Overhype

by Mike Masnick




Video Game Execs Join BSA, RIAA, MPAA In The Bogus Piracy Stats Brigade

from the welcome-to-the-club dept

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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  1. identicon
    Araemo, 14 Mar 2007 @ 5:22am

    At first glance..

    At first glance, I thought the video game industry is one of the few industries that has a legitimate gripe against piracy.

    However, the points raised above are good ones. I have games I have purchased, that I have to 'pirate'(If you ask EA anyways) in order to play conveniently. It's 'against the EULA' to take a CD image of my Battlefield 2 disk and use that to play the game. I have installed the game onto my hard drive, and no files from the DVD are required for a technical reason. The game's copy protection requires that I put the physical DVD in my DVD drive every time I play, which can get very annoying if I am switching between games often, or trying to rip a dvd at the same time. I use an imagedrive to mount the DVD image in a virtual drive, and this fools their copy protection just fine. But if they catch me, I'm liable to lose my right to ever play the game again using that CD key.

    so while the stores you buy your games from take the opinion that it is 'yours for life' becasue you COULD have made a copy of the disk, it's the game publisher's opinion that you are only borrowing the right to play the game, and it can be revoked at any time.

    Unlike physical goods where you generally have a 30 day(Longer in some states) return window - no questions asked - you do not get a choice to return computer software if you have broken the shrinkwrap seal.

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