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UK Devs: Piracy Is a Problem, Doesn't Threaten Survival

| 10 Nov 2009 18:51
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Developers across the pond in the UK agree that while piracy is a problem - and one that is worsening - it isn't one that threatens their very survival just yet.

Regardless of our gaming platform of choice, I'd hope that we can all agree this: Developers have bills to pay and families to feed, and piracy is a problem that the industry is going to have to deal with one way or another. This isn't to say that the efforts to tackle the problem so far have been the best way to go about it, but piracy is the elephant in the room for game development (only in this case, it's the elephant that has to be addressed at some point or another).

According to GI.biz, developers in the UK are acutely aware of this, judging by the most recent survey of TIGA (The Independent Games Developers Association) members. 60 percent of the developers surveyed agreed that piracy was a problem - a surprisingly low statistic, actually - but even the respondents who didn't think it was a "problem" yet believed the situation was going downhill, with 90 percent of those surveyed saying that piracy was getting worse.

Piracy might be getting worse, but the majority of those surveyed weren't too concerned: 60 percent of the TIGA members felt that piracy was "a low threat to the viability of their company," and only 10 percent called it a significant threat. When asked if they felt that the government should step in to address piracy directly by cutting or slowing broadband access to the internet, the respondents were split down the middle 50/50, which is also a bit surprising.

To be honest, I'm a bit flabbergasted that 50 percent of the developers surveyed would be for the throttling of broadband, considering its increasing importance as online gaming and digital distribution become more popular. That reads to me very much like cutting off your nose to spite your face, and would hurt developers in the long run as much as it might help to curtail piracy. Given how surprisingly resourceful those dastardly bastards are, though, I don't think a cap on broadband would deter them for long.

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