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Old 25 October 2014, 14:42   #21
Akira
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Originally Posted by edd_jedi View Post
It's a bit like the music industry now - people don't make money from music any more because 99% of music in distribution is pirated
Artists don't make money because the fucking record companies, distributors and more mammoths of the obsolete music business model take it all. You're very confused about what happens.
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Old 25 October 2014, 16:10   #22
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Wow, this is 2014 right? I'll never understand how a free individual in first world country may deliberately choose to speak like a corporate parrot. I can type an essay here about why piracy exists and why it always will be but if a grown ass person hasn't broadened his horizons until now then its safe to assume he lacks the intellectual capacity and never will.

Anti piracy talk has always been a lame propaganda method of the greedy publishers and stockholders who don't really care about gaming or the labor of developers and it's so obviously manipulated that it only works on the weak-minded.

-These are not the droids you're looking for.
-These are not the droids I'm looking for.
-Oh and remember, whenever some software company goes bankrupt, it's because of the pirates.
-It's all because of piracy sir. You can go about your business. Move along, move along.
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Old 25 October 2014, 16:18   #23
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The market traders that were charging 1 per disk, they must have been getting the games from somewhere and making a profit on them, were they paying the cracking teams to crack games?
No, in the cases where cracks were used they were probably taking them from someone on the scene for nothing and selling them so the cracking groups didn't get a cut of those profits.

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Was there a financial reward for the first team to crack a new commercial game?
Nope, see above. The only reason to get a first release was the prestige amongst your peers and that, along with the technical challenge and in some cases getting free games, tends to be the reason for cracking games even as far back as the Apple II days for most people taking part. i'm not trying to paint the cracking scene as whiter than white because almost everybody involved knew that they were doing something illegal, but selling pirated games is a far more morally questionable wrong.

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I'm sure the teams cracking games must have realised they were basically killing the games companies, and I can imagine for developers it must have been disheartening to spend all that time making a game only for it to be cracked.
Some of the crackers worked for the games companies, the best protection programmers tended to be (not always) lapsed pirates because pulling apart protection schemes was a good way to learn about writing your own.

And i can't remember a single case of a company being demonstrably killed by cracking; that's usually done by shifts in the market, the next generation of systems moving the goalposts and increasing development overheads or in a few cases just sheer bone-headed stupidity at management level.

The "piracy is killing" argument gets trotted out a lot, but it falls apart when you consider how the industry went from the Amiga with reasonably solid on-disk protection to prevent home users copying games to the PC where... well, there wasn't any protection past some relatively easy to bypass off-disk stuff because the market wanted hard disk installation. If piracy had really been a problem then moving from one platform with piracy to another with bucketloads of piracy doesn't make sense whilst doing so because the grass looked greener does.

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Originally Posted by edd_jedi View Post
It's a bit like the music industry now - people don't make money from music any more because 99% of music in distribution is pirated
Musicians don't make much money from music these days, but companies still make a pretty penny and all the rhetoric you hear about piracy killing music comes from them in the same way the "home taping is killing music" campaign did in the 1980s. Ask yourself how all those big labels with thousands or even tens of thousands of employees worldwide still keep making profits if only 1% of sold music makes them money... either that 1% is a ridiculously huge amount of sales in it's own right to the point where us regular people would be embarrassed to complain about receiving it or someone in the chain is lying about how they're doing.
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Old 25 October 2014, 17:06   #24
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Would you like to hear a story about why piracy exist right out of the mouth of a third-worlder? Here it is.

I'm living in a country with a mediocre economy. Not gonna tell which one. Mods probably know as they know my ip. We're not gonna starve anytime soon but most people are unable to save money after they pay for their rent, food, taxes and transit costs.

I'm one of the luckier of the bunch and have posh hobbies like GAMING and own over 300 steam originals. Also paying money on multiple MMO subs for over a decade. At some point I were paying for 5 different accounts. An original copy of a game is considered a luxury here for very valid reasons.

Steam exists for years, we used to pay via paypal and paid the exact price northern Americans did as everything was priced at USD.

Last month Civilization: Beyond Earth was priced at 49.99 USD here as everywhere else. That was translating into 112 units of the local currency. It's safe to think it as a US citizen paying 112 USD for it because this is what it calculates to when you take local purchasing power into consideration.

Last week steam decided to convert to our national currency in our geographic zone and removed paypal support and our ability to pay with USD. Turned out this was a good move because the new prices more accurately represented local purchasing power and the new price displayed at national currency was only 75; just around 35 USD. Still heavier on the wallet than an US citizen's, purchasing power concerned but I were happy since I were one of the luckier locals.

Two days later someone; either steam, or the publisher (2K games) decided this could go on no longer for some unknown reason. Some claim the local distributor (which is a monopoly) forced the publisher but this can't be proven.

Anyway, right now Civilization: Beyond Earth is priced at 170 units of my national currency. This literally translates to 75 USD but actually represents an US citizen paying 170 USD for this game when you take purchasing power into consideration. (this is an approximate but trust me, it really means that exact thing)

Now be in my shoes and ask this. This game is sold for 50 USD worldwide and everyone involved is able to make profit. It was for sale for around 35 USD here and people could still profit from it. I'm dead sure it's cheaper in countries with weaker economies (I know because russians often sell their locally purchased cheap copies here) and the new 75 USD price tag is a big bold FUCK YOU in the face.

Would you ever pay those people a dime?

I also happen to work in the interactive media industry and people work on monthly paychecks. Developers get JACK SHIT from sales numbers.

People here never specifically enjoyed owning pirated copies; it's just that it was the only way software existed until late 2000s and people, right now, are fine with paying a locally adjusted prices even though it's significantly harder on their wallet compared to a luckier foreigner but make us pay 170 units of the local currency whereas people in stronger economies pay 50 and we will not pay at all; people in the third world have the exact average IQ you do; if not more.

Edit: I've always believed paying for a pirated copy was contradictory with the reasons of piracy and always avoided it because people who're into commercial piracy are often also into worse stuff like mafia business, weapon dealing and prostutution.

Edit 2: Whomever enjoys an indie game and decides to pirate it is a dick. Piracy is only valid as long as it's an initiative against greed. Just pay the lone talent what he deserves will you? You're paying your waiter, your taxi driver and some other lame ass idiot for their worthless ass labor so please pay the developer for his/her creative genius!

Last edited by Lobotomika; 26 October 2014 at 02:53.
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Old 25 October 2014, 17:07   #25
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personally i never paid money for a pirated game, we just used to swap disks with friends or at "computer clubs".

these days i don't pirate anything, i don't play games anymore. i don't even download music or films, i buy CDs and DVDs from second hand shops or charity shops, which i'm sure the industry would also like to put a stop to but there's no law against it, yet! the move towards iTunes, official games downloads &c threatens to put a stop to legitimate second-hand markets, with Kindle even books are going that way. I'll always prefer physical media and i refuse to pay full price for MP3s!

i don't think piracy "kills" anything really, you can argue about how right or wrong it is but on the whole i think people pay as much for games/music as they want to, and if it wasn't for piracy people wouldn't buy more they'd just do without. or make a double bass out of a tea chest and form a skiffle group in the garage.
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Old 25 October 2014, 17:37   #26
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Great post from Galahad which should answer the OP's question and hopefully challenge some of his questionable assumptions.

Part of that fun and excitement can definitively be felt in some of the intros and the messages within! (stupid girls )
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Old 25 October 2014, 23:53   #27
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In the 80s and early 90s in Hungary there was no real option to purchase original software, therefore we had no other chance to play games than to copy cracked versions from friends. Now I have more than a thousand original boxed games for Amiga, DOS and Windows and a 2000+ games library on Steam, GOG and Gamersgate.
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Old 26 October 2014, 02:09   #28
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People with families, rents, mortgages, even in fairly affluent countries can only afford to purchase so many things, so most of the losses to piracy probably weren't actual losses, its not a loss if you were never going to buy the thing in the first place.

I see some posters from Eastern Europe - had a reputation as being notorious for piracy, even complete and still patented bits of hardware were pirated, presumably sold openly, advertised?

But it makes sense when you realise that a large portion of the population just couldn't afford the official and more expensive machines - these weren't lost sales for Sinclair, et al, (the pirated machines always seemed to be a generation behind, were there any copied amigas?) since they would have never sold in these markets anyway, its hard to export from a strong economy to a weak one and have it be worthwhile.

I think wherever they were, most people still bought as many full, legit copies as they could afford/obtain (and sure, some would never pirate, some would only pirate). Here in the UK as a child, fairly average family, I had a Sega Megadrive for about 2 years as my main gaming machine. I probably had about 12 legit games cartridges for it by the end - you could get pirated carts but it was more difficult, most people I knew had entirely legit collections.

With the Amiga which took over gaming duties for me, I probably had about the same number of bought games after the same time, and of course many copied games free from friends, I could never have paid for.
I switched to the PS1 after that, still in education I had little money but never mod chipped and pirated anything for it, all original bought titles, and again about the same number after the same time, for a similar cost.

Today I like to collect the real games, ROM's are a great resource, but nothing is so special as the real thing.

I have *0* interest in Steam or most modern games, even though i own a pretty decent PC which is probably more powerful than an XBONE in raw power - I doubt I'll ever own one of the current gen of consoles either, since they're immensely unimpressive.

Most of my limited gaming time today is on old hardware with real games.

I've said this before on here but Commodore probably made more money off my folks than Sega or Sony ever did , due to the cost of the hardware. I still think a fair part of Commodore's business model/success with the Amiga 500 initially was on purpose / accidentally, due to piracy, they must have known that similar things happened with previous computers aimed at the same market.

Maybe we should all thank piracy for making our favourite machines so popular, perhaps and economically viable for C= in the first place, since it clearly today was never going to be accepted as a "serious" business machine and compete with IBM on that level, IBM got there first and stayed there.

Kinda cheapens the legacy no? PC folk of the day were no better though, I also recall some of those PC owning weirdos exchanging disks in the 286 equipped computer room at school, just as brave, hearty, fresh-air loving pimply amiganauts would in the playground, none of the staff seemed to care at all - i even had a copied copy of F29 just to run at school at lunchtime. Probably be instant expulsion for similar activities these days.
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Old 26 October 2014, 02:28   #29
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The whole argument that piracy kills the industry is a load of bollocks. I used to call it 'evaluation software' as, if the software was good, I would buy it. I also used to really enjoy the crack intros and the effort that was put in. Sometimes it would be a case of getting a game just to see these cracktros lol. I remember the cracked version of R-Type I had on the C64 actually allowed two players to play simultaneously as co-op!
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Old 26 October 2014, 02:59   #30
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I see some posters from Eastern Europe - had a reputation as being notorious for piracy, even complete and still patented bits of hardware were pirated, presumably sold openly, advertised?
El oh el. We used to have pirated HARDWARE here, 1:1 copies of NES and Mega Drive systems were shipped from china and there also was a market for games.

I don't know much since I paid for the originals when it came to consoles even back in the day but I'm glad all my friends had access to technology that was aimed for their age. Now most of them live elsewhere, places with stronger economies, thanks to the fact that piracy penetrated a barrier for them back in the day. They would probably be local plumbers and shit otherwise.
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Old 26 October 2014, 06:09   #31
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Lawks! I knew I was going out on a limb by posting views that I know to be controversial as they've been shot down in flames before, but I was hoping for a bit of back up from the respected elders around here. I'm technically an ex-scener, and I'll share some "straight from the horse's mouth" evidence from some surprisingly well-known names (skip to the end, tedium fans), but let me first apologise for any offence caused...

When I suggested that C64-owning Fins, Danes, Swedes, Belgians (and so on) who were denied the chance to purchase and choose from the same readily-available stream of US and UK commercial releases that we so enjoyed over here, via either one of the ubiquitous high-street chains, or the many independent retailers/mail-order advertisers, turned to piracy out of desperation and/or necessity in order to keep up with current trends, I didn't mean it as an insult: I was simply recalling the content of many articles, letters and classified ads featured in UK magazines at the time. Until the late 80s and early 90s, we were told that mainland Europe's only contribution to the "computer scene" was piracy of US and UK software, on a massive scale.

(This was in an era before developers such as Rainbow Arts, Factor 5, Thalion, Digital Illusions, Boys Without Brains, Bloodhouse, Team 17 (etc.) made their mark of course.. despite all of them, incidentally, being made up of members with a connection to piracy.. but that's by the by..)

Anyway.

Casual users of "wares" might ask: wasn't piracy of US and UK software much, MUCH worse in the US and UK itself? Don't misundersand me - in the mid 1980s I was happily reaping a regular harvest of "free" games for my Atari 800XL, supplied on ROB.C or IAN.K boot disks by a friend whose father was a "notorious Atari pirate", without me ever wondering how or why. It was the same when I upgraded to an Amiga in early 1988, a decision I made safe in the knowledge that my Amiga-owning friend who attended a weekly "computer club" would share his wares with me. And herein lies the rub...

In the years 1983 to 1988 I never really paid attention to the text contained within crack intros or screens. Did you? Thinking back though, all of us (irregardless of itchy fingers for mouse-buttons or spacebars) can remember the exotica contained within: "imported by", "PLK", "Poste Restante", "FDR", "Italian Bad Boys", "Danish Gold" ... not to mention the German, Dutch and other languages that would often scroll by. Did no-one in the UK think it strange that the hot game you wanted for free had to bounce half-way across the world before you could have it? Often before it was officially released!?

Is my memory faulty or, beyond supplying original copies of software (either physical or via modem), wasn't it YEARS before a UK game was branded as cracked by a UK cracker for a UK team and released with the UK in mind? I reiterate: all of that hard work done by Chatterbox in Antwerp was not intended to be exploited by Kevin in Derby, selling a UK game deprotected in Belgium to his school chums, taking the credit for "ripping it off" and making a tidy profit...

Harrrrrruumph.

No-one's listening anymore. Never mind. I'll post some quotes for the enjoyment of Galahad and Stingray anyway, as I drop some names from the past and relate stuff I was told or overheard...

IRATA/RED SECTOR (Dirk, West Germany): I had cause to speak to him on the phone in 1989-ish as he was impressed by my music demo disk.. knowing his reputation I was expecting the conversation to turn to "wares" so I thought I'd cut him off by asking what releases he had... his reply (the gist, anyway): "You have an original to send? You want me to send to you - what, cracks?! In England!? Why would I do that? You have everything we can't get, so you send to us and we make it available here and around the world. If we send to you, no-one will buy it and no more soft will be make..."

JESTER/QUARTEX (Colin, England): He was due to make a guest appearance at a "copy party" of "lamers" in the UK, early 1990, which he eventually did. His "wares" were in demand, but he was gradually drip-feeding his offerings much to everyone's impatience. Why the delay? His answer (the gist): "I've got loads of stuff, but I'm not giving you <X>, <Y> and <Z> [big name UK games] - they're for the BBS in Germany and America, so you'll have to buy 'em or buy a modem". He might have then twiddled his moustache.

ACTION MAN/CRYSTAL ETC (Scotland, 1991): Conversation on the phone (the gist): "Nah, we've been told by our supplier [well-known commercial distributor] that they'll only give us stuff now strictly for export to countries they're not selling in, so can you do me some fake addresses and valid numbers for places like Portugal, Spain and Italy when you do the intro.."

* * *

Diamonds are forever,
Storm - the fucking best,
Kill a commie for your mommy,
New stuff from HQC - yummy yummy!

There can be only one.....
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Old 26 October 2014, 11:30   #32
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Cracking groups were like heroes of mine.

Part of the fondness i had/have for amiga games was watching the intro, reading the text bouncing around the screen, the included trainers, gfx demos. watching the fairlight cracktro buzz onto screen.

does/is/has piracy affected the music industry? nope, just the music industry itself.

I think in the 90s andy warhol said "pop will eat itself" and its true of the industry. Its become so greedy, so desperate for money, you just have to watch the X-Factor in the UK (or everywhere for that matter) to see what a circus its all become. 1 minute an act is the latest best new thing, then tomorrow its discarded for someone newer.

Another reason is in the 80/90s if you wanted to listen to a song, you had the radio, mtv or to buy a cassette. Most people bought music as it enabled you to listen to your fave band/artist anytime.

Now, if you want to listen to rhiannas latest song, you can watch/listen on youtube, spotify, millions of music channels, so many ways so you dont "need" to own the cd anymore.

right now, im connected to the internet, i HAVE THE POWER to download right now, any song, any album in a matter of seconds... do i? no, because i cant be bothered! i dont have any song in my head that im prepared to spend 10 mins of my life downloading.

whats that say about the music industry? or me getting older? i dunno, i do have a massive song collection on my ipods but thats mostly music from 10/15 years ago, new stuff of course but dance music is not what it used to be...

I have to say we amiga people do come from the Golden Era of video games.

How many forums do you think will be called English Playstation4 Board in 30 years time?

do ps4 owners go to school with games lists and a pile of black bluerays? copying thier mates a selection while they return the favor?

Cracked intros/games are a big part of amiga folklore for me.

I can remember getting atomic robokid and listening to the intro crack music and thinking this is the coolest tune ever! (enola gay chip music) little things like that which made cracked games so amazing.

I do also have a vast collection of boxed originals too, amiga games were cheap and i had no issues with buying them.

It just became a ball ache for a legit owner to then have to navigate copy protection, code wheels, game manual code checks etc cracked copies were much more user friendly
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Old 26 October 2014, 12:10   #33
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Part of the fondness i had/have for amiga games was watching the intro, reading the text bouncing around the screen, the included trainers, gfx demos. watching the fairlight cracktro buzz onto screen.
Actually that is so very true for me too on the Amiga and C64. Some games I had a few versions of (C64) as I couldn't decide which one to keep because they both had awesome intros for the time
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Old 26 October 2014, 13:54   #34
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In the years 1983 to 1988 I never really paid attention to the text contained within crack intros or screens. Did you?
i did yes, mostly because my interest in cracks was the intros and the demos that arrived on the spread disks with them.

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Is my memory faulty or, beyond supplying original copies of software (either physical or via modem), wasn't it YEARS before a UK game was branded as cracked by a UK cracker for a UK team and released with the UK in mind?
Your memory is faulty because the UK scene was cracking for trading within the UK scene pretty much from day one; the earlier one-man-bands like The Mad Mekon (who i got my start in the scene with by supplying originals to) were trading almost exclusively within the UK, with the people or later groups who swapped internationally added imported cracks to the mix of releases doing the rounds.

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I reiterate: all of that hard work done by Chatterbox in Antwerp was not intended to be exploited by Kevin in Derby, selling a UK game deprotected in Belgium to his school chums, taking the credit for "ripping it off" and making a tidy profit...
Again, there were local lamers everywhere so singling out Kevin (who lives in Grimsby in my head) and the UK out like that is something of an insult to the people who founded crews like Ikari, NATO, Pulsar, Doughnut Cracking Service, Hotline, Zenith, Scouse Cracking Group, Fusion, Talent or the Teesside Cracking Service.
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Old 26 October 2014, 15:01   #35
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At least half of this discussion can be summarised in one sentence:-

Anything that can earn money, attracts people who are in it only for the money.

Games industry, music industry, cracking groups... the above applies to all of them.
There was always "that guy" in every group who made money from the work of people, usually high-school kids or students, who did it for the fun/thrill/challenge.

This is how the world works, and to think that cracking groups existed in their own little bubble where this activity didn't happen is naive at best.

No point in a longer post since Galahad (+ TMR + others) pretty much nailed exactly how it was...
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Old 26 October 2014, 19:03   #36
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wall of... insert something not insulting
Yikes, do you believe yourself, what you're posting here?

I'm really sorry all people in western germany (including your friend from RSI) were still living on trees, waiting for someone to invent the wheel.

We were so jealous about the fabulous situation in the UK and the US, we even tried to develop such ridiculous games as Turrican. Even the frenchies tried to equal the UK/US brilliance with those poor attempts like Future Wars or Another World, but they just failed. That's why Eric Chahi started to overflow the UK/US with millions of cracks, just to destroy their superior gaming industry.

Please don't be angry with us continental europeans though, since we had no fancy magazines, no adverts and shops were invented here just two years ago.

sigh.

btw: I guess I'm a few years older than you or at least at the same age and I can send you some scans of the ASM (popular german magazine full of fancy adverts) if you like.
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Old 26 October 2014, 19:11   #37
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I totally disagree with that statement. Where are the facts?
Well for a start, here's a fact for you:

http://thetrichordist.com/2013/06/24...-t-shirt-sale/

I have many musician friends, I assure you there is no money in digital music sales. Why the hell do you think U2 gave away their latest album? As I said, musicians make their money from touring these days, not music sales as they did before the internet. Do a little reading up if you don't believe me.
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Old 26 October 2014, 19:12   #38
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Worldwide publishing/Game imports. Maybe Mark never heard of it. We had all the original US+UK games. The more exotic ones mainly via mail order, but all the main stream stuff was available in stores since the good old Atari VCS times.
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Old 26 October 2014, 19:29   #39
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Worldwide publishing/Game imports. Maybe Mark never heard of it. We had all the original US+UK games. The more exotic ones mainly via mail order, but all the main stream stuff was available in stores since the good old Atari VCS times.
Stop lying, I've never heard of something like a store before 2011.
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Old 26 October 2014, 19:30   #40
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Worldwide publishing/Game imports. Maybe Mark never heard of it. We had all the original US+UK games. The more exotic ones mainly via mail order, but all the main stream stuff was available in stores since the good old Atari VCS times.
Shh, Mark doesn't want to listen to first hand reports from the countries he mentions and rather trust 'what he has been told' back in the day Bit sad that we won't make him reconsider his theory.
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