Swen Vincke confesses: “I wouldn’t be in this industry if I hadn’t pirated a couple of games”

In an age where most developers and publishers are fighting piracy with all of their power, a confession from Larian Studios founder, Swen Vincke, comes to shake things up. According to Vincke himself, he wouldn’t be in this industry if he hadn’t pirated a couple of games. Now this is really shocking and we are impressed by Vincke’s honesty on this matter, as most developers/publishers would condemn piracy in due time.
Vincke acknowledged that as an executive, he can see the reasoning behind CD Projekt RED’s latest actions regarding piracy. In case you were unaware of, CD Projekt RED has been filing lawsuits to some German PC gamers that pirated The Witcher 2, imposing a fine that is approximately 40 times the price of the game.
As Vincke stated:
“As an executive having to pay my employees every month, I understand the reasoning behind wanting to maximize revenue as it costs a lot to make these games. I also understand the business logic – if only 10% of those addressed by those lawyers pay out of fear for the court, the revenue multiplication factor of 40 makes it worthwhile. And it communicates the message to the public that is susceptible to these kinds of threats that pirating their products can bring them in trouble.”
Naturally, you’d think that after these statements, Vincke would be a pro-DRM supporter. However, that’s not the case as Vincke confessed that he wouldn’t be in this industry if he hadn’t downloaded and pirated lots of games in the past:
“I think I probably played a couple of thousands of games illegally, and so I’d be quite a hypocrite if I’d condemn something I’ve been doing myself for years. I now make enough money to buy all my games, and I do, but I didn’t back then and to be frank, I also didn’t really think about the people making those games and the impact of my piracy actions on them. I even cracked some games or fixed some bad cracks when I discovered that my gameplay experience was being disturbed by some fancy copy protection.”
Vincke also stated that demos can be deceiving, let alone marketing tricks like not releasing one for the PC platform. As a result of that, Vincke felt – a lot of times – cheated with games that had a clever marketing team behind them. On the other hand, Vincke admitted that he had bought a lot of games after pirating and ‘demo-ing’ them. Which is exactly what, pretty much, most pirates are claiming these days.
Vincke concluded that cloud gaming is the future of gaming. Vincke believes that in such a model, the first hour should be free, and the rest payable. Therefore, customers would be getting “a lot less junk, the guys who make top games would get the most rewards and players wouldn’t be cheated“.
Bold words from Larian Studios’ founder, but that wouldn’t work for a lot of companies that are basing their games’ sales on clever marketing tricks. And since they are a lot of them, well, that cloud system would not work anytime soon.