World of Goo Piracy Rates Go Through the Roof
Article by George Norman
On 18 Nov 2008
The software pirates have seen considerable potential in World of Goo, the physics-based construction game that won the Design Innovation and Technical Excellence Award at this year’s Independent Games Festival, and consequently piracy rates have increased immensely, reaching the 90% mark. Please note that the percentage mentioned before is a rough estimate and some say that 82% is a more accurate figure – still, it is a rather large piracy rate, don’t you think?

2D Boy, the company responsible for World of Goo, comments: “The game allows players to have their high scores reported to our server (it’s an optional checkbox). We record each score and the IP from which it came. We divided the total number of sales we had from all sources by the total number of unique IPs in our database, and came up with about 0.1. That’s how we came up with 90%.” There are some details that 2D did not account for: users that have dynamic IP addresses or have installed the game on multiple machines, multiple installations in office-like environments that run behind a single router or firewall, and the fact that only some users actually choose to post their high-score.


While most people would be outraged at the high piracy rate, 2D says that things are going well for now, World of Goo sales figures are up and a the company is not in any financial trouble. Even if Kyle Gabler and Ron Carmel, the two founders of 2D were to try and put a stop to the piracy, the outcome of preventing one thousand piracy attempts would result in only one sale – that’s one $20 game. This sort of reasoning is why 2D shipped the game with no DRM (digital rights management). With or without DRM, people that wanted to pirate the software would go ahead and do so; in no case would they turn to buying a legitimate software version.

Tags: World of Goo, 2D Boy
About the author: George Norman
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