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On Piracy and Prices

One question that often gets raised in debates over the touchy topic of piracy is the impact of game pricing on the situation. Now VideoGamer.com has quotes from Miles Jacobson, as the studio director at Sports Interactive chimes in on the topic, saying he's not sure there's a cure for piracy, but that he feels it leads to higher prices, not vice versa: "I don't know whether there is a proper cure for piracy without a change in society, to be honest," going on to say: "I don't think it will ever be fixed and it is a shame because the price of games would go down if the issue was fixed and we'd be able to have more people working on the titles." He also discusses estimates of piracy rate that go as high as 90%, saying, "So 90 per cent could actually be quite low," and touches on the authentication issues that hit Football Manager 2009, saying the problem was cleared up relatively quickly. He also states they do not have much choice but to use DRM: "There needs to be some kind of copy protection in your product otherwise retail aren't going to stock your product, so we do have to take some measures."

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43 Replies. 3 pages. Viewing page 1.
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43. Re: On Piracy and Prices Jan 21, 2009, 09:01 Quicksilver
 
Because the market hasn't completely switched over to digital distribution. They have to stay competitive in the total market, which includes big box / brick and mortar companies  
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42. Re: On Piracy and Prices Jan 21, 2009, 08:52 Quicksilver
 
At the end of the day, pirates are still pirates  
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41. Re: On Piracy and Prices Jan 21, 2009, 02:12 Lit_Reflex001
 
This crap about how prices would be lower if piracy wasn't such a big issue is utter bullshit.

PC games cost $50. They have been $50 for years.

Console games having higher prices is nothing new. Remember the $70 N64 games? We were paying a premium for "technology". What utter bullshit.

That didn't last too long. But apparently $60 a game is going down well enough.

It has nothing to do with piracy. And if piracy is a thought, it's an excuse to do what they would do anyway: raise prices where and when they can.

This comment was edited on Jan 21, 2009, 02:13.
 
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40. Re: On Piracy and Prices Jan 21, 2009, 02:11 Bluesfanboi
 
"not a SINGLE company (dev or publisher) has reduced the price of a DD'd game below that of retail. Not once that I'm aware of."

I'll bring that one bizarre step further. I contacted Stardock in the early days and asked them which should I buy? The DL version or the Retail version of Galactic Civilization?

I was instructed *not* to buy the DL version but instead to purchase the retail version as to have sales numbers for GC "in the retail system".

The DL version was $5 MORE than the retail version, however they mailed the retail version to you as soon as you ordered as well as the DL link emailed to you instantly.
 
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39. Re: On Piracy and Prices Jan 20, 2009, 22:06 Kxmode
 
He also states they do not have much choice but to use DRM: "There needs to be some kind of copy protection in your product otherwise retail aren't going to stock your product, so we do have to take some measures."

LOL! Best joke ever! Rotfl
 
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38. Re: On Piracy and Prices Jan 20, 2009, 18:30 shponglefan
 
There's is a cure for piracy: it's called fair prices and giving value.

The only price that will "cure" piracy is zero.
 
Avatar 54594
 
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37. Re: On Piracy and Prices Jan 20, 2009, 17:48 Tumbler
 
Bah, the closer companies get to becoming a monopoly in what they provide, the higher prices will get. That's why I'd prefer to see steam as an available option rather than having it as the standard of game distribution. More competition (gogamer.com) is good and always will be. Less competition (like having steam be the only source for software in your country and pricing it to screw you over with exchange rates) is bad.

QFT.
 
99gamers.com-Game trading site, PC digital trading!
Kickstarter "Game Developer"!
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36. Re: On Piracy and Prices Jan 20, 2009, 17:36 Prez
 
They don't go to the developers. They go to the PUBLISHERS.

In some cases, I'm sure they do. But putting aside the whole "publishers are evil spawn who drown puppies" argument for a sec, a lot of publishers take huge financial risk (and often lose big) in providing monetary backing for games. So I don't necessarily begrudge them the money either.


In the case of Valve's and Stardock's games, the developer IS the publisher, so it's a win-win.
 
Avatar 17185
 
Goodbye my Monte boy. May you rest in the peace you never knew in life.
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35. Re: On Piracy and Prices Jan 20, 2009, 16:08 Jerykk
 
Yea I'm looking...and they complained publicly, stating about 90% of people playing World of Goo were pirates. What's your point now?

I think his point is that World of Goo has been selling well regardless of piracy.
 
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34. Re: On Piracy and Prices Jan 20, 2009, 15:57 Bone43
 
I don't think it will ever be fixed and it is a shame because the price of games would go down if the issue was fixed

LOL! Right if no one pirates games we will lower the price that will be the day!

Fucking ass hat.
 
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33. Re: On Piracy and Prices Jan 20, 2009, 15:54 Krovven
 
Look at World of Goo

Yea I'm looking...and they complained publicly, stating about 90% of people playing World of Goo were pirates. What's your point now?

http://arstechnica.com/journals/thumbs.ars/2008/11/14/acrying-shame-world-of-goo-piracy-rate-near-90

There will always be people that pirate games, regardless of whether they can afford to buy the game or not. They do it...BECAUSE THEY CAN.
 
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32. Re: On Piracy and Prices Jan 20, 2009, 15:51 Ayii
 
Miles Jacobson is an idiot. Companies will always charge what they think people are willing to pay. Norton Antivirus 2003 was the same price of Norton Antivirus 2004, yet the 2004 version brought in a registration code system and Internet activation. Console games charge more than their PC counterparts, yet piracy on the PC is way higher than consoles.

Look at the pricing of the Xbox Originals - original Xbox 1 games that are a turned into a digital download and have ZERO piracy. They honestly expect you to pay $20 for a game you can buy used on a disc for $5-$10. Not only are the prices terrible, you loose the benefits of physically owning the disc, case, and usually the manual - that being you can lend it to a friend or sell it when you're done. Which offers the better value?

This comment was edited on Jan 20, 2009, 15:53.
 
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31. Re: On Piracy and Prices Jan 20, 2009, 15:37 Creston
 
I don't mind that the savings in digital distribution go to the developers instead of the consumers

They don't go to the developers. They go to the PUBLISHERS.

Creston
 
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30. Re: On Piracy and Prices Jan 20, 2009, 15:09 Paketep
 
Wrong on both counts, Mr. Jacobson.

Here in Spain, in the 80s, the prices dropped 70-80% and piracy was destroyed. Do you know what happened next?. Prices started to rise, slowly at first, faster later, past the price point they had been. And next?. Piracy returned. Anyone who thinks that in absence of piracy prices would go down wouldn't know a publisher if it bit off his cock.

And about DRM: no, there doesn't need to be any kind of copy protection in your product. And you know why?. Because it doesn't work, and only hurts your customers. You DO have a choice. Look at World of Goo. At Sins of a Solar Empire. At many more. They've sold exactly the same, but they respected their customers.

There's is a cure for piracy: it's called fair prices and giving value. Too few developers practice it.
 
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29. Re: On Piracy and Prices Jan 20, 2009, 15:04 Prez
 
I don't mind that the savings in digital distribution go to the developers instead of the consumers, but I wish that they'd stop treating PC gamers like idiots. The assertion that the lack of piracy would change prices at retail one cent is asinine, and they must think we are stupid enough to believe it.  
Avatar 17185
 
Goodbye my Monte boy. May you rest in the peace you never knew in life.
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28. Re: On Piracy and Prices Jan 20, 2009, 13:48 Creston
 
But do we know what percentage the digital distribution services take? I've heard accusations that Valve takes 50% of the money,

I'm not sure they do, but even so, Steam is kind of separate from the subject. There's plenty of games that sell through a publisher's own digital download service, and it costs just as much there. And the bullshit excuse that "They have to do that in order to keep prices the same with the boxed version yadda yadda yadda" simply doesn't fly.

Piracy could go to 0 and everything could go to digital download, and we'd STILL pay 50 bucks a game.

Creston
 
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27. Re: On Piracy and Prices Jan 20, 2009, 13:48 Mostly_Harmless
 
"I don't think it will ever be fixed and it is a shame because the price of games would go down if the issue was fixed and we'd be able to have more people working on the titles."

Yeah right, the PS3 with zero piracy has the most expensive games of any system because they know that if you want to play it, then you have to pay.
 
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26. Re: On Piracy and Prices Jan 20, 2009, 13:42 Prez
 
While piracy is a bane of the industry, I think it's insulting when developers claim that piracy is what dictates prices. So you mean to tell me that, for example, Spore wouldn't have sold for $50 regardless? Please.

 
Avatar 17185
 
Goodbye my Monte boy. May you rest in the peace you never knew in life.
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25. Re: On Piracy and Prices Jan 20, 2009, 13:24 DG
 
The games offered through Steam compete more effectively with piracy
fixed

Seriously, the industry is actually starting to catch on that if they don't delay a game 6 months they can even sell games in Russia. Russia, the place where pirate games, movies, music software etc are sold on stalls in the subway (and anywhere else that's busy). The typical gaming company response to this seems to be to increase DRM to see if they can hold out for the 6 months, they think it's 100% about the price difference.

Gaming companies don't seem to understand that even if they gave their game away for free, if they used their traditional models the pirate version would STILL better satisfy a big chunk of pirates.
 
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24. Re: On Piracy and Prices Jan 20, 2009, 13:08 Ichi
 
With the way most PC gamers seem to think PC game developers are still making money hand over fist and other propaganda sent out by the PCGA, it's no wonder few think piracy is a real problem.

As it stands, there are a HANDFUL (like less than 10 per year), PC-only games that make ANY MONEY AT ALL. 20% of games on ALL platforms make it to market (the rest are canceled projects), and only 20% of those make money (Nintendo obviously gobbles up a huge bit of that, then you have a few 360 and PS3 games, a random PC game like WoW, and the rest are failures).

Personally I'm amazed that developers are still making PC games at all, even console ports. I guess it's the same inspiration that inspires developers to make decent quality 360 and PS3 games instead of making assured money on Wii shovelware.
 
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