Super Meat Boy creators Team Meat says that their retro side-scroller was a popular choice for software pirates. However, they insist that they don't care.
“Our game was hugely pirated – we don’t fucking care," said Team Meat's Edmund McMillen on the DarkZero podcast. "If there are let’s say 200,000 copies of SMB that are getting passed around for free, that’s 200,000 people who are playing the game. If they like this game there’s a really high probabability of their friends coming around and seeing it or them posting about it on their blogs."
"And it’s not cool to go round and say I really like this game that I stole, so they’re not going to say that. So it’s going to come around to sales.”
It's true, word-of-mouth can definitely help a game's sales. I don't know if it happens as cleanly as suggested here, though. For every person who tells their friends to buy a game they stole, there's likely a person who just gives that pirated copy to their friend.
Still, the sales figures for SMB show that piracy failed to prevent the game's success. It's racked up over 600,000 sales on Xbox Live Arcade and PC. Planned Linux and Mac ports will push that number even higher.
Team Meat is currently working on The Binding of Isaac, a Legend of Zelda-like adventure for the PC. It's set to hit Steam in August.