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Old 05-20-2008, 07:46 PM   #142
Phantom Joker
@Phantom Joker
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 142
Originally Posted by Scatter

the problem with that line of thought is that it completely ignores a well researched fact (one that almost the entire industry save for a few indie companies seem determined to ignore too): pirates don't buy games. period. average pirate joe blow illegally downloading a game doesn't equate to a lost sale, because if joe can't get the game for free, he simply won't bother getting it at all.
Not entirely true. I agree that the vast majority of pirates do not and will not buy the game. But it seems that there are enough, for lack of a better word, "casual" pirates that will shell out the money if they cannot get the game for free. An interesting article on Gamasutra by the director of marketing of Reflexive shows some of the numbers. To paraphrase, they estimated that for every 1000 pirates thwarted, they made 1 extra sale. So far, your point seems to be ahead. But here's the clincher, that 1:1000 ratio increased their sales by over 70%. That, my friend, is nothing to sneeze at, and that is why I say DRM is going to be with us until there are no more offline games.

all "anti-piracy" measures do is cost publishers a fortune
Say what you want about some of the publishers, I'm reasonably certain that they can do math. Do you believe that they would waste that money, time, and effort if they didn't think it would pay off?

...annoy legitimate customers
There, we are (mostly) in agreement. I've already stated that I'm not planning on picking up MEPC for that reason.

...for the reasons i stated above, the absolutely minute number of extra sales picked up by preventing piracy is totally insignificant.
Apparently not. See my point above.

this is ENTIRELY about a revenue stream publishers discovered with the advent of MMORPG's - and the distribution of software has been slowly heading toward a certain business model ever since.

...welcome to the future of gaming.
Agreed. Last I checked, business still kept score in money.

Now, for the record, I'm going to say that I cannot justify game piracy on any ethical or moral grounds. (And yes, in the interest of full disclosure, I have made copies of games in the past.) However, from a practical standpoint, I will also stipulate that it's near impossible to eliminate it. Again though, from a practical standpoint, the publishers have every right to do what they can to maximize their profits. Whether you agree with me or not, well, that's what these forums are for.

The question then is: what is "reasonable?" For my way of thinking, I'm going to refer to that Gamasutra article again for a bit. One thing that jumped out was that the first--minimal--fixes that the publishers put on the game (fixing existing exploits and known keygens) increased sales by 70%. Further fixes and increased DRM resulted only in minor decreases or increases in sales.

In short
Do I believe that game publishers have the right to put DRM protection on their games? Yes.

Even ridiculously over-bearing and counter-productive ones? Yes.

Do I believe that consumers have the right to donwload cracked copies that they didn't pay for on the basis of draconian DRM? No.

Do I believe that consumers have the right not to buy (or play) the game on the basis of draconian DRM? You bet.

I don't know where the line is and I suspect that it lies with each consumer, but my 2 cents worth says that a three-activation limit is over the line.

Missing: One warship with full complement. If found please contact W. Bligh.
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