Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Game Developer Asks To Hear From Pirates

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the first-person-royal dept.

PC Games (Games) 1085

cliffski writes "Indie game developer Cliff Harris has long waged war against games piracy, but has issued a call to pirates to tell him why he is wrong. Assuming that developers are missing out on potential sales from disgruntled pirates, Cliff wants to hear specifically from people who have pirated his games. Not to criticize or lecture them, but to answer a simple question. Why? The reasons people give for copyright infringement/piracy are many and varied, but much of the debate has centred around music and movies, with big 'Triple-A' games an occasional consideration. With specific application to the world of small budget 'indie' games like those Cliff makes, he wants to know the thought processes behind people pirating the games. What puts people off buying? Is it quality, cost, DRM, ease of access? Is there anything that can be done to convert those people to buyers? While many pirates often make good general points about the reasons for the widespread pirating of PC games, it's unusual to get a chance to address specific developers with specific reasons. If you knew 100% that the developer would read your email explaining why you pirated their game, what would you say?"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Lack of demos. (5, Insightful)

Whitemend (1192397) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546295)

If I can't try before I buy, I often just don't buy.

Re:Lack of demos. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24546333)

If you *can* try it before you buy it (using a cracked version), you often just don't buy either... I know I never did. It was all about the money... I could get it for free so why pay for it? Even if it was a crappy game, I'd still get a cracked version and play it.

Re:Lack of demos. (5, Insightful)

Physicser (1104279) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546391)

I really think this depends on the person. Countering your anecdote with another one, I know that there are a number of games that I've tried this way, then went on to buy a version because I enjoyed them so much. The ones that I didn't enjoy I didn't buy, but didn't really play after that anyways.

Re:Lack of demos. (5, Interesting)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546643)

you often just don't buy either... I know I never did. It was all about the money... I could get it for free so why pay for it?

It is about money, and about a person's perception of their money. If money is just "what you use to get stuff" then there is little reason to buy. However if money is "a tool to effect the world around you" then there is a solid reason to pay for a game that you enjoy, regardless of if that money goes to a big corp, an indy developer, or shareware donation. Now I don't have a good study to point to but I imagine that thinking of money as a tool of influence is more a trait of the wealthy, as the acquisition of material goods reaches saturation but there is still money to be spent. Conversely, when material needs can't be met money isn't likely to be spent on idealogical matters. I wonder if there is a relationship between disposable income and piracy?

Re:Lack of demos. (1)

Whitemend (1192397) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546715)

I was responding to the last line of the summary.

If you knew 100% that the developer would read your email explaining why you pirated their game, what would you say?

Re:Lack of demos. (1)

Whitemend (1192397) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546733)

I put that in the box for the one below, how did it end up here?

Re:Lack of demos. (4, Interesting)

Mr_eX9 (800448) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546815)

Why waste your time playing a game that isn't worth your money?

Re:Lack of demos. (5, Informative)

Affenkopf (949241) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546459)

If your read TFA you see that it's not about why people pirate games in general but about people who pirate Cliff Harris' games [positech.co.uk] .
Since all games on his site have a demo lack of demos is not a legitimate argument.

Re:Lack of demos. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24546505)

This is a big one for me too. It used to be every game that came out had demos available. I remember playing a Commander Keen demo and thinking that I just HAD to go buy it.

Now I may download it first because there's so much crap out there I want to see if it's worth the time to buy and play it.

Occasionally I might download because the cost is WAY to high for what amounts to an average or below average game, but I want to see what the review sites are talking about. That's not a lost sale though, I wouldn't buy it anyway.

Re:Lack of demos. (1)

IceFox (18179) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546549)

Same here. I went over to a friends house and tried out a dozen demos that he had from XBox-live. I found several of them to be very fun and then went out and bought them. Other then that the only games I have bought in the past few years have been from me working my way through a 25-top games for the ps2 list. So unless you are writing a killer game you need to give me a demo. The one exception being that I absolutely refuse to buy a single player game that requires a net connection for "conformation" because one day I know it will screw me over.

Re:Lack of demos. (1)

Mutio (1204504) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546583)

this is a good point, and is one of the reasons xbox live is so successful(demos of almost all games). But this is much more difficult with pc games as as the file sizes are often huge due to often needing to have the entire game engine, even if only to play a few minutes.

Re:Lack of demos. (5, Insightful)

thejeffer (864748) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546621)

I'd push this even further. If I can't return AFTER I buy, I don't buy. Too often, the try before you buy amounts to a demo that amounts to a movie trailer - all the decent content compressed down into a few minutes. With just about every other product on the market, if you buy something and determine it's crap, you can just return it. If that happens with a game... well, sorry, but you're screwed. Game publishers need to institute return policies. Yes, some people will absolutely take advantage of them and return just about everything. On the flip side though, you're boosting sales numbers by quite a bit, a good number of those WON'T return the game as long as it's decent quality, and even if they do return it, you still got to hold onto their cash for a month or so (free loan) with virtually no cost.

Re:Lack of demos. (4, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546631)

I agree there, demo of the game (real demo not the bullcrap that some pass off as a demo) is a good reason for 2 big ones... 1 - does the game suck, Most games out there suck bad, I am not going to buy the latest suckage. 2 - the the game run decently on my incredibly outdated 6 month old machine? Imagine how pissed someone get's when they buy a game and find it runs like crap on their pc.

As a person that buys the game I still pirate what I buy for 2 very simple reasons.

The pirated version is always better than the legit version because It does not ask for the damned CD/DVD and does not do the other crap that pisses me off as a customer. Ut-III has to go farking ONLINE to play single player, the cracked version eliminates that stupidity and makes the game more enjoyable.

The 12 year olds that pirate games will NEVER BUY YOUR GAMES even if they were priced at $19.95. Because 12 year olds dont have money and dont really care.

Re:Lack of demos. (2, Insightful)

hpavc (129350) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546641)

Exactly, somewhere along the line playable demos got lost, game play trailers, honest unsponsored reviews, got lost.

I download a game, check it out (most of the time less time spent playing than learning the controls) and often I am grateful I did.

Oh I cannot customize the controls, or the game is a series of loot grinds, its spoon feed gimme content, its a calculus simulation, etc.

Obvious. (4, Insightful)

mrbcs (737902) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546307)

I "pirate" a game to see if the damn thing will work on my system.
If it does, and I like it, I buy it. I have about a dozen games like this that I play. Lots more that I've tried and deleted.
I still use the no-cd crack because that shit drives me crazy. It's lousy copy protection and it just pisses me off.

Re:Obvious. (5, Insightful)

abigor (540274) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546657)

The guy who wrote the article provides game demos. He wants to know why people pirate his games even though demos are freely available. So the "I pirate in order to demo the game" argument is not valid in this case.

Re:Obvious. (5, Insightful)

Aranykai (1053846) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546801)

Because Demo's are great indication of how games will perform when you purchase the full version.

I cant count the number of times I have tried a demo, then later bought the game to find promised features missing, performance on my computer vastly reduced and game play crippled by bugs that were no present in the demo.

So, I will, as I have in the past, continue to pirate the game first, then purchase it if it makes the cut.

Re:Obvious. (4, Insightful)

thermian (1267986) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546781)

I used to pirate games to see if I liked them, but these days, with games getting so large, I have a different solution.

I wait until the games been around a bit, been patched up, thoroughly reviewed, and drops in price.

I tend to feel a lot happier to 'risk' £10 or £20 on a game then £40+, especially when I can trawl the internet for other peoples comments.

WOW! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24546315)

Minor basement game "developer" (which games, again?) wants hacker to help him design next "killer" game. Yes, this is news!

What would a pirate say? (4, Funny)

virtigex (323685) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546321)


I guess the usual answer won't be... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24546323)

because I'm a thief and I don't value your work enough to pay for it.

Re:I guess the usual answer won't be... (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546607)

because I'm a thief and I don't value your work enough to pay for it.

One might hope this AC was joking, but I know a lot of cheapskates who (although more than able to afford to buy anything they want) are just too damn mean to pay for anything, no matter how much they like to use it.

Furthermore, I'm ashamed to say that all of these people rank among the most tech-savvy of my acquaintances.

Personally, I generally prefer to use free/open source software as a matter of principle, with the exception of OS X on this laptop. I have to admit to (very) occasionally using a copy of PhotoShop downloaded via BitTorrent. Though for the most part I am happy enough with Gimp; my reasoning, for what it's worth, is that I simply can't afford Adobe's licencing fees, so I avoid using their product.

Try before you buy (1, Redundant)

Xtense (1075847) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546329)

I think H2O's group motto will answer this one:

"Try before you buy!"

Either start making games on par with the demos you release (quality-wise, anyway), or make the prices on them lunch-money.

"because i could" (5, Insightful)

PopCulture (536272) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546331)

i'd imagine that would be the case of many

Re:"because i could" (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24546689)

"because i could" ...and the fact that there are no consequences to me if I do.

THAT'S the most important reason people pirate.

There's no (realistic) way of getting caught. Therefore there's no punishment.

Think about it, if you knew you couldn't get caught, how many laws would you break? Speeding, trespassing, voyeurism... to name a few. Victimless crimes, as long as nobody sees you.

I want things for free (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24546343)

I don't "pirate" games, because I don't play them, but if I played them I'd probably pirate them. It's nice to pay nothing. Plus, I find that the music and films that matches my tastes were produced by private patronage or state arts subsidies, so sales are ultimately less important. I would like to see that model spread.

Re:I want things for free (1)

FinestLittleSpace (719663) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546799)

That 'model' would only be spread by increased taxes. I don't know why people will buy a book but the minute it's a film or a CD, it becomes like some contention point where they 'couldnt possibly pay for THAT!'.

I buy DVDs, games when I like the look of a film, have been recommended it, or have seen it before and want to own it. I buy it because I vote with my cash to say 'yes, I approve of this, nice one, have a beer on me!'.

Regardless of what anyone thinks of royalties etc etc, they DO, as well as falling in big boys pockets, also get passed to the rightful people, no matter how small, and that matters to me.

duh (2)

winmine (934311) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546345)

It's easier. Pirates deliver a more convenient product at a better price. Plus there's that whole "information wants to be free" ethos to follow along with.

Re:duh (5, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546439)

Pirates deliver a more convenient product at a better price

The more convenient is the killer. I don't mind paying a reasonable amount for a game, but I won't buy it if it treats me like a criminal (I won't pirate it either, I'll just ignore it). I bought EV Nova a few years ago. I copied it across to a new computer when I replaced my old one and it told me I had to re-authenticate. Unfortunately, I had to authenticate via a protocol that was blocked by a firewall between me and their servers. I bought some games that needed the CD in to run. Playing them years later, often I couldn't find the CD, or it was scratched. Or I wanted to play them on a laptop on a train and the CD drive flattens the battery too quickly. I bought some with a serial number, but came to install them later and found that I could find the CD but not the case with the serial number on it.

Compare this with the pirated version of any game. It's typically an archive which you extract and then run. No fuss, no effort, nothing getting in the way of enjoying the game. Anti-piracy measures only ever affect the legitimate users. Pirates have fun circumventing them and then aren't bothered by them once they're cracked.

Re:duh (5, Insightful)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546569)

it's a question of which pirate channel you want to stop.

1) the "hey chris, want a copy of this new game I got? It's great and there is no protection"

2) the "Arrrr, we've stripped out all the protection so you can now put a copy of this on yer hard disk and make easy backups"

All games should have *some* method of trivial protection to stop case 1 because it destroys sales. Most people are immoral when they are anonymous.

The most effective protection I've ever seen is new content created by the developer on their web site that the game must phone home for. It must sign in with a unique id and after a couple successful downloads, that id is locked until the next content release. The protection is on the server side.

I would recommend the following model.

1) Create content on the web site that must be downloaded with an ID that updates the program as well. Tightly integrate the downloaded data with the multiple gigabytes of data that already exists. Don't be an idiot and make it a stand alone 2mb file.

2) Set an arbitrary date when the content will stop (12-24 months) and the game will be unlocked due to an expectation that sales will drop to a level that support for problems is impossible. At that point, make the game unprotected and get good will and trust from your customers. And even then, you'll still get new sales- but the main wave of "hey chris" copies has passed.

Re:duh (2, Insightful)

Trashman (3003) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546753)

Re: your recommendations; You just described Valve's Steam Platform. Not sure item 2, afaik, no game has ever been "expired" on steam or otherwise.

hmm (5, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546349)

He's not wrong, and the pirates know that. There are a few excuses that are legitimate (lost/broken CDs) and some that are semilegitimate (abandonware), but most pirating is just people wanting something for free.

Re:hmm (1, Redundant)

TomRK1089 (1270906) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546365)

Damn, my mod points just expired or I'd mod you up +1 insightful.

Re:hmm (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546473)

I don't pirate games. I tend not to buy many anymore either though. I won't download pirated games largely because I pretty much expect them to contain trojans. I won't buy most commercial games because the hoops the DRM makes you jump through take away a lot of the fun. When I was younger, I used to buy games but (in many cases) actually run a cracked copy. Now I value my time too much to bother with this. If I want to waste some time with a game, I want to waste it playing the game, not persuading it that I really did buy it. These days I tend to mostly play browser-based or open source games, because they don't have this problem.

Re:hmm (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546595)

I won't buy most commercial games because the hoops the DRM makes you jump through take away a lot of the fun.

I hear everyone on slashdot complain about this, but I never really understood why. I mean, I don't buy too many games but the ones I do buy tend to have the same copy protection scheme: a CD key, and when you want to play it, one of the original CDs has to be in the drive. Somewhat annoying but nothing too different than what they've been doing for the past two decades. Are those two steps (one of which is done only once) really that bad?

Re:hmm (3, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546771)

Maybe you don't own a laptop? My computer and the collection of my CDs are often not in the same place. Many of the CDs are in a folder that is not near the cases, so if I want to reinstall I also have to find the case in order to find the CD key. I replace my machine every three years roughly, but I still play games that are ten or more years old. Often these need a reinstall after migrating the contents of the old machine to the new one because they have detected changes in the hardware. Some newer games require an unfiltered Internet connection, which I don't have while mobile. Keeping the CD in the drive flattens the battery and generates a lot of heat too.

Re:hmm (1)

Thaddeaus (777809) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546783)

I think when you first install a game neither of those is a problem. However, if you have to install the game again (HDD crash or whatever) and you can't find the serial number, well, thats a problem. And although I back up my game CD's, even those get scratched, and if you can't find your original, you're SOL. As another comment above me said, the whole "CD in the drive" thing kills the battery, if you're running it on a laptop. Although I don't think a battery would last that long anyway...

Re:hmm (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546581)

"He's not wrong, and the pirates know that. There are a few excuses that are legitimate (lost/broken CDs) and some that are semilegitimate (abandonware), but most pirating is just people wanting something for free."

Unfortunately, I think we should turn it around. Instead of "Why do people pirate games?"

What we should be asking is? "Why should your industry making record profits despite non-scarcity?"

People are so stuck in the old model of thinking. The whole intellectual property model combined with non-scarcity should mean game dev's shouldnt be making anything at all, in market economies we use them because of scarcity. Imagine if we invented a startrek replicator tomorrow and all you needed was some matter out of our backyard, entire industries would go bankrupt over night. The economic idealogy is at odds with some of the technology we develop, that has to be realized instead of fought. IMHO developers need to start treating their customers like customers instead of just objects with wallets to be abused willy nilly. I like the stardock approach myself.

I think the argument should be viewed in the reverse, considering non-scarcity of said product once it is produced, why haven't prices of games come down? Many hit selling games keep their priceses maximized to extract the maximum amount of profit because they can and becaue most games are so poor to begin with.

The supply of digital goods is infinite and yet game devs still make record profits, exactly why should they be complaining?

Next is the issue of the game industry being unable to control it's costs effectively, that's the real issue. IT's no longer the 8 and 16-bit era where you could spend less on developing a game and didn't have to sell so many units just to break even, also you could slowly grow a franchise instead of having to develop an 'instant hit'. Many games in the old era slowly grew their fanbases through rentals, etc, that became increasingly difficult to do, to make money but also still be creative and not release sequel after sequal.

They've boxed themselves into a corner with driving dev costs up through the roof, their are still a lot of problems with the game industry not being able to effectively cut it's costs on producing games. I imagine this will take a while until new middleware / software emerges that makes games easier to produce, thereby reducing the cost.

Re:hmm (2, Insightful)

me at werk (836328) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546587)

Or it could be like Duffy says [torrentfreak.com] , and it's people who can't afford (yet) to purchase games. What about the people who pirated Warcraft and now pay $15/month for World of Warcraft?

Depends on the country of course, but .. (2, Interesting)

apankrat (314147) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546723)

It is also a case of not "wanting something for free", but more of "not wanting to pay upfront for something that may suck". Right now buying a game is effectively a gamble based on whatever other people had to say about it. So it is, of course, easier to download "full version" and see if it lives up to its ratings. But the problem is that there's no easy way and no real incentive to purchase the copy of the game if it *is* good.

In fact, I wonder if distributing a game for free and then having an easily accessible "pay us" button would work. I know that I'd pay this way in an instant if the product is good and I am using it.

Also... (5, Informative)

Xtense (1075847) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546363)

Also, pirates do it for fun. No, really, they do. Read some nfos from respectable groups like Razor1911, Deviance or Fairlight, and you're bound to find a note on "why" etc. They also tell warez-users to go buy the stuff they pirate. "If you like it, buy the game - we did!", or something in this context.

Re:Also... (5, Interesting)

kabdib (81955) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546517)

That's been my experience as well -- the crackers who broke one of my games (in three days -- took me two weeks to do the protection) lived in my apartment complex and chatted with me about it.

They were just looking for a challenge. They had hundreds of games, and as near as I can tell they never really played them.

But of course they gave copies and compilations away to anyone who asked, often with a "cracked by (stupid hackerish name)" splash screen.

Re:Also... (5, Insightful)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546709)

crackers who broke one of my games (in three days -- took me two weeks to do the protection)

Moral: you wasted two weeks of your life writing ineffective copy protection that does nothing to slow down pirates but inconveniences any customers you might have. Why?

Re:Also... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24546777)

Correct. Let's pretend I cracked for a major group in the beginning of the 90s. My reason, if that was true, was solely "for the challenge". I never really played the games myself.

Pirates != Crackers, and vice versa. There's no point in making copy protection systems.

(Oh, and I loved writing intros of course. That was fun!)

Well... (4, Insightful)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546373)

I've never played his games, but usually I "pirate" because some devs/pubs feel it is necessary to install "copy protection".

I get rather annoyed when a game won't play because I have a virtual drive on my computer.

Re:Well... (5, Insightful)

Comatose51 (687974) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546691)

It's ironic that I would trust pirates over some game developers to not screw up my system.

Because they want it for free. (1)

ip_freely_2000 (577249) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546377)

It's good to ask the question, I suppose.

If a game developer offers a demo a couple of weeks before final release, people really have no excuse for pirating a game. The game either works on their system or it doesn't. The game is either interesting or it's not. Beyond that, pirating is just because they can get it for free.

Because I can't get a refund if it won't play. (1)

FatSean (18753) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546425)

If I buy a game, and it won't work on my system, I am screwed. I can't get my money back. I've been burnt like this with a few titles in the past.

So, now that I feel that the industry has gotten their pound of flesh, I just play copies. Now and again a really good game will inspire me to buy the package to support the developer. Civ4 did this. Often the pirated game gets played a few times and deleted because it wasn't all that good in the first place.

Re:Because I can't get a refund if it won't play. (1)

Mistshadow2k4 (748958) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546523)

If I buy a game, and it won't work on my system, I am screwed. I can't get my money back. I've been burnt like this with a few titles in the past.

Hear, hear. I bought a copy of Neverwinter Nights 2 when it first came out and I can't even install the damn thing, let alone play it. Naturally, I couldn't get my money back either. That is going to be the very last time that ever happens to me, I promise you.

Ye talkin' ya me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24546387)

I just plunder man, get off me back.

Well, my 2 cents.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24546397)

I would stop pirating games if the following credentials are met:

A) It should be 100% all-downloadable, no reason to stand in line at Best Buy just to buy a CD in a shiny box. The game downloaded should be install.exe, and should not rely on any 3rd party software to update/install/play. (Yes, I'm looking at you, Steam.)

B) The game should be available as a "stripped edition", sans the lengthy video clips. No intros. Start the game, and start playing.

C) The game (.exe) should be free. Pay-as-you-play instead. $1 per week, no subscriptions.

Re:Well, my 2 cents.. (1)

EnglishTim (9662) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546503)

Out of interest, how long do you normally spend playing a game?

3 weeks? 4 weeks?

I can't really see that putting the sale price of a game down to $4 is going to make much sense for all but the smallest of games...

Re:Well, my 2 cents.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24546551)

I played Counter-Strike (up to version 1.6) for more than three years. I've had Urban Terror installed for almost 2 years, I guess.

Maybe people wouldn't play longer with such a fee system, but I think more PLAYERS would try it. That should generate more money, and I'm basing that on absolutely nothing.

Alienation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24546409)

If game developers didn't try to alienate their customers, customers wouldn't skirt around their protections. Stuff like mandatory CD checks, online account logins, and draconian DRM such as SecureROM and many others are big reasons. Secondly, I've seen the emergence of lots of unnecessary grunt work in games lately. First person shooters have things you can 'unlock' alot of times now (Team Fortress 2 comes to mind). It used to be that the joy of FPS games was that everyone started with an even playing field. I don't like having to play a game for 40 hours to unlock a better weapon than people that don't play the game a ton. Quit alienating the casual gamer and the casual gamer will be more likely to put up his/her money for your product.

They like the feeling of "beating the system" (0)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546413)

This seems to be a big part of piracy in this demographic.

Put your game on Stardock central/Impulse (4, Interesting)

Zarhan (415465) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546415)

...and I will buy it, just like I have bought Sins of the Solar Empire, Galactic Civilizations II and Space Rangers 2.

Note that SR2 I originally passed as it was originally published - it had Securom copy protection, so I let it pass.

http://www.impulsedriven.com/ [impulsedriven.com] is Stardock's new system, looks very promising (and more friendly than Steam, which is also nice).

Re:Put your game on Stardock central/Impulse (5, Insightful)

Lunatrik (1136121) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546749)

I would say the same thing about Steam - publish it on Steam, and I'll buy the thing. Or any kind of system under which (and this is key) I can download the things as many times as I want. Hell, you can even charge me .10 each time over a certain limit, fine, I understand you pay for bandwidth. Short version of why I've pirated? I lost the damn CD I bought!

Dear Game Developer (1)

Rinikusu (28164) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546429)

Because we can.


For the cracking teams, it's a challenge. For the casual leech, there are a million rationalizations, most of which boil down to "I'm too cheap/poor to buy it." Many are sorta justifiable, many are not. I'm poor.

Paranoia Limits (4, Interesting)

RancidPickle (160946) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546431)

I think a lot of the true Pirates will avoid the contact because they'd be concerned about their anonimity. He'll hear from the part-time leechers and the 'try before buying' crowd, but the folks who do the actual work on cracking a game probably won't make a sound.

What if Slashdot did one of those 'ask-the-developer-a-question' forum, and they took the top reasons, then sent them in (with the understanding that the developer would get back with replies and/or rebuttals)?

Easy Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24546449)

Put up a bittorrent site with super fast downloads that people have to pay a monthly fee of say $10.00 for fast access to tons of quality games. Have all the game makers Upload their games using a really cool handle like "HankLovesHooters". The game with the more downloads gets a larger piece of the action so making good games gets the company more money.

Pirates will love it for the fast downloads and large conetnt and Game Companies will profit from the low monthly fees. For $10 per month for unlimited access to games. Everyone wins!

Because I don't like them enough to pay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24546451)

I'm really not into gaming and haven't been in many, many years. Every once in a while I find myself with too much time on my hands and might pick up a game to fill it and I usually bore of them very quickly and very rarely finish them. It's just not worth it to me to pay. If I couldn't get them through free copyright infringing copies then I simply wouldn't play them at all, opting instead for free games. The same goes for music or movies. It's really that simple. I think that a significant number of people who download anything without paying have the same attitude.

Cheap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24546455)

Personally i think some people are just cheap.

There is just cause to the argument that some games don't work, quality is not up to scratch, lack of demoes. Either the person is poor or they are cheap.

I think I speak for a lot of people when I say (3, Informative)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546463)

I'm a lazy git who couldn't be bothered to pay if he had the money and wasn't a skinflint. Also, there's lots of games/movies/music out there that I want, I don't have the disposable income to pay for them all, and because I don't want to bother with deciding what's more worthy of my money I just don't pay for anything.

Besides, why should I pay for something I can get for free? Not trolling, I and masses of people think that way. The only way I'd consider buying a game is if it couldn't be pirated, and had a playable demo that made me want to have the real thing really badly. Hasn't happened in at least a decade, so good luck with that!

Re:I think I speak for a lot of people when I say (5, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546605)

Besides, why should I pay for something I can get for free?

It's this poor attitude that is not only growing but becoming a staple of online communities with regards to stuff that can be transmitted.

And the truth is you don't get it for free. You get it subsidized by the people who do pay. But if enough people don't pay that something fails (IE the production loses money,) then it won't happen again.

Of course, rationalizations make it all easy to justify.


Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24546623)

An honest answer. I respect that.

Here's a few... (3, Insightful)

Goyuix (698012) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546469)

While not directly pertaining to any Cliff's games - I can't say that I have pirated a single one... and perhaps a bit of a rant...

Take for example the impending release of Bionic Commando Rearmed. According to their own blog, it was always slated to be $10 http://www.bioniccommando.com/en/blog_entries/view/291 [bioniccommando.com] - According to them as a result of listening to their customers. However, just this last week, one week before it launches I might add, they go and drop the bomb that the PC version will suddenly cost 50% more. Now before we drop off into excuses (dev/qa costs or promised patch for additional content) or business ideas like "Well, it is worth at least $20 in the first place! and many digital distribution games cost $20 as well!" - let us consider the EMOTIONAL impact that had on me:

"What a bunch of jerks. Why don't they just charge the same across all platforms? What exactly are they trying to accomplish - weed the PC platform out? set it up for the poster child of software piracy?"

I am certain I just going to buy it anyway, and really $15 isn't going to break the budget... but suddenly I am much, much more interested in a "demo" - legitimate source or not - before I plunk down the cash.

Flawed premise (4, Insightful)

Mantle (104724) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546513)

The entire "study" has one huge glaring problem: A PIRATED GAME DOES NOT MEAN A LOST SALE.

He asks what he can do to "convert more people to become buyers". You can't convert people that wouldn't have bought your game in the first place. The only way to stop people copying your game is to provide more value to a so-called pirate such that the "pirate" gets more utility from the game by paying for it than by downloading it. If your game sucks and provides only marginal utility, even if he couldn't play the game for free the game he wouldn't have paid for it.

Re:Flawed premise (5, Insightful)

quickbrownfox (900989) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546767)

The entire "study" has one huge glaring problem: A PIRATED GAME DOES NOT MEAN A LOST SALE.

I would change that to read "A pirated game does not always mean a lost sale." I think there are quite a few people who would pay for games if that was the only way to get them. The fact that illicit copies are freely available dramatically reduces the motivation to purchase. At least for some people.

Re:Flawed premise (2, Interesting)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546795)

It also doesnt mean they would not have bought it either. There are some people among the total number of people prating the game that actually would have bought it if there was no pirated version available. Those people might have the reasoning of "I would have paid $5, but I'm not going to pay $10". I would consider people in that boat to be people who could be converted into buyers by lowering the price. THAT is the type of information he is trying to get, "What would I have had to do to get that person who pirated the game to have bought it instead?". It could range from Lowing the price, to better graphics, to Including a free pony in every box.

Because (1)

xx01dk (191137) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546515)

Because, among other things: sometimes even in this day and age, a game will ship WITHOUT wide screen support, and most times you have no way of knowing this until you actually install and try to configure it.

I stopped pirating games years ago. (4, Interesting)

goldcd (587052) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546529)

Not really for any specific reason, but here are some of them:
I earn money now. As a student buying that game was taking food/alcohol money.
I don't have less free time. I have to be more selective. I play less games and the cost to purchase is the least of my worries. In fact it probably saves me cash as if I was out doing something else, I'd undoubtedly be spending more money.
I like on-line a lot. I bought Battlefield 2 for the magic code that let me go online - and I've not chipped my 360 for the same reason.
Cracking stuff makes me feel guilty. I mean yes there's all the arguments about how paying for the game gives you a more restricted copy - but Oh I dunno. If it's a good game somebody has poured their heart and soul into it, and I don't want to make them sad.
Steam - I like steam. I go there, I buy a game (after playing a demo maybe) and there it is to play a few minutes later. I can't be arsed fiddling with CDs, I usally lose/scratch them. If I'd put my thinking cap on and designed my own online distribution system - it'd look like Steam.
I'm not involved in the scene. Getting a pre-Jap release of Metal Gear Solid through the post, complete with japanese stamps on the jiffy bag - that's exciting. Clicking on a torrent link or browsing usenet.. not really a challenge. Strange point this one, but I liked the days when stuff had to be posted, or tracked down to an obscure hidden FTP dir. Too easy now.

How to stop piracy? Well that's a tricky one as I think everybody has their own reasons. If you genuinely can't afford the game - then nothing's going to stop that person pirating it (and if there's been no sale to lose - who cares?). If anything it keeps somebody in the market for future releases and hey they might turn into me and start buying them when they can.
Possibly the other thing is to make the makers of games more important. If you've been reading the blog of somebody who is making something - or eagerly tracking the return of Sam and Max - then you're going to feel more inclined to show support and buy it. When some movie-tie-in appears on 9 formats the day of the films release from 'somewhere' - well I'm not feeling a great emotional attachment to the producers.
Final bit is that I think game makers are starting to be nice to us and understand what we want. We don't have it too bad. Compare what's happening with online distribution of music and movies..

information scarcity is an anachronism (2, Informative)

Victor Tramp (5336) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546541)

The problem I see is game developers have the same myopic understanding of their products as the MPAA and RIAA have..

In the material world, matter can't be created or destroyed. So in order to sell a widget, you have to make a widget first, and when you DO sell a widget, you only get to keep a fraction of the money you make, since the majority of the price has to go into MAKING ANOTHER WIDGET.

In the digital world, information CAN be created and destroyed. it is very easy to create, and very difficult to destroy once created. So in order to sell a digital widget one merely needs to make a copy and trade material money for it. however, the party RECEIVING the money gets to keep 100% of that money since generating a new digital widget takes no industrial effort at all to make (or allow to be made) more copies.

As the internet spreads around the globe and everybody has faster and faster access to information, there's no scarcity. ONCE a program has been WRITTEN, it can be infinitely replicated by anyone who has a copy. ..So, crying foul because people are pirating or copying your digital products literally makes no sense. No one gets rich by digging one ditch. If you don't want your information copied, don't put it out there for people to access.

I'm not saying I have the solution for "piracy", nor am I attempting to explain the motivations behind "pirates". All I'm trying to illustrate is the physics of what the situation is for software developers, and music and movie producers, and all the other people trying to "capitalize" on the information age.

everybody's motivations in this matter are merely based on physics, not greed or morals.. enjoy the spread of computers, technology, and bandwidth! ^_^


Re:information scarcity is an anachronism (1)

Tikkun (992269) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546651)

In the material world, matter can't be created or destroyed. So in order to sell a widget, you have to make a widget first, and when you DO sell a widget, you only get to keep a fraction of the money you make, since the majority of the price has to go into MAKING ANOTHER WIDGET.

Am I the only one who read this an instantly thought about the first law of equivalent exchange in FMA?

my quick answers: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24546559)

Because I can't afford to buy it right now. If it's good I'll buy it at some point in the future.

Guaranteed way to make me _not_ buy the game, regardless of how good it is.

Why Steam stopped me from pirating (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24546573)

1. I'm lazy. Steam lets me get the games I want without having to do much work at all. If I wanted to buy a game before I had to go to do the store, or order it online, which took time and effort.

2. It's portable. If I get a new computer, I just load up Steam and re-download the games I want. No searching for disks, or serial numbers. Steam also allows me to install the game on multiple computers (say a laptop and a desktop), and since I'm not using both at the same time, it's not a problem.

3. It's getting better. The process continues to be refined, and the selection continues to grow. If I pre-order or order bundles of games, I can sometimes save significant amounts of money.

My Reasons (1)

Comatose51 (687974) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546585)

I've generally stopped pirating games now that I'm older and financially independent. It used to happen a lot more when I was living under my parents' roof. That's not a real excuse. Still, I occasionally pirate games because:

1. I want to try them out first. In my opinion, 95% of games out there suck and I get tired of them in a few hours because most don't have any replay value. As a result, I usually pirate the games to try them out and buy them later or I buy from the used game bin a few yeas after they've come out because wasting $10 is better than losing $40+. There are some companies out there who've established such a good reputation that I don't need to do this. I've purchased every one of Blizzard's non-MMORPG games since StarCraft because they've yet to disappoint me and their games have such good replay value. I still play Diablo II and StarCraft every now and then.

2. DRM sucks. I pirated Company of Heroes and then I liked it so much that I purchased it. When the expansion, Opposing Fronts, came out I purchased that too since I figured the company is good at what they do. After installing it, however, I want to pirate it because the DRM on the expansion is annoying as hell. They check for media or you have to register yourself with their multiplayer server. Both of these things are annoying for me. I would much rather go pirate it so the stupid game doesn't nag me everytime I try to play it. This is AFTER I've already purchased the game.

Out of print (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546603)

A lot of programs get pirated because they're not available through legit channels. For instance, Zero Wing gets pirated because it's out of print and the public doesn't know who owns Toaplan's assets. Another case: Over a decade ago, I tried to register a shareware application for Mac. I mailed a money order, but two months later I got it back, marked return to sender. I assume the developer moved without a forwarding address.

Abandonware (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546763)

Long out of print software tends to fall into one of those wacky grey areas that pirates like to create for themselves-- like the '24-hour law' regarding console ROMs. In this case, people have latched onto the term 'abandonware' to describe software that's no longer being produced, and never will be produced again, to validate making it available for free. Some companies send aggressive cease and desist orders (Sierra On-Line being noteworthy for this), but many others are defunct and their IP rights tucked away in some dusty, disused office. Unsurprisingly, abandonware is mostly a games thing. After all, there's more nostalgia and curiosity tucked into the games of yesteryear, than the spreadsheets.

I don't want your permission to play. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24546611)

The biggest annoyance is a game calling home for permission to do something, whether it is to install or just to run. I don't want to make another account, I've got too many as it is. I don't need to login, I want to play a local single player game. I also want to play the game again in 5 or 10 years. I may want to pull out a classic game to relive those old moments but if you decide to take your servers off line of go out of business, your taking something away from me too.

I can live with a CD key used to install and only checked if I choose to connect to your servers for some multi-player action but cd checks are useless as no-cd cracks are available for nearly every game released anyway so why bother?

Score rankings (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546735)

I don't need to login, I want to play a local single player game.

Most games aren't as single player as you think. If you can't phone home, then you can't download or upload scores.

Mutual respect (5, Insightful)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546613)

Look, I don't want to pirate stuff. I'll happily pay to go see a movie, and I'll happily pay to buy a good game (without even downloading it first to try it!). But here's what I demand in return: treat me with respect.

  1. Do not require me to leave the CD in. I have a bunch of games and don't want to dig around for the installation media every time I want to play it.
  2. Skip the copy protection. We both know that I can download a cracked version off the Internet, so why penalize me for buying a real copy? Yes, I very well may install it on more than one of my computers, such as by putting a copy on my laptop so I can play it while I'm out and around. I can do that with my MP3s and movies, and I'm going to do it with my games. These are copies for my own personal use and I'll make them to my convenience. But here's my end of the bargain: I'm going to tell my mooch friends to buy their own copy.
  3. That crap Blizzard pulled with Glider? Don't even think about it. People will grudgingly put up with it from them, but you won't be able to pull it off. This is my computer and I very well might break your program in new and interesting ways. I bought it. I can do that.
  4. Skip the EULA. When I hand over my cash, I own that copy of the game. It's not licensed to me. It's not rented or leased to me. I own it. Don't attempt to throw extra restrictions on my use of it after the fact. Again, I'm not going to distribute your work, but you need to understand that I owe you nothing else.

I'm not trying to be antagonistic, but the above are my non-negotiable requirements for buying software in general. I'm not out to share copies or take anything away from you, but in return I want acknowledgment that I don't owe you any extra favors just because I bought your stuff. I'm your customer and want to have a good relationship with you, so don't treat my like an asshole just because other people ripped you off.

CD checks on consoles? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546683)

Do not require me to leave the CD in. I have a bunch of games and don't want to dig around for the installation media every time I want to play it.

So I take it you won't play a console game unless it's on WiiWare or Xbox Live Arcade. Games for consoles that come on discs typically don't install themselves completely to the internal drive, and most games for one PC don't have multiplayer.

100% down to quality of game for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24546627)

I pirated Dawn of War but ended up buying it and all the expansions since because it was such a good game.

The same goes for many other games for me such as Ghost Recon series, Settlers series, Rainbow Six series, Quake series and many others.

Nothing sucks more and bitters my taste, not from buying from just one company, but from the game industry as a whole as spending $60 on a game to find out it's complete and utter crap.

Value also helps sales for me, Valve's Orange Box is a good example, the box had a lot of additional game content that made purchasing it far more worthwhile than say a single game with just 6hrs content.

Hear from pirates (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24546633)


Non-pirate point of view on /.? (1)

mi (197448) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546647)

If you read /. only, you'd be convinced, that the only people opposed to piracy are the big studios and their associations, who resell the works (intellectual) of the (maltreated) artists.

Occasional reports of exceptions (such as Metallica) don't count.

And now we have a word of an indie game-developer, who, it turns out, has been fighting pirates for a while already...

I guess, the only way for him to get a mention here is by trying to talk to the (almost) thieves... What does this say about our forum?

Yaar! (3, Insightful)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546649)

I'll be plunderin' yer booty, matey! What's that lad? Oh GAME pirates! Well t'tell ya the truth, matey, it's been a long time since I were 13 and I buy my games legit' now, but they frequently require me t'go fumblin' 'round for a CD or otherwise don't like soemthin' about my system. Like that I'm trying to run it under wine.

In those cases, matey, I haves' t' take a short sail down to the Pirate Bay and download a crack or pirated version of yer game which I just bought. An' there ALWAYS IS one, matey!

So yer efforts to prevent pirates be in vain matey! And you're makin' life more difficult than y'should for yer payin' customers. And ye be forcin' me to expose my system potentially to all sorts o' malcontents whose code I'd like to keep as far away from my machine as possible.

Now that we've cleared the air, lad, I'll be takin' that booty.

I used to pirate games for a couple of reasons: (1)

DeadDecoy (877617) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546663)

Here are some of the reasons I used to pirate games.
1. The game is abandon-ware or really friggen hard to find.
2. At the time, I was a poor student that didn't have any money (you weren't missing out on my money).
3. To try out the game.
4. Obsessive-compulsive desire to collect games and archive them. A few times, I got in the process of collecting games, just because I could. I never ended up playing those games.
5. Too many competing products in the mediocre games sections to actually buy them all.

Here are the reasons why I have stopped/don't pirate.
1. Too annoying to camp out a torrent/download.
2. Too busy with work.
3. Many games just aren't that good/innovative/have replay value, to be worth my time, i.e. I wouldn't get them if they were free.
4. Online key codes. Gotta admit, this feature of registration for online play made me buy a few games.

To be honest, it was a combination of aquireability and availability. If the game was easier to get through other means I would. Nowadays, my interest in games has lessened and I have the ability to buy the few games I want, so it's more convenient to purchase the game over downloading it. I had some friends who were more efficient at and the games they downloaded (versus payed for) were usually obscure titles of questionable quality.

The same reasons could apply to music really. Does the customer have the ability to pay for the media and is paying the most convenient way of acquiring the media. When most people act in an illegal manner, it is not out of malicious spite to the creator of the media, but rather because it is convenient, easy to do, and the product is not excellent such that the user wants to own a physical artifact. I'm willing to bet that the major demographics of 'pirates' are adolescents who want everything but don't have the means to pay for anything. It kinda sucks that that's your target audience. They're kinda like zombies: they are legion and serve as a nifty buying force, but they will eat your brains given the opportunity.

So, back to the main question: are you losing a significant amount of money because of pirates. I'm inclined to say no because 'pirates' don't have the means or desire to purchase your product when it comes down to paying money.

Ploy? (1)

SIR_Taco (467460) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546673)

Well... this could be a neat ploy for self-confession

why not:
I want to hear from people who murder. I think murder is wrong and I would like to hear why you murderers out there think that I am wrong.

Oh, and don't worry, we wont log any information about you *wink-wink* *nudge-nudge*

Convenience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24546679)

I don't remember the last time I bought a game from a brick and mortar. I've bought many from Direct2Drive and would be willing to buy many more. Unfortunately, not everything is easily available for online download. This makes piracy a reasonable option if you're not wanting to drive somewhere or wait a week to get a new game. Thats really the only reason I'd pirate any games at this point.

WTB AAA quality games (1)

Dukenukemx (1342047) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546693)

There are 2 good reasons why people pirate games, and it's no different then any other type of entertainment. #1 Is it the best you can make? A lot of games aren't made to be top quality, but to just sell. Unfortunately for them people have realized this, but that doesn't stop people from wanting to see the game. Many pirates already know they would not buy the game, because they have a feeling it doesn't meet their expectations. For many pirates it's like they know it sucks, but they have a shred of that it doesn't, and their curiosity draws them to play it. It's like someone made "Back To the Future 4" and everyone knows it's going to suck, but because people were such huge fans of the previous movies then they're compelled to watch it. It works sorta like that. #2 Take notes from World of Warcraft. Single player games are nice but people are really into multi-player. Unfortunately there are 2 types of multi-player games. First type is single player games that have had multi-player glued onto them, like Doom 3. Second type is games built entirely around multi-player, like Quake 3 and Unreal Tournament. What people really want is Co-op game play. The option to play with friends, but also the option to play by themselves at any given point. People wanted to see more Co-op type games for a long time, and nobody has really satisfied that. By moving games to a more MMO like experience, then players will pay to play, but it has to be good. There were plenty of pay to play games before World of Warcraft and those games don't have over 10 million players like WoW does. Make it a good game or don't make it at all. If Blizzard can turn a series like Warcraft into an MMO, then anything could be turned into a MMO. People are really ready for this type of gameplay. I still wanna see a FPS-MMO type of game.

They should pay me for playing their games! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24546703)

Hey, all these games are huge time waste, and bring zero value. I could use the wasted time to earn money or do something useful, instead I end up playing some worthless junk! And they want me to pay money for that?!

*puts on pirate hat* (1)

MostAwesomeDude (980382) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546705)

I don't pirate games, actually. I just don't happen to own that many games.

I have Steam. Paid for a handful of Valve's games. I have Unreal, from the boxed set. Have StarCraft & Brood War. Don't play those often, except with friends. Maybe once a month at most.

I have more freeware games than you could ever count, including the Touhou suite and a few other shmups, and a massive folder of Flash games. Pull those out whenever I'm bored and not in class or such.

(I know that Touhou's not free, but the developer explicitly endorses piracy of it outside Japan, since it's not sold outside of the country. Quite the chill guy, in my opinion.)

And I'm the typical casual gamer. Very few of us actually pirate out of greed and malice. Most of us only do it out of necessity.

There's more than one answer (1)

Dr. Winston O'Boogie (196360) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546711)

I think trying to address just "pirates" is oversimplifying the issue. I can think of a number of separate motivations for why game copying exists, and this amounts to a number of different personality types.

1) the fear - you only have to shell out decent money once for a crappy game to want some form of guarantee or trial period.

2) the pragmatism - playing a video game is fun, but you can live without them and spend your money on something more practical. If it's free, you'll play, but if you have to pay, you won't. (Note that counting these people as "lost sales" is a fallacy.)

3) the challenge - the age-old root of of game copying is those that like a good challenge/puzzle, especially when adding the stroking of the ego when there's a group in a quasi-competition.

4) the greed - this is the professional pirate, who lacks any qualms about doing it, and knows there's some money to be made.

Guilt-Free (1)

clysher (1305359) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546713)

I download anything before I buy it, and no, I don't buy a lot of what I download. However, I tell people about the stuff I download, and they do spend money. I have made people go watch movies by showing them screeners. Several of my friends bought the Orange Box, Bioshock, and Unreal Tournament III because I showed it to them. So if anything, in my case, more money is spent because I pirate. Plus, if I download a game, and I won't buy it, I delete it. Because if it isn't good enough for me to buy, I don't want to play it. So there goes the whole lost money idea.

Why do you care? (5, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546721)

Cliff, you're asking the wrong question. When someone pirates one of your games, there are three possible outcomes:
  1. They decide they like it so much they buy it.
  2. They decide not to buy it, but wouldn't have bought it anyway.
  3. They decide not to buy it, but would have done if they didn't (or couldn't) pirate it.

The percentages of each of these might be interesting to find out. More important, however, is the percentage of people who didn't buy your games who pirated them. Since, I would imagine, most people on this planet didn't buy your game, and only a tiny proportion played it at all, then this number is almost insignificant. The correct question is:

Why did people who didn't buy my game not buy it, and how do I change this?

Whether these people pirated it or not is a side-question - a distraction. I can give you my answer to this:

  1. I had never heard of you, nor any of your games (apparently you advertise in your /. signature, but apparently I missed this).
  2. Your games are Windows-only, and I haven't owned a Windows machine for some years.
  3. You mentioned copy protection measures. These typically stop games working in WINE, but even if they didn't, they will detract from my enjoyment. They have no effect on pirates, and so they are indicative of your lack of respect for your paying customers.

Beyond that might be the price. I haven't looked at how much you charge for your games - three reasons not to buy them before I even found out what they were about made me stop looking - but a lot of companies charge a lot more for games than I would consider them to be worth (especially in comparison to something like a DVD or a book).

Re:Why do you care? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546737)

Your games are Windows-only, and I haven't owned a Windows machine for some years

When I clicked on a buy link, apparently they are Mac as well. The demo, however, is Windows-only. Why is this?

Availability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24546731)

There's no R18+ rating for games in Australia so a lot of games never make it past the censors (or if they do, it's with large cuts). To give you an idea of how silly this is, it means the US version of Duke Nukem 3D is still banned due to animated non-human "gore".

If it's a choice of breaking the law by (1) purchasing your game overseas and hoping it misses a Customs check and (2) downloading it from a torrent, guess which carries the lesser risk and the lesser penalty.

Availability (2, Insightful)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546751)

My main reason for pirating games is availability, price is usually not an issue. In this day and age it's a bit silly that I need to go buy a physical box to play a game on my PC. And in the Netherlands, buying the box means you'll have to find the damn thing first, as there are not many good game shops around. Most games are sold in electronics stores, who do not pay much attention to what's new and hot.

I've bought a good many things through Steam. Fast and mostly painless. You let me download your games (or movies / music for that matter) and don't apply too much DRM, I'll pay your fee.

pirates (1)

alxkit (941262) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546759)

Cliff wants to hear specifically from people who have pirated his games

in other news RIAA wants to hear from all the people who pirated their mp3s

Because I don't want to spend that much (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 6 years ago | (#24546775)

I like getting games for free, and generally know I'm not going to play them enough to justify the price tag. I'll buy plenty when the prices have come down, and do own mostly original games but quite often I'll want to see what the fuss is about so I'll download it.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?