Will Piracy Ever be Fixed?

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Will Piracy Ever be Fixed?

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According to Miles Jacobsen, studio manager at Sports Interactive, the answer is no - the problem isn't one of DRM or copy protection, but one of society.

Jacobsen is the man behind the Football Manager (the type that we Yanks call "soccer") games, a popular series of PC games. It seems like piracy and DRM were at the forefront of everyone's minds in 2008, a year in which indie titles like World of Goo had reported 90% piracy rates and Spore became the most-pirated game of all time. Jacobsen himself is no stranger to the controversy - when Football Manager 2009 was first released last November, fans who bought the game early had trouble authenticating their - entirely legitimate - copies.

In an interview with Videogamer, he still thinks games need some sort of DRM, though perhaps not for the usual reasons: "There needs to be some kind of copy protection in your product otherwise retail aren't going to stock your product, so we do have to take some measures."

Even so, Jacobsen's remarks were sober and realistic, acknowledging that there's only so much that DRM and other protection can do to staunch the bleeding of piracy. "I don't know whether there is a proper cure for piracy without a change in society, to be honest ... I don't think it will ever be fixed and it is a shame because the price of games would go down if the issue was fixed and we'd be able to have more people working on the titles."

Jacobsen was asked to comment on the 90% piracy rate reported by rival series Championship Manager, and said that it seemed right. He gave an anecdote as evidence, mentioning that there had been one specific keycode that a Russian piracy site had claimed would work with all versions of the game, but in reality wouldn't work at all - said code has been attempted by 338,000 unique people.

"But I don't know what the figures are because we've got no way of tracking it. We don't believe there is a way to track fully exactly how many downloads we have. What we do know is there are countries out there where there are 30,000 members signed up and active on a local language forum and we sell 2,000 copies in that country to date. So, that 90 per cent level could be a low figure. I could pick a figure out of my arse but it wouldn't really do anyone any good. But piracy is incredibly bad!"

The man does have a point: people do like getting free stuff. I can't really say that there's anything in his remarks that I disagree with - if there weren't any piracy, I think prices would go down, as there'd be far less need to recoup on the percent that legitimately buys the game. But, on the other hand, I find it hard to believe that piracy would suddenly stop happening even in established markets, let alone emergent developing nations where piracy is the rule, rather than the exception.

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The two solutions that look like they have potential are either 1) promise people with legit copies oodles of free stuff like Burnout Paradise or Dawn of War 2 has done or 2)accept piracy and try to make-up the loss with cheap DLC while selling the initial game at a lower price.

Don't really know which one is going to work, but they're going to hit the ground this year with several major releases and the numbers will start pouring in.

It's called human ingenuity. People always try to find ways around the rules, it's part of our nature.

The whole problem is that Piracy is a game. Test your brain against the creator. So as long as games exist, there will be pirates. Even if the games are free, someone will still try to mod/crack/copy them.

Joe Public is the saviour here. If games are actually good enough, and cheap enough, people won't mind shelling out a few dollars for something that actually works. Given it has the added benefit of not having to deal with the anti-social pirates. ;)

L.B. Jeffries:
2) accept piracy and try to make-up the loss with cheap DLC while selling the initial game at a lower price.

I would be more than willing to bet that people would steal a game if it was $5, so I don't think a lower price point will many any dent in piracy. Piracy has to go down before prices will, not the other way around. The companies have everything to lose by 'making the first move'. Those stealing have nothing to lose, except free stuff. Who do you think will call the cease fire?

I agree with Jacobsen, and I think it's funny, and sad, that people demand so much of this industry: Constant originality, consistency, extremely high quality. And yet so many are willing to suck the resources away needed to do those things.

EDIT:

Hunde Des Krieg:
It's called human ingenuity. People always try to find ways around the rules, it's part of our nature.

This isn't 'finding your way around the rules'. It's flat-out breaking them. It doesn't take ingenuity to goto a torrent site and download something you should be paying for. It might take technical or programming know-how to break the copy-protection, but I wouldn't be quick to praise anyone for that.

I'd like to jump in with a serious note: even if piracy for a game were 0%, the price would not go down. Seriously. Game prices are not based on cost recovery, they're based on what the market will bear. That's why we have such a hectic release cycle for games --- a certain segment of the market will pay $60. You get all of them, then you discount it to $50. You get all of those suckers and then discount it to $40 and so on.

If games were more reliably profitable, then some studios might spend more on creating the game or take more risk, but don't fool yourself. The price won't come down. The price has nothing to do with units sold.

Steam (and there was a good link from /. a few days ago --- or was it her) has a completely different take on piracy ... in that a lot of piracy are underserved customers. They gave the example of how Russians were a big source of piracy for them until they started simultaneously releasing their games there --- after which piracy dropped. On a personal note, Steam offered Bioshock for $4.95 last month. That's too good an offer to pass up. I pick up a lot of older titles on Steam that I wasn't willing to pay for new. Steam seems to be able to offer better prices and discounts than retail channels and the Steam service isn't offensive DRM wise (now that Mass Effect is available on Steam, I'm kicking myself your downloading it from EA --- I'm afraid to uninstall it because I only get 3 installs).

Maybe I'm just another underserved customer. I don't have a big budget for games. I certainly can't buy many at $60, but for the $200 or so I've spent at steam, I have a lot more (legal) games. Bonus for buying slightly older games: the hardware to run them is cheap :).

Developers (specifically for PC games) need to release more demos. I'm a member of the 'want-to-try-it-out' crowd of pirates, and if there is no demo then the developers can take a hike if they think I'm going to wager €60 to see if a game is good. I'm also still waiting for the video game industry to fuck right off with their retarded pricing and take a look at some fucking exchange rates. God, that really pisses me off. €60 DOES NOT EQUAL $60!

Piracy isn't a glitch in reality, it can't be fixed. Piracy should be looked at like like a fast breeding creature and doing what people normally do to too fast breading creatures would work just fine... aim at the head, and kill them.

Zephirius:
Developers (specifically for PC games) need to release more demos. I'm a member of the 'want-to-try-it-out' crowd of pirates, and if there is no demo then the developers can take a hike if they think I'm going to wager €60 to see if a game is good. I'm also still waiting for the video game industry to fuck right off with their retarded pricing and take a look at some fucking exchange rates. God, that really pisses me off. €60 DOES NOT EQUAL $60!

Yeah, same happens to music and other stuff.

And I might add that some time ago I was part of the no Income mass. Plus my parents never bought me games. Well I was always a gamer and they wouldn't spend nothing in it. They prefer that I would spend the same amount of money in movies or anything else for that matter (had some inner laughs when my parents said that I didn't wanted anyting)...
Anyway, in that kind of situation is not hard to be a part of piracy. But finally I got some income and first thing I did was round up my favourite albums and games and start spending some money.

Of course if I see something that deserves it, I'm wanting to buy it! But if the game doesn't give me any kind of incentive, what am I suppose to do?
I bought Hellgate. found out that's going to shut down... am I pissed? a bit! but hell, at least I got SP.

I agree with the article on all but one point, that game prices would go down if piracy were stamped out, because they wouldn't. I guarantee you that pirates would not legitimately buy any of what they have downloaded (maybe some would, but you're talking less then 1% here). So even if there was no piracy, these companies would not suddenly see their margins rise and be able to drop prices their margins would be almost completely static, in fact many Indie developers would probably see their margins drop, as titles like World of Goo have been subject to a lot of media attention which even if that attention is to do with piracy will end up with the game being in more peoples heads.

Well...perosnally, the only reason I -cough- pirate games is because I simply can't afford them. I don't really enjoy having mass amounts of paper wraped, badly labeled CDs. But I want something to enjoy in life, and I just can't affored waisting 400nis on one game.

I'd have to agree with the "make more demos" argument.

I'm not going to buy any game without a demo version, ever since I wasted a lot of money on pre-order of Neverwinter Nights 2.

Same as I'm not going to a movie without seeing it's trailer first or buy a music CD without knowing any songs on it and hearing to at least one of them.

arcainia:
Well...perosnally, the only reason I -cough- pirate games is because I simply can't afford them. I don't really enjoy having mass amounts of paper wraped, badly labeled CDs. But I want something to enjoy in life, and I just can't affored waisting 400nis on one game.

Then why not steal graphic cards, computers, cars?

If you can't enjoy your life without a computer game... Well, I pity you.

If you REALLY MUST get the game, save money for it, work for it and do something to earn it. Everyone is such a bloody leech, wanting everything for free.

Skrapt:
I agree with the article on all but one point, that game prices would go down if piracy were stamped out, because they wouldn't. I guarantee you that pirates would not legitimately buy any of what they have downloaded (maybe some would, but you're talking less then 1% here). So even if there was no piracy, these companies would not suddenly see their margins rise and be able to drop prices their margins would be almost completely static, in fact many Indie developers would probably see their margins drop, as titles like World of Goo have been subject to a lot of media attention which even if that attention is to do with piracy will end up with the game being in more peoples heads.

I dont see why margins wouldn't increase, if they had a full proof system that couldnt be broken then the pirates would have two choices 1)buy the game 2)dont buy the game.

I cant see the pirates suddenly finding a new hobby so in theory profits would go up and they could pass on a price cut

scarbunny:

I dont see why margins wouldn't increase, if they had a full proof system that couldnt be broken then the pirates would have two choices 1)buy the game 2)dont buy the game.

I cant see the pirates suddenly finding a new hobby so in theory profits would go up and they could pass on a price cut

Pirates pirate games because:

A: They don't want to pay
B: Rare game that is no longer widely available/not available in certain regions
C: They lost the game and don't want to shell out for another copy.

Even if they only have those 2 choices, buy or don't buy the game. I don't see that changing the major pirate philosophy of "we're not paying for that". Pirates won't pay for it in the first place, and although the piracy of music is widespread and known by almost all teenagers, downloading and being able to crack a game is still something that needs a little bit of determination and not known by the average consumer.

Although talk of what would happen if piracy where stamped out is more then a little pointless anyway, because to be honest there is no real solution that could effectively kill piracy and the pirates aren't going to stop their sharing/cracking anytime soon.

Skrapt:

Pirates pirate games because:

A: They don't want to pay
B: Rare game that is no longer widely available/not available in certain regions
C: They lost the game and don't want to shell out for another copy.

Even if they only have those 2 choices, buy or don't buy the game. I don't see that changing the major pirate philosophy of "we're not paying for that". Pirates won't pay for it in the first place, and although the piracy of music is widespread and known by almost all teenagers, downloading and being able to crack a game is still something that needs a little bit of determination and not known by the average consumer.

Although talk of what would happen if piracy where stamped out is more then a little pointless anyway, because to be honest there is no real solution that could effectively kill piracy and the pirates aren't going to stop their sharing/cracking anytime soon.

You seem to have missed the main reason for piracy, it was my reason and all my friends reason, I didn't want to buy games because I liked getting stuff for free. I know there are the few who say otherwise but at the heart of it people like free stuff. I now have a lot more disposable income and so havn't pirated any games for a few years, but if I lost my job then sure I'd probably go back to my old ways.

Also most of the actual cracking is done by big warez groups so all the "consumer" has to do is copy on file in to the directory.

scarbunny:

Skrapt:

Pirates pirate games because:

A: They don't want to pay
B: Rare game that is no longer widely available/not available in certain regions
C: They lost the game and don't want to shell out for another copy.

Even if they only have those 2 choices, buy or don't buy the game. I don't see that changing the major pirate philosophy of "we're not paying for that". Pirates won't pay for it in the first place, and although the piracy of music is widespread and known by almost all teenagers, downloading and being able to crack a game is still something that needs a little bit of determination and not known by the average consumer.

Although talk of what would happen if piracy where stamped out is more then a little pointless anyway, because to be honest there is no real solution that could effectively kill piracy and the pirates aren't going to stop their sharing/cracking anytime soon.

You seem to have missed the main reason for piracy, it was my reason and all my friends reason, I didn't want to buy games because I liked getting stuff for free. I know there are the few who say otherwise but at the heart of it people like free stuff. I now have a lot more disposable income and so havn't pirated any games for a few years, but if I lost my job then sure I'd probably go back to my old ways.

Also most of the actual cracking is done by big warez groups so all the "consumer" has to do is copy on file in to the directory.

No, he has that reason in his post.
However, he did miss a rather important reason.
Pirates pirate because they can get away with it.

as long as there is media that needs to be paid for, there will be people who steal it.

/thread

Dechef:

scarbunny:

Skrapt:

Pirates pirate games because:

A: They don't want to pay
B: Rare game that is no longer widely available/not available in certain regions
C: They lost the game and don't want to shell out for another copy.

Even if they only have those 2 choices, buy or don't buy the game. I don't see that changing the major pirate philosophy of "we're not paying for that". Pirates won't pay for it in the first place, and although the piracy of music is widespread and known by almost all teenagers, downloading and being able to crack a game is still something that needs a little bit of determination and not known by the average consumer.

Although talk of what would happen if piracy where stamped out is more then a little pointless anyway, because to be honest there is no real solution that could effectively kill piracy and the pirates aren't going to stop their sharing/cracking anytime soon.

You seem to have missed the main reason for piracy, it was my reason and all my friends reason, I didn't want to buy games because I liked getting stuff for free. I know there are the few who say otherwise but at the heart of it people like free stuff. I now have a lot more disposable income and so havn't pirated any games for a few years, but if I lost my job then sure I'd probably go back to my old ways.

Also most of the actual cracking is done by big warez groups so all the "consumer" has to do is copy on file in to the directory.

No, he has that reason in his post.
However, he did miss a rather important reason.
Pirates pirate because they can get away with it.

Agreed I missed the first point, however this point invalidates the rest of his argument, if people cant get it for free then they either have to pay or not play, and as most pirates are gamers the chances of them passing up most games are pretty slim.

I also agree with you that another big reason is the chances of being caught are so slim they could hide behind Paris Hiltons modesty.

Abedeus:
I'd have to agree with the "make more demos" argument.

I'm not going to buy any game without a demo version, ever since I wasted a lot of money on pre-order of Neverwinter Nights 2.

Same as I'm not going to a movie without seeing it's trailer first or buy a music CD without knowing any songs on it and hearing to at least one of them.

arcainia:
Well...perosnally, the only reason I -cough- pirate games is because I simply can't afford them. I don't really enjoy having mass amounts of paper wraped, badly labeled CDs. But I want something to enjoy in life, and I just can't affored waisting 400nis on one game.

Then why not steal graphic cards, computers, cars?

If you can't enjoy your life without a computer game... Well, I pity you.

If you REALLY MUST get the game, save money for it, work for it and do something to earn it. Everyone is such a bloody leech, wanting everything for free.

You're getting into the nitty-gritty of piracy.

It's not theft by the legal definition.

Granted, it is still wrong, but it isn't theft; it's something else.

If I stole a graphics card, then the manufacturer/vendor no longer has that graphics card. They can't sell the thing I took from them to anyone else. But if I pirate software I wouldn't buy (for example; Spore), then the company loses only my business; they still have their own copy hat they can sell to someone else. And, if I wasn't going to buy it in the first place, they didn't even lose my business.

Frankly, the only 'solution' to piracy is morality; if you would buy something, buy it to support the creator. If you wouldn't, then either don't get it at all, or pirate it, use it twice, then get rid of it.

For one, the one suffering the most from pirated games are not the studios but the publishers. And the studios suffer from the publisher (a bit generalized here).

Interesting enough, publishers lose almost as much from people selling their game second hand early on, as from a pirated game (a game sold second hand is a game not bought at full price!).

Now as with music, the piracy of games is just an indicator for a flawed system. It took the music industry years to stop whining and finally selling music via internet (which makes a WHOLE LOT OF MONEY). The same goes for games. Retail "shelf" games are a product of the past. Only very few publishers (not studios!) like EA can actually get their games onto the shelves.

Services like Steam are part of the cure. Studios get the chance to circumvent expensive publishers (if only Valve was not their new publisher, but the deal seems fair). Buying games is easier - you can buy the game online, and download it at highspeed - instead of having to drive to town and hope the rare game you are looking for is on the shelf of the local supermarket, just to pay for the game, the publisher and the store you just bought it in. It's almost faster to just pirate the darn thing.
Now Steam becomes more problematic for studios, if the publisher puts the game there, because then again, the development studio is the last in line to get a little share out of the deal.

Alternatively games "for free" pop up that are ad-powered or financed by micro-transactions (you buy extras, like better weapons or new levels, etc.). You'd be surprised about the money they make from that, while everyone can play the game for free. Companies have to adapt to the system instead of complaining about the loss of money, that stems from them not grasping it. Piracy is just a rule within the system of software sale. If you fight it on one place it grows stronger somewhere else.

Apart from all that - it is not a surprise that piracy is so popular, as the whole monetary system is inherently flawed on it's own. Apart from us all essentially living like kings already (compared to medieval standards), we could do even more so, if not three quarters of our hard earned money would end up on the central bank (and not our own account!).

Finnboghi:

Abedeus:
I'd have to agree with the "make more demos" argument.

I'm not going to buy any game without a demo version, ever since I wasted a lot of money on pre-order of Neverwinter Nights 2.

Same as I'm not going to a movie without seeing it's trailer first or buy a music CD without knowing any songs on it and hearing to at least one of them.

arcainia:
Well...perosnally, the only reason I -cough- pirate games is because I simply can't afford them. I don't really enjoy having mass amounts of paper wraped, badly labeled CDs. But I want something to enjoy in life, and I just can't affored waisting 400nis on one game.

Then why not steal graphic cards, computers, cars?

If you can't enjoy your life without a computer game... Well, I pity you.

If you REALLY MUST get the game, save money for it, work for it and do something to earn it. Everyone is such a bloody leech, wanting everything for free.

You're getting into the nitty-gritty of piracy.

It's not theft by the legal definition.

Granted, it is still wrong, but it isn't theft; it's something else.

If I stole a graphics card, then the manufacturer/vendor no longer has that graphics card. They can't sell the thing I took from them to anyone else. But if I pirate software I wouldn't buy (for example; Spore), then the company loses only my business; they still have their own copy hat they can sell to someone else. And, if I wasn't going to buy it in the first place, they didn't even lose my business.

Frankly, the only 'solution' to piracy is morality; if you would buy something, buy it to support the creator. If you wouldn't, then either don't get it at all, or pirate it, use it twice, then get rid of it.

Sorry, but the deal is here:

1. You pirate a game that costs $50.

2. You get a game, developer doesn't get his $50 (pff, HIS $50... he gets less, maybe except for Valve, because shop is taking some of that for the job they did).

3. You got something for free that was supposed to bring someone $50.

What's the difference between pirating a game, and buying the game from a store, then stealing $50 from the cash? You keep your money, they don't get your business.

That's the same thing when you go into a movie with a camera recorder, film the movie and then watch it for free or put it on eMule/torrents.

What really needs fixing is some developer's totally wrong mindset, like Mr. Jacobson's.

Prices would go down without piracy?. Yeah, right. I guess he doesn't have a PS3.

Abedeus:

Finnboghi:

Abedeus:
I'd have to agree with the "make more demos" argument.

I'm not going to buy any game without a demo version, ever since I wasted a lot of money on pre-order of Neverwinter Nights 2.

Same as I'm not going to a movie without seeing it's trailer first or buy a music CD without knowing any songs on it and hearing to at least one of them.

arcainia:
Well...perosnally, the only reason I -cough- pirate games is because I simply can't afford them. I don't really enjoy having mass amounts of paper wraped, badly labeled CDs. But I want something to enjoy in life, and I just can't affored waisting 400nis on one game.

Then why not steal graphic cards, computers, cars?

If you can't enjoy your life without a computer game... Well, I pity you.

If you REALLY MUST get the game, save money for it, work for it and do something to earn it. Everyone is such a bloody leech, wanting everything for free.

You're getting into the nitty-gritty of piracy.

It's not theft by the legal definition.

Granted, it is still wrong, but it isn't theft; it's something else.

If I stole a graphics card, then the manufacturer/vendor no longer has that graphics card. They can't sell the thing I took from them to anyone else. But if I pirate software I wouldn't buy (for example; Spore), then the company loses only my business; they still have their own copy hat they can sell to someone else. And, if I wasn't going to buy it in the first place, they didn't even lose my business.

Frankly, the only 'solution' to piracy is morality; if you would buy something, buy it to support the creator. If you wouldn't, then either don't get it at all, or pirate it, use it twice, then get rid of it.

Sorry, but the deal is here:

1. You pirate a game that costs $50.

2. You get a game, developer doesn't get his $50 (pff, HIS $50... he gets less, maybe except for Valve, because shop is taking some of that for the job they did).

3. You got something for free that was supposed to bring someone $50.

What's the difference between pirating a game, and buying the game from a store, then stealing $50 from the cash? You keep your money, they don't get your business.

That's the same thing when you go into a movie with a camera recorder, film the movie and then watch it for free or put it on eMule/torrents.

Cause then they lose an actual physical copy of the game that they now cannot sell. With a torrent you aren't stealing an actual product perse, as noone lose a product that they can sell. Not saying it's right, just pointing out the differance. It's a copyright thing over theft.

Lunar Shadow:

Abedeus:

Finnboghi:

Abedeus:
I'd have to agree with the "make more demos" argument.

I'm not going to buy any game without a demo version, ever since I wasted a lot of money on pre-order of Neverwinter Nights 2.

Same as I'm not going to a movie without seeing it's trailer first or buy a music CD without knowing any songs on it and hearing to at least one of them.

arcainia:
Well...perosnally, the only reason I -cough- pirate games is because I simply can't afford them. I don't really enjoy having mass amounts of paper wraped, badly labeled CDs. But I want something to enjoy in life, and I just can't affored waisting 400nis on one game.

Then why not steal graphic cards, computers, cars?

If you can't enjoy your life without a computer game... Well, I pity you.

If you REALLY MUST get the game, save money for it, work for it and do something to earn it. Everyone is such a bloody leech, wanting everything for free.

You're getting into the nitty-gritty of piracy.

It's not theft by the legal definition.

Granted, it is still wrong, but it isn't theft; it's something else.

If I stole a graphics card, then the manufacturer/vendor no longer has that graphics card. They can't sell the thing I took from them to anyone else. But if I pirate software I wouldn't buy (for example; Spore), then the company loses only my business; they still have their own copy hat they can sell to someone else. And, if I wasn't going to buy it in the first place, they didn't even lose my business.

Frankly, the only 'solution' to piracy is morality; if you would buy something, buy it to support the creator. If you wouldn't, then either don't get it at all, or pirate it, use it twice, then get rid of it.

Sorry, but the deal is here:

1. You pirate a game that costs $50.

2. You get a game, developer doesn't get his $50 (pff, HIS $50... he gets less, maybe except for Valve, because shop is taking some of that for the job they did).

3. You got something for free that was supposed to bring someone $50.

What's the difference between pirating a game, and buying the game from a store, then stealing $50 from the cash? You keep your money, they don't get your business.

That's the same thing when you go into a movie with a camera recorder, film the movie and then watch it for free or put it on eMule/torrents.

Cause then they lose an actual physical copy of the game that they now cannot sell. With a torrent you aren't stealing an actual product perse, as noone lose a product that they can sell. Not saying it's right, just pointing out the differance. It's a copyright thing over theft.

Okay, then what's the difference between piracy and:

1. You go to a shop, open a box, get DvDs.
2. You copy DvDs.
3. You return them to the shop and nobody notices it.

It's win-win, right? NO. You got the game, they got nothing.

It's like sneaking into a movie without paying, then filming it and releasing in the Internet on eMule. That's a piracy too. Or, more exactly, theft of intellectual property.

Theft is theft. It can't be white, unless you absolutely need, NEED the thing to live. And if you do, that's a bad thing, stop.

Who'd want it to be fixed, I'm too poor to afford all these awesome games!! Maybe I can complain when I actually earn my own money but until then, NEVER!

If they had decent digital distribution, they'd see piracy drop. If they stopped using crippling DRM, they'd see piracy drop. If they consistently released quality products at decent prices, they'd see piracy drop. If they synchronised their release dates globally, they'd see piracy drop.

There are so many things they could do, ranging from the blatantly obvious to the not-so-much, but they don't. They have nobody to blame but themselves.

The only reason people download games and music illegally is this.

Its so easy to get away with it. Instead on tightening the grip on legitimate users with DRM, tighten it on the pirates. Stop trying to prevent copies and legislate new laws to punish people using illegal copies. ISP need to give addresses and names that link with a suspected pirate IP address. An officer is sent out to confiscate your PC and it is checked for pirated material.

If there was a real threat like losing your internet access, losing your PC, fines, and/or jailtime for downloading pirated games, no honest person would do it any longer.

They already know how to track unique IPs that go to the main piracy websites. Its just a matter of giving them authority to act on it.

Remove DRM, treat the criminals like criminals, instead of the legitimate buyer.

Of course this won't stop it, but it would certainly make your average otherwise honest person think twice.

Make the act of downloading a pirated game carry the same risk as if they shoplifted it from walmart.

Piracy does not drive up the price of games. That's a myth of the game companies. If piracy were eliminated prices would go up. When PC games switched from easily-copied floppy disks to impossible-to-copy (at the time) CDs, the price of PC games basically doubled overnight. They had customers over a barrel and they were going to bilk them for all they could.

When someone pointed out above that game prices are about market segmentation, they were dead on the money. If anything piracy lowers prices, because the game companies feel they need to compete with it.

Zephirius:
I'm also still waiting for the video game industry to fuck right off with their retarded pricing and take a look at some fucking exchange rates. God, that really pisses me off. €60 DOES NOT EQUAL $60!

Following the exchange rates is just as bad, though. Here a typical new console game is ~NZ$110 (which *is* about US$60, according to the exchange rate). But the exchange rate is not tied to purchasing power -- if I bought US$60 of groceries from a US market and NZ$60 of groceries from an NZ market, I would end up with about the same amount of stuff in the end. As a result, games are relatively more expensive (compared to other things you can buy) here than in the US, thereby making the purchase harder to justify. (And reiterating your other point: making it even more important to have a demo.)

Screw over the customer! Milk them for all you can!

Frankly, I support pirates. They're the critical point keeping the bigname publishers in check. Because as we've all seen, companies with dividends always go for the maximum profit. Which has and will involve screwing over the customer in every way possible and going for the generic crap pleasing as large a crowd as possible. Just look at EA and everything they've acquired.

And I have a copy of Mass Effect I don't dare install on a system without a fresh disk image because of the DRM.

And I've yet to see a pirate who wouldn't buy given two things. That the price was right and it was convenient. But spend $50 on overpriced overhyped utter crap (Fallout 3, Bioshock and Spore to mention a few big titles I wouldn't take for free) and basically the middle finger from the publisher once you realize it's crap?

Viva la revolution!

(And I have a big shelf of games that are legal, and tons of DD games.)

EDIT: And oh, kill the broke college students! Make piracy equivalent to armed robbery! Piracy is killing gaming! VHS is killing movies! Piano roll is killing the artists! (Last three real cases.) ... haven't we heard this bullshit enough times already? The end of piracy would do nothing to lower the prices, as the console market should so abundantly show. Lowering prices would cut piracy, because people wouldn't care to go through the gigantic hassle pirating stuff sometimes is if they could get the same thing quickly and conveniently.

I believe that exclusively distributing games electronically would help but in the end the industry will have to remove install limits and Securom. As it stands all DRM does is designate the most beneficial course of action to end users and dare them to challenge the system to accomplish it.

A "change in society" will never happen the only way for The industry to survive is budgeting their projects in order to profit in spite of piracy.

I'm another supporter of Steam, last couple of deals I went for , GTA 1,2,3, VC and SA, the lot for 15, and all the X-Com games for 3! Honestly, who's going to pirate when you can get stuff guaranteed working and patched and ready to go for a few quid.

As for DRM, I'm all for a certain level of protection , such as CD Keys, online activation etc, as it discourages the 'casual' pirates, the type who don't know much, but would download em if it was simple, and would buy from car boot sales etc.

When the you're spending almost as much on the DRM as you did on the game, there's a problem, and you're also laying a challenge down to the hackers, therefore getting people actually interested in breaking and downloading your property. Look at Spore...

One thing I think is really bad is stuff like World of Goo getting stolen, come on... I'm not saying its ok at any level, but screwing one guy outta a few bucks is the lower end of it.

Piracy is never going to be fixed because many people just don't see the problem with it. I think Steam is the best anti- piracy idea out there but you can't stop someone from torrenting a game thats 2 or 3 years old and then finding a cracked .exe (come to think of it you can't really stop all of that with most recent releases either).

i think the guys at valve put it best, pirates are just underserved customers, here's the article

if they were served better, like simultaneous worldwide release, you'd see piracy go down but not be eliminated. there would be less ppl who did pirate things. remove drm and such and it would go down even more. you can't stop it but you will at least decrease the amount

using me as an example, i live in canada, i love doctor who and torchwood. the cbc in their infinite wisdom won't show doctor who won't air it until several months after the bbc has and even put it online for free, they don't show torchwood any more that airs on space but same thing. so what do i do? i download doctor who and torchwood. IF i could watch it on my tv even with a week or two delay i'd watch it on the cbc/space but 6 months or more is just too long.

Hunde Des Krieg:
It's called human ingenuity. People always try to find ways around the rules, it's part of our nature.

This. It's why chimps use sticks to get termites and ants.

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