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Old 27 June 2002, 18:29   #1
Dastardly
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PIRACY! Good or Bad?

It seems to me that one thing that most of the successful consoles/computers have in common is the copying of its games.
From the early 8-bits to the 'next gen' systems of today, piracy has always been around.
Do you think that the industry would benefit from the eradication of software copying? or do you think it actually helps sell machines?
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Old 27 June 2002, 18:47   #2
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I'm not sure the right question is being asked here.

Maybe another question should be: are games to expensive?

I found myself in this position, currently some games out there are very good but the pricing is incredible. How do you expect me to support a family and still spend 60 Euro for each game I want to play, only in some cases to find out I just bought a piece of crap. I recently bought Starcraft+broodwar for 20 Euro, I-war 5 Euro. These are oldies but goodies ( taste differs I know!).
I mean to make a point here, if games where not so expensive maybe all this pirating wouldn't be needed. If your target group is young people and you're charging prices only bank managers can afford ( maybe a little overboard here !) what do you expect will happen? And don't think the parents are going to come to the rescue here,spending 120 Euro each month just on a couple of games, yeah right.
The major players in the software market shouldn't be so greedy and lower their prices. In the end it probably would mean they would be making a lot more money and wasn't that the goal in the first place?
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Old 27 June 2002, 18:58   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rotr
I'm not sure the right question is being asked here.

Maybe another question should be: are games to expensive?
No, that is a completely different question. I dont think there are many people who would argue that games have always been too expensive (except developers). An argument to that is, if you cant afford it, you simply dont have it.

My question was more along the lines of, ...is piracy healthy for the industry?
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Old 27 June 2002, 19:15   #4
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It much depends on the kind of people who pirate.

If we take piracy in windows, then that's undoubtly what made it so popular as it is right now. So in that way you could say it's bad.

Some people go and buy all their games (spending all their money on that), and find that roughly 75% of the games they've bought they don't enjoy at all.

Then there are the other side with people who pirate most everything and use the pirated copies. Those guys do hurt the developers a bit since they don't pay for the stuff that's worth it.

I'm in a middle category. I don't have a problem with pirated software, and if I like the software then I usually go and buy it. Thus the developers who make software worth using are supported. Whereas the first group who buy everything will support all developers, even those who make crap but have a good marketing team. Take Dai katana for an example. Plenty of hype, but crap game.

Of course the price is a factor in how many people who will buy the originals. Steep prices mean that people will have to think better of wether the game/program is worth the price asked. I hadn't planned on buying duke nukem since it looked good, but I hadn't played it and I was somewhat sure that it would be a disappointment. When I found out that the suggested retail price was half of normal games and stumbled across it I bought it without much thought. And actually that's one of the better games I've bought. Most other games I've bought without having a demo or copy usually ended up disappointing me greatly.
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Old 27 June 2002, 21:17   #5
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Piracy helps to kill machines.....

ok, so people might think i'll buy a super wonderful console and get a load of games off my mate. this is a bad thing, publishers who lose money to piracy, will not produce titles for that console, take a look at the Dreamcast, a great piece of hardware, better than the PS2 is someways, but i died because piracy was huge on it... a real shame

sega now make more money by producing for other formats, at least we still get the "classic" sega games.

---

Piracy has 2 main forms....

personal piracy

... you buy/hire from a shop, and copy
... you copy from friend

mass piracy

... you download
... you buy from a dealer
... you buy from a market

both are wrong, and harm the game industry.

SIMPLE
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Old 27 June 2002, 22:37   #6
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You say the Dreamcast died because of piracy?
I dont think ANY machine ever was harmed by piracy. If that was the case then the Amiga wouldnt have lasted as long as it did.

I dont think its that simple. The original Playstation had its games copied as much as any system ever and yet it was a huge success. I think that you are right in so far as it does affect sales of games obviously, but if a machines games are easily copied, then some people will be more likely to buy one. Id actually say that a machines sales benefit from piracy and it would be in the interest of the manafacturer to make the games easy to copy.
I personally bought an Amiga BECAUSE I knew I could get free games and bought the ones I really liked. I did the same with the Playstation and Im sure Im not alone.
I think games publishers keep the price of games artificially high to soften the impact of sales lost through piracy. There will always be people who buy all of their games (I do now) but there will also be people who copy.

Last edited by Dastardly; 27 June 2002 at 22:43.
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Old 28 June 2002, 00:22   #7
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Problem with consoles and piracy though is that the manufacturers expect to earn a lot on the games. They market the consoles now so they lose money with every console sold. Thus the games would have to bring in the lost money.

Amigas were (as far as I know) sold at a reasonable price. Not something they lost money on with every sale.

Personally I'd like to have a dreamcast. And would buy the games I liked if I could get my hands on them.
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Old 28 June 2002, 02:11   #8
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Agreed consoles are sold at a loss these days, but mass piracy didnt harm the Playstation. I think if anything, it helped sell more machines.
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Old 28 June 2002, 02:47   #9
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But if it helped sell more machines but no games then it's not too good anyway. Sony lost from it if they lost from one then they lost plenty from more.
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Old 28 June 2002, 02:50   #10
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See this picture, the playstation was not sold in Brazil, thanks to piracy. Sony always stated that its decision was due to piracy that would turn the whole thing unprofitable.
And still there is no official Dreamcast, Playstation II or X-box being sold in Brazil. We have to buy them outside. Not one of them will be sold here, even when we are a market of 170 million potential consumers.
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Old 28 June 2002, 03:26   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dastardly You say the Dreamcast died because of piracy?
I dont think ANY machine ever was harmed by piracy. If that was the case then the Amiga wouldnt have lasted as long as it did...
Actually the piracy problem was not as rampant in the Amiga community as say the Atari ST. You really need a killer app for any kind of machine to make it big, that is to say, sell enough to pass the critical mass stage where there is enough of an installed base of machines to make releasing new titles onto a viable business option. Let's face it, game companies are in it, for the most part, to make money. Not neccessarily to make something that they wanna play and to have others enjoy it too. There are exceptions to this of course, but hey these are businesses and they have to make money for their investors/shareholders, wether this is for good or bad makes no difference as they are only beholding to making money so they can continue to make new titles in the future. This may be a very cynical view of it, but actually I'm being realistic, if I want to see more titles from publishers that I like then I really need to support them by buying their titles that I'm interested in playing, not bu pirating them.

Ok off my soapbox now
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Old 28 June 2002, 08:36   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Drake1009
But if it helped sell more machines but no games then it's not too good anyway. Sony lost from it if they lost from one then they lost plenty from more.

I use Bleem! alot and found that I bought more playstation games (because of this emulator) than I did computer games. and yet Sony shut them down. So if Bleem! was making Sony soo much money on games why wouldnt they welcome them?...my answer ...because they still made money off the consoles themselves.......why else would they have been soo pissed?
 
Old 28 June 2002, 09:06   #13
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I remember one of the bosses at Sony recently recognized that piracy helped selling a lot of Playstations, making it the huge success we all know.

Also we must consider that Sony didn't publish that many games themselves, so the loss was only on royalties and not on production of the games.
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Old 28 June 2002, 09:49   #14
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If you haven't realized it there are still playstation emulators out there. I haven't used one in a long time but ePSXe ran fine when I tried it.

And yes, you'll need a BIOS.rom file. Kinda like the Amiga's kick.rom.
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Old 28 June 2002, 12:50   #15
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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...
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Old 28 June 2002, 18:14   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by ptrchiappe
I remember one of the bosses at Sony recently recognized that piracy helped selling a lot of Playstations, making it the huge success we all know.

Also we must consider that Sony didn't publish that many games themselves, so the loss was only on royalties and not on production of the games.
Exactly my point. Who knows, maybe it was even intentional
I think if the big manafacturers wanted to make piracy impossible, they would do it. IMO though, a little copying is healthy, (kinda like free advertising) but I do believe in buying the games that are genuinely worth the money.
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Old 28 June 2002, 21:25   #17
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I'd say piracy boosts hardware sales. The Sony example is fine, there are zillions of Playstations out there because teh machine is piratable as hell. And over here, the moment teh Dreamcast started to get pirated, the moment that sales boosted like shite. Everybody had a Dreamcast.

Personally I dont think it's ok, and I also don't think teh price for games is ok either. So I stay in teh grey zone
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Old 29 June 2002, 06:31   #18
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Hey FIssuras, the Dreamcast was indeed released here oficially, by Tec-Toy (The company that released the Saturn, the Mega-Drive, the Game Gear and the Master System before)

I can say with no doubt, that by far the most popular console here is the Playstation, and that's because od piracy. When someone asks "What's better to buy, a PSX or a N64?" everyone answers "A PSX, because you can buy games for R$ 10 (Pirated), against R$129 for the N64 games (Original)"

And the playstation was NEVER oficially released here, and still is the most popular console around here, beacuse of this. Both the Dreamcast and the Nintendo 64 were oficially released here., but none of them were sucessfull (The 1st one for being too damn expensive for our standards, the 2nd one because it's not easy to pirate N64 games)

I do pirate games, since I was a child. When I had an MSX, there was NO OPTION but pirate games, as there were no original releases here. The same with the Amiga (Actually, a bunch of original games were published here, around 92-93, but it was extremely hard to find them, and only old releases)

With the PC, I have some originals, but only because I bought them cheap. I have average games like Nightmare Creatures, because I could but them cheap, so I didn't mind. But the new releases are just too damn expensive, so I pirate them.

At last, here in Brazil, budget games got very popular in the last 2 years, so we can find lots of original games with a low price.
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Old 29 June 2002, 09:27   #19
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http://news.lycos.com/news/story.asp...4&from=lycoshp

Read it.
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Old 29 June 2002, 10:04   #20
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Warcraft 3 is available around here for sometime now ( a week or 2, I would say)
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