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Old 06 March 2011, 13:34   #1
trydowave
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Amiga Piracy Discussion!

I would like to discuss Piracy on the Amiga and why it was so rife. There is a general opinion that individual users we’re partly responsible for the Amiga’s demise through excessive piracy. I would like to say that, though I feel this is true to an extent, I believe the game and magazine publishers we’re also responsible. I don’t think this is mentioned enough and back in the day it was never reported.
I believe this for a few simple reasons. Games were rushed out on the cheap to meet unrealistic deadlines and had all sorts of misleading advertising (remember backs of boxes or the TV in WHSmiths showing GFX from the arcades with tiny small print reminding you this wasn’t actually the game your we’re buying, in fact nothing near it.)
And on top of this, Magazines that we’re paid by advertisers to give games higher scores than they deserved and to fill half of the issues content with ads.
Click was a video magazine (which I posted on YouTube years back: [ Show youtube player ]). You basically paid 5 for an hour or so of video, half of that taken up with dodgy advertising and the other half taken up by games being given very over generous scores by bad actors (that guy from eastenders and a kid from a 1980’s skittles advert) and complete lying pr!cks like CU Amiga’s Tony Dillon.
Talking from personal experience I was mislead by these crooks, spent huge amounts of money (for someone of that age) and got totally ripped off with shoddy products.
The real shame is this. I did occasionally get some pirated games and genuinely feel guilty about not buying them when they turned out to be great. (ahem - battle Squadron!)
Not that I went looking for pirated games. At school they weren’t really hard to miss, kids we’re practically giving them away for nothing around the school corridors.
In summary I Think that publishers we’re just as much to blame for Piracy as the Pirates we’re if not more so. Your thoughts?
Laterz
Tony
www.trydowave.com
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Old 06 March 2011, 13:57   #2
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The Amiga didn't die of piracy, it died of being too old and Commodore dangling onto the C64 as the main money maker for too long. Surely there was quite some piracy around, but I think the PC, Playstation, and almost any console afterwards had similar problems, yet they managed to survive until their successor came out or the company went bust. Sorry, but I don't buy the 'piracy killed the Miggy' fairy-tale
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Old 06 March 2011, 14:13   #3
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Me neither. I agree with all your points. But the vibe I get from alot of the reporting at the time is somehow we 'the Amiga user' we're to blame for the amiga's demise with rampant Piracy.

But I totally agree. Commodore pussyfooting around for years doing nothing was a bigger contributing factor.
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Old 06 March 2011, 14:15   #4
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Piracy is something bad that ruins the quality of the games because game makers earn then less money, and so will then have less money to produce the next games, or even sometimes they just get ruined and won't produce another game at all.

When i was jounger i also got lot's of games from school, also for free most of the time. It started with my C64 with tapes full of "turbo saved" games, then continued with Amiga disks. Now i'm on PC, i also have a fiew pirated games, but all in all i have arround 90% bought PC games. I have also an XBOX 360 and arround 50 games (not a single pirated one !).

I think protection against piracy is NEEDED ! otherwise you could just hand out your games for free and close your company affter that. They need to find some good protection that has no down sides for the actual buyers, what would be helpfull for both, the company and even the gamers because it would help a lot to improve games quality.
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Old 06 March 2011, 14:18   #5
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Lots of factors responsible for piracy.

1). Me and others like me - We cracked it, so you could copy it. Only problem with that logic is, if I didn't crack it, someone else would

2). You - You accepted cracked software and didn't buy enough originals. Thats something for your conscience, as no-one forced You to accept cracked software.

3). Commodore - Whilst the Amiga was a great machine, Commodore didn't have a clue how to market it, until the market dictated how it should be pushed (as a games machine). Commodore also fucked up with the AGA series of machines. Sure, the A1200 was a good machine, but, it wasn't all it should have been. When the A1000 was released, it was LIGHT YEARS ahead of everything else. The A1200 however barely caught up with the PC of the day and was quickly beaten in power.

The A1200 wasn't even a huge step up from the A500. Give the A1200 more bitplanes to display more colours.... but give it the same blitter to move all that extra data around?!?!?

16bit sound was STANDARD by the time the A1200 came out, yet we still had to put up with 8bit 4 channel sound. Much as I love the Paula chip, imagine what could have been done with 16 channel 16bit sound?

The DSP that never was, that would have made up for the lack of better blitter and sound processor, the DSP could have made a HUGE difference. Stuff like Doom could have been done easily and competed with PC's of the day without needing processor cards.

4). Cool - Amiga simply wasn't cool anymore. Lots of people that used the Amiga did so because it was cool at the time, but some people soon get bored and want to move onto the next topic/machine, and the A1200 wasn't good enough.

5). Playstation One/PSX - This was the final nail in the coffin, it essentially killed further developer interest in the Amiga, SNES, Megadrive. Developers now had a cheap machine to develop for that could finally compete with the PC and do games that the other three machines simply couldn't do.

5). Programming - Amiga had the best drawn out of it with 68000 ASM, whereas C++ was now the adopted standard. PC versions were written in C++, PS1 was C++, Saturn was C++. Sure there were some optimisations in ASM for the individual machines, but the effort to translate C++ to ASM to get the best out of the Amiga, well it was more effort than developers were prepared to do.

TFX proves that quite conclusively, even on 060 it was dog slow, and that helped make the decision to abandon the Amiga.

Lots of factors, not one in particular is to blame, but all contribute.
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Old 06 March 2011, 14:19   #6
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EA is the perfect example that making more money doesn't mean better games Piracy is bad m'kay, but the whole relationship between piracy and quality of games/lifetime of a system is at best questionable.
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Old 06 March 2011, 14:29   #7
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Originally Posted by TheCyberDruid View Post
....but the whole relationship between piracy and quality of games/lifetime of a system is at best questionable.
But this is just facts, if you earn more money, you can put more "ressources" to make a game. Of course sometimes these ressources are not well used, well happens, but normally as more you have money, as better games you CAN create.
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Old 06 March 2011, 14:34   #8
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Generally people who accept/use pirated software wouldn't have bought the original anyway, so it can't be seen as 'lost sales'. Look at the recent comments from the author of Minecraft.
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Old 06 March 2011, 14:39   #9
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Generally people who accept/use pirated software wouldn't have bought the original anyway, so it can't be seen as 'lost sales'. Look at the recent comments from the author of Minecraft.
That is not true, i had great games on the Amiga, like carrier command, starglider II, Lotus turbo esprit challenge II, and more. All pirated games. Some of these i planned to buy befor i got them for "free", and i would have.

Now to say that piracy is alone responsible for Amigas death is wrong too of course, because piracy was not only on the Amiga but as well on PCs or other systems.

What Galahad said, The Amiga AGA computers were just not powerfull enough when they came out, that's the most part of why the Amiga "died".
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Old 06 March 2011, 14:39   #10
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Oh happy times. People were copying software like heck, and nobody gave a damn. Now just mention the word "piracy", and everybody does "Eeek!". Took a lot of brainwashing to achieve that.
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Old 06 March 2011, 14:41   #11
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I agree I think it was a broken business model and a lack of development that were the major factors that did for the Amiga. I dont think piracy helped, it took money away from the market that could have perhaps lasted a little longer if it had had more slack in the system. I remember thinking back in the day that time was running out for the miggy. When we started buying games with PC/IBM screen-shots on the back i thought it was the beginning of the end. and then when a saw games running on friends pc's I was already playing my old miggy games and feeling nostalgic.
I never saw much piracy on the miggy, but i did know it was there. I had already left school when i got my first miggy and as i had no idea how to copy games myself - in my school days it was tape cassettes, copying protected floppies was a no no - i purchased most of the games I played.
the games industry has moved on and game design sensibilities are far more developed than they were back then, but there is a couple of things i miss. I miss the huge amount of titles that used to come out - overheads for games devs were much lower and more devs were open to innovating and trying new stuff. yes there was loads of just 'ok' games and 'rubbish' but there was on the whole far more new IP. Because i had no internet back in the day magazines and window shopping was the only way to find out what was new in the shops - buying a new game was far more exciting, and more of a complete experience of getting a new game, you never new what you would find.
in the short term cracking and playing pirated games may have been bad.
But in the long-time those crackers have probably saved a lot of our games from simply vanishing.
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Old 06 March 2011, 16:25   #12
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All of the most successful consoles have suffered heavily from piracy and thrived, it's wrong to suggest that every pirated game equals lost revenue for the developer, sure they would lose some revenue but you could equally argue that awareness generated by piracy results in more sales of a game. ie. me telling others about a (pirated) game and them going out and buying it when otherwise none of us would have even heard of it.

For that reason piracy might even benefit smaller developers providing they created a good game to begin with, not all developers can afford massive advertising campaigns or to give magazines wads of cash for favourable reviews <cough> EA.
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Old 06 March 2011, 16:52   #13
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but you could equally argue that awareness generated by piracy results in more sales of a game. ie. me telling others about a (pirated) game and them going out and buying it when otherwise none of us would have even heard of it.

For that reason piracy might even benefit smaller developers providing they created a good game to begin with
C'mon.. You do not really beleive what you wrote here, do you ?

Thats just some wish thinking. Piracy will NEVER help to sell more games, NEVER !

And about massive advertising: We have the internet, it's cheap and great for that purpose.
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Old 06 March 2011, 17:27   #14
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Thats just some wish thinking. Piracy will NEVER help to sell more games, NEVER !
I'm not so sure. While it is very unlikely for one single game, it can surely help raise the public attention for a certain franchise or company. (E.g. Larry 1 was heavily pirated, but that didn't hurt Sierra one bit imho.)

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And about massive advertising: We have the internet
Yeah, but we didn't have it back then.

What would be interesting, is whether there was less piracy on the IBM? I don't think so.
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Old 06 March 2011, 17:43   #15
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C'mon.. You do not really beleive what you wrote here, do you ?

Thats just some wish thinking. Piracy will NEVER help to sell more games, NEVER !
Okay, wasn't around for a bit, so some additional food for thoughts :

1.) You pay the publisher, not the developer of the game. Of course they can can support innovative developers with that money, but more likely they invest in concepts that paid off in the past and spend the odd buck on new games, not the other way around.

2.) I wouldn't be too confident about how little people use pirated games as a test version before they buy the game. Also I don't think that the statement 'people who accept/use pirated software wouldn't have bought the original anyway' is that far off. Just saying that piracy = lost sales might not be 100% true.

3.) That said, of course piracy hurts the software market, but if you look how the market (i.e. sales) has grown during the past 20 years, it can't be that bad as the publishers claim.

Anyway, my main point is that piracy played a minor role in the demise of the Amiga and I don't think that a system has ever died because there was piracy on it.
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Old 06 March 2011, 18:10   #16
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1.) You pay the publisher, not the developer of the game. Of course they can can support innovative developers with that money, but more likely they invest in concepts that paid off in the past and spend the odd buck on new games, not the other way around.
If a game sells well then the publisher AND the developer will earn more money. Sometimes even the publisher is also the developer.


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I wouldn't be too confident about how little people use pirated games as a test version before they buy the game. Also I don't think that the statement 'people who accept/use pirated software wouldn't have bought the original anyway' is that far off. Just saying that piracy = lost sales might not be 100% true.
Of course people also played games they would never have bought, while they were free as piracy products then why not play them... But the games they would have bought they didn't buy for the waste majority if they got access to a working pirated version.


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Anyway, my main point is that piracy played a minor role in the demise of the Amiga
At least we agree on that point
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Old 06 March 2011, 18:29   #17
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Just because a developer/publisher earns money of a bit of software dos`t mean that they will put that money back into new software. Generalie they just rehash what they started with and what sells.

last time I looked there were new games been made for all the systems and you can pirate them if you so wish, the industrie will still be there in the morning
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Old 06 March 2011, 18:50   #18
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C'mon.. You do not really beleive what you wrote here, do you ?

Thats just some wish thinking. Piracy will NEVER help to sell more games, NEVER !
It's impossible to know because it's all theoretical, just because someone pirates a game doesn't mean that they would have otherwise bought it, most of those who pirate are generally the poorest in society and could not afford to buy it even if they wanted to.

Back in the PS1 days I used to tell friends at school all about games I had 'obtained' and a week or so later they would own an original, so in some cases developers do gain more sales because of piracy and word of mouth.

Piracy is also used by a lot of people as a tool similar to game demos, so a certain percentage of pirated downloads will also translate into real purchases that may not have been made without having first tried it.

Quote:
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And about massive advertising: We have the internet, it's cheap and great for that purpose.
True, but still many people would not even know a game existed unless they first saw it advertised on TV.

I personally think lower prices would help to reduce piracy and increase sales and they'd probably make similar profits as a result, but 40 seems to have become the accepted norm no matter how poor a game is.
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Old 06 March 2011, 18:54   #19
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Just because a developer/publisher earns money of a bit of software dos`t mean that they will put that money back into new software. Generalie they just rehash what they started with and what sells.
Yes, and what does sell ? the games with wich they gained most money.

If a game sells well, they do a sequel, or even more, look at the Ultima games, or Final fantasy, or all the other great series. If the first game wouldn't have bring them enough money, they would probably never had another.

The money game companies gain with their games will always help to make the following games better. This are just facts, i don't even understand how anyone can argue against that. Tell me that 1+1 does not give 2, that would be the same.


.. please don't show me exemples now of 1+1 giving not 2, i mean you know 1+1 in boolean binary means 1 or 1 and is equal to 1 in that case

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It's impossible to know because it's all theoretical, just because someone pirates a game doesn't mean that they would have otherwise bought it, most of those who pirate are generally the poorest in society and could not afford to buy it even if they wanted to.

Back in the PS1 days I used to tell friends at school all about games I had 'obtained' and a week or so later they would own an original, so in some cases developers do gain more sales because of piracy and word of mouth.

Piracy is also used by a lot of people as a tool similar to game demos, so a certain percentage of pirated downloads will also translate into real purchases that may not have been made without having first tried it.



True, but still many people would not even know a game existed unless they first saw it advertised on TV.

I personally think lower prices would help to reduce piracy and increase sales and they'd probably make similar profits as a result, but 40 seems to have become the accepted norm no matter how poor a game is.
I give up, i don't want to waste my mental power and time on arguing against piracy, you know my point of view, i will re-post on this thread if ever it changed

Last edited by TCD; 06 March 2011 at 19:13. Reason: Back to back posts merged. Use multi-quote.
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Old 06 March 2011, 19:04   #20
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Originally Posted by Lord Riton View Post
The money game companies gain with their games will always help to make the following games better. This are just facts, i don't even understand how anyone can argue against that. Tell me that 1+1 does not give 2, that would be the same.


.. please don't show me exemples now of 1+1 giving not 2
I gave you the example of Leisure Suit Larry already. Don't you think Ultima was pirated? Richard Garriott became rich anyway.

And btw., more money does not always equal to better games.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Riton View Post
I give up, i don't want to waste my mental power and time on arguing against piracy, you know my point of view, i will re-post on this thread if ever it changed
You want to discuss only if everyone shares your opinion? Oh dear

Last edited by TCD; 06 March 2011 at 19:14. Reason: Back to back posts merged. Use multi-quote.
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