When Video Game Sales Falter, Blame Piracy
from the more-proof-please? dept
James Parker writes in to let us know that Sports Interactive, a sports simulation video game company (recently purchased by Sega), is blaming "piracy" for the failure of their Eastside Hockey Manager game, on which they've now ceased development. I should say, first of all, that I'm a huge fan of Sports Interactive's games, and have given the company (and some of the companies that it bought) plenty of money in the past -- but am not at all convinced by their argument. Sports Interactive games tend to have very vibrant communities, where there is usually a lot of social pressure to buy the actual game if you want it. They've also done digital downloads for quite some time, and are pretty good at making the process seamless. It seems like the big hockey strike that decimated interest in hockey for a while probably had a lot more to do with the problem. While SI admits that the strike may have dampened interest in hockey, they still think that the issue is unauthorized downloads, as determined by watching various torrent sites offer the software up for free. Yet, just because someone is downloading the game, it doesn't mean they would have bought it otherwise. There may be many reasons why the game failed, and given the tremendous success of Sports Interactive's other games (many of which are vastly more popular and probably have a ton more unauthorized downloads), it seems hard to believe that EHM failed because of "piracy." Instead, it looks like the game just failed, and "piracy" is a convenient scapegoat.