Video game piracy is a major concern for publishers and developers alike. While musicians can still hope that fans who steal their albums will spend money on merchandise or tickets for live shows, the opportunity for profit is lost when someone steals a game. That’s why game makers have to be very careful about the way they interact with pirates, because raking them over the coals never helps.
But you know what they say when the odds are stacked against you and there’s no viable solution on the table: “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.”
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That’s exactly what publisher PM Studios did when it discovered that users on the Vitahacks and VitaPiracy subreddits were sharing links to pirated copies of its PS Vita game Superbeat: Xonic. Rather than admonish the pirates for stealing their content or taking money from the pockets of developers, they left this message:
We feel honoured that you enjoy our game SUPERBEAT XONiC so much, we would like to invite you to take this opportunity to purchase it on sale at the Playstation Store.
You can enjoy the original game and show support to the team for just $15.99 (60% off), no Playstation Plus required!
Have a nice day!
The members of the two Reddit communities were so surprised by the response from PM Studios that they decided to make a thread thanking the publisher for the way it conducted itself in the face of piracy. Although not everyone was swayed by the publisher’s attempt to bridge the gap, it was a worthwhile endeavor even if only a few pirates were converted into paying customers.