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id CEO: Piracy PC's "Hidden Benefit"

Hollenshead & Carmack - Part One on GameIndusty is part of a conversation with id Software CEO Todd Hollenshead and technical director John Carmack that was conducted at this year's QuakeCon. The main topics are engine licensing, digital distribution, and piracy, and one bit they highlight in a separate story that seems sure to spark some discussion is Todd's contention that piracy of PC content is perceived as a "hidden benefit" to PC ownership, a "dirty little secret among hardware manufacturers." Here are the two pertinent questions and answers:

Q: It's the barrier-for-entry thing isn't it? It's really easy to pirate PC games whereas console games are much harder to pirate so the returns are better. What can PC hardware manufacturers do to make it harder for pirates?

Todd Hollenshead:
There's lots of things that they could do but typically just they just line up on the wrong side of the argument in my opinion. They have lots of reasons as to why they do that, but I think that there's been this dirty little secret among hardware manufacturers, which is that the perception of free content - even if you're supposed to pay for it on PCs - is some sort hidden benefit that you get when you buy a PC, like a right to download music for free or a right to download pirated movies and games.

Q: You think they're secretly happy about it?

Todd Hollenshead:
Yeah I think they are. I think that if you went in and could see what's going on in their minds, though they may never say that stuff and I'm not saying there's some conspiracy or something like that - but I think the thing is they (realize) that trading content, copyrighted or not, is an expected benefit of owning a computer.

And I think that just based on their actions...what they say is one thing, but what they do is another. When it comes into debates about whether peer-to-peer file-sharing networks that by-and-large have the vast majority, I'm talking 99 per cent of the content is (illicitly) trading copyrighted property, they'll come out on the side of the 1 per cent of the user doing it for legitimate benefit. You can make philosophical arguments that are difficult to debate, but at the same time you're just sort of ignoring the enormity of the problem.

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15. Re: No subject Aug 21, 2008, 10:19 morose
 
Wasn't this the same guy who was crowing that Doom3 was a great game, since it made all that money?

If you ran a company, how would you judge the worth of your games? Critical acclaim in magazines or a vocal internet minority (in effect, judges) or performance in the marketplace (gamers voting with their dollars as your product competes against other products)? Until my revenue stream depends directly on those judges, I'd go with the latter myself. If I'm sitting on a big pile of money at the end of the day due to one of my products, I'm inclined to say it's pretty great.

That said I don't exactly get what Todd is suggesting here. Others posters are right... what are hardware manufacturer's going to do about a software problem? I mean, I understand that it's not in their interests to research it... maybe that's all he's saying.

 
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  1. Aug 21, 08:56 No subject manic half
  2. Aug 21, 08:59 Definition of a problem Kajetan
  3. Aug 21, 09:01 No subject Steele Johnson
  4. Aug 21, 09:03 No subject dryden555
  5. Aug 21, 09:30  Re: No subject InBlack
  10. Aug 21, 09:51  Re: No subject nin
>> 15. Aug 21, 10:19   Re: No subject morose
  17. Aug 21, 10:21    Re: No subject nin
  22. Aug 21, 11:06    Re: No subject changingman
  11. Aug 21, 09:51  Re: No subject Wowbagger_TIP
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  20. Aug 21, 10:56   Re: No subject manic half
  21. Aug 21, 10:58   Re: No subject InBlack
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  24. Aug 21, 11:46    Re: No subject Tumbler
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  30. Aug 21, 14:29     Re: No subject Kajetan
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  33. Aug 21, 15:27        Re: No subject Tumbler
  35. Aug 21, 15:39         Re: No subject Kajetan
  6. Aug 21, 09:31 PC's Tumbler
  7. Aug 21, 09:35  Re: PC's InBlack
  8. Aug 21, 09:36 No subject jason_deluxe
  9. Aug 21, 09:47  Re: No subject NKD
  12. Aug 21, 10:01  Re: No subject Kajetan
  13. Aug 21, 10:08   Re: No subject InBlack
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  18. Aug 21, 10:22    Re: No subject manic half
  48. Aug 22, 00:42     Re: No subject CreamyBlood
  50. Aug 22, 06:29      Re: No subject manic half
  26. Aug 21, 12:06    Re: No subject Jerykk
  28. Aug 21, 12:21     Re: No subject Dmitri_M
  27. Aug 21, 12:20 Unreal WaltC
  34. Aug 21, 15:34  Re: Unreal sponge
  40. Aug 21, 19:51   Re: Unreal WaltC
  45. Aug 21, 22:56    Re: Unreal sponge
  29. Aug 21, 12:24 No subject dryden555
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  37. Aug 21, 17:09  Re: No subject Nere
  38. Aug 21, 17:23 No subject Takvah
  39. Aug 21, 18:28 No subject Reckless
  41. Aug 21, 20:13 Yeah ok Todd. Creston
  42. Aug 21, 20:45  Re: Yeah ok Todd. Nameless Again
  44. Aug 21, 21:27  Re: Yeah ok Todd. ldonyo
  55. Aug 22, 21:48   Re: Yeah ok Todd. m0deth
  56. Aug 23, 03:05    Re: Yeah ok Todd. swaaye
  43. Aug 21, 21:07 ... theyarecomingforyou
  46. Aug 22, 00:03 No subject space captain
  47. Aug 22, 00:06 ... theyarecomingforyou
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  52. Aug 22, 10:39 You know... Ray Marden
  53. Aug 22, 19:09  Re: You know... Jerykk
  59. Aug 23, 19:39  Re: You know... CreamyBlood
  54. Aug 22, 21:40 clueless and arrogant m0deth
  57. Aug 23, 10:12 No subject dryden555
  58. Aug 23, 14:46 No subject dryden555
  60. Aug 24, 01:18  Re: No subject Jerykk


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