In its first 24 hours on the shelves, My Friend Pedro did exceptionally well for itself. The indie game by DeadToast Entertainment and Devolver Digital raked in about 1000 reviews on Steam alone and is currently rated 9/10 on Valve’s digital store.
Media outlets and influencers throughout the world also discussed the title, often showering it in praise and applauding its frantic gameplay. What many articles seem to imply, however, is that Steam is the only place where you could get a PC copy of it.
On the contrary, the people behind My Friend Pedro also struck a deal with GoG; the popular site that only features a hand-picked, curated selection of games. And as per the company’s policy, this version of the indie game is entirely free from DRM; something you might be interested in learning more about!
Why Should I Care About DRM-Free Games at All?
An acronym for Digital-Rights-Management tools, the word DRM usually indicates an array of security systems put in place in an effort to prevent theft or restrict use. Online activation remains the most common within the gaming industry, but other approaches have also been developed within the last decade.
While DRM doesn’t actually protect a game from unauthorized redistribution – in fact, cracked versions of My Friend Pedro have popped up online as early as 1 hour after the title had been made public – they might prevent players from enjoying a product they have already paid for.
Virtually all games on Steam, for instance, require an active internet connection at some point; either to source the files needed to play or to store your progress remotely. There is no way you could move a game to a machine that doesn’t have access to the internet and some features are often locked until you go online.
The GoG version of My Friend Pedro, instead, comes with an old-style installer that you’ll only have to download once. You can then bring it along on a trip and play wherever you are; without having to worry about hooking into your hotel’s wifi or chewing through your phone’s data just to enjoy the game.
“Everyone Has Stable Internet In 2019!”
Unfortunately, that is not entirely true. According to recent data, as of March 2019, only about half of the world’s population has continuous access to the internet. The ease with which we can download large files depends primarily on our country of origin and varies greatly as we move through the globe.
Let’s take a look at the stats in the picture below. More or less 90% of North-Americans (a tad short of 366,5 million people or just about 4% of the world’s population) can rely on a stable internet connection. The percentage drops to 86.8% if we move to Europe (about 10,7% of the world’s population) and goes even lower in Australia; where only 68,4% of the 42 million inhabitants can browse Facebook on the daily; let alone download multiple GBs worth of data.
That’s not the worst, however. The situation remains critical in South America – 658,3 million people of which only 67,5% can access the internet – in Asia – 4,2 billion people and a penetration rate of 51,8% – and in Africa, where just about 1/3 of the 1.3 billion inhabitants can experience the magic of the world-wide-web.
So No DRM Means More People Can Play My Friend Pedro?
In a sense, yes. By removing DRM, the company ensures that the game can be played without internet. That doesn’t mean it will magically appear on everybody’s PC at a moment’s notice, but it might encourage people in rural areas with low-grade infrastructure to pick up a copy.
That, in turn, favors the birth and proliferation of a local community. Even without the internet, fans might meet to play the game together – through so-called “hot-seat” coop sessions – or even just discuss it in their free time. You could see more fan-art and there’s even a possibility some of the game’s characters might end up adoring the wall of a rundown building in one of the world’s many low-income areas.
As a result, more people could decide to either purchase the indie title themselves or spend more time playing it in an internet-connected cafe; thus increasing its popularity on Steam.
And, in case you were wondering, the domino effect doesn’t stop there. By boosting their game’s popularity and ensuring more people can play it, the publishers behind My Friend Pedro are also increasing the amount of money the title will make.
Provided the studio can manage their funds well, there’s a good chance Dead Toast Entertainment will have enough money to start another interesting project soon. And if a major conflict breaks out or Steam’s data-centers are hit by a rogue asteroid, you’d be able to play as long as you have the installer on your PC.
So kudos to Devolver for going through with the idea; we only hope they inspire more publishers to do the same!
You can purchase My Friend Pedro from GoG by visiting the game’s page here. Alternatively, if you prefer to add the indie game to your Steam library, consider going through the Humble Store. The price on both sites is about 16$ US or your regional equivalent.
Note: The Indie Toaster will receive a 5% commission on all purchases made through The Humble Store. All of the money we make goes directly towards keeping the site online and the articles coming!