What's the general thoughts on piracy you guys have? The reason I ask is because my friend is a videogame designer and is currently involved within the independent market. He would most likely just sell his game on his own personal site OR he could maybe get an online distribution deal with Steam.
Either way, his game will most likely be pirated. It's almost impossible to stop. DRM is a technology that has been used in an attempt to stop piracy of digital content, although it has proven to be a failure for the most part.
I recommend you check out this video (and the rest of the playlist) by 'free culture' artist Nina Paley. She releases all her work with a license that allows remixing:
Nina Paley on: Sita Sings the Blues: The Ramayana and "Free Culture"
Just go with Steam and don't price it too high. The indie market on Steam has really grown a lot, and many members obviously don't mind buying and supporting the indie games. There will always be people who download some games for free, but they are absolutely NOT your friend's target market.
Anyway, I think your friend will have to get by the Steam Greenlight system, and I wish your friend luck.
Yeah, I've noticed that sales do shoot through the roof when the pricing is cut. Angry Birds is extremely popular because of this. Also, the independent studio behind the game "World of Goo" first released their game for 15 dollars, and it had struggling sales. They actually did an independent study of their own and found that about 90% of those playing the game had pirated it. Now they've released it on the Ipad and other portable devices for like 5 dollars and the sales have gone up.
They also had an interesting sale where they allowed the consumer (for a limited time) to pay for the game what they wanted. This brought extra attention to the game, and later when it was re-released after the price cuts it sold much more.
No time to respond.