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digitalmars.D - [OT]Talking to Pirates

reply Mike Parker <aldacron gmail.com> writes:
I'm not usually one for posting off topic, but this is something 
relevant to a discussion that has spread across three threads so far :)

Cliff Harris, an independent game developer, recently went out and asked 
why pirates do what they do. He got an overwhelming response. You can 
read the results here:

http://www.positech.co.uk/talkingtopirates.html

Additionally, earlier this year one of the most successful indie game 
companies out there discovered that 92% of the full version copies of 
one of their games were pirated. There is a writeup about it, with some 
details on how they tried to reduce that number, over at Gamasutra:

http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=17350

I thought some of the parties on both sides of the discussions here 
might find these links interesting.
Aug 16 2008
next sibling parent reply "Jb" <jb nowhere.com> writes:
"Mike Parker" <aldacron gmail.com> wrote in message 
news:g88c5l$2urc$1 digitalmars.com...
 Additionally, earlier this year one of the most successful indie game 
 companies out there discovered that 92% of the full version copies of one 
 of their games were pirated. There is a writeup about it, with some 
 details on how they tried to reduce that number, over at Gamasutra:

So 9 out of 10 people were using pirate versions. And if only 1 of those 9 people actualy represents a lost sale, that would actualy represent 50% of the companies sales lost to piracy. :-(
Aug 17 2008
parent "Simen Kjaeraas" <simen.kjaras gmail.com> writes:
Jb <jb nowhere.com> wrote:

 "Mike Parker" <aldacron gmail.com> wrote in message
 news:g88c5l$2urc$1 digitalmars.com...
 Additionally, earlier this year one of the most successful indie game
 companies out there discovered that 92% of the full version copies of  
 one
 of their games were pirated. There is a writeup about it, with some
 details on how they tried to reduce that number, over at Gamasutra:

So 9 out of 10 people were using pirate versions. And if only 1 of those 9 people actualy represents a lost sale, that would actualy represent 50% of the companies sales lost to piracy. :-(

However, according to the article, the number was closer to 1 in 1000, meaning that removing piracy altogether would only lead to 11% increase in sales. Perhaps not bad, but the publicity gained via pirated copies might be better that this number (not sure if it really would be, though). -- Simen
Aug 18 2008
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Robert Fraser <fraserofthenight gmail.com> writes:
Mike Parker wrote:
 Additionally, earlier this year one of the most successful indie game 
 companies out there discovered that 92% of the full version copies of 
 one of their games were pirated. There is a writeup about it, with some 
 details on how they tried to reduce that number, over at Gamasutra:
 
 http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=17350
 
 I thought some of the parties on both sides of the discussions here 
 might find these links interesting.

From the Gamasutra article: "...[W]e find 1 additional sale for every 1,000 less pirated downloads. Put another way, for every 1,000 pirated copies we eliminated, we created 1 additional sale." That sounds about right for the casual games space. The space is filled with a lot of products and besides one or two "must-plays", they generally feel like perfect substitutes for me (the only "must-play" PC casual game I've encountered is Peggle, though I bought Aquaria - big letdown IMO - and will definitely buy World of Goo). I'd expect to see much different numbers for something like Microsoft Windows Client, probably closer to 1 in 10. Sure there are (arguably better) substitutes -- but most people don't want them. The 9 people who can't pirate the newest version of Windows would stick with the older version; I'd assume VERY few businesses or home users choose Linux because they can't afford/don't want to pay for Windows (obviously this case is different for Linux vs Windows Server).
Aug 17 2008
next sibling parent reply JMNorris <nospam nospam.com> writes:
Robert Fraser <fraserofthenight gmail.com> wrote in news:g8a0lo$2nn8$1
 digitalmars.com:

 That sounds about right for the casual games space. The space is filled 
 with a lot of products and besides one or two "must-plays", they 
 generally feel like perfect substitutes for me (the only "must-play" PC 
 casual game I've encountered is Peggle, though I bought Aquaria - big 
 letdown IMO - and will definitely buy World of Goo).

I hadn't realized that all work and no play made me such a dull boy. I had no idea that there was casual game space and have no idea what a casual game is. I suppose I can guess what an indie game is, but don't know who the non-indie companies are. To me, computer games are Solitaire, Minefield, Adventure (the original with twisty little passages going everywhere), Pac-Man, and Asteroids. I confess, I am REALLY boring and out of touch. :-D 10 or 20 percent piracy is good advertising. At 90% and more piracy, you wonder how folks stay in buisness. -- JMNorris
Aug 18 2008
parent reply "Nick Sabalausky" <a a.a> writes:
"JMNorris" <nospam nospam.com> wrote in message 
news:g8chqd$1nmj$1 digitalmars.com...
 Robert Fraser <fraserofthenight gmail.com> wrote in news:g8a0lo$2nn8$1
  digitalmars.com:

 That sounds about right for the casual games space. The space is filled
 with a lot of products and besides one or two "must-plays", they
 generally feel like perfect substitutes for me (the only "must-play" PC
 casual game I've encountered is Peggle, though I bought Aquaria - big
 letdown IMO - and will definitely buy World of Goo).

I hadn't realized that all work and no play made me such a dull boy. I had no idea that there was casual game space and have no idea what a casual game is. I suppose I can guess what an indie game is, but don't know who the non-indie companies are. To me, computer games are Solitaire, Minefield, Adventure (the original with twisty little passages going everywhere), Pac-Man, and Asteroids. I confess, I am REALLY boring and out of touch. :-D

Solitaire, Minefield: Casual Games Adventure (Atari VCS/2600), Pac-Man, Asteroids: Retro Games Non-Indie Game Company: EA, Activision, Ubisoft, Take 2, and all of the companies that makes games for those companies to publish. Indie Game Developer: Self-funded (Rather than big-publisher-funded), and often self-published. Small teams, low budget, "garage" developers, etc.
 10 or 20 percent piracy is good advertising.  At 90% and more piracy, you
 wonder how folks stay in buisness.

It's not quite as clear-cut as that. For one thing, very little of that is actually lost sales, for various reasons, many of which were mentioned in the articles and comments. And of course there's also the issue of "How accurate is that 92% figure?" There's too many things that are impossible to measure for it to be possible to get a truely accurate ratio of legit copies vs. pirated copies. I'm not saying that 92% paints a rosy picture, of course, but there are a lot of non-obvious nuances that make it not likely as bad as that number makes it sound.
Aug 18 2008
parent JMNorris <nospam nospam.com> writes:
"Nick Sabalausky" <a a.a> wrote in news:g8ct7n$2m4d$1 digitalmars.com:

 Adventure (Atari VCS/2600), Pac-Man, Asteroids: Retro Games

Not back when I played them! Although I didn't play Adventure on an Atari, I played it on a Kaypro (which could be used both as a computer and as an anvil). I played Pac-Man and Asteroids on arcade-style machines at various college eateries; the Pac-Man machine had a horizontal screen like a table top. -- JMNorris
Aug 18 2008
prev sibling parent reply Christopher Wright <dhasenan gmail.com> writes:
Robert Fraser wrote:
 I'd expect to see much different numbers for something like Microsoft 
 Windows Client, probably closer to 1 in 10. Sure there are (arguably 
 better) substitutes -- but most people don't want them. The 9 people who 
 can't pirate the newest version of Windows would stick with the older 
 version; I'd assume VERY few businesses or home users choose Linux 
 because they can't afford/don't want to pay for Windows (obviously this 
 case is different for Linux vs Windows Server).

Actually, I switched to Linux in 2004 because I didn't have a licensed copy of Windows to install on my (freshly built) computer. Now I have a licensed copy of Windows, but it's sitting around unused. I might switch back when Windows has a usable window manager, a decent package manager, a decent terminal emulator, and a native sshd.
Aug 20 2008
parent Robert Fraser <fraserofthenight gmail.com> writes:
Christopher Wright wrote:
 Robert Fraser wrote:
 I'd expect to see much different numbers for something like Microsoft 
 Windows Client, probably closer to 1 in 10. Sure there are (arguably 
 better) substitutes -- but most people don't want them. The 9 people 
 who can't pirate the newest version of Windows would stick with the 
 older version; I'd assume VERY few businesses or home users choose 
 Linux because they can't afford/don't want to pay for Windows 
 (obviously this case is different for Linux vs Windows Server).

Actually, I switched to Linux in 2004 because I didn't have a licensed copy of Windows to install on my (freshly built) computer. Now I have a licensed copy of Windows, but it's sitting around unused. I might switch back when Windows has a usable window manager, a decent package manager, a decent terminal emulator, and a native sshd.

Not saying it doesn't happen, but 99% of computer users wouldn't know what any of those four things are and would just be frustrated with Linux.
Aug 20 2008
prev sibling next sibling parent "Nick Sabalausky" <a a.a> writes:
"Mike Parker" <aldacron gmail.com> wrote in message 
news:g88c5l$2urc$1 digitalmars.com...
 I'm not usually one for posting off topic, but this is something relevant 
 to a discussion that has spread across three threads so far :)

 Cliff Harris, an independent game developer, recently went out and asked 
 why pirates do what they do. He got an overwhelming response. You can read 
 the results here:

 http://www.positech.co.uk/talkingtopirates.html

 Additionally, earlier this year one of the most successful indie game 
 companies out there discovered that 92% of the full version copies of one 
 of their games were pirated. There is a writeup about it, with some 
 details on how they tried to reduce that number, over at Gamasutra:

 http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=17350

 I thought some of the parties on both sides of the discussions here might 
 find these links interesting.

Very intresting reads, especially the first one. This is particularly relevant to me as one of my biggest interests in programming is in the area of indie games.
Aug 17 2008
prev sibling parent Walter Bright <newshound1 digitalmars.com> writes:
Mike Parker wrote:
 Additionally, earlier this year one of the most successful indie game 
 companies out there discovered that 92% of the full version copies of 
 one of their games were pirated.

I'm not a bit surprised. I attended a game developers' conference a year ago, and the smart money there was developing games where you GIVE away the game, and sell physical add-ons.
Aug 18 2008