Team Meat On Piracy: “Sh@% Changed”

Remember Super Meat Boy?  The properly hardcore 2D platformer designed for properly hardcore players?  Well, the guys have spoken out about piracy, and it makes interesting reading.

The duo, made up of Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes, are remarkably open about the subject.  “If the game gets pirated heavily,” said McMillen, “if it’s a good game that people really like, they’re going to either buy it eventually or they’re going to tell other people about it. Either way it’s just going to come back to a sale.”

“The dinosaurs of marketing are really upset by piracy,” he continues. “They think it’s literally stealing.”

“They’re old. That’s really the reason. They’re old and their ideas are old. They don’t understand where we are now. They don’t understand the mentality of people who are pirating things. They see them as thieves, the same people who go and shoplift. I don’t f*@#ing shoplift but I have pirated sh@%-loads of stuff. Like it’s just not the same, it’s not the same thing at all.”

“They spend so much money trying to prevent it but they are wasting everyone’s time,” said partner Refenes. “They are damaging their own businesses. Those gamers who got screwed by DRM problems? I guarantee those people are going to think twice before they buy another game from that publisher.”

“Sh@% changed,” said McMillen. “Deal with it. Sh@% went digital and this is how it works now. It’s really easy to copy and give to other people.”

It’s an interesting thought process, but not one shared by most of the industry.  Any comments?

Source: IGN.


  1. I kind of agree
    Piracy is stealing is a very, very old way of thinking.

    However Team Meat aren’t seeing billion dollar earnings being chipped away at by this ‘new frontier’ they’re small & flexible enough to capitalise on the opportunities it offers without having almost guaranteed income of hundred of millions cannibalised by it

  2. They get it

  3. Interesting view for a developer. They seem to understand what drives some people towards piracy.

  4. Sh@%. That is all.

  5. *rushes off to torrent Super Meat Boy*

  6. BT have just been forced into blocking a site that links to torrents and Newsnet groups. It’s the thin end of a very large wedge. The whole piracy issue needs discussing in an open and honest manner.
    All of the arts need to change and adapt.

    • As you suggest, one site down, 4,754,378 more site to go. …and as I’ve been typing this, you can add another 5 sites to the total.

  7. Any comments… I believe you’ve opened a barrel of worms my friend!

    Also, good to see my favourite image being used again :D

  8. Piracy is stealing. It’s as simple as that.
    It’s equivalent to shoplifting, but it’s not the same, and can’t be tackled with the same attitude as those attitudes don’t work when translated online. Likewise, a person who wouldn’t ever dream of shoplifting can suddenly transform into a music streaming, game stealing devil online.

    There is no solution yet, other than providing good value, a good game, getting as many sales as you can, and just sucking it up that 90% of those that pirated your game would never have even considered buying it.

    • Good points and I agree. Would be interesting if you had to login to torrent sites with your Facebook profile or a unique online ID, whether that would deter people. There’s an anonymity about torrenting that isn’t present when shoplifitng.

      • Possibly. I remember there being some minor experiment with having real names on a forum, and people crying out for their anonymity back, (presumably so they could continue trolling). It depends on what it would entail, and some people aren’t so bright when it comes to computers. ;)

        One thing I really don’t want to see, but will likely stall some piracy methods quite significantly, is that Three Strikes law. As soon as someone gets their first warning letter in the post, that would send the willies right up them.

        Of course, that would also mean massive invasions of your privacy in order to determine if you’re a criminal. That kind of monitoring simply isn’t very nice or moral.

    • To be devils advocate? Is watching a film at a mates house any different? That means a lost sale of that DVD? Same as playing a game at a mates house? I don’t agree with piracy but it is a huge and complicated issue.

      • At least there, someone HAS for it. Piracy is when it isn’t paid for.

      • Stop giving them more ideas!

  9. Team Meat is awesome. Indies always know how to handle piracy, i.e. don’t really give a sh@% about it. Plus SMB is a great game, best €15 spent ever!

  10. Good points, of course piracy is efectively stealing but companies put far too much effort and resources into preventing it, often making the experience worse for the paying consumer.

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