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Op Ed

GamePro - The Cost of Piracy. Thanks Mike Martinez.
Indeed, while it may not always be the case for every new video game, it's hard to imagine that piracy does not result in a significant loss of revenue. Infinity Ward's Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, which has recorded over 10 million copies sold, has been the target of piracy on the PC. In an online post, Infinity Ward Creative Strategist Robert Bowling ironically muses, "They wonder why people don't make PC games anymore." Bowling writes that while the number of PC gamers playing the last Call of Duty game was "fantastic," what wasn't fantastic was "the percentage of those numbers who were playing on stolen copies of the game." Piracy tends to be more rampant with PC games, and thus the platform serves as a cautionary tale for the rest of the industry.

Ars Technica - Why lack of StarCraft 2 LAN play still matters.
We'll see how many of those people break down and buy the game for the single-player campaign. What's clear is that a large part of gaming's past is being deemphasized. This story isn't over, but for now, LAN gamers are going to angrily shake our canes at the younger gamers and even—amazingly!—Blizzard, the company that used to be so welcome to frolic on our lawn.

BitMob - Badvertising: The Art of Abusive Marketing.
Both Blur and Saints Row 2 openly attack the games posing a threat to them. In both instances, the games they poke fun at happen to be obvious inspirations for their respective creation. Without the success of Mario Kart's power-up racing, Blur would likely have been a very different game. Without Grand Theft Auto, the similar Saints Row probably wouldn't exist. These commercials shouldn't be insulting their origins. They should be acknowledging them -- beyond saying "look how terrible this is" -- or simply ignoring them.

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65 Replies. 4 pages. Viewing page 1.
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65. Re: Op Ed Aug 2, 2010, 09:41 InBlack
 
Everytime one of these STUPID articles is posted a shitstorm ensues on these boards.

What the hell is wrong with these journalists? Are they paid in cash by console lobyists to write shit like that every time a successful game makes PC's look better? (STARCRAFt2 ANYONE???)

 
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I have a nifty blue line!
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64. Re: Op Ed Aug 2, 2010, 01:52 Slashman
 
Another problem with constantly comparing PCs to consoles is the simple fact that not every PC is a decent gaming platform.

Every console is ready for gaming right out of the box because that is all a console is really for. Sure you can watch videos and DVDs...but that is a secondary consideration.

A PC is not a gaming platform by default. It has to either be bought as such, built as such or upgraded to be.

PC gaming is not as big a business as console gaming in terms of sheer numbers. The odd thing is that this has not changed over the years. PC gaming is still very much a niche thing with the exception of MMOs. And a lot of MMO players play absolutely nothing else and try their best to pretend that other games do not exist.

I have a friend that I built a decent(at the time) PC for. It was not a gaming PC...Pentium Dual Core and a budget board with integrated graphics. He owns a PS2 and PS3. But he steadfastly refuses to even buy a low end graphics card to make his PC capable of playing games with even some basic graphics options turned up. He's still all about consoles even though he admits that gaming on a PC is superior in a lot of ways. Lots of folks don't like to mess with stuff. If you're a PC gamer...you will have to get into doing some things yourself at some point. Lots of folks just don't want the hassle.

That used to be ok when PC games were not expected to sell a million copies. Unfortunately, there are some really unrealistic expectations being set by a lot of people who then turn and blame piracy because every PC game doesn't turn out to be Dragon Age, Starcraft or Mass Effect.
 
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63. Re: Op Ed Aug 1, 2010, 15:40 Creston
 
This is utter nonsense. A licensed copy of the game should not have any limitations other than it can only be played by one person at any given moment. The second you have another person playing the same licensed copy at the same time as the first (when the software does not support it) then I'll agree you're doing something wrong. But publishers/developers should not be exploiting the trust consumers give them to try and stop people from using a licensed copy of a game anyway they choose. If they wanted to setup a computer in the street and let anyone who walked by to play it the developer/publisher should just smile and say thank you for purchasing the game.

Hear hear.

Golfclap


As for the "Consoles are selling millions of copies per game", is that really still true? I mean, sure, MW2 sold a billion, and so did RDR, but other than that? I think publishers count the copies they sell to Gameflix and Blockbusters as sales, but I'm not so sure they're selling that many copies to the end-user.

From various articles I've seen, most people nowadays buy console games used or rent them. (And yet Bobby Cocktick will still bleat that the price for games should go up even more. The cunt.)

Creston
 
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62. Re: Op Ed Aug 1, 2010, 15:13 nutshell42
 
KilrathiAce wrote on Aug 1, 2010, 14:52:
Problem with no lan in sc2 is the stupid region block implemented by blizzard. If i am in usa and i have a friend in europe thanks to blizzard stupidity i cant play sc2 with him.

Blizzard's official solution to that question is: Buy an EU copy of Starcraft. You can play with your friend and Blizzard gets an additional $60 (more due to exchange rates). It's a win-win situation.

=P

I thoroughly approve of your avatar. EA needs to get its ass in gear and make another title. Well, at least they didn't make a cheap WC arcade shooter to rape the corpse of the franchise...LALALALA ICANTHEARYOU
But with Halo now getting a space shooter level it's only a matter of time before EA starts its innovation engine and we get Medal of Halo: Modern Warfare in Space. It's worked for every other fad and Bungie's certainly in a position to start one. =)
 
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61. Re: Op Ed Aug 1, 2010, 15:06 ASeven
 
StingingVelvet wrote on Aug 1, 2010, 14:13:
There are a lot of reasons. Piracy is only one of them, and no one knows how big a percentage of the problem it is. All that said, none of it would be an issue if the PC sold more software units, end of story. That is the problem.

And that is absolutely, 100% correct but harping and whining about piracy endlessly won't solve the piracy problem! At most it will infuriate people who will get sick and tired of the same old argument. Piracy has an impact, nobody denies that, but another fact is piracy will NEVER go away no matter what, in any platform. There will always be pirates and fighting piracy is as effective as the war on drugs, perhaps even less effective.

We as PC gamers have a choice to make, either we keep on lamenting piracy, knowing that no matter what it will never go away, or we can start encouraging people to buy PC games, speaking good of the platform and not hover the negatives so damn much. And if mainstream games still don't sell, go indie, there are a lot, and I mean a real lot, of great games with or without AAA production values in the indies. Either way the best way to fight piracy is not to ignore it but to encourage people to support games, mainstream or indies. Instead of complaining about low sales, pick a game you love, old or new, mainstream or indie, and talk about it, encourage people to buy it. This is how we can break this cycle otherwise you can bet PC will never become relevant again. It's we who can make it relevant and whining about piracy is not the way.
 
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60. Re: Op Ed Aug 1, 2010, 14:52 KilrathiAce
 
Problem with no lan in sc2 is the stupid region block implemented by blizzard. If i am in usa and i have a friend in europe thanks to blizzard stupidity i cant play sc2 with him.  
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"On 2646.215 I myself attacked & destroyed TCS Tiger's Claw in my Jalthi heavy fighter"
Bakhtosh Redclaw Nar Kiranka
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59. Re: Op Ed Aug 1, 2010, 14:13 StingingVelvet
 
ASeven wrote on Aug 1, 2010, 13:26:
Though I'm not denying that my point is that as far as anyone knows console piracy may be rampant, far higher than on PCs. We do not know. I know there's piracy but what I'm against is the constant whining of the industry that the PC is the hotbed of all piracy in the world and the universe and beyond. My point is, again, for all we know console piracy may be bigger and may have a bigger impact even if console games sell more.

I think for all the whining companies do about PC, PSP and DS piracy though the fact of the matter is that if sales were higher they wouldn't care as much. The reason Xbox piracy gets little attention is because companies are selling millions of units on the system.

The PC is a back-burner platform for AAA publishers because they sell a lot more units on Xbox and PS3, that's just the long and short of it. Their piracy complaints and DRM methods are an attempt to curb that which none of them would bother with if the PC sold more units, end of story.

Now there are a lot of reasons this is the case. Piracy has had some impact on sales, I am sure. Consoles getting Western RPGs and FPS games in a playable state made a lot of people leave PC gaming I am sure. The simple fact consoles always sold more and now do all genres means that publishers make those games to suit consoles, making PC games mostly ports, which hurts PC sales I am sure.

There are a lot of reasons. Piracy is only one of them, and no one knows how big a percentage of the problem it is. All that said, none of it would be an issue if the PC sold more software units, end of story. That is the problem.
 
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58. Re: Op Ed Aug 1, 2010, 13:55 Slashman
 
PC gamers have to stop preaching the piracy argument, that PC piracy is rampant and all that shit otherwise it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy and PC gamers won't have anyone to blame but themselves for eating up that shit and spewing it everywhere. The less we obsess about piracy and all the negatives and the more we talk about supporting good developers and start acting on that the sooner we may see PC games sell a little bit more. Instead of whining on piracy, find an indie game that you enjoy and spread the word about it. Find a mainstream game you enjoy and encourage people to buy it. Constantly whining about piracy has the effect of people saying fuck off, and that's pretty much what some PC gamers are saying to the industry at large.

I'd like to stamp a big Amen on this. WE should really all follow suit on this.
 
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57. Re: Op Ed Aug 1, 2010, 13:26 ASeven
 
StingingVelvet wrote on Aug 1, 2010, 13:15:
ASeven wrote on Aug 1, 2010, 12:58:
But that's the whole point of data, we have no idea. None! Of all those torrent downloads on the PC and consoles, we have no idea, other than what the publishers keep on preaching, if there were indeed more sales on the PC or consoles or how piracy impacts the consoles or the PCs. We DO NOT KNOW. Saying what you've just said is blind conjecture and assumption.

Dude, we know console games sell a lot better, and we know PC games are pirated at least on equal measure. Those are common sense statements, not conjecture.

It's a big fish in a little pond scenario.

Though I'm not denying that my point is that as far as anyone knows console piracy may be rampant, far higher than on PCs. We do not know. I know there's piracy but what I'm against is the constant whining of the industry that the PC is the hotbed of all piracy in the world and the universe and beyond. My point is, again, for all we know console piracy may be bigger and may have a bigger impact even if console games sell more.

If SCII is an example, the game was cracked almost on the same day, then SCII piracy sure didn't stop monumental sales on the PC.

PC gamers have to stop preaching the piracy argument, that PC piracy is rampant and all that shit otherwise it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy and PC gamers won't have anyone to blame but themselves for eating up that shit and spewing it everywhere. The less we obsess about piracy and all the negatives and the more we talk about supporting good developers and start acting on that the sooner we may see PC games sell a little bit more. Instead of whining on piracy, find an indie game that you enjoy and spread the word about it. Find a mainstream game you enjoy and encourage people to buy it. Constantly whining about piracy has the effect of people saying fuck off, and that's pretty much what some PC gamers are saying to the industry at large.
 
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56. Re: Op Ed Aug 1, 2010, 13:18 Tumbler
 
If you can't afford a nice new 50" flat screen tv, and then you go smash the window of your local electronics store and steal one from the showroom floor, are you saying that the manufacturer and the store doesn't lose because they've sold 'enough' already? Doh! Stealing is stealing. There's no argument. Anyone who defends piracy is a thief.

There is no one smashing windows and stealing real products. This is all digital theft and even business's like ebay and amazon don't try and get involved in who is right and wrong with digital theft. I used to sell credits from SWG and since those technically were not mine to sell that makes me a thief by your logic. Those credits were sold for money that could have gone to SOE but instead that person paid me instead of paying SOE and spending a few hours in the game.

And blizzards policy of one account per licensed copy of SC2 is bugging people. Several people have mentioned that wow is a good family game that many people can use. (at different times) Well turns out that you're not allowed to share your account in that way so really you've just been stealing all along cause each person playing should have been paying $15 and that means you stole $15 from blizzard.

This is utter nonsense. A licensed copy of the game should not have any limitations other than it can only be played by one person at any given moment. The second you have another person playing the same licensed copy at the same time as the first (when the software does not support it) then I'll agree you're doing something wrong. But publishers/developers should not be exploiting the trust consumers give them to try and stop people from using a licensed copy of a game anyway they choose. If they wanted to setup a computer in the street and let anyone who walked by to play it the developer/publisher should just smile and say thank you for purchasing the game.

Developers/publishers are going off the deep end with this attitude that no one should be experiencing their game without paying the full price. "that is how movies work though, each person buys a ticket, so they get money for each experience! It's only natural we get the same deal!" Movies cost $10 per seat. Movies spend MASSIVE amounts of money on those theaters. You guys basically make copies of a CD and hold our your hand and say $60!

$60 per person? Fuck off. I get so fucking mad thinking about how horrible you're treated as a consumer I am going to go donate money to fucking pirate bay. What else am I supposed to do? I stopped buying your shit long ago (at least for the inital retail prices) and that hasn't done shit, so what is a consumer who wants to support you supposed to do exactly? Bend over and take it and be happy with the knowledge that the people who are really getting hurt are the pirates? Fuck the fuck off you fucking fucks.
 
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Kickstarter "Game Developer"!
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55. Re: Op Ed Aug 1, 2010, 13:15 StingingVelvet
 
ASeven wrote on Aug 1, 2010, 12:58:
But that's the whole point of data, we have no idea. None! Of all those torrent downloads on the PC and consoles, we have no idea, other than what the publishers keep on preaching, if there were indeed more sales on the PC or consoles or how piracy impacts the consoles or the PCs. We DO NOT KNOW. Saying what you've just said is blind conjecture and assumption.

Dude, we know console games sell a lot better, and we know PC games are pirated at least on equal measure. Those are common sense statements, not conjecture.

It's a big fish in a little pond scenario.
 
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54. Re: Op Ed Aug 1, 2010, 12:58 ASeven
 
StingingVelvet wrote on Aug 1, 2010, 11:29:
Sempai wrote on Aug 1, 2010, 10:56:
How bout we report something more accurate like the fact that when i hit up a Torrent site i see more Xbox360 ISO's than PC's, Oh but we must keep blaming the PC platform for all our troubles.

Piracy is a bigger deal on PC because it sells much less to begin with. Millions of downloads on a platform that sells 200,000 copies is a lot bigger deal than millions of downloads on a platform that sells 4,000,000 copies.

But that's the whole point of data, we have no idea. None! Of all those torrent downloads on the PC and consoles, we have no idea, other than what the publishers keep on preaching, if there were indeed more sales on the PC or consoles or how piracy impacts the consoles or the PCs. We DO NOT KNOW. Saying what you've just said is blind conjecture and assumption.

There is piracy, it impacts all platforms. That's all we know, trying to blame piracy on a platform or trying to make a financial analysis of the piracy on any platform is stupid, baseless and makes anyone a real fuckhead. There's no data. To use an exaggeration, for all we know piracy on the consoles may be in the billions and that there's only ten thousand people who pirate on the PC and this exaggeration I've said, though common sense states it's false and we all know it's false, it's still perhaps as true as blaming PC for piracy or saying PC has a higher rate of piracy than other platforms or that it impacts the sales of PC the most.

So again, There is piracy, Piracy is bad, It affects all platforms. Anything said beyond this is based on your own assumptions and not real data.
 
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53. Re: Op Ed Aug 1, 2010, 12:22 wtf_man
 
Kajetan wrote on Aug 1, 2010, 11:38:
if it has any impact at all.

Well it definitely has SOME impact... we just don't know how much of one.

That said... As a consumer that purchases his games... all I know is that I used to buy 6-12 games a year and now I'm lucky to purchase 1, because the selection sucks that bad.

And no, I don't pirate them... To me, they aren't even worth the bandwidth to do so.
 
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52. Re: Op Ed Aug 1, 2010, 12:01 ColoradoHoudini
 
Make true PC games, not terrible ports (hello Transformers). Support the game. If it's an FPS, allow the community to mod it (maps especially-BC2). Do not charge me for minor updates that were free in similar games of the past (MW2). Don't give me ridiculous DRM (Ubi!). Treat me as if I know what I am doing in/with my games..do not dumb them down to console kids level (Section 8). Steer clear of over complicated, intrusive, controlling matchmaking services (GFWL).

Devs need to understand that PC gamers are largely more knowledgeable about games and game quality than console kids that buy whatever shiny new game is on the shelf. We aren't going to settle for a mediocre game where you charge us $60.00.
 
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51. Re: Op Ed Aug 1, 2010, 11:38 Kajetan
 
Steele Johnson wrote on Aug 1, 2010, 11:34:
How the fuck do you know???
How do YOU know?

That's just stupid ... Anyone who defends piracy is a thief.
You havent understood anything. Its not about definding anything. Its about acknowledging hte fact, that piracy doesnt go away and that no one knows for sure, what impact it has, if it has any impact at all.
 
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50. Re: Op Ed Aug 1, 2010, 11:34 Steele Johnson
 
The point is that even if you produce a great pc game and it sells 10 million copies, without piracy they probably would have sold many more. You can't work into the statistic that people who pirate wouldn't have purchased it anyway. How the fuck do you know??? That's just stupid.

If you can't afford a nice new 50" flat screen tv, and then you go smash the window of your local electronics store and steal one from the showroom floor, are you saying that the manufacturer and the store doesn't lose because they've sold 'enough' already? Doh! Stealing is stealing. There's no argument. Anyone who defends piracy is a thief.
 
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49. Re: Op Ed Aug 1, 2010, 11:29 StingingVelvet
 
Sempai wrote on Aug 1, 2010, 10:56:
How bout we report something more accurate like the fact that when i hit up a Torrent site i see more Xbox360 ISO's than PC's, Oh but we must keep blaming the PC platform for all our troubles.

Piracy is a bigger deal on PC because it sells much less to begin with. Millions of downloads on a platform that sells 200,000 copies is a lot bigger deal than millions of downloads on a platform that sells 4,000,000 copies.
 
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48. Re: Op Ed Aug 1, 2010, 10:56 Sempai
 
Since i cant post what i really want to post on Blues anymore i'll just delete it.

This comment was edited on Aug 1, 2010, 11:29.
 
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47. Re: Op Ed Aug 1, 2010, 08:30 Ray Marden
 
On one hand, I do think piracy is a significant issue, particularly on the PC side of things. On the other hand, the PC market is repeatedly receiving less support, less options/features, a decreased amount of demos, is burdened by DRM, and it doesn't have anything close to the used/trading market that the consoles do. And yet publishers alike dump on the PC market and wonder why the market isn't screaming about how wonderful things are.

Meanwhile, the industry seems intent on writing a playbook of failure - a 20% price increase has been rolled out this generation, games are being designed around and additional $15-$60 of DLC, platform wars still exist, there is still no coherent response to the Gamestop/used game market, it wants to adopt subscriptions for multiplayer gaming, the industry cannot control its budgets, the industry still cannot control its development cycle (this applies to length of time, hours worked per day, and payment to the people that actually create the games,) the publishers freely admit their disdain for the end user, and there is a distinct lack of originality resulting in simplified, lower risk, cookie-cutter releases.
Nothing like sh*tt*ng in your own home.
I love gaming and have a rather sickening passion for it, but do I feel particularly beholden or appreciated by the industry? Do I think it's a great time to be a gamer? It certainly isn't doom and gloom, but neither do I think things are fantastic. I am adamant about not pirating, but I can understand the hostile mentality of some (and nobody can account for the pure thieves who will do anything they can.) From my own perspective, I have drastically scaled back my purchases - I purchase very few titles on day one at full price and I have drastically pushed down my average purchase price.

Guessing the industry is getting what it wants...,
Ray
 
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Everything is awesome!!!
http://shoutengine.com/GarnettonGames/
I love you, mom.
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46. Re: Op Ed Aug 1, 2010, 07:04 DG
 
Ah how the old broken records just keep skipping over eh?

it's hard to imagine that piracy does not result in a significant loss of revenue

The mentality here is a major problem the industry needs to wake up to. I see this all time time - department store X's competitor (Y) has a flash sale for a weekend, so X interprets the below average sales for that weekend as being due to Y's sale.

Implicit in this is the fallacy that Y is the problem. A true businessman however says that sales are down because they failed to counteract Y. X is the problem - they failed to be the customer's best option.

Pretty much the only attempt to counter piracy using even a basic business approach is Steam. I don't have a single piece of pirated software on my PC, I'm not going to condone piracy, but I also don't have much sympathy for businessmen complaining about how the market isn't doing what they want it to. Life sucks, deal with it.
 
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