Final Crysis

By Alec Meer on April 29th, 2008 at 8:20 pm.

Sulk.

Epic do it. id do it. Even educated fleas do it. And now Crytek have announced they too are dumping PC exclusives. VG247 spots Crytek’s Cevat Yerli telling PC Play about the aftershocks of Crysis:

“We are suffering currently from the huge piracy that is encompassing Crysis. We seem to lead the charts in piracy by a large margin. I believe that’s the core problem of PC gaming: PC gamers that pirate games inherently destroy the platform. Similar games on consoles sell factors of 4-5 more. It was a big lesson for us and I believe we won’t have PC exclusives as we did with Crysis in future. We are going to support PC, but not exclusive any more.”

Whether or not his mooted reason for it rings true, it’s sad news, and leaves me wondering who’ll next pick up the baton of bleeding-edge graphics. Crytek collected it from Epic, who’d collected it from id, but there’s no obvious successor – with the possible exception of Valve, who lately (and happily) have been concentrating more on eyecandy-via-art, not tech. That said, in these splendidly idea-rich times for PC, do we even still need someone pushing quite so hard against the graphical ceiling?

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341 Comments »

  1. cliffski says:

    Ahhhh I seee. You have decided the cap on my earnings that you will permit yes?
    If you are just angry that some people make more money than you, I suggest flaming the guy who made 2 billion quid from tetra pack milk cartons.
    Apparently its fine to make money from that, because you can’t download milk cartons as a torrent. :D

  2. Kieron Gillen says:

    Let’s be honest. We’d all download milk.

    KG

  3. obdicut says:

    Cliffski:

    I know a lot of piracy advocates hate my guts. I couldn’t care less, because those people don’t buy games. I care about what my customers think.

    I know you believe this, but I think you’re wrong. I have pirated many games; all games that I owned, and all for convenience. I’m glad that the pirates exist, and that their DRM-cracking technology exists, because otherwise many, many of the games I have bought would have been bricks due to me losing the CD, the DRM being incompatible with something on my system, or simply because I moved, and needed to reinstall the game and couldn’t find the original install. (This is why I love Steam, by the way.)

    There are many people like me, who like the pirates for the convenience they provide; the exact same reason I love Steam. The money is not in the least bit an issue for me, and for many people.

  4. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Ahhhh I seee. You have decided the cap on my earnings that you will permit yes?”

    No, Cliff. I don’t get to make the rules about capitalism, which is unfortunate as we’d all have a lot more room if I did. But sadly, by admitting that you’re already better off than 99% of the people on the planet but just want more more more, you just vacated the moral high ground you’ve been making such a big loud fuss about. And ironically, shown that you’re exactly the same as the people you’re so keen to castigate – greedy.

  5. John Walker says:

    I’d rather stay out of the main debate because it’s hard to state my own thoughts without implying that it might be RPS’ position. We all four have completely different opinions. I’ll save that for mocking unpleasant types like Bruce E. However, I do get concerned when people’s arguments against piracy seem to begin and end in a belief that the world owes them a living.

  6. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Let’s be honest. We’d all download milk.”

    Most of us start off in life doing exactly that, man.

  7. cliffski says:

    I just don’t get it. I am apparently greedy.. therefore you pirate my games? is this the new excuse?
    I can ASSURE you that will wright is way better off than me. Should his games get pirated more? Do you go to companies house to check the corporate profits before you click a torrent link?
    If you had really LOVED my games, would you still have bought them? even if I was well off? what if I was a millionaire? I had no idea this was a political stance that was being taken, I thought it was all about you getting a decent game no?
    BTW if you have a PC that will run any of my games, you too are better off than 90% of the population, and yet you still you want MORE??

  8. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    Cliff, I’ve never pirated one of your games in my life. But you sound awfully angry for someone who claims to be happy and is apparently making a nice living doing a job he likes. Few people are that privileged, yet it seems it’s not enough for you. It seems that you won’t be content until you’re absolutely stinking rich. And there’s no law against that, but it really fucks up your pompous stabs at holier-than-thou morality. Camel through the eye of a needle and all that.

    Me? I don’t want more of anything – indeed, I throw out boxes full of crap from my cellar every week in an attempt to have less. I’m over 25, and anyone that age with a brain in their head tends to realise that possessions are just weights around your neck. If you’re under 25, fair enough. If you’re not, then you’re just [an insult we don't need on the site - RPS].

  9. Jochen Scheisse says:

    Except when possessions are like race cars and jets and rockets. They make you go woooosh!

  10. cliffski says:

    If you read your posts, and then my posts, you will see which of us is the angry one. I think me telling you my thoughts on piracy makes YOU angry, hence the name calling and swearing.
    I’ve been called stupid, been sworn at, told i have no brain in my head, greedy etc etc…
    I’m a game developer who is against piracy. I’m sorry you can’t seem to accept that.

  11. John P (Katsumoto) says:

    More comments than the EG article on the same piece of news! Impressive!

    Far fewer “twonks” in this one, too.

  12. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    Oh, and incidentally – GTA IV’s sales figures are out. Even though it was available as a pirate copy BEFORE it was in shops, it shifted 609,000 copies in the UK alone, in ONE DAY. That should extrapolate to at least 5m for Day 1 worldwide, and I’m scared to even imagine how many over months and years, given that the total installed base of formats it’s available for is barely 25m.

    People ARE prepared to buy games, Cliff, even when pirate copies are an option. If they’re not prepared to buy yours, maybe you need to start looking closer to home for someone to blame. Sadly, the blinkered fundamentalist way you ignore even the most constructive criticism, or the simplest available facts, means you’re destined to be unhappy forever.

  13. obdicut says:

    Cliffksi.

    I didn’t call you angry, or stupid, or swear at you. But instead of responding to me, you’re responding to others who are being more combative.

    This may be what makes you appear angry. I think you’re probably just angry on this particular subject, and prepared to think that you’re perfectly happy in your job and your life in general.

    It may be that the way you choose to engage with the issue is combative, and therefore makes you seem angry.

  14. cliffski says:

    LOL.
    And yet again, you cling to this idea that my games don’t sell and I’m bitter about it. if that makes you happy, keep believing it.
    What annoys me is the fact that my fave platform (the PC) and my fave game genres are drying up because of piracy.
    BTW, how many copies are rockstar allowed to sell to pass acceptance by the stuart campbell social equality test? At what point do they become evil?
    Tescos and Sainsburys are owned by multi billionaires. Maybe you should do some shoplifting? the same principle would seem to be applicable, and those swine don’t even give you demos at all!

  15. Larington says:

    I’m beginning to think this needs locking, the argument is going around in circles which I don’t see coming to an end anytime soon.

    This discussion keeps plowing forward, yet getting no where. And I see this circle being replicated every time the piracy reaper is brought up.

  16. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “What annoys me is the fact that my fave platform (the PC) and my fave game genres are drying up because of piracy.

    Thing is, though, that’s complete bollocks. The PC’s total market share has barely changed an iota in years. And you don’t have the slightest clue that ANYTHING is happening “because of piracy”, because the only thing even resembling factual evidence on the subject – which you’ve cleverly ignored – shows that piracy actually affects sales by roughly 0.1%. It’s an easy, lazy excuse for failure, nothing else.

    Finest case of Everiss Syndrome I’ve seen this week…

  17. Jochen Scheisse says:

    But who could have known that this thread, too, will fail to put a full stop behind the piracy debate?

    I see it as proven that Stuart is holier than cliffski, with both contestants giving it all.

  18. cliffski says:

    so you draw the line at shoplifting?
    I’m confused.
    Am I still evil because I’m not actually hungry?

  19. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    No, Cliff. You’re evil because you’re a stupid and blinkered fundamentalist loony, which is a lot worse than just being greedy. Nearly everyone’s greedy, it’s a basic human survival trait. But being stupid and wilfully blind is an evolutionary dead end.

  20. cliffski says:

    you see, I just don’t get how its ME who is the angry one. You sure sound angry to me. And why? You get to take anything you want for free, at the expense of the people who make stuff (like me).

    I’m glad you have hung around to make your points the way you have, it just goes to show the true colours of the people who hide behind friendly sounding crap like “sharing is caring” and my fave pirate phrase “don’t forget to thank me for my work”

  21. po says:

    Difference between a game (software/music/film) and a car/house/food?

    Very simple, and rather importantly, production cost.

    Your production costs for any digitally distributable media are fixed. The distribution (and publication costs) will increase as you produce more, but those are more than covered by the sale price.

    Once you have that master disk, and you have covered your costs, then you are making a lot more money than with any product that requires a physical object to be produced for each item sold.

    Media is in a completely different ballpark from physical goods.

    The thing is though, how much of the money ends up going to the developers (giving them the resources to make better games in future), and how much is pocketed by the publishers. Who likes the way the big publishers do business/support products once they’ve been released? I think the general rule is developers are great and deserve our support, publishers suck the scene dry.

    I’d be happier pirating games and sending a cheque direct to the devs than buying from some puplishers, considering their history.

  22. cliffski says:

    Agreed on the publisher thing. The thing about costs is interesting, because people assume that products should be sold at their marginal cost, which is wrong. Every product has a mix of marginal and fixed costs in its sale price. If you sell 1000 items, then even if your marginal cost is trivial, a huge chunk of fixed costs will be in that sale price. if you sell 10,000 then its obviously lower.
    That’s why people like matrixgames have to set such high prices. there aren’t THAT many buyers for hex based games any more.
    The way a free market should work is devs should have a guess at total sales, and thus total revenue, and try not to spend more than that on the game. They cant afford to spend much less, because rival devs will outspend and market them if they do.
    My comparison with houses is not on the production or pricing side, its on the customers purchase decision side. the argument was made that the buyer has insufficient information for a purchase of that magnitude. The house market shows this is not true. When the buyer is trying to evaluate their perceived utility of the product, the mix of fixed/marginal costs in the price is irrelevant.

  23. sinister agent says:

    About two minutes ago I thought to myself “Hang on a minute…” and hovered over your name, Cliff. I had kind of assumed your games would be ones I’d never heard of (to be brutally honest I assumed they were crap and that’s why you had such a bee in your bonnet over piracy, as often happens), so imagine my surprise when I realised you’re the Democracy guy.

    I’ve downloaded probably about half a dozen, ten games, tops, without paying for them. Of these games I’ve since bought three and deleted the rest, except for one which I’ve kept and not paid for because the developers are scumbags and I’ve been burned by them twice in the past, so screw them.

    I also bought Mount & Blade, and (and your blinkered “pirates don’t buy games” rhetoric suggests you won’t believe this, so if you like, I can prove it – I’m sure I’ve got a paypal record of the transaction somewhere) Democracy. Why? Because I, like the majority of pirates, am not in fact a cartoon villain who is a conveniently evil, amoral, selfish thief, but just someone who:

    a) doesn’t have the money to buy many games (£30? Fuck right off – I can feed myself for a week with that), and
    b) is sick of being fleeced with crap, overpriced games by greedy hacks who actively despise gamers.

    And so I pirate the odd game here and there. If the game’s worth my money, I’ll buy it. If it’s not, I’ll delete it. If the game’s good but the company involved are useless bastards, I will probably keep the game and my money, because shitty developers are the reason games are so expensive, why they’re so lousy and why there’s so much piracy.

    I paid for your game because I thought it was pretty good, and because supporting an indie developer trying something kind of interesting is a Good Thing. Being brutally honest again, I probably haven’t got my money’s worth out of it as I played it for a couple of days and then never touched it again, but I’m not bitter about that because you’re not taking over the planet, and it didn’t cost much. I even paid extra for that wee planet-defending shooter thing, and I only played that for about forty minutes. I won’t be buying (or downloading, relax) Kudos or Rock Star because they don’t look like enough of a departure from what I’ve already got. They basically don’t look good enough to justify spending my money, and that’s the only reason.

    If I couldn’t pirate the games I pirated, I sure as hell wouldn’t pay for them when I could buy half a dozen books instead, or even just play one of the scores of old games I have.

    I know a lot of piracy advocates hate my guts. I couldn’t care less, because those people don’t buy games. I care about what my customers think.

    I can imagine how frustrating it must be to have your work pirated, but saying that pirates don’t buy games is farcically unrealistic, imagining that many of them would buy if they couldn’t pirate is as well, and comparing piracy to theft is utter nonsense. I’m one of your customers, and I think you’ve got this all backwards. I support piracy. I also support innovative, typically independent, developers who aren’t churning out any old turgid shit to chase a profit. The two are far from mutually exclusive.

    You’ve really done yourself no favours at all with some of your comments today. Some of what you’ve said is not only fatuous and ill-considered (stop calling it theft or shoplifting, for chirst’s sake – you’re embarassing yourself. And can you really not see the difference between a game and a house? Here’s one important hint – you can and will see the entirety of the house before you buy it. With games, you can see – at most – the bits that the person trying to sell it lets you see. Would you let the estate agent only show you one room before buying a house?), but very arrogantly phrased.

  24. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “you see, I just don’t get how its ME who is the angry one.”

    “Piracy *is* killing off PC gaming. How many more developers have to abandon the PC as lead platform (or abandon it completely) before the kids who refuse to buy games get this through their skulls?”

    “brazen freetards”

    “Sorry but thats total bullshit.”

    “At least be man enough to admit you steal shit because you think you won’t get caught.”

    “As an indie whose games get cracked, you think it matters a fuck to me WHICH group did it?
    get a clue, and please dont embarrass yourself further with your pathetic attempts to justify theft. You leech of the honest gamers who aren’t afraid to buy games. As for a demo not being good enough, is a test drive good enough for a £10,000 car? Or do you steal the car first to make sure?
    What bullshit.”

    “and you are a pc developer? who? don’t hide behind anonymity, tell us who you are. I’m sure your employer would like to know a pirate is on the payroll.

    you [think] the whole world owes him free games.”

    “Was funny to see the freetards foaming at the mouth for the first two weeks when everyone else was playing it too.”

    “Yes, people with no sense of right and wrong like you try to put all kinds of different companies out of business. I know that. You don’t have the guts to actually physically go and steal from people that might catch you (and give you a good thumping) so you hide behind your keyboard and do it.”

    “The thing is, this attitude poisons your entire life. You think games are all shit, because they didn’t cost you anything. you invested nothing in them, so they are all disposable crap to you. You don’t even believe a game dev linking his name to his website when he tells you his age! Why would you? everyone cheats and lies and steals right? At least that’s what you have to tell yourself to justify what you do.”

    Sorry, Cliff, my bad. You’re quite right. You’re not angry at all.

  25. Larington says:

    Yeah, there was once I time when I toyed with the idea “pirate because the publishers are evil” the big problem with this, as I concluded, is that by hurting the publisher you hurt the developer. Few publishers are willing to fund a sequel to a failed game and (in rare cases) a failed developer if its first game(s) don’t sell.

    A certain company was voted best new developer at GDC 07… One year later, the developer was closing its doors. Interesting that, no?

  26. Cigol says:

    Cliffski what do you make of Valves comments from this interview; http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/the-last-of-the-independents-

    Doug Lombardi: “Well, Steam allows us to eliminate “Day Zero” piracy – which is between gold and when the game’s on the store shelves – and that’s when all the real piracy, the damaging piracy happens.

    Gamers are generally good people, right? They’re pretty intelligent, you know, they usually have a job. They’re not derelicts out on the street, looting and robbing all of the time. But when they’ve been hyped up on a project and they really want to play this game and they can’t wait to play it…Maybe they bought a new computer or console just to play it, and it shows up on a torrent site and it’s not at the store…Temptation’s going to come into play.

    But with Steam you can’t, right? We tell you to pre-load the game, regardless of where you’re going to buy it. Download it now so you’re ready to play it the day it comes out. The disc that we send out is useless until we turn it on on launch day. So we don’t have the problem of sending the disc to replication and having some punk grab it and put it on a bit torrent site and take the sales away from us.

    We saw that in 2004 when we released Half-Life 2. Doom 3, Halo 2 and whichever version of GTA came out that year were all available on the pirate network before they came out at stores. The final version of the games. Half-Life 2 wasn’t. The only difference was that Half-Life 2 had Steam anti-piracy stuff in place.”

    There is a lot of other interesting stuff in that interview incidentally, such as;

    “…the other reason why that is propagated so much is that Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony are spending millions of dollars setting armies of PR people on you guys to tell you how great their platforms are and nobody’s doing that for the PC.”

    “Folks on the industry side of things – publishers and developers – are seeing these things and they know that some of the stories that are being propagated are half truths. Yes, retail sales of PC games in the States are down, no question about it. Steam sales are up on PC games – we sold more copies of Episode 2 on Steam than we did of Episode 1, and we sold less at retail.”

  27. Kanakotka says:

    Let me step in for a moment. Again.
    Since people do not read earlier comments, here’s the sum up again:

    PC gaming has been actively dying for the last 20 years, but still hasn’t! Amazing!
    And why has it been dying? Piracy, of course. Are j00 st00pid? It’s dem darr damn pirates dar be steeling our profits.

    Pirates – Killing PC gaming AND your profits since 198x ? Or not…?
    As i mentioned before, the amount of peers on any game has been declining. And i’ve been doing this thang for far over 10 years.
    Let’s compare.
    suprnova, year is 1999, homeworld 2, over 23,000 peers. ON ONE SINGLE TORRENT.
    mininova, year is 2008, superhit GTA IV prereleased to everyone before it even hits stores. 14,000 combined peers on ALL torrents.

    oops?

    By the way, GTA : SA is still the most pirated game ever! (Thanks Jack Thompson) Did you -ever- see Rockstar games whining about it like this? Surely, they mentioned “aww damnit pirates” somewhere in the press releases, but they had(back then, being around 2-3 million) large sales figures, so…

    Also, since the industry is getting fair bigger every day, even if the amount of pirates would stay the same as they were in suprnova’s times, the ratio would -still- be far smaller when compared to back then.

    As i have said now 4 times, it’s just hip to blame things on everyone who isn’t directly responsible for it. (See : 9/11 conspiwancy thewwies.)

    Piracy is doing great big amount of good in comparison to it’s bad sides, too. To those who are aware of things. I would be willing to bet my left arm that there is at least 1 person who downloaded cliffski’s game before he bought it. AT LEAST. That makes him a customer to cliffski. And chances are, without piracy, he would’ve never even heard of the game.

    Now, again, to sum it up. Piracy is stealing, big deal, et.c. et.c. it happens. But not just in PC gaming, not just in software, it happens even in CARS. (Gaze at: http://www.riemurasia.net/jylppy/media.php?id=30140&c=1 for instance. Yes, it is called plagiarization, but what you are stealing here is IDEAS. It isn’t the name that makes the product.
    Then again, piracy (physical) isn’t really relevant to piracy (software) in much of ways. So blah. I’m just talking for the sake of talking.

    (Biggest thread ever, i’m superseeding milk now. Moo.)

  28. Dinger says:

    Dang. RPS always brings a new perspective.

    This time, it’s the perspective of those defenders of neutral planets in Sins of a Solar Empire. I always wondered about those neutral fleets. I mean, you pop into a gravity well, here’s an ice planet with a bunch of frigates and maybe a cruiser defending. I don’t have ice planet tech, so I leave, and come back when I’m ready to colonize. There’s a brief battle, then you colonize. Unless, of course, your evil conniving enemy pops in. Then there’s a three-way battle until the neutral force is wiped out. Then you take turns colonizing, nuking, and re-colonizing the miserable ice planet until someone retires. Then you expand your network.

    In this battle, the defensive force holding the place is pathetic, designed only to prevent colonizing half the system with a push of a colonizing ship and a handful of frigates. I never really thought about the battle from their perspective.

    But here, well, we’ve got a multi-board crusade in full effect. In follow up to the Flamewar over on Bruce Everiss’ blog covered in the Sunday Papers (where we find out his name is really Brian), and the relative commentary whimper of his recapitulation of his position, Everiss brings his planet-nuking dreadnought into low orbit over the World of Stuart, screaming “piracy”. In the meanwhile, Cliffski, while known for many insightful views, returns to his Hobby Horse and continues his crusade against the evil pirates.

    The genius of Sins of a Solar Empire is that the pirates are real, have a home world, can be bribed to go after their enemies (gee, no company would profit from GTA IV being massively pirated before release day?) and are so numerous, no side can mount a reasonable defense. Basically, you have to figure out how much it’s worth defending against pirates, and, if their price is higher than that, make sure your empire can survive.

    Anyway, cheers guys. I’ve read this thread, but I must say the interview where they talk about how their studies of the seasons on human life, and the design challenge of making freezing to death comical, was more rewarding.

  29. SwiftRanger says:

    That Gamesindustry.biz-interview deserves its own RPS post I’d say, I was especially surprised about Lombardi’s stance on retail versions. At least he acknowledges that PC gaming should always have retail presence next to digital distribution. Some folks might think a DD-only future is the way to go but I am not one of them.

    edit: nice new perspective idd, Dinger. :)

  30. Jochen Scheisse says:

    Dinger, that was always my argument why a simulation of the 30 years war, where you could either take control of a mercenary band (pirates) or a free city (ambitioned young developer) would be interesting.

  31. po says:

    Single torrents? There’s usually more than one torrent for a game (and you forget about other networks like edonkey/kad/overnet/dc++/etc)

  32. John Walker says:

    cliffski – can’t we avoid comparing piracy to shoplifting?

    I’d like to assume debates on this subject start a few steps ahead of that. Steal from shop = shop loses object. Pirate software = object duplicated. In one the owner loses something. In the second, the owner *loses* nothing. (I stress – I’m in NO way arguing that piracy does no harm, or hurts no one. But no one looks in their drawers and find their game is gone). It isn’t isn’t isn’t “theft”, and this debate will never get anywhere while people use the wrong terms. Whatever it is, however wrong or not wrong it may be, however much the owner may be hurt by it, it just isn’t theft, and it cannot be accurately, or practically compared to theft. If anything, making this innaccurate comparison gives ammunition to those arguing against you.

    It’s disappointing that because Stuart is rude, you’ve decided that anyone who shares his beliefs or disagrees with you is therefore rude. That’s a bigoted statement to make, and not fair to people in this thread who have made similar arguments politely.

    I’d yell at Stuart too, if I didn’t spend half my life yelling at him anyway. Believe me, it’s being taken care of.

  33. Kanakotka says:

    Oops again. The above post by me is actually written before i read sinister agent’s comment. Proof of concept?

    Also, can i lick you, John? I like licking people.

  34. Butler` says:

    One thing that strikes me as odd is that, piracy wise, PC gaming comes no where near music. PC games are big, clumsy (often in multiple segments) and usually .iso or some such bullshit – even if I wanted to I doubt I could be arsed.

    Music is instant gratification .mp3, .wmv etc. and far more accessible, weighting in at 70-90mb an album.

    I don’t see PC gaming piracy as THAT much of an issue, but nor would I EVER try and justify it (as some in this thread are trying to…).

  35. John Walker says:

    I want you to lick me, Kanakotka.

  36. Robin says:

    @Kanakotka: Suprnova didn’t launch until 2002. And in any case you’re talking complete garbage. High profile PC games regularly attract torrent swarms in the tens or even hundreds of thousands in the first few days.

    You can dispute how much of an impact that has on developers’ bottom lines, but you can’t in all seriousness claim that PC games piracy is on the decline.

    @Stu: Hello! That’s a good article, but the numbers are only applicable to downloadable casual games (in fact, one specific game), which have a low price tag to start with and little or no perceived value. If you make one that appeals to gamers who know how to rip games off (which describes Reflexive’s Ricochet Infinity, but not most of the gem-matching and diner-managing games these companies usually put out), they’ll rip it off. No sales are being lost, I agree.

    However, the vast majority of the casual audience just go from site to site playing one hour demos without ever buying anything, and as such a significant amount of the income of companies in this sector comes from advertising. The games cost a pittance to develop. None of these factors are directly applicable to traditional full-price PC games.

    I’d like to put my faith in people to buy games because they liked them, but the number of people who ‘think’ like Katakotka up there is (on the PC, right now) ridiculously, and quite possibly commercially significantly, enormous. Trust people but lock your car doors, and all that.

  37. Rocktart says:

    I haven’t downloaded any games/comics but I gave Jamie $10 as I’ve used one of his pictures as wallpaper for ages. I’m not sure how that would translate into gaming.

  38. SuperNashwan says:

    “because the only thing even resembling factual evidence on the subject – which you’ve cleverly ignored – shows that piracy actually affects sales by roughly 0.1%”
    Careful Stu, we all know how welcome facts are in a debate about piracy. The few attempts at proper studies into music piracy’s effects make for interesting reading, and by ‘interesting’ I mean they largely show piracy to have an insignificant effect on sales. Bit inconvenient for the “piracy *obviously* hurts sales” camp, who’re strangely oblivious to how complex systems can often produce unintuitive results.

  39. cliffski says:

    Piracy doesnt deprive a physical object, clearly. But it still hurts the developer. ‘copyright infringement’ sounds like some minor legal debating point, not something that means people lose their jobs. We dont have a word that sums it up correctly unfortunately.

    As for the pirates can be customers thing, yes thats true, but those people (who pirate occasionally, but buy games they like) dont tend to be the raving,insulting,foaming, aggressive types like ths guy in this thread. THOSE are the ones that I don’t listen to regarding my games.

    BTW On the angry thing, please… re-read those posts, and yours. You have thrown insults directly at me, called me an idiot, stupid, all kinds of stuff that I haven’t said to you. How can you not see the difference between the way I’ve addressed you, and the flaming hatred and foaming insults you have hurled at me?

    BTW it’s not a ‘hobby horse’, its a very very serious issue. Go ask a small independent retailer what he thinks of shoplifters. I can assure you he will be MUCH more annoyed about it than me.

  40. cliffski says:

    “You’re evil because you’re a stupid and blinkered fundamentalist loony”

    just one of many examples of the anger of the piracy advocate in this thread…

  41. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    Yes, Cliff, I have called you a few (factually accurate) names, boo hoo. That doesn’t mean I’m angry, it means that after 20 years I’m weary of debating with really stupid people who don’t listen to the evidence and I very quickly get bored of trying to reason with them like adults. It’s not so much anger as resigned, pitying contempt. You, on the other hand, are clearly poisonously bitter that some people are playing your games without paying for them, even though you claim to be doing very nicely out of them anyway. Heck, you even threaten physical violence. Nice.

    And heavens, can that really be you going on about the completely unrelated topic of shoplifting AGAIN in your last paragraph? Sigh.

  42. John Walker says:

    I did some studies on the subject of music piracy and sales for PC Format a few years ago. The results showed, without much room for doubt, that piracy played a large part in improving record sales. There was a record spike the year of Napster, like nothing in a decade, then a dip in the gap between Napster closing and other P2P options becoming popular. Then another huge spike again. It didn’t dip again until iTunes and equivalents became the norm. Oh boy, people didn’t like that article. The RIAA and BPI had been obfuscating their figures to imply they were losing sales, by announcing “album sales” were dropping. They managed this by including cassette and vinyl sales figures along with CD. Once those were removed, CD sales were rocketing. Oops.

    I’m not sure what comparisons can be drawn with PC gaming from that.

  43. sinister agent says:

    Go ask a small independent retailer what he thinks of shoplifters. I can assure you he will be MUCH more annoyed about it than me.

    Ah, but what does that shopkeeper do about it? He just accepts that it’s inevitable and tries to appeal to the majority of his honest customers by treating them better. He doesn’t double the price of everything and hire a thug to scream “YOU WOULDN’T STEAL A CAR” at everyone who comes in, while rifling through their pockets. If he did that, people would tell him to shove it and go ahead and steal more than they would have anyway just to spite him.

    Run the business right, get in the right stock and treat people well, and the shoplifting/piracy won’t make a dent. It worked for Sins of Solar Whateverface just as well as for the slightly creepy corner shop owner near my old flat.

  44. John Walker says:

    Here’s what’s frustrating:

    cliffski is a really nice guy who makes some really interesting games, who goes beserk whenever piracy is discussed, and won’t consider any other positions.

    Rev Stu is possibly one of the most educated people when it comes to videogame piracy, with a vast wealth of knowledge on the subject, who has had the debate too many times and resorts to calling everyone idiots because they haven’t had the time and education on the subject he has.

    If these two people listened to each other, I think cancer might get cured.

  45. cliffski says:

    stuart, if it doesn’t show your angry, it shows your incredibly rude, and incapable of defending your point of view.
    Even after you pretend I’ve been ruder than you, and get called out on it, and shown what nonsense it is, you cant even accept you were wrong, yet throw a load more insults and abuse at me.
    What do you think you achieve by the abuse exactly? because you aren’t making games pirates look like the nice guys here…

  46. cliffski says:

    John do you REALLY think I’ve ‘gone beserk’ here? Show me the point where that happened and what I said. I know stuart has got very abusive, but where have I sunk to his level? I’m sure this just hasn’t happened….

  47. cliffski says:

    “Ah, but what does that shopkeeper do about it?”

    He employs security guards, sticks tags on everything he stocks, and scanners by every exit, he installs video cameras that watch the customers, he has steel shutters that cover the windows at night.
    Thats WAY more invasive than 99% of game DRM. You have just got used to it, and see it as reasonable.

  48. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    I always know I’ve won an argument when grown adults suddenly start to whine about being called the occasional mild name rather than face up to the facts I’ve pointed out. I’m not going to change your mind, Cliff, because one can only change the minds of strong, intelligent and thoughtful people, so I while away the duller moments of Chelsea v Liverpool pointing out that you’re a one-note buffoon who can’t engage with the truth when it conflicts with your groundless but fondly-cherished pet fundamentalism. Hey ho.

    I’m rude to idiots? Gee, what will you spot next? That the sky’s blue? But “rude” and “angry” aren’t synonyms, Cliff. Look ‘em up in a dictionary while you’re checking the difference between “copy” and “steal”.

  49. cliffski says:

    Ok, I thought earlier RPS had posted that people should stop flaming. I did. (to the extent I even had) Stuart didn’t, and his posts are still here, in which case, I’m off.
    If I wanted this level of discussion, I’d go play counterstrike…

  50. sinister agent says:

    He employs security guards, sticks tags on everything he stocks, and scanners by every exit, he installs video cameras that watch the customers, he has steel shutters that cover the windows at night.

    What the hell kind of corner shops do you go to, man? I’ve worked in tiny independent shops as well as ones that turn over hundreds of thousands every year and none of them had half of that crap. Sigh. I think the point has been missed. Let’s leave this analogy be, shall we? I think dealing with Stu is probably enough for you to worry about right now.