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Feature: Master Of The Galaxy: Stardock's Brad Wardell

For the latest Gamasutra feature we present an exclusive interview with Stardock's Brad Wardell about the future of his Galactic Civilizations franchise, upcoming MMO Soc
For the latest Gamasutra feature we present an exclusive interview with Stardock's Brad Wardell about the future of his Galactic Civilizations franchise, upcoming MMO Society, the trouble with copy protection, and the need for a creative revolution. Wardell is the president and CEO of Stardock, head of the TotalGaming.net subscription service, and the developer behind Galactic Civilizations and Galactic Civilizations 2, as well as the upcoming MMO Society, and expressed strong opinions not only on the creative direction of the market, but on its use, or overuse, of copy-protection to the detriment of the consumer. In this excerpt, he discusses some of the numbers behind his choice to forgo conventional copy-protection means: "BW: I find it annoying on principle. The question is "would they have bought the game anyway?" If they wouldn't have bought the game, then why should I be concentrating on them? I should be concentrating on maximizing my overall sales. Don't inconvenience legitimate users but inconvenience illegitimate users. Some percentage of them will buy the game. GS: You don't waste that time and money stopping someone who won't buy your product anyway. BW: Right. Did you hear that twenty eight percent of gamers won't even buy a game? This was a study put out by one of the copy protection companies as proof of why copy protection isn't negative. This study says that ONLY twenty eight percent of gamers won't buy a game with copy protection. I was thinking "HOLY COW, that's a disaster!" GS: That's a huge number of people. BW: I never thought it was that high. I would have thought five or two percent. That makes it a no brainer. [...] If piracy is really killing sales that much, as we're constantly told, then why did Galactic Civilizations 2 just pass the two hundred thousand sales mark worldwide? I think that's pretty good for a game made by a half dozen guys." You can now read the full Gamasutra feature on the subject, including more on Wardell's thoughts on classic licenses, digital distribution, and what XNA means for developers. (no registration required, please feel free to link to this column from external websites).

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