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Dementium dev: We'll drop 3DS if piracy gets bad

Dementium dev: We'll drop 3DS if piracy gets bad

Thu 03 Jan 2013 8:33am GMT / 3:33am EST / 12:33am PST
HardwareDevelopment

Jools Watsham says idea that piracy leads to sales is "bulls**t"

Co-founder and game director of Renegade Kid, Jools Watsham, has warned that video game piracy on the 3DS could lead him to stop supporting the platform altogether.

"Piracy on the Nintendo DS crippled the DS retail market, especially in Europe," he explained on his personal blog.

"We'll never know how/if Dementium II landed in as many hands as the first game, Dementium: The Ward, due to the rampant piracy at the time."

He argued that Dementium II only sold half as many copies as the first game, and suggested that piracy was the reason behind it.

"If piracy gets bad on the 3DS, we will have no choice but to stop supporting the platform with new games."

And Watsham doesn't hold with some of the more fashionable ideas concerning video game piracy.

"Some say that piracy leads to more game sales, claiming that it enables players to try before they buy. Bullshit," he stated.

"The percentage of people who will spend money on a game that they already got for free is surely very small - especially with so many 'free' games already in the market. The line between what should/should not be free is getting very blurry."

Watsham was reacting to a report published by Tiny Cartridge, which announced that hackers were making progress in enabling custom code to be used on the Nintendo handheld.

46 Comments

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

1,584 1,438 0.9
"Some say that piracy leads to more game sales, claiming that it enables players to try before they buy. Bullshit," he stated.

"The percentage of people who will spend money on a game that they already got for free is surely very small
/Grammar pedant/ So, he readily admits that some gamers will buy a game after they've pirated it (just not very many) right after he dismisses the concept. Good-o. /Grammar pedant/

I think I'd be less facetious if I hadn't just read 2 different people saying they were contemplating getting Dark Souls whilst it was on offer on Amazon and Steam because they'd enjoyed playing the cracked version so much they want the legit version. *shrugs*

Posted:A year ago

#1

Matthew Bennett 3D Engine developer, Sitedesk

21 15 0.7
Popular Comment
Mr. Watsham
I see your point and I raise you a "People will pay for awesome".

Here's an example;
Look at the PC games market, thriving.
How easy is it to receive pirated content on a PC? Very.

I don't think more needs to be said as a sensible conversation about piracy is about as likely to happen as a sensible conversation about gay marriage in some certain unnamed states of the U.S.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Matthew Bennett on 3rd January 2013 10:04am

Posted:A year ago

#2

Andrew Animator

148 158 1.1

Posted:A year ago

#3

Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
Happens all the time. Developers and publishers allocate their resources according to where they will get a return on their investment. If people are stealing your games instead of buying them it makes such a return problematic. The consequence is obviously a re-allocation of resources.

Posted:A year ago

#4

Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

2,270 2,439 1.1
Kind of early to be jumping on the 3DS piracy talk when you can't pirate 3DS games to begin with.

Posted:A year ago

#5

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

1,584 1,438 0.9
@ Jim

If I was more cynical, I'd say he was laying the groundwork for an excuse should their future games sell poorly. ("The game was awesome, piracy killed sales.")

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 3rd January 2013 12:26pm

Posted:A year ago

#6

Andrew Animator

148 158 1.1
Ahh, I hadn't realised it wasn't possible. I assumed that if people were talking about the problem then the problem must exist.

Posted:A year ago

#7

Adam Campbell Associate Producer, Miniclip Ltd

1,183 973 0.8
I personally think piracy hurts games more than people realise or are willing to admit. Sadly, the most aggressive arguments I get are from people who actually do it themselves.

For me, I don't buy games at all if they're not good enough, when I do it is worth every penny. If the game doesn't have a demo it might miss out on me if I'm unsure but then there are alternatives such as renting and borrowing. That's enough of me though, I do think there is a lot of weight in the argument about sales vs piracy, especially if you can gain a good idea of the piracy levels for a particularly game and compare it to the sales.

Look at the PSP, there is no doubt piracy is one of the biggest contributing factors to poor game sales. The easier it becomes the more likely it is for the event to take place on a given platform. The sales of PSP games are abysmal, even the best selling titles considering the sheer number of users. Look at the piracy figures however....

Posted:A year ago

#8

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

1,584 1,438 0.9
@ Adam

I'm not debating that piracy does hurt sales to some extent. But Jools Watsham himself admits that a number of people would buy the game after pirating it, and this is the unknown factor that the pro/neutral piracy fanboys get so angry about when it's ignored.

As you yourself point out, the lack of a demo hurts sales. Why, then, do a number of publishers and developers studiously ignore the possibility of a demo, whilst complaining about piracy? It really would be nice if publishers and devs who scream about piracy actually released demos - not only would it give the consumer a good chance to try their product before laying down cash, but it would also kill the argument of pirating as a try-before-you-buy concept. That is, the only reason to then pirate the game would be to get the full version without paying for it.

Also, whilst renting/borrowing might be possible for console games, PC games are another matter.

Also:
Look at the piracy figures however....
I don't think I have to tell you how misleading what figures that do exist for piracy are. :) Any number of factors play into leeching/seeding pirated games, and the figures only give a small amount of information.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 3rd January 2013 3:27pm

Posted:A year ago

#9

Hugo Trepanier Senior UI Designer, Hibernum

156 144 0.9
So, he readily admits that some gamers will buy a game after they've pirated it (just not very many) right after he dismisses the concept.
I think his reasoning is probably more that they would get more sales if piracy was not a factor, ie people could no longer get it for free illegally so more of them would be forced to fork some cash to play it at all.

I also agree more publishers should release demos. Think about it, this is exactly the same as the free to play model, except instead of paying small amounts for doodads you pay a premium for decent content with actual value.

Posted:A year ago

#10

Adam Campbell Associate Producer, Miniclip Ltd

1,183 973 0.8
@Morville

Point #1 - PCs have more demos across the board compared to consoles. Though its still not absolute its an option in my personal case and an option for many.

Point #2 - Most 'figures' are misleading, but they all tell a story and have something in them. Its more than just a few download figures that tell a story of why so many people didn't bother to buy PSP games. It was also shocking to think most PSP owners I knew (which is no absolute or reflection of everyone by any means) had their PSPs packed full of games they never bought and simply downloaded at will.

Posted:A year ago

#11

Adam Campbell Associate Producer, Miniclip Ltd

1,183 973 0.8
@Morville

Point #1 - PCs have more demos across the board compared to consoles. Though its still not absolute its an option in my personal case and an option for many.

Point #2 - Most 'figures' are misleading, but they all tell a story and have something in them. Its more than just a few download figures that tell a story of why so many people didn't bother to buy PSP games. It was also shocking to think most PSP owners I knew (which is no absolute or reflection of everyone by any means) had their PSPs packed full of games they never bought and simply downloaded at will.

Posted:A year ago

#12

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

1,584 1,438 0.9
Both your points have weight, tis true. The problem is that they're not watertight, for want of a better word. For instance, Dark Souls has no demo, hence why people have pirated it, completed it, and are talking about buying it. Some Bethesda games are unavailable on the Steam store in Eastern Europe, due to licensing issues, so people in Romania can't buy Rage on Steam, for example.

It's one of those situations which the industry needs to really look at from both sides properly, rather than just apportioning blame, or blogging hyperbole. :)

Posted:A year ago

#13

Laurens Bruins Jaywalker, Jaywalkers Interactive

135 158 1.2
I hope Morville is right, because I'm pretty poor being indie and all that and I would really like it if other businesses would adopt this model: Go to the grocery store, take all the food you want and if you like it, you can come back and pay for it. I also think I'd try all kinds of food I normally don't, so they will earn more money too, because I don't want to waste money on something I don't like. And then if I like it, I will probably buy it later. I mean, most people would, wouldn't they? Business should be thriving and it will feed me now that I have no money! It's a win-win really, if you think about it. I would also really like a new car, so if these guys are smart they'd just give me one so I might buy it later. ;)

Posted:A year ago

#14

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

1,584 1,438 0.9
Mmmm... Sarcasm. :p

You could argue that I'm being generous to pirates, sure. You could argue that what I say isn't a valid business model, definitely. But, let's face it, piracy is here, and will always be here. irrelevant of platform. I'm not saying all pirates are goody-two-shoes who want to give the developers money. I'm saying that there are pirates out there who will pirate a game, and then buy it if they feel that they enjoy it enough to warrant spending their money on it even after they've completed it.

This is to contrast with the original article quote that
"Some say that piracy leads to more game sales, claiming that it enables players to try before they buy. Bullshit," he stated.
Edit: Also, Laurens, I do hope that the games you're involved in sell. Contrary to the heartless "information-just-wants-to-be-free" wanker-stereotype, a lot of the pirates who I talk to (run-of-the-mill leechers) actually want indie developers to earn a decent amount off the games they develop, so they can develop more awesome indie games. :)

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 3rd January 2013 6:30pm

Posted:A year ago

#15

Andrew Jakobs Lead Programmer

239 98 0.4
Well, I know hardly anybody who bought a game/movie/music after pirating it.. It's such bullocks.. People who pirate the game just don't want to spend any cash at all (really only a handfull actually does buy the retail after trying out the pirated version), most games these days have demo's which let's you test the game..
And sorry, but pirating because you cannot get the game through steam in your country is really big BS, just import it OR just leave it..

Posted:A year ago

#16

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

1,584 1,438 0.9
@ Andrew

Well, I can't convince you of something you don't want to believe. *shrugs*

Btw, found a demo for Dark Souls on the PC?
And sorry, but pirating because you cannot get the game through steam in your country is really big BS, just import it OR just leave it.
http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2214882

Hey, if the publisher doesn't want people to buy their games, they should just say so. :)

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 3rd January 2013 6:41pm

Posted:A year ago

#17

Andrew Animator

148 158 1.1
And sorry, but pirating because you cannot get the game through steam in your country is really big BS, just import it OR just leave it..
How exactly d oyou go about importing a steam game?

Posted:A year ago

#18
I think Nintendo will be able to stop this pretty fast.

They've already said they'll brick any 3DS that are running non legit code. Given how downloaded games etc are tied to devices this could be a serious loss.

One of the big advantages to developers the 3DS has over the smartphones is the fact it hasn't been cracked. This allows developers to realistically use business models other than freemium. If they lost that then I think the 3DS would die very quickly.

Posted:A year ago

#19

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

1,584 1,438 0.9
@ Alex

Well, technically you can buy from Amazon UK and register the serial on Steam. Or you can ask someone to gift it to you. But, honestly, when Bethesda/1C (in the case of Rage) go out of their way to stop Eastern Europeans buying a game, you have to ask yourself how much effort you should have to go to to actually give them money. It's like they want it to be pirated.

Edit:

To show I'm not making this up, go here:

http://store.steampowered.com/?cc=ro

That's the Romanian Steam Store (hence the RO at the end of the url). Search for Rage.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 3rd January 2013 6:47pm

Posted:A year ago

#20

Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

2,270 2,439 1.1
The volume of pirates that purchase after pirating are so insignificant that they do very little to offset the losses accrued through piracy.

And no, I don't subscribe to the notion that a pirated game is equatable to a lost sale. A large percentage of pirates never would have bought your game to begin with....that's why they are pirates.

Posted:A year ago

#21

Laurens Bruins Jaywalker, Jaywalkers Interactive

135 158 1.2
How did you spot my sarcasm without a sarcasm tag, Morville?! ;)

I'm right there facing it with you mate, but I have a hard time thinking piracy is of any benefit to the games industry. Do you really think the amount of 'Use it as a sort of demo'-pirates is statistically significant compared to the amount of 'I don't give a crap'-pirates?

I'm not bitter about the whole issue or anything - I'm hardly a saint myself - and when our game doesn't sell I'll blame myself and not pirates, but trying to turn piracy into something positive doesn't seem realistic to me.

About your kind words: Thanks mate, I hope so too! We haven't released anything yet, but we soon will, and I might accidentily mention it on the forums when we do. ;)

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Laurens Bruins on 3rd January 2013 6:50pm

Posted:A year ago

#22

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

1,584 1,438 0.9
Heh.

The problem is that, without companies producing demos for everything, we have no way to extrapolate data. No way to tell how large the "try before you buy" segment is, sadly. I don't doubt that I'm over-estimating it, but I do think others under-estimate it. I have the benefit of anecdotal evidence on a pro-piracy forum I frequent, whilst others might have sales figures. The industry really does need to seriously think about how to treat pirates, and that starts with everyone involved - developers, journalists, publishers - being honest. Honest about game quality, honest about the reasons behind piracy, and honest about what angers consumers (who are one short step away from being pirates).

Posted:A year ago

#23

Christopher Bowen Editor in Chief, Gaming Bus

453 725 1.6

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Christopher Bowen on 3rd January 2013 7:49pm

Posted:A year ago

#24

Craig Bamford Writer/Consultant

40 54 1.4
I'd been under the impression that there was evidence showing that demos reduced sales. At the very least, they don't seem to financially justify the cost of tasking developers to produce them.

Posted:A year ago

#25

Christopher Bowen Editor in Chief, Gaming Bus

453 725 1.6
The issue with demos is that it strips away the veneer of a game before the point of sale. If the demo is great, then sales go up. But if it's mediocre, sales plummet. They're a huge gamble, and the downside is heavier than the upside. Just ask the people behind NBA Elite, if you can find them.

It's been said that it's better to beg forgiveness than to seek permission. When you release a demo, you seek permission.

Posted:A year ago

#26

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

1,584 1,438 0.9
Popular Comment
@ Craig

Hahah. Maybe they're doing their job then. :D The point of a demo, from a consumer point of view, is to ascertain if they like the game/it's up to the standards they expect. The fact that it reduces sales says something about the quality of the game (again, from a consumer point of view).

Let's remember, too, that the consumer doesn't have to buy your game. They're giving you money for your game. Convince them it's good, or burn them when they buy it and realise it's crap/not their cup of tea.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 3rd January 2013 8:03pm

Posted:A year ago

#27

Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,193 1,170 0.5
With Kickstarter (or any crowdfunding), pledged isn't PAID, Mor.

That and it's a big "so what" as even if it's true, that doesn't defend the hobby when any person chooses not to pay for a product because he or she feels it should be free. Sure, demos help sales, but blaming the lack of them to justify stealing an entire game? That's just the go-to excuse for too many pirates justifying their "harmless". Hell, what's wrong with waiting for a game to drop and hovering over at a friend's place who's paid for it to see and try it out then decide to buy it if it's liked?

Granted, this isn't applicable in situations where someone lives not too close to the nearest gamer, but I think we need to stop defending certain types of "low" on the totem pole crimes as harmless or fun or necessary or whatever. Yeah, games need to be cheaper, but how do you justify stealing them all the time if you're a person with an expensive rig to play them on and/or makes the effort to be on top of the game with the newest methods to grab and play stuff? I can't see a modern pirate rocking a dial-up connection, Windows 98 and a 10" monitor... that's SO 1999, isn't it?

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Greg Wilcox on 3rd January 2013 8:14pm

Posted:A year ago

#28

Roberto Bruno Curious Person

104 69 0.7
"Some say that piracy leads to more game sales, claiming that it enables players to try before they buy. Bullshit," he stated.
Well, he's wrong.

Posted:A year ago

#29

Peter Paninar Artist

35 3 0.1
not this again... why people think that a pirated game is a lost sale? those people would in most cases never bought your game anyway. I can tell from my own experience. The most of the stuff I download myself I would never bought in the first place.. I just want to give it a try, or I was curious or something else, but about 95% of all of that I would never ever pay for. If it would not be avaiable as a "pirated" version I would just pass on it and move on....

of course nothing is as black and white, there are examples where I felt bad about downloading something that I really really wanted and was ready to buy on day 1, had already preordered a collector digital version on steam but then something happend and the game leaked almost 2 weeks early on torrent sites... and since I was already playing it for about week before release I just cancelled the preorded (mass effect 2, if you are wondering) another example would be Dead Space 2 for ps3, since I was playing at that time with jailbroken ps3 and I managed to get that game running after a few days of fiddling with my ps3.. as a result I never bought it after that.. but I would if the jailbreak was not be available at that time...

yet again, there are examples from the other side, I discovered a couple of games I would never ever pay for if I would not pirated them before.. games like minecraft, legend of grimrock, the binding of isaac, hell even diablo 3 itself just to name a few.. I bought them long after I completed the pirated version just because I thought they were awesome. I just bought the most recent humble indie bundle 7 only to have a drm free version of the isaac expansion the wrath of the lamb. The diablo 3 example is worth a mention as well, as I was never planing to buy that game as Im not a diablo 1-2 fan, but since I bump into a full retail version of diablo 3 torrent a couple of days before release which I downloaded out of pure curiosity even knowing that the game is not going to work anyway.. which did not of course lol. but on the date of release I tried again and the game to my huge surprise suddenly installed without problems, asked me to register for a battlenet account and let me play :o I was totally shocked that online only game that I never had interest in the first place and downloaded from bittorrent site just let me in and play for free... So I start playing that so called "starter eddition" and before I reached the first boss I was so hooked up that the same day I run to couple of tescos just to find a copy of the game to be able to continue further.
If blizzard would block me from trying their game on the day 1 (which I was lucky as they cancelled these "started editions" before the end of the first day :) ) I would never ever bought the full diablo 3!

so I would not blame low sales of the game on piracy but rather to look on your game and think again, harder, why it is not selling... because if the game is awesome, the price is right and it is available everywhere it will sell!

Posted:A year ago

#30

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

1,584 1,438 0.9
With Kickstarter (or any crowdfunding), pledged isn't PAID, Mor.
That's a bit pedantic, surely? If you get the game at the end of it, then you've paid for it. You just happen to have paid for it's existence as well. (Assuming that it hits the target, obviously).

No, demos will not save the industry. No, they will not stop piracy. But, from a consumer point of view (and, once again, the consumer is just one step away from being a pirate), it is a step towards being honest, and not waiting for the consumer to take a chance on their game or pirate it to try it (or read a review, but let's not get into that debate post-Doritogate again. :p ).

Christopher Bowen said
It's been said that it's better to beg forgiveness than to seek permission. When you release a demo, you seek permission.
paying consumer!) in such a short-sighted, poisonous fashion as this.
Yeah, games need to be cheaper, but how do you justify stealing them all the time if you're a person with an expensive rig to play them on and/or makes the effort to be on top of the game with the newest methods to grab and play stuff?
Honestly? Yeah, you're right. A lot of pirates can totally afford to buy the new games. But (and I've said this in the past about pirating), it's also about perceived

I'm trying not to defend pirates wholeheartedly, because obviously stealing stuff is bad. But I can honestly tell you that gamers very often put a different price on games than publishers, and, once it hits that magical price-point, a lot of pirates (again, anecdotally speaking) will buy the games they pirate.

Edit:

Also, Greg, I go by Morv as a short-hand for my name. Just so's you know. :) (I assume that was what the Mor was referring to.)

Edited 4 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 3rd January 2013 9:17pm

Posted:A year ago

#31

Anthony Chan Analyst, CPPIB

92 84 0.9
My opinion on this is that games that have are single player only (one dimension of gaming) and at the highest risk of being pirated. So I put that back on developers. If developers are set in their ways to create a single player game with no DLC, microtransactions, pay customization, or even free in game digital swag as long as the player registers their copy, then their game is "open season" for piracy.

I think the the old thinking of making a great game will encourage them to buy after they "try" is naive. A great game with potential for future content on a registered account encourages people to seriously consider their purchase. I just hope, somebody will come up with architecture to support that thinking without resorting to always on DRM, or online only gameplay.

An example of encouraging people to buy is the online passes that come with console games. This is a great idea. People who value online play and future content will buy a brand new copy (as opposed to a 2nd hand or pirated copy). So really the onus is on developers to create a winning combination of great single player + potential online aspect + registered to one account DLC.

The one dimensional game is a dying breed developers need to move away from. That type of game encourages a couple play throughs at most and is not worth the 60USD on console, 50USD on PC, or even 5USD on itunes.

Posted:A year ago

#32

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

1,584 1,438 0.9
@ Anthony
The one dimensional game is a dying breed developers need to move away from. That type of game encourages a couple play throughs at most and is not worth the 60USD on console, 50USD on PC, or even 5USD on itunes.
I know so many pirates who would disagree with you, and name Planescape: Torment, Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 and Dragon Age: Origins as some of their favourite games ever. All singe-player experiences, without online experiences and only DA:O had DLC tied to an account. The number of hours people have put into even just PS:T can number in the 4 digits.

Edit: And by "pirates who would disagree with you" I mean they've bought the games above (in some cases multiple times, due to lost CDs/GOG sales/etc), and play them again and again. $20 for BG1 and 2 on gog.com? You could charge 3 times that for the quality and content in there and you'd still get pirates paying it.

Edited 4 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 3rd January 2013 9:39pm

Posted:A year ago

#33

Anthony Chan Analyst, CPPIB

92 84 0.9
@Mor

I partially agree. With Planescape & Baldur, these are classics of Legendary status. However today , if a 16 year old kid or some 20 something new to gaming were to try these games, it would most likely not convert to a sale. This is because for these players, there is no loyalty to start, nor is there the understanding the legendary nature of these games. But I do get your point. For some players, a great story will convert a pirate to buyer, and no need to "gimmick" them with online capabilities.

The part I do not agree with, is the fact remains people are still pirating the above mentioned games. And it goes back to the question, how do we convert 100% of all pirates to at least spend some money in the game, essentially make pirates buy? I understand the argument: "a pirate would have never bought your game anyways so it is not a lost sale". Or maybe we should ask, how do we generate revenue off everybody who plays the game whether they bought, borrowed, stole, or 2nd hand bought?

EDIT: I read your edit... and you hit a nail on the head, at 20 bucks the content is a steal. However I did mention, that it is the new release full price which gets pirated the most and at the same time creates the biggest "loss" of income (really should be lost of earning potential).

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Anthony Chan on 3rd January 2013 10:19pm

Posted:A year ago

#34

Yiannis Koumoutzelis Founder & Creative Director, Neriad Games

363 207 0.6
actually in most countries you can try food before you buy it. pretty much anything non packed, and sometimes even packed. i.e. cheese, or olives, coffee, various fruits... ice-cream.. and of course you can always try cars, bikes, computers etc.

those shop owners who do that, do increase their sales overall as this improves the relationship and trust level between the consumer and the shop owner. builds a personal relationship. for many people especially the more east you get, business even to the small consumer level is a personal matter. a matter of trust. especially in games this is quite obvious as gamers create often an obsessive relationship with their favourite studios. building that trust is hard, and breaking that trust is not a very good idea as everyone knows very well.

so yeah a demo would be great. and it does work as it drives sales for so many games already on mobile.
see free versions and full versions. i.e. where is my water.

there is also the case when a publisher knows the game is not what it should be, and they avoid releasing a demo. there is a small and often even significant mal-intent, by attempting to swindle the gamer out of his money to certain extent. and that is why gamers responded this way towards the budget games sector, supporting mobile games more until budget market collapsed.


Edit 1: We can't convert 100% of the pirates. simply because many of them didn't even like or play the game. Some of them would never buy it even. We never had them in the first place. So converting a significant amount is a success! the idea alone that you can convert pirates or that they correspond to lost sales 100% is unrealistic to say the least.

Edit 2: by the way i played Dementium 1&2 on my DS i liked them a lot but the first had a better feel to it. More raw and scary. And yes i had bought both the games :D

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Yiannis Koumoutzelis on 3rd January 2013 11:22pm

Posted:A year ago

#35

James Verity

132 25 0.2
And sorry, but pirating because you cannot get the game through steam in your country is really big BS, just import it OR just leave it]
your kidding right... not all titles (games/movies/music) can be imported, some companies go out their way to make sure you cannot import, threatening exporters with legal action for example if they do, region protection etc... so don't give people rubbish about how freely available things are on a global scale...

I say allow people to purchase what they want from where they want and don't be greedy, then you'll cut your piracy to a minimal level

and as others have said release a decent demo, not one with the excuse that its from a bug ridden, incomplete version (if its in such a mess dont release it) of code, and false promise that the full version is better... people are not dumb you know, they get wise quick (you can only fool people a couple of times)...

Edited 1 times. Last edit by James Verity on 4th January 2013 12:08am

Posted:A year ago

#36

Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,193 1,170 0.5
Sorry, Morv - I actually typed your full name out, but I deleted a wee bit too much of a paragraph and forgot to double check (oops).

Anyway, one "solution" to piracy seems to be these pay what you want indie bundles, but even that's problematic in some cases, I'd gather if it's a new game that needs to make a profit back on development costs or whatever. Also, I think I've heard a few developers say they hate making demos for any number of reasons, so even that's not a perfect solution. I'd say there's also a sense of entitlement that many people who pirate feel they HAVE to have even though at the end of the day, they probably really don't need a terabyte drive full of games they've obtained though not so legal means.

Posted:A year ago

#37

Tudor Nita C++ Multiplayer Programmer, Gameloft Romania

23 26 1.1
On topic:
A bit early to be planning for a hacked 3DS. Sounds more like an excuse for poor ( future ) sales.

Off topic:
Anecdotal at best but: I now own more than 300 games ( excluding Humble bundles& GOG flash sales). Some are study cases, some I just loved.

About 25% of these were released in the first half of the 90's when the only way to play games on a pc, back home, was to pirate them. No one sold them. Anywhere. As soon as this changed, I bought ALL the games I've played and liked (that were still available ). Barely played any of them since this happened in the early 2000's. Most of my friends were in a similar situation.

Out of the rest of my collection about half of them had demos and they were an easy buy. The rest were a bit ... trickier since I don't believe in shelling out $60 for a couple of nice promises and some fancy CG trailers. Suffice to say, most of my collection has been tried before it was bought. And I regret buying most of those that I didn't try ( for lack of demos, over enthusiasm or else ).

I can fully appreciate the effort ( aka budget ) that goes into making these real-time interactive beasts but budget != quality (not necessarily ). Especially when the perception of quality is subjective.

That's why in most other industries something that has a hefty price tag attached to it has some way for the consumer to sample it. Especially if they want repeat-customers.

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Tudor Nita on 4th January 2013 9:24am

Posted:A year ago

#38

Keldon Alleyne Handheld Developer, Avasopht Ltd

449 423 0.9
Aren't pirates among the biggest spenders? Pretty sure BBC reported on this with mp3's and another study reflected this with movies too.

People who don't pirate just don't know how pirates think or what they do so in their mind they do XYZ, but given what the figures seem to show that pirates actually spend more money than non-pirates, it seems a lot of the comments and ideas about pirates are a little bit short sighted, don't you think.

And that is not to say my statement is pro or anti anything (other than perhaps pro knowledge and understanding / anti presumption and irrational fears).

Posted:A year ago

#39

Benjamin Crause Supervisor Central Support, Nintendo of Europe

82 38 0.5
So many before me said it and I agree: There will be always "pirates" no matter what platform, generation or content. They are here to stay. It shall be our mission to convince them to become supporters and customers rather to turn them into criminals. (I'm talking about the average person who does a download, not those who do it for a business and make money with it.)

I believe it is also proven that illegal downloads do not equal or relate to lost sales. It simply doesn't make sense. We should further look why people do download a copy instead of downloading a purchase.

For most people I know the reason to shy away from legit purchase (and often Triple A price tags) is DRM. DRM is penalizing the genuine customer. You can turn and twist it as much as you want but if executed poorly (I'm looking mainly at the PC here) then your game turns into a mess. Where actually those who did pay for it can't play it. Do you think customers come back after such an experience to pay you more for your next title? Hardly, people learn these days and base their purchase decision no longer on fancy videos you put up on YouTube. No, they search for your company on the net and talk to other gamers. Then they hear about your past DRM debacles and they will carefully check if and which DRM comes with your next game.

Hell we dare to talk about pricing of games too, right?

Just to give an example: The next Sim City that is about to come out. Most people in a gaming discussion group I'm in kicked it from their purchase list because of the always online feature (for which PR gave a more then weak reason). They don't want this stuff.

The recent rumours about Sony and the patent to lock away 2nd hand purchases of games. Guess the reactions in the communities. Most are very frightenend by this. For various reasons because after all it penalizes the genuine customer.

I do understand that developers look at platforms carefully to see how rampant piracy is on it to decide whether to support that platform and its chance to make money with it. Sure, no one wants to support a platform that has been bombed wide open. The initial article is just casting unnecessary fear and trying to put a blame where there is no issue.

Posted:A year ago

#40

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

1,584 1,438 0.9
Generally speaking, I have to agree about trying to make all pirates spend money. It's a lost cause - some people don't want to spend money, end of. But this is where people (that is, those who are in the industry but don't understand pirates) have to actually realise that the reasons for pirating are many, and that there isn't just one answer. Re-read my example of trying to buy Rage (a Steamworks game) on Steam in Romania; the lost sales from impulse buyers who are turned to pirating because it's easier must be striking (not massive, but large enough I'm sure, especially during the recent Steam sale). And that's just one example of region blocking, which is just one reason for pirating.

@ Greg
Anyway, one "solution" to piracy seems to be these pay what you want indie bundles, but even that's problematic in some cases, I'd gather if it's a new game that needs to make a profit back on development costs or whatever.

Also, I think I've heard a few developers say they hate making demos for any number of reasons, so even that's not a perfect solution
Go into a large department store, one with a decent cosmetics section. Chance are good that there's going to be skilled sales people demonstrating make up - foundation, eyeliner, eye shadow, all of that. Now, do you think that the department stores and cosmetics companies like paying a very good wage to very charming sales people? No, I really doubt it. But they do it because they know that if they can demonstrate the quality of the product well enough and fast enough, they'll make sales. It strikes me as very... "backwards" that just because developers "hate making demos for any number of reasons", they just don't do it. It's a craft, just like the sales-pitch that a cosmetics sales-woman has. And like any craft, it requires a decent amount of thought beforehand, and skill to pull off, neither of which are improved by steadfastly ignoring the possibility of demos.

Posted:A year ago

#41

Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
The best thing ever for piracy was Codemasters Fade. This detected copying and gradually turned off game features. In Snooker, for instance, gravity was gradually removed when copies were detected, so that the balls ended up floating in the air. So copied games worked as marketing tools by giving people a working demonstration for a while, before becoming unplayable. Amazingly we got lots of people ringing Codemasters customer support saying that gravity wasn't working on their (pirated) game.

Also with Flashpoint every upgrade would only download onto a genuine game and each upgrade added extra copy protection. This gave us a huge spike in sales after each upgrade as all the pirates who loved the game were forced to pay for what they had previously stolen.

The FTP business model is problematic for pirates. They can play the game for free, but if they want to enhance their experience they need to pay. Obviously they will gradually work round this, but the micropayments are often so low that the easiest route is to just press the play button. Where a player is buying, say, $100 of in game currency it becomes more important to keep ahead with technology.

It is worth noting that pirates have even set up servers to run their versions of major MMOs! Also the industry has suddenly become very global and it is essential that publishers bear this in mind when considering piracy.

Posted:A year ago

#42

Keldon Alleyne Handheld Developer, Avasopht Ltd

449 423 0.9
@Bruce: sounds like you guys inadvertently invented freemium!

Posted:A year ago

#43

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

1,584 1,438 0.9
@ Bruce
Also the industry has suddenly become very global and it is essential that publishers bear this in mind when considering piracy.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 4th January 2013 11:11am

Posted:A year ago

#44

Keldon Alleyne Handheld Developer, Avasopht Ltd

449 423 0.9
To add, there were plenty of stores in England where you could purchase import games. In fact the version of Altered Beast and Bomberman I played when I was younger was an import. I used to use the Action Replay to play Bomberman.

Posted:A year ago

#45
It's very simple. Piracy doesn't stop people from paying for games, there will always be people who want to buy the game and support the developers/industry even if they can get the same game for free on a torrent.

Preventing piracy forces the pirates to pay for the game IF they really want to play it. i.e not all but some are actually lost sales.

However the more widespread the behaviour is i.e. using a torrent to get a pirate version the more "normal" it will appear and therefore it will turn normal customers into pirates. I've seen that happen with my sister who used to buy all her music albums (100s) but then started downloading them. She had even allowed herself to believe the BS notion that she was simply sharing her music to alleviate her guilt.

I have no problem with people using torrents and pirating some games while paying for others i.e. supporting the industry as much as they can reasonably afford. My problem is the BS that people use to justify it because it's that which ultimately allows everyone to not care if they pirate 100% of their games. Even Jean Valjean would admit he actually stole the bread.

Posted:A year ago

#46

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