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Gabe : Piracy a "Non-Issue" at Valve, Provide good services and you'll actually get sales

This is a discussion on Gabe : Piracy a "Non-Issue" at Valve, Provide good services and you'll actually get sales within the General PS3 Discussion forum, part of the Everything PlayStation; Originally Posted by Nagflar There's a big price difference between a game and an iPod. There's also a very big ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nagflar View Post
    There's a big price difference between a game and an iPod. There's also a very big difference in their sale numbers and in the way the companies handle it, so no, it's not the same.

    And game companies don't lose billions of dollars, stop living in the clouds.
    that article isnt about ipods,its about the effect of piracy and counterfeit goods,people in china wont think about buying a cd,because its free to pirate it.game companies arent losing billions but you are the one living in a cloud if you believe they dont lose money due to piracy.

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    Good old Games (Basically they sell old games, completely DRM free and everything) Talks about piracy, says it's helps their sales rather than hurt them

    GoG Breaks Cover – Interview with Good Old Games | GamersMint


    GM: What are your thoughts on piracy? Obviously you have a no-DRM system in place but what’s your view towards piracy effecting PC games industry these days?

    By focusing on piracy as the evil enemy of PC gaming, the industry loses sight of two things: first of all, pirates are better at distributing games than many companies are. Why else would someone risk getting malware or a virus on their computer from a torrent, except that they’ve made it simpler to get a game through pirates than it is through traditional digital distribution? There are definitely things that we can learn from how simple it is to pirate a game compared to purchasing it, installing the client, patching the game, patching the client, activating it, activating the online component, and then—finally!–being able to play.

    Secondly, people pirate. They do, and you can’t stop that. What you can do—what survey after survey shows—is create enough value in the offer of your game that people buy it anyway. Some of the largest sources of traffic on GOG.com are from torrent trackers and abandonware sites. And you know what? The traffic from these websites converts to purchasers at a better percentage than straight search traffic from Google does. The first exposure these people had to GOG.com came through illegal free copies of the games we sell, and they found our offer so compelling that they sign up and buy from us.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobbyblitzed View Post
    that article isnt about ipods,its about the effect of piracy and counterfeit goods,people in china wont think about buying a cd,because its free to pirate it.game companies arent losing billions but you are the one living in a cloud if you believe they dont lose money due to piracy.
    For the third time (hopefully this time you'll understand it), piracy may and may not affect sales negatively, sometimes it even helps it. Saying that every pirated copy is a lost sale is ignorant, because you don't know for sure that was going to be an actual sale anyway. You can't prove that piract exclusively helps/damages sales, just like you can't prove every pirate does it because they want a free copy of teh game or because they want to give it a try and buy it later.

    Pracy isn't stealing, where every lost good is a loss.

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    Nice to know Ubisoft hates PC Players but suddenly in the latest TF2 Update there's a Assassins Creed Promo items that they make themselfs, that can be only acquired by buying the game before release, then you have to craft and shit





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    Quote Originally Posted by Nagflar View Post
    For the third time (hopefully this time you'll understand it), piracy may and may not affect sales negatively, sometimes it even helps it. Saying that every pirated copy is a lost sale is ignorant, because you don't know for sure that was going to be an actual sale anyway. You can't prove that piract exclusively helps/damages sales, just like you can't prove every pirate does it because they want a free copy of teh game or because they want to give it a try and buy it later.

    Pracy isn't stealing, where every lost good is a loss.
    i never said that every pirated copy was a lost sale,you are right that would be ignorant.if i pirate a hundred movies this year,those arent lost sales because i wouldnt of purchased them,but out of those hundred their most likely wouldve been 6 that if i didnt get for free i would have payed to see those are lost sales.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobbyblitzed View Post
    i never said that every pirated copy was a lost sale,you are right that would be ignorant.if i pirate a hundred movies this year,those arent lost sales because i wouldnt of purchased them,but out of those hundred their most likely wouldve been 6 that if i didnt get for free i would have payed to see those are lost sales.
    By saying "they lose billions of dollars every year thanks to piracy" you are implying that they do.

    Oh, you finally understood what a lost sale is, and how the lost sales percentage is never equal to 100%! So I take that you now understand that (using your example) 6 out of 100 movies is nothing close to being a negative effect on sales, right? And even if you used it as an example on a blockbuster hit like MW2 (which was one of the most pirated games of 2009, if not the most), 100,000 pirated copies out of over 7 million sold is still a gigantic profit, meaning there's no negative effect on the game's sales, meaning Activision didn't lose billions of dollars, beginning with the fact that those who pirated it did it out of spite due to the game not having dedicated servers, so they were never going to buy the game anyway.

    That's just one example out of many in which there's no negative effect on the game's sales, and the piracy didn't happen because they wanted free games. Of course, there are cases in which piracy actually fucks the developers over and in which pirates just want free games, but that still doesn't mean piracy as a whole has a negative effect on game sales, and using the MW2 case, it proves that having moronic DRM like Ubisoft's isn't helping erradicate the problem, but it's hurting the consumer.

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    fun fact every Call of duty game since MW2 uses Steamworks on the PC version.


    For people who want to read up on steamworks:

    http://steampowered.com/steamworks/p...ngservices.php

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nagflar View Post
    By saying "they lose billions of dollars every year thanks to piracy" you are implying that they do.

    Oh, you finally understood what a lost sale is, and how the lost sales percentage is never equal to 100%! So I take that you now understand that (using your example) 6 out of 100 movies is nothing close to being a negative effect on sales, right? And even if you used it as an example on a blockbuster hit like MW2 (which was one of the most pirated games of 2009, if not the most), 100,000 pirated copies out of over 7 million sold is still a gigantic profit, meaning there's no negative effect on the game's sales, meaning Activision didn't lose billions of dollars, beginning with the fact that those who pirated it did it out of spite due to the game not having dedicated servers, so they were never going to buy the game anyway.

    That's just one example out of many in which there's no negative effect on the game's sales, and the piracy didn't happen because they wanted free games. Of course, there are cases in which piracy actually fucks the developers over and in which pirates just want free games, but that still doesn't mean piracy as a whole has a negative effect on game sales, and using the MW2 case, it proves that having moronic DRM like Ubisoft's isn't helping erradicate the problem, but it's hurting the consumer.
    modern warfare 2 was illegally downloaded over 4 million times,get your facts straight.if only 10% of those are lost sales thats still alot of money lost.how anybody can argue that piracy doesnt hurt the industry is bewildering to me.yeah DRM sucks,why do companies use it,to fight piracy,i guess piracy hurts the consumer as much as the industry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ps360 View Post
    fun fact every Call of duty game since MW2 uses Steamworks on the PC version.
    fun fact Call of Duty Black Ops was pirated 4,270,000 times

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobbyblitzed View Post
    modern warfare 2 was illegally downloaded over 4 million times,get your facts straight.if only 10% of those are lost sales thats still alot of money lost.how anybody can argue that piracy doesnt hurt the industry is bewildering to me.yeah DRM sucks,why do companies use it,to fight piracy,i guess piracy hurts the consumer as much as the industry.
    I just used 100,000 as an example. Make it 1 million, 4 millions or 500,000, the facts are that Activision still made a shitload of money, the PC consumer still got fucked over by Activision well before the game got released, piracy didn't hurt the game's sales and most of the pirated copies were out of spite.

    Again, piracy does hurt the industry and the consumer, but to say all of the effects it has are negative is, once again, moronic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobbyblitzed View Post
    fun fact Call of Duty Black Ops was pirated 4,270,000 times
    Fun fact, Black Ops made Activision more money than every member of this site, combined, 10 times over. They made bank, and you are making them into victims.
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    Wolfire Games (a Indie Games company) comments on Game piracy:


    Another view of game piracy - Wolfire Games Blog


    We've been hearing a lot about game piracy recently, with big developers inflicting draconian online-only DRM systems on their users, and blaming their declining PC game sales entirely on piracy. I'm not questioning that piracy is common, since even honest, DRM-free, indie developers like 2DBoy[1] report a 90% piracy rate. I am, however, questioning what this means.

    How much revenue are developers actually losing to piracy?

    The common industry assumption is that developers are losing 90% of their revenue. That is, pirates would have bought every single game that they downloaded. From personal experience, I know this is not possible -- most pirates that I've met have downloaded enough software to exceed their entire lifetime income, were they to have paid for it all. A more plausible (but still overly optimistic) guess is that if piracy was stopped the average pirate would behave like an average consumer.

    This means that to calculate the worst-case scenario of how much money is lost to piracy, we just need to figure out what percentage of the target market consists of pirates. For example, if 50% of the market is pirates, that means that it's possible that you've lost 50% of your revenue to piracy. So how do we calculate what percentage of the market consists of pirates? Do we just go with 90%?


    iPhone piracy

    iPhone game developers have also found that around 80% of their users are running pirated copies of their game (using jailbroken phones) [2] This immediately struck me as odd -- I suspected that most iPhone users had never even heard of 'jailbreaking'. I did a bit more research and found that my intuition was correct -- only 5% of iPhones in the US are jailbroken. [3] World-wide, the jailbreak statistics are highest in poor countries -- but, unsurprisingly, iPhones are also much less common there. The highest estimate I've seen is that 10% of worldwide iPhones are jailbroken. Given that there are so few jailbroken phones, how can we explain that 80% of game copies are pirated?


    The answer is simple -- the average pirate downloads a lot more games than the average customer buys. This means that even though games see that 80% of their copies are pirated, only 10% of their potential customers are pirates, which means they are losing at most 10% of their sales. If you'd like to see an example with math, read the following paragraph. If word problems make your eyes glaze over, then I advise you to skip it.

    Let's consider the following scenario. Because game pirates can get apps for free, they download a couple new games every day -- or about 500 games in a year. On the other hand, normal gamers tend to play the same game for a longer time -- buying an average of 5 games per year. If this seems low to you, then consider that you are also reading a post on an indie game developer blog. You are probably more hardcore than the average gamer. Anyway, given these statistics, if the market consists of 10 million gamers, then there are 500 million pirated game copies, and 90 million purchased game copies, From the perspective of every individual game, 80% of its users are using pirated copies. However, only 10% of the market consists of pirates.

    PC game piracy

    Does this also apply to PC (Windows/Mac/Linux) gamers? Many PC game developers find that about 90% of their users are running pirated copies -- does this mean that piracy is killing PC games? Let's try our alternative explanation, and see if these statistics are possible even if only 20% of worldwide PC gamers are pirates. The average PC gamer worldwide only buys about three games a year, and plays them for a long time [4]. I buy many more than that, and you probably do too, but again, we are not average gamers! On the other hand, game pirates might download a new game every few days, for a total of about 125 games a year. Given these numbers, games would see 90% piracy rates even though only 20% of gamers are pirates.

    Are these numbers accurate? The NPD recently conducted an anonymous survey showing that only 4% of PC gamers in the US admit to pirating games [5], a number that is comparable to XBox 360 piracy statistics [6] . However, since piracy is inversely proportionate to per-capita GDP, we can expect piracy rates to increase dramatically in places like Russia, China and India, driving up the world-wide average. Let's say to 20%.

    This means that if all pirates would otherwise buy as many games as the average consumer, then game developers would be losing 20% of their revenue to piracy.

    But would pirates really buy games?

    Anecdotally and from studies by companies like the BSA, it's clear that pirates for the most part have very little income. They are unemployed students, or live in countries with very low per-capita GDP, where the price of a $60 game is more like $1000 (in terms of purchasing power parity and income percentage). When Reflexive games performed a series of experiments with anti-piracy measures, they found that they only made one extra sale for every 1000 pirated copies they blocked [7]. This implies that their 90% piracy statistic caused them to lose less than 1% of their sales.

    Why are PC games really losing sales?

    While many game developers blame piracy for their decreasing PC game sales, it is clear that this is not the problem -- relatively few gamers are pirates, and those that are would mostly not be able to afford games anyway.

    However, it's easier for these developers to point their fingers at pirates than to face the real problem: that their games are not fun on PC. The games in question are usually designed for consoles, with the desktop port as an afterthought. This means they are not fun to play with a mouse and keyboard, and don't work well on PC hardware. Their field of view is designed to be viewed from a distant couch instead of a nearby monitor, and their gameplay is simplified to compensate for this tunnel vision.

    Blizzard is one of the most successful game developers in the world, and it develops exclusively for desktop computers. Why do they succeed where everyone else fails? They create games that are designed from the beginning to work well with the mouse and keyboard, and with all kinds of desktop hardware. If developers spent more time improving their PC gaming experience, and less time complaining about piracy, we might see more successful PC games.

    With the Humble Indie Bundle promotion we've seen that when we treat gamers as real people instead of criminals, they seem to respond in kind. Anyone can get all five DRM-free games for a single penny, and pirate them as much as they want -- we have no way to find out or stop it. However, in just the first two days, we have over 40,000 contributions with an average of $8 each! Would we have seen this much support if the games were console ports that only worked when connected to a secure online DRM server? We'll never know for sure, but somehow I doubt it.

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    But ... but ...but Ubisoft said PC game piracy is a problem. :'( lol
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    Quote Originally Posted by Submerge View Post
    But ... but ...but Ubisoft said PC game piracy is a problem. :'( lol

    "Why aint anyone buying our games?? We put all this DRM in it to protect against pirates!1 It must be Pirates! Start Cancelling games and throwing more DRM On the games! that will make people buy more!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nagflar View Post
    But it still depends. Did he pirate it because he wanted to give it a try, and finished up disliking it? Or maybe he didn't even play it and pirated it for the lulz? One can't be sure that the devs lost a sale, just like one can't be sure they could've earned a sale if the person had played his pirated copy.
    You seemed to of miss what I put earlier, I said that there are people out there that just pirate games just to get shit for free. And saying that there is no such thing is a blindingly ignorant thing to say.

    People WILL and people DO pirate games. And that's a negative effect on game sales.

    Plus this argument of "To combat piracy just make better games" is a somewhat stupid argument... while yes you might sway those pirates that Nagflar is talking about, you won't sway the pirates that just want to get it for free.

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    Devolver Digital, the Publisher For Serious Sam 3, Says People will pay for awesome.

    Devolver on piracy: People will pay for awesome -Destructoid

    Serious Sam 3: BFE is apparently doing quite well on Steam, with publisher Devolver Digital boasting on Twitter that "people will pay for awesome." According to the Devolver CFO Fork Parker, SS3 "combats piracy by being a fun, frantic game and offers wild ass 16-player campaign co-op."

    Sensing an opportunity, I contacted Mr. Parker to get some extended thoughts on the piracy issue.

    "Piracy is a problem and there is no denying that but the success of games like Skyrim and our own Serious Sam 3 on PC illustrates that there is clearly a market willing to pay for PC games," he said. "It's on the developers and publishers to put something out on the market that's worth paying for in the first place. Those that place the blame on the consumer need to rethink the quality of their products and the frequency in which they shovel out derivative titles each year.

    "The other side of the equation is the distribution model. In games, we have amazing PC digital download services like Steam, Get Games and Direct2Drive doing the same thing for games that iTunes did for music. Offer the consumer a variety of great digital content at a reasonable price and the majority will happily pay for the games that suit their tastes."

    While Ubisoft developers cry about 95% piracy rates, games like Skyrim and Serious Sam 3 are raking in the dubloons from PC gamers. While being good doesn't guarantee that your game won't get stolen, being crap or treating all customers as criminals certainly doesn't help.

    And if you're still not convinced about Serious Sam, even after our review, Fork Parker has something to change your mind.

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    Ok Gabe, enough of this already.

    I get it, Steam has found a way to combat piracy directly.

    I'd remind you though... STEAM IS DRM.

    And either the interpretation is stupid, Gabe is all over the place, or this is a direct response to something that isn't included in the article because DRM and pricing have nothing to do with each-other. What he is talking about is localization/global releases, which is a brilliant idea and I wish was adopted universally.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oxymoron28 View Post
    Didn't you post this a while back?
    No, Gabe said it awhile back.

    Quote Originally Posted by bobbyblitzed View Post
    any body who believes piracy doesnt effect sales negatively is an absolute moron.
    Yes and no.

    You are right on the surface, piracy does negatively effect sales in the sense that many people pirate the game and don't buy it.

    The issue is more complicated than that though, there are a few people who pirate the game as a manner of getting an extended demo. These people will frequently not buy a game unless they pirate it first, so you have this small % (and I emphasize small, these people DO NOT make up the majority) of sales that are added due to piracy.

    There is also the fact that not everybody who pirated the game would have bought it in the first place... So there is some % there that were just never going to buy it period.

    The reality after all of this is piracy affects sales negatively, but not in the sense that piracy as labelled is bad. Thats the subtext of what Newell is getting at here: Piracy is competition and thats how people should view it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nagflar View Post
    Valve: spend no money preventing piracy and give a good service.
    Result: little (if any) piracy, and great sales.
    This is my only issue with your logic, and PS360 needs to read this...

    The very idea or notion that Valve has spent no money preventing piracy is JUST PLAIN WRONG. PERIOD.

    They developed an entire business strategy and modified their distribution service to implement a pro-active system to prevent piracy. The very concept that this was all done without any cost or loss is incorrect. The very concept that this was an easy process that had no growing pains or didn't cost Valve buckets and buckets of blood, sweat, and tears they wouldn't have exerted otherwise is just not how business works.

    I'd argue that what Valve went through is actually more difficult and more costly than what Ubisoft does. What Ubisoft does is what people in research call the "lowest hanging fruit," which is a great way to handle research, but not a great way to handle business. Ubisoft is just doing the most obvious thing to attack the first problem encountered, and unfortunately they are dealing with it at a surface level rather than going deep into analysis (which is never good). This is also why they have failed miserably.

    The REAL difference is Valve is pro-active, not reactive. They developed a business strategy to combat the reasons why people pirate in an effort to curb piracy before it happened, whereas publishers like Ubisoft develop tactics to combat people who have already pirated the game in an effort to force them to buy the game they've already pirated.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nagflar View Post
    But it still depends. Did he pirate it because he wanted to give it a try, and finished up disliking it? Or maybe he didn't even play it and pirated it for the lulz? One can't be sure that the devs lost a sale, just like one can't be sure they could've earned a sale if the person had played his pirated copy.

    I know, but doing Ubisoft-like DRM isn't helping their cause. It's just making people not pay for their games at all. Why would I want to buy the newest Ass Creed if I'll get kicked out while killing someone thanks to my internet sucking balls? The best appraoch I've seen is Valve's, but like Gauss has said before, not everyone can do what Valve.

    All in all, we can't be sure that pirating the game will affect positevely/negatively a game's sales.
    You are also forgetting that while many pirates do indeed buy the game if they like it, as I said in my sig you can't make a logical statement about their impact because the act of piracy inherently changes perspective. I adopted the Heisenberg uncertainty principle for my wording for a reason: Logically speaking we are talking about the same concepts, I am just speaking socially whereas Heisenberg was speaking in terms of quantum physics.

    If you start talking about, "Well this person pirated the game and then bought it, ergo piracy is good." You are using a priori knowledge to justify something, in other words you are using the effect to imply the cause, the ends to justify the means, without (and in this case impossibly so) establishing that the means/cause are the only way to the ends/effect.

    All you can logically say is what piracy does indeed do assuming its existence, and in this case I'd argue there are more out there who will pirate it to get things free than there are to get that "extended demo."
    Gauss's Piracy Uncertainty Principle: When you pirate a game, that act inherently changes the results of what is to come after your pirating. You can't make any statement with any certainty regarding what would have happened had you not pirated the game.


    Gauss's Rating Rationale:
    0-1: A game whose very existence is abhorrent to all things creative and intelligent.
    2-4: A just plain bad game.
    5-6: A game that has alot of mistakes, but is atleast playable and has some enjoyable sections. Good for a rent.
    7: An average game, should be played at some point
    8: A good game, should buy at some point
    9: A great game, day-one purchase
    10: A game that goes above and beyond the generation, its transcendent.

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