Please Steal My Game

February 26, 2013

notch promotes piracy

One of my favorite things about Minecraft is how it’s promoted for piracy. Notch really is a marketing genius. He understands that piracy leads to an audience and more sales. Face it, free stuff is much more likely to be viewed and tried than something that’s paid. Therefore, if people try Minecraft and they like it, a lot of the time they go for a paid premium account.

Now, I’m not advocating piracy here. Don’t steal stuff. Digital is the same as physical. And if you disagree, think about it this way. Go to a CD store and steal a CD. That’s theft. Go online and steal a CD, you say it isn’t theft. Well those same digital files are ON that CD you stole from the store. Theft is theft. But when someone promotes “theft” of their product, it’s okay and besides, like I said, oftentimes people who use the free one are people who might not have otherwise tried the product to begin with.

Especially in this economy, when people just don’t have that much money to drop on luxury items like movies and games.

Understanding Piracy


I don’t condone piracy, but I understand it.

But Notch is one of the few people who understands that piracy can lead to a bigger audience and revenue, and the reason it works for Minecraft is because PC gaming piracy is the most rampant piracy, aside from music piracy. Let’s break down the facts here (and this isn’t a generalization of all PC users or video game players, let that be known):

  • People pirate things
  • People who play video games are people more likely to pirate things
  • People who play video games and are likely to pirate things will often times pirate games

Notch released a digital product in a digital age to people who mainly use digital delivery and often times steal those digital items, so why not endorse piracy of his own game, get it out there and passed around, gain an audience by free advertising basically (and free advertising is good because it’s hard to get noticed these days, especially on a computer) and then hope it leads to revenue later on down the line. He had to have known going in that piracy was going to occur with his product, so I’m glad he decided to just embrace it. It was clearly the right thing to do.

AND…

because he embraced it and wasn’t a dick like most people who react to pirating of their own works, people liked him more and probably respected him, then went and got a premium account. Let’s face it; people who create things and whine just aren’t fun to listen to. Our culture looks up to the worst people and the worst traits in those people and hold them up as if they’re people we should respect and admire and aspire to be. Some band hears their music is being pirated and go on a shitfest (for legitimate reasons obviously, as it is their JOB and how they make their living), whining nonstop and everyone online just laughs at them and continues to pirate their music.

Notch on the other hand hears his game is being pirated and goes, “Sure, steal it all you want” and people go “Hey, Notch is a pretty cool dude.” Why? BECAUSE HE DIDN’T WHINE ABOUT IT. We’re much more likely to attack those who whine than those who just accept that this is the way the world is. Notch accepts that piracy exists; he accepts that his product is being pirated, so he promotes the idea, because he understands it could lead to a bigger fan base and more monetary value. Notch, as I said earlier, is a marketing genius.

notch

As I said earlier, I’m not advocating for piracy, what I’m actually advocating for is for people who create things to realize what they’re creating is art and that art should be shared no matter how. Yes, they should get paid because creating art is time consuming, but what they SHOULDN’T do is complain. People are pirating your product, clearly that means they LIKE it. You’re complaining about people LIKING your product, essentially. But what they don’t understand is that half or more than half of the people who might pirate your first album or your first movie will go and PAY for the next one because they realize you deserve it.

I might be a cynical asshole, but I like to believe the best in people. I don’t know why, but I’d like to imagine that people would do that. It clearly has worked for Minecraft, why can’t it work for others?


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