Gaming Company Sees Massive User & Revenue Growth Because Of Piracy

from the pirates-unite dept

There is a very strong divergence in the games industry. On one hand we have developers and publishers who look at piracy as a cancer that needs to be cut out and on the other we have those who look at it as an opportunity. We illustrated this point recently with a mock debate between Ubisoft and Valve. Edge brings news of yet another player in the games industry who has joined with Valve in treating pirates as underserved customers rather than thieves.

John Goodale, Unity's general manager of Asia, told Edge that Unity has seen a 258.7% growth in revenue in Asia over the last year. He puts much of this growth down to piracy of the Unity3D development platform.

How can it possibly make money from people "stealing" its products? It does so by selling additional content to the users whether legit or not.
It's not talked about often, but we have a product called Asset Server that allows large teams to share assets more effectively, and according to the sales reports that I get we sell far more Asset Server in Asia than we do in the west.
As far as I can tell, Unity is looking at those who pirate its software in much the same way it looks at those who download the free version of the software, as customers. Goodale explains the flexibility he has been given in reaching out to the Asian market is the primary driver of this success:
Throughout my 25 years of doing business in Asia, I've seen very few companies be so dedicated to that region, or give me the flexibility and tools that I need to be successful. And as a result, I am just having way too much fun!
I really hope this line of thinking grows and penetrates the games industry even deeper. It is something I have argued and debated multiple times on games industry news sites and blogs. There are many people who feel the same way and many more who are dead set on treating piracy as a criminal offense. I don't blame them for the way the feel as it is their livelihood at stake. Yet, I can't understand their desire to hold onto an ideal that in the long run will fail -- especially when there are so many examples, like this one, of a company discovering it can make more money by adapting, rather than by trying to stop infringement.

Filed Under: asia, copyright, embrace, infringement
Companies: unity

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2011 @ 1:22pm

    Re: I understand.

    "Then there's services like OnLive that try to solve the "piracy" issue"....

    i thought onlive was born of the idea that you can use a shitty computer, or a little dongle that hooks to your tv, to play brand new games that require a higher end system than you may have the knowledge or money to invest in. Its PC games for the console crowd(no drives, changing hardware, troubleshooting, codecs ect.) I don't think anyone was thinking about piracy or solving piracy when it was birthed. From the reviews I hear its realized its goal decently, and it will only improve as internet connections improve, if it can live that long.

    "They claim that all PC games will just go to "free to play" MMO models and sell virtual items through micro transactions. Of course, this completely disregard...."

    I say let those that don't get it keep trying to fix the problem by giving customers what they don't want. The game companies that want force the market to react and are only looking at their bottom line will flounder and die those that respond by filling the gap and actually gives the market what they want will flourish. If we lose an activision and/or ubisoft and gain another valve or CDP no one will cry.

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