Panty Theft

edited October 2006 in Story Games
I just started a topic over on the Forge about problems I've been having with Panty explosion showing up on file sharing sites. Heres the link: http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=21884.msg223681#msg223681

I'd appreciate advice or feedbck, especially if this is a problem anyone has dealt with before.


Thanks,

jake

Comments

  • Jake, the only reason it's there is because of the name.

    I can guarantee that anyone who would download from those sites wouldn't be buying it in the first place.
  • It is indeed a Bad Thing, but it does at least have the silver lining of a little free publicity. My personal slogan for this kind of thing is "Obscurity is much scarier than piracy," but then I don't know that I'd still feel that way if I saw my own work being pirated. ^^;

    Regardless, for my part I'll be buying a printed copy of Panty Explosion when I can spare the money, hopefully soon. :)
  • By the way... the correct title for this thread is "Panty Raid"

    Just, you know, putting that out there.
  • I'll form a Fred alliance here and echo Vaxalon's comment. Filesharing networks oriented on piracy are about delivering free products to people who wouldn't pay for them. End of story. You're not losing sales.
  • Guys, I hate to break through the solid wall of justification here, but Jake's made it very clear that he is losing sales. Now, if you want to maintain your dogma in the face of evidence, you could always say that he's a fluke, but the fact remains.

    yrs--
    --Ben
  • I believe I'm losing sales. Its hard to be sure, but our sales dropped from 3 copies a day to about 2 a week a few weeks ago. That was about the time the PDF showed up for download on many of these sites. It might be a coincidence, but I doubt it.

    Of course I know that most (nearly all I guess) of these people would have never bought the game anyway. But if the numbers listed on some of these sites are true then something over 800 people have downloaded the file since it went up. I would have welcomed even 5% of those sales. Hell, I'd welcome any sales.

    At first I just assumed that people were downloading it because they thought it was porn. We get that a lot. But many of these sites list it in their RPG section, and at least one of them dosen't offer porn at all.

    At this point I'm guesing that our PDF sales won't recover. Especially since when you google Panty explosion one of these download sites comes up on the first page.

    I've contacted the site admins (the ones I could find emails for anyway) and have asked them to remove the file. I know this won't solve the problem, but I think its a worthwhile step. It has been suggested to me that I might replace the file with a "tryout version" of PE. I think thats not a bad idea.

    "My personal slogan for this kind of thing is "Obscurity is much scarier than piracy," but then I don't know that I'd still feel that way if I saw my own work being pirated."

    I feel the same way, but it still comes as a blow.


    Thanks for the feedback everyone. If you have anyother suggestions or advice I would be interested in hearing it.



    Jake
  • Look, Jake, I don't know you, but you say you download stuff yourself and then buy it if you like it. I would be willing to bet that anybody you could track down would say exactly the same thing.

    I don't download anything, personally; despite my socialist politics. Maybe that makes me old-fashioned. But maybe you can explain to me where you get off using this technology and then expecting others not to.
  • There might be some reason to be hopeful, in terms of the whole "I download to evaluate" vibe. Maybe (I stress, "maybe") you're seeing a temporary blip ... the effect of a new channel opening for people to evaluate your work. Maybe 5% of the people are, as we speak, taking the time to evaluate the product, maybe to get a gaming group together in order to play it, and will later be buying.

    That kind of thing happened to me when I put up the "Capes Lite" demonstration rules. PDF (and book) sales tapered for a few weeks, then returned to slightly higher levels than before.

    But time will tell on that. Right now what you're seeing is a sudden drop in PDF sales, and I think you're probably right that it's not a coincidence. That sucks.
  • edited October 2006
    I'm not sure this is "gladly" or "sadly", but I think there is a certain amount of coincidence here. Check out my post at the Forge: here.
  • Here's a suggestion: add a paypal link to your website for people who've downloaded from Bittorrent or whatever.

    More radical: add directions to the pdf (as with shareware) for paying if the reader wants to keep it. Then put the pdf on bittorrent.
  • "There might be some reason to be hopeful, in terms of the whole "I download to evaluate" vibe. Maybe (I stress, "maybe") you're seeing a temporary blip ... the effect of a new channel opening for people to evaluate your work. Maybe 5% of the people are, as we speak, taking the time to evaluate the product, maybe to get a gaming group together in order to play it, and will later be buying."

    Maybe. I'm certainly hopeful.

    "That kind of thing happened to me when I put up the "Capes Lite" demonstration rules. PDF (and book) sales tapered for a few weeks, then returned to slightly higher levels than before."

    That would certainly be nice. Ad even if thats not what happens, we may be able to use this to our advantage in some way. I'm still thinking about it, and there have been a lot of good suggestions. I guess it will probably be awhile before the outcome of this is really evident. I'm still not really sure that we're actually losing real sales to this. It may just look that way. So we'll see.

    "I'm not sure this is "gladly" or "sadly", but I think there is a certain amount of coincidence here. Check out my post at the Forge: here."

    read and responded. Thanks for your input. I appreciate it and found it helpful.

    "Here's a suggestion: add a paypal link to your website for people who've downloaded from Bittorrent or whatever.

    More radical: add directions to the pdf (as with shareware) for paying if the reader wants to keep it. Then put the pdf on bittorrent."

    very interesting. I like both of these suggestions. I think, along with other ideas, we'll end up implemennting one or both of these. Thanks.

    "I don't download anything, personally; despite my socialist politics. Maybe that makes me old-fashioned. But maybe you can explain to me where you get off using this technology and then expecting others not to."

    I do use it and I don't expect ohers not to. I'm not trying to defend my actions. I recognize this as hypocritical. I said so in my original post on the Forge. I'm not looking to have anyone condone that. I'm not going to apologize for that either. Let me restate my questions I originally asked on the Forge:

    Should I do anything about this? If so what should I do?

    Has anybody else had similar problems? And if so what did you do?

    Thats all I'm looking for answers to.


    Thanks everyone.


    Jake Richmond
  • Sucks, but...

    I noticed the fella who posted your game claims to be in Poland. If people in Poland and elsewhere, people who would otherwise have never even heard of your game except it was some k3wl-looking thing they could steal online, are seeing your game, it's probably a win in the end. And your game, in particular, is something provocative enough that people who've never even looked at a role-playing game are likely to be curious about. Think of it as guerilla advertising.

    I think you did the right thing by presenting yourself as a real person who is being cheated and not some anonymous corporate content producer. The real appeal, to the customer, of the indie thing is the opportunity to actually interact with the creator of the product. A Panty Explosion player can come ask Jake Richmond questions about the rules, present funny stories about game experience, whatever. When they realize how cool Jake Richmond is, it becomes not a question of, "Do I have to pay for this?" but "How do I send money to Jake Richmond?" I mean, all that money goes to Jake and Matt, not some suit who couldn't even be bothered to notice what people are doing with his product once it hits the market.

    Now, if you're really ardent about asserting your legal rights, you could send a DCMA complaint letter to the ISPs of any host you find distributing your content. That'll probably only work in the US, but you could likely manage to draft such a thing without a lawyer.
  • We still haven't decided what we want to do. As I said before, it's still not clear to e if this is affecting sales. And if it is, then to what extent. I'm hoping it will become more evident withg time and research.

    most definetly people are getting ahold of the game who might never have heard of it otherwise. Whether we are losing sales or not, there is a value to this that shouldn't be overlooked. It may be that theres nothing we can really do to stop this,and we need to embrace it and use it to our advantage. Guerilla advertising, as you say. We'll see.


    Thanks for the feedback.

    Jake Richmond
  • Posted By: Ben LehmanGuys, I hate to break through the solid wall of justification here, but Jake's made it very clear that he is losing sales. Now, if you want to maintain your dogma in the face of evidence, you could always say that he's a fluke, but the fact remains.
    If you want to offhandedly dismiss my comments as dogma, that's certainly your prerogative, but it implies I didn't take Jake's claim of lost sales into consideration, which is flat wrong. I'd like to be given more credit than that in the future.

    LOTS of sales curves look like "I sold several a day for a few weeks, and then it dropped off suddenly". Including products that haven't suddenly made the transition to being freely downloadable. What Jake's describing as his sales trending could easily cover a certain time period I had for Don't Rest Your Head as well, and that was without the inclusion of piracy as a factor.

    Just because there is coincidence does not imply causation.

    I didn't make the assumption of causation. You did.
  • Lots of products have a certain amount of pent-up demand. People who have been watching the development of a product and can't wait for it to be released... and as soon as they have the available income (one or two paychecks) they buy it... and then that demand is gone. The long tail comes quickly in small press.
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