The BSA, RIAA and MPAA are all well known for their bogus stats about piracy that are easily disproved. In fact, when it comes to the BSA, the company they contracted to conduct the study has even complained that the BSA is misusing the stats. You would hope that a younger, more dynamic industry wouldn't fall into the same trap. Unfortunately, though, it looks like the video game industry is going down the same pointless path. Todd Hollenshead from id Software is getting a lot of attention today for trumpeting the ESA's latest bogus stat numbers that appears to assume all pirated copies are lost sales and not taking into account (at all) the fact that pirated copies can later lead to legit sales. Hollenshead goes on to talk about various annoying means of copy protection to keep anyone from pirating the game. This isn't a new argument for id. Last year, the company put out a similar statement about how piracy was killing the video game industry (which actually appears to be pretty vibrant). It also ignores id's own history. The early success of games like Castle Wolfenstein and Doom were, in large part, thanks to pirated copies being widely available and getting people hooked (often resulting in them buying legit copies, or later software products from id). It also ignores the success of other game publishers, such as Stardock, who decided that treating all its customers as if they're criminals is a bad idea -- and releasing their game with no copy protection at all... and having it turn into a best seller.
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