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 @ 6:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "We don't condone it..." and NOT making money from piracy.

    "How many people are the source for a movie? ONE."

    . . . I think there's a lot of people out there disagreeing with you.

    Let's count the people I can get a movie, (not any movie, a particular movie), from:

    The guy who owns the movie theatre. The guy who owns the local video store. That internet streaming service that I pay for monthly. That cable service that I pay through the nose for monthly. The 180,000 people who put it up on the internet 3 days before the director sees the final cut himself.

    I'm counting 180,004 people who are sources of a single movie to me, which is a far cry from 1.

    The pricing goes a little like this: $12, $5, $8, $120, and $0, for 1 theatre ticket, 1 DVD rental, 1 month of streaming service that can cover a whole load of TV and movies as well as the one we're interested in, 1 month of over-priced cable, and the other 180,000 people.

    I'm sorry to be a bit flippant, but until you recognize that piracy exists, I'm not going to be convinced by any of your arguments.

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