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169. Re: Bulletstorm Sequel Cancelled; PC Piracy Mentioned Apr 11, 2012, 01:06 Jerykk
Time after time you guys focus on the corporate bigwigs making profits and ignore the closed developers and failed franchises. The bigwigs are gonna make their money no matter what, that is never in doubt.

Piracy has a real effect on jobs and what is made.

Piracy has a negligible effect on jobs and what is made. Publishers will always stick with safe bets, regardless of piracy. That's why we continue to see a new CoD each year, even though each one is pirated more than almost every other game released in that same year. The financial failure of games like Psychonauts, Brutal Legend, Mirror's Edge, etc, was a result of consumer apathy. Even if those games had had zero piracy, that apathy would still prevent them from selling well.

And no, piracy isn't the reason why publishers focus on consoles. Publishers focus on consoles because consoles have the larger market share. Consoles have the larger market share because they are more accessible and mainstream. Again, these things would not change if piracy ceased to exist.

If they haven't already, I'm sure someone will bring up Iron Lore and how they got shut down because Titan Quest was pirated. Titan Quest got pirated, yes. But that's not the reason why it didn't sell well. It didn't sell well because most consumers had no interest in it. Not enough interest to pay the initial asking price, at least. Those that were interested were probably turned off by the reviews and word of mouth reporting that the game was a buggy mess and that its DRM scheme could break the game, even for some legitimate users. Maybe some of these users waited until the game was sufficiently patched before buying it, at which point it was already too late for the game to be profitable.

To assume that piracy is the reason why studios and games fail is just silly. You'd have to ignore all the more obvious and logical factors to believe that. That said, the fundamental problem with debates about piracy is that there are no irrefutable statistics to draw upon. You can't prove or disprove the exact impact of piracy on sales. Piracy also evokes a strong ethical response and a person's moral fiber tends to be deeply ingrained. If someone believes piracy is inherently right or wrong, no amount of reasoning, logic or evidence will sway them. That's why we continue to have these exact same debates over and over and over again.
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