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Fuzzy
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06 May 2010, 7:57 pm

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We've been hearing a lot about game piracy recently, with big developers inflicting draconian online-only DRM systems on their users, and blaming their declining PC game sales entirely on piracy. I'm not questioning that piracy is common, since even honest, DRM-free, indie developers like 2DBoy report a 90% piracy rate. I am, however, questioning what this means. How much revenue are developers actually losing to piracy?


http://blog.wolfire.com/2010/05/Another ... ame-piracy


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06 May 2010, 8:26 pm

This article is indeed correct.

If I ever were to illegally download/pirate/copy a game, it would be because I could do it, and wanted to play said game. However, 99.9% of the time, the game/app in question was one I had no intention of ever buying or using. Every game I seriously ever wanted in my life, I purchased. Likewise, every app my father has on his Ipod touch wouldn't be there if he had to pay for them.



ViperaAspis
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06 May 2010, 8:30 pm

I think Stardock (the GalCiv boys (and girls)) figured this out some time ago. They have no copy protection on their games and have not only successfully sold GalCiv II, but been able to fund TWO expansions for the game (Dark Avatar and Twilight of the Arnor).

Plus I recall my Apple ][ days when I would download TONS of pirated stuff en masse from BBS systems.

Good article; I agree with it totally.


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nodice1996
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07 May 2010, 6:14 am

Gee, I can't believe it, game developers other than Valve might actually do something that I don't hate. Wow! :cheers: (I blame my obnoxiously small keyboard for any gramatical mistakes in this post)


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Exclavius
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17 May 2010, 7:10 pm

If the software has DRM, i will not buy it. (nor will i pirate dl it either)
Simple reason why. When i'm tired of it, it's my right to sell it (whether they agree or not) and i cannot do so.
Some DRM software makers make allowances for this, but not easily.

Its the same issue I have with Microsoft.
They and other DRM implementers will go the way of the dinosaur, open source is not yet a sizable factor in the game market, but give it time, and once it is, bye bye DRM.
And unless MS can find a way to prevent open platform software from running on their OS, they too are doomed to give in, or die in the wake of open source/platform.



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18 May 2010, 3:13 am

Fuzzy wrote:
Quote:
We've been hearing a lot about game piracy recently, with big developers inflicting draconian online-only DRM systems on their users, and blaming their declining PC game sales entirely on piracy. I'm not questioning that piracy is common, since even honest, DRM-free, indie developers like 2DBoy report a 90% piracy rate. I am, however, questioning what this means. How much revenue are developers actually losing to piracy?


http://blog.wolfire.com/2010/05/Another ... ame-piracy


A lot of games these days are selling through delivery platforms like Steam and Impulse. Even sites like Direct 2 Drive are reselling games that require Steam for installation. For all intents and purposes Steam and Impulse are a form of DRM in that you cannot play the game outside the client. And you have to manage your games inside the client. So what I can't figure is if these accusations are true, then does this mean there are more games being pirated then being sold through the combination of Steam, Impulse, Direct2Drive and others?


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greengeek
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03 Jun 2010, 5:55 pm

DRM and the cost maybe keeping some people from buying the games.


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Fuzzy
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03 Jun 2010, 5:59 pm

kxmode wrote:
Fuzzy wrote:
Quote:
We've been hearing a lot about game piracy recently, with big developers inflicting draconian online-only DRM systems on their users, and blaming their declining PC game sales entirely on piracy. I'm not questioning that piracy is common, since even honest, DRM-free, indie developers like 2DBoy report a 90% piracy rate. I am, however, questioning what this means. How much revenue are developers actually losing to piracy?


http://blog.wolfire.com/2010/05/Another ... ame-piracy


A lot of games these days are selling through delivery platforms like Steam and Impulse. Even sites like Direct 2 Drive are reselling games that require Steam for installation. For all intents and purposes Steam and Impulse are a form of DRM in that you cannot play the game outside the client. And you have to manage your games inside the client. So what I can't figure is if these accusations are true, then does this mean there are more games being pirated then being sold through the combination of Steam, Impulse, Direct2Drive and others?


There is always the possibility that the publishers are just lying through their teeth about the amount of piracy.


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Death_of_Pathos
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03 Jun 2010, 7:59 pm

Steam is not perfect, but it remains a shining example of how to approach digital distribution (and even, gasp, DRM) well. You get something from using steam beyond the mere game, and the only real limiting factor is the occasionally odd behavior of 'offline mode'.



ViperaAspis
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04 Jun 2010, 12:45 am

Fuzzy wrote:
There is always the possibility that the publishers are just lying through their teeth about the amount of piracy.


Hi Fuzzy, it looks like there was a slight malfunction in your spell checker there, let me fix that:

There is the absolute certainty that the publishers are just lying through their bleedin' teeth about the amount of piracy ;)

The government won't care as much if there are only tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars of economic impact. But if there are millions or billions being lost, they are more likely to do something. Of course, if so much money were really being recouped by the video game industry, Electronic Arts would soon eclipse Universal Studios or even Microsoft in terms of revenue and net worth. They will doubtless recoup some money from this, which is the defining goal of any corporation: to make more money (or capital -- thus the appellation "Capitalism").

The bigger picture is that DRM et al. can be too invasive in terms of system-affecting programs -- (<.<) I'm looking at YOU, Starforce! -- and can gradually erode the freedoms and fair-use rights we have as citizens of this Republic for which we stand. For example, this aforementioned capital drive also led to the too-powerful DMCA<--(that underlining there is also a link to an example) which is an exchange of freedoms for said profits.

I support the right of video game developers to make money. More power to 'em. Just don't screw with my system and don't take away my rights.


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Salonfilosoof
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08 Jun 2010, 3:54 am

I'm not sure if they're lying about the rates, but I personally met only very few PC gamers who actually buy their games. What they're most definitely lying about, however, is the amount of income they're losing because of it since few people would spend the money on games required to play the games they're now playing illegally.

In my opinion, the main problem is pricing and average quality. I own a lot of DVDs and even though most of the films in my collection are very high quality I pay an average of 6 to 7 Euro (7 to 8 USD) per DVD. Considering I watch my favorite films several times, I find this very affordable and I often buy films I never heard of to try out and quite often I actually stumble on a rare gem. I also prefer buying DVDs to downloading DivX files because DVDs are subtitled by default, I like to own the orriginal box, I sometimes enjoy the extras and I don't want to risk losing half of my DVD collection by seeing my hard drives or DVD-Rs get corrupted in time.

Unfortunately I cannot say this about games. Games tend to be far more expensive, many games have little replay value and it's often quite hard to find a game that cannot be finished in less than 10 hours and that can blow you away. In fact, ever since I played "Mass Effect 2" (in my opinion, the "Mass Effect" franchise are the best games ever) I haven't been able to find a single game I find remotely interesting. All these security measures also annoy the hell out of me since it reduces the user experience if I'm forced to put the game CD or DVD in my drive or I'm forced to connect to eg. Valve just to play my game. This makes me very unwilling to spend any money on games at all.

In my opinion, the key to increasing video game profits is lowering the prices and increasing the user experience of legal gamers by adding some content that cannot easily be copied (eg. physical replicas of in game items). All this extra security will only lead to even less gamers buying their games, higher prices and even more frustration. Just like record labels (that suffer from more or less the same problem), game companies just don't seem to get it....



Tach
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09 Jun 2010, 5:31 am

There is a second problem here. In the flight sim community, add-ons cost 50 dollars for a single aircraft as a median, and I've seen them go up to 200. You can not say that it's always going to be "because they can" when you look at the possibility of prices being so high it isn't funny.


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