Codemasters thinks selling unfinished games is a good way to stop piracy

It’s no secret that pirates always seem to be one step ahead of publishers and developers alike. Every DRM method is torn down and cracked open before one can blink. But if that war is to be handed over to Codemasters CEO Rod Cousens, publishers will be selling us unfinished games in no time.

He explains his master plan in a recent statement: “My answer is for us as publishers is to actually sell unfinished games — and to offer the consumer multiple micro-payments to buy elements of the full experience. That would create an offering that is affordable at retail — but over a period of time may also generate more revenue for the publishers to reinvest in our games.”

Cousens continues, deepening the explanation: “If these games are pirated, those who get their hands on them won’t be able to complete the experience. There will be technology, coding aspects, that will come to bear that will unlock some aspects. Some people will want them and some won’t. When it comes to piracy, I think you have to make the experience the answer to the issue – rather than respond the other way round and risk damaging that experience for the user.”

Pardon our skepticism but if the answer lies within “technology” and “coding aspects” isn’t that essentially the same thing as any other DRM? Wouldn’t it simply be a matter of time before those things are cracked, destroyed and distributed within the pirate community as well? Perhaps now is the time to answer the real question: Do pirates really want to buy your game if they are unable to steal it?