Debunking The Ridiculous Claims That Unauthorized Copies Of Handheld Games Has 'Cost' The Economy $41.6 Billion

from the reality-check dept

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:
  1. Every infringing download is counted as a lost sale
  2. 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
  3. Deviations in piracy levels in different world regions were not taken into account
  4. 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.

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  1. icon
    Danno (profile), 10 Jun 2010 @ 9:18am

    Is it just me???

    These studies that claim lost revenue really baffle me. Predicting how many copies of a piece of software, a video, a song, etc., a company is going to sell is impossible. The sales predictions are affected by too many variables to be accurate:

    a) If your product is no good, even if you believe otherwise, it's not going to sell;
    b) it might not be promoted well enough;
    c) economic issues (recession, market crash or upswing) affect people's buying power; and
    d) too many other issues to enumerate.

    All this to say that claiming you're losing money to the "pirates" is akin to my saying "I had an idea a while back but couldn't sell it, so I've lost $50 million dollars!" In other words, pure and utter bunkum!

    According to the financial columns I've read, these industries are doing just fine financially, after all, they've been gouging the public from their inception, as well as the artists who provide them the material for sale. Sooner or later, they're going to realized they are doomed though, with the availability of the web, artists, authors and any creator of media is going to be able to personally market themselves and their creations.

    It's already begun...

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