Treating gamers with respect and creating great, easily accessible software is the most effective way to prevent piracy, with the implementation of DRM being an unnecessary and costly course of action, according to Super Meat Boy co-creator Tommy Refenes.
In a post on his personal Tumblr, Refenes wrote that implementing DRM on software does not prevent piracy and cannot prove itself a good investment because gamers' intentions are a non-calculable variable. Refenes believes software that is "easy to buy, easy to run, and does what is advertised" is less likely to be pirated, but that ultimately gamers have to want to buy the game and support the developer.
"People need to care about your employees and your company's well being," he wrote. "There is no better way to achieve that than making sure what you put out there is the best you can do and you treat your customers with respect."
Refenes cited SimCity as an example of a situation in which gamers have lost trust in a company. After experiencing the server issues, Refenes asked for and received a refund from Origin; this return of a digital game is a calculable loss, because EA cannot resell it. He believes that refunds are "much more dangerous" than piracy to company revenue.
"Disappointment leads to apathy which is the swan song for any developer," Refenes wrote. "If people don't care about your game, why would people ever buy it?
"When EA/Maxis create their next new game how many people are going to be excited about it and talking positively about it?" he added. "I imagine that the poison of their current SimCity launch is going to seep into potential customers thoughts and be a point of speculation as to 'Is it going to be another SimCity launch?'"
Read Refenes full post on his Tumblr.