Videogamers outraged over the recent decision by five companies in the U.K. to sue pirates may be surprised to find that outspoken industry figure Peter Moore is on their side.
Five game companies in the U.K. announced their intention yesterday to seek legal action against thousands of people suspected of downloading games from file sharing sites. Isabela Barwinska got the ball rolling when she was ordered to pay almost $30,000 to Topware Interactive for downloading Dream Pinball 3D, and lawyers for the company said "there would be a lot more."
But EA Sports President Peter Moore, whose talent for rapid-fire hyperbole sometimes seems purpose-built to cause teeth-grinding among gamers, doesn't think it's a good idea. While he has previously cited rampant piracy as one of the main reasons behind the elimination of several key EA Sports franchises on the PC, Moore pointed out in an interview with GamesIndustry that litigation against its consumer base "didn't work for the music industry."
"I'm not a huge fan of trying to punish your customer. Albeit these people have clearly stolen intellectual property, I think there are better ways of resolving this within our power as developers and publishers," he said.
"Yes, we've got to find solutions. We absolutely should crack down on piracy. People put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into their content and deserve to be paid for it. It's absolutely wrong, it is stealing," Moore continued. "But at the same time I think there are better solutions than chasing people for money. I'm not sure what they are, other than to build game experiences that make it more difficult for there to be any value in pirating games."
Moore said the videogame industry could learn lessons on how to approach piracy from other industries, particularly the music industry, which pioneered the concept of punishing downloaders through lawsuits. In Moore's opinion, it would be a mistake for the videogame industry to pursue a similar course, and he said that as far as he knew Electronic Arts had no intention of joining any kind of coalition to pursue pirates in court. "Regarding what EA needs to do - I can't comment on that. EA takes piracy very seriously, and people deserve to get paid for content they create," he said. "But as far as I'm aware, we have no plans, that I know, to partner with Atari and Codemasters and chase down consumers."