Minecraft creator Markus 'Notch' Persson has told attendees at GDC's Indie Games Summit that the notion of piracy as theft is incorrect.
"Piracy is not theft," he said during the session. "If you steal a car, the original is lost. If you copy a game, there are simply more of them in the world.
"There is no such thing as a 'lost sale'," he added. "Is a bad review a lost sale? What about a missed ship date?"
According to Edge, Persson suggested that developers see pirates not as inherently evil, but as potential customers.
Countering Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata's criticism of small and rampant mobile and social games, Persson pointed to Minecraft as more of a service than a one-off purchase.
Like Angry Birds, Minecraft is constantly updated with new content, and it's certainly got sales to show the model has been successful.
"Treat game development as a service," he said. "Make a game last longer than a week. You can't pirate an online account."