Several members of the online game industry have come together in a new initiative aimed at combating videogame piracy in China.
Known as the Online Games Alliance Against Piracy, the group is made up of CDC Games, CCP, T3 Entertainment, Sonokong and Wemade Entertainment and is working with the Chinese government in its efforts to curtail piracy. The group recently helped secure convictions against two "piracy for profit" operators in Mir III, one of whom was running illegal copies of the game while the other was using illegal macro software that allowed players to purchase in-game powers and weapons. According to a press release, the revenue impact on Mir III as a result of these actions was "substantial." The offenders were given three- and six-year sentences respectively, with the second offender also receiving a $67,000 fine.
CDC Games CEO Peter Yip said, "The formation of OGAAP is a milestone achievement for the online game industry and will seek to leverage the combined power, experience and efforts of many key industry players. Like other segments in the entertainment industry, we have experienced an increase in piracy, especially with some of our more popular online games. Our primary objective is to reduce, and if possible, eliminate these piracy challenges so our industry can continue its vibrant growth throughout China. This alliance and the recent successful convictions of illegal operators are major steps in achieving our objectives." CDC Games, which is leading the effort, is actively seeking other industry members to join the initiative.
The OGAAP will be operated as a non-profit group with headquarters in Beijing. It has already been in discussions with some of the Chinese government's industry oversight agencies, including the China Game Publishers Association. Software piracy is rampant in China, which is notorious for lax copyright laws and enforcement, and according to the OGAAP costs the global entertainment industry billions of dollars per year.