Monday, August 09, 2010

Game Pirates: You are Bottom Feeding Algae Eaters.

Machinarium suffers a 95% pirate rate.

As a game developer, it is hard not to be outraged by these figures. Pirating is just not cool. I would write more, but I know it won't make a difference, it falls on deaf, dead and scarred ears. It is of no use trying to preach ethical and moral behaviour to self centred, me-first-gimme-gimme bottom feeders.



Mattia said...

oh dear... this argument again....

Well The funny thing is that if a game is really good (like in my opinion warcraft 3, call of duty, world of warcraft and so on) Even after you pirate it you end up buying it because of how much it was enjoyed and the need to play it against the online community.

Unfortunately I think that single player games are going down the drain and unless the game has some sort of online component it's almost 90% of the times going to be downloaded as people can't satisfy reaching in their pockets to pay for a game that you don't ever look at again after the first week.

That said as a games programmer I can understand your frustration as making a game that could have possibly made a lot of money but gets pirated and goes in the shit hole is not the best feeling.

I also believe that it's an inevitable problem and that it's going to grow more and more as the years go by as people would rather pay for something that gives them a lengthy experience, like World of warcraft, then buying something that has no life beyond the first few days of fun.

On the positive side, this will limit and filter a lot of shitty games that would have otherwise been bought and then thrown against the wall in rage for how rapid the campaigns ended, and how unfulfilled the experience was.

So all in all i think piracy has very damaging aspects towards the developer but massive advantages towards the consumer as they will get games that are top notch instead of wishing for a better game after they have spent their hard earned cash.

If you want a nice single player experience buy a console and play awesome games like final fantasy, metal gear, legend of zelda and so on(And yes I bought all those as they are fun and a lengthy experience)

Peace out

Simon Wittber said...

You can't compare a title that costs $100 to games that might cost less than a pizza and coke.

Pizza + Coke = 30 minutes of satisfaction. A DVD costs about $25, and lasts a whole two or three hours. As you mentioned, a $5 or $20 game might only get played for a week. Only a week... is that worth paying for?

Piracy good for the consumer? I don't think so. All the unique and unusual titles from independent vendors will disappear, and the consumer will get the same regurgitated rubbish year in year out. FIFA 2011, 2012. Warcraft 4, 5 and 6. Blah blah to eternity.

Mattia said...

Problem is that the titles that cost less then a pizza and coke are not very well known or publicized.

For that reason the only people that end up looking at those games are either pirates that want a quick hacking fun, and a simple 10 minutes of satisfaction or people that are actually specifically looking for that type of game(therefore they don't get much business and end up complaining of piracy)
Another problem is that although pizza and coke is not any longer a satisfaction then some games, you can enjoy it with the people around you and your body will benefit from the food in the form of energy(something no video game can do....)

Music and Movies are also taking a massive hit because people can't justify the fact that you got to pay for a $25 movie watch it once and then in 2 years there is a new medium of disc or whatever which makes your movie useless.
The internet is the new medium for all these things and should be used to find common grounds not to complain that pirates are looking at movies illegally.

I am sure that if half of the time people spent complaining about movie and music piracy was actually spent on finding a way to involve the people that pirate in a legal system of acquiring what they search on the internet most of these problems wouldn't be around. I tunes for example is a good start for this.

The other problem is: Who are the largest sector of people that pirate in the first place?

Students and people that can't afford these things as everyone knows that if someone has the money then they use it for what they want.
As a student (and most of the Australian ones not being supported by their families or foreigners) there is no possible way of justifying spending money on games, music, software and movies when you can download them for free and not have University Debts till the age of 40.

Lastly i think that franchises keep on releasing the same games because the largest amount of their target audience buys it.
By doing so they are always going to sell them as they are what the majority of people buy and what makes them money. I dont believe however that new ideas wouldn't be advanced and new games developed as there is always market for new ideas that may appeal to different audiences.
The publishing houses have to make sure that the idea will target a certain audience and maximize the factors liked by that audience so that they don't loose business. If this is by adding multi player to every game created then that's what it's got to be like as that is the phase that the market is moving through.

Unfortunately Indy game developers have to pull out awesome games like Square off from the guys at "Gnomic studios" here in Perth and castle crashers and so on.
If an Indy developer wants to make a game that only he likes because of certain aspects then he has to understand that he will not be very successful as what an individual may like is usually not what everyone else likes.

My hand is cramping now. Over and out

Sander van Rossen said...

I was talking to someone I know last Saturday that pirates a lot of games (on consoles).
(for the record: I make it a point to buy all my games)
And interestingly enough he said that he was considering to start buying some games legally because of DLC's, because it added so much more to those games.

So that made me wonder.. would a better business model be that we give away the basic game for free (basically a demo) and then sell the rest of the game as DLC's instead?
It would lower the threshold, allow people to try the game before buying anything ..

Mattia said...

that is an awesome idea!
I really wish it were like that

montdidier said...

I happen to agree with Simon. There is far too much justification for piracy. I'd also like to say that I've been a hyppocrit - it doesn't however, make my point of view about piracy wrong it just make me a hyppocrit. Which as any software engineer, formal philosopher or mathematician will know is not a state of logic or a position in a logical argument.

montdidier said...

On a side note, and in the vein of simple transformative ideas; I remember discussing with colleagues the effect of the second hand games market on the primary market. One crusty veteran stated an idea that I thought was interesting. His belief was that it was shipping games in Jewel cases that co-incided with high growth in the second hand games market. The orginal idea behind the jewel case was durability of the product after purchase and to reduce the amount of shelf space products took up in the store. The problem is that second hand games and their packing maintained their "as new" looks much more easily allowing the second hand market to get a toe hold because of maintained resale prices. He's solution to reducing the size of the second hand market - ship games in carboard boxes again. They get tatty looking super quickly. Fortunately the second hand market it's such a big issue in Australia. It's a huge issue in Europe, especially with massive chains like Tesco getting into it.

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