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PCGA on Piracy's Benefits

The PC Gaming Alliance Interview on Big Download talks with Randy Stude of Intel and the PCGA about their new membership options, and progress of their various committees looking at various aspects of PC gaming. His answer to a question about the approach Valve and Stardock take to DRM and piracy yields an answer with an unusual point-of-view from someone in his position:

If you ask both of the publishers that you mentioned here about the rate of piracy for their games you may find that one has rampant piracy and the other has almost none. The PC Gaming Industry's history is littered with examples of startups (including Stardock and Valve) that actually benefitted from wide spread piracy to grow a market for their future titles. Don't get me wrong, I am not advocating piracy... However, how would Quake, Doom, Starcraft, Counter-Strike, or Half-Life have been able to grow widespread brand recognition without a widespread network of gamers openly sharing these games. These titles (and many more) defined the industry. Personally, my first experience with a first person shooter was with Doom (back in the day) and I did not pay for it. Id Software turned the corner and has a very successful business built on the back of the early free/open source exchange of their games...

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