A bunch of folks have sent in the ridiculous claims from a study done by the Japanese Computer Entertainment Suppliers Association (CESA) suggesting that unauthorized copies of handheld games have cost the industry $41.5 billion over a five year period. Like similar bogus
reports, these numbers have little, if any, connection to reality. I was considering skipping posting about it altogether, given that it's really just the same old thing, but Dark Helmet
sent in a nice starter list on why this study is completely bogus:
- Every infringing download is counted as a lost sale
- CESA took the numbers for Japanese handheld game piracy and multiplied it by four to get the worldwide numbers, because CESA "believes" Japan represents 1/4 of the market
- Deviations in piracy levels in different world regions were not taken into account
- Pricing for games per unauthorized copies were ALL based on the initial release price, not taking into account pricing fluctuations of games over time
In addition, I'd point out that the study apparently picked which sites to cover somewhat at random and may not accurately portray (in any way) the number of downloads. Also, there's no attempt to look at whether or not those who get unauthorized copies of some games end up buying other games as well (i.e., do they still spend the same amount otherwise -- just on different offerings?). Basically, there's very little in this study to take seriously.