Divine Approval: That Time When The Vatican Pirated Video Games

from the holy-shit dept

So, hey, you know how people who have pirated video games are the devil, the great Satan, beings of pure evil with nothing but ill-will on their minds? You know how the question of piracy and how producers react to it isn't one of economics, but a question of morality? We may have a problem here. It turns out that last year's version of Football Manager, a game series that involves the apparently enjoyable task of managing a football (soccer) club, included some code that tracked the IP address of anyone who attained the game through unauthorized channels. When the makers of the game went back recently to study the results, they found that 10-plus million copies of the game were pirated, predominantly within China, Turkey and Portugal, obviously an Axis of Evil Soccer Fans. Then they stumbled across this:

Italy was also up there in the rankings though, and of the 547,000 copies Sega were able to trace to the country, one was from inside the Vatican.
Now, it's been some time since I was in Sunday School, but it seems to me that if the center of an organization that I was told was run by an infallible man in a giant hat through which God's official decisions on morality are made is pirating video games, then that's kosher (editor's note: damn it, Tim, you're mixing up religions again).

Okay, okay, so I'm obviously joking. Piracy taking place within the halls of the Vatican of course doesn't make that action any more right than some of the other terrible things each and every religion has done in the past. We're all human, after all. And perhaps we should give a tip of our hats to the producers of the game, who seem to be acting a bit more reasonable and human on the piracy subject than many of their peers.
While ten million pirated copies is cause for alarm, Football Manager boss Miles Jacobson is realistic about what it actually meant for his studio, saying that one pirated copy did not equal one sale lost. By their calculations, it added up to 176,000 lost sales, or $3.7 million in revenue.
While I'd still stipulate that I'd like to look at their "calculations", this is a far cry from the "each pirated copy is a lost sale" claim. So good on you, Miles Jacobson. Perhaps your reasonable words will give you a special spot in Heaven. But if that doesn't do the trick, I think there's someone in the Vatican that owes you a favor.



Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Nov 15th, 2013 @ 4:11pm

    By their calculations, it added up to 176,000 lost sales, or $3.7 million in revenue.

    So if they can track 'lost sales', does that mean they can also track 'gained sales', where people tried the game via piracy and then went and bought it? If so, it would be interesting to see how the two compare.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), Nov 15th, 2013 @ 4:26pm

    Wait a sec...

    The Pope is currently very popular with the world.

    The Pope seems to be in touch with the world.

    ...

    The Pope is a pirate?

    ...

    Best Pope ever!

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Nov 15th, 2013 @ 4:27pm

    Always download through a proxy. That's the cardinal rule. (Cardinal rule. Get it?)

     

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  4.  
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    MrWilson, Nov 15th, 2013 @ 4:31pm

    Re: Wait a sec...

    The unquestionably accurate depiction of pirates in popular media indicates that they too are aficionados of outlandish hats. This is clearly more than just a coincidence.

     

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  5. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Nov 15th, 2013 @ 4:36pm

    So, gloss over "lost ... $3.7 million in revenue"...

    Apparently doesn't occur to your perspective that you pirates must with this give up the "piracy increases sales" myth, as what's stated there -- and you accept -- is actual LOSSES, not just theoretical.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2013 @ 4:39pm

    Re: Wait a sec...

    If copying and sharing was good enough for Jesus and the Pope, it's good enough for us.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2013 @ 4:43pm

    WTF?!

    The games was phoning home?

    What else did they collect and are not telling anybody?

     

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  8.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Nov 15th, 2013 @ 4:58pm

    Re: So, gloss over "lost ... $3.7 million in revenue"...

    Until such 'losses' are verified by looking over the data they used to come to such a figure, it's really no more than a guess at best, and likely doesn't take into account sales gained by people pirating to try and then buying afterwards.

    Keep in mind if you took every 'losses' figure seriously, both the music and movie industry would have crashed and burned decades ago, given they are always claiming 'losses' in the hundreds of millions, or even billions, on a yearly basis.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2013 @ 6:16pm

    Re: So, gloss over "lost ... $3.7 million in revenue"...

    Why are you not complaining about the spyware there?

    That data came from software that uploaded data from everyone, not just pirates.

    Or you are just paid to badmouth Google?

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2013 @ 7:35pm

    Re: Re: So, gloss over "lost ... $3.7 million in revenue"...

    Their claims work out to roughly 1.76% of people pirating it being a lost sale.

    Even without seeing their data, I find that plausible enough to give them the benefit of the doubt.

     

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  11.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Nov 15th, 2013 @ 7:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: So, gloss over "lost ... $3.7 million in revenue"...

    Which is fine as long as they make sure to phrase it as a guess or estimate, and could very well be accurate, but I just wonder if they did the same thing for those that pirated it and then bought it.

    Just talking about the losses from piracy, without taking into account the gains, is focusing on only half of the equation.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2013 @ 7:43pm

    Well if the pope thinks it's okay to download then so do I! I don't believe in Jesus, but I do believe in downloading.

    Being condemned to hell in 3..2.

     

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  13.  
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    McCrea (profile), Nov 15th, 2013 @ 9:50pm

    O RLY?

    Because nobody spoofs MAC addresses? You want to prove it came from my secular PC, I'm going to argue that my NIC's physical identity does not agree with what was reported.

    ...if I had a secular PC.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2013 @ 10:26pm

    "Italy was also up there in the rankings though, and of the 547,000 copies Sega were able to trace to the country, one was from inside the Vatican."

    That will take the pressure right off the Paedophile priests, and the 'rest' of the issues that are wrong with the Vatican.

    Vatican is not 'in' Italy.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2013 @ 10:33pm

    Re:

    "does that mean they can also track 'gained sales'"

    "gained sales", are sales, yes they can track sales.

     

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  16.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Nov 15th, 2013 @ 11:17pm

    Re: Re:

    By 'gained sales' I meant instances where someone wouldn't have bought the game normally, but after pirating it did so.

    After all if they are claiming to have lost 176K sales(a rather specific number) due to piracy, then I was wondering if they took into account or tracked the reverse, sales that were caused by piracy of their game.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2013 @ 3:15am

    You are aware of the fact that normal civilian workers also live in the Vatican, right...?

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2013 @ 8:23am

    Why people buy games that do phone home telling all their secrets is beyond me.

     

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  19.  
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    KingofDarkness, Nov 16th, 2013 @ 11:33am

    ...

    The game "included some code that tracked the IP address of anyone who attained the game through unauthorized channels."

    Isn't that lovely. Certainly the same code would be in the retail copies.Not a fan of that BS. But I am also the guy that made sure his calculator app on his phone didn't have any special permissions...

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2013 @ 11:50am

    Re:

    Please, their crystal ball can only tell them so much.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2013 @ 11:56am

    The key point of the article is that the vast, vast VAST majority of the pirated material came from China and Turkey.

    In case anyone is unaware, Steam isn't available in China or Turkey. And neither are boxed copies of football manager. Even if they were theoretically available there for retail sale, they would be selling for ridiculously outlandish prices according to their standard of living.

    The whole point of this article shouldn't be 'PIRACY IS THE EVILS' or even that 'Piracy isn't as bad as anyone thinks it is'.

    It should be "If people want to play your game, they will find a way whether you like it or not". And also "Only stupid people worry about that 14 year old living in America who pirates things while there are entire countries that have piracy-based economies".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2013 @ 5:45pm

    Re: So, gloss over "lost ... $3.7 million in revenue"...

    There's no such thing as 'actual' losses due to piracy. They're always theoretical. They literally can't not be. Furthermore these 'theoretical losses' aren't net losses they're gross losses so they don't even touch on the theory that piracy increases sales much less prove it's a myth.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2013 @ 5:46pm

    Re:

    WOOOOOOSH

     

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  24.  
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    PopeRatzo (profile), Nov 17th, 2013 @ 6:11am

    Father Mackie

    You don't even want to know about how much pr0n gets downloaded at the Vatican.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    game fanatic, Nov 21st, 2013 @ 4:38am

    gaming

    More recent exciting game news is available at the site. Itís a worthy visit for you. Just rock it.

    http://global-products-and-services.blogspot.com/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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