After last year's Spore DRM fiasco
, EA and its CEO John Riccitiello seem to have learned that the stick approach to dealing with pirates backfired badly, and it was time to try out the carrot. It started, earlier this year with Riccitiello talking about how they were trying to view pirated software as a really good demo product
, with the impetus then being on them to convert those users into paying customers. Later, they started actively embracing
the claim that their pirated software could lead to additional sales of in-game content and offerings. The latest, as sent in by william
, again has Riccitiello in an interview saying that he now sees "pirates" as a new marketplace
, again with the emphasis being on how it's EA's responsibility to give those users something to buy. He still says that he wants people to buy the legit versions of the game, and he thinks it's very wrong to make an unauthorized copy, but he says that reality dictates that they should embrace those users, rather than attack them, and look for ways to make money off of them:
"There's a sizable pirate market and a sizable second sale market and we want to try to generate revenue in that marketplace."
Furthermore, he notes that this approach seems a lot more reasonable than the music industry's approach of just trying to punish people:
He said the music industry erred in "demonizing" its consumers rather than reacting to them. He believes that EA has an obligation to make it enticing for people to play games legitimately. And he hopes that services such as EA Sports' community hub or the BioWare social site that hooks into Dragon Age will make it so alluring that it will be "increasingly less likely that people will pirate because there is so much value on the other side of the door."
None of this necessarily addresses some of EA's past sins relating to aggressive use of DRM, but it does suggest that Riccitiello (or at least his savvy PR staff) have recognized that giving people a reason to buy is a better way forward than trying to attack those who use unauthorized copies of the games.