Nintendo can't make their retro gaming consoles fast enough to meet demand, thereby disproving (unintentionally of course) the myth that people pirate games simply because they 'want stuff for free'. All of those old console games are widely available as ROM downloads that run in console emulation software on PCs. If playing for free was the issue, surely those consoles wouldn't be flying off the shelves.
Game developers are slowly but surely coming to understand that having their games available for free is not the disaster anti-piracy crusaders would have us believe. Jacob Janerka discovered his game Paradigm on torrent sites, but instead of going legal and trying to get the torrents removed or hosting sites shut down, he decided to embrace what is essentially free promotion and distribution for the game. He reached out to thousands of potential customers in the comments for the game's torrent on The Pirate Bay, saying:
"Hey everyone, Iím Jacob the creator of Paradigm. I know some of you legitimately canít afford the game and Iím glad you get to still play it :D If you like the game, please tell your friends and maybe even consider buying it later."
Some developers are even making free torrents of their games available themselves. Acid Wizard Studio recently did this for their popular horror title Darkwood. From the notes accompanying the torrent:
This is the latest version of Darkwood... Completely DRM-free. There's no catch, no added pirate hats for characters or anything like that. We have just one request: if you like Darkwood and want us to continue making games, consider buying it in the future, maybe on a sale, through Steam, GOG or Humble Store. But please, please, don't buy it through any key reselling site. By doing that, you're just feeding the cancer that is leeching off this industry.
Other game developers are rediscovering one of the earliest computer game sales strategies: give away the first few hours of gameplay. A related strategy is to make early versions of a game available for free, and that's what Indiegala has done with their new game Die Young.
Of course it's the bigger studios -- the ones with high-paid executives and teams of lawyers eager to prove their worth -- who insist on direct compensation for their productions. Studios like Capcom, which recently issued a takedown request for a series of playthrough videos for the Capcom game Dai Gyakuten Saiban. The game is a spinoff of Ace Attorney, and only released in Japan. All language in the game is Japanese, but English subtitles were added to the posted videos. It's difficult to imagine how something like this could be a threat to Capcom, and yet they insisted the videos be removed from Youtube.
Copy protection (aka DRM) software Denuvo suffered perhaps its most devastating setback when the game Total War: Warhammer 2, 'protected' by Denuvo, was recently cracked within hours of its release. When Resident Evil 7 was cracked earlier this year, Denuvo Marketing Director Thomas Goebl stated that "some protection was better than nothing." I wonder what he'll say now. And I wonder why anyone still bothers to waste money on copy protection, especially Denuvo.