Despite Piracy Worries, Stardock's Demigod Did Quite Well On The Sales Front

from the not-so-bad... dept

While many people falsely claimed that the server troubles Stardock dealt with recently, due to unauthorized copies of its new game Demigod effectively pinging its servers, showed how Stardock's trusting (no DRM) model doesn't work, that was clearly incorrect. Even throughout the stories last week, the execs at Stardock didn't seem particularly upset or worried about the fact that so many unauthorized copies were out there -- but about getting the servers set up properly to handle the load. And, now, as reader Christopher Chapman points out, Demigod has debuted as the number 3 best selling PC game, suggesting (yet again) that you can get plenty of sales even when you don't treat your customers like criminals.


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    RD, Apr 28th, 2009 @ 11:23am

    But...

    But Mike, this cant work. You HAVE TO use DRM. You HAVE TO sue file sharers. You cant compete with free!!!! Pirates will ruin everything, no one will ever make any money!!

    At least thats what the various industries tell the media, who parrot it verbatim and accept all claims at face value. Your "proof" is obviously false, and can never happen with a REAL games publisher, or work on any larger scale.

    /sarcasm off

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 28th, 2009 @ 11:25am

    Well I know some of my friends pirate games just to try them out, and will buy them 99% of the time if they like it (or in the case of games like Spore, buy it but use the pirated version since it doesn't have the rootkits on it...)

     

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      ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Apr 28th, 2009 @ 11:51am

      Re:

      Well I know some of my friends pirate games just to try them out, and will buy them 99% of the time if they like it

      A large portion of pirates don't even play the game, listen to the music, etc. They're just counting coup. "I have 600 movies! How many do you have?"

      The odd thing is that plenty of them will buy the damn thing in order to be able to offer it up.

       

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        Alex, Apr 28th, 2009 @ 4:55pm

        Re: Re:

        I don't really know anyone like that. If anyone I know is pirating, including me, it's for my immediate use/enjoyment, and I will buy it when I have the means to do so. I also have a rule of not downloading movies, I guess this helps in that regard.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 28th, 2009 @ 2:24pm

      Re:

      that's exactly what i do if no demo is available. i still have a sealed box of fallout 3 on the shelf.

       

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    Mike Pool, Apr 28th, 2009 @ 11:51am

    Initial reaction

    Most people assume that every person who downloads an illegal copy of a game (or anything else) never buys the actual product afterward.

    I'm guessing a lot of people downloaded it to see if they liked it, because they were interested at first but not totally sold and then after trying it they either stopped playing or bought a copy.

    Of course, there are plenty of people who continue to play illegally, but they will always try to get around the security measures.

    My guess is that the ratio of people playing illegal copies on their servers has diminished quite a lot since the launch.

    Companies should make it as easy as possible to go from an illegal copy of a game to the paid copy (by offering an almost complete version of the game and showing a "Buy it" button for example).

     

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      R. Miles, Apr 28th, 2009 @ 12:10pm

      Re: Initial reaction

      Most people assume that every person who downloads an illegal copy of a game (or anything else) never buys the actual product afterward.
      I hate being classified into this group, but you're correct.

      Back in the day, I used cracked software to try it out as 30 days usually isn't enough time to familiarize one to all the features. Demo? Really? Maybe for a car, but not for software like Photoshop.

      If I like it, I buy it. If I don't, no harm done. I wouldn't have bought it anyway.

      This notion we have to buy to offer an opinion about the content is crap and I'd wish companies would stop doing it.

       

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    Matt, Apr 28th, 2009 @ 12:07pm

    game wasnt' worth the money

    I bought it to support stardock, but not due to the game being worth $40. Really, it is a $25 game or so...it just doesn't have enough yet and too many things are broken, it was off to a bad start.

    Does the game have potential though? Absolutely.

     

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      kirillian (profile), Apr 28th, 2009 @ 12:43pm

      Re: game wasnt' worth the money

      I'm not totally sure that the game was worth $40 either...I'd probably go with a price closer to $30, but it was pretty good...and it definitely has replay value...unlike a lot of games out there...I would like to see some more improvements...maybe something like an extra character or two...that would definitely up its value tremendously (if it was two extra characters, I might even consider the upgrade worth PAYING for)...but I also was rather impressed with Stardock's attitude on the matter...and rather upset with GameStop's rather unprofessional actions...nevertheless...it IS worth noting that the NPD numbers only represent store-bought copies of the game...they don't include Impulse downloads.

      I know I bought mine off of Impulse...

       

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    Lucretious, Apr 28th, 2009 @ 12:17pm

    No! All those pirated games are LOST REVENUE!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 28th, 2009 @ 12:22pm

    hmmm I might have to check this game out...

     

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    Logo, Apr 28th, 2009 @ 12:31pm

    While I applaud Stardock and Gas Powered Games it is worth noting that none of the other top 10 games are new releases. Also this doesn't consider digital sales which could greatly skew the numbers either way.

    It doesn't invalidate the piracy != lost sales idea at but I did think it was worth mentioning.

     

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    Yohann, Apr 28th, 2009 @ 12:43pm

    No! All those pirated games are LOST REVENUE! In the realms of absolute greed, perhaps. But if people aren't buying your game or application, it's not because of piracy. It's mostly likely because it sucks. I've found demos of games to be utterly worthless. You get to play for 30 days, offline, only access to one or two areas, etc. That tells nothing of the game. EA had a great idea with releasing Battlefield 1942 with a demo you could actually play online to try out. It was a great way to wet one's appetite. If the game sucked, nobody would've bought it. Chances are, nobody would've bothered pirating it, either. Stardock has a great idea going. One doesn't piss off potential customers by accusing them of piracy and prosecuting them. In this situation, the execs at Stardock obviously have things right. If the game is good, I'll go buy it.

     

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      CrushU, Apr 28th, 2009 @ 5:47pm

      Re:

      I actually have one game that the demo allowed you to do Anything... Until you hit level 7. (Level cap is 99) I ended up buying it because it looked So Awesome. I bought it for $12, as it was a beta and the pricing scheme was: "Closer to 1.0 we get, the closer it gets to $40" Once you bought it once, they provided free updates.

      This game is now on Steam.

      www.taleworlds.com Mount & Blade. Very good game, and I must say I like the company. I just wish it were multiplayer. (The aforementioned demo is still available, too.)

       

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    minijedimaster, Apr 28th, 2009 @ 12:43pm

    I bought the game digitally through Impulse, very fun game. Once they get some extra content in there, ie.. more maps and maybe some more characters/items/powers etc, it will be an absolutely stellar game. Everyone should be buying Stardock software to support a decent company that makes good products.

     

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    evilgeniusomega, Apr 28th, 2009 @ 1:04pm

    DAMN RIGHT

    "suggesting (yet again) that you can get plenty of sales even when you don't treat your customers like criminals."

    Well said.

     

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    DJ, Apr 28th, 2009 @ 1:11pm

    WoW worked

    Ok Ok, I'm not a WoW player, but I have friends (no, really) who ended up buying the full version based on the free demo; From what I've been told, you CAN play online with that.

     

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      KTG, Apr 28th, 2009 @ 7:20pm

      Re: WoW worked

      You are not mistaken. My roommate did the exact same thing and has paid Activision XX.oo a month ever since. If a game is good people will buy it and with a little common sense like CD Key requirements for online play etc. it negates the majority of piracy issues. A great free resource I found lately is justaskgemalto.com; it's got helpful information on surfing/downloading securely.

       

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    Overcast, Apr 28th, 2009 @ 1:55pm

    Well I know some of my friends pirate games just to try them out, and will buy them 99% of the time if they like it

    I'm not really a big pirater - but I've downloaded stuff before.

    Every single game I play - I paid for. Many after playing it for a bit.

    Actually, I've bought very very few games that I hadn't tried at a friend's house or otherwise. I might venture a purchase on 20% of games, if that. The other 80% I've tried before I bought them.

    And with all of the stuff out there now, I almost insist on it. I don't care how pretty the words sound on the back of the box, or what write-ups it gets... I've bought based on reviews and descriptions on the box and have been unhappy more often than not.

    Not that those games aren't good - just maybe not what I personally like.

    But if I try them - and like them - regardless of how I 'tried' the game, I'll buy it if I like it.

     

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