Video game piracy: Is it good for business?

Kane52630

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I agree with this article a lot.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/gaming.gadgets/09/09/video.game.piracy/index.html?hpt=Sbin

(CNN) -- Although as old as gaming itself, software piracy has been making headlines lately, seen by many as a growing danger to a business just coming to grips with the transition to digital.

But amidst a growing call to stem the bleeding, game makers may be missing the greatest opportunity to connect with players that they've ever witnessed.

Sony's PlayStation 3 has recently been the subject of an industry outcry as the latest system to fall victim to enterprising thieves. Credit the launch of the PS Jailbreak, a plug-and-play USB device that lets you copy retail games to, and play them from, the system's hard drive.

New strategy game "Elemental: War of Magic" has also sparked debate by promising to forego digital rights management, restrictive protection schemes that inhibit the copying and distribution of electronic data.

Complaints over used game sales, which developers don't see a penny from, are further fueling the uproar, causing some insiders to draw parallels between the practices. THQ's Cory Ledesma recently told ComputerAndVideoGames.com that "we get cheated" when titles are bought secondhand, while popular online comic Penny Arcade likened used sales to a "parallel economy" from which only retailers benefit.

But what's interesting about these issues isn't that they're suddenly garnering attention. It's that they're the same problems that have plagued the industry since the '80s, when computing enthusiasts casually exchanged floppy disks containing the latest software releases.

What's changed is simply the scale of the problem and the increasingly desperate measures publishers are taking to halt piracy's spread.

For software creators, stemming the tide of online downloads is a mounting concern. In the old days, precious few could access "elite" bulletin board system dial-ups or FTP online download sites full of pirated software. Today, the Internet provides millions with instant access to new, and in some cases unreleased, titles for all game systems on demand.

Consider the case of "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2," 2009's best-selling console title, of which 11.86 million copies were purchased, according to the Top Global Markets sales report. Simultaneously, download tracking site TorrentFreak claims that 4.1 million copies were illegally downloaded for the PC.

Countless developers have voiced their concerns and steadily shifted away from desktop platforms as a result.

But console games are no less vulnerable, with titles like "Punch-Out!!!" for the Wii and "Super Street Fighter IV" for Xbox 360 also popular piracy targets. Nintendo's even gone so far as to blame devices like the R4, a flash cartridge capable of holding multiple pirated Nintendo DS games, for a whopping 50-percent sales drop of handheld titles across Europe.

But despite hefty penalties, like the $1.5 million an Australian man was fined for illegally copying and uploading "New Super Mario Bros." for Wii to the internet, the problem continues to grow. Worse, the punishments for all involved may not fit the virtual crimes.

Many game publishers' response has been to implement increasingly draconian copy protection measures, such as a limited number of software installations, the need for online logins or one-time use codes for multiplayer access. UbiSoft's "Silent Hunter V," a submarine simulation released this year, made the game impossible to play unless you are continuously connected to the internet.

But thanks to the longstanding arms race between pirates and paranoid software makers, the game was inevitably "cracked," or circumvented.

So here's the irony: For game creators, lowering costs and making titles widely available may actually be the solution to stamping out piracy.

Consider that social network games such as "FarmVille" and "Restaurant City," which cost nothing to play unless you choose to buy virtual extras, are drawing audiences in the tens of millions. Complementary online worlds like "Free Realms" are also signing up new recruits at a breakneck pace, while others such as "Dungeons & Dragons Online" are enjoying a new lease on life by abandoning monthly subscription fees.

Numerous websites, such as Kongregate.com and Newgrounds.com, have also become popular online destinations by offering thousands of titles to play at no cost, right in your Web browser.

The lesson these titles teach is simple.

Giving games away for less and then offering a range of optional, bite-sized downloadable purchases -- sometimes called microtransactions -- at a variety of prices may be a better deal than demanding a one-time $50 to $60 retail purchase for everyone involved.

Likewise, providing free games (or portions thereof) up front, then rewarding those who choose to buy in with a steady stream of high-quality downloadable extras or added adventures, could be a better model.

Putting digital diversions in more people's hands and letting them pay what they want, when they want, has the potential to massively expand gaming's reach and profitability. By taking the same approach Google has to online advertising, clever game makers could turn rampant copying of games not only into the sincerest form of flattery but into a workable future.

By making games more readily accessible, faster to skim and easier to pass along to friends, game makers may actually be doing more to combat piracy than any lawsuit or fancy technical countermeasure ever could. As for whether they'll actually see the humor in stealing a page from the competition, the jury remains out.
 
I just about this Jailbreak for PS3 today.

It was only a matter of time before someone got around the whole Blu Ray thing.
 
Games have high price points because they are expensive to make. He listed Farmville as an example. Are you effing serious? You cant compare Farmville to a title like New Super Mario Bros, and say that oh if they just made it cheaper ppl wouldn't steal it. Could these companies afford to make their games cheaper? Possibly, but take a game like Red Dead Redemption, for Rockstar to just break even that game needed to move 6 million units. That should show you how much some of these games cost to make. If you cant afford a game, tough, that doesnt give you the right to steal it.
 
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This can be said for anything that can be pirated though. So you're right games are no different.

Yet it boggles me how someone can afford the 300 to 400 dollar PS3, yet can't afford the 60 dollar games. :confused:
 
This can be said for anything that can be pirated though. So you're right games are no different.

Yet it boggles me how someone can afford the 300 to 400 dollar PS3, yet can't afford the 60 dollar games. :confused:

well... the PS3 is a worthy investment for every type of media (photos, music,video, games, internet, ect.) and as a person who paid $400 for a PS3 several years ago it was worth buying but paying a game that you will get bored with 2 months after? yeah im not forking over $60 for that. im the same way with movies. I can wait for the price to go down on amazon and get a better deal but video games take almost forever for a price drop after its been released
 
but paying a game that you will get bored with 2 months after? yeah im not forking over $60 for that. im the same way with movies. I can wait for the price to go down on amazon and get a better deal but video games take almost forever for a price drop after its been released


Well then your consequences should be that you cant play that game. Stealing a game will never be justifiable. Period. I take this more personally than most as i have a few friends who develop games and when a company loses money, the first people to go are the lower tier workers. And stealing a game causes these companies to lose money. You wouldnt walk in to a store and steal a pair of shoes you cant afford, so why some feel its ok to steal a development teams property just baffles me. You cant afford a game, tough, go get a cheaper hobby.
 
Netflix and Gamefly. Problem solved. It worked for me Kane.
 
Well then your consequences should be that you cant play that game. Stealing a game will never be justifiable. Period. I take this more personally than most as i have a few friends who develop games and when a company loses money, the first people to go are the lower tier workers. And stealing a game causes these companies to lose money. You wouldnt walk in to a store and steal a pair of shoes you cant afford, so why some feel its ok to steal a development teams property just baffles me. You cant afford a game, tough, go get a cheaper hobby.

I understand that, but if theres a way people will go. Piracy will never end you should know that people have bootlegged for centuries from prohibition to old school pirates

Netflix and Gamefly. Problem solved. It worked for me Kane.

meh, I have enough bills to look over.
 
I understand that, but if theres a way people will go. Piracy will never end you should know that people have bootlegged for centuries from prohibition to old school pirates


Oh i get that, it will never go away regardless of the acts taken to prevent it, but its never justifiable. People who pirate cost people their jobs and if one cant afford a 60 dollar video game now and then, then that individual has made some s**tty life choices and should rethink things.
 
meh, I have enough bills to look over.

How many games did you buy last year, because Gamefly costs the equivalent of 3 $60.00 games a year (1 game out at a time). And with GF you can play as many games as you want the whole year. It would make more economic sense.
 
Oh i get that, it will never go away regardless of the acts taken to prevent it, but its never justifiable. People who pirate cost people their jobs.

alright but what about people who have friends that share games,movies,ect from one person to the next wouldnt that be counted as piracy seeing how it takes away potential $$$ away from the makers of that product?
 
alright but what about people who have friends that share games,movies,ect from one person to the next wouldnt that be counted as piracy seeing how it takes away potential $$$ away from the makers of that product?

No. If i loan a friend a copy of Halo, if he likes it, chances are higher that he'll buy it. Now if that friend downloads an illegal copy of Halo, likes it, why go out and buy it? He already has a full copy downloaded. So it's not in any way the same. Plus file sharing isn't between 2 individuals, most likely its with millions. You loan a copy of a game to your friend, you cant play that game while he has it. Theres a trade off. Thats not the case with file sharing.

My sister pirates movies a lot and im constantly getting on to her about it. She says well if i like the movie then ill go out and buy it. Not once have i seen her do that.
 
No. If i loan a friend a copy of Halo, if he likes it, chances are higher that he'll buy it. Now if that friend downloads an illegal copy of Halo, likes it, why go out and buy it? He already has a full copy downloaded. So it's not in any way the same. Plus file sharing isn't between 2 individuals, most likely its with millions. You loan a copy of a game to your friend, you cant play that game while he has it. Theres a trade off. Thats not the case with file sharing.

My sister pirates movies a lot and im constantly getting on to her about it. She says well if i like the movie then ill go out and buy it. Not once have i seen her do that.

huh, well ive seen movies online and if I really want it ill go buy it. right now im waiting on the price to go down on Under the Red Hood on bluray so I can buy it. I buy still buy things (more like started buying things) for sentimental value and of course the film
 
This can be said for anything that can be pirated though. So you're right games are no different.

Yet it boggles me how someone can afford the 300 to 400 dollar PS3, yet can't afford the 60 dollar games. :confused:
bc the PS3 is a one time investment. If someone is going to pirate, it isnt going to be 1 $60 game. Its going to be dozens of titles. You are looking at hundreds and thousands of dollars. It actually pretty simple to undersand
 
Kind of off topic but if you're waiting for the price of a blu ray movie to drop you'll most likely be waiting a while. The best time to buy blu rays (and dvds for that matter) is the first week they come out. They're always on sale $7-$10 cheaper the first week. Using the DC Animated movies as an example, I bought Under the Red Hood for $22, I think it was. It's $29.99 now and will stay that way for quite a while. Last I checked that Wonder Woman movie was still $29 and the same with Gotham Knight.

I know someone already said it but I agree, you can't compare a game like Red Dead Redemption or New Super Mario Bros with Farmville. Those games cost millions to make and dozens, if not hundreds of artists and developers. The irony is, Farmville itself is a blatant rip off a game called Farm Town. Same with Mafia Wars directly copying Mob Wars. From the articles I've read Zynga is a pretty horrible company and will steal anything for their Facebook games. Hardly an apt comparison.

As sucky as it is, the only way I can see them really putting a dent in piracy is putting one time use codes in with every game that ties that copy to your gamertag or PSN ID. I doubt any of us here would applaud that practice though. I'd rather them just try to make the best game they can and give more incentives to buy the game. Maybe things like premium themes or extra skins or things like that.
 
Kind of off topic but if you're waiting for the price of a blu ray movie to drop you'll most likely be waiting a while. The best time to buy blu rays (and dvds for that matter) is the first week they come out. They're always on sale $7-$10 cheaper the first week. Using the DC Animated movies as an example, I bought Under the Red Hood for $22, I think it was. It's $29.99 now and will stay that way for quite a while. Last I checked that Wonder Woman movie was still $29 and the same with Gotham Knight.
I got Gotham Knight for $12.99. Wonder Woman is retailing for $17.99 on Amazon right now. Red Hood is $19.99. I dont buy a BR unless its under $16. Prices go down all the time and if you wait and look around, you will find good prices
 
I don't think so, at least for the big games. It seems there are a lot of people who say they pirate because they want to "try a game" or because of "drm". Personally, I think they are talking out there arse most of the time. If people can get something free just because they can get something for free easily with little to no chance of repercussions, they will get it. Unfortunately, the open platform nature of the pc is something of a double edged sword, piracy on the pc is generally far easyer than a console and it shows. I think companies can exacerbate piracy even more. Some cases such as Spore and Modern Warfare 2 did genuinly wind people up which seemes to increase the normal piracy rate to record levels. Saying that though, Street Fighter IV which features new types of shaders and Resident Evil IV which used Nvidia 3D Vision were very well done ports with added features, both games were pirated to high hell as was Dirt 2 which had added directX11 features. Gabe Newell once claimed pirates were giving a better service. He is right to some degree. Games come out before they officially released, in county's such as Russia pirates themselfs translate the games, games such as Dragon Age come with all the pre-order tat you are forced to pay for pre-owned. Rather than attempt to offer a better service, many companies have more or less went the opposite way, trying to squeeze customers like sponge. Cutting original game content out for future DLC, cutting game content out for pre-order only, selling re-skins and re-models for $1.99 a pop. 5 multiplayer maps with 3 of them rehashes for, £10.99, yes? Selling games for £10 more because they know well they are "hot" titles. I just buy don't them (not pirate them)and choose to support company's that do give a great service, like Valve. :hrt:.
 
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How many games did you buy last year, because Gamefly costs the equivalent of 3 $60.00 games a year (1 game out at a time). And with GF you can play as many games as you want the whole year. It would make more economic sense.

I'd rather pay twice as much on games than 1 year of GameFly. I want to spend more time playing games than waiting for them.
 

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