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.

Filed Under: , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Divine Approval: That Time When The Vatican Pirated Video Games”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: 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.

That One Guy (profile) says:

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.

That One Guy (profile) says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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”.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...