points us to a CNN commentary piece from Scott Steinberg, a video game consultant, who suggests that video game piracy can be good for the game industry
. Steinberg goes over several examples of game piracy and the corresponding complaints from game developers who are alarmed by the growing availability of DRM workarounds. But instead of agreeing with the calls for more and more protection from illegal downloads and the use of ever more draconian copy protection measures, Steinberg points out the opportunity that is available:
For game creators, lowering costs and making titles widely available may actually be the solution to stamping out piracy.
As we've mentioned
here a few times before, participating in the arms race of creating ever more
annoying copy protection only damages the user experience and doesn't provide value to gamers at all. Developers can, however, offer alternatives to piracy -- more attractive options -- such that consumers won't even look for pirated games. By adopting some of the tactics of piracy and allowing gamers to freely download and share games, developers can build up the value of their games that can't be easily copied. Steinberg makes the same conclusion:
By making games more readily accessible, faster to skim and easier to pass along to friends, game makers may actually be doing more to combat piracy than any lawsuit or fancy technical countermeasure ever could.
If only the game industry would see it the same way...