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World of Goo Co-Creator Claims 90% Piracy Rate

2D Boy's World of Goo (PC, Wii) is being pirated at the rate of "about 90%," according to co-creator Ron Carmel.

The statement came from Carmel in the form of a user comment on a RockPaperShotgun story about the game's pending European release. 2D Boy cohort Kyle Gabler explained in another comment that the figure was established by looking at the number of unique Internet addresses connecting to the game's leaderboard server.

In the face of staggering piracy, Carmel is keeping his chin up. "We're getting good sales through WiiWare, Steam, and our website. Not going bankrupt just yet!" wrote the upstart developer to Joystiq.

Carmel wrote that a few players had illegally downloaded the game and then decided to make a purchase, but added that those buyers formed a "very small percentage."

2D Boy won the 2008 Independent Games Festival for World of Goo. The physics-based puzzler has quickly risen to popularity among indie game fans on Nintendo's WiiWare service as well as Valve's Steam.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    November 13, 2008 1:59 PM

    I want to know how they get their numbers

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      November 13, 2008 2:03 PM

      i read this somewhere else, apparently if more people post high scores than bought it, it's fairly obvious... lol

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      November 13, 2008 2:04 PM

      I feel the same way about it. How do you know how many times your game has been downloaded?

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        November 13, 2008 2:07 PM

        some torrents allow you to see how many times the file was "completed" over the tracker.

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        November 13, 2008 2:08 PM

        Because it has an online component to it. It means 150k have logged onto their service. 15k sales isn't that bad though for a PC indie game which hasn't even seen its retail release yet, but the overall piracy rate is still sad however.
        World of Goo was a great and creative game and it just pains me to see what assholes the majority of people are. :(

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      November 13, 2008 2:08 PM


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        November 13, 2008 2:52 PM

        That would make sense if everybody had a static IP address, but they don't. Not by a long shot.

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          November 13, 2008 3:12 PM

          Exactly, that's why his claim and piracy % is flawed. The number has got to be much lower. Most people have dynamic IPs that will change in probably a month. So if 15k people buy the game in 3 months tops they might end up with 30k unique IPs.

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            November 13, 2008 3:22 PM

            My ip changes every day, and I'm on a widely used isp here... So yeah, pretty flawed reasoning.

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              November 16, 2008 4:47 AM

              They posted more on their blog at It's not flawed reasoning, by comparing IPs whenever someone uploads a new tower height, they have shown that there around 1.3 IP addresses per profile on average.

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          November 13, 2008 4:15 PM

          even without a dedicated static ip, your ip address changes way less than you think. the only ips that change on a consistent basis in north america are usually dialup users.

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            November 13, 2008 9:23 PM

            thats a load of crap. I can change the Ip address on my cable modem every day if I want to. It just takes a tiny bit of effort

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              November 14, 2008 4:25 AM

              Who does that on purpose, though?

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                November 14, 2008 7:45 AM

                People using 4chan Rapidshares and trying to get around the download limit?

                Just throwing a group out there since you asked.

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      November 13, 2008 2:09 PM

      Its not hard to add code that logs ips or keys/ etc data everytime you use the game.

      One would have to unplug the internet when they play or block spcific ports to stop this data from from going out.

      My company does a similar thing and so do many others, for the most part you can get this type of data quiet easily. It will nto be 100% complete but it will give you a real good idea.

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        November 14, 2008 1:06 PM

        and are users made aware of this information leaving their computers?

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      November 13, 2008 2:32 PM

      While I do feel for them as I really want Indie developers to find success, I have to agree with you on getting the real numbers. I have used probably 3 unique IPs since purchasing L4D for example. Under Carmel's metrics If I were the sole L4D customer they would register the game as a 66% piracy rate. Basically they assume worst case scenario, send out a PR in order to get attention for their product while damaging the platform they are releasing on.

      If you can't afford a $20 game, then you have no business spending $50 on a high speed connection to pirate it. The inflation of piracy statistics by developers though will shoot themselves in the foot in the future when they attempt to get a PC game published and management's numbers tell them that the piracy rates won't justify the costs.

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        November 13, 2008 2:41 PM

        You can get allot of data of unique IP's paired up with Invalid or banned keys (they still work but they are considered tainted or from pirates).

        You do not just use IP addresses in your case its a valid Key and an IP, then of course we have thresholds as to how many IP's to a single valid Key is too much.

        Say if you had 20 ip's to a valid Key we would know you are sharing the game, well there would be a good chance.

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          November 13, 2008 3:19 PM

          They're selling this game on steam and one of the benefits of steam is beeing able to pull up your games on any computer that has steam. So obviously they're going to end up with a lot of unique IPs per every copy sold. How about me for example, I use steam to buy a game, load it on my desktop and my laptop. When I'm home, I play on desktop, when I drive around the country in my semi I play on a laptop from a truck stop WIFI. Every single time I play from a different WIFI signal they're going to get a different IP. And this game is perfect for a laptop.

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        November 13, 2008 3:01 PM

        $50 is a grave assumption(read bad) and since your post relies heavily on the difference between the numbers, you failed along with those other bad debaters trying to compare piracy of video games to stealing food from the grocery store. I personally pay $27/month and you make the other wrong assumption that someone that pays a high price for something always has money left for other high priced somethings.

        piracy is bad and I also want to know how they get their numbers. Since having no proof is ok, I fucked 30 women last month and I manufactured a 98% orgasm rate.

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          November 13, 2008 3:18 PM

          My post doesn't rely on difference between numbers however I obviously misstated the average. I am used to paying for the highest tier internet since its part of my job to have it, so that was incorrect.

          You are putting words into my mouth, and calling everyone bad debaters and telling them that they failed on your first post in the topic undermines your post.

          " I personally pay $27/month and you make the other wrong assumption that someone that pays a high price for something always has money left for other high priced somethings."

          If someone can afford $27/month and the upfront investment to have a machine capable of playing this game, but claims hardship to pay the one-time cost of ~20 for the game to justify piracy, then they are lying and a thief.

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        November 13, 2008 3:22 PM

        Call of duty 4 guys said tons pirated as they could see the people with pirate cdkeys trying to get online.

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      November 15, 2008 10:09 AM


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