World Of Goo Piracy Rate: “82%”

By John Walker on November 15th, 2008 at 12:03 pm.

Too much effort went into this one.

The post yesterday reporting World of Goo’s 90% piracy figure drew a surprising response. The P-word regularly generates comments threads that scare our hosts, but this one was odd. It became a discussion about whether one could disprove the 90% figure, and then extrapolating this to reach peculiar conclusions. Some could see this as people claiming there were far fewer stab wounds than first predicted and therefore there hadn’t been a murder. Others might suggest that fighting over the exact number is completely irrelevant, as that’s not the point of the issue. Now 2D BOY have responded with new look at the figures.

In response to the vociferous arguments that dynamic IPs and multiple installations could be responsible for a lot of the 90% of registered IPs against sales, 2D BOY dug deeper. While it’s true that a dynamic IP, or second installation, would appear as a unique user, that doesn’t take into account the player IDs. The majority of those whose IP rolls around with each connection would still be using the same player name. So based on player names, 2D BOY discovered that there are 1.3 IP addresses per player – not the figures that many were spuriously claiming.

The stats are these:

76% of players have contacted the server from 1 IP
13% from 2 IPs
5% from 3 IPs
3% from 4 IPs
1% from 5 IPs
1% from 6 IPs
1% from more than 6

Of course it will be pointed out that each game has room for three player IDs, and they took this into account too.

“we also looked at how many players IDs were created (rather than used) from each IP address. given that the vast majority of player IDs are associated with only a single IP, this is a fairly accurate measure of how many profiles the average user created. on average, a player has 1.15 profiles per installation.[Their emphasis]

It then completely nerds out to get the figures. I’ll not summarise, but paste their maths:

when we take the total number of player IDs (which is smaller than the number of unique IPs from which leaderboard entries came) and divide it by 1.15 (the average number of profiles per installation) the number of estimated unique installations drops by about 35% as compared to the estimate based on unique IPs. let us further say that the average user installs the game on 1.25 computers with different IPs (i.e. not behind the same router), which i think is a high estimate. that lowers the estimated unique installations by another 20%. after factoring both of these in, the piracy rate would still be 82%, and we should keep in mind that this number doesn’t include those who never opted to submit scores to the leaderboard (it’s an option that’s off by default). so while it’s possible that the actual piracy rate is lower than 90%, it’s unlikely that it’s significantly lower. 2d boy hopes this satisfies the more rigorous number crunchers out there :)

A drop from 90 to 80% makes one difference: it means there are twice as many legitimate copies out there as previously thought. But twice 1 out of 10 is 2 out of 10 – it’s not the most enormous leap.

I’m sure that many will pick at the maths above and argue their reasoning why they think this number might be lower (or even higher), but I’m not sure that’s relevant. Unless there’s a dramatic proof out there that slashes this figure into a quarter, it strikes me as a distraction. If one can’t destroy this number, and therefore the 82% figure is close enough to accurate, given that it might be slightly lower or higher, what then? That’s the interesting discussion. Is this piracy a problem?

2D BOY certainly don’t believe that adding DRM to their game would have made any difference. (I would argue that logic dictates this – something that is always cracked on Day 0/1, and only affects the legitimate customers and not the pirates, is going to do nothing realistic. But clearly very few publishers agree, so there’s still much debate to be had). But have they been robbed of 86% of their sales? Again, the implication from the company is they think perhaps 1 or 2 of every 1000 of those pirated copies could have been a sale. But there’s still tens of thousands of people with a copy without paying for it, far more than those who did pay.

Here’s another question. If piracy figures don’t represent lost sales, what do they represent? Is it an indictment of humanity? Are they free advertising? Could 2D BOY have benefited in any way from them? Or are they causing active harm?

Whatever the significance of the PC’s piracy rates, the results from 2D BOY make one thing very clear: While some of us are paying for our fun, a lot of us are not.

Edit: A rather significant statement from 2D BOY’s Ron Carmel appears below in the comments. It’s helpful to put it up here:

“by the way, just in case it’s not 100% clear, we’re not angry about piracy, we still think that DRM is a waste of time and money, we don’t think that we’re losing sales due to piracy, and we have no intention of trying to fight it.”

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614 Comments »

  1. Nimic says:

    You’re missing the point, cliffski. Works in what way? In that it makes some people mildly irritated for all of five minutes until they find a working torrent? Like someone said, fighting piracy is only worth it if it brings someone to actually buy the game.

  2. Hypocee says:

    Beetleboy: I am a raving Introversion fanboy. Including transAtlantic shipping I spent over one hundred dollars for their Multiwinia Orange Box analogue, with dented tin case, artbook and ‘authentic’ $1.00 cut-foam Darwinians. I don’t do that kind of thing often, but in that case I did it. Whether ridiculous limited-edition stuff is a good investment for indie devs only their accountant can answer, but it sells to at least one person.

  3. Rev. S Campbell says:

    Mm. It’s a ridiculously stupid idea, because however much you might want to hit out at them, it’s not rational. The more you piss them off, the less inclined they’ll ever be to buy your game. And while I’m sure it’d comfort a lot of people to portray things as more black-and-white, the simple truth is that pirates DO buy games.

  4. Gap Gen says:

    Duoae: There may be some confusion here, but three people replied with basically the same thing – publishers and developers cannot “see” pirated versions unless, like WoG, the game contacts the server. This is rare for single-player-only games.

    I’d agree that the weight of your single purchase is limited, but then so is your vote in an election. The point is that multiple people make the same decision as you, so if you make a bad one then statistically so do a lot of other people. Sure, the point of refunds and so on affects things slightly but then this is true of any commercial product, and fewer stores are accepting refunds as it’s obvious you can copy games and then return them.

    Besides, WoG isn’t a mainstream game, so there are probably fewer people who buy it just having wandered into the store and seen the DVD box.

    My main point, though, was that I don’t see how most publishers can ‘see’ pirated games and use them as evidence for potential success.

  5. Hypocee says:

    If 2DBoy were to ever say “Fine, I give up, pirate away, or buy my game, it’s up to you, but don’t worry, I wont press charges, or put any obstacles in your way!” then what’s the point of buying the game. You get no advantage as a paying customer.

    http://www.qwantz.com/archive/001341.html

  6. cliffski says:

    “The more you piss them off, the less inclined they’ll ever be to buy your game.”
    I’m making it INCONVENIENT to pirate games. They know its illegal and morally wrong. I’m adding inconvenience to that. I know lots of people would love us evil developers to ignore them and make it nice and easy for them to take our hard work for free, but I’m afraid I don’t intend to do that.

    If someone is annoyed at me for trying to stop people taking my games for free, then frankly, fuck em. I don’t care about how much I annoy people with that attitude :D

    When people rant and whine and fume about fake torrents (people get annoyed about it sometimes), then I just think it is a way of showing them how we (developers) feel when someone pirates our work. You only wasted 40 minutes on a fake torrent. We wasted a year or more making a game you took for free…

  7. Gap Gen says:

    Actually, on Cliffski’s point I could see big publishers seeding bad torrents randomly from a big server, if that would be cost effective.

  8. Hypocee says:

    Which is one reason I’ve never bothered to check out Political Machine or Kudos and whatever else you do. I actively avoid anything with your name on it.

  9. Rev. S Campbell says:

    “If someone is annoyed at me for trying to stop people taking my games for free, then frankly, fuck em. I don’t care about how much I annoy people with that attitude”

    I know you don’t. I and others are merely pointing out that it’s your own throat you’re cutting there. Or, if you prefer, your nose to spite your face. Whatever you think, even someone who’s pirating your game today is a potential customer tomorrow.

  10. Jerricho says:

    I’m delighted that 2DBoy have given this another look. Yes the number is still high but at least we can have some faith that it’s not completely arbitrary.

    I commend their efforts in this and look forward to the profanity pack :D

  11. cliffski says:

    “Which is one reason I’ve never bothered to check out Political Machine or Kudos and whatever else you do. I actively avoid anything with your name on it.”

    because I don’t approve of piracy?
    Frankly why do I care? If you are so pro-piracy as to hate me for my stance on it, then you aren’t going to buy my games (or anyone else’s) anyway.

    But hey, if it makes you feel big and tough…

  12. Rev. S Campbell says:

    2D Boy seem like splendid people. If there’s a lesson anywhere in this – and if there’s any basis of accuracy in the figures – it’s that completely removing DRM results in a piracy percentage that by most sensible estimates is unprecedentedly low. That’s the story here.

  13. cliffski says:

    82% is low?
    Seriously?

  14. D says:

    @cliffski: Inconvenience has been tried and has failed. DRM is a much bigger piracy inconvenience that fake torrents, and people don’t much mind waiting for a crack or whatever, as long as its free.

    I commend you for taking an approach that atleast doesn’t inconvenience actual buyers (like DRM may), but I think you’d be much better off *only* appealing to the human side of pirates through comments as I see you have tried.

    Once you begin “fighting them” with fake torrents and angry words, you become their enemy, and thus one it is easy to steal from. Maximizing sales > minimizing piracy.

  15. karthik says:

    Reading the entire comment thread this far has been an exercise in masochism. Barring a few genuinely insightful comments, straw men arguments and anecdotal statistics abound.
    Considering, however, that this is the first Piracy-related-article I’m seeing that is removed from needless DRM bashing, I was hoping to find a convincing answer to John’s question in the comments:
    What do piracy figures represent?
    And on a related note:
    How do we fight piracy?
    Nikon’s suggestion above is the only one that appears actually feasible. Probing the latter question gives:
    What is the indispensable component of the process of pirating a game?
    The ISP, of course. The Internet connection is the one thing every pirate must pay for. A tie up between ISPs and developers to charge for downloads will force pirates to become legitimate customers- or to give up. The verification could, perhaps, be carried out based on checksums of the game content freely seeded/hosted both on Pirate bay and through more official channels. Also, ISPs claim torrents hurt them, (leading to much port blocking, content filtering and whatnot) so the cost to the ISP can be recovered as part of the download price as well.
    I suspect that this will be broken as well in a short period of time. But it’s a start. Besides, it agrees with the nature of the medium: Digital content is an infinite supply market, so constricting supply through artificial means (such as by seeding fake torrents) makes less sense than making it widely available and charging for the process of obtaining the content, the “transportation costs”, so to speak.
    With widespread fake torrents, eventually trusted meta-channels will rise that carry metadata about genuine torrents.

    Unfortunately, I’m no network engineer. I’m not sure if this method of authentication (checking by the ISP, effectively a DRM) is any harder to crack than the present methods.

  16. Quirk says:

    To those talking about hardware DRM:
    This is a very, very bad idea. Gaming is just one small segment of what PCs do. Hardware DRM gives a lot of power to a small cartel of companies as to what software is allowed to run on your system. This would allow them to shut down the second-hand software market entirely, for instance, or (if Microsoft were to resort to the level of dirty tricks that have seen them in court in the past) to prevent software made by competing companies outside the cartel from functioning at all.

    Unfortunately, it’s already on its way, and the cartel is called the Trusted Computing Group.

    Hardware DRM isn’t just about allowing creators to enforce copyright. It’s potentially also about which creators get to control what you’re allowed to watch or play. There’s a lot of room for this to go critically dystopian on us. Be afraid, and for pity’s sake don’t advocate it.

  17. Y3k-Bug says:

    @karthik

    That idea isn’t at all feasible.

    An ISP’s job is to provide me with a connection to the Internet, not to police what I do on it. The most they can do is send out a cease and desist letter to the owner of the connection, and thats it. And who exactly is going to pay the astronomical fees associated with handling all this? You need to pay a company to monitor all the torrents out there, you need lawyers to draw up these letters, and you need to get the ISPs to play ball. Since the gaming industry doesn’t have an lobbying body that represents the interests of all publishers, the idea is dead in the water.

    Secondly, its illegal. An ISP can’t charge you for what you choose to download. That’s getting into net neutrality, which is a separate issue entirely. But at least here in the US its quite illegal.

  18. Rev. S Campbell says:

    “82% is low?
    Seriously?”

    Make your mind up. If what we’re constantly told by the industry about the huge damage done by, and sums lost to, piracy is true, then yes, 82% is probably the lowest percentage of piracy ever recorded by a game anyone’s heard of. ELSPA have quoted figures between 20 (95%) and 100 (99%) copies for every legitimate purchase.

    So either 82% is low, or the industry is constantly lying. Which is it?

  19. Y3k-Bug says:

    You really see 82% as being that far from 95% in this argument?

    82% isn’t low using any benchmark man. Thats a shit-ton of piracy going down.

  20. Rev. S Campbell says:

    82% is a significant reduction on 95% or 99% by any rational measure, particularly since copying has been made vastly EASIER in this instance by the total absence of DRM.

    Percentages don’t really paint the picture, though. 82% is roughly FOUR copies per legit sale, instead of TWENTY copies per legit sale (95%) or ONE HUNDRED copies per legit sale (99%).

    Four is a pretty big decrease on 20 or 100, unless you’re really REALLY bad at arithmetic.

  21. Jochen Scheisse says:

    Oh, Mr. Campbell, I had such a beautiful analogy in store for 82% piracy being comparably low, but due to me being repeatedly critizised for my tasteless analogies, I shall not use it.

    So it is maybe comparably low, but still very very high.

  22. pkt-zer0 says:

    You really see 82% as being that far from 95% in this argument?

    80% is 4 pirates for every buyer. 95% is 19 pirates for every buyer. Going from the latter to the former would mean cutting the number of pirates by 78.95% – significant enough, I’d say.

  23. Gap Gen says:

    Maybe you could have non-compulsory online activation, but if you don’t activate then it plays sea shanties non-stop at almost sub-audible levels.

  24. Gap Gen says:

    Or maybe if you don’t pay then you can still play but the NPCs are much, much ruder to you.

  25. Y3k-Bug says:

    Fair enough. But thats still a whole lotta piracy.

  26. Jochen Scheisse says:

    Can someone delete Gap Gen’s post? There may be industry representatives reading this.

  27. oddbob says:

    “Or maybe if you don’t pay then you can still play but the NPCs are much, much ruder to you”

    Dude, that’s an incentive to not pay. Or is that just me?

  28. Jochen Scheisse says:

    Or until you register online, the skimpy chainmail bikinis of the female characters are all replaced by real clothing.

  29. nikos says:

    @karthik and Y3k-bug

    The idea of taxing the internet (i.e. everyone and anyone) won’t work of course. But there are plans for voluntary subscription to networks that will legally allow you to share, by paying a small fixed-rate amount. Such a network would pay a license fee to the content providers, and whitelist the content allowed to be swapped. This is thought of as a way to combine the ease of P2P with “legal ease of mind”.

    Discussion on proposal for the music industry here:

  30. Rev. S Campbell says:

    “But thats still a whole lotta piracy.”

    Four for one? As per the original comment, in today’s world of digital IP, four illegal copies per legit sale of anything is unprecedentedly low. “Unprecedentedly” is a relative term, not an absolute one. The word “spectacularly” would be equally appropriate in context.

    Let’s make no mistake about it. If – and it’s certainly still an “if” – the absence of DRM in World Of Goo has reduced piracy from 90% (or 95% or 99%) to 82%, that is a MASSIVE achievement, and should be recognised as such.

  31. nikos says:

    for some reason the forum ate my link, here it is again

  32. Duoae says:

    @ Gap Gen

    There may be some confusion here, but three people replied with basically the same thing – publishers and developers cannot “see” pirated versions unless, like WoG, the game contacts the server. This is rare for single-player-only games.

    I understand what people are saying… though i fail to see how you guys are missing the point of what i’m trying to say there is definitely confusion. I’ll state my point one last time.

    Developers and publishers ‘see’ the pirated games as equal to or some function of the seeded and downloaded torrent numbers freely available on the internet if you go and have a look at those sites that provide trackers. These numbers do inform the decisions of the publishers and developers.
    From a both of those standpoints (dev&pub) there is the same conclusion coming through (i.e. they infer something from them):

    1) More people are pirating the game than paying for it.
    2) These people want to pirate the game because they want to play it.
    Ergo
    3) These people want this game and others like it of the same type but because they can get it for free will not pay for it.
    4) Implementing a system that stops them from getting it for free will result in increased sales because there are a lot of people out there who want the game but have been getting it ‘cheaper’.

    And this is where my original comment of: “Actually, it’s the opposite. If you pirate something you’re sending the message to the producer that you want that product comes into the equation. It makes perfect logical sense to me but i guess i must be using some sort of moon logic or something.

    My main point, though, was that I don’t see how most publishers can ’see’ pirated games and use them as evidence for potential success.

    They can’t and we all know this…. but like i said in one of my previous posts – they use torrent numbers as if they were actual real numbers and as an indicator of demand that is being satiated by the availability of a cheaper (i.e. pirated) version of the product.

    I’d agree that the weight of your single purchase is limited, but then so is your vote in an election. The point is that multiple people make the same decision as you, so if you make a bad one then statistically so do a lot of other people. Sure, the point of refunds and so on affects things slightly but then this is true of any commercial product, and fewer stores are accepting refunds as it’s obvious you can copy games and then return them.

    Like i said above: the informed part of the consumer base (i.e. us) is less than 10%. For small publishers like for WoG and Introversion their market is pretty much only comprised of this 10% – the informed. Therefore the vote with your wallet mentality can actually make a difference because one sale will make a difference.

    For larger publishers and developers – those who mainly target the other 90% of the consumer base through TV, magazine, billboard and major website ads the vote with your wallet mentality will not work unless that 90% of the uninformed consumer base is given the information. We all know about DRM, install limits and games that are getting panned in previews etc. They don’t. It’s only when they buy a game that they realise their mistake and by then the time to vote with your wallet is passed and since they can’t return the game then they don’t get a second chance.
    Similarly a large portion of that 90% don’t pay attention to the publisher or developer and so won’t boycott future games because they were made by the same team or whatever.
    Also, with regards to DRM and install limitations that 90% won’t know or care (as John Riccitiello pointed out in those famous Gamasutra and Eurogamer interviews) until they have a problem with them and even then they’re effectively in the thrall of the game company because they have no information infrastructure that they know how to use to rely on in solving the problem.

    This is nothing like a vote in an election because if you don’t know the facts of each party’s manifesto then it’s your own fault – those facts are not hidden from the voter and in fact many shady practices are revealed by the general press. Now, imagine if 90% of the voters didn’t access radio, TV, the internet or newspapers and instead voted based on the ‘party political broadcasts’ or party ‘newsletters’ we get. Would you be as sure that the 10% could make a difference if they voted for party B when party A had the best marketing strategy (even though they were bigots and shady dealers behind it all)?

  33. Loren says:

    It is a long thread already, but I don’t think I’ve seen anyone raise this point yet so here we go…

    It is my understanding (and maybe 2D Boy have already taken this into account) that all the analysis so far has used one fundamental assumption: that by counting up these IP numbers and doing the maths one can arrive at a number of people who are playing the game without having bought it.

    Here’s the thing. We usually take a phrase like “playing the game” to mean putting serious time and interest into a game. The kind of time that you’d spend on something that you enjoy and took the trouble to buy. BUT, the numbers calculated by simply counting IP addresses will (I assume) include each and every person who downloaded it without paying, played it for 10 minutes because they heard it was good / saw it on a torrent site / etc. and then dropped it for something else. If all it takes to have your IP counted is having played a single level then can we really count that as someone “playing the game”?

    I am not trying to defend the act of piracy here, people like that have a much better route that they should be taking – playing the demo – but my point is that we cannot say for sure that any of these people are playing it enough to justify in their minds (a tricky line to walk, at what point have you played and enjoyed it enough for it to be morally right to buy it?) the cost of buying it.

    What I would really like 2D Boy to show us is a number that is based on repeated IP connections (i.e. putting your score from each level online), indicating to some extent that the person in question is playing the game for longer than it might take to get a feel for it. This would be more representative of the proportion of people who are playing the game for free in the sense that we would normally mean, not just looking at it to see if they like it.

  34. karthik says:

    @Y3k-Bug
    I agree, net neutrality isn’t something anyone ought to mess with. The idea is appealing because it makes no difference to the legitimate customer whether he’s paying an ISP or (say) Steam for his purchase, while stepping on the pirate’s Achilles heel.
    But yeah, a gargantuan alliance between the ISPs and game corporations has the trappings of a dystopian Internet, which is almost as bad as hardware DRM.
    On a more general note, I still haven’t found a satisfactory answer to “What do these piracy figures mean?”
    I’m reminded of a chapter from Freakonomics where Levitt lists a number of possible reasons for the decrease in crime rate in the USA post 1990, and asks the reader to guess which of the reasons was causative of the drop. The guesses in this thread resemble the reader’s guesses from the list of reasons in the book- speculative and based on intuition and personal bias.
    The scientific method of ascertaining the true reasons- based on actual data- won’t be carried out anytime soon given the difficulty of obtaining information on the Pirate demographic. Which is, quite surely, a bit maddening given the length of this debate.

  35. Dan Lawrence says:

    @Rev S Cambell

    If 82% is low for an indie game then I’m more saddened.

    I see above that 2D Boy’s ron carmel is not interested in fighting piracy and doesn’t think he is losing sales from pirates. Perhaps he is right but I’ve seen nothing to indicate that piracy doesn’t hurt game sales and to my mind it seems completely counter intuitive, other than the 1000:1 ‘conversion rate’ I’ve seen from the gamasutra article (which, by the way, isn’t what happens when the general rate of piracy is reduced but when one developer alone tries to close loopholes that allow their game to be pirated in a general climate of rampant piracy. If I were a pirate I’d imagine one game becoming more difficult to pirate might not make me instantly buy that game but instead just pirate another.)

    @ Rev S Cambell

    I know that you have written extensively in the past as to the benefits of piracy in creating more future consumers; in the way that many of today’s modern game developers & writers were formed by the rampant disc swapping days of the amiga and other early platforms. I would argue that while piracy might benefit some of tommorow’s game producing developers with the newly created game consumers of today it won’t put money in the pockets of today’s indie game developers. Also, I think there is an argument that we are risking normalising piracy (as in it becomes the accepted way to get games) which is going to end up hurting PC indie, innovative games far more than other mass market titles consumed by those who are not au fait with the internets many inner workings. PC indie games seem likely to be hit far more severely by piracy than a 360 racing game.

  36. Rev. S Campbell says:

    “we are risking normalising piracy”

    Piracy is already regarded as “normal”, and has been since the days of the Spectrum.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4122624.stm

    (Sorry, you’ll have to cut and paste, I can’t be arsed figuring out the HTML.)

    All the industry’s shrieking hysteria about piracy funding Nazi paedo snuff terrorists for the last 20 years hasn’t made a dent in that impression, and it never will. Nobody except pious nerds thinks piracy is much of a crime. Them’s just the facts, like it or not.

  37. Meat Circus says:

    Congratulations to 2D boy. That’s a magnificent rate of piracy of which they can be rightly proud.

    Also congrats to Carmen for being smart, and realising that pirated copy != lost sale.

    The biggest risk facing Indie devs is not piracy, it’s obscurity. And a rate that high shows just how much attention World of Goo got.

    They should be thrilled.

  38. Dan Lawrence says:

    Them’s just the facts, like it or not.

    Shouldn’t we ‘pious nerds’ try to change these facts based on some rational principle that it actually isn’t right? Unless you think it is right?

  39. Pantsman says:

    Here’s another question. If piracy figures don’t represent lost sales, what do they represent? Is it an indictment of humanity? Are they free advertising? Could 2D BOY have befitted in any way from them?

    I’d say it’s all three.

  40. Rev. S Campbell says:

    Unless you think it is right?

    Was that not clear?

    My position has evolved over 20 years of experience of all sides of the industry, and piracy is ultimately, overall, beneficial to everyone involved. That’s as good a definition of “right” as I can think of. I have little time for the promotion of ideological dogma over practical reality.

  41. cliffski says:

    do you actually make a living from making games though? or do you just set yourself up as someone who lectures at those of us who do?
    You are not in a position to decide what effect piracy has on the future of pc gaming unless you are currently part of it.
    You can insist that piracy is a great thing all you want. If people who make games decide to not make them because of it, then you are wrong.

  42. cliffski says:

    aha, I see you were a level designer on cannon fodder 2, which is great, but hardly relevant to what challenges face current pc game developers…

  43. Funky Badger says:

    Does this mean that 82% of people on the internets are scum?

  44. Larington says:

    Oh hell, not again.

  45. Oddbob says:

    Equally Cliff, do you speak for everyone who is currently making games or just set yourself up as someone who lectures everyone on our behalf?

    Come on, man.

  46. Meat Circus says:

    The Revd. Campbell is, of course, completely correct.

    The problem people like you have is that they have become unable to distance themselves from the emotions of the issue, bred by an entirely undeserved feeling of entitlement.

    This has ultimately made them irrational, and unable to see what is ultimately in their own interests.

    World of Goo has been a massive success for 2D Boy. Obscurity does not beckon. And piracy has played a significant part in that obscurity. Cost: a minimal number of lost sales.

    It’s a massive win for them.

    Piracy is *absolutely* beneficial to PC Gaming.

  47. John Walker says:

    Cliffski – please be civil. Personal comments are irrelevant.

  48. Rev. S Campbell says:

    You can insist that piracy is a great thing all you want.

    Thanks for the permission!

  49. Colin Hansen says:

    If you look at any one player ID, can you assess whether they bought the game? If so, take a sample of 150-200 player IDs and do a confidence interval for the true proportion who bought the game. That will be much more accurate.

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