World of Goo, a puzzle game, has a 90% piracy rate -- a rough estimate by the developer 2D Boy. What's interesting to note is that the developers reference the Russell Carroll study that I've written about before to show that the piracy rates between DRM-free and DRM-stricken games aren't any different:
this is in line with a previous estimate by russell carroll (director of marketing at reflexive) for the game ricochet infinity. russell estimated a 92% piracy rate and i found his analysis quite interesting (check it out here if you’re curious). one thing that really jumped out at me was his estimate that preventing 1000 piracy attempts results in only a single additional sale. this supports our intuitive assessment that people who pirate our game aren’t people who would have purchased it had they not been able to get it without paying.I think the more important sentence in the quoted text is this: "people who pirate our game aren’t people who would have purchased it had they not been able to get it without paying."
in our case, we might have even converted more than 1 in a 1000 pirates into legit purchases. either way, ricochet shipped with DRM, world of goo shipped without it, and there seems to be no difference in the outcomes. we can’t draw any conclusions based on two data points, but i’m hoping that others will release information about piracy rates so that everyone could see if DRM is the waste of time and money that we think it is. [emphasis/grammar in original]
Game developers and publishers should keep this in mind because it means that file-sharing isn't the same thing as lost sales, which is the opposite of what most developers and publishers assume to be the truth.