Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by CardJoe, 7 Jun 2010.
What shocks me the most about handheld piracy is just how casual it is.
I was talking to a friend of mine a couple months ago about her son's birthday. She's a thirty something single mum who uses her computer about once a fortnight. Ever-so-casually she drops in "so I bought him a R4 card". It was so unexpected I actually did a double-take.
I don't think people like that even realise it's piracy.
Again they make the assumption that every illegal download is a lost sale.....it isnt...no where near.
People download just because its easy and they can, if it wasnt, they would just go without.....and Sony and the rest would be no worse off.
pirate download <> lost sale
However, piracy is very bad on the DS, I know computer illiterate people buying R4 style devices and SD cards with games for their children preloaded as they don't know how to go and buy an r4 and torrent themselves. I don't think they realise its theft. Clearly there is lost money here as they are paying £20-£30 for a disk of games.
I agree with others. Just because it was downloaded, doesnt mean that the user would have gone and bought the game.
The games I have downloaded during the last 5 years, i would never have gone and purchased them. The ones I did want to purcahse, suprise suprise, I went out and purchased them, like halflife, MW2, BFBC2, Serious sam HD, and UT3, GTA4 and WoW.
The games that I downloaded, were very quickly uninstalled due to being crap after 5 minutes.
These companies need to concentrate on making good games rather than blaming every man and his dog if a game fails to live up to its expectations.
Oh, if it's a rubbish game it's fine to pirate it.
And it makes you cool too!
Didn't you know this? Get the with times Mikey!
I know everyone has their own reason for getting a pirate copy of a game so I'll give me point of view, as It kinda relates to DriftCarl's post.
I have never pirated a game purely because I want a proper hard copy but I used to download songs so I'm going to relate this to that.
My reason for downloading the song was to see if I'd like that whole album, if I did then I'd go out and buy it. Now that spotify is around I don't have to do this anymore. With games that I'm unsure about I try the demo to see if I like it, if there is no demo then I don't get it (unless a friend introduces me to it). So for some people I think every game needs some sort of demo, I know you can't really do this with cartridges.
Just my point of view. As I said before, I know some people just can't be bothered paying for it when they can get it for free.
It's fair enough to say that every download doesn't equate to a missed sale, and probably even that fewer than 1 in 1000 downloads is a missed sale. But when you take into account the sources of piracy the survey ignored (torrents and other P2P, probably Usenet as well) and that the number of downloads on the sites examined probably pales in significance to those other sources, then their estimate doesn't sound that bad.
Still, with handheld console games generally being terrible value for money (in one of the iPhone games articles here there was something about a game from Ubisoft selling for ~£5 in iTunes, yet the DS version cost £25/£30) you can't be too surprised about all this. The convenience of gaming on the go is no longer suitable justification to the consumer for the price that handheld console makers slap on their games. However, what this will likely lead to is console makers charging higher price for their handhelds, or releasing rehashed versions that require little development on their part but tempt people to upgrade for new gimmicky features. Oh wait, they've already started doing both of those.
It happens all of the time, people exagerating simple statistics to make a point. This post from the Wolfire blog, the people behind the Humble Indie Bundle, sums everything up perfectly:
let me ask you a question
i have a couple games that i dont play becasue they are rubbish
and a lot of games now i wont play unless i have watched actual gameplay online or had a demo,
let me ask you this whihc game would you play if there were two games and they both were great, the one that costs Â£20+ or the free one
i think its a no brainer and in somecases the people who have pirated a game have liked it so much they have gone out and bought the game
and others like me only use there psp's as video players becasue lets face it if you can get 16GB memory cards for Â£40 its a good portable media player so you cant take hardware sales figures into account
bassically out of all the games that come out for a console it is pretty safe t osay that over 50% of them will be crap no two ways about it
You make a really good point about pricing.
Game pricing as a whole is just too arbitrary. Console games, regardless of quality/value, seem to mostly be one fixed price. Mobile is nicely varied. But handheld is just ridiculous. Some NDS games are the same price as AAA PC titles!
I think the problem is nobody wants to be the first to lower the price of their games because customers might think it implies the game is of lower quality.
Steve Jobs said something really interesting to media and entertainment publishers not so long ago, I think it's really relevant. When talking about how accessible entertainment-based consumer electronics have become, he said that content creators should ditch traditional business models, price very aggressively and aim for greater volume. I really think that applies to gaming too.
I never said it was ok to pirate it, I jsut dont want to be ripped off by games companies cutting corners. If it crashes, glitches or runs badly on my computer, then its not worth the money. Games companies WILL NOT offer refunds for games you have bought. I am fed up of buying games only to find them extreemly bad and crash my computer, much like star trek online.
Every other entertainment product you can try before you buy, you can go into a show room to see a TV that you want, you can play a playstation in an electronics shop. With software you cannot return it unless it is a physically broken disk, and then they will just replace that with a new one.
Again I am not saying that pirating is OK. I am saying the whole computer games industry is pretty out of touch with the lives of today.
Valve are doing a fantastic job with STEAM, Pretty much all of my games I have bought are from steam, I was able to try them first to see if they were stable enough on my machine. When they were then I bought it.
The only game that I downloaded illegally and then going to buy was UT3.
I dont really get that many games personally as I did play WoW alot. My most recent purchase is starcraft2 which is due out next month, again I was able to test this during the beta andfeel that its worth my hard earned cash to keep playing.
The game's quality is irrelivant as to whether you buy it or steal it. If you buy a game that you don't like why not sell it or return it to the shop?
To find out which car you like, do you steal various models off the street? Abandon the ones that you're not keen on and visit a showroom to buy the ones you do like?
£29 billion?!!! I can make up numbers as well!
For example, 1000 billion people illegally download 500 films and games every second.
I still don't get how games on handhelds are worth the same money as PC/console games though.
If they added up all the times people lend their friends and familys games, I'm sure they could come up with another 29 billion of 'lost sales'. And it makes about as much sense as that. Most (nearly all) piracy is not lost sales.
You were? How? If you mean game demos, then they exist whether you buy the game from Steam or not. Do you immediately go and pirate a game to try it out instead of searching for a demo?
I think you'll also find that you'll have even more trouble getting a refund out of Steam than you will from anywhere else. They simply do not refund purchases (unless it was a pre-order and the game hasn't been released yet), even if it doesn't work properly on your system.
That's a bit of a bad analagy - if you were interested in purchasing a car, you'd take it for a test run wouldn't you?
Firstly can we get past the old piracy = stealing nonsense please. It simply doesn't.
Secondly, to take your car analogy, to find a car you'd like you'd go and test drive them. Kinda tricky to do that with games when usually the first time you actually get to use it is after you've already handed over your money. Even in cases where demos are released, which is getting rarer and rarer these days, they are usually very limited and really don't give you a full picture of the game. Frankly if people are downloading games, buying the ones they like and ditching the ones they tried for 30 mins and never went near again where's the harm?
As others say, a pirate copy doesn't = a lost sale.
E.g. the amount of people you will know with Adobe Master Suite. Its very high cost means that the average person can't “afford” to buy it, however it is currently one of the number one tools for photo-editing (I'm not saying this is justified, I'm just stating what I believe to be fact).
At £2500 for CS5, most people will think it's about the same price as a cheap car. Average person thinks "Do I steal a car, or steal some software". One is certainly easier to hide, and is also not actively affecting the other partys (adobe) finances.
Piracy is a lot easier to stomach compared to theft.
It’s the same for a DS (with R4 or alike) - 8 DS games = £200, thats a new XBOX 360, or alike.
Personally, I used to acquire most of the games I played on PC, however in the last 3 years (as I've actually had jobs/money to buy) I've bought the games - even though I know the pirates don't have to put up with naff drm. I buy games such as BFBC2 knowing that the money will (hopefully) benefit the developers for making such a brilliant game.
Ultimately, I think that there should be the ability to try before you buy (e.g. like they did for Just Cause 2, you had 30mins to do anything you wanted). I played that 30min demo, and found I didn't like the game - I didn't buy it, so I didn't feel I lost out.
If I was to buy a game, and find it to be rubbish/buggy/not to my likings, I would be disappointed (and have been a couple of times - e.g. Juiced 2 - crap game...). I think that the pirates have the benefits here of being able to preview a game (although they may not buy it eventually)
One game I feel I should have bought is Fall Out 3 - its probably the only game I didn't buy myself which I actually loved & enjoyed for hours on end - I'll definitely be buying the next one though.
Essentially, what I’m saying is, many people will pirate without thinking its theft, personally I like to support developers when they make successful games – I don’t see piracy as a lost sale, but I do think that once an individual pirates a game, they probably have a 25% less chance of buying it should they actually enjoy the game, and were intending to use the pirate as a "demo".
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