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The State Of Game Piracy: Which platform is hardest hit and how?

Game pirates

have a huge effect on the industry…here’s how

by AXIS of Reality

© 2010 Alex Baldwin – Features Editor

Congratulations!

As today’s gamers, we have the great honour of being a part of the first generation of consoles and games where game development has actually been slowed and or even stopped in some cases due to piracy.

Of course it’s not like piracy is a new thing. Since we’ve had computers capable of writing to game media there has been the possibility to obtain your latest game fix via copying legal game media to blank equivalent storage, from floppy discs to CD-Rs to DVD-R and quite possibly BD-R soon. The difference this generation however is that it’s actually changing what games are being released and for which platform and in what order.

The lure of free games has often outweighed people’s morals, but never before has it been so common than present day. Someone who doesn’t know how to attach a picture to an email still knows how to get the latest Sims expansion for free. That’s why I think we should keep up to date with the current state of piracy and see the effect it’s had on each platform.

So here we go, starting with the traditional home of piracy: the humble PC.

PC

Piracy level: Extreme

Current attempted solutions: DRM copy protection, digital distribution (eg: Steam)

No surprises here: the PC is home to by far the highest ratio of piracy compared to legal game sales. It’s quite sobering when you see the evidence. Demigod, a multiplyer PC-only RTS/action game released in 2009 shows how hard a game can be hit. On its release, the game sold around 70,000 copies, a quite decent effort.

There was one small problem though. Magically, there was over 1 million players clogging their servers and dragging connection bandwidth to its knees. Additionally, because of the multiplayer-based nature of the game most reviews of the title were postponed until the game’s release so it could be properly tested. Critic were greeted by horrendous server connection issues and consistent lag caused by over 10 times the intended number of players logging on. The critics were not kind.

Think about that for a second: over 90% of PC gamers had no moral qualms with stealing the developers’ work and then ripping it to pieces online over server lag they themselves caused.

So as a developer or publisher, what do you do to stem the level of illegal downloads? You add copy protection, more commonly known as DRM (Digital Rights Management). Unfortunately, this often just angers many PC gamers with common threats to pirate games if they contain DRM. This leaves the developers and publishers with two choices: either leave the doors wide open, or lock them and have the walls battered down.

Ubisoft took gamers up on their word back in 2008 however: if they saw a significant drop in illegal download of the highly anticipated Prince of Persia by shipping it with no DRM at all, they would remove DRM from all their future games. After all, forums across the web claimed only to pirate games as a protest against DRM.

Unfortunately it appears there are many hypocrites out there and the game was pirated just as much, giving Ubisoft the ability to say ‘We gave you a chance, it’s now your own fault’.

With bittorrent the primary source of game piracy, I had a look on one torrent search site two days after Bioshock 2’s release, a game with extensive anti-piracy measures, and found just at that particular moment over 50,000 people downloading it. No wonder developers are refusing to develop exclusivily for PC anymore if this is the way their games are treated.

PC gaming is by no means dead with services like Steam flourishing and MMOs (which can’t usually be cracked due to online account logins), but it’s unlikely to return to its glory days of the 90s.

XBOX 360

Piracy level: Moderate

Current attempted solutions: Banning from Xbox Live, warranty void for modded consoles, DRM copy protection

And now we come to the 360. Game sales are still very strong on 360 which makes it one of the platforms of choice for developers, and due to its architectural similarity to PC many titles are ported to it to provide the main revenue stream that the PC is currently lacking.

There is still a large degree of piracy however. The good news is that Xbox Live can’t be connected to with a modded console without Microsoft detecting it and locking the console out which is quite serious with the extensive online features of the 360.

This was most recently brought to light with reported numbers of close to 1 million modded consoles banned late last year.

While in previous generation the only way to play pirated games was with a physical modchip soldered onto the motherboard of a console, the 360’s security was cracked by flashing firmware (operational software) for the DVD drive that prevented it from seeing the difference between legal game discs and burned DVDs.

A bad blow for Microsoft but one they seem to be handling as best they can with their almighty Live banhammer.

Luckily strong game sales indicate 360 game piracy is not widespread to the point of profitibility dangers for developers.

PS3

Piracy level: none (yet)

Current attempted solutions: None needed yet, but firmware updates at the ready

The toughest console for pirates to hack this generation, only recently have claims come out of successful cracking of the PS3’s security measures.

One significant step still remains however: because of the PS3’s use of Blu-Ray for game media many games are over the common dual-layer DVD-R data size which prevents many potential pirates burning games with their home PCs.

We can only hope it stays out of reach of most pirates for as long as possible.

WII

Piracy level: high

Current attempted solutions: firmware updates with better security

Possibly the most pirated of the current-generation home consoles. The Wii has had software cracks for a significant time now with no modchip needed, initially caused by an exploit found using the Zelda: Twilight Princess game which is responsible for the game still selling for high prices both in stores and online as potential pirates seek it out to crack their console.

As the online components of the Wii are mostly throwaway extras, the danger of being banned from online gaming hold zero impact.

This is the first console in this list where piracy has actually affected game development in a significant way. Many of the mature or ‘hardcore’ games for Wii have seen quite simply shocking sales but high download numbers online, credited with the increased knowledge of hacking or modding many experienced gamers hold.

While casual gamers aren’t as prone to having modded consoles and combined with a lesser level of game knowledge are attributed to the high game sales of casual titles and mini-game collections or bad licensed titles on Wii, many of the hardcore games targeted at experienced gamers are also unintentionally targeted at people more likely to be able to pirate them.

It’s a lose / lose situation that has resulted in developers such as Capcom having to abandon the Wii for any of their mature series such as Dead Rising and Resident Evil.

NINTENDO DS

Piracy level: moderate

Current attempted solutions: new hardware iterations, new game DRM

The DS situation has many similarities to the Wii. The large number of casual gamers keeps sales of casual titles high while more gamer-oriented titles don’t see high sales numbers. The massive userbase for the DS has helped to keep this in check as the low development costs of the DS has ensured mature games can still generally be profitable.

Piracy on the DS is done via ‘flash carts’, cartridges visually identical to regular DS games that have a small slot of an alternate memory card that stores the downloaded games. These are quite common which has prompted Nintendo to recently begin using DRM on their high-profile games.

The most recent example of this was Zelda: Spirit Tracks, a game that would appeal to many experienced gamers who may partake in piracy. The DRM held uncracked for several days after the game appeared online which was enough to ensure strong sales in addition to advertising for the game being aimed directly at casual gamers (less likely to be pirates).

PSP

Piracy level: Beyond Extreme

Current attempted solutions: PSPGo, hardware iterations, firmware updates, PS Store forced updates, digital distribution, legal action against hackers

Do I really need to say anything? Welcome to the most pirated platform in history.

It’s quite sobering that for the third-highest selling platform this generation it hasn’t had a single game in the top 100 highest selling titles across all formats for several years. That’s right – top 100, not 10.

God of War: Chains of Olympus, one of the most anticipated PSP games didn’t even break the top 150 in its release year. No wonder third-party developers abandoned the PSP in droves.

It all started quite early for the PSP. Due to its use of a Memory Stick Pro Duo for multimedia purposes and game saves, ripped games could easily be stuck on and played. While initially using custom UMD emulation programs on the PSP to make ripped games work, it then turned to custom firmware to get pirated games running happily.

This involved navigating the security on Sony’s official firmware updates to make changes that prevented it knowing the difference between a UMD in the drive and a ripped game file (ISO) on the memory stick.

Since then it’s grown to the point where almost every PSP owner uses custom firmware on their PSP. While there is a small minority who simply use it to play ripped copies of their own store-bought UMDs without having to carry a pile of discs around with them, the low sales of PSP games suggest this is a very small percentage.

Sony’s new PSP hardware iterations released each year have had the primary focus of changing the internals to make them harder to crack until the PSP-3000 (the current regular-style PSP) and certain PSP-2000s where custom firmware stopped working. That is until a few months later when an exploit was found that would allow custom firmware to be used until a reboot of the console.

More recently the failed launch of the PSPgo has said much. While people complain everywhere about not being able to play their UMD games on the PSPgo, the UMD game sales tell a different story.

Very few people actually have any number of UMD games, so the reason is more likely that a crack for PSPgo still hasn’t been released. In the past the games Lumines, GTA: Liberty City Stores and Gripshift had exploits used with new firmware versions to crack security, and on the release of these cracks sales of the game across the internet went up often past 4000%.

If history is anything to go by, on the day a crack for the PSPgo is released that allows ripped games to be used sales for the console will skyrocket. You can quote me on that.

SO WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED?

That piracy has gotten to the point where certain consoles are actually experiencing game droughts since the sales for great games just aren’t there.

It’s all well and good for developers and publishers to have noble intentions of supporting consoles despite horrible game sales, but it reaches a point where the developers need to actually make a profit to stop them going bankrupt.

We’ve seen that recently with the mass exodus away from the PSP and Wii, and even the announcements by traditionally PC developers such as Epic and Crytek that they will NEVER make another PC-exclusive game. At best they can release it on PC alongside the console versions so the sales on console can support the losses from the PC versions.

Another common practice we’ve seen is the delaying of PC versions until after the console release so they can get some guaranteed sales before the temptation of easy pirating on the PC takes those away. Examples include Red Faction: Guerilla, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Devil May Cry 4, Burnout: Paradise, Ghostbusters, Fable, Halo 2, and Assassin’s Creed II which is launching long after the console versions and after the key Christmas period.

The best weapon developers and publishers currently have is Collector’s Editions, with materials such as art books, figurines, comics and more that can’t be downloaded and help provide a tipping point for those on the fence about whether to pirate or not.

That, and multiplayer modes as it’s always harder to crack when a game checks its unique ID online such as playing with others. Is it any surprise we’re seeing multiplayer put into games that don’t usually seem suited to it such as Bioshock 2 and Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena?

I’m not intending to get all preachy on anyone who pirates their games, but try to remember the future of the industry is based on sales, and if your favourite developer goes bankrupt or your console loses game support whose fault is it really?

© 2010 Alex Baldwin – Features Editor

xxxxxx


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About AXiDER (63 Articles)
B. Games and Interactive Entertainment Honours in Game Design PhD Candidate in Game Design and Player Experience

26 Comments on The State Of Game Piracy: Which platform is hardest hit and how?

  1. PC is extreme (understandable), 360 is moderate (again understandable) but PSP is where the DS should be! Both are extreme!
    PS3 is absolutely tru

  2. how does PC and PSP get extreme and 360 only gets moderate?
    yous obviously missed the fact that every single 360 game has been leaked onto torrents months before release.
    remember the french video of ODST like 2 months before release?

    piracy is a massive issue, its part of the reason developers dont make games for the PC than port them to consoles because its too expensive and they see it as PC gamers dont buy games they just pirate them which is not true!

    thanks to piracy i have to put up with ubisofts DRM BS.
    though it does have its advantages, without piracy us ozzies would not have access to the proper version of L4D2.
    ripping a gods head off with your bare hands is ok, but blowing off a zombies head is not?
    now how the %$#@ does that work!

  3. I actually wonder sometimes, how many copies of PC games were sold combining retail & digital. Everyone screams for poor sales, but no one actually publishes the no. of total sales. Steam, D2D and others publish their top sales but not the numbers! I think the numbers combing both retail and digital won’t be as bad as publishers say! Especially for the PC focused games like Bad Company2.

    • Their sales numbers are in their annual reports handed down to shareholders at AGM’s, and made public via statements handed out to those shareholders. ANalysts use these to predict estimated sales of future games. So yes, the figures are there, you just have to look for them. You won’t find them on a forum or a notice board, but you will find them in a boardroom’s minutes hehehe

  4. account sharing on the PS3 is a form of piracy so I wouldn’t say that the level on PS3 is NONE

    • Wrong. When you purchase a game from PSN your purchase entitles you to a set number of downloads of that software. If you sign into your profile on a friends system and download the game you may do so. You may get banned from PSN but you will not get prosecuted because it is not piracy.

  5. Piracy is illegal and there is never a justification to do it.

  6. toothbrush // 24 March, 2010 at 1:45 pm // Reply

    The PC platform is fine. There has always been a piracy problem (Don’t Copy That Floppy, anyone?), the difference is that developers are much bigger now and will make the quickest and simplest excuse to please the shareholders by blaming bad sales on something that has always been there.

    The size of developers plays another important role in that all of them strive for greater profits. Obviously going multiplatform will bring in more money. Crytek had excellent sales for Crysis, the problem is that they were expecting far too many sales, especially from a game that was very demanding on hardware to the point of not being surpassed almost three years after release (and still counting). Even though Crysis was so hardware intensive, it managed to sell millions. In addition, what is common with most, if not all, games that sell a lot? Massive advertisement campaigns. Crysis did not have one.

    • WHich is why Crysis willnow appear on both the PS3, Xbox 360 and the PC . . .piracy is a problem, and no matter how we may wantto justify it it, it still remains an important part of why our games cost the amount they do.

      ut many do forget, that games per-se have not risen in almost 2 decades, and in fact, have fallen in cost when compared to the value of the dollar stepping back several years or a decade ago.

      They need more sales now to get the baseline return. WHat was once 50k sales has risen to min 500k, and soon to become 750k. The price on making a game has risen from the $US2-5 mil Sony and Sega would offer a developer back in 2000, to a staggering $US25 – $US60 mil incl promotional work, sometimes higher.

      SO, the games have stayed ‘basically’ the same in price, yetthe cost of production, the number of ppl working on them etc has risen ten fold, and we want to say – hey, give them to us cheaper, and by the way, piracy is okay, don’t make it so hard for us and we’ll buy your games.

      The games could be $40 (AUS) and they’d STILL be pirated, simply because ppl will do it, even if they are $1.

      SO yes, developers and their publisher do need to look at ways of presenting the games that will enable them to get the return they need, andto please shareholder. Without whom I might add, you would not have the games we have to day. As a shareholder gambles on the fact a game could sell X number, and risks their fortune on it. Then, because a game gets pirated heavily, the shareholders abandon that developer or publishing house, leaving other games in the works in the lurch and facing cancellation.

      It;s not just a simple as we may think. If there are ways of ‘reducing’ piracy, then I’m all for it. I only buy what I can afford, and while some may think when youhave a website, you’re inundated with games – WRONG big time, we have to plead, push and do everything we can to even get a single copy of a few games, . . .and any site owner will tell you that. We could ‘copy’ games and have them, but what would that say about our integrity – not a great deal.

      Same applies to individuals, if you value your own personal integrity, and know that you put a great deal into the work you do daily, would you want someone coming along and taking your earnings from you, while you still did the same an=mount of work each day – I don’t think so. If you value your work, then value theirs.

      • toothbrush // 24 March, 2010 at 2:21 pm // Reply

        Piracy is a problem that has no solution. You basically ignored my whole point and went off on a tangent. This shows from the start of your post. Crytek blamed piracy even though Crysis sold millions. They had unrealistic expectations. Crysis 2 is coming to Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 as well because multiplatform games obviously sell more. This has nothing to do with piracy. Piracy is only used as a scapegoat.

        • Of course there’s no complete ‘solution’, but if developers and publishers can reduce to some extent theimpact it has, then that’s all the better for everyone.

          If they could reduce to ‘losses’, then the cost per unit could drop. Much the way they do in hardware.

          Teh old Razor and razor blade senario applies there, and it could apply ingames.

          If the volumn was high enough, which it certainly is now,and increasing, and if the level to which they do loose money reduced, then ‘hopefully’ the cost cost be shown in lower prices., which in turn may well help reduce the piracy a little further.

          It will never, ever stop, that is a given we all know and accept.

          Yes, the publishers decide on the volumn that a game is to sell at, and want units out the door, even if it is at a loss. Unlike movies etc, games have a very short window of opportunity to grab that magic 500k , ideally that is within the first 2 weeks of sales, if all goes well. Whereas a dvd has several slices of the sales pie, thegame has but one. As re-sales etc make the publisher zero, even when the games are being sold for almost the same rrp in stores such as GAME, EB Games, etc.

          Yes, Cryis did sell well, but not as well as many other games. As of early 2008, it had sold 1 million copies, so we’d hazard to say that a figure of 1.5 mil would be a fair figure. Yet it has a piracy ratio igure of around 1 : 15/20 copies.

          That was the deciding figure in them no longer going PC exclusive. With the consoles now having an attachment rate of 8:1 for 360 and around 5:1 for the PS3, the numbers of units sold can be recouped quicker, have ‘less’ piracy (there will always be a high level of it, but it can be less when dealt with in this fashion).

          We have games such as Gear, and the following Gear 3, Fable, Halo, Forza 3, Uncharted, Metal Gear Solid 4 and many others, with games sales expectations in the multiple millions, and they have exceed that in actual sales figures per title. So what is wrong with a publisher expecting several million sales from their product. But to then find those sales undermined by piracy.

          Naturally you’re going to look at alternative ways to distribute your product, and on which platforms to do it in order to reduce (not eliminate) the problem. The reason many PC developers are now using multiplatform is two fold, and piracy is one of those elements, and a bigger market share are two of the main reasons. Naturally there are more, but those are two of the main reasons.

          If you had a company, that had to sell huge volumns, be it the state of affairs the world is in, or the high costs of production, and the fact you really would like to make a profit, as otherwise, why be in business in the first place, would you choose to stay with a single platform and know that whatever you do, the numbers of sold games would be far smaller than the number of pirated games?

          I don’t think so actually.

          I’m not saying it can be eliminated, or that it will ever stop, nor am I saying it is the sole reason developers and their publishers are now going MP, but it does have a huge sway in their choice of platforms these days.

      • No game has ever sold at $40 in Australia, the cheapest would be an expansion and they were $50AUD now $60AUD.

        Back in the late 90’s EA sold PC games at $70AUD at that time PC games were around $100AUD the dearest of any platform at the time.

        The aim was to give cheaper games to see what the sales would be like I think sales did go up but the publishers only did these prices for a year to 2 years max, was great to be able to pick up games at that price.

        These days PC games are still at $100AUD to $110AUD with collectors being around $110AUD to $130AUD, the Xbox and PS3 games around always over $110AUD.

        People who don’t actually have the income to buy the stuff in the first place are the ones who really pirate games, they are the ones who complain about the price of stuff released, yes it is dear.

        I started buying games because you needed to buy so you could play online and simply because pirated games ISOs can be a pain these days with all the bittorrent sites it has somewhat destroyed the old pirate groups and what they really stood for which was to give people a chance at trying stuff out.

        These days if you buy from the shop your only buying a download only game which I think is a waste of time and money as you can buy these install then take the game back and get your money back, which can be done in Australia.

        I think the other problem is that companies look at torrent sites and see that 50,000 downloading and think if all those people bought the game then they’d have 5 million, yet completely forget that if those same people were buying the game then you’d never have 50,000 buying, you’d only have a fraction of that amount due to people way more frugal with their cash.

        games don’t cost 60+ million to make that’s a complete myth otherwise you’d only get a game once a month maybe once a year not even the avg cost of movies comes up to that amount.

        • I never said it had, I said that even if it did . . . and yes, you’re right, those with smaller incomes usually save for their games, while others, not all, with higher incomes and access to tech, can and often do pirate goods.

          Plus now, gamers are in such a better place than they were even a half-decade ago. Now you can exchange, trade, take back if you don’t like it etc, where that was simply not an option back 5 yrs or so ago.

          • I can assure you that games DO in fact cost figures between $US20 – $US60 million to make, publish and promote and then to sell.

            Halo 2 as just one example had over $US10 million expended on it just for promotional and sale purposes, outside the $US30 that it cost to develop and then publish. Do some reading in the various books from well respected journalists like Dean Takahshi, and his contemporaries from VentureTech, TechCrunch etc, who deal in delivering the news to the industry on various Venture Capitalists investing in games, game companies and the like. His books on the Xbox and the Xbox 360 are real eye openers by the way.

            Figures of that amount are not uncommon.

            Not every game costs that, we have A – AA and AAA catergory games, where “A” cost a great deal less than the “AAA” titles, which have huge promotional budgets, publishing budgets and the like.

            EA have made a loss almost every year, often to the tune of a billion dollars at time, they published 52 games last year (2009) and will only publish 40 in 2010 due to rising costs and lower sales per-unit. Many business do, but they keep going due to the nature of how a business like that runs. You only need to look at any publishing house and see the huge number of ppl on the payrole who’s job it is not to actually make the game, but manage it. That ALL goes into the cost of each game. Then you add say 20 – 30 ppl in an office with annual salaries in excess of say $AU40 – $AU70 k, and that adds up very fast indeed, not including all the auxiliary ppl they deal with on a daily basis, who also get paid, right down to truck drivers etc etc etc.

            All this is factored into a games cost, and the fact that Australia is SO HUGE, and the fact we have but only two major sea ports, and a HUGE vast area to then ship, deliver and sell those goods in, helps drive up our end prices far more than say the US or UK/Eu, where cities are closer, their rail and delivery infrastructures are closer knit and delivery times much short and much more cost effective.

            I used to build and sell major goods here and ship them overseas, plus import some goods, and I can tell you this, from what starts out as a modest cost on the cost of materials, to the end product ending up in a container, then delivered to the end user increases dramatically.

          • Overall 1 project may cost that much but no where near that amount to make the game itself, your kidding yourself, if you really think that.

            I’ve done stuff for Auran in Brisbane, at that time they had about 8 projects on the go, I did see fury before it was even written up about in mags and the D20 stuff and I helped out with the Trainz game they have.

            The D20 project only had 3 people working on it.

            The Trainz project had about 10 to 12 people working on it, that was 3 coders, 1 game dev, and 3-4 3D model people, 2 people doing sounds, 1 person doing QA, with outside extras helping out with QA.

            Besides the game they had their Auran Jet Dev program as well.

            At that time Auran probably had around 80 staff all up, most would have been working on Jet and Fury the rest would have been working on the other projects.

            Auran are still up and running.

            It only takes around 2 years avg to make a game, 1 year towards planning, 1 year to actually make the game, if there’s extra time required that’d be towards QA ironing out any kinks etc, IE nothing major.

            A Game Dev would goto a Publisher simply to get the money to get the game made, retailers buy the game directly from the Publishers and would handle the transport and the selling of the game, Publishers do put some money towards PR work.

            That generally means a few ADs in mags/websites and sending out preview/review copies to be written up about in mags.

            I’d hazard to say that a game would only be around 2 to 5 million to make pushing.

            Sqaure-Enix saying that FF13 had 270 people working wouldn’t be true, that’d be PR at work, probably only had 30 to 50 people working on it.

            As for Halo 3 MS devoted 1 billion dollars towards marketing but mostly in the USA , but Halo3 was sold at 7-elvens and servos etc places that you’d just never pre-order or buy a computer game from yet you could only do this with Halo3 that’s the main reason why it had 5 million copies preordered in the USA.

            How many places do you know where you could goto a BP petrol station and pre-order say Crysis 2, none. because BP petrol stations never sell, let alone allow for the preordering of games while your paying for petrol.

            Transport costs aren’t that bad, EB Games air freight all their shipments to Australia and use DHL for the rest, order a game from EB Games USA and your copy will come in with the other store shelf copies.

            I’ve done stuff at wharfs as well (Great place, crazy stuff does happen though but really great, people just have no idea how big these cargo ships are)
            Australia has ports in every city, it’s only takes a ship overnight to get to the next city, like Brisbane to Sydney, NZ is 2-3 days away.

    • what?
      the PC IS NOT! fine.
      its suffered from piracy more than any other system, now developers are not making games for it than porting it to consoles because developers believe PC gamers do not buy games they just pirate them which IS NOT TRUE!

      PC gaming is a wounded bull, slowly bleeding its guts out and its all thanks to piracy!

      we have crysis 2, RAGE, half life 2 epp 3, and co going to consoles to thank piracy for.
      if piracy was no where near as bad as it is, they would of stayed PC exclusives.

      • If piracy was killing PC, the games would not be shared with consoles, they’d be console exclusive. Multiplatform equals more money, simple as that. In fact, previously primary console developers/publishers like Capcom and Square-Enix have been releasing their games on PC as well. It goes both ways and yet people like you only see it one way.

      • yeah console exclusive and kiss goodbye the sales?
        seriously, come on lets use a little common sense here.
        piracy is killing PC gaming, just because developers are releasing games on it still does not mean its not slowly killing it.
        why do you think dantes inferno and dead space 2 are not releasing for the PC?
        visceral refuse to spend the extra cash creating the game because in their mind its not worth it.

      • toothbrush // 26 March, 2010 at 4:39 am // Reply

        Once again you pick out only the examples that prove your case. Explain why mostly console developers/publishers like Square-Enix and Capcom have branched off onto the PC platform? If you continue ignoring what I say, then do not bother responding or I will not reply.

      • This has happened before, in the mid 90’s with SNES, sega master system etc.

        The PC was doomed back in those days.

        Today it’s the exact same sayings as back then, the PC trumped the consoles, because more software is actually sold on PC.

        The other reason is that PC’s at that time were slightly behind what the consoles were, once 3D cards came out and FPS games started to trickle out into the shareware market and shops it slowly snowballed into the PC nearly wiping out the console market.

        however these days I don’t think it’s anything to do with consoles killing the PC market they are such a small market compared to PC as it can sell over a billion dollars worth in a month.

        I would say it’s simply the MMO market killing the PC market the sorts of games where you pay full price and then pay to play etc locks these games into a select few people who could actually have the time and money to play them.

  7. While I agree that piracy is a serious problem, there are many people with a conscience, like myself, who will either pay for a game or do without. Companies do need to deal with piracy, but they need to find a way to do that without punishing and alienating the people who want to pay for their games.

    Personally I understand the companies point of view in using DRM, but there are several companies out there that are going way to far in methods that punish the honest paying gamer and yet does nothing that stops piracy.

    Being mostly a computer gamer (though I do occasionally game on my PS3 and Wii consoles) I haven’t been very happy with the way several companies are treating honest gamers and as a result, there are a number of games that have come out these last 2 years that I have simply chosen to do without.

  8. Personally I think one problem is we have too much material things to choose from. Look at how many games get released per month when you add up all the platforms. We are just overloaded with stuff so now we’re programmed to play in quick bursts and our lives have become so busy. That’s why we have games on the go for our IPhones and PSP’s and DS’s. Now on our PS3’s and Xbox 360’s we have game stores to find even more stuff for us to play.

    There’s just too much stuff out there so it’s no wonder people decide to pirate games or music. What would you rather have, 40 games to choose from on a night you’re bored that cost nothing to download or a few bucks for blank DVD’s or 1 or 2 really good ones that cost you $120?

    It’s become far too easy with digital media and one reason why the PS3 has yet to be really cracked is who’s going to want to bother unless you can play the games off of the hard drive? Blank DVD’s and even dual layer DVD’s are cheap. Blank blu-ray isn’t. Once it is expect the PS3 to get more attention from modders and piraters.

    I used to have a modded Xbox and a modded PS2 but not this generation. I’d rather just play legit online and tone it down a bit on the amount of games. I seem to enjoy them more now.

  9. I support any DRM method game studios use as long it is not intrusive, destructive or annoying. Delay the game, fine by me-just don’t take 2 years to get the game out.

    Special editions, way toooo expensive here. But I don’t agree connecting online all the time just play a single player game. Though I have internet connection, I still fear online thieves getting into my PC. If hackers are able to crack the toughest DRM, who knows what online security hackers and virus makers are able to do to server based gaming.

    Entering a cd-key and activating a game online is one thing, having to format your HDD due to virus and hackers as a result of constant net connection is unacceptable.

  10. Yeah this is an honest confession. I bought pirated PC games and I do feel ashamed. But what can I do. I’ve been telling my peers I’m going to buy original games for years but my home state is making that a hard dream to accomplish. I have travelled the whole length of Borneo from west to south and I find it hard to find original games. The capital, Kuala Lumpur, is the place to go but it is across the South China Sea and paying extra for air fare, hotel and the expensive taxi ride from the airport just to buy a couple of games is not wallet friendly, no matter hard core you are as gamer.

    Yes, I have bought through online order from the KL but even that is a problem because I worked deep in the Borneo mountains. I usually used bank in slips to pay my orders and I have a mere 3 days to notify the shop that I have done that or my order will be cancelled. Since my time is limited, I had several cancellations and one time I’ve already paid but they had cancelled my order. I never saw those money again. Why don’t I used credit cards? I don’t trust myself and I still fear online thieves stealing my account.

    Actually, I did find a couple of places here that sell originals. One is a PC shop but the DVDs were sold next to pirated copies and sold at a higher price than it should so I gave a pass. Another shop actually, suprise, sells pirated games. At least they kept the originals in seperate shelf. Unfortunately there were only 2 games on sale. I bought Dirt 2, original, and the kid at the counter actually asked me : WHY?

    I just smiled at him and told him “cause I want to!” A kid came by my house and saw the price on the DVD case and with a smirk he told I could’ve bought more if I bought pirated. I was disheartened but not broken.

    Before anyone start flaming me, listen. I want to buy originals but at the moment, geographically and socially, it is hard. Even scale models (another hobby of mine)here have come down to just one shop.

    I’m still looking around for original shops. I’m not some American kid who downloads a game, plays and say he won’t buy because it was crap. I’m just a gamer living in the wrong place.
    I ordered Company of Heroes before the reviews were even out and it was an excellent game. Recently I bought it again, albeit, a Gold Edition with an expansion added in. Plus it was a localized version – cheap, cheap, cheap!

  11. I must admit (and while I don’t condone piracy at all) that when I played the classic Atari 2600 and SNES games on a mate’s Wii, I had the most fun I ever had on the console.

    I personally have bought each game I’ve ever had, and I hate what piracy has done for the industry, but I just don’t see it ever changing unless we see much cheaper prices. I don’t really see it ever changing though – those hackers and modders will always find a way around any settings the companies might have in mind.

    • Developers are working on ways to combat it, and make it very difficult.

      Not foolproof mind you, as nothing ever is, and anyone who really wants to, can and will crack anything.

      What they want to do is slow down the common way of breaking games, and mass publishing them via torrens sites etc.

      Which is one reason Ubi and EA are now looking into ways of combating it as we speak.

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