking this question either. Some within the entertainment industry are asking it as well.
TtfnJohn sent along the February edition of Stardock Magazine in which Stardock’s CEO Brad Wardell asks that very question of other game developers:
When Stardock was running Impulse, we got to hear a lot from companies regarding to their feelings towards software piracy. In many cases, it was clear that the motivation to stop piracy was less about maximizing sales and more about preventing people who didn’t pay for the game from playing it. I felt this was misguided.
When I see our games pirated, it definitely annoys me. I put a lot of myself into our software and seeing someone “stealing” it is upsetting. But at the same time, the response to piracy should be, to paraphrase The Godfather, “Just business”. Simply put, the goal should be to maximize sales, not worry about people who wouldn’t buy your game in the first place. I’ve said this in the past but until we were digitally distributing third party games, I didn’t realize how prevalent the “stop those pirates” philosophy was.
Brad certainly understands what the answer to that question is. He continues by explaining that there are two types of pirates, those that just want free stuff no matter what and underserved customers. Just as we have explained numerous times, it is pointless and counter productive to go after the former type of pirate. It is far more rewarding to actually serve those customers that are more than willing to give you money.
Just as we have seen Valve grow in markets around the world by serving those underserved customers, other game developers, as well as other content creators, can make more money and grow in their respective industries by doing the same. So stop wasting time and money fighting a losing battle. Take that time, effort and money and put it where it really matters, providing the best possible service for your customers as possible.