It’s not all good news, however: in a tweet, Shams Jorjani — VP of Acquisitions at Paradox Interactive — stated that the game saw a 16% piracy rate by the second day of availability (though it not clear exactly how they tracked this, other than stating it was through their “services”). Surprisingly, he states that Paradox is not concerned. “As usual our plan for pirates is to make a great game even better through free updates – making it more convenient to use Steam instead.”
Here are a few small tidbits of info about Cities: Skylines – day 1 we had 0% piracy. pretty cool. Day 2 16%.
Their approach — offering mod support and a superior paid service without the hassle of additional DRM or propriety ecosystems – apparently works well. Paradox has a history of regular updates and support to their library, most noticeable in Crusader Kings II, the game that put Paradox on the map with a new audience and which had a major patch in December 2014. It’s helped keep their games in the top 50 of games played in Steam. In particular, Jorjani highlights they tested it out with Magicka with relative success, although I’m not sure how paying customers may have felt about that many updates, regardless of how easy it was to get them.
We updated Magicka 14 times in 13 days. Even the pirates stopped posting new pirated versions after a while. Steams autoupdate was easier.
Given Paradox’s somewhat niche audience – one focused on historical accuracy and intricate real-time strategy – it’s nice to see they continue to maintain a service-orientated approach in spite of piracy having a potentially greater impact on their bottom line. Jorjani does, however, sarcastically suggest there could be another way…
Or….we could build our own ecosystem. Call it….P-play….or…Plorigins…or P-vapor or somesuch…yeah let's do that.