Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Pirates Are Not Thieves, They Are Fans





There's a long-standing — and incorrect, I think — view amongst publishers that a game pirated is a game stolenIt's not (who says they'd ever have bought a copy anyway?), and in a great piece over on GameSetWatch, Irish designer Tadhg Kelly (formerly of Lionhead) argues an even better reason why this isn't the case. Instead, he says, we shouldn't think of pirates as thieves. We should think of them as fans, and change the video game business accordingly.
Talking about publisher's stance on piracy, he says "They're seeing their business as a content business, where the content is the thing that has value. This is not the case."
"The games industry, like all the arts, is about finding and interacting with fans, so that value comes from a relationship."
"What it means is that your game, and you as a developer, needs to be built with the idea of forming a connection with players, and to do so with as many players as possible. The relationship that you establish with those players is the true source of revenue and success."
It's perhaps a little "pie in the sky" for big publishers as they exist today, but as Kelly's full article explains, there's something fundamentally broken with that, too, something that actually in some ways encourages piracy. It's an interesting read, if only because it seeks to tackle "piracy" not from a direct, reactionary standpoint but in terms of changing the entire business of video games.

GIVE ME YOUR THOUGHTS BELOW!


Source: http://kotaku.com/#!5761681/pirates-are-not-thieves-they-are-fans

38 comments:

  1. This is a valid argument. I can see both sides of the argument though.

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  2. Piracy has definitely contributed to reduced number of games available for PCs. However, why do game companies don't just cut out the middle man, e.g. the publisher.

    Take their fee out of the equation and sell the game directly from developers website, then everyone profits. This also makes it more personal and thus less prone to piracy. Note Minecraft

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  3. totally true man, pirates are the best. arrrrrr

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  4. I like steams way of doing it. I have bought many games from them that i could have pirated, but they were on sale and so cheap i thought why not. Valve is a step in the right direction.

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  5. I totally agree. If there's something that I REALLY like and want to support, I will totally buy or donate. Otherwise I'm still doing artists a favor by spreading the word. There's so many ways to make money off of fame alone.

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  6. There is also the much ignored fact that theft requires removal of the original version of the object - piracy simply creates a copy. The common argument that the developer is losing money is flawed, in multiple ways, including the fact that the pirates would rarely buy the game otherwise (so there is no loss of revenue), and the original copy is still available for sale.

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  7. ddespot on! i cant believe how spot on

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  8. I pirated a lot of games when I was younger (civ, starcraft, red alert, tomb raider)and when I got my credit card as an adult I was already a fan of those games, and bought their respective sequels (civ5, scII, ra3 ,lara croft and the guardian of light).

    I think pirating is just marketing, people who pirates can't afford the game.

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  9. All I can say is...the games I pirated as a youth have made me love games so much I ended up spending thousands on it as an adult.

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  10. sounds good. just don't go overboard with it. (DRM etc)

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  11. if i werent so poor i would go legit

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  12. developers should ease up on the DRM, doesn't seem to help the fight against piracy

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  13. Yeah if I really want something or want to support something I will buy it. If I want to try something out I will pirate it.

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  14. normally i will buy a game if i think it's good but it is very rare that i won't pirate it first. blizzard and bioware games take up 99% of the games i downright refuse to pirate. for 2 reasons. 1st because their games are the SHIT! they deserve to be fully supported. 2nd, (mostly blizzard for this one) because their multiplayer side of the games makes up a good bit of the replay value and it's next to impossible to play multiplayer on a pirated game.

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  15. i have been saving the environment for a loonnnng time

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  16. I'll pirate only if they make sumthing virtually unobtainable...

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  17. A change of mind in industry is very necessary. They are potential clients.

    (and if you remove the captcha would be great)

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  18. On the other hand, piracy is responsible for high game prices. If everybody followed the rules, the market would make publishers lower their prices in competition, maybe even they would be cut off and people would buy games straight from the developers for mutual profit.

    So, basically, eny system that works, works.

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  19. If the developers sold the game themselves, for a much lower cost, i believe that piracy would decrease

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  20. hell yeah dude. I am infatuated with my music and don't have the currency to support my habit. This of course is crappy for up and coming local bands and stuff though so in that regards I'm more inclined to make a purchase

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  21. I have always thought that if I became famous for a band or something, I would charge money for my music as is normal, but would not care if people torrented it, because then more people are hearing it, and isn't that the whole point? If someone really likes your music, they're gonna buy it regardless of if they torrent..

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  22. Piracy has been a huge issue through a large portion of my life. Game developers are fighting so hard through DRM and such to keep their products out of the hands of pirates but I have to wonder if it is in their best interest... good read.

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  23. Game industry has to change or to die. They will eventually change, but they will be annoying the crap out of gamers 'til then.

    Oh, and check out my blog at nimbuzzreviews.blogspot.com, we review music...

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  24. I like that comparison: "Piracy isnt theft, theft is when your car is missing in the morning, piracy is when someone has taken it but it's also still outside in the morning".

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  25. If i download a pirated album and I really like, I will usually go and buy it to support the artist.

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  26. agree 100% same with cd's, if I respect the artist. I will buy it. With games, if i'm interested and want to support than I will buy them if not.. I won't

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  27. Sometimes I only download pirated stuff because I am not sure if I will like the CD/game/software.
    If I really like it I buy the real thing.

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  28. "piracy" schmiracy. with games, it may be different, i don't know, but at least with music, it only leads to more revenue.

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  29. The main issue is the huge decrease in revenue for companies whose product is targeted. This makes it so they are unable to produce more steady content because their funding is severely limited

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  30. With the price of theaters nowadays, you can spend up to $20 just for a movie and a popcorn. They wonder why people download movies, who wants to pay that much! MTV's show Cribs, well that's a no brainer on why we download music.

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  31. If I find I really enjoy a game or the music, then I will go and buy a real copy to support the developers or artists.

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  32. Exactly, the video game business has to change. Like the music industry, threatening titles and harsh attacks at the ones who pirate is going to not do any good in the long run.

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  33. This guy is exactly right. Piracy is no where near theft. It's copying. Not stealing. It's not revenue that was lost, it's potential revenue that could have been gained. Hell for all you know the guy who pirated the game could tell his friends and those friends could end up buying it. Developers may actually end up making more money off of their game this way.

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