Piracy - The Fairlight Version
Piracy is good and bad
Ok, the piracy rule for Amiga is pretty much the same as it is for any other machine.
Piracy for a new machine is vital! The more people that have a pirated copy, the more its gonna get seen, hence why Shadow of the Beast helped to sell so many machines. Shadow of the Beast was basically the best advert the Amiga was ever gonna get, if the protection on it was so hard and stopped it spreading so rapidly, less people would see it, less people would want an Amiga at christmas.
The key to piracy is new users. Software companies figured (correctly) that most people when they buy a machine, will more than likely buy a couple of games to go with it, or your family will buy you some on birthdays etc.
As long as new machines are being sold, then games will be sold, when that stops, or doubts about the machines future come into play and sales of machines start dwindling, then games sales start dwindling.
1993 was the Amiga's last 'BIG' year, all software companies were rushing the last of their big titles out, with a few of them releasing at the start of 1994, simply because they would lose more money by not releasing them. They probably didn't make any money, but they lost a little less.
And this is where piracy is bad, because the machines are not being sold, therefore less are buying games, and most people are copying.
The fact that the Amiga isn't quite up to the technological feats of the PS2 or Xbox is neither here nor there. I had a conversation with someone who worked for Gremlin, and their opinion was that they didn't care if the Amiga wasn't quite so hot technically, as long as they made a decent profit, they would continue to produce for it....... alas, they started losing money on Amiga, and rapidly pulled out soon after Premier Manager 3 Deluxe.
So theres a whole host of reasons for the Amiga's demise, one of them is piracy, one of them is it's lesser friendly development approach (Asm as opposed to C), Commodore (Irving Gould and Medhi Ali)........
Piracy is good in the right measures, and if Commodore didn't decide to self implode and as long as the future technology they were developing was going to be any good, then Psygnosis, Team 17, Gremlin, Renegade etc, etc, would still have been producing games for a few years longer.
To blame the Amiga's demise solely on piracy is not only short sighted and naive, its blatantly untrue (as untrue as the 'if you use pirate copies you will get viruses!'), yes it played its part, but in the end there were a lot of reasons that culminated in its eventual out-of-favour with the software houses.
The Gameboy Advance proves that flashy 3D graphics are not the be all and end all of games, the Gameboy Advance is doing now what the Amiga did so well nearly fifteen years ago.........