Stolen Pixels #119: After Curfew

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Wait? Online activation actually hurt a pirate? When did this happen?

Really, in all, I believe people are looking at pirates the wrong way. Sure, the people who pirated World of Goo and Demigod in the gazillions all deserve a long, endless death (I understand the paradox of the remark, thank you internet). Well, not all, just most. Actually, just some. A few...

And that's why: People who pirate games really have little choice, most of the times.

Let me give you an example familiar to me: I live in Brazil. You know how much a Wii cost here? R$ 1200,00. That's about 700 dollars right now. That's right, the Wii cost more here than the PS3 originally cost at the US and Europe. And everyone hated the cost of the PS3. The PS3 is also pretty expensive (varying from 900 to 1500 dollars right now), but the funny thing is: it cost almost R$ 9000,00 at launch. (That was US$ 4400 at the time)

Now, besides the abomination of a price we have to pay for consoles, the games are even worse. 60 bucks for a PS3 game is a bit too much, right? Imagine forking US$ 190,00! Add to that the fact that the medium acquisitive power of a Brazilian is about a third of the medium american (though in Brazil this result is a bit inconclusive for several reasons, let's say that the acquisition power of middle class Brazilian is about 70% of middle class American). Suddenly, it's no wonder that Brazilians are some of the most rampant pirates out there.

However, it's not so bad for computer games. We only pay about US$ 70,00 at launch. The problem here comes from the launch itself. VERY FEW companies bother to launch at Brazil in the same month as the USA and Europe, if they bother at all (there are some remarkable exceptions though)... Steam, Impulse and Gamersgate do alleviate this sort of foul-play (but Direct2Drive doesn't. Fuck them.), still, not all games come from these guys (who're even kind enough to let us pay the real price for their games! Whoo!)

Now, finally, consider that the numbers you get from piracy are Worldwide reports. And consider that Brazil is doing pretty damn well for an emerging country. Now consider that the USA and Europe have about 10% of the world population (and few places outside these deal with the same prices you're accustomed to). Ultimately, consider that Africa, the Middle-East and the poorest parts of India and China also have gaming communities, and that those fight daily to keep their hobbies much more than the worst recession struck gamer from the USA.

WOW! Suddenly these numbers make sense. And you feel at least partially guilty to say EVERY pirate is a soulless demon.

On another note, you should talk more about Stardock and their Impulse. Why? Because they do their darn best to keep from giving a headache for their consumers (that is, doing exactly what you'd like for EA and now Blizz stop doing). The rampant piracy of Demigod didn't stop it from being a successful game, and neither did it diminish their policy in the least. Actually, you may play any Impulse game you buy in as many computers as you want. Hell, you may play Demigod in several computers at LAN with a single digital copy! Gotta love these guys.

Edit - ALSO: Good Old Games. Looks these guys up, if you're a gamer for more than 10 years (heck, more than 4 years) you'll just looooooove these guys. I'd wed them if it wasn't sort of illegal.

Brilliant Conan O'Brien impression. I mean, I hope that's what you're going for, because it was perfect lol. Next time you need to have Judith Mossman standing to the side to play the role of Andy. And maybe a band of Combine Elite playing the Team Fortress 2 theme in between breaks:P

Holly shit that is awsome! This is like the best stolen pixels EVAR!!!

Great, just great! Thumbs up!

The Rogue Wolf:

Susan Arendt:
I would totally go to that comedy club. I really, really would.

You probably wouldn't have a choice. Move along, Citizen. Final warning.

Ahhh, Wallace Breen. If only you had used your position as puppet of malevolent alien overlords for good (and laughs) instead of evil. I'd stay up late to see the jugglers.

You just keep getting more hilarious, do you know that, Shamus? Keep it up.

Am I the only one to have noticed the two resistance members in Half life Episode 2, visable through the floor in one room, chatting in front of the television watching Dr Kliner.

'I kinda miss Dr breen'
'Ya, His program was better, remember when he had the jugglers on?'
'That was great'
Ill have to fraps it and post it somewhere

Actually, I would watch this show if it were real. Beats the hell out of Conan.

Nice use of Garry's mod Shamus. I am also like to pose and take pictures of ragdolls in an enviroment built by me.

That...

was...

AWESOME!!!!!!!

ironically enough, i saw this comic while the servers were down...

Random argument man:
The "servers are down" joke made me giggle.

Yeah that was so wrong,but I loved it so much..

Can you really rival Steam? I only buy games from Steam, and maybe one from Walmart if I have money on hand but not in my account, even when the games are $10 more at the retail.

whaleswiththumbs:

Random argument man:
The "servers are down" joke made me giggle.

Yeah that was so wrong,but I loved it so much..

Can you really rival Steam? I only buy games from Steam, and maybe one from Walmart if I have money on hand but not in my account, even when the games are $10 more at the retail.

Impulse and Gamersgate do a good job, as well as Good Old Games. Sure, they succeed by not going against steam directly (Impulse relies on the indie and complex strategy niche, Good Old Games the nostalgia niche and Gamersgate the european niche), but they each get a good slice of the cake as well. Direct2Drive isn't doing bad either, but as they don't deal outside the US and Canada, I prefer to not give them credit.

Remember that not every publisher is going to go for Steam because they want to avoid turning the digital distribution a monopoly. As highly as anyone (including myself) can speak of Valve, it is never good to be in the position that you have to abide to someone's terms because they're the only option you have. That said, it still intrigues me what Blizz would want to aim for here. However, I can see them as a real player in the field if they decide to make Diablo 3 and Starcraft 2 to be exclusively distributed by their digital distribution business. If that'd be a dick move... depends. I prefer having options.

DogofRaw:

Am I the only one to have noticed the two resistance members in Half life Episode 2, visable through the floor in one room, chatting in front of the television watching Dr Kliner.

'I kinda miss Dr breen'
'Ya, His program was better, remember when he had the jugglers on?'
'That was great'
Ill have to fraps it and post it somewhere

Sounds a bit like Gordon Frohman.

Darth Trethon:
Oh wow.....an actually funny strip that is made by someone other than Travis. Looks like Shamus has been taking notes and learning. I actually laughed this time.

You know Travis is just Shamus' alter-ego, right?

orannis62:

DogofRaw:

Am I the only one to have noticed the two resistance members in Half life Episode 2, visable through the floor in one room, chatting in front of the television watching Dr Kliner.

'I kinda miss Dr breen'
'Ya, His program was better, remember when he had the jugglers on?'
'That was great'
Ill have to fraps it and post it somewhere

Sounds a bit like Gordon Frohman.

Darth Trethon:
Oh wow.....an actually funny strip that is made by someone other than Travis. Looks like Shamus has been taking notes and learning. I actually laughed this time.

You know Travis is just Shamus' alter-ego, right?

Whatever works I guess. If alter egos make him actually funny then fine by me. All I know is that when I see the name Travis Taylor I KNOW 100% that the strip is going to be hilarious and the rest of the time I expect a poor attempt at humor. I still read the strips anyway but I just wish more of them were actually funny.

does anyone else see a tiny-fied version of the comic?

I'm getting it for this comic and the next one, but not the previous ones. I tried firefox and IE from work, no change.

Damn, why is it so small for me? On my laptop, the latest two of these comics are tiny.

Pallindromemordnillap:
does anyone else see a tiny-fied version of the comic?

Ah, it's not just me.

The picture is very small and pretty much impossible to read.

Looks like this is a comic we won't get to see. A shame.

Cavouku:

Pallindromemordnillap:
does anyone else see a tiny-fied version of the comic?

Ah, it's not just me.

Guess were all having that issue ;p. Darn i really wanted to see that comic after all those "BEST STOLEN EVAR!" comments ;p.

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