Sink The Pirates

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Sink The Pirates

Some gamers are of the opinion that piracy is not only justified, but that it's beneficial to the industry. Sean Sands thinks these people are morons and explains how you, without realizing it, have been helping them.

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I wanted to sympathize, but a voice was whispering "EA... EA..." at me the whole time.

I think the joke's on the game companies frankly. Criminals advance AHEAD of law enforcement. So even if PC gaming were to hit the pits, you can bet people would figure out ways to still get all the games they wanted free for free. Whether that means hacking a console, or just figuring out how to transfer game files from a 360 disc to pc, they'd do it. And because it's the internet, mass propagation. I'm not saying it's right, just that I'm indifferent.

I'm against piracy, the problem is in that trying to combat it developers usually make life much more difficult for the honest consumer rather then the dishonest one, which I do not like. The trick is making piracy such a hassle that it's simply not worth it for the majority of people instead of trying to stamp it out in one fell swoop as corporations such as EA are trying to do, it simply doesn't work and makes it more trouble for someone trying to install a game legitimately. I think Steam is one of the leaders here, it never feels particularly intrusive, yet it has managed to decrease piracy of games it features by quite a bit, simply because it makes piracy more hassle then it's worth, though not to say that piracy isn't a problem for Valve because it is for everyone.

Just taking Spore for example, if I remember correctly there was some news a while ago that Spore would also secretly install some anti piracy software on your PC that would always be on in the background. For the honest consumer this is a problem they've bought the game and are having their system resources eaten as a result, whereas any knowledgeable pirate would probably be able to remove such a program in a few minutes.

The funny thing, of course, being that piracy has been around at least as long as the gaming industry, and has yet to be blamed for the death of a single format. The question is not one of morality, but of economics. When a good is overpriced, people will prefer the cheaper alternative. And piracy is not free; you still have to buy a gaming PC (expensive) before you can get onto the bandwagon. Meanwhile, some companies (cough, consoles, cough) have found a way to cross-subsidize hardware with software (or, in Nintendo's case, not even), and somehow make money out of the whole deal.

I recommend reading up about Brad Wardell, CEO of PC games makers Ironclad. They made Sins of a Solar Empire, sold it online without copy protection, and made money. The piracy argument does not hold.

I don't download pirated games (with exception for those that are no longer sold in stores), not saying i am an angel in any way, i download other stuff, but to argue that pirates should be ignored and comparing them to cancer is kind of disgusting. Also he just goes into a rage instead of giving valid arguments which makes it all seem pretty pointless.

HobbesMkii:
I wanted to sympathize, but a voice was whispering "EA... EA..." at me the whole time.

I think the joke's on the game companies frankly. Criminals advance AHEAD of law enforcement. So even if PC gaming were to hit the pits, you can bet people would figure out ways to still get all the games they wanted free for free. Whether that means hacking a console, or just figuring out how to transfer game files from a 360 disc to pc, they'd do it. And because it's the internet, mass propagation. I'm not saying it's right, just that I'm indifferent.

I hate EA. I'm hoping Spore will change my mind, but for now I consider them a bunch of uncreative, corporate demons. But even that doesn't give anyone the right to pirate their work. The concept of being able to try-before-you-buy already exists - it's called RENTING.

Furthermore, it doesn't matter how advanced pirates are; what matters is how many people take advantage of their "services." Even if each and every copy of a game that landed in gamers' hands was pirated, it wouldn't be some message to the gaming industry to churn out better games. It'd be a message to increase the price to account for greater security and inevitable piracy.

And it won't be just the law abiding gamers who suffer. Eventually no one could afford games and there wouldn't be an industry anymore. If that doomsday prediction doesn't ring true, then this one might: to cut cost, layoff. I don't see that helping anyone either. If anything, you'll see a lot more EAs churning out the same game every year.

Yes, I buy my games, but...

You're still being vitriolic, and failing to contribute a whole helluva lot to the debate.

Cevat's 20-to-1 figure is inflated, and without hard evidence otherwise, I think he's very far off. Your anecdotal bit about the count of Games torrents is far from "damning". And stating something as an "immutable truth" doesn't actually make it immutable. It just makes you sound silly and baseless.

Yes, PC developers are abandoning the PC in droves. Is piracy really the cause of it though? Sure seems like an easy scapegoat. As Skrapt above me mentions, developers have attempted a variety of things in the name of "curbing piracy", but so very few of them have actually stopped pirates, and almost all of them have made life harder on paying customers.

Developers have also been keen to tap the burgeoning console market, and have done silly things, like console-to-PC ports where the on-screen instructions still reference the console controller buttons. Who wouldn't want to buy that? It is obvious that the developers cared greatly for their PC audience, and put tenderness and love into each port. That's piracy's fault? Draw me a diagram, please, because I don't follow...

Back to the example of the wonderful Crysis, which was programmed to only run optimally on the top 1% of hardware in existence (at time of launch, for the entirety of the oh-so-crucial first few weeks, as discussed in every other article on the current gaming/retail landscape). Artificially restricting your own market, and then complaining that not enough people bought your product? What are you, insane? And to top if off, they've abandoned support on the product for those that DID buy it, promising instead to make it all better, after you buy their next product... Where have I heard that before... OH! Right. When EA decided to stop patching Battlefield 2, in favor of BF2142 development. Funny how I bought BF2, and all of the expansions, and then the developer abandoned me, and I stopped buying that developer's products on that platform. But it is not like we can extrapolate that to the market as a whole, because it is anecdotal, right?

Now, I'm all for leaving pirates out of the debate over whether piracy is okay. They've made their decision, and they're not going to be dissuaded either way; I agree with you there. But, you're never going to convince the rest of us to hate pirates: even for paying customers, pirates provide a valuable service. When I start up games, you know what the last thing I want to do is? Put a disc in the tray. Sit through 5 minutes of intro videos and splash screens. Validate with the central server for a singleplayer game. Be denied a reinstall because I did a regular, XP-occasionally-necessary, complete system restore/reinstall.

You know what pirates do? They fix those things for me.

On the whole, your general premise that piracy is bad, and everyone should stop coming up with paper-thin defenses for why piracy is good... these are all things I basically agree with. You mucked the whole thing up with a pretty shoddy approach to everything else. Editorials may be fair-game for un-based absolutes, but that doesn't make them valid arguments. It just makes them nit-picking-points for your opponents.

Sorry, but I didn't go past the first page.

First, stupid analogy. We sympathize with the mugger?. No, sorry, the developer treats US customers as if we were the muggers, and makes unreasonable demands of us, THE ONLY ONES buying the product.

And then, you go and give again credibility to a deranged developer who thinks that his very average (and yeah, pretty) game should have sold 60 million copies (since they sold 3 - PC Gamer UK says - and somehow he pulled out of his ass that there were 20 pirated copies for each one sold). A game that, BTW, is still broken and won't be fixed, since they're now working on Warhead. Unbelievable. Warhead will sell 300K copies and they will again cry piracy.

You lost me there. Piracy is bad, yes. But justifying developers that blame piracy when their average games don't sell what they expected, and justifying the DRM schemes that make customers NOT buy games is not the way to fix it.

Oh, and I buy my games. But I'm tired of things like Bioshock's protection or Mass Effect's protection, that don't let the BUYERS play the game while the PIRATES can play without any problem. Developers and distributors are the ones that are seemingly making everyone want to pirate games. And I'm tired of seeing people defend them whatever they do. What's next?. Every time you play the game you bought you have to make a phone call and they give you the code of the day to authorize an hour of playing?.

Leave the pirates alone. They're not going to pay for the games either way, and they don't damage the industry. A game pirated is NOT a game that would have been sold otherwise, and it certainly isn't a stolen game (and no, I won't debate legalese).

Sink the suits making these stupid decisions, I say. Now, THAT would be helpful.

Geoffrey42 does have a point. I buy games, but often have a pirate copy so I can play the things without constant CD switching. That's not to mention the games that won't run unless they are in the same CD drive that I installed them with. Then there's my older games, for which I've long lost the CD key (or the CD). I don't really want to buy them twice (though I have on occasion, with the really good ones).

Anyway, if your argument is that Console games are gaining prevalence because of Piracy, that's a load of bull. The reason they are gaining prevalence is because the console can now handle the same games as a PC, but they are less expensive. That's why I got my XBox 360. If the choice is between buying or building a $1500 machine (the cheapest machine you could run Crysis on was $875 - http://tinyurl.com/2fdjmc) or a $350 one for the same games, you'd have to be stupid not to go for the 360. With Internet-enabled consoles, there is no good reason to stay with the computer for gaming. I get a bigger screen, multiplayer, web downloads and the rest. The best qualities of PC gaming are counteracted by the security measures I have to plow through just to install a single player game. Yea, I miss my mouse and keyboard, but you know what? They ain't worth $500+.

If they really think that switching over to consoles is going to stop piracy, they're stupid. The bigger the audience on consoles and the more games, the more hacked, chiped and otherwise modified boxes are going to show up out there. That's not even taking into account the huge trade in used games, which cuts just as much--if not more--into the profit of publishers ( http://tinyurl.com/yq23et ), and, of course, the physical act of loaning someone a game.

The real reason developers are switching more and more games to consoles is because there is a bigger audience. Basic math.

This is little more then a rant, and a bad one too. Whatever point you had has disappeared in your foul tone and lack of any concrete examples.

Hey, I know someone with a good counter-argument!

You, a few months ago? - http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/editorials/3794-Defending-the-Villain

You said then (among other things): "If piracy is the mechanism that dissolves these institutions that have become openly hostile, or forces them to adapt to the modern marketplace, I find it very hard to strongly condemn the practice."

I'm sort of shocked at such a radical turn around. What caused the change in heart?

Karisse:
The concept of being able to try-before-you-buy already exists - it's called RENTING.

If you know anywhere I can rent PC games, by all means, let me know.

Littaly:
I don't download pirated games (with exception for those that are no longer sold in stores), not saying i am an angel in any way, i download other stuff, but to argue that pirates should be ignored and comparing them to cancer is kind of disgusting. Also he just goes into a rage instead of giving valid arguments which makes it all seem pretty pointless.

QFT. This didn't seem like an article so much as a blog post. The problem with excluding pirates from the debate is that, without talking to them (us), you can only speculate on their motivations. That, apparently, leads to crap like Mass Effect's DRM, which, judging by BioWare's forums, was pretty counter-productive.

Yeah piracy is bad, parasitic, immoral, and flies in the face of what I've learned from Ayn Rand, but that won't stop me from doing it. I don't feel the need to pay someone on ebay for a copy of Fallout2 when the pirate bay has such a lovely selection of free merchandise. Also, if a disk I buy from a store is scratched or in any other way rendered unplayable, is it immoral for me to get a torrent of it? I've already paid for the game, however, due to circumstances outside my control (damn neighbor kids and their twitchy little fingers) I can no longer enjoy what I paid for. I think it is well within my bounds morally, to burn a disc from torrented data.

Sean I agree with you 110%. Great article.

Personally I spend my hard-earned money buying PC games as it just feels right to compensate the developers for giving me 10-20+ hours of great entertainment.

A common complaint (in australia) is that the RRP of games is too high. While this is true, it's still not an excuse to pirate games. If you look around you can find good deals anywhere, it's just lazy not to.

I also find, in my travels, that PC pirates tend to hardly ever play what they download for more than a few hours. It's some sort of twisted hobby like digital stamp collecting, where their epeen grows exponentially with each new "scalp", or title, they manage to get.

Software pirates - Yaaaaargh I'm looking at you - you all suck titanic elephant balls.

Phifty:
Hey, I know someone with a good counter-argument!

You, a few months ago? - http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/editorials/3794-Defending-the-Villain

You said then (among other things): "If piracy is the mechanism that dissolves these institutions that have become openly hostile, or forces them to adapt to the modern marketplace, I find it very hard to strongly condemn the practice."

Are you kidding me? I wouldn't believe it if there wasn't actually a link. Ouch. Who dropped the ball on this one?

Phifty:
Hey, I know someone with a good counter-argument!

You, a few months ago? - http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/editorials/3794-Defending-the-Villain

You said then (among other things): "If piracy is the mechanism that dissolves these institutions that have become openly hostile, or forces them to adapt to the modern marketplace, I find it very hard to strongly condemn the practice."

I'm sort of shocked at such a radical turn around. What caused the change in heart?

Huh. Well, then... I'm rather interested to hear what caused the change of heart myself.

Great job justifying crime guys.

Y'all (pirates and their defenders) are slime. You ARE making horrible points and arguments. "Pirating isn't totally free, they still have to buy the PC." So bank robbery is just fine as long as I purchase a quality gun? I would love to see your upbringing and ask you parents how they think you could possibly pass as a functioning member of society.

Say you have some great idea. You make widgets(nothing in particular, just something people want). You spend years crafting the perfect widget, getting the right handle, the right curves and lines, the perfect weight and feel in the hand. You sell your widget for $50 because you think it is worth it. Some people buy it, but somebody else gets one from a friend and starts making moulds of it and giving them away for free. Is this legal? Moral? Ethical? Beneficial in any way AT ALL?

Take your excuses for piracy and apply them to the real world for a second. "Your car is to expensive, so I'll steal somebody else's" "I broke my old T.V., I'll just take that one" "No, I will not stop taking your wallet, I paid good money for these sticky gloves and I'll be damned if I don't use them!" Do any of those make sense?

Y'all don't deserve to have a voice in any argument. Your opinion is worthless, you points are void, and you have no damn excuse. Stop being cheap and get a job to buy your games, music, and videos like people who are worth something.

Until that point, you are spineless cowards who are trying to claim something that ain't yours. GROW A PAIR!

Not to disagree with the fact that Bile makes everything more entertaining, but i see not one link in that article to any figures or facts.

I agree with your stance on piracy, but not how you have tackled the issue.

+1 to what you said kiltman.

Also, if you (the pirates) cannot afford to purchase a PC game - DON'T PLAY IT. It's common sense no?

You know, this is a fantastic topic, and one I have mixed feelings about. But one that doesn't need to be discussed these days.

Because we already have.

See: Plato's The Republic. Especially the whole bit around the Ring of Gyges that comprises a large portion of Book 2. (Starts around 2.359 if you're interested in looking it up, copies are available from
Barnes and Noble
for about $7. )

Plato proposes that those who practice justice do so involuntarily because they lack the power to be unjust. He introduces the notion of a magical ring who was owned by a guy called, you guessed it, Gyges. Anyway, this ring of his had the power to make the wearer invisible. (Sorta like the One Ring that Frodo had only without the evil glowing eye and the guys in black robes.) This ring gives them the power to, you know, rape, kill, take what they like from the market, at their leisure.

Long story short:
Plato claims that no man is so virtuous to resist violating the social contract free of consequences. Socrates claims that, while giving into those urges would initially be very satisfying, violating moral convention in such a way would eventually result in great breaches of character, and a whole bunch of sleepless nights.

The internet, in this case, is your Ring of Gyges. You can either use it how Plato suggests and hope that Socrates is wrong, or you can stick to being just and not risk it.

Either way, this has already been discussed at length, for around 2,500 years now. Here's a crazy thought: READ A BOOK , and don't bother others with banal arguments from ages past that have already been resolved without your knowing.

Disclaimer: I love your website, and I like what you do, but I can't allow your apparent ignorance of western intellectual history go unquestioned while you're writing an informed opinion article on the subject of intellectual property.

videogames, PC and console are expensive. not just in themselves but relative to other entertainment.

The cost to make GTA4 is estimated to be in the region of US $100 million and is considered one of the moest expensive video games ever made. The cost of the Dark Knight to make is estimated to be close to $200 million. We all know which would cost more to take home - does that seem like a fair pricing model to you because I've tried getting my gf into gaming numerous times and when provided with an PS/XBOX/Wii she'll pay but neer would she pay for it although i have many times heard her comment ooh i'd like to play...if only it cost less.

Anyway all i really wanted to say was i used to download pirated games (including a copy of far cry - turned out it didnt run on my PC). having now stopped pirating games i have pretty much stopped gaming on my PC not even buying titles i would've in my pirating days.

If you are interested i stopped pirating partially due to imposed download limits by my ISP and a recognition that its not really fair on the people who worked so hard just to steal their product.

I agree that piracy is damaging the industries (music, movies and games) but i don't beleive it is to the extent it is being made out to be. When it's suits a person, they'll turn to piracy. If I lose my copy of Assassin's Creed when I'm shifting houses, (damn those pesky, thieving removalists), I sure as hell am not going to go down to EB Games and pay eighty bucks for another one.

"Why David", you say, "You could simply purchase another one off Ebay for a mere $20."
True, i could. But how the hell does that help the industry? I've just gone and payed $20 to some punk for a scratched copy of the game. That is, if I'm lucky and havent gotten a pirated copy with an instuction booklet containing the controls to The Adventures of He Man in it.

Solution: I download it for free, hassle free.

All of that isn't to say piracy never gets used for purposes of evil, don't get me wrong. What I'm trying to say is that coppied media _can_ be used legitimately. Another example is downloading snes roms for games of mine that died in storage that I am not paying $40 to Gametraders for because it's considered classic. (Again, how does this help the industry?)

This rant (i won't say article) was unpleasant to read.

To say the opinions of pirates and users of pirated media are invalid is immature and stubborn.

Last note: love the site and everything in it, even though i disagree with this rant it got people talking and more importantly thinking which is great.

Bakery:
I agree that piracy is damaging the industries (music, movies and games) but i don't beleive it is to the extent it is being made out to be. When it's suits a person, they'll turn to piracy. If I lose my copy of Assassin's Creed when I'm shifting houses, (damn those pesky, thieving removalists), I sure as hell am not going to go down to EB Games and pay eighty bucks for another one.

I dunno, I bought about 7 copies of Neverwinter Nights or one of it's expansions for the PC because I kept losing one of the 30+ CD keys for one or all of the expansion packs every time I went to reinstall it. So maybe, if they can keep me buying 7 copies for every copy I may have pirated as a result of annoyance with their cumbersome copyright protection, this whole thing can turn out to be profitable. I've never pirated a game in my life, but if I lose another copy of Neverwinter Nights the next one will be downloaded. I think I've earned it.

I was kinda disappointed by this article. I would have thought someone who was above the pirates' line would be above the industry's line, too. Here's some anecdotes and some truths.
I have a group of 7 other gamer freaks. Not a single one plays recent PC games; we're all consoletards, though some of us still play classics or quirky niche titles. The reasons are simple. we're tired of the PC bleeding edge demanding that we get new PCs for new games. We're tired of jumping through hoops that don't actually stop piracy (CD keys, CD in drive at all times, online activation etc). We love the simplicity we get from having a console that without any doubt will run our games and will do it quickly without flaming hoops to jump through. None of us pirate PC games; we just don't play them any more (with the exception of, say, Gal Civ 2, which gives up the ghost on piracy).
All the measures that have been designed to protect games from piracy do nothing. They achieve nothing. In fact, they could have a negative impact. If you've ever read some of the piracy related rants, and comments, over at Twenty Sided you'll see that there are a lot of gamers who literally don't buy games if it has any of the completely ineffectual but annoying- even harmful- piracy protections beyond CD key and CD-in-drive. I'm one of them and so are many of my friends. Hell, I've been literally drooling at the mouth for Spore but when I heard of the DRM it has I've gone from auto-purchase to undecided. Many people thought the same for Spore, and Mass Effect.
The way I tackle the gun issue in America is a lot like the way I tackle piracy: it's sad and shouldn't happen, but it does, and the brute force measures (banning for guns, incompetent protections for games) do not work. Developers and publishers, sadly, just have to live with and change how the biz works, because, while they'll blame the PC gaming boat's sinking on the pirates, they're idiots if they think they didn't put some good-sized holes in the boat too.

PS: Last part of the second link's article:
"When you blame piracy for disappointing sales, you tend to tar the entire market with a broad brush. Piracy isn't evenly distributed in the PC gaming market. And there are far more effective ways of getting people who might buy your product to buy it without inconveniencing them.

Blaming piracy is easy. But it hides other underlying causes. When Sins popped up as the #1 best selling game at retail a couple weeks ago, a game that has no copy protect whatsoever, that should tell you that piracy is not the primary issue.

In the end, the pirates hurt themselves. PC game developers will either slowly migrate to making games that cater to the people who buy PC games or they'll move to platforms where people are more inclined to buy games.

In the meantime, if you want to make profitable PC games, I'd recommend focusing more effort on satisfying the people willing to spend money on your product and less effort on making what others perceive as hot. But then again, I don't romanticize PC game development. I just want to play cool games and make a profit on games that I work on."

I don't pirate games, I have downloaded the occasional CD key to replace the legit ones I have lost. The developer already has my money for the game, surely they can't expect me to buy the game again? This is after going through the tedious customer support process of proof of purchase photos. In the end, they never got back to me, I was sitting with a uselessly legitimate copy of the game while the developer who I had supported with my hard-earned cash had left me.

As stated several times in these comments, Anti-Piracy measures are only hurting the consumers. Pirates have the know-how to get around all the code they put in place that makes my game run slower or blocks me from reinstalling.

As a side-note; I'm aware that 'casual' games are among the most pirated out there. Personally I don't give a crap. No effort is given as they make the same game over and over again, so why should cash people spend several hours earning go to waste?

ok, ill try to keep this reasonably short...

first off i was quite appaled by ths article, i dont mind valid arguments, for or against, pirates, but this isnt a valid argument, u have brought shame to the escapist!

all im gonna say is, read the recent article in Total PC gaming, and i also recall Bioware saying(somethin along these lines) 'the best way is to make quality games that ppl feel are worth buying' and i agree totally with that
OK, fair enough, i pirate (yay i can say im a pirate ^^) but i will pay for a game if it is really worth the money, its not my fault games are overpriced and not even worth 10 nowadays...

i have torrented a few games in my time, but never any i have really enjoyed, or i would have paid for them, and someone meantioned Valve made somethin to stop pirate thingys, personnaly i think they dont need one cause there games are pure awesome! i would never torrent a game of that standard, i would have paid 100 for the Orange Box...

But to finish, some pirates are morally wrong, they dont pay for anythin, but it doesnt mean we are all like that, so dont label us, dont rant (only i can do that :P) and put up with it, all this rant did was lower what everyone thought of u...

kiltmanfortywo:
Great job justifying crime guys.

Y'all (pirates and their defenders) are slime. You ARE making horrible points and arguments. "Pirating isn't totally free, they still have to buy the PC." So bank robbery is just fine as long as I purchase a quality gun? I would love to see your upbringing and ask you parents how they think you could possibly pass as a functioning member of society.

Say you have some great idea. You make widgets(nothing in particular, just something people want). You spend years crafting the perfect widget, getting the right handle, the right curves and lines, the perfect weight and feel in the hand. You sell your widget for $50 because you think it is worth it. Some people buy it, but somebody else gets one from a friend and starts making moulds of it and giving them away for free. Is this legal? Moral? Ethical? Beneficial in any way AT ALL?

Take your excuses for piracy and apply them to the real world for a second. "Your car is to expensive, so I'll steal somebody else's" "I broke my old T.V., I'll just take that one" "No, I will not stop taking your wallet, I paid good money for these sticky gloves and I'll be damned if I don't use them!" Do any of those make sense?

Nobody justified crime (yet).

The above quote is barely a "defense" of piracy. It was a pure statement that pirates don't do what they do for free, unless they also steal the hardware, but I doubt it. This does not make the piracy "okay", it just means it is not "free".

Widgets? Did anyone make a statement indicating this was okay? Is this in response to anyone, or are you just having a reflex reaction to the subject of "piracy"? PLUS: Moulds and widgets and the supplies to produce additional copies cost money. Most IP pirates engage in what they do because it has no additional noticeable cost to them. The pirates that do what you're talking about? They put bounties on DVD-sniffing dogs in Malaysia, and nobody has ever tried to defend them... Go home and play with your straw-man by yourself.

No, your lunatic fringe statements don't make any sense. Which conversation are you in?

I'm sorry... who are you talking to? The one "quote" you seem to have honed in on is barely identifiable as a "defense" of piracy, yet you go on for paragraphs pretending we're all defending piracy?

I have a question.

It's all fine and dandy to rail against the western software pirates who (mostly) download one or a couple of copies of each game, they make a nice easy target. But what about the Far East?

The claim of 20 pirate discs for every one official sold might not be inflated, but I gaurantee that 19.9 of those discs will have come from China, where there is pretty much no copyright law (as long as the product isn't Chinese).
Even if every European and American software pirate ever was thrown in jail for eternity. It would barely make a dent in overall piracy.

Maybe your next article should look into this. The one you've just written was a nice little diversion, but you didn't really address any new issues.

Another thing.

You made no mention of the way PC devs treat their customers.

Mr Yerli might complain that no-one bought his game. But Crysis works on maybe 1% of all Pc's. Even then it's an unstable, broken game that they offer no support or patches for. Why should anyone pay 50 for a product that doesn't work?
The same applies to EA. I haven't bought one of their games since battlefield 2 because there's simply no backup and the verification processes they dream up are plain intrusive.

Compare that to Valve, I still buy games off Steam. I have no idea how high piracy is for Valve games but I'll bet it's lower than average. The download, installation processes are painless. It doesn't ask if the game is genuine every time I unplug the printer (I'm looking at you EA). The pricing is cheap and the games run fine on a wide variety of hardware.
On top of that they fix bugs and exploits at an impressive rate whilst any extra content they add is usually free.

It's fine for developers to whine about how nobody buys their game because of piracy. But the argument would carry more credibility if the product was any good to begin with.

I have downloaded games in the past, and I am in no hurry to do so again. I had two games (Halo and Halo 2) and they somehow screwed up my sound system. After doing a a factory reset to fix the problem, I opted to not download them again. Having said that, I will probably pirate BioShock in the near future. I legitimately own a copy for PC, but the restrictions that have been placed on it through DRM are ridiculous. By buying it and downloading it, the company had not lost a sale and I don't have to deal with they're BS. If something goes wrong, I back up important files to an external drive regularly, and most of my games are on Steam, so another reformat wouldn't be too much of a hassle.

I do agree that piracy is wrong "BUT" (if i could make the font bigger and red i would) sorry Sean some of the comments you spouted in that article are just beyond belief, lets have a closer look.

"As I understand the basic fabric of the social contracts that struggle to keep most of humanity from bashing each other's heads in with the bleached femurs of our enemies, there are some basic concepts about right and wrong that we all agree to by living within a society. One of those is that when you use something that someone else used resources to create, you're expected to give some of your resources in return. That's good. That's ten thousand years of civilization at work. It's safe to describe the concept as pretty well entrenched."

Yeah thats all well and good if the thing created was finished, complete, OR NOT F**KING BROKEN! and this is the underlying problem. Until there is a developers standards commission governing the release of FINISHED titles to the gaming markets then its piracy that is going to dictate which game i will decide to buy.

Looking up at my shelf i worked out i have over 400 worth in games that are either broken, or discontinued in some form or another, lets just transfer that across to my films collection, oh would you believe it ! 0, now if this was 500/1000 years ago and you sold me a Wagon you just built claiming it had all 4 weels and to my stupidity i believed you, then you ran of with the cash and spent it claiming some law that says once sold no comebacks, you would have found my foot "entrenched" in your ass at the very least, in modern times we cant do this.

"When I hear all that yahoo-whackjob nonsense about entitlement to try before you buy"

See above, really developers can do allot more to help gamers decide if its the right game for them, but they choose to hide behind Technically limited Demos and bullshit license agreements that are akin to modern day legalized con-artists.

Nuff said.

kiltmanfortywo:
Great job justifying crime guys.

Y'all (pirates and their defenders) are slime. You ARE making horrible points and arguments. "Pirating isn't totally free, they still have to buy the PC." So bank robbery is just fine as long as I purchase a quality gun? I would love to see your upbringing and ask you parents how they think you could possibly pass as a functioning member of society.

Say you have some great idea. You make widgets(nothing in particular, just something people want). You spend years crafting the perfect widget, getting the right handle, the right curves and lines, the perfect weight and feel in the hand. You sell your widget for $50 because you think it is worth it. Some people buy it, but somebody else gets one from a friend and starts making moulds of it and giving them away for free. Is this legal? Moral? Ethical? Beneficial in any way AT ALL?

Take your excuses for piracy and apply them to the real world for a second. "Your car is to expensive, so I'll steal somebody else's" "I broke my old T.V., I'll just take that one" "No, I will not stop taking your wallet, I paid good money for these sticky gloves and I'll be damned if I don't use them!" Do any of those make sense?

Y'all don't deserve to have a voice in any argument. Your opinion is worthless, you points are void, and you have no damn excuse. Stop being cheap and get a job to buy your games, music, and videos like people who are worth something.

Until that point, you are spineless cowards who are trying to claim something that ain't yours. GROW A PAIR!

Hang on. The PC argument was said once. It is, I'll agree with you, a rubbish argument. Unfortunately in picking on it, you have lowered yours to a similar level. In your rabid offensive, you pick on the weakest argument of the thread, seemingly to blindly ignore the other, far more prevalent arguments out there. You then proceed to repeatedly compare it to utterly incomparable situations, give it a good lathering of hyperbole and sit back and look smug. Allow me to continue.

First up, with your original offensive of the "have to buy a PC" argument. You utterly fail to say why it is a bad idea, only leap into one of your useless comparisons. Being a gent, I shall do it for you. If you give Dell one and a half grand for your super gaming computer, it is somewhat unlikely Dell will pass all that onto the various game developers you pilfer from.

But "So bank robbery is just fine as long as I purchase a quality gun?" is a very bad comparison. A more fair comparison is that would bank robbery be fine when you've opened an account with said bank but unfortunately you've accessed your account three times this month and that's all you're allowed, and now you cannot get at your dosh without giving away both your kidneys? (Hyperbole there, but I couldn't resist.)

Your widget comparison also needs a little bit on the end. So you're having your widget's nicked, oh no. Some people are still buying yours, but to combat the theft you demand, by law, that every widget owner must come and personally show you their widget once a week so you can check if it's fake. The stolen widgeters are not going to, and you can't enforce it. It just penalises your paying customers.

Your cost paragraph is the closest you have to being reasonable, but it's still not fair. Your comparisons suggest that we will hurt some poor sod on the street by thieving their stuff. This isn't true, since it would be stealing data, not other's people's hard copies. The only possible way you could modify your arguments would be "I can't afford a TV, so I'll use my handy matter replicator and make a copy of my mate's." which, while still stealing from the TV company, is not the kind of mug-an-old-lady theft you seem to be alluding to.

Every single anti piracy argument is based on the fact that every single pro piracy argument is inhrently and uncondtionaly invalid and anything that is opposed to that is therefor inherently and unconditionaly the thruth. So instead of providing counter arguments which you will dismiss as invalid before you even read them, i'll just rip your arguments to shreds.

"drm is justfied because it stops pirates" - Wrong, drm does nothing to delay pirates. Drm prevents the people dumb enough to buy "legal"(last time i checked you could be jailed for infecting other people's computers with rootkits...) games from playing said games and in some occasions damage/destroy unrelated hardware(starforce broke one of my dvd players which is something i never saw anywhere in the eula or tos of any game that used it) and cause other software to stop working as well(securom cannot co-exist with any spyware remover that also detects rootkits). Name me one example where drm caused more would be pirates to buy the game then scaring away costumers who don't like rootkits. Look up Sins of a Solar Empire.

"if you can't pay for a game you shouldn't play it" - Wrong and it even completely nulls your problem, lost sales. If a costumer couldn't buy the product anyway, how much do you loose if he plays it anyway and how much do you gain if he doesn't? Absolutely nothing. And then there's the problem involving national bans, regional differences(anybody with the american version of The Witcher knows what i'm talking about), games no longer being sold or otherwise being a pain in the arse to obtain. Downloading a game doesn't cause one copy of the game to migicly disapear in a puff of smoke before it could be sold. Crysis could never sell more then 3.1 million copies because there are only 3.1 million computers that can run it. So i'd say that 3.06 million copies are a reasonable ammount of sales. The only effect this could possibly have is that a bad product might discourage the costumer to buy your more reasonably priced products in the future or a good product might cause somebody to start saving for your next game.

"developers stop making pc games because of piracy" - Wrong, everybody is migrating because quickly cashing in on the Halo Syndrome is easier then making something work on different hardware settings. The ones that do stay are the ones who think that you are wrong as well. Sins of a Solar Empire deserves a second mention here.

"pirates shouldn't be allowed to discuss piracy because they won't change their opinion" - So nobody is allowed to enter an argument unless the opposition is confident that they can be persuaded? Why don't you fuck off as well then?

Irregardless of the content of the debate, i'm firmly behind the pirates on this one because they actualy deliver meaningful arguments here instead of assuming that everthing they say is law only because they say it. Surely they bring their load of bullshit as well but i've yet to hear anything sensible from the objectivist camp.

You assume that everyone who says that a download does not equal a lost sale is a pirate. That's false, because I'm off the opinion that a download does not equal a lost sale and I'm not a pirate.

Yes, I have downloaded games before and I will in the future, but if they are good I buy them. I bought six games last year. I have bought four games so far this year. If I download a game and it sucks, I'm not going to buy it. If I don't have a chance to play a game before I buy it, I'm DEFINITELY not going to buy it, no way jose. If you want to label me a pirate because I download games in order to decide whether I'm going to buy them, then I'm going to label you a retard because you have your head up your ass.

Would you buy a car without test driving it? Would you buy a CD without hearing a song from it on the radio?

You say that Cevat from Crytek may have inflated his 20-to-1 number, but this article is even worse. You say that pirates should not be included in the discussion about piracy; that is the most whacked out thing I have ever heard. Let's divide gamers into three categories: people who bought the game, people who pirated the game, and people who don't care about the game. How do you propose to increase sales without somehow targeting the pirates?

How about the study that shows that despite the MPAA's claims that piracy is costing them billions, growth in the movie industry has been steady since 1995.
http://torrentfreak.com/us-pirate-party-study-shatters-mpaa-claims-080709/

Allocating any resources to stopping piracy is about the stupidest thing anyone can do. It's about as dumb as England installing 4.2 MILLION surveillance cameras only to accomplish a zero percent drop in crime. Perhaps before they installed their 4.2 million cameras they should have realized that a high-tech device known as a "hoodie" can foil their cameras.

Saying that you can't blame piracy for bad sales is like saying you can't blame bank robbery for the failing economy. It's WRONG, who cares how much good or bad it does.

That's why Sean argues that pro-piracy arguments are irrelevant. I could go around and shoot every racist in the head, thereby wiping out any problems with racism, but I'd still be considered a serial killer and condemned by any moral person.
--------------

That being said, I don't understand this statement from the article at all:

"Compared to an industry with a PR problem and the perception that said industry is going to see legitimate customers as criminals anyway..."

what's it referring to?

Aside from spending three pages to basically say "piracy is bad and I won't listen to people who disagree," the whole premise of the article seems wrong.

The industry should listen to pirates. They might learn something.

I don't pirate games. (Thanks to my job, I have enough money to buy games and not enough time to play them.) But, I think I have a pretty good idea of why people pirate games.

The main reason for a lot of people is probably "why pay for something that you can get for free?" Those people aren't going to stop pirating games anytime soon. But there are a lot of other reasons to pirate games. If the industry paid attention to these reasons and tried to address them, instead of disregarding all software pirates as parisites they might actually significantly reduce piracy and much more importantly increase sales.

For example, I expect that a lot of piracy occurs because of the riskiness of purchasing PC games. Some games are too buggy to play out of the box. Some games don't run acceptably on their minimum system specs. Some games can even harm your computer (e.g. those with Starforce DRM). Since you generally can't return defective games like you can with virtually anything else you would ever care to buy, you're often out $50 with nothing to show for it. Faced with this risk proposition, it's not suprising that people choose to pirate games.

If the game industry started to listen to pirates, maybe they could convert some of them (although obviously not all of them) and more importantly (to me) maybe heading out to buy games might become less of a roll of the dice.

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