"When it comes to piracy, we're certainly not cracking down on anything, we're very happy people get the chance to play the game."
- Owlboy devs responding to a question as part of an "Ask Me Anything" Reddit thread.
How do you feel about the idea of someone pirating a game you worked on?
As we've seen in 2016, some devs feel strongly enough about it to pay for something like Denuvo Anti-Tamper, which at one point was hard enough to crack it inspired a group of pirates to predict the death of game piracy altogether.
Others seem to be fine with it, like the team at D-Pad Studios, who took to Reddit today to answer questions from the public about their recent release Owlboy. Fellow devs may appreciate knowing that while the game took nearly ten years to make, the devs (collaborating on answers delivered via programmer Jo-Redi Madsen's Reddit account) appear to be choosing not to stress about it being pirated.
"Through torrent, the game has a chance to become available to people who, say, live in countries where it isn't easy to even buy games (maybe Steam doesn't support their currency, or they just don't carry creditcards)," reads a D-Pad response to a question about piracy from someone who claims to live in an Eastern European country and is unable to afford the game. " I'd still wish for those to be able to experience Owlboy. Right now, pirating the game is the best alternative they have, as it's totally open to anyone with a sturdy internet connection. Since we're not a big company, it doesn't impact us in the way it would AAA."
While the reference to purchasing obstacles is on point -- Steam just this month cut a partnership deal to make it easier for people in India to purchase games on its platform -- the more notable bit is that while the Owlboy devs are seemingly okay with their work being stolen, they also acknowledge it won't hurt them as much as other studios due to their low overhead.
"We never had a big budget to begin with. We've had VERY few expenses, most businesses would not be able to run at a normal pace with the assets that we've maintained. A lot of the reason for this is because we've always had a free office space (my parents house), and very little use of licenses and tools," reads another post from the team. "Now that the game is out, we started profiting on it pretty much right off the bat, while I think most developers(especially AAA) would need way more numbers to make up for development costs."
You can find more comments from the D-Pad team about everything from how many times the game was rewritten (many) to how they feel about the different PC game distribution platforms in the full Reddit thread.
Of course, you can also watch our interview with some of the team from last month, when we streamed the game for an hour and talked about how they handled the ups and downs of a nearly decade-long dev cycle.