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General: Game Piracy is B.S.

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,596MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

Coyote Sharptongue is back again with another column guaranteed to set teeth to gnashing and tongues to wagging. Called "Game Piracy is B.S.", Coyote takes aim at the boogeyman of online gaming: The erstwhile pirate. Check out Coyote's column and then leave your thoughts in the comments.

The scariest and most overused of industry buzzwords, piracy is the boogeyman that supposedly robs developers of billions, destroys lives, and is the reason that invasive root kits are staunchly defended whenever they’re discovered. The term is adored by the media, used to frighten children into eating their vegetables, and if it were a physical creature it would look like a vampire Darth Vader covered in spiders.

Read more Coyote's Howling: Game Piracy is B.S..

Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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Comments

  • ZezdaZezda Posts: 685Member Uncommon

    Diablo 2 was fine online.. you weren't by any chance playing on the open servers and not BNET were you...?

  • JakardJakard 98390, WAPosts: 415Member

    Diablo 2 was not fine online. There was so much cheating on Battle.net that it's one of the reasons why so many players quit playing it. I don't know if it became less of an issue with it's later patches but for a long time there was definitely an issue with hacks and cheats.

  • ZezdaZezda Posts: 685Member Uncommon

    I'll admit that I never played the original but LoD was fine whenever I was on. I never had anyone come into a passworded game and I never had anyone with super duper hacked items kill me. There was stupid TP PK stuff going on but it was hardly people hacking and more like just abusing bugs.

  • Sp3wSp3w BochumPosts: 1Member

    Maphack, Bots, Teleport hack, dupes ... but d2 b.net was fine ...

  • OmaliOmali MMO Business Correspondent Orchard Park, NYPosts: 1,114Member Uncommon

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  • EladiEladi ArnhemPosts: 1,100Member Uncommon

    As you say cheaters are a bigger roblem for the USER not the company /economics by the time people know its a cheat game they already sold all they needed to sell/could sell. 

    hacking and pirates are two diferent problems that dont even belong on the same list 

    Its like comparing trafic jams that economicly cost alot whit smokers that bring in money (tax) but might cause danger for nearby other folks.

     

    Pirating is overblown, it happens it always has and walways will but would have bin better to dig up the few science studdies that prove that pirating actualy increases sales instead of costing money.

    will always be a point of discussion untill we all walk around whit nano chips in our head and even those we might hack so we can hack acces to stuff :)

     

     

  • RuinalRuinal duhPosts: 195Member

    Diablo 1, had mods which instakill everything on a level including players. Diablo 2, you couldn't trust *any* trade you made and whilst not as extreme as instakill-everything hacks, there were plenty asshats who could make legit gameplay impossible.

    I hope Blizz ban assholes found cheating by IP and not just account because as the article says, it isn't 'pirates' that destroy gaming communities but these hacker twats.

  • Gel214thGel214th Miami, FLPosts: 180Member Common

    You also need to take into account WHO is pirating.

    Is it even people that you sell your products to?

    Russia..>China...The Caribbean...Latin America have almost ZERO access to the latest US movies and series.  So if these are the people being noted for numbers in 'pirating' ...it's BS. Because you aren't selling to them.

    Even with Electronic Distribution the difference between US Amazon and Latin American Amazon is almost 100,000 books! So if those people in Latin America download an ebook , is that a loss of revenue due to Piracy? Or a Loss of revenue due to asinine region locking? 

    The same thing with HULU and Netflix. Netflix LA has 10 year old movies, and the most recent movies are almost three years old. 

    Piracy figures and losses only matter for US RESIDENTS who are over the age of 18 when they could reasonably be expected to be a customer in the first place.

    The numbers game is BS. This entire thing about 'Piracy' has been the excuse used to implement draconiaon Copyright bills and to remove Privacy safeguards around the world.

    In the meantime the Botnets, Rootkits, Trojans and Malware continue to operate to send Spam and steal Credit card numbers worldwide. 

  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member

    This article is relevant to my interests. In fact, I applaud the author if I could, I would give a +1 Internets to him.

    The biggest problem with piracy is the companies being unwilling to adapt to new ways to deliver content to people. Take the movie industry. It has taken them years, decades even to get behind the idea of delivering movies and television shows to people without having a physical medium to deliver it. The movie studios are finally getting behind it, but their plan is to charge people more for stuff they already have. It's kind of crazy.

    I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  • sumo0sumo0 odensePosts: 115Member

    i completely agree with OP!

    now the question is how to make the rest of the human polulation smarter. sounds like a hopeless cause...

  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 17,962Member Uncommon

    I don't think people know how much less games are pirated now compared to before.

    My first computer was a C-64. I can admit to getting pirated games to it myself (I was a kid and it is prescribed by now). 1 owned 1 original game, Rampage on cassette which cost as much as any new game cost today, which at the time was a fortune to a 13 year old kid like me, think at least double that of a full price game today.

    But all kids with C-64 exchanged tapes and later discs with games on. a 90 minute tape was copied in just 90 minutes and could have 100 games on it. I had several thousands games at the time pirated.

    Among all my friends, most players had 1-5 original games and thousands of pirated copies.

    Today most games are bought even though some people downloads the game illegally. I an fact know people who downloads games without a demo to try it out and buy it if they like it.

    Another question is if 100 people download a game, exactly how many people would have bought it if they couldn't download it? Not a 100 as some people seems to think, most people have a steady budget to buy game for but actual pirates often loads down many games each month and then delete most of them after a few hours play.

    I agree with Coyote (for the second time in a row, which is the first time), cheaters hurts games more than pirates. Of course many people who quit Diablo 2 due to cheaters already owned the game so how much money they actually lost on it is due to speculations as well. MMOs are a lot harder hit by cheating like that since they rely on people player it long time no matter if they are F2P, P2P or even B2P.

  • ComanComan Hattem, AKPosts: 2,032Member Uncommon

    The problem is not the pirate, but the publishers. While downloading game simply is wrong (by law. We could discuss if it really is morally wrong, especially if you would not have payed for the product anyway) the publisher does make gaming easier as a pirate every time they "invent" a new way to protect themselves from pirate.

    The newest settlers is a good example. While myself and plenty of other consumers where being pissed of duo connection issues and the likes, the pirates where happily playing the game. Also the way games are released. Delaying a release in a region makes people download the game offcourse they do they really want to play the game and with the logetivity of the games released these day a lot of people finished the game before it even released in there region.

    Developers/publishers need to start to think instead. Take the new Airline tycoon 2 game. It first released in US, then in some geman speaking countries and then in the rest of europa and then days later it will be release digitally worldwide. How does this make any sense at all? Why would you not release everything at the same time (It all the same company releaseing it, just sister companies doing it in the respective region, so world wide release should be  possible). Offcourse people will download the game illigally then.

    I am not saying it's ok people are doing it, but that you KNOW people will do it. Why not simply check if you can improve things internally to get more real consumers instead of trowing up blockades that only seem to harm your consumers as hacking/cracking group will find a solution rather sooner then later. Not even sure with game it was, but I can even recall where the developer advised to get a cracked executable instead...might have been an indy-game.

  • KyleranKyleran Tampa, FLPosts: 19,989Member Uncommon
    Depends what you call piracy I suppose. I view the plethora of private game servers as piracy tha impacts developer revenue in some fashion. I don't follow the single player market so really can't speak to the prevalence of it. As for MMO's the real money is in the monthly sub fee or cash shop so if someone steals the initial download the revenue loss is still there but lessened of course.

    In my day MMORPG's were so hard we fought our way through dungeons in the snow, uphill both ways.
    "I don't have one life, I have many lives" - Grunty
    Still currently "subscribed" to EVE, and only EVE!!!
    "This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  • KostKost Vancouver, BCPosts: 1,975Member

    Originally posted by Kyleran

    Depends what you call piracy I suppose. I view the plethora of private game servers as piracy tha impacts developer revenue in some fashion.

    It really doesn't.

    The majority of the players who actively seek out and form communities on private emulated servers are people who don't believe in paying monthly fees to play video games in the first place. It's actually quite readily apparent if one browses a few of the more popular private server forums.

    However, that having been said, many of those same players would support microtransactions as a payment model for an online game, as opposed to a monthly fee. This is also quite apparent when you realize that a few of the larger servers sell ingame items and such through "donation" systems and the popularity of these systems is quite dramatic.

    Emulated Servers do not effect developer revenue anywhere near as much as some people may think, because most (most, not all) of the people playing on them were never potential customers for the game to begin with.

     

  • BaxslashBaxslash Clinton, ONPosts: 230Member

    The OP is correct in some instances, but, as a whole, saying people are morons and can't do pirating well, well, have to say he is way off the mark on that one. Its not that people can't do pirating, its because the ability of companies to "DRM" and use cloud type platforms to protect and service their games has actually gotten better. Sometimes, there is a between new tech and when people finally catch up to the ability to get around it. In most cases, people have finally realized that buying the game is way more fun then actual pirating the game, especially when features such as online play is unlocked compared to playing it in single player mode.

  • BadSpockBadSpock Somewhere, MIPosts: 7,974Member

    I had a very interesting conversation yesterday with a co-worker that is relevant to this conversation-

    We were talking about why users/customers had become SO adverse to spending even the smallest amount of money for their IT/computer/technical needs.

    The answer?

    Apps.

    Yes, it's true.

    Facebook and Apple have ruined the entire world.

    Your "average" user has become so used to Free everything free apps free open source this and free games free services free office F2P games etc.

    So you tell someone they need to pay 50$ for a software license and they scoff and go find a free 3rd-party app - which a lot of the time is total garbage or filled with bugs / incompatibilities and/or viruses/trojans/spyware because your average user does not know how to properly screen anything or make intelligent technical decisions.

    We have become a society SO ingrained with this sense of entitlement that we just expect things to be free.

    Free music, free games, free downloads...

    Why should I pay 50-60 bucks for a game I want to play when I can just download it from Pirate Bay?

    GONE are the days of "voting with your wallent" and "supporting companies you support" because "the man" is so evil and corrupt and cruel and just out to destory your babies!

    We are all about faster, cheaper, easier and this has an effect on EVERY aspect of the "modern" society.

    Long story short?

    BUY YOUR F@#KING GAMES MORONS

    Support the devs you like and BUY the games you want to play.

    Can't afford them? SAVE YOUR MONEY OR DON'T BUY OTHER USELESS SH#T

    or the ever-present STOP BEING A LAZY ASS AND GET A BETTER JOB/EDUCATION

  • ravtecravtec HolmestrandPosts: 214Member

    Pirating is indeed overblown, they dont loose much sale becouse of em but they indeed open doors to people that could not get it in the 1st place. Like younger people that goes to school etc but if they didt have pirate they stil could not get the game so they didt loose that sell.

    I have pirated games but those are games i wouldt spend a dime on if i had to buy em, my last game was mount and blade but after playing it for 1 day i found that game great so i went and bought all 3 of em. 

    Modders are a much bigger problem to the overall game then any pirate but who care as long they pay. I bought call of duty mw2 on release and that game was pretty much unplayable for a very long time since every 2nd game you found a modder that ruined the game. Theyr new and awsome matchmakeing didt have admins so it was an open field for any hackers. What a disaster that experince was.

    Publisher are willing to do anything possible to get theyr check but how much money have they spent on stopping modders compared to pirates? i have no clue but i would guess close to nothing.

  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 17,962Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by BadSpock

    I had a very interesting conversation yesterday with a co-worker that is relevant to this conversation-

    We were talking about why users/customers had become SO adverse to spending even the smallest amount of money for their IT/computer/technical needs.

    The answer?

    Apps.

    Yes, it's true.

    Facebook and Apple have ruined the entire world.

    Your "average" user has become so used to Free everything free apps free open source this and free games free services free office F2P games etc.

    So you tell someone they need to pay 50$ for a software license and they scoff and go find a free 3rd-party app - which a lot of the time is total garbage or filled with bugs / incompatibilities and/or viruses/trojans/spyware because your average user does not know how to properly screen anything or make intelligent technical decisions.

    We have become a society SO ingrained with this sense of entitlement that we just expect things to be free.

    Free music, free games, free downloads...

    Why should I pay 50-60 bucks for a game I want to play when I can just download it from Pirate Bay?

    GONE are the days of "voting with your wallent" and "supporting companies you support" because "the man" is so evil and corrupt and cruel and just out to destory your babies!

    We are all about faster, cheaper, easier and this has an effect on EVERY aspect of the "modern" society.

    Long story short?

    BUY YOUR F@#KING GAMES MORONS

    Support the devs you like and BUY the games you want to play.

    Can't afford them? SAVE YOUR MONEY OR DON'T BUY OTHER USELESS SH#T

    or the ever-present STOP BEING A LAZY ASS AND GET A BETTER JOB/EDUCATION

    The truth however is that piracy is lower now than ever before. The C-64 and Amiga had several 100 copied game for every sold and they had no facebook or open source app then.

    Most people actually pay for their games today.

    And asking people to get a better education/job today isn't that useful, a lot of people have lost everything the last few years, particularly in US, Greece and Ireland. Telling them to study harder is just ignorant. Sure, there are some lazy bums who get all their stuff for free but they are actually pretty rare.

  • BadSpockBadSpock Somewhere, MIPosts: 7,974Member

    Originally posted by Loke666

    And asking people to get a better education/job today isn't that useful, a lot of people have lost everything the last few years, particularly in US, Greece and Ireland. Telling them to study harder is just ignorant.

    I lost my job last year, had to go from well-paying "Professional" white-collar type job with good money/salary/benefits to stocking shelves at one of the big chain big-box stores for a few months to pay the bills.

    After that, did contract work for 9-10 months being paid hourly no benefits etc. and eventually after more then a year total found full time, salaried job again.

    It sucked, but do you know what I did? Made sacrifices. If I wanted to buy a new game that came out, I'd not go out to eat and not get fancy Starbucks coffee and not buy new clothes etc. etc.

    I've "been there done that" I give people NO sympathy for being unable to find work.

    If you can't afford games, then you've got more serious problems.

    Gaming is a LUXARY not a neccessity.

    There is NO excuse for game piracy.

    People have no patience. Try before you buy? Wait for the demo/free-trial, don't steal it.

    People hate on online-only games with stuff like SC2 / Diablo3 or Steam games etc. but they only do that stuff because they DO feel the hit from pirating.

  • haratuharatu Tom Price, AKPosts: 409Member

    Piracy is not a problem becasue time equals money.

    The time it often takes for someone to hack a game, test it, and releae it, then keep it updated everytime a patch comes out means they could be using that same time to earn the cash to buy the game outright.

  • EcocesEcoces Chicago, ILPosts: 879Member Uncommon

    most games i "pirate" i wouldn't have bought anyway.

  • RequiamerRequiamer ???Posts: 2,034Member

    One more great article image

     

    Knowing the recent movements about this, i think it is spot on and definitly to the point, bravo!

  • SuperXero89SuperXero89 Amory, MSPosts: 2,544Member Uncommon

    Piracy is good for finding out how your system runs a certain game.  I was all about buying Fable 3 on the PC until I gave it a test run and realized what poor optimization it had.

    What is more unethical.  Pirating a game thus robbing developers the money they are entitled to from the purchase or developers rushing a game to market without proper optimization thus causing the consumer to waste money on a game they really can't run even though they reasonably should be able to given the recommended specs on the box?

  • CecropiaCecropia Posts: 3,472Member Uncommon

    LOL. NVM.

     

     

    "Mr. Rothstein, your people never will understand... the way it works out here. You're all just our guests. But you act like you're at home. Let me tell you something, partner. You ain't home. But that's where we're gonna send you if it harelips the governor." - Pat Webb

  • CeridithCeridith Toronto, ONPosts: 2,980Member

    Pirating "costing" the industry is largely a fallacy. Most people that pirate wouldn't have bought most or any of the games in the first place, at least, not at the full $50-60 price that is being asked for so many terriblely linear 5-10 hour long games these days. Even if "pirates" bought games instead of pirating, most would only be able to afford a fraction of the games they download, so again most of this "lost" revenue was never actually there in the first place.

    It could be argued that DRM is costing developers more than piracy is, between development costs, technical support for paying customers struggling with DRM issues, along with consumers plain just avoiding purchasing said DRM riddled games.

    As per Diablo's cheating issues... considering that Blizzard pretty much gave in to RMT by cashing in with the RMAH, I doubt they'll put much effort into dealing with cheaters in Diablo 3. They're pretty much shown that they will choose the path that profits the most/costs the least, and sitting on their hands is that path when it comes to cheating.

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