Everyone knows that piracy is everywhere, even RedLynx, the studio which had created that little downloadable game called Trials acknowledges that fact.
However, unlike the other publishers out there, the studio had recognized that piracy is indeed a difficult thing to stop. Instead of trying to fight them, the studio had decided one thing: might as well use piracy to your advantage when you can’t win.
According to them, RedLynx had apparently leaked their a copy of their own game onto major torrent websites in an attempt to create interest in the game. The leaked copy is actually a full game, except it came without the Leaderboards function, which Tero Virtala, the RedLynx CEO, had claimed that it’s the “soul of the game”.
In simpler terms, the developers had voluntarily placed their game on torrent websites and had apparently helped seeded their “pirated” copy to others. In this way, they allowed pirates to get their hands on the full game, while still limiting (no leaderboards) them in a sense. Hopefully, the “full demo” will convince people to buy the full version of the game if they like it.
“Piracy is here, so how can we take advantage of that? What we did actually, on day one, we put that game immediately on all the torrent networks ourselves.”
— Tero Virtala, RedLynx CEO.
And it seems to be a success so far. RedLynx reported that they had made about 150,000 copies of full version sales so far, and it matches with the amount of people who have access to the leaderboards.
For the record, this isn’t the first time a company had purposely leaked their product. Earlier this year, EA had done the same with their copy of Sims 3. Although it isn’t clear if it was really a leak on their side or if it’s really planned by them, the leaked copy of Sims 3 was actually a “full version”, although limited in several gameplay sense.
A bold move, I would say. Using the power of piracy to promote their product is actually quite a risky method, although if it does work, it would bring back quite an amount of success. Maybe in the near future we would see more of these “voluntarily pirated” versions as more and more companies starts taking advantage of the piracy in PC? It might be a viable solution when DRMs aren’t exactly well-liked by legit consumers, and it’s probably one of the major reasons why people turn to piracy: DRMs are harmful for most machines.