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PC piracy survey results: 35 percent of PC gamers pirate

blueturtle13blueturtle13 Member LegendaryPosts: 12,696

50,000 PC gamers told us whether they pirate games, and why.


Some highlights from the piracy breakdown per country: Serbia and Romania had the highest piracy rates among our respondents at close to 75 percent. Lithuania and Argentina were both over 60 percent. Russia, often cited as a country where pirating runs rampant, was right at the 50 percent mark.

In our report on the state of PC piracy we spoke to a pirate who lives in Bulgaria, who explained a new game on release day costs almost a third of a minimum wage earner's monthly income (imagine new games costing $400 in the US). “The thing is, they think $50 and €50 is the same for every country, but it's not, because the wages and economy are different,” said the pirate, who goes by the handle Overkill online.






Going all the way back to our first statistics, more than 90 percent of PC gamers have pirated games at some point in their lives, but only about 35 percent actively pirate today. Why did they stop? This was another check all that apply question.

44 percent said they hung up the eye patch and peg leg after an increase in income. 56 percent attributed quitting piracy to Steam sales. 50 percent said that buying games on Steam, GOG, etc. became easier than pirating them. About 22 percent just felt bad about pirating and eventually gave it up.


Read the two page article story and see much more here:

http://www.pcgamer.com/pc-piracy-survey-results-35-percent-of-pc-gamers-pirate/#





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Comments

  • waynejr2waynejr2 Member EpicPosts: 7,768
    So this is a group of people who aren't smart enough to lie that they do that?
    http://www.youhaventlived.com/qblog/2010/QBlog190810A.html  

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    Kyleran:  "Now there's the real trick, learning to accept and enjoy a game for what it offers rather than pass on what might be a great playing experience because it lacks a few features you prefer."

    John Henry Newman: "A man would do nothing if he waited until he could do it so well that no one could find fault."

    FreddyNoNose:  "A good game needs no defense; a bad game has no defense." "Easily digested content is just as easily forgotten."

    LacedOpium: "So the question that begs to be asked is, if you are not interested in the game mechanics that define the MMORPG genre, then why are you playing an MMORPG?"




  • Octagon7711Octagon7711 Member LegendaryPosts: 8,968
    I wonder if whales pirate just because they can?

    "We all do the best we can based on life experience, point of view, and our ability to believe in ourselves." - Naropa      "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are."  SR Covey

  • SEANMCADSEANMCAD Member EpicPosts: 16,775
    people tend to look at this piracy very simplistically which is understandable. theft = bad. simple done.

    however when someone in the industry who makes a living off selling games ends up defending basically theft it makes peoples minds blown. The difference however is between the people who listen to that persons explanation as to why and the people who then leave the room.


    Please do not respond to me, even if I ask you a question, its rhetorical.

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  • laxielaxie Member RarePosts: 1,071
    Many of the games today are social experiences.

    I recall the first Call of Duty games had no matchmaking. There was no difference playing on a pirated server, to playing on an official server. I'd imagine it's much more difficult today.

    Running a Minecraft server open to pirated clients is a huge hassle. You would need to expose the server to all sorts of modified clients and packets. That's why majority of serious server owners wouldn't consider it.

    I suppose being a pirate is very inconvenient in a good number of games, even if you get the game to run without issues. You still face the problem of not being able to access the official servers (and the online content).
  • Octagon7711Octagon7711 Member LegendaryPosts: 8,968
    For me it's not worth it.  Just evaluate, buy, d/l, and play, end of story. 

    "We all do the best we can based on life experience, point of view, and our ability to believe in ourselves." - Naropa      "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are."  SR Covey

  • AlbatroesAlbatroes Member LegendaryPosts: 7,368
    It could be that people pirate more openly due to how many games have been technical failures on day one this past 5 years alone. Yet they still try hard to push pre-orders.
  • SEANMCADSEANMCAD Member EpicPosts: 16,775
    edited August 2016
    basically much if not most of the region that pirate the games themselves are either A. illegal to sell B. Unattainable legally C. So expensive nobody in that region is going to buy them.

    So the developer has the option of either A. having that region nearly completely disconnected as a fan base or B. at least having fans in the region which over time might help the region become better about legal distribution and/or have fans for events that otherwise would not go.

    although slightly different there are similarities this is why many in the music industry actually are ok with piracy because it opens up huge concert possibilities that otherwise would not exist at all. 

    Please do not respond to me, even if I ask you a question, its rhetorical.

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  • WarlyxWarlyx Member RarePosts: 3,085
    edited August 2016
    the countries surprised me , i tho the most pirates were from south america .... they are always talking about how they dont even  have $$$ for food so they are "forced" to pirate games....blablaba

    the link to wages from EU ...lol....GL gaining more than 900€ ....but first u need to get a Job...4M on ppl w/o work around here
  • linadragonlinadragon Member RarePosts: 589
    edited August 2016
    Warlyx said:
    the countries surprised me , i tho the most pirates were from south america .... they are always talking about how they dont even  have $$$ for food so they are "forced" to pirate games....blablaba
    Much of the time it is cuz the games cost more down there or aren't even available to begin with. Piracy is wrong and isn't wrong at the same time. Developers need to get it through their heads that they either make a demo for some people or they will pirate the game to try it out. A lot more people have less disposable income, there are countries where these things aren't available at all, and all that and then a lot of games ask for 60 dollars and turn out terrible or so short that they aren't worth 60 dollars and I'd be better off going to 3 movies with someone else for entertainment value. 

    Also it is highly variable based on which south american country some are poor, but some have money, but things involving electronic and entertainment goods are overpriced (brazil if i recall is horrid for electronics especially anything costing over 150 dollars).

    I frankly wish these companies would just say give an good demo that shows varying parts of the game, what we can expect etc, many game demos in the past literally only showed some of the best parts of games and were drags the rest of the games. I'd also feel worse if these companies weren't lining their pockets with heavy profits and literally overspending on game budgets (there is little to no reason you need to hire a celebrity to do voice acting/appearances in a video game sorry) often with the advertising budget being so massive.... 

    The only people I feel bad for are indie developers trying to break into the scene that have their games pirated to the point it hurts them, but to them I say the same thing of offering demos and please please please offer something unique without DRM. The Witcher started out as an indie title and even with piracy has been a major success. 

    Also anyone else find this a little disingenuous of pc gamer to say 35% of PC gamers pirate? A - they should say out of 50,000 surveyed 35% of them pirate PC games. Given the sample size is like not even 1% of the overall estimated PC gaming market according to intel in 2014 (it has likely grown from that 711 million figure) this article by them is HUGELY misleading. 

    And B - even taking that into account you can never really make a survey mean for that entire base of people. It is always going to be the amount of people surveyed that it counts toward. Unless you survey the entire base you aren't going to get a solid number one way or another. Percentages with such a low percent of the gamer population is literally absurd in this situation. 
  • joeri123joeri123 Member UncommonPosts: 247
    I buy most games but I also pirate some. The ones I pirate are usually games I would never buy because I don't think they are worth their money. If they want my money they should have done a better job and not cry in a corner about how everyone is 'stealing' their money.

    I don't see it as stealing because I don't take away a limited resource.

    Taking an item out of a shop means that shopkeeper loses profit because the item is GONE.
    Taking a copy of an infinite resource is not stealing, you wouldn't have bought it anyway so the 'shopkeeper' aint losing sh*t.
  • Loke666Loke666 Member EpicPosts: 21,441
    Of those 35%, how many buy games besides getting pirated games?

    The impact of pirates that don't buy any game is far higher then people who spend a sum on games each months and then use pirated games for some more entertainment.

    And you also have people who download pirate versions of games that don't have a demo/trial version to test the game before buying it (yeah, that is mostly common for game with a small single player campaign and lots of multiplayer content but people like that exist, I know a few that actually buys the game they enjoy if they like it after 3 days).

    My point anyways is that some of the pirates are worse then others so the 35% number is still a bit fuzzy.

    Still, in the 80s I think 99% of all games were pirated. "Gianna sisters" were one of the most popular C-64 games ever but it was just sold for a few days before a Nintendo lawsuit stopped all legal sales. Still, everyone had it... There were plenty of people with 1000 games that owned 1 or 2 originals (or zero). Of course, the games for the C-64 basically cost as much as a modern game do today and that was a lot of money back then.
    SEANMCAD said:
    ...
    although slightly different there are similarities this is why many in the music industry actually are ok with piracy because it opens up huge concert possibilities that otherwise would not exist at all. 
    Those are musicians and bands, they generally get little from the record companies and get their main income from concerts and T-shirts Someone working at a record company would have a rather different opinion.

    Still, Not really relevant here since the gaming T-shirt sales is pretty low...
  • linadragonlinadragon Member RarePosts: 589
    Loke666 said:
    Of those 35%, how many buy games besides getting pirated games?

    The impact of pirates that don't buy any game is far higher then people who spend a sum on games each months and then use pirated games for some more entertainment.

    And you also have people who download pirate versions of games that don't have a demo/trial version to test the game before buying it (yeah, that is mostly common for game with a small single player campaign and lots of multiplayer content but people like that exist, I know a few that actually buys the game they enjoy if they like it after 3 days).

    My point anyways is that some of the pirates are worse then others so the 35% number is still a bit fuzzy.

    Still, in the 80s I think 99% of all games were pirated. "Gianna sisters" were one of the most popular C-64 games ever but it was just sold for a few days before a Nintendo lawsuit stopped all legal sales. Still, everyone had it... There were plenty of people with 1000 games that owned 1 or 2 originals (or zero). Of course, the games for the C-64 basically cost as much as a modern game do today and that was a lot of money back then.
    SEANMCAD said:
    ...
    although slightly different there are similarities this is why many in the music industry actually are ok with piracy because it opens up huge concert possibilities that otherwise would not exist at all. 
    Those are musicians and bands, they generally get little from the record companies and get their main income from concerts and T-shirts Someone working at a record company would have a rather different opinion.

    Still, Not really relevant here since the gaming T-shirt sales is pretty low...
    I know more people that pirate to try games than I do people that pirate to get a game for free. A prime example of this was I pirated Arkham Knight and then ended up purchasing it when I found I had no issues playing it (as I love those games in general) I wanted to test it cuz i heard all the horror stories about it. There are many in some of these countries that only really have the option to pirate these games too. 
  • TheocritusTheocritus Member EpicPosts: 7,856
    Theres so much for free why the need to pirate?
  • blueturtle13blueturtle13 Member LegendaryPosts: 12,696
    Loke666 said:
    Of those 35%, how many buy games besides getting pirated games?

    The impact of pirates that don't buy any game is far higher then people who spend a sum on games each months and then use pirated games for some more entertainment.

    And you also have people who download pirate versions of games that don't have a demo/trial version to test the game before buying it (yeah, that is mostly common for game with a small single player campaign and lots of multiplayer content but people like that exist, I know a few that actually buys the game they enjoy if they like it after 3 days).

    My point anyways is that some of the pirates are worse then others so the 35% number is still a bit fuzzy.

    Still, in the 80s I think 99% of all games were pirated. "Gianna sisters" were one of the most popular C-64 games ever but it was just sold for a few days before a Nintendo lawsuit stopped all legal sales. Still, everyone had it... There were plenty of people with 1000 games that owned 1 or 2 originals (or zero). Of course, the games for the C-64 basically cost as much as a modern game do today and that was a lot of money back then.
    SEANMCAD said:
    ...
    although slightly different there are similarities this is why many in the music industry actually are ok with piracy because it opens up huge concert possibilities that otherwise would not exist at all. 
    Those are musicians and bands, they generally get little from the record companies and get their main income from concerts and T-shirts Someone working at a record company would have a rather different opinion.

    Still, Not really relevant here since the gaming T-shirt sales is pretty low...
    I know more people that pirate to try games than I do people that pirate to get a game for free. A prime example of this was I pirated Arkham Knight and then ended up purchasing it when I found I had no issues playing it (as I love those games in general) I wanted to test it cuz i heard all the horror stories about it. There are many in some of these countries that only really have the option to pirate these games too. 
    Good point and one that is backed up by the survey results of many people doing the same. Using it as a
    'try before you buy' kind of thing.




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  • H0urg1assH0urg1ass Member EpicPosts: 2,380
    A long time ago, like the late 90's early 2000's, several of my college classmates pirated a few games and installed them in computer labs for multiplayer.  What I found is that it generally wasn't worth it.  You have to keep on top of the updates yourself, you have to jump through flaming hoops to make the game work in the first place and a lot of the piracy pushers have very loose morals when it comes to infecting computers with shit you don't want.

    Steam Sales, among other similar retailers, have been the best thing in the world.  If I want to play a game, but I don't feel that it's worth the box price, then I simply wait six months to a year.

    Not only that, but 10 or 15 years ago, a game would stay the same price for years.  The box price of KOTOR, for example, didn't budge for a long time, as did the Baldur's Gate series.  The reason is that there wasn't the same enormous glut of PC games then that there are now.  These days a game releases with a box price, and unless it sells fantastically well like the CoD series, then the price will drop almost guaranteed in a few months.
  • blueturtle13blueturtle13 Member LegendaryPosts: 12,696
    Another thing I found amusing and informative are some of the reasons people in the survey gave for pirating:

    Many, many others offer justifications for why they pirated a game that they took some form of umbrage with.

    • Investments cant be based off reviews anymore. Paid reviews bias and fraud voids all credibility.
    • In game limitations ex. 30fps cap locked fov
    • All Rockstar games and EA games are stolen out of principal.
    • Insulting amount of DLC, I want the full product.
    • Because fuck Blizzard, EA, Sony and any other huge game maker that fucks over their customers; but especially Blizzard.
    • Developers putting in to little effort. It's DLC DLC DLC everywhere. Games are more of a money machine than something to entertain the masses now.
    • Dumb ass Denuvo
    • I feel ripped off by publishers who release extremely buggy / unplayable games and don't patch them adequately. I've had to "finish" games by watching video on youtube because bugs rendered the game unplayable.
    • Corporate greed. Pre 2005 everything was good. Full complete games with decent expansions worth paying for instead of expansions to finish the game. Launch day DLC. Microtransactions. Etc etc etc.

    Many others again and again repeated major points. A game was unavailable to purchase anywhere digitally. They already owned the game on another platform or had lost the disk. The price in their region is exorbitant. Not available in their region at all. To demo a game before buying it.




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  • FrodoFraginsFrodoFragins Member EpicPosts: 4,846
    edited August 2016
    I don't pirate games and never really did even at the height of my using P2P software for other things.  I simply wait for major sales on games a year or more after release.

    If I was looking to pirate, a game like NMS would be the perfect one to choose though. :) 
  • WarlyxWarlyx Member RarePosts: 3,085
    what blizzard games are pirated nowadays? they are all f2p or online....

    Hots f2p and online, HS f2p and online, OW Online , Wow Online (outside pirated servers ) , Starcraft ....ok i guess...but still has online component dunno if u are even able to pirate it .

    EA i can understand ¬¬ ....and yeah DLC day 1 sucks , bugged as hell games , founder packs , and everything around that makes players go mad....
  • linadragonlinadragon Member RarePosts: 589
    H0urg1ass said:
    A long time ago, like the late 90's early 2000's, several of my college classmates pirated a few games and installed them in computer labs for multiplayer.  What I found is that it generally wasn't worth it.  You have to keep on top of the updates yourself, you have to jump through flaming hoops to make the game work in the first place and a lot of the piracy pushers have very loose morals when it comes to infecting computers with shit you don't want.

    Steam Sales, among other similar retailers, have been the best thing in the world.  If I want to play a game, but I don't feel that it's worth the box price, then I simply wait six months to a year.

    Not only that, but 10 or 15 years ago, a game would stay the same price for years.  The box price of KOTOR, for example, didn't budge for a long time, as did the Baldur's Gate series.  The reason is that there wasn't the same enormous glut of PC games then that there are now.  These days a game releases with a box price, and unless it sells fantastically well like the CoD series, then the price will drop almost guaranteed in a few months.
    Back in the late 90's and early 2000's and even up to the mid 2000's unless it was an MMORPG you were frequently having to keep on top of game updates yourself. It wasn't really until digital distribution took off in a massive way that you started to see automatic updating become a more normal thing. In fact if you get games off GoG and use the installer for that you need to keep on top of the updates manually still many times and many of the pirated copies back then would of been used for lan which wouldn't be through flaming hoops, many people did lan multiplayer even with legit copies of the games and did the same small amount of work needed. 

    Basically you are stating you didn't like gaming much before digital distribution and auto updating became a thing :-P
  • linadragonlinadragon Member RarePosts: 589
    Loke666 said:
    Of those 35%, how many buy games besides getting pirated games?

    The impact of pirates that don't buy any game is far higher then people who spend a sum on games each months and then use pirated games for some more entertainment.

    And you also have people who download pirate versions of games that don't have a demo/trial version to test the game before buying it (yeah, that is mostly common for game with a small single player campaign and lots of multiplayer content but people like that exist, I know a few that actually buys the game they enjoy if they like it after 3 days).

    My point anyways is that some of the pirates are worse then others so the 35% number is still a bit fuzzy.

    Still, in the 80s I think 99% of all games were pirated. "Gianna sisters" were one of the most popular C-64 games ever but it was just sold for a few days before a Nintendo lawsuit stopped all legal sales. Still, everyone had it... There were plenty of people with 1000 games that owned 1 or 2 originals (or zero). Of course, the games for the C-64 basically cost as much as a modern game do today and that was a lot of money back then.
    SEANMCAD said:
    ...
    although slightly different there are similarities this is why many in the music industry actually are ok with piracy because it opens up huge concert possibilities that otherwise would not exist at all. 
    Those are musicians and bands, they generally get little from the record companies and get their main income from concerts and T-shirts Someone working at a record company would have a rather different opinion.

    Still, Not really relevant here since the gaming T-shirt sales is pretty low...
    I know more people that pirate to try games than I do people that pirate to get a game for free. A prime example of this was I pirated Arkham Knight and then ended up purchasing it when I found I had no issues playing it (as I love those games in general) I wanted to test it cuz i heard all the horror stories about it. There are many in some of these countries that only really have the option to pirate these games too. 
    Good point and one that is backed up by the survey results of many people doing the same. Using it as a
    'try before you buy' kind of thing.




    Realistically it puts the ratio at a lost sale onto something like every 9th or 10th pirated copy might be a lost sale instead of a 1:1 ratio. So if we start dividing estimated numbers thrown out by 9-10 you end up with a lot lower of an impact, but again that is using this survey which is still like .007% of the pc game player base (as of 2014 it was 711 million according to intel) this number that buy could be higher or lower and the amount that never buy or always buy could see the same and same with rarely. Ultimately though yeah the impact is much much much lower than the publishers want people to believe.
  • filmoretfilmoret Member EpicPosts: 4,906
    A cousin's cousin's friend's brother told me.....   Pirating isn't always easy cut and dry.  A lot of the cracked exe's have viruses and the likes.  And they don't make them properly so they will do stuff like not run properly or use directx properly.  They even have games that when closed do not stop running and when you open task manager the game is still using all the resources.  They also cannot take advantage of online features or previous saves from older games like Dragonage.

    Sometimes it pays off and is easier then other times.  But some people find themselves buying steam sales because its cheap and you don't have to deal with all the stuff that comes with pirating.  Not to mention you must look at naked girls in order to download anything.  
    Are you onto something or just on something?
  • maybebakedmaybebaked Member UncommonPosts: 305
    The way CD Projekt Red has addressed piracy is the best solution.  Create a product that is worth paying full price for.  Fuck your DRM.  Treat your customers right and you will be rewarded.

    I pirate games and I have for years. I buy the ones that are good and worth spending money on.  
  • SeelinnikoiSeelinnikoi Member RarePosts: 1,356
    I only pirate a game that I have a genuine interest. And 100% of the times, I either buy or uninstall and never play that POS again.

    I have over 1,2k games on steam and if they still released demos, we wouldn't need to torrent games to try them out.

    My recent piracy was No Man's Sky. Played for an hour and couldn't stomach another minute.
    Demo played, game sucked, 60 bucks saved.


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  • Loke666Loke666 Member EpicPosts: 21,441
    H0urg1ass said:
    A long time ago, like the late 90's early 2000's, several of my college classmates pirated a few games and installed them in computer labs for multiplayer.  What I found is that it generally wasn't worth it.  You have to keep on top of the updates yourself, you have to jump through flaming hoops to make the game work in the first place and a lot of the piracy pushers have very loose morals when it comes to infecting computers with shit you don't want.

    Steam Sales, among other similar retailers, have been the best thing in the world.  If I want to play a game, but I don't feel that it's worth the box price, then I simply wait six months to a year.

    Not only that, but 10 or 15 years ago, a game would stay the same price for years.  The box price of KOTOR, for example, didn't budge for a long time, as did the Baldur's Gate series.  The reason is that there wasn't the same enormous glut of PC games then that there are now.  These days a game releases with a box price, and unless it sells fantastically well like the CoD series, then the price will drop almost guaranteed in a few months.
    That is true, but since few games makes demos or trial versions today it is an entire matter if you want to try the game before buying it (I of course don't recommend anyone to do anything illegal). The way most games get patched today you want a legal version of a new game. Of course older games with many micro transactions probably get pirated more.

    But yeah, if you think a game is too expensive waiting a while is generally the smartest move. The reason prices stayed the same so long before was that physical retailers did have to buy the games before selling them so lowering the price meant little to none profits. Steam is a different matter, there the publisher lower the prices when the sales drop too much to sell more games.
  • KyleranKyleran Member LegendaryPosts: 37,004
    edited August 2016
    I only pirate a game that I have a genuine interest. And 100% of the times, I either buy or uninstall and never play that POS again.

    I have over 1,2k games on steam and if they still released demos, we wouldn't need to torrent games to try them out.

    My recent piracy was No Man's Sky. Played for an hour and couldn't stomach another minute.
    Demo played, game sucked, 60 bucks saved.


    Or you could have bought it from Steam, tried it for 2 hours and asked to return it and stayed on the legal side of things.

    But moral compasses are clearly broken these days.

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