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Piracy versus PC Gaming

Next Generation recaps a GDC talk titled "The Videogame Piracy Problem: Fifteen Men on a Dead Manís Chest" by id Software CEO Todd Hollenshead about the impact of piracy on the game industry. They outline how Mr. Hollenshead says the estimated $3 billion economic loss caused by piracy in 2004 does not include piracy that takes place on the Internet. There is also an article about this talk on Joystiq that focuses on the statement that piracy is a factor in id's embrace of consoles, quoting Todd as saying "Piracy has pushed id as being multiplatform." On a related note, Can PC Gaming Survive in a Console World (thanks Digg) recaps a panel discussion on the topic that brought up a similar point:

Part of the problem is piracy. Big titles get stolen by cyber thieves, and it hurts revenue. "The market," said Capps, "that would buy a $600 video card knows how Bittorrent works."

Does that mean casual games, which exponentially outsell what PC gaming traditionalists think of as A-list titles, will one day rule? Hilleman made a point: casual is a poor choice of words. The average player on EA's Pogo "casual" game network plays "for 24 hours a week. There's nothing casual about that."

There is some light in the PC gaming world. World of Warcraft, for instance, is a massive hit, and the upcoming Spore looks not only creative and different, but promising. The MMO and other social networking games could become the norm for PC gaming, with big-ticket titles growing rarer with each passing year. Johnson added that MMOs are "successful because you can't pirate WoW. You cannot pirate an MMO. Period." Therefore, he said, "game design on the PC is going to bend toward persistence."

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319. Re: Problem with anti piracy measures Mar 13, 2007, 16:20 mOOzilla
Perhaps because I am not the "customer" of SecurROM?

Technically I am the customer of the retail store if we want to nit pick.

The download manager issue I rasised was a valid one. Product activation is less intrusive than disc protection. It is less prone to failure and less dependant on controlling my machine. Using their download managers just depoy other protections that would also fail on my machine, and also the issue of locale.

The game support is normally provided by the publisher/developer, in this case, they dont want to help with the product they ship, securrom are protection enabling devices, the developer/publisher enables it and ships it.

How about I sell you a car, with built in alarm, but I direct you to the manufacturer of the alarm for help if it goes wrong? No you would bloody well demand that help from the car dealer / manufacturer wouldnt you.

Apply your method to games, say they license a physics SDK, a game engine, an auidio engine and protection and a few dozen other API's. What if you had a sound problem in the game, "Im sorry sir, we use supplier A's audio APIs in our game, please contact them for audio support". "I also have this problem with screen clipping", "Ok sir, please contact OGL or Microsoft as we use their API's" and god heaven forbit if you have more than one issue! Thats just too funny.

Take it up with SecurRom? Dont be stupid, they would insist I remove my existing software in order for theirs to run, or they would say contact the game publisher. I am not SecurRom's customer.

What if they go a step further and start disabling software that they determine as a piracy method? They have already wrongly assumed I run Daemon Tools v4 according to their message! What if in future they disable firewalls, anti virus scanners etc?

I did fix it, I downloaded a crack to disable the CD check.

Well, I hope you enjoy your life of shuffling CD's.

The future is a common activation service.

This comment was edited on Mar 13, 16:38.
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