StarCraft 2 Sets New Mark for Piracy

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This is a big problem. Especially since one of the reasons for puting Battle.net 2.0 was to remove piracy. I would also love to see some distribution map on these torrents. As it will be interesting to know how the Russian & South American pricing model worked out.
My biggest concern though has to do with SCII as e-sport. Currently there is a lot of pressure from the pro-gaming community to release a LAN tournament client. And news like this will at no doubt delay it and making it more restrictive and with higher licensing fees. Something that only largest companies can get. And with the ever adamant control Blizzard puts in such events Starcraft no longer feels like the wild community driven beast, but a sick tame animal taken to beauty pageants.

Clearly those 2 million people who downloaded the game were guaranteed to actually buy the game had piracy not existed. I don't see how else you could sum up those numbers as "losses".

I want to include a zinger about how Andy had to look up what a petabyte is, but I'm sure he deserves better than that.

Dobrev:
This is a big problem. Especially since one of the reasons for puting Battle.net 2.0 was to remove piracy. I would also love to see some distribution map on these torrents. As it will be interesting to know how the Russian & South American pricing model worked out.
My biggest concern though has to do with SCII as e-sport. Currently there is a lot of pressure from the pro-gaming community to release a LAN tournament client. And news like this will at no doubt delay it and making it more restrictive and with higher licensing fees. Something that only largest companies can get. And with the ever adamant control Blizzard puts in such events Starcraft no longer feels like the wild community driven beast, but a sick tame animal taken to beauty pageants.

No LAN is the reason I didn't buy it. Don't worry, I didn't pirate it either. Like Spore, SC2 was likely pirated alot as a means of protest. Alot of people were upset about No Lan and a few other things that I can't recall right now.

This was foreseen in the moment they said "no lan". It's good to see people backing up their words. I won't buy it, and actually don't.

SaturdayS:
Clearly those 2 million people who downloaded the game were guaranteed to actually buy the game had piracy not existed. I don't see how else you could sum up those numbers as "losses".

I want to include a zinger about how Andy had to look up what a petabyte is, but I'm sure he deserves better than that.

Its not a loss, and thats why no one calls it a loss. None of them were guaranteed so its called a potential loss.

bob1052:

SaturdayS:
Clearly those 2 million people who downloaded the game were guaranteed to actually buy the game had piracy not existed. I don't see how else you could sum up those numbers as "losses".

I want to include a zinger about how Andy had to look up what a petabyte is, but I'm sure he deserves better than that.

Its not a loss, and thats why no one calls it a loss. None of them were guaranteed so its called a potential loss.

Semantics.

Oh look it's this topic again.

We can point at the "problem" all day long but if the "cure" is worse than the illness then I'd rather try and live with it.
Good job on the region lock, no LAN, the requirement to always be online and facebook integration btw, blizzard.
God knows we all wanted that.

If "fighting piracy" means shitting all over your game then maybe you should get a clue that this might be a bad idea.

ciortas1:
(seriously, Starcraft, a game from back when Blizzard was a relative unknown, still has 11 million sales and this will have a fucking hard time beating 5 or 6).

I'm going to object to this statement.

Firstly, Starcraft 1 sold 11 million over about 12 years. Plenty of times for selling multi-million copies. Secondly, Starcraft 2 has, over the last four months, sold an estimated 3.33 million (assuming VG Chartz are accurate in tracking retail sales, and a third of all copies are digital downloads). Ultimately, long tail argument applies. I have no doubt that Wings of Liberty will eventually top Starcraft's 11 million sales, thanks to time and the two planned expansions. Although the jist of your point, I agree with. Although, I'd argue that developers and publishers should simply treat piracy as static, and I'd also argue that download numbers are grossly unreliable (Download started =/= Download finished, especially for larger games).

These numbers don't represent much.

I downloaded a retail version of the game because I bought the cd key online at a british store (20+€ cheaper then buying the digital version or retail version in my country).

Most of my local friends did the exact same thing, and we all count as pirated numbers, but we got the game legally, and avoided having to wait for it to arrive and paying extra for shipping.

And really, anyone smart enough from the Euro region did the same thing, stupid taxes and retarded exchange rates make buying from the uk the smart move, specially in a game like SC2 where you can get the cd key emailed to you and start playing immediately.

leeloodallasmultipass:
Yes but these people wont be able to play via battle net on-line im guessing?

You still get LAN :3

Delusibeta:
snip

I did sound stupid there, didn't I, wanting to make SC's sales look better than they actually did. Going to semi-pull stuff out of my ass now... Did Warcraft 3 not make 0.5 million sales on its first day or something? Another game from when Blizzard was really known by only the people I'd now consider hardcore. Point was, make a good game and stop weighing people down with countless control measures and your game will be bought. Massively.

macacos2:

leeloodallasmultipass:
Yes but these people wont be able to play via battle net on-line im guessing?

You still get LAN :3

News flash: noone gets LAN. Noone even gets p2p, which is a huuuuuge deal for something like Starcraft.

Well, this is sadly pretty much expected these days. 16 Petabytes though, that sheer amount is unexpected.

It's at this point I decided to boot up the calculator on my computer (I'm too lazy to find the real one) and do some sums: assuming the game's about 7 or 8 gigabytes that's 2.3 Million pirated copies downloaded. Now I'm aware not every one's a lost sale, but 2.3 million downloads is worth about 112 Million or $180 Million. That is a LOT of money!

Also, if you were to rent that much bandwidth off your ISP (assuming you have an ISP with a large but limited bandwidth) it would have costed you approximatly 1.5 Million ($2.4 Million) a month. Ok so that last statistic is rubbish because you'd be on a bulk price plan and not simple multiplying an average plan by that much bandwidth, but still, holy shit!

9_6:
Oh look it's this topic again.

We can point at the "problem" all day long but if the "cure" is worse than the illness then I'd rather try and live with it.
Good job on the region lock and, LAN and the requirement to always be online btw, blizzard.
God knows we all wanted that.

The worse thing is that after they remove all those features, they go on and on about how much they listen to the community. Yeah, sure.

Pirate Kitty:

I agree!

Now, to find a way to make the pirated games blow up their computer...

But aren't you a pirate? >.>

On topic: DRM totally works. MIRITE?

I'd also be interested in knowing how many of those downloads are from people who already bought the game and didn't want to mess with Battle.net. For my part, I have almost no interest in playing the game online; outside of the occasional round of Halo:Reach I really have no desire to play online.

I for one am tempted to download it with the Battle.net workaround, simply because for some reason the game refuses to connect to the Internet. It's the same crap that PC players have had to put up with for years; while console players can be confident that just putting a disc in the system will make the game run 99% of the time, PC gamers have to do all the install crap, making sure drivers are updated, and then go through some sort of prayer ritual just to hopefully get things to run. Sure, PC gaming has its upsides over consoles (especially when your prime gaming loves are Civilization and RPGs) but man it's a load of hassle sometimes.

Evilsanta:
Wow, that is some big numbers.

I am not really that big a fan of Starcraft. I like Supreme Commander more.

I hope this wont lead to some kind of stupid AC2 like DRM...

It already did, it is called removal of LAN. Ok, maybe not as stupid as AC2 DRM, and it doesn't effect me at all, but I sure some people is really mad at it.

ciortas1:

Delusibeta:
snip

I did sound stupid there, didn't I, wanting to make SC's sales look better than they actually did. Going to semi-pull stuff out of my ass now... Did Warcraft 3 not make 0.5 million sales on its first day or something? Another game from when Blizzard was really known by only the people I'd now consider hardcore. Point was, make a good game and stop weighing people down with countless control measures and your game will be bought. Massively.

I admit that the 3.33 figure is a guess, but SC 2 did hit 1 million sales on day one, and another half a million by day three . Plus, they did manage to hit 3 million in a month. So, really, my figure I've pulled out of my arse is looking very conservative.

I'd like to see how The Witcher 2 does. Rumour has it that CD Projekt is going to give it the GOG treatment (i.e. no DRM. Admittedly, this specific rumour said that it was planned to be sold over GOG, but we'll see in about two hours if that's accurate).

While again, not condoning piracy, now I see that all multiplayer except Battle net is not an option, surely all piracy has done in this case, is spread a 'playable demo' around the world extremely effectively, at no cost to Blizzard, as the torrents use the downloader's own bandwidth.

If only they could have found a way to PAY for this much easy free advertising.

Of course, it doesn't work for single player games, but maybe in the future this could be an option, just release the damn game free and charge for access to the official servers.

I imagine the main market they've lost out on is people who'd buy it due to hype then realise they don't like it, also known as 'The Black Ops effect'.

Zachary Amaranth:

Pirate Kitty:

I agree!

Now, to find a way to make the pirated games blow up their computer...

But aren't you a pirate? >.>

On topic: DRM totally works. MIRITE?

What makes you think that? :P

So besically, non-pirates have a 4:3 numbers advantage over pirates at the most conservative estimates? While Epic/Crytek/2Dboy/Codemasters/Capcom claim buyers are a 1:20 minority? Before accounting for duplicated downloads and people who also bought it? Somebody's talking out of their ass and I suspect it's the ones making shitty ports of already dumbed down games.

I bought it(Proof here), played the campaign on normal, decided I wasn't putting up with battle net 0.2 and all it's shit, got a crack for the campaign and am now playing the campaign on brutal with that.

At least they cannot enjoy the main addiction: The Multiplayer.

I enjoy the sense of strict regulated online portions in games. At least makes me feel better I paid full buck and they aren't allowed to play online with me because they are pirates.

Hahaha.

So they remove LAN, add no region function and other crap to keep piracy down. And then they get pirated. Come on Blizzard, give us our Bnet 1.0 functionality back :\

Andy Chalk:
StarCraft 2 Sets New Mark for Piracy

Obviously, it's because Starcraft 2 is such an awful game with such restrictive DRM. People don't pirate good games, and really it's just because they can't deal with DRM that interferes with normal gameplay. Right? I mean, that's what I'm supposed to say if I want it for free, isn't it?

Another nail in the coffin of the disingenuous claims of the "pirate nation." It's a solid game, well-developed, released in good condition. The DRM is unrestrictive and doesn't interfere with normal gameplay in any way that I've seen. We could argue whether it's enough of an update to warrant $60, but it's certainly worth more than $0. Where does that leave the answer to "Why did we pirate this?"

"Hey, free stuff."

At least they were able to get plenty of legitimate sales out of this, which will help pay for (and justify) making sure that BN is supported such that multiplayer is never problematic.

Asehujiko:
So besically, non-pirates have a 4:3 numbers advantage over pirates at the most conservative estimates?

Indeed. And I doubt that 3 million figure in a month included Korea, whose version of SC 2 launched as an open beta.

Don't forget: in some areas of the world, it's a subscription game (e.g. Korea, where it's included in a WoW subscription, and Russia's subscription experiment), thus the traditional "sales" figure doesn't really apply.

Delusibeta:
snip

Well, again, the point I was trying to make was that their day 1 sales appear to have only doubled since the massive amount of popularity, recognition and all those things that WoW brought to them. The last thing anyone with a sane fucking mind would blame for their bigger success with Starcraft 2 than with Warcraft 3 would be the DRM measures or anything else they seem to be all for with B.net 2.0 or SC2 overall. Blizzard has everything they didn't have before now - TV spots, being quoted all the fricking time, advertisements on the plane, and the sales aren't really all that spectacular. Anyways, just rambling now, don't quote this if it (again) sounds stupid.

Your 3.33 million estimation seems right on the money, to be honest. Out of the 20 or so friends that I managed to gather on Starcraft 2, none are playing the damn game, and many of them I've talked to and been agreed with on the shittiness of the game. I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest if people just aren't interested in it.

ciortas1:

icyneesan:
Why would you want to play Starcraft single player?

To play through it and discard it like the 50 other games they downloaded in the past few months. Pirates download everything.

As someone who sails the high seas attacking merchant boats and drinking a lot of alcohol, I find this very offensive.

Yargh

John Funk:

leeloodallasmultipass:
Yes but these people wont be able to play via battle net on-line im guessing?

That's correct.

Which, frankly, I'm perfectly okay with. :P You don't pay, you shouldn't get to play online with everyone else.

Good that there isn't LAN or there will be pirate server already.

Thedutchjelle:
Hahaha.

So they remove LAN, add no region function and other crap to keep piracy down. And then they get pirated. Come on Blizzard, give us our Bnet 1.0 functionality back :\

No region is not to keep piracy down, it have nothing to do with that. It is just you can't ensure good connection cross region. Anyway, they are saying about they want to add cross region back since beta, if they have the time to.

Exort:

Evilsanta:
Wow, that is some big numbers.

I am not really that big a fan of Starcraft. I like Supreme Commander more.

I hope this wont lead to some kind of stupid AC2 like DRM...

It already did, it is called removal of LAN. Ok, maybe not as stupid as AC2 DRM, and it doesn't effect me at all, but I sure some people is really mad at it.

Removing LAN for an RTS game and replacing it with always online multiplayer is the height of stupidity. When they announced No LAN people protested but Blizzard didn't listen, they shouldn't be suprised (and they probably aren't suprised) that people protested by pirating the shit out of it. The internet protests prior to launch were ignored, people were told the BNET 2.0 would make it all better.

I wonder if this North Korea trying to get it's fix.

Exort:

Thedutchjelle:
Hahaha.

So they remove LAN, add no region function and other crap to keep piracy down. And then they get pirated. Come on Blizzard, give us our Bnet 1.0 functionality back :\

No region is not to keep piracy down, it have nothing to do with that. It is just you can ensure good connection cross region.

Wait, so the cross region barriers are set up in order for cross region play to have a good connection?

Lyri:
I wonder if this North Korea trying to get it's fix.

I doubt North Korea has any sort of a useable internet outside the government's offices.

Yes pirating is essentially bad etc etc but to be fair, all these companies are shooting themselves in the foot.
There will always be 'that guy' who is cheap and will pirate because he can, but then there are those who see the absolute horse sh*t that is coming out and frankly, why not pirate? Take Fallout:NV. If you've paid for the third, there is no point paying to play what is essentially the same game, but riddled with bugs. Same with SC2. If you've played 1, 2 is just the same f**king game. And then there is the moralist who will pirate because it is 'the right thing to do' as these corporations are trying to screw people out of money, so have back at the system, as the companies are wanting high prices for games they have put oh so little effort into.

In short, haha Blizzard, frankly you deserve it as SC2 was utter sh*t and it's clear from your price fix you were just trying to make cash and screw over fanboys.

More than likely the region barriers are set up because some regions have a subscription model and some regions have different prices (no buying a US copy of the game if you are in Australia).

JeanLuc761:

thublihnk:
Yup, piracy is definitely an industry-killer.

Not necessarily. Don't get me wrong, this level of piracy is nothing short of horrifying, but the quality of the game ensured that Blizzard got an immense number of legit sales and that number continues to grow.

Hahaha. It has less to do with the quality and more to do with the mandatory multiplayer. Annoying as the lack of LAN play is, i expect it would have completely crippled sales if they put it in there.

Removing LAN for an RTS game and replacing it with always online multiplayer is the height of stupidity. When they announced No LAN people protested but Blizzard didn't listen, they shouldn't be suprised (and they probably aren't suprised) that people protested by pirating the shit out of it.

You are very naive.

poiumty:
snip

Are you fucking serious? Look at the sales of their pre-WoW games, then look at the fact that they had none of these shitty controlling measures, and then look at the recognition, fame and downright mainstream appeal that WoW brought them. You can't tell me with a straight face that their old model would've made those sales anything less than what they are.

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