In regards to your Piracy 'joke' - Followup requested


#21

In my opinion, “piracy” is not nearly as bad for game companies as is often said:

First of all, there are just a lot of people who really can’t afford to buy all those games. Mostly this are the younger ones, who just don’t earn that kind of money yet. Those people don’t buy games. Period.
Maybe the same people do “pirate” games but that’s actually of no relevancy because the game developers don’t get any imcome from them anyways. In those cases the argument “It’s not stealing because noone is losing anything” covers the whole thing.

In the end, devs can only benefit from these “pirates” because they not only may advertise the games they didnt pay for to people who might actually buy them but also by playing illegal copies, those people keep interest in computer games and once they have more money, they are very likely to actually buy games themselves.

Of course, then there are also those people who could actually afford to buy games but rather “pirate” them still. Many people argue that those people would instead buy the games they play if this would be the only way to play them.
In my opinion this theory is complete bullshit!

If people are not willing to pay for a thing even if they could, it’s because that thing is just not worth that amount of money to them. Therefore, if they couldn’t get it for free, they would just not get it at all.

The potential persons who think “Even though this game is great and i am willing to pay its price but because i can get it for free, i will rather not pay for it even though i think it is worth paying for.” is just an idea that doesn’t even make sense at all!

If someone realises that a game is worth the money it costs, he is willing to pay that price if he can. It’s just the logical thing to do:
If noone pays for a game, the dev can’t make any more games. Therefore, if you really like a game, you have to pay for it, not because it’s “the right thing to do” but just because it is the only way you can make sure that there will be more games you like. You buy the game for your own benefit.
It really doesn’t take a genius to understand that!

The only situation i can see where “pirating” a game actually makes the devs lose money is when someone buys something and only afterwards realises that it wasn’t worth the money he paid.
In modern times this is very unlikely to happen anymore though because you can get informations about a product so very easily on the internet.
Besides that: If a dev doesn’t get any money from a person that would regret paying that money, in my opinion that is totally fine. That money would be completely undeserved anyways!

Of course i can’t rule out for sure that there aren’t any people who like a game, agree with it’s price and still don’t buy it because they are just bad persons but if they really exist they are very rare exceptions and not worth thinking about too much. Even less they are an appropriate target audience for any game developer!

To summon this up: The main reason why people don’t pay for games is because they are not worth it in their opinion.
The reason why they see it like that can be two things: Either a game is just not good or it is good but also very overprized.

Just take a look at most major game productions today:
Often those games are really well done and they are quite a lot of fun to play for a short while but the prize is just not adequate: I am not willing to pay 60€ (or even more) for something that i have fun with for maybe 2-3 days at best.
If i can get those games for free, great, i will just give them a try and maybe i have fun for a few days but paying 60€ for something that lasts me just a few days would be a big waste of my money!

(Of course i could also just not play those games at all but “pirating” them is slighty better for me and noone is actually hurt by that. If i had the choice, i would probably even be willing to pay a much lower price for those but being realistic, i can’t just tell the devs “Hi, i illegally downloaded your game and while i am not willing to pay the insane price you are asking for it, it is worth [for example 5 bucks] to me, so here you go.” and expect them to just accept that instead of taking my confession that i “pirated” their game to sue me for the whole price…)

Computer games are a hobby and there is just a limited amount of money in my monthly budget (which is quite small anyways) for that.
Instead of buying one game, i could also pay the member’s fee for 1-3 months in most sports clubs!

Or i could go to a concert of an internationally famous act which might only be a one-time experience for a few hours but one that i will likely remember for the rest of my life. Playing a video game is not such a remarkable memory, not usually anyways. (I remember exactly one single game that had such a big impact on me which was Deus Ex and that was really an outstanding game, not the common video game entertainment i am talking about here.)

In my opinion that is the major problem with the entertainment industry nowadays:
They just don’t care about whether their prices are reasonable anymore. If a game sells badly, chances are that many people still “pirate” it and by suing those people for insane amounts (and even more insanely: winning those cases), they still make a bit profit. Actually, the more unrealisticely high a product’s price is, the higher the profit because suing people is just more profitable than just selling stuff…

And then there are some small indy developer’s like Greenheartgames or that guy who made Minecraft. Those people sell their products for reasonable (= much lower) prices and. oh wonder, they actually get a lot of sales.

To be honest: I “pirated” Game Dev Tycoon at first, same goes for Minecraft. I also never got the altered version because i don’t download from bittorrent, you have to be insane to do that in my opinion. So there was really nothing that forced me to pay for those games but still i did after playing them for a while.
The reason why i did that, is because i really had fun and i realised that this is not the “It’s great for the first hours/days but then it starts getting boring even before i finish the game” kind of fun but actually long term fun because those game are worth replaying from time to time. So those games offered really a lot to me and considering the price, i realised that they were just totally worth it and as i could also afford to spend that amount, there was no reason at all not to do it, so i just went ahead and bought those games.
It’s a great deal: I get a game that provides me with a long time of having fun and by paying a very reasonable price for it, i show the dev that i honor the work they put into it. Spending money for something that is worth it and supporting the ones creating it actually makes me feel good. Just buying Game Dev Tycoon was a happy moment for me!
Later, when i read the announcement that there will be an overhauled version even though that wasn’t planned originally, it showed me that it was a good decision to support Greenheartgames.

And that is exactly how things should work:
Someone does his best to create a good product and eventually succeeds.
People happily pay a fair price(!) for said product.

“Piracy” can not do anything to disturb that process because if it works like this, both sides want it to work out.
Happy customers are worth so much more than a bigger short term profit. Unluckily, today the amount of people who just don’t understand that, increases steadily.

And the worst thing about that situation is that even politics help those, who don’t understand this, into forcing people into paying for things they don’t actually want at the cost of everybody’s freedom.
Mentioning that just as a sidenote though as it would distract from the actual topic here.

PS: As you might have noticed, i don’t agree with the term “piracy” for illegally copying stuff. Actual Piracy is a very violent act where people’s property is taken from them by force often involving killing or at least substantially injuring the victims.
On the other hand, “Piracy” in this context is a crime without any actual victims that has been declared a major problem exclusively for the sake of making profit off it.


#22

[quote=“ashleysmith577, post:19, topic:2172, full:true”]Downloading pirated games is stealing, stealing is against the law, Piracy it’s a crime.
[/quote]
Downloading a game isn’t stealing.
The closest to stealing in piracy is copying the game.
The only crime here is copyright violation.

If you went on rapidshare and downloaded a file that was an entire game, no one in the world could reasonably convict you of theft because while you clicked “download” to authorize data transfer, you cannot tell until you received the full file if it is the object you’re looking for (so you can’t even get charged under receiving stolen goods). The one doing the copying is the server where the file is hosted, in as such since it’s copying not removing 1 from inventory of limited sales, it goes under Copyright Violation, which of course you all know gets sites shut down and sued. (They’re a non-moving target, unlike actual torrent peers).


No one is saying devs do not want people to buy their game and not pirate it, however that doesn’t mean that piracy itself causes people to not buy the game. Well, unless it’s a shit game and they couldn’t tell before playing it. Then that’s not the fault of the pirate, as the developer has a responsibility to offer their game at a decent price for the experience it offers, and if it offers a bad experience then they’re going to lose sales piracy or not, it’ll be that piracy gave access to their subpar product sooner.


#23

well if it’s such a waste of money then it’s plain simple dont play the game
the developer spend money making the game, thus it’s their product and it’s is then their fair right to price it any way they want, so if they decide to set the price to something in the extreme, then they’ll not sell as many copies. But it’s still their choice
and from there it’s simple their product, their price, take it or leave it


#24

i think, when the point is reached where the opportunity to pirate any software is less suitable rather then buying, the piracy rate will go down,

i think they should sue the distributors, or the groups of the scene should realize that their cracks will almost always be available from someone who has uploadet it, and stop making cracks, so that the outlay for getting pirated stuff has to be as high as possible, and it’s way more easier to just buy the game, i think then the piracy will nearly stop,

there are some people which don’t care about the fact that most of the scene groups say “if you like the game, buy it!”, and all the kinds of excuses, aren’t one, at least not for a crime

in economic terms you can see the progress of the devs 'n publishers, they will, and they already do, focus more on consoles, and we customers got the kick in the bu** for all the pirates out there, games like sw the force unleashed or dungeon siege 3 are good examples for crap console ports, imo

and as long as piracy is as easy as “download,install,crack,have fun” nothing would change

the big article i found in another thread was very interesting, and gives a good look on what has changed since piracy is a problem, and what will eventually happen in the near future

ot btw: i love this forum board^^


#25

@randomdude: I could respond to that but i think i already did. I suggest you read my complete post now as it is extremely rude of you that you didn’t and still quoted me!

@muuuuhya: I think the problem is not only that “piracy” is as easy as “download,install,crack,have fun” but that also actually buying the game often is as hard as “buy, install, send all your personal informations to the publisher, sign that you allow the publisher to scan you computer for illegal software, realise that because of that stupid copy protection the game doesn’t work as intended, despair”.
No matter if it’s music, movies or gaming, they all make the same mistake: Everything they do only annoys the paying customers while the “pirates” don’t even take notice of it as a proper scene release is already stripped of all that stuff.

Imo the best approach is just what Greenheartgames did: not include any copyright protection at all, rather use the saved time to do some extra work on the actual product, communicate with your (potential) customers, take the money from those who respect your hard work and therefore pay for it and don’t worry too much about “piracy”.


#26

The simpliest but most difficult way to prevent piracy: Make them want to buy it.

A good way to make someone want to buy it is if it’s fun, which you have to give them a preview (Books, shows, movies do this) of either video or gameplay (demo). These previews show a fun time and interesting experience. Videos can showoff odd bits of the game at one time, but doesn’t guarantee how it’ll run or the interaction of the user.

Demos can do this, but if you make your demo a bombastic time like a movie trailer, why bother play the game if you got all the funparts out of it. (Which of course is the fault of the developer, not the demo user) Demos should be like TV commercials of your favorite show, or should go the route Sharewares did and give the first tiny part of the game. This is the best method but the most difficult as you have to design your game and put your play restriction at the right place, an analogy for this is a book that is very well written. First few chapters are engaging, interesting, and chapter ends always make you want to read more.

That’s all very good on Game Design, but what about the End User Experience? Easy, make it easier to buy your game than it is to pirate it. No DRM, or if you have to have DRM go with the model Steam and Mojang do (Non intrusive DRM that makes pirating more annoying than not pirating). In the modern world there’s no excuse for not releasing a patch of issues either, especially if people hacked it in.

Let the people try it and give them a good reason to buy it.


#27

i just read through the first few pages of that article and if the fact’s that it states are true i can’t for my life figure out why anyone would bother even trying to argue for piracy

seriously there should be link to that article on the frontpage of: google, facebook, youtube, etc…


#28

After seeing this thread I figured I would give my 2 cents about pirating this game.


I find there are several problems with some of the arguments I have read in the past supporting piracy.

I will start with the most common “Well I was not going to pay for it anyway.

This argument is, generally speaking not true. If you download a terrible game just to see how bad it it (E.G. Big Rigs) and decide its terrible (no shit surelock) then this argument would be valid, but only because you didn’t have an interest in the game, the only reason you checked it out was due to curiosity, which in my opinion is a valid reason to pirate (simply because game demos are not common enough). However, 99% of pirates (and 100% of those who got the piracy message) don’t do it for this reason. Rather they had an interest in the game, and either due to lack of money or, surprisingly more common, due to being cheap they instead decided to pirate it. If you can pay for it then do, even if you only get, say $40 a month to spend on things like video games that is still enough money to buy several indie games, or even AAA RPGs like Oblivion that are more then worth it.

Then there is “It costs the developer nothing when I pirate”.

While this may be the case, you need to keep in mind that the developer we are talking about is not some huge rich company. We are talking about a person who would probably not want to starve.


TLDR: Don't pirate if you don't have to. You are a heartless person to pirate from greenheartgames. To make it worse you are giving more reason to EA to make always online games.

#29

I never even heard of this game until it’s “Anti-Piracy” joke showed up on an article of Cracked.com - I laughed so hard I just had to buy this game. Partly because I’m interested in the game concept, but mostly because I support the anti-DRM, and the anti-Piracy movements.


#30

It might be a bit late to add my two cents, and this might have already been discussed, I skimmed the responses without reading them 100%. There is one niche to piracy I am aware of which is the “try before you buy” policy. These are pirates who fully intend to buy the game if it’s good. If the game is terrible(which game dev tycoon certainly isn’t, as far as i can tell(i haven’t played it much myself yet since i haven’t bought it. i haven’t pirated it either though.)) the developers don’t have the right to complain about pirates. I am not sure how big the niche is, and there might be some delay to actually buying the game. Not all pirating is bad, but this niche is very small, if existent at all.


#31

While I agree that said niche may exist for many other games, this one came with a demo (that I played like 3 years of before buying this game). So I think that that is a completely invalid reason to pirate this game.
Some may argue that demos do not mirror the full game experience and exist just to market, but I often find that that is not the case. Most demos that I have played are very similar to the full game. This is especially true with companies that lack the marketing budget to make an overly showy demo.


#32

Yeah, my experience with the demo and seeing my brother play it, they line up pretty nicely. So for this game, it doesn’t really work like that.


#33

I pirated this game because I loved the premise and loved Game Dev Story ,but thought it looked like a cash in. I was wrong the game was fun and well worth the price so guess what I bought it. I never would have paid money to give this game a chance. So in at least this one case piracy got them a sale and a fan.

By the way I don’t think I have every liked a demo enough to buy a game. I never become invested enough in a game before the demo is over, or take for face value that it is a proper representation, so if your thinking I could of done the same thing with a demo you are wrong.


#34

It is theft of intellectual property good sir and that is punishable by law. When you purchase games online you purchase the license to use the game you don’t necessarily own it. You are incorrect that it is not theft in a classic sense. This game took money to produce, a platform to distribute it cost money and so does the website it is on to display. The way the limited quantity works is that every pirate is no longer a capable consumer thus you have shrunken the market and the demand your quantity is as large as your consumer base in this case. It is in every way the same as theft the only difference is fools like to hide behind their own fallacies of, it is not physical and therefore not stolen. It is theft in the same way that you can steal e-mail addresses, account numbers. IPs and the like. Just because you don’t like the term stolen doesn’t mean it is less applicable. You can call a dog a hound but it is still a dog.


#35

It’s not theft in the classical sense because stealing means you’re removing something from someone else. You cannot apply traditional harm towards goods that can be replicated unto infinity. Plus the only theft of intellectual property is to claim that intellectual idea was yours. This is theft in the traditional sense because the person you stole from lost the rights to call it their own through your behavior.
You copy the file for your own personal use, which the only laws being broken are copyright laws. But then you have the technicality of if you’re only downloading and not uploading, then it’s not even that anymore. Not even illegal, just immoral.

You also argue the fallacy that a pirate with the game will never buy the game and every pirate is a lost sale. We already went over that earlier.

The third thing you compared it to was a smart choice, but still a fallacy. Accounts, passwords, etc are a limited quantity item. Due to the inherent privacy needed, only you and the company should have it. Once that information gets leaked, the privacy ends. What was stolen wasn’t the accounts, passwords, etc, but private account access. (Can’t be private if others can log in, can it?) That’s only the company perspective, you still have the clients whom the theives of privacy could use their information to actually steal their money too.

All these things have a violation that causes a major disruption in the product being sold, causing costs towards the producer and distributor. These costs can be calculated. Software piracy and it’s impact cannot be calculated because of how minor any of the costs are, and the plethora of reasons why a piece of software would do badly.


Piracy may affect some games, but it’s been proven if a game is good, fun, and mostly enjoyable people who have played it will talk about it and other people will buy it. People who respect the game and pirated will buy it. If the game is trash, the only thing piracy will do is make more people say it’s trash. But you cannot prove how this affects the game’s sales as there is no way to track it.

Piracy is just a scapegoat for the software entertainment industry that they can use because of it’s unknown influence and it’s moral ambiguity.


#36

[quote=“zaig, post:30, topic:2172, full:true”]There is one niche to piracy I am aware of which is the “try before you buy” policy.Not all pirating is bad, but this niche is very small, if existent at all.
[/quote]
It’s impossible to measure this niche, but it’s not just that niche that does the game good.
For games that are interesting it’s certainly a larger ratio than big dev studios because the people who would pirate it are interested in it in the first place. Because of this, it’s only the big studios that would have a larger ratio of cheapass-pirates.
People who like the game, even if they don’t buy will talk about it, and it’s likely someone they know will look at it and buy it. So in that sense it’s free advertising as well. Again, the smaller studios are more likely to have these types of pirates.

There’s many layers to why people do things, but marketing is essentially the study and exploitation of why.

Kladro’s post is also a good example of how the niche’s edges are blurry. It’s not that he’s part of a group that always tries before they buy, but wanted to do it that way due to traditional circumstances. Some people look at the word “demo” and immediately assume a gimped version with another download ahead and broken saves. A demo ending often times breaks the flow too, depending on where you end.

Edit: I’d just like to say this again for everyone:

The answer to the difference between Digital products and Physical products?

The answer is in service. The digital world is essentialy entirely service driven, the physical world is product driven. (Service is a product, but products are not services)


#37

Just stating that it is not theft in the classical sense makes you insinuate that it is theft, which it is.

Software is guarded by intellectual property laws. It’s all about how you code.

I’ve never been told by a site that they cannot make me an account because they ran out, nor a credit card because they don’t have any more numbers.

That is just a scapegoat for pirates to continue to use software for free, and it’s not morally ambiguous it’s wrong. That’s why anti-piracy laws existed well before the internet.

Software is a product not a service. Online shops sell products not services.


#38

Nitpick on language without getting the thought process behind it.

See Copyright Law

Deliberately obtuse, but potentially sincere so here:

They limited quantity due to regulation. Created and deactivated based on rules, holds personal and unique information that others like it do not have. Plus see the part about the product of privacy and security

[quote=“Crobochamp, post:37, topic:2172”]
That is just a scapegoat for pirates to continue to use software for free, and it’s not morally ambiguous it’s wrong. That’s why anti-piracy laws existed well before the internet.
[/quote]And those anti-piracy laws are outdated for the medium and the product, a piece of software. Laws are there to prevent harm, and revised when they are ineffective or outdated towards certain aspects.
I said it succinctly with my first post above:
The morality of digital piracy isn’t one of the law of theft (which prevents others from 1 unique instance of the product, thus directly harms and subject to law), but one of the philosophy of right and wrong.

If you want to try to nitpick: Software according to modern EULA is a service. The license isn’t a product. (Further nitpick: licenses are essentially indefinite leases with a 1 time payment)

Also technicality: Every shop sells services, however products annotate more towards physical goods. You could say that the game itself you download was the product (which would be true) but what if the game didn’t work? Most of the money made from software is on the service of that software.

Since the digital world is all about interaction and ideas and the low cost of product distribution, what a vendor of digital goods isn’t selling a product so much as a service. Once the product is finished it can be duplicated ad infinim, and distributed as such as well, so there is essentially no cost other than pushing a but to produce more product keys, or waiting for someone to grab it.


Please go back and re-read all my posts. You’ll notice I never say it was a right thing to do, nor do I say it’s wrong either. I do however say it’s wrong to blindly chastise it.


#39

Hi, all! I figured I’d post my own opinion here, since why not?

I’ve read the arguments for and against piracy, and really, I’m seeing a whole lot of arguments designed to justify piracy that look more like excuses than anything else. Not all of them are, mind you, but a lot.

If somebody is really too broke to purchase games (like, literally, they haven’t bought a new game in six months and are barely making ends meet with necessities), I understand piracy. I don’t condone it, but I see where they’re coming from. It’s literally the only option, and my blindly idealistic hope is that the second they get some disposable (key word!) income, they invest in the games that they pirated.

If a person is literally too cheap to purchase games…well, sucks for them. The argument of “they don’t pay for games anyway, so the alternative is they just wouldn’t buy it, so the company really isn’t losing anything” is flawed in so many ways. If somebody doesn’t “feel like” paying for a legitimate service (whether offered by one person or a megacorporation), then they shouldn’t get the service, simple as that. Arguments like “they wouldn’t have bought it anyway,” “they’re just trying it out,” or “they may have friends who will legitimately buy the game” can be easily switched to the first person (not accusing anyone, here) and stripped down to “Deep down, I know what I did was wrong, but here are some excuses so I don’t have to feel guilty about it.” It’s psychology, plain and simple.

Now, why punish the former pirate along with the latter? Because it’s ridiculously difficult to tell the two apart, and with very few exceptions (kid/teen with no income, allowance, or means to ask Mommy and Daddy to use their credit card), the “can’t afford it” pirate doesn’t exist. How many times have you said, “I can’t do xyz” when you really meant “I don’t want to do xyz?” Despite my best efforts, I know I’ve done it before. Did you go to a movie the other day? How about out to dinner? Did you go on a date? Or maybe you just ordered some dessert or treated yourself to a luxury? There’s nothing wrong with it. But guess what? You can afford $8.

If you want to play a game and have ANY means of legitimately acquiring it, then you owe it to the company to do so. It doesn’t matter how big the company is. It really doesn’t even matter whether or not you like the game. If there’s a demo, play the demo. If not, read the reviews. Actually, you might want to check the reviews, anyway. If you end up buying it anyway and you hate it, don’t buy any more games from the company. It’s plain and simple.

For those who don’t have the patience to read everything I just wrote, let me sum it up for you: If you want to play a game and have a means to do so legitimately, then do it. You owe it to the developer/publisher, whether it’s a good game or not. Reasons like, “I want to see if it’s good first” or “If I have to pay for it, I’m not going to get it anyway” are just flimsy excuses that don’t hold water.

That is all. Thanks for reading!


#40

I suppose I fall into my own little niche of pirates after all cause I’m more of a ROM style pirate then anything. I’ll pirate a game I can’t get any where else and pay for those I can. I’m an avid renter and rarely will stick my neck out for the little indie companies because I’ve been burned so very many times on spending that little bit only for it to last an hour and a half after the demo. I rent games rather then buying because its cheaper and more in my price range and personally I think it hurts game devs the same way pirating does in a sense, I mean of course with a little less backlash. There is however no way to rent an indie game to try it out before I spend cash on it. This is not to say one should pirate it in fact I much prefer the idea of only pirating things the devs are definitely not making money on anymore aka things they are still selling on their site are no nos. So I say it takes all kinds and we all have reasons to do what we do I don’t think what I do is wrong others might but this is the only way I’d get to play them otherwise. (funny that the same was said about this topic earlier in different context xD)

This is mostly to say I understand why one would pirate with so many games misleading people about content. Here’s lookin at you xbox games that take 5 hours to get all the achievements and finish the game with a 100% for 60 dollars.