World Of Goo Piracy Rate: “82%”

By John Walker on November 15th, 2008 at 12:03 pm.

Too much effort went into this one.

The post yesterday reporting World of Goo’s 90% piracy figure drew a surprising response. The P-word regularly generates comments threads that scare our hosts, but this one was odd. It became a discussion about whether one could disprove the 90% figure, and then extrapolating this to reach peculiar conclusions. Some could see this as people claiming there were far fewer stab wounds than first predicted and therefore there hadn’t been a murder. Others might suggest that fighting over the exact number is completely irrelevant, as that’s not the point of the issue. Now 2D BOY have responded with new look at the figures.

In response to the vociferous arguments that dynamic IPs and multiple installations could be responsible for a lot of the 90% of registered IPs against sales, 2D BOY dug deeper. While it’s true that a dynamic IP, or second installation, would appear as a unique user, that doesn’t take into account the player IDs. The majority of those whose IP rolls around with each connection would still be using the same player name. So based on player names, 2D BOY discovered that there are 1.3 IP addresses per player – not the figures that many were spuriously claiming.

The stats are these:

76% of players have contacted the server from 1 IP
13% from 2 IPs
5% from 3 IPs
3% from 4 IPs
1% from 5 IPs
1% from 6 IPs
1% from more than 6

Of course it will be pointed out that each game has room for three player IDs, and they took this into account too.

“we also looked at how many players IDs were created (rather than used) from each IP address. given that the vast majority of player IDs are associated with only a single IP, this is a fairly accurate measure of how many profiles the average user created. on average, a player has 1.15 profiles per installation.[Their emphasis]

It then completely nerds out to get the figures. I’ll not summarise, but paste their maths:

when we take the total number of player IDs (which is smaller than the number of unique IPs from which leaderboard entries came) and divide it by 1.15 (the average number of profiles per installation) the number of estimated unique installations drops by about 35% as compared to the estimate based on unique IPs. let us further say that the average user installs the game on 1.25 computers with different IPs (i.e. not behind the same router), which i think is a high estimate. that lowers the estimated unique installations by another 20%. after factoring both of these in, the piracy rate would still be 82%, and we should keep in mind that this number doesn’t include those who never opted to submit scores to the leaderboard (it’s an option that’s off by default). so while it’s possible that the actual piracy rate is lower than 90%, it’s unlikely that it’s significantly lower. 2d boy hopes this satisfies the more rigorous number crunchers out there :)

A drop from 90 to 80% makes one difference: it means there are twice as many legitimate copies out there as previously thought. But twice 1 out of 10 is 2 out of 10 – it’s not the most enormous leap.

I’m sure that many will pick at the maths above and argue their reasoning why they think this number might be lower (or even higher), but I’m not sure that’s relevant. Unless there’s a dramatic proof out there that slashes this figure into a quarter, it strikes me as a distraction. If one can’t destroy this number, and therefore the 82% figure is close enough to accurate, given that it might be slightly lower or higher, what then? That’s the interesting discussion. Is this piracy a problem?

2D BOY certainly don’t believe that adding DRM to their game would have made any difference. (I would argue that logic dictates this – something that is always cracked on Day 0/1, and only affects the legitimate customers and not the pirates, is going to do nothing realistic. But clearly very few publishers agree, so there’s still much debate to be had). But have they been robbed of 86% of their sales? Again, the implication from the company is they think perhaps 1 or 2 of every 1000 of those pirated copies could have been a sale. But there’s still tens of thousands of people with a copy without paying for it, far more than those who did pay.

Here’s another question. If piracy figures don’t represent lost sales, what do they represent? Is it an indictment of humanity? Are they free advertising? Could 2D BOY have benefited in any way from them? Or are they causing active harm?

Whatever the significance of the PC’s piracy rates, the results from 2D BOY make one thing very clear: While some of us are paying for our fun, a lot of us are not.

Edit: A rather significant statement from 2D BOY’s Ron Carmel appears below in the comments. It’s helpful to put it up here:

“by the way, just in case it’s not 100% clear, we’re not angry about piracy, we still think that DRM is a waste of time and money, we don’t think that we’re losing sales due to piracy, and we have no intention of trying to fight it.”

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614 Comments »

  1. Jim Rossignol says:

    “taking the content producers work for free is morally justified”

    But the cost to the content producer is *not* zero. It’s how they’re trying to scrape a living together. Why should you get that for free? Your argument amounts to “the cost to bittorrent users is zero, therefore any game is free”.

    You pay your plumber for the work he does. You pay your ISP for the work they do. So you should pay the content creator whose work you appropriate.

    Paying people for the work they do seems “morally justified” to me. Saying “there isn’t a problem” over and over does not make the problem go away. Convincing people that there isn’t a problem does that, and you’re not convincing.

  2. The Apologist says:

    @Sam and Meat – I really don’t get this.

    The value of the work *does* increase with the number of copies made. It is an entertainment industry. The value it produces is entertainment. It makes money by the entertainment of large numbers of people.

    The more popular the game, the more it is worth and the more money should accrue to the developer and publisher.

    The logical extension of your and Meat’s argument is that, if it is generally accepted that copies of games are worth zero, there will be no money accrue to developers, and therefore there will be no development.

    You might argue that that hasn’t happened so far, but that is only because a) some games are designing the problem out (WoW), and more importantly b) a minority of people don’t accept your argument and pay the asking price for their games.

    Can you help me understand why the greater widespread acceptance of your argument wouldn’t result in stopping development of non-MMOGs on PC?

  3. Sam says:

    @Jim: The cost to the content producer is a one-time cost, per product. Unfortunately, the economics of physical goods doesn’t work when dealing with informational products, and it does the whole “cost per copy = one time cost / number of copies” thing that all of us but cliffski agree leads to the cost per copy being effectively zero.
    Of course, this doesn’t help repay the one-time cost, since we can’t integrate infinitesimals to get real money in real life.
    Most companies, however, do get people who are prepared to pay more than the actual value of the copy – “paying customers” – the additional value of which can be taken to repay the one time cost of content production. (As the value of a copy is zero, these paying customers are worth, effectively, countless pirated copies.) Allowing people other means of giving money to the producer – donations, merchandise etc – or allowing them to choose the price they want to pay for a copy of the product (some will choose above the value the producer wants), are other ways to realistically recoup those one-time costs.

  4. karthik says:

    @Meat Circus
    I don’t understand the implication your argument has on video games.
    By arguing that the marginal cost to the developer is all you need to consider when procuring a game, do you mean to say that the retail price of a video game should be proportional to its marginal cost? By marginal cost, I refer to the “fraction of the production costs per copy” that Sam mentions.
    In which case, the very first copy sold off a shelf will cost a princely sum of money, and a copy obtained an year or two later will be virtually free- and, um, “piratable” without moral complications.

    Even if this were an acceptable proposition, I could torrent a copy of Starcraft right now without feeling bad about it, but not Dead Space- and that’s not what’s happening.

    IMO, your arguments have been very cogent in themselves thus far, but I fail to see how it would work in the real world if the marginal cost is all a developer cared about.

  5. Dinger says:

    Simulations largely died not because people found more interesting types of games, but rather because simulation freaks are classic early adopters. Twenty years ago, any AAA flight sim whatsoever was guaranteed to move 150k copies in the US. That would be a huge success. Today, any AAA flight sim will probably move the same number of copies, and be a failure. Computers got too good for them.
    Of course, Microsoft did its best to screw things too. Simulator fans will buy a lot of hardware for their game (somewhat weird when you consider that someone will not blink at dropping $1000 on controls, but complain that $70 is “too expensive” for the software), and in the name of “security”, XP (KB pass-through controls) and then Vista (anything not running off of USB) disabled a bunch of it.
    Back in the day, most PC owners who played games had joysticks, too. Today? Heck, I own one, but it’s on another continent.

  6. Muzman says:

    Kerc says:
    Tell me, Stu, how many long loved and cherished games companies are still around Stu? Because if things are so successful then, you know, the guys who put their efforts into the gams would be duly rewarded and respected.

    Unless, of course, stealing things has a negative impact some way along the line…

    I’m sure you mean well but this isn’t much of a point. The reverend is arguing that piracy is effectively a fact of life. On those terms this counter is much like suggesting that removing all killer sharks from the planet gets us closer to overcoming death itself.
    We are in no place to say that, all else being equal, were piracy removed from the world the economy would suddenly become less cruel and capricious.

    Generally speaking I’ve always been a fan of that ‘Internet Super Tollway’ idea, and I don’t know why people are saying it wouldn’t work. It might change ISPs into something they are not currently and they might not enjoy it. But radio stations were not once stat collectors (and major benefactors) for royalty agencies either and that worked fairly well. It’s not quite the same thing but it’s a start. It’s already happening to a certain extent with Austraian ISPs anyway (I suspect because bandwidth is so scarce), probably other places to. ISPs are adding video, games and music to their ‘service’. One day they will provide not merely the means but the content and they’ll pay for it. Torrents and so forth won’t go away, nor will DRM I suspect. But there’ll be money for PC games.

  7. Jim Rossignol says:

    @Sam: Yes, but the more items sold, real or immaterial, the more money the producer makes. That’s just how we’ve set society up to work. The more popular something is, the better the work the creator has done, the more they are rewarded. They *physical cost* has become irrelevant with infinitely duplicated items – we all agree on that – but that does not mean they have no *value*. These are different issues!

  8. Sam says:

    @Jim: It’s the way certain models of society work, yes. Communism, for example, doesn’t work this way.
    In any case, people do buy copies of informational products, and so the producers do get renumeration for their work. I’ve already stated my position on why I pay for games upthread – it has nothing to do with the value of the copy, and everything to do with wanting to support the developer themselves.

  9. jay says:

    Meat Circus, what mindset should creators have?
    What should they be doing instead of what they are doing now?
    (These are actual questions not anything else)

  10. Jim Rossignol says:

    Communism doesn’t work at all :)

  11. cliffski says:

    Wow.
    So people are seriously (with a straight face no less). are now suggesting that when you buy something, you should only be charged the MARGINAL cost of production?
    Wow.
    I mean WOW. This is like economics 101. You think that because a pharmaceutical company can make an additional pill for £0.01, then it should cost £0.01? because if you do, you just killed off the incentive for anyone to cure any disease by doing research.
    How do you think the R&D costs of new cars, new chips, new video cards etc get paid back?
    Every sale pays back the entire marginal cost plus some percentage of the fixed cost based upon the likely sales of the product. I didn’t realise this was a big secret.

    If I knew everyone I’d market my next game to thought that they should only pay the marginal cost of each copy, then I knew my total earnings would be zero and I would go to work in Tescos. It is only because HONEST people actually pay for stuff that pirates get to enjoy stuff for free.

    Your model of paying nothing for content only works if other people do not do what you do. Effectively, you are just leeching off honest people. The same applies to the license fee, sky subscriptions and income tax.

  12. cliffski says:

    @Sam.
    Seen any decent games come out of North korea lately?

  13. Sam says:

    @cliffski: We wouldn’t know, North Korea doesn’t talk to anyone. Soviet Russia managed to make supercavitating torpedoes before the West did, though…

  14. Monkfish says:

    Every time you have a shit, Cliffski, where do you send the royalties for your plumber?

    Plumbers don’t take our poo-poos away, though. That’s the job of your water service. I assume you pay for that.

    Think of games as a service rather than a product – the service of entertainment. Surely that holds some value?

  15. Rev. S Campbell says:

    Lots of interesting points here.

    how many long loved and cherished games companies are still around Stu?

    I don’t know who you love, of course. But I’ve never seen a shred of evidence that any individual creator ever went bust because of piracy. Games which are massively pirated still sell huge numbers if they’re popular enough – Gran Turismo 2 is the usual banner example here, arriving at probably the peak of PS1 piracy, yet still selling TEN MILLION copies. Feel free to pick your own from a thousand similar examples. Is Peggle any less pirated than any other game? Yet it’s still sold millions.

    What does that tell us? That if you make games that enough people like, you’ll sell enough to make money regardless of piracy. If you don’t, you’ll go bust regardless of piracy. Nobody’s ever offered one iota of evidence of piracy being the thing that made the difference between success and failure.

    PC gaming is a wasteland of shoddy console ports now. That wasn’t the case 5 years ago

    If PC gaming is less diverse now than it was ten years ago (I’m with Jim on it being 10 not 5, and I’d certainly say that it is less diverse now, because 10 years ago I could look at a PC games magazine and not want to kill myself), it’s because PC developers and gamers have been engaged on an epic trip up their own fundament. I expanded on this theory at great length in a series for Total PC Gaming recently, but essentially it’s no different to what happened towards the end of the Amiga’s life – nerds successfully ghettoised the format by swarming out to buy the same old generic shit every month and ignoring more innovative and accessible releases.

    It’s hardly a phenomenon unique to the PC or even to gaming, but the PC gaming demographic – being made up almost entirely of obsessive tech-nerd males – is more vulnerable to the effect than most spheres of culture. I tried to do my bit to fight it by bringing Indie Zone to PCZ and bigging up fun, accessible little games, but you can’t resist the power of the ignorant masses and their lust for yet another Bald Space Marine floating-head-shooter that you need a £200 graphics card to show off properly, or more fucking wizards.

    but that fact is outweighed by my belief that piracy is cheating/stealing and ultimately not paying for the work of people who laboured to create it. That alone – and at least my own notion of a societal agreement to fairness and not ripping people off – makes it unacceptable

    Well, now, that rather depends on your perspective of “societal fairness”, doesn’t it? A great many people work at least as hard as software developers, yet unfortunately find themselves in professions that society happens to value poorly. Cleaners, sewage workers, binmen, pick your own emotive example, but a lot of people slave their souls to shadows for a sub-survival income and could no more afford a £40 videogame than they could buy a diamond Ferrari.

    “Tough shit,” you might say, “they should have studied harder and got a useful job like being a City banker or Big Brother contestant, but the point is, why shouldn’t people who work incredibly hard be allowed to share the cultural fruits of the society they support, if it doesn’t make any difference to anyone else? If someone can’t afford to buy a game, then it doesn’t matter either practically or morally if they play a copy of it.

    Even from the purely selfish perspective that we see so much of here, people being happier, in general, is good for everyone. Would you pay an extra £5 in tax a year if it meant housing all of the homeless, which in turn meant you weren’t harassed by beggars every 20 yards when you went shopping? I would, purely out of self-interest rather than pity or charity, but I get the feeling most of you would be writing angry letters to the Daily Express about “yet another bloody tax hike”, blind to the obvious benefits for everyone.

    I’d be a lot more sympathetic towards people’s indignant objections if they weren’t so transparently based on an abstract ideological notion of maintaining status and differentials, and I don’t find that especially moral.

    (And just by the by, if it came to the crunch I know who I’d rather society tried to do without, between a sewage worker and a videogame developer.)

    Like I said before – I haven’t yet heard a PRACTICAL argument for piracy being bad, because everyone seems to accept that it has beneficial effects even for developers and publishers, and it clearly does for everyone else involved, while we simply don’t have any evidence for those effects being outweighed by negative ones, other than that it offends people’s personal morals. And, y’know, that just puts you alongside the people demanding Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross be publicly killed for a mildly off-colour pisstake on an old man who wasn’t very bothered, or the fundamentalist nutters who wanted Jerry Springer The Opera banned, or the baying mobs burning down the Danish embassy over a newspaper cartoon. Show me facts. Show me figures. Show me victims. Because otherwise all I can see is winners, and I don’t give a toss if your petty ideological dogma gets all huffy about it.

  16. Meat Circus says:

    So, Jim, every time somebody (not you) takes a shit on your toilet, you charge them royalties because they’re using his work?

    As I understand it, developers who work for games companies *do* get paid for their work, just like Jim’s theoretical plumber, now demanding the same misplaced sense of ‘right to a living’ that was previously only marked by musicians.

    And your economic terms are skewed, Jim. A thing’s value is that which people are prepared to pay for it. Which means that in the minds of most people, a copy of a game is literally without any value at all.

    Which is, of course, as it should be.

  17. Meat Circus says:

    The point I wish to make, Revd., is that Piracy is morally neutral, and practically a great boon to the creative industries.

    If it weren’t for the fact that most game developers are so hung up on their own misplaced hysterical feelings of entitlement, they’re ultimately acting against their own interests in a self-destructive way.

  18. Rev. S Campbell says:

    The point I wish to make, Revd., is that Piracy is morally neutral, and practically a great boon to the creative industries.

    If it weren’t for the fact that most game developers are so hung up on their own misplaced hysterical feelings of entitlement, they’re ultimately acting against their own interests in a self-destructive way.

    Yes, I get that. I agree entirely.

  19. Paul Moloney says:

    “The point I wish to make, Revd., is that Piracy is morally neutral, and practically a great boon to the creative industries.”

    What absolute twaddle. If for your own reasons of guilt you want to rationalise that there’s nothing wrong in making copies of people’s work rather than paying them for it, go ahead, but please don’t embarrass yourself by putting it forward as a some kind of moral position for we adult to consider. This is just the usual self-serving dreck put forward by most pirates; don’t feel your’re anything special.

    P.

  20. Monkfish says:

    If it weren’t for the fact that most game developers are so hung up on their own misplaced hysterical feelings of entitlement, they’re ultimately acting against their own interests in a self-destructive way.

    Replace the word “developers” with “pirates” in that paragraph and I think you’ll be closer to the truth.

  21. The Apologist says:

    Rev – you are asking for a practical argument?

    Well, as far as I can see your argument boils down to ‘as long as there are enough honest people prepared to pay the produced for the entertainment they want, piracy doesn’t matter’.

    Well, Cliffski and I have both pointed out that, in practical terms, pirates are spongers and if everyone did what they advocate then no-one would develop games.

    I would go on to suggest that widespread piracy may well have a corrosive normative effect – those who would pay see others getting theirs for free and it becomes easier to justify ethically questionable behaviour.

    And @Sam – it is perhaps more relevant to note that Ukraine have started developing good games since…er Capitalism…the soviet’s nuclear capacity was developed because it was in the State’s interest for self-preservation. It seems unlikely that videogames probably wouldn’t fall into that category. No profit motive, no games.

  22. Meat Circus says:

    @Paul:

    You’re very clever. Calling me a child because you have no rational argument to put forward. Where we come from we call that ‘a debating tactic’. And a very transparent one at that.

    A lot of people have become horrifically tainted by the self-serving propaganda of the Intellectual Property pigopolists. It’s remarkable how many of the softer-minded and easily-manipulated folk have been so brainwashed by them that to even suggest that their might be a better way has them squealing and squawking and flapping out their tawdry sixth-form sophistry.

    You do know that Intellectual Property doesn’t exist, don’t you?

  23. Meat Circus says:

    @The Apologist:

    Let’s be clear on this. You’re saying that nothing can ever v be created, without a profit motive?

    That to me sounds like the most enormous pool of bollock I have heard in quite some time. It also makes it sounds like you believe all games developers to be whores. Do you>

  24. The Apologist says:

    @ Monkfish – completely agree…

    MeatCircus’, it seems to me that in wider society your assertion would be met with incredulity.

  25. The Apologist says:

    No profit motive, no commercial games industry.

    I am not saying creativity doesn’t exist outside of the profit motive, but unless you are content with the production values of modders, then yes, I am saying that.

    Perhaps I should have written, no profit motive, no games industry.

    Show me different?

  26. Meat Circus says:

    Also, Copyright is a state-mandated monopoly. That doesn’t sound very capitalist to me. Sounds almost… corporate socialist.

  27. cliffski says:

    Sigh.
    So meat circus, if you think all games should be free, how the hell do you think new games like World Of Goo and Oblivion and Call of Duty are going to get made?
    Are bored billionaires going to fund them out of charity.
    What a load of twaddle.
    I’m not prepared to pay anything for pickle, because I don’t like pickle. That doesn’t mean I can insist that the pickle manufacturers make it and let me steal it without repercussions does it?

    Its flipping amazing that people will hurl abuse at DEVELOPERS for having a sense of entitlement, when the pirates are the ones taking the fruits of our hard work for free.

    On days like today I HATE PC gaming, and fully understand why nobody else I know wastes their time with it any more.

  28. Rev. S Campbell says:

    Well, Cliffski and I have both pointed out that, in practical terms, pirates are spongers and if everyone did what they advocate then no-one would develop games.

    If everyone had a penis there’d be no women. What’s your point?

  29. Meat Circus says:

    @The Apologist:

    82% suggests otherwise. The numbers say that your argument is losing the fight for mindshare.

  30. cliffski says:

    “Also, Copyright is a state-mandated monopoly. That doesn’t sound very capitalist to me. Sounds almost… corporate socialist.”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    How is it a monopoly if nobody prevents you creating competing products? Don’t just repeat crap from slashdot, think about it.
    Nobody is stopping you making your own physics based awesome 2D video game. Go for it. Have fun.

  31. Meat Circus says:

    Cliffski, why do you create games? To get rich?

  32. Jim Rossignol says:

    Stuart: I agree with a most of that, and I’m still saying “it’s not okay to infinitely duplicate something you didn’t create, because that’s cheating”. That seems at least more pragmatic (if not more *practical*) than the Brand-burning mania you’re equating it with.

  33. Meat Circus says:

    You want it to be illegal for me to create copies of a game created by somebody else. What is that if not a state-mandated monopoly?

  34. Rev. S Campbell says:

    I would go on to suggest that widespread piracy may well have a corrosive normative effect – those who would pay see others getting theirs for free and it becomes easier to justify ethically questionable behaviour.

    If only the plainly available facts didn’t so flatly contradict that assertion, you might have a point. But the industry has been bleating about its imminent death from piracy for 25 years, yet oddly it’s a hundred times bigger now than it was 25 years ago. It’s getting boring watching people fail to address that simple fact.

  35. cliffski says:

    “You do know that Intellectual Property doesn’t exist, don’t you?”

    Nor does money. In fact, money is a ‘state-mandated monopoly”.
    I imagine you’d cry like a baby if I suddenly reduced your bank balance to zero. But why?
    Money is an artificial concept that only has value due to state mandated artificial scarcity. if you try and copy money, you go to prison for a very very long time.

  36. The Apologist says:

    @ Rev – that you are being impractical, but simultaneously asking for a practical solution?

    @Meatcircus – that may be true, but if so, as I have said repeatedly, PC games will = WoW, or other examples where subscriptions and ads etc. can be used to design out the problem of piracy. I’m glad we agree!

  37. The Apologist says:

    “You want it to be illegal for me to create copies of a game created by somebody else. What is that if not a state-mandated monopoly?”

    A functioning market.

  38. cliffski says:

    “Cliffski, why do you create games? To get rich?”

    No, I love making games. My landlord demands rent and the local shops demand i pay for food. What is your point?
    Or do you work for free? or live on daddys allowance?
    I dont see why *I* have to work for free, just to entertain you.

  39. Meat Circus says:

    Of course, Cliffski, I have no problem with the concept of monetising intangibles. But the monetisation has to make sense.

    In the case of movies, music, games and any other digital entity than can be endlessly reproduced at zero cost, it does not and never has made sense.

    Your metaphor is failing, and it’s only your misplaced sense of entitlement that prevents you from seeing that.

  40. Rev. S Campbell says:

    So meat circus, if you think all games should be free,

    STRAW MAN ALERT!

    I’m not prepared to pay anything for pickle, because I don’t like pickle. That doesn’t mean I can insist that the pickle manufacturers make it and let me steal it

    Oh dear, Cliff. Has it come to this? You’ve collapsed under the strain of defending an illogical position and have simply fallen back on the ridiculous old “copying something = stealing it” mantra/lie? Come on, the rest of us are at least trying to maintain some sort of intelligent debating standards here while disagreeing.

  41. Rev. S Campbell says:

    @ Rev – that you are being impractical,

    In what possible sense?

  42. Rev. S Campbell says:

    Stuart: I agree with a most of that, and I’m still saying “it’s not okay to infinitely duplicate something you didn’t create, because that’s cheating”

    I’m honestly not sure what point you’re making there. Can you clarify a little? How could there be filesharing without someone sharing the files?

  43. Meat Circus says:

    Well, this is the thing, isn’t it?

    You claim to create games because you love them, but are spending all your time demanding your ‘right’ to earn money.

    I think of gaming as an artform, you and The Apologist seem to be implying that it’s little more than a form of prostitution with a reduced chance of genital warts.

    There’s an odd mismatch between what you claim to believe and the bases on which you’re demanding your entitlement, Cliffski.

    It’s somewhat demeaning for somebody in your position. I wouldn’t let The Apologist keep pushing you down this tawdry route.

  44. cliffski says:

    Wow, lots of abuse.

    meatcircus. you realise I could just make a colour scan and print out £50 notes at will right?
    except hold on!!!!!!!!!

    THEY USE DRM!!!!!!!!

    OH NOES!!!!!!!!

    Plus the state will prosecute me.
    Feel free to explain why you support all this for the intangible money, but not for games. Feel free to attempt not to look ridiculous in your efforts to justify your own piracy of games, which is no doubt what all this arguing is about.

  45. Thirith says:

    @Meat Circus: I’m interested – how is cliffski’s sense of entitlement as a developer misplaced, yet that of someone playing pirated games (i.e. feeling entitled to playing these games without paying anything) not a misplaced sense of entitlement?

  46. Jim Rossignol says:

    So, Jim, every time somebody (not you) takes a shit on your toilet, you charge them royalties because they’re using his work?

    The plumber’s work is one time only. You buy one instance of a game. What are you talking about?

    Re value: the fact that you feel no compunction about infinitely duplicating something doesn’t seem to lead to your classical definition of what something is worth. In a classic market an item would not sell if the price was too high, here it is simply copied. That is not the same.

  47. The Apologist says:

    @ Rev – I was being speculative, but so are you. You haven’t presented any figures on piracy years ago, for example?

    Are you arguing that everything is fine if only publishers believed it was? Well, they don’t, and I don’t understand really the reasons we should be doubting them? And as a gamer, I see fewer games I enjoyed, and a load of console ports instead.

    You blame paying consumers for that. To an extent that may be true. I think it is equally reasonable to suggest that people pirating games has had an important effect.

  48. Rev. S Campbell says:

    I dont see why *I* have to work for free, just to entertain you.

    You really don’t get the core point here at all, do you? Nobody is saying you have to do that. People are saying “You choose to work at this job, some people choose to pay you for it, and thereby you make a living. If some other people also play your game but don’t pay for it, that makes absolutely no difference to you.”

    You, however, appear to think that if the only choices were “pay me or don’t play my game”, you’d make a lot more money. However, absolutely no rational evidence suggests that you would make more than 0.1% extra (1 extra sale per 1000 copies). You are choosing not to believe this. But you have nothing with which to counter it other than empty dogma and a bitter resentment of people having fun they haven’t paid for.

  49. cliffski says:

    “You claim to create games because you love them, but are spending all your time demanding your ‘right’ to earn money.”

    what horseshit.
    I don’t demand anything. I want to be paid in exchange for the effort I put into making games BY PEOPLE WHO PLAY THE FULL VERSION.

    if you think that’s unreasonable, then frankly, I suggest you grow up.
    Nothing I, or anyone else says will ever persuade you that piracy is wrong. You will no doubt feel that you ar a victim of an evil facist state if you ever get caught and fined, and moan about it or the internet forever more.
    I don’t care.

    You are the reason people give up and work on console games, or abandon making games altogether. People with your attitude “all game developers work is worthless” make developers feel like shit, and probably persuades many of them to find better paid, and less criticised jobs.

    We are guys who make games to entertain people, yet for all the abuse that gets hurled at us, we might as well be war criminals. What the fuck is wrong with people?

  50. Rev. S Campbell says:

    You haven’t presented any figures on piracy years ago, for example?

    Sorry, let me get this straight – your argument is “There was little or no piracy in the 8-bit and 16-bit markets”? Is that right? Or are you just pointlessly hairsplitting?