Piracy is a rampant problem in particular for small PC developers, but Trials HD
developer RedLynx says it's looking at ways to leverage the issue to its benefit -- like leaking its PC game Trials 2
to torrent sites alongside its commercial release.
"Piracy is here, so how can we take advantage of that?" posed RedLynx CEO Tero Virtala, speaking at a Develop Liverpool panel reported on by GamesIndustry.biz
. "What we did actually, on day one, we put that game immediately on all the torrent networks ourselves."
According to the report, the leaked version of the game lacked leaderboard support, crucial to Trials 2
's full experience -- Virtala's hope was that users who downloaded the game would enjoy it enough to upgrade to a paid version to gain the extra feature.
In that way, offering the "leaked" version of the game was like offering a demo that simply leveraged the existing network of users who download games via torrents.
And Virtala said that the PC game pirates haven't yet found a way to crack into the leaderboards, which he says are the game's "soul" -- at least, that's his belief based on cross-referencing.
has sold close to 150,000 legitimate PC copies since its launch, he said: "When we compare that hacked version with those who have access to leaderboards and are accessing our servers they match. So at least people have not cracked our leaderboards yet."