I started off pirating on the Amiga from the get go. I was berated for it by a couple of nerds at Software Etc., so I bought a couple of games to ease my guilt and their nagging. The first one I bought was Dragon's Lair. It cost me $54, I couldn't back it up due to the protection, and the game (?) sucked. And I returned it. Then, I picked up a copy of Renegade. The game loading time was agonizing, the grinding from the disk routines was punishing on my disk drive, and the game was completely dire. That coupled with the fact that the games I wanted for the Amiga were not available here in the States (American Amiga games sucked ass) and I couldn't play the Euro games (this was before the advent of the ECS Agnus). The only game I remember buying back then that didn't disappoint me was "It Came From The Desert" which was packaged well and gave me immense pleasure to play.
Like music or movies, if the product I buy is cheap enough, I can live with buying substandard product. I ended up picking up even crap games if they were cheap enough. The video industry was hit hard with home taping in the early 80's when VCR's first appeared. And pre-recorded movies were listing at $79US, which was absurd. Once they got the bright idea to market affordable product for $25 and under, the general public embraced buying videos and have been there ever since. People like packaging, but not at a ridiculous price. And it's still more economical to buy a DVD than to bootleg them.
Game publishers nowadays aren't neccesarily greedy. They are forced into pricetags by the console developers who create large license/development fees to counter the giveaway prices on the console units themselves. It's a vicious cycle. Plus the massive overhead for bloated teams needed (?) to produce games these days.
A revolution is due. Simplicity. Since it isn't being marketed to us, we end up retrogaming. Which is better anyhow, since there's so damn many games that are a true delight from the golden age. I just have no use whatsoever for modern games, so I don't care if that vicious cycle or piracy chews itself up and regurgitates over the whole lot of them.
My half a sixpence...