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hamster
30-11-2011, 10:58 AM
This seems like an interesting argument.

Some people pirate games. They play the game. Scratch their heads. Nope, didn't think too much of it. Then the game is uninstalled. When accused of being thieving pirate bastards, let's say they put forth the following argument: meh, whatever, I wouldn't have bought it if I knew how much it sucked anyway.

Let's begin by assuming that the statement is true.

As moral judge and wannabe enforcer (words hurt!), what is your response?

"Moron, you've consumed the product already. So you have to pay for it. Even if you didn't like it."

I recall that Rii raised the objection that companies don't deserve to be paid just for creating something. But I think the way he put it sort of puts up a knee jerk reaction unfavorable to the meat of the argument (or maybe i'm reading too much into it).

For me, at first glance, I disagreed with Rii. But then I reconsidered my position.

Many commodities could be examined on sight without consumption. With the opportunity of inspecting the goods to determine whether they are of merchantable quality you have the necessary information to judge whether the commodity is worth the offer price.

If you bought tickets to a movie - say, Gigli - and came out of the theater unimpressed, are you entitled to a refund? Not in this world. If you paid a thirty bucks for a crappy cocktail in some random restaurant but it was by all objectionable measures utterly garbage, are you entitled to a refund? Again, in the normal course of things, you are not. But hold on a second: why not?

Games, movies or art: things where the examination or appraisal of which is equivalent to its consumption. Why the heck do we assume that we have to pay for something we didn't enjoy?

Perfect information is a micro-economics concept that is a necessary condition of a perfectly competitive (i.e. the ideal) market. It means that all consumers understand everything about the products they are purchasing, such as price and quality.

It makes sense: without full knowledge of the price and quality of the things on offer, how can you differentiate between competitors?

For the longest time, the market for artistic products have NOT afforded (potential) market participants information of the product on offer. To do so, one must purchase the product anyway, either by paying up front to enter an art gallery, buying tickets to watch a movie or paying a retailer in exchange for a video game.

Piracy allows us to ascertain the true quality of a product, one of the two most important factors motivating market participants to purchase. For art, this is even more important - since art has no other derivative or intrinsic value, the quality of art is art itself. Contrast this with food. Even crap food is capable of filling your stomach and provide some nutritional value so at least even if you did not enjoy your meal, you are still paying for something tangible. With art that you do not enjoy, you are literally paying for nothing.

I am not saying that piracy should be encouraged. Piracy throws the market into disorder (to an unverifiable extent): this much is certain. But I am entertaining the broader and more specific argument that consumers really ought to have perfect information of the commodity or service on offer in order to gauge whether the thing is worth the money or not. Right?

So: if you agree with me and some ruddy faced internet moral crusader argues that you ought to have paid for the game whether you enjoyed it enough to pay for it (or not)*, POINT HIM TO THIS THREAD.

*Of course, this assumes you weren't lying about refusing to purchase in the absence of the free substitute known as pirated games.

Anyway let's discuss this.

psyk
30-11-2011, 11:03 AM
what's more prevalent out of personal pirating and mass scale copyright theft with the sole purpose to make money?
Which one do they think causes more damage? or do they lump them together.

Vexing Vision
30-11-2011, 11:15 AM
It's really easy.

There is no moral entitlement to be able to consume all entertainment goods in the world. If you are afraid a game might suck, wait for reviews - this is the internet, someone who has the same opinion as you do about games will have played it eventually. In your example, I am pretty certain that several people would have made scathing comments about the quality of cocktails.

If you are so eager to play it IMMEDIATELY ON RELEASE BECAUSE THE WORLD WILL END IF YOU DON'T RIGHT AWAY AAAAAAAAH (<- that was me with Skyrim, by the way), then pay for your privilege.

metalangel
30-11-2011, 11:22 AM
Games cost a hell of a lot more. €10 got me into the Louvre, and I got to see more than one painting too.

Squiz
30-11-2011, 11:32 AM
Games cost a hell of a lot more. Ä10 got me into the Louvre, and I got to see more than one painting too.No, they don't. Just look at Steam sales and Humble Bundles for instance. There are excellent games to be had for very very little money. Like Vexing Vision said, it mostly is a question of how eager you are to play new games.

Ian
30-11-2011, 11:34 AM
The "but it was shit anyway!" argument gets a bit wonky with the assumption so many people have that not liking something makes it bad, and are defining a product's quality/worth by personal taste rather than whether there's actually a problem with it.

Mihkel
30-11-2011, 11:38 AM
Yeah I do that often, pirate games first to see if they're good and if I like it I buy it. For me it's the matter that games cost a lot of money and I don't really want to waste it on some crap.

c-Row
30-11-2011, 11:39 AM
If you are afraid a game might suck, wait for reviews - this is the internet, someone who has the same opinion as you do about games will have played it eventually.

By that logic I should go out and buy a copy of Minecraft, which I won't since contrary to what every reviewer seems to write, I didn't enjoy it one bit during the server-down weekend. Other people might or might not share my taste, but they don't define it.

R-F
30-11-2011, 11:40 AM
The issue is that, ultimately, games companies hype up their games to high heaven and then release something that looks nothing like what they've hyped. They also don't release demos pre-release and are now offering preorder incentives.

Basically, games companies are releasing games in such a way to leave people ignorant of what the quality of the overall game is.

This is a WRONG and BAD business practice.

The only way for customers to level the playing field is via piracy. That's where this argument comes from.

EDIT: By the way, inb4: "BUT (P)REVIEWS". As a response to this theoretical nonsense: Really, now? Despite the fact that even RPS' previews are overly positive (and, then, once the game gets released, the WIT trashes it), most reviewers are too scared of having all their pre-release priviledges removed to EVER give a really bad review to a major game company.

Xercies
30-11-2011, 11:42 AM
There is no moral entitlement to be able to consume all entertainment goods in the world.

There is also no money to consume every entertainment thing in the world. So you have to choose which one to go with anyway. Isn't this a lot more damaging to a company then piracy, the act of not choosing a product?

Vexing Vision
30-11-2011, 11:43 AM
By that logic I should go out and buy a copy of Minecraft, which I won't since contrary to what every reviewer seems to write, I didn't enjoy it one bit during the server-down weekend. Other people might or might not share my taste, but they don't define it.

I'm in the same boat as you - MineCraft just doesn't do it for me. But it's so hard to avoid the billions of videos it generated, so that I know exactly that the game is not for me. Information comes freely nowadays. :)

Ravelle
30-11-2011, 11:59 AM
I'm in the same boat as you - MineCraft just doesn't do it for me. But it's so hard to avoid the billions of videos it generated, so that I know exactly that the game is not for me. Information comes freely nowadays. :)

I loved Minecraft in it's earlier phase, just a couple months after it's first beta release and played it almost every day for weeks, got my brother and friend involved and started playing some multiplayer. Some time and updates later I hosted a server and played with some friends and had lots of fun, builded cities and structures until the host went bankrupt or something and shortly after that the updates and bugs came forth and was forced to be out of the scene for a while. And now with it's official release I don't know if I'll play it again, the only fun part about Minecraft is messing around with a bunch of people and build stuff because I don't see the point in the single player since you can't show off your buildings or communicate with anyone.

Maybe I'll host a server sometime but only if the server side is stable and bug free.

hamster
30-11-2011, 12:26 PM
The "but it was shit anyway!" argument gets a bit wonky with the assumption so many people have that not liking something makes it bad, and are defining a product's quality/worth by personal taste rather than whether there's actually a problem with it.

Since art is subjective, we can assume that the "quality" of art is also subjective to a degree. Unless it is possible to enjoy art that you subjectively dislike? I'm sure you can be upset about the quality of a bicycle but if the thing is of merchantable quality it still has the utility of effectively transporting you around.

But the crux of the argument is that as consumers, we ought to at least know what we're buying, right? Otherwise, you have a market failure: people with imperfect information buying overpriced things, and suppliers under pricing their stuff, and the evolutionary function of the marketplace completely undermined as a result.

I never intended this to be a pro piracy argument at all. All i'm saying is that if somebody has already pirated the game and genuinely felt that he would not have paid for it in the absence of a working pirated copy, it perhaps doesn't make sense to say: you consumed the product anyway. Therefore you ought to have paid for it.

Keep
30-11-2011, 12:36 PM
There is no moral entitlement to be able to consume all entertainment goods in the world.

Actually uh I'm not sure the law says anything about that, in the UK or the US (France is a different matter).

In fact, copyright law says nothing about one's right to consume/not consume the works of copyright. It is solely concerned with rights of the authors of those works.

So to the extent that consuming entertainment doesn't involve interfering with those rights, then actually yes, you do have an entitlement to it. All of it. The world of it. (Except France.)

Casimir Effect
30-11-2011, 12:45 PM
In theory I don't really mind that try-before-you-buy s type of pirating, especially if there is no demo. But I fail to see why the pirate needs to play the game for longer than a couple of hours before knowing whether to buy it or not. When you hear someone say they pirated The Witcher 2 (for example) but didn't buy it because after finishing the game thought it wasn't worth it, then the argument breaks down.
You don't play something you don't like for more than a few hours. Or you shouldn't anyway, because otherwise what the hell is the matter with you? The brain is very good at justifying actions beneficial to itself, and in this context that would mean convincing yourself that the game does not merit buying yet but you'll keep playing to see if it will.

At least that's my apologist take on it. My real opinion is that there are a whole bunch of over-entitled chucklefucks out there who fail to see why they aren't owed every game by the universe so buy it at release, whether they have the money or not.

gundrea
30-11-2011, 12:57 PM
While moral arguments are very pretty in my experience most people act and then seek justification. In other words I think we're looking at the issue the wrong way round.

DaftPunk
30-11-2011, 01:08 PM
Its quite sad when people are concern about other people pirating,when worse shit happens in the world.

Drake Sigar
30-11-2011, 01:13 PM
Games, movies or art: things where the examination or appraisal of which is equivalent to its consumption. Why the heck do we assume that we have to pay for something we didn't enjoy?
Because people could just lie and never have to pay for anything? Ever? Watching a movie at the cinema in it's entirety and holding all complaints till the credit rolls is damn suspicious. I myself have been refunded for a shitty movie by ducking out in the first 20 mins, and refunded for a poor quality half-finished meal at a restaurant. There has to be a reasonable cutoff point somewhere.

As for games - there are more reviews than is humanly possible to read in one lifetime, all available at the click of a mouse. All we had back in the day was a small collection of rag-tag magazines and word of mouth. If it weren't for the disappearance of demos, pirates would have no excuses at all.

Taidan
30-11-2011, 01:14 PM
Anyone remember when games used to actually work that way?

When they'd give away a huuuuge chunk of a game for free, and if you liked it you'd fork up and get another 2-3 times the content of the free part added on top?

Doom, and later Quake did this, for example. Piracy was still rife of course, but was a lot harder for anybody to justify.

Sarigs
30-11-2011, 01:16 PM
Its quite sad when people are concern about other people pirating,when worse shit happens in the world.

Really? So we shouldn't care about anything as long as something worse is going on somewhere? I'm not sure exactly where that would get you at the end of day, robbery doesn't count if someone has been assaulted somewhere in the world. Assault doesn't count if there been a murder, and if theres a war on anywhere in the world then morally it's a free-for-all?

Personally I've not felt the need to pirate games, I've been playing games long enough to know if I'm going to enjoy a game before I pick it up through a mix-match of reviews/game-videos/peer comments. Sure sometimes you pick up a game that's not OMG-Awesome but them's the breaks.

There's always worse happening somewhere to somebody else.

Squiz
30-11-2011, 01:19 PM
Its quite sad when people are concern about other people pirating,when worse shit happens in the world.Yeah, and it's really sad when people complain about getting beaten up or robbed or violated otherwise when there are worse things happening in the world. That's not an argument, it really isn't.

metalangel
30-11-2011, 01:28 PM
No, they don't. Just look at Steam sales and Humble Bundles for instance. There are excellent games to be had for very very little money. Like Vexing Vision said, it mostly is a question of how eager you are to play new games.

Yes, they do. Proportionately they cost a lot more. I don't get 35,000 games in any of those sales or bundles, and what if I do want new stuff? You point falls apart even more.

Kadayi
30-11-2011, 01:45 PM
While moral arguments are very pretty in my experience most people act and then seek justification. In other words I think we're looking at the issue the wrong way round.

Agreed. There seems to be zero comprehension of the notion that there are people dedicating years of their lives to making these games who are reliant on actual sales to stay in business, and be motivated to continue to make more games.

R-F
30-11-2011, 01:46 PM
Agreed. There seems to be zero comprehension of the notion that there are people dedicating years of their lives to making these games who are reliant on actual sales to stay in business.

They shouldn't make terrible games, then.

/thread

Jockie
30-11-2011, 01:51 PM
They shouldn't make terrible games, then.

/thread

Just because something is subjectively 'terrible' doesn't give you any more right to steal it, besides no game developer sets out to make a bad game.

In fact often developers are pushed hard to deadlines by publishers in the pursuit of money, that results in an under-par title being released pre-emptively. Perhaps if people actually bought games instead of stealing them with flaky moral justification, they would be given more license and time to perfect their vision and we'd have less shitty games that closely adhere to a proven money making cookie cutter formula.

Squiz
30-11-2011, 02:04 PM
Yes, they do. Proportionately they cost a lot more. I don't get 35,000 games in any of those sales or bundles, and what if I do want new stuff? You point falls apart even more.I thought this was about availability of games per se and not about the when. If you want new stuff in particular (i.e. games that were released recently) and not just more, then the decision is yours to make. It's not like somebody goes ahead and says: This is the price of our product and it will remain like this until the product is no longer available. Games become cheaper after ever decreasing waiting periods.

The comparison to art fails here. The entry fee to the Louvre is not likely to drop anytime soon. Plus, the reason why it is so cheap to get access to the art exhibited there is because there are societies and trusts (sometimes governments) that support and invest in cultural education. Which is not the case with games, which are solely products.

metalangel
30-11-2011, 02:24 PM
Okay then, music. I'm much more likely to take a risk on a new album costing £8-10 than a new full price game. This isn't a new argument, you know. Even with all the sales we didn't have five or ten years ago, games are still priced out of impulse territory.

Kadayi
30-11-2011, 02:40 PM
Okay then, music. I'm much more likely to take a risk on a new album costing £8-10 than a new full price game. This isn't a new argument, you know. Even with all the sales we didn't have five or ten years ago, games are still priced out of impulse territory.

It doesn't take a studio of 150+ people 18 months to 2 years working often absurd hours to make an album. You can argue till your blue in the face about 'games cost too much' but plain truth of the matter is if you want games with AAA production values you have to comprehend the enormity of the resources and man hours that go into their production.

If you're going to attempt to make comparisons at least try and make them using viable examples.

Squiz
30-11-2011, 02:48 PM
Okay then, music. I'm much more likely to take a risk on a new album costing £8-10 than a new full price game. This isn't a new argument, you know. Even with all the sales we didn't have five or ten years ago, games are still priced out of impulse territory.I agree with you in so far that 50 EUR / 60 $ is way too much for a lot of people to be able to spend on their hobby regularly or buy a game they fancy right now. I also know that it sucks not to be able to buy new releases, when they are fresh, unspoiled and exciting (especially if they rely on multiplayer features to be entertaining). My point is that I'd rather avoid buying overpriced stuff or games of questionable quality and pick them up when they are cheap than pirate them.

Interestingly, music is a very good candidate for being the most-pirated medium ever, even with lower average prices.

hamster
30-11-2011, 02:48 PM
Because people could just lie and never have to pay for anything? Ever? Watching a movie at the cinema in it's entirety and holding all complaints till the credit rolls is damn suspicious. I myself have been refunded for a shitty movie by ducking out in the first 20 mins, and refunded for a poor quality half-finished meal at a restaurant. There has to be a reasonable cutoff point somewhere.


Like I said, i wasn't arguing for piracy on the whole, but specifically the argument that you shouldn't pay for something that has no value to you. It follows that i assume their feelings are genuine. By process of elimination, it also means that i encourage people do pay for the pirated games that they think are worth the money.

hamster
30-11-2011, 02:51 PM
Just because something is subjectively 'terrible' doesn't give you any more right to steal it, besides no game developer sets out to make a bad game.

In fact often developers are pushed hard to deadlines by publishers in the pursuit of money, that results in an under-par title being released pre-emptively. Perhaps if people actually bought games instead of stealing them with flaky moral justification, they would be given more license and time to perfect their vision and we'd have less shitty games that closely adhere to a proven money making cookie cutter formula.

Again, in the OP I didn't encourage people to steal games. I simply espoused the idea that you shouldn't be compelled to pay for something that has no (tangible or intangible) value to you.

Vexing Vision
30-11-2011, 02:52 PM
Like I said, i wasn't arguing for piracy on the whole, but specifically the argument that you shouldn't pay for something that has no value to you. It follows that i assume their feelings are genuine. By process of elimination, it also means that i encourage people do pay for the pirated games that they think are worth the money.

The problem is that claiming "something has no value for me" and then going and pirating it... if a game has zero value to someone, that should equal zero interest.

Downloading a game to checking it out before purchase is already showing interest, which indicates a value greater than zero. :p

Subatomic
30-11-2011, 02:58 PM
Just because something is subjectively 'terrible' doesn't give you any more right to steal it, besides no game developer sets out to make a bad game.

Piracy doesn't equal stealing though. When I pirate a game, I don't necessarily take money away from the publishers and game developers. An example: about 15 years ago, I was a teenager (oh god, now I feel old) who got by with some money earned carrying out newspapers and a little pocket money from my parents, who weren't exactly rich. I could afford a very finite amount of video games a year, so I used to pirate quite a lot of games I was interested in. That still didn't stop me from buying a lot of games I felt were worth it, as my collection of original, big clunky boxes from the good old nineties demonstrates, including Dungeon Keeper, most Blizzard Games, the Baldur's Gate series and other great games. Did I take away from the developers by pirating some games? No, because I couldn't afford their games in the first place, so they didn't loose any money from me not buying the game.

R-F
30-11-2011, 03:05 PM
Just because something is subjectively 'terrible' doesn't give you any more right to steal it, besides no game developer sets out to make a bad game.

In fact often developers are pushed hard to deadlines by publishers in the pursuit of money, that results in an under-par title being released pre-emptively. Perhaps if people actually bought games instead of stealing them with flaky moral justification, they would be given more license and time to perfect their vision and we'd have less shitty games that closely adhere to a proven money making cookie cutter formula.

1. Play a game for an hour.
2. Discover it sucks.
3. Try to take it back to the store to get a refund.
4. ???
5. PROFIT FOR THE PUBLISHERS!

Yeah, your whining about how we're STEALING (which it's not) is bullshit when you consider how the current lack of software laws (or, at least, the gray area surrounding them) means that companies can happily steal from any person they want to.

Oh, yeah, your second paragraph made me laugh because it's so ridiculous. You're really thinking that the companies wouldn't just take more advantage of that and push games out quicker? Wow, you're naive with a capital "NAIVE".

Heliocentric
30-11-2011, 03:08 PM
I bought dragon age origins. Started a dwarf, clicked on people in a super transparent story where I had no ability to steer the path of events. Went back to the dwarven lands all wardens up.
No combat variety, no environmental variety and barely any ability to change the story. Why exactly could I not make myself the dwarven king? Got fed up not played it since.

Don't really regret buying it became my fiancťe made mage and had an awesome time raining fire and death on the battlefield.

She tells me from her second playthrough that they really improved the fun warriors can have with the dlc. And awakening I played vicariously and the story was ace.

So, I don't think I'll ever play it but I can't really say I regret it.

hamster
30-11-2011, 03:13 PM
The problem is that claiming "something has no value for me" and then going and pirating it... if a game has zero value to someone, that should equal zero interest.

Downloading a game to checking it out before purchase is already showing interest, which indicates a value greater than zero. :p

Huh? Interest isn't value. Value is value. And how would you know the value of a game without playing it? Reviews, word of mouth? But this isn't perfect information. The perfect way is for the prospective consumer to play the game through its entirety.

Kaira-
30-11-2011, 03:14 PM
1. Play a game for an hour.
2. Discover it sucks.
3. Try to take it back to the store to get a refund.
4. ???
5. PROFIT FOR THE PUBLISHERS!


This is actually something which I wonder if it has any effect on piracy. I'd wager it has, since PC resale has been pretty much killed off, not to speaking about getting refunds. It at least makes me more cautious in my purchases.

Ravelle
30-11-2011, 03:27 PM
This is actually something which I wonder if it has any effect on piracy. I'd wager it has, since PC resale has been pretty much killed off, not to speaking about getting refunds. It at least makes me more cautious in my purchases.

Back in the day we rented games from the Library or Video store and copied them. ;p

Megagun
30-11-2011, 04:09 PM
Back in the day we rented games from the Library or Video store and copied them. ;p
I don't think I've ever seen a non-second-hand, paid for Commodore 64 game.

Kadayi
30-11-2011, 04:42 PM
Piracy doesn't equal stealing though....

The average PC gamer today is about 28+. This notion that there's this mass of uber impoverished 12 year olds out there being behind the vast bulk of piracy is a myth.

R-F
30-11-2011, 04:45 PM
The average PC gamer today is about 28+. This notion that there's this mass of uber impoverished 12 year olds out there being behind the vast bulk of piracy is a myth.

And how does that mean it equals stealing?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Qkyt1wXNlI

Neil Gaiman has spoken.

Your point is invalid.

Subatomic
30-11-2011, 05:11 PM
The average PC gamer today is about 28+. This notion that there's this mass of uber impoverished 12 year olds out there being behind the vast bulk of piracy is a myth.

That's why I called it an example. It was just meant to illustrate my point that not every pirated copy is a net 30£/50$/50€ loss for the publishers because a lot (I'd even say the vast majority) of pirates wouldn't have bought the game legitimately if there was no way to get a pirated copy. They just wouldn't have played it in the first place. That doesn't make piracy right, but it's a good thing to keep in mind when publishers talk about their 'lost profit due to piracy' and count every pirated copy as a lost sale.

Kadayi
30-11-2011, 05:14 PM
@ R-F

Neil Gaiman is a writer, not a game developer. The metrics on production in terms time investment & cost between what he does and say what Bioware does are so vastly different it's laughable to attempt to draw direct comparisons and expect the models to hold up.

Keep
30-11-2011, 05:30 PM
I started asking audiences to just raise their hands for one question: "Do you have a favourite author?"

And they say yes, and I say "Good. What I want is for everybody who discovered their favourite author by being lent a book to put up your hands. And now anybody who discovered your favourite author by walking into a bookstore and buying a book raise your hands".

And it's about 5-10% for the latter.

I don't quite agree with everything being said, but that part rings well with me.

Of the 4.5 million who pirated The Witcher 2...well, let's start here: user reviews on metacritic give it an 8.5 out of 10.

So let's be pessimistic and say that's inflated, or unrepresentative. Let's say it's half that - 4.25 out of every 10 people - who really genuinely liked it (Ok, how much you liked it doesn't map to how many who played it liked it, but can we accept it as some kind of estimate? 4.25 of every 10 who played it became "fans"?)

So of the 4.5 million who pirated it...4.25 of every ten...that's *just* under 2 million who pirated it and really liked it to boot.

How long was it, after reading your friend's copy of [YOUR FAVOURITE AUTHOR], that you bought your own personal copy, or you heard and paid for their next novel, or what have you?

CD Projekt have 2 million people in that situation, who are in the interim between having finished reading the novel, but before having gone and bought their own copy/the next upcoming/novel/what have you.

If they'd had perfect DRM, if no-one had pirated the game at all...Gaiman estimates 5-10% of his audience find their favourite author by putting money down before reading the book.
Even including the ones who ended up hating the game, that would still only work out to about 450,000 didn't-get-a-chance-to-pirate-it-consumers who know the name "The Witcher", who are interested in it, who're curious about CD Projekt's next game, who'll only grow ever more willing to put money down in future.

2 million > 450,000.

metalangel
30-11-2011, 05:31 PM
If you're going to attempt to make comparisons at least try and make them using viable examples.

I'll welcome a better example, really.

As for AAA games... if they're anything like Battlefield 3, LA Noire or any other style over substance releases this year, I'll happily settle for lower quality games in exchange for lower prices. Milestone, for example, turns out the solid SBK games. They don't have the OTT presentation and licenced music of NFS, but they're good fun games.

I think (probably said all this before too) that too many devs are wannabe film makers, and likewise their marketers want to be in Hollywood. The result is they're trying to make all their games into shallow Michael Bay-style special effect showcases, complete with movie-style trailers. It's no longer 'wow, look what you can DO in this game' so much as 'wow, look what you can SEE in this game'. It's FMV games again, except now you can look around a bit.

vinraith
30-11-2011, 05:35 PM
Neil Gaiman is awesome.

That is all.

R-F
30-11-2011, 05:44 PM
@ R-F

Neil Gaiman is a writer, not a game developer. The metrics on production in terms man hour time investment & fiscal cost between what he does, and say what Bioware does are so vastly different it's laughable to attempt to draw direct comparisons and expect the models to hold up.

lol. srsly nao.

You're saying that, because it costs more, the example doesn't hold up? That. Makes. No. Sense.

They're, pretty much, both products you pick up and use once. It's possible to use them more than once but you're unlikely to do so.

They fall within the same product range, essentially.

It doesn't make a difference if one costs £5 and the other costs £50. Hell, it's entirely possible that the difference in price means that the more costly product is more likely to be bought AFTER trying it out.

You've lost, Kadayi. Neil Gaiman beat you. Just accept it as a fact and give up.

EDIT: Oh, by the way, it holds up around comic books and indie games, too. There's been a lot of studies from authors who've noticed their comic books have went out for free on 4chan / piratebay and their sales figures have SOARED.

Jockie
30-11-2011, 05:52 PM
the current lack of software laws (or, at least, the gray area surrounding them) means that companies can happily steal from any person they want to.


You're so full of shit, that if you sat between two slices of bread, it'd make a literal 'shit sandwich'

Subatomic
30-11-2011, 05:54 PM
However your proposition that game piracy somehow = no loss of revenue to developers & publishers smacks of a certain liberal naivete tbh

Where exactly did I say piracy resulted in no loss of revenue? It might well result in some loss of revenue, but piracy has a much more negligible effect on financial success or failure of a game than most people, especially the big publishers, believe it has. As others have pointed out, piracy can also have beneficial effects on sales through word of mouth.

Again, I'm not promoting piracy here (I myself haven't pirated a game in years), but I can understand the reasoning of people who do it sometimes, and don't think it's a very big deal. It happens, it has positive and negative impacts on the game industry (and to be fair, the negative probably outweighs the positive impact), but it isn't even remotely as bad a problem as the industry claims it is.

Kadayi
30-11-2011, 06:07 PM
You're saying that, because it costs more, the example doesn't hold up? That. Makes. No. Sense.

lol. srsly nao?

Do you seriously not understand the differential in metrics of production between a game Vs a book? Or do you actually believe you have a valid position?


Where exactly did I say piracy resulted in no loss of revenue? It might well result in some loss of revenue, but piracy has a much more negligible effect on financial success or failure of a game than most people, especially the big publishers, believe it has.

Care to cite the survey your pulling that from? Or should I just assume it's out of thin air?

Spider Jerusalem
30-11-2011, 06:17 PM
Agreed. There seems to be zero comprehension of the notion that there are people dedicating years of their lives to making these games who are reliant on actual sales to stay in business, and be motivated to continue to make more games.
really?

that's your angle?

outoffeelinsobad
30-11-2011, 06:27 PM
The difference between production values does nothing to diminish the point that pirated books/games are NOT LOST SALES.

So, really, the only thing that's laughable, Kadayi, is your condescension.

Kadayi
30-11-2011, 06:35 PM
really?

that's your angle?

And your objection to it is what exactly?


The difference between production values does nothing to diminish the point that pirated books/games are NOT LOST SALES.

You citing the same report as Subatomic?

Subatomic
30-11-2011, 06:50 PM
Care to cite the survey your pulling that from? Or should I just assume it's out of thin air?

And where are the surveys supporting your position? I haven't seen a scientific study on this topic until now, and no, press releases by publishers on how much piracy hurts them don't count. I admit my position is mostly supported by anecdotal evidence, so I can only speak for myself and my friends. And all I can say is: while we all pirated games, especially in our youth, we also spent a lot of money on games. I'm feeling nostalgic today, so here's another story:
In 1994, Warcraft I came out. My brother got a pirated copy from a friend at school, and we played it a lot. Later that year, I bought an orignal copy, because I really wanted that cool manual and box. I also bought every subsequent game of the Warcraft franchise and played WoW for nearly 5 years. I also bought Starcraft (and later Starcraft II) because of their connection to the series. Would I ever have bought all those games if I had not played that pirated copy of Warcraft I over 16 years ago that turned me into a fan?

outoffeelinsobad
30-11-2011, 06:51 PM
http://blog.wolfire.com/2010/05/Another-view-of-game-piracy

http://notch.tumblr.com/post/1121596044/how-piracy-works

"Stepping aside from the whole issue of DRM, people need to recognize that every BitTorrent download doesn’t represent a successful copy of a game, let alone a lost sale." -Mariam Sughayer

Keep
30-11-2011, 06:57 PM
Care to cite the survey your pulling that from? Or should I just assume it's out of thin air?

http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-423

http://adage.com/article/digital-columns/media-cos-customers-p2p-users/138587/

http://news.cnet.com/2100-1023-898813.html

http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/ippd-dppi.nsf/eng/h_ip01456.html

Some of those are based on music downloads/sales, so obviously it doesn't scale (...), but feel free to research who's behind the studies as well, it's important to be sure I'm not trying to trick you with bullshit from a bunch of crooks.

Cooper
30-11-2011, 07:08 PM
@Kadayi
Where's this mythical "every pirated copy is a lost sale" data coming from.

Which large-scale survey of pirates are you drawing on where they all say
"Well, yeah. I'd have bought X game for £40, but, you know, it was free, so I just torrented it..."

Jockie
30-11-2011, 07:13 PM
@Kadayi
Where's this mythical "every pirated copy is a lost sale" data coming from.

Which large-scale survey of pirates are you drawing on where they all say
"Well, yeah. I'd have bought X game for £40, but, you know, it was free, so I just torrented it..."

Thing is they are both extremes, the people who say piracy doesn't mean lost sales (usually based on 'I used to pirate when I was a kid' anecdotes) are just as wrong as the people who equate every pirated copy with a lost sale. The truth is likely somewhere in the middle.

Sarigs
30-11-2011, 08:23 PM
Thing is they are both extremes, the people who say piracy doesn't mean lost sales (usually based on 'I used to pirate when I was a kid' anecdotes) are just as wrong as the people who equate every pirated copy with a lost sale. The truth is likely somewhere in the middle.

QFT I think you've hit the nail on the head there

Vexing Vision
30-11-2011, 08:43 PM
Every pirated copy is a POTENTIAL loss. (The potential itself varies depending on the reputation of the IP and the quality of the title, but is something between 5% and 15%).

That said, if I ever get out of this industry and stop publish games, I will totally blame people like R-F. You're just depressing, dude.

vinraith
30-11-2011, 09:03 PM
Every pirated copy is a POTENTIAL loss.

Every pirated copy is also a POTENTIAL sale that you would not otherwise have gotten. I don't pirate myself, but I've certainly known a number of folks who were convinced to buy something they otherwise wouldn't have by a "full length demo." I'm not suggesting the one cancels out the other, but it's something to keep in mind.

Kadayi
30-11-2011, 09:42 PM
And where are the surveys supporting your position?
Iím not the person making broad assertions and passing them off as fact, you are. Therefore the onus is on you to provide the evidence to support your position (as requested). In lieu of the lack of tangible evidence, what youíre left with is likelihood and logic. Letís consider the case of the Witcher 2. By CDProjekts own estimates, 4.5 million copies of The Witcher 2 were illegally distributed via various means, compared to legitimate sales of around the 1 million mark (IIRC).

Is it safe to assume that every download = a lost sale? No of course it isnít (and in fact no one in this thread has asserted that either, contrary popular opinion).

Is it likely that some people who pirated the game went on to buy the game legitimately? Given the numbers involved, the odds are favourable that that might well be the case.

However if we accept that, we also have to accept that if the game was sold in a manner that precluded piracy before and after release, a certain percentage who would of pirated it by default, would ultimately opt to legitimately purchase it, if that were the only option available to them. People didnít pirate ĎThe Witcher 2í simply because it was Ďavailableí on TPB. They did it because they had some level of personal curiosity/investment in playing it. Sex and the City 2 is available right now on TPB, why am I not downloading it ? Because I, have zero interest in watching it.
This notion that a pirate denied somehow doesnít equate to a potential paying customer just doesnít hold water. If people are motivated enough to pirate something, then itís fair to say they possess an interest in it. There in exists the potential.


Some of those are based on music downloads/sales, so obviously it doesn't scale (...), but feel free to research who's behind the studies as well, it's important to be sure I'm not trying to trick you with bullshit from a bunch of crooks.

When I ask for papers on game piracy, I expect papers on game piracy.

Comparing the games industry to the Music, film, TV and literature is a falsehood, because all of those industries have either likely potential for follow through or strong alternative revenue streams. With games, the product is an end to itself. Once Iíve pirated and a played a game to completion thereís very little likelihood that the developers are going to financially benefit from me as a consumer.


Where's this mythical "every pirated copy is a lost sale" data coming from.

Where did I remotely say that? Oh yes, that's right I didn't.

Keep
30-11-2011, 10:15 PM
When I ask for papers on game piracy, I expect papers on game piracy.

From the first link I offered you: "GAO (1) examined existing research on the effects of counterfeiting and piracy on consumers, industries, government, and the U.S. economy; and (2) identified insights gained from efforts to quantify the effects of counterfeiting and piracy on the U.S. economy."

The games industry is not a special snowflake, what that study unearths will be at the very least broadly relevant. Give it a read.


Comparing the games industry to the Music, film, TV and literature is a falsehood, because all of those industries have either likely potential for follow through or strong alternative revenue streams. With games, the product is an end to itself.

I do not see how those industries - especially film and literature - are ANY different in terms of potential follow through or alternative revenue streams. TV is superficially different, but not essentially. Music is more complicated I'll grant you, but the recording industry is similar again.

I joked in the Witcher thread about the 4.5 million pirates - "That's a lot of $1 stickers you could flog". I don't see how that's any different from Batman toys or Twilight posters or Beatlemania.


Once Iíve pirated and a played a game to completion thereís very little likelihood that the developers are going to financially benefit from me as a consumer.

Here's one suggestion: Release the game with no DRM, make the end-credits unskippable, have a check-out link in the bottom corner as they roll.

R-F
30-11-2011, 10:32 PM
lol. srsly nao?

Do you seriously not understand the differential in metrics of production between a game Vs a book? Or do you actually believe you have a valid position?QUOTE]

"Durr, I'm trying to use long words and obscure terms to confuse people, because I know my position is wrong."

First off, you've used all those terms wrong.

Secondly, no there isn't a major difference at a practical level, get the fuck over it.

Thirdly, you're trying to say that games produce less profits than books? I lolled.

[QUOTE=Jockie;63569]You're so full of shit, that if you sat between two slices of bread, it'd make a literal 'shit sandwich'

Jockie's Profile (http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/forums/member.php?35-Jockie)
2 Friends



http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/forums/image.php?u=18&dateline=1307136724&type=thumb (http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/forums/member.php?18-Kadayi) Kadayi (http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/forums/member.php?18-Kadayi)



How shocking.

Also: DURRRRRR (http://www.comicsalliance.com/2010/10/22/underground-4chan-steve-lieber-sales-pirated-scans/)

@Keep: Kadayi is the resident troll, and the only reason he's still around is because he's in a clan with one of the resident RPS writers. Sad but true.


When I ask for papers on game piracy, I expect papers on game piracy.

Comparing the games industry to the Music, film, TV and literature is a falsehood, because all of those industries have either likely potential for follow through or strong alternative revenue streams. With games, the product is an end to itself. Once I’ve pirated and a played a game to completion there’s very little likelihood that the developers are going to financially benefit from me as a consumer.

Like what? A game can release action figures, can release movies, can release music, can release tv shows. Where is the potential follow throughs on them what games can't do?

With books, you can torrent it, put it on your kindle and read it from there and NEVER READ IT AGAIN. Despite this, more people are buying books. HOPY SHIP

Kadayi
30-11-2011, 10:57 PM
The games industry is not a special snowflake, what that study unearths will be at the very least broadly relevant. Give it a read.

I'm not interested in broadly relevant.


I do not see how those industries - especially film and literature - are ANY different in terms of potential follow through or alternative revenue streams. TV is superficially different, but not essentially. Music is more complicated I'll grant you, but the recording industry is similar again.

Think harder. By on large most musicians & bands make their money from touring, not through actual CD/MP3 sales. Films generate money for those involved after theatrical release through DVD sales and broadcast. TV shows make money through DVDs and syndication after initial broadcast. However with games there's minimal follow through beyond the product itself. There's not even residuals for those involved. Warren Spector doesn't get a royalty cheque every month from current sales of Deus Ex.


@Keep: Kadayi is the resident troll, and the only reason he's still around is because he's in a clan with one of the resident RPS writers. Sad but true.

That is news to me tbh. I'm wondering who it could be.

R-F
30-11-2011, 11:10 PM
Think harder. By on large most musicians & bands make their money from touring, not through actual CD/MP3 sales. Films generate money for those involved after theatrical release through DVD sales and broadcast. TV shows make money through DVDs and syndication after initial broadcast. However with games there's minimal follow through beyond the product itself. There's not even residuals for those involved. Warren Spector doesn't get a royalty cheque every month from current sales of Deus Ex.

Look up a post?


That is news to me tbh. I'm wondering who it could be.

Look here. (http://steamcommunity.com/id/kierongillen)

outoffeelinsobad
30-11-2011, 11:11 PM
When I ask for papers on game piracy, I expect papers on game piracy.

I thought I linked to two essays by game devs and then quoted a senior manager at EA. Lemme check again.


http://blog.wolfire.com/2010/05/Another-view-of-game-piracy

http://notch.tumblr.com/post/1121596044/how-piracy-works

"Stepping aside from the whole issue of DRM, people need to recognize that every BitTorrent download doesnít represent a successful copy of a game, let alone a lost sale." -Mariam Sughayer

Yeah, still there.

Kadayi
30-11-2011, 11:13 PM
I thought I linked to two essays by game devs and then quoted a senior manager at EA. Lemme check again.

Papers are research.

Kadayi
30-11-2011, 11:18 PM
Look up a post?

Somehow the market in PC computer game toy sales isn't quite as vibrant as you seem to imagine, Vs actual game sales themselves. (Bobby Kotick isn't banking on selling 12 million Capt Price Figures).


Look here. (http://steamcommunity.com/id/kierongillen)

I'm fairly sure KG quit being a regular writer for RPS when he started writing Thor for Marvel comics a few years back. I also think I can confidently say I don't ever recall playing a game with KG online at all (even though we seemingly share a love of Milkshake). Feel free to confront him on his dealings with me if you believe otherwise though. I love a good side track.

Heliocentric
30-11-2011, 11:23 PM
Look here. (http://steamcommunity.com/id/kierongillen)
Thats the chick from Doctor Who!

Keep
30-11-2011, 11:33 PM
I'm not interested.

Is what I'm reading.


Think harder. By on large most musicians 7 bands make their money from touring, not through actual CD/MP3 sales. Films generate money for those involved after theatrical release through DVD sales and broadcast. TV shows make money through DVDs and syndication after initial broadcast. However with games there's minimal follow through beyond the product itself. There's not even residuals for those involved. Warren Spector doesn't get a royalty cheque every month from current sales of Deus Ex.

I accepted the music industry is different, and it is because of touring.

The recording industry however, is in the same boat as all the others. And let me explain to you exactly how:

All these industries offer infinite products, i.e. products that can be copied as many times as wanted with no extra cost to do so. DVDs, CDs, ebooks, whatever the case may be.

It doesn't matter how many times any one person may want to consume each, because it's not like consuming destroys the product anyway. You can now literally have a cake and eat it.

Do you think it matters a damn whether a blockbuster has the DVD version, and the collector's edition, and the director's cut, whereas a videogame only has one such offering? Do you think it really changes the game that the tv show boxset can also be sold to networks abroad, when record numbers of people are cutting the cord (http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/08/24/us-cable-idUSTRE67N1A420100824?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+reuters%2FtechnologyNews+%28N ews+%2F+US+%2F+Technology%29) anyway? Do you think - aside from two dozen lottery winners like Mick Jagger and Lady Gaga - Warren Spector is in a different boat to all those musicians whose label handed them a bill instead of a cheque for all their royalty-earning masterpieces?

The music mogul, the tv exec, the hollywood suit, the games producer - they all face the EXACT same problem. And the fact that the older industries have vestigial delivery methods available to them - theatrical releases or TV slots or vinyl offerings -doesn't make their problem any easy than the game developer's. In fact, it makes it even harder because it gives an appearance of being able to stop the inevitable digital crisis. It can't; it can only delay realising it's here.

Videogame producers aren't special. They're facing down the exact same issue every other content producer is in this digital age: How to make an infinite product seem scarce. Basic economics, right? Supply and Demand. Infinite supply = no demand.

How can you profit on something that's freely simply painlessly copy-able?

You want to spin the others as protected by their markets? But those markets only exist on condition that the product is scarce.

Piracy isn't an abhorrent act, isn't breaking the rules of the game, isn't going beyond any reasonable business practises. Piracy is nothing more than classic market forces. If you as a businessman can't conceive of a way to turn that to your advantage and start making money off it, then you're completely missing the point of What Piracy Is, and frankly...you deserve to go bust.

Kadayi
30-11-2011, 11:33 PM
Thats the chick from Doctor Who!

Oh no Helio, you're also part of Milkshake. You're clearly also in the secret RPS cabal. All your answers are from here on in invalid.


Is what I'm reading.

You're making asynchronous comparisons. They hold no weight under scrutiny because the metrics are different. What part of that wasn't clear?


Piracy isn't an abhorrent act, isn't breaking the rules of the game, isn't going beyond any reasonable business practises. Piracy is nothing more than classic market forces. If you as a businessman can't conceive of a way to turn that to your advantage and start making money off it, then you're completely missing the point of What Piracy Is, and frankly...you deserve to go bust.

Amusing as it is to read your 'It's a dog eat dog world' monologue (I'm sure it sounded grand in your head) 1) Piracy is not a business practice. 2) If there's no money in making a product, then there's no product. The market simply dies.

Right now Nintendo is being killed in the handheld stakes by the smart phones, because they can't compete against the price point of all the casual smartphone games. Why pay £20 -30 for 1 DS game when you can get 30 Iphone games instead? Sure the DS games are on the whole superior products, but superior doesn't pay the bills when you're hemorrhaging sales.

Unless your idea of what the future of PC gaming should be is free to play/buy success, cut and paste generic story line online multi-player item hunts your best bet is to quit pirating games and start buying them, because that is the direction things will inevitably go.

outoffeelinsobad
30-11-2011, 11:37 PM
Papers are research.

I guess logic, numbers, and credibility don't make something research-y enough?

http://todd-simmons.com/docs/MBA07_Research_GamePiracy.pdf

Please direct your attention to question #7, where the author demonstrates that more than 83% of participants are at least somewhat likely to purchase a video game if they enjoy a pirated version.

http://piracy.ssrc.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/AA-Research-Note-Infringement-and-Enforcement-November-2011.pdf

Wow! That one's fresh! Page 4 says, "Piracy and legal acquisition are complementary practices."

http://digitalcommons.iwu.edu/econ_honproj/108/

I could also argue that the abstract here demonstrates my point, though it would be done somewhat tangentially.

archonsod
30-11-2011, 11:50 PM
I am not saying that piracy should be encouraged. Piracy throws the market into disorder (to an unverifiable extent): this much is certain. But I am entertaining the broader and more specific argument that consumers really ought to have perfect information of the commodity or service on offer in order to gauge whether the thing is worth the money or not. Right?

No. If someone offered to sell me a car without allowing me to inspect it first, I'd refuse to buy it. I wouldn't break into the car, take it for a drive and then attempt to claim my actions were justified due to the seller not providing me with enough information. Instead, I'd find a seller who was willing to let me inspect the vehicle before I bought it.
The same applies to any other commodity. If you are not provided with sufficient information for you to conclude whether it is worth the price, then don't buy it. Buy from a seller who does provide enough information; or wait until you can pay a price at which point you're happy enough taking the risk you may not like it.


Anyone remember when games used to actually work that way?

Many still do. Evochron Mercenaries gives you two hours of play before you need to unlock it; and it doesn't count the tutorials towards that time. Mount and Blade permits you to play it up to level 8. Anno 2070 has a demo, as does Tropico 4.


Thing is they are both extremes, the people who say piracy doesn't mean lost sales (usually based on 'I used to pirate when I was a kid' anecdotes) are just as wrong as the people who equate every pirated copy with a lost sale. The truth is likely somewhere in the middle.
Loss of profit isn't a lost sale though. A significant portion of the price of a new game is a premium on being able to play it *now* rather than later, hence the rapid price drop. If you pirate a game on release and then pick it up when it's £20 the publisher hasn't lost a sale, they're still £20 down on what they would be had you paid for it when you started playing it. Hence they're still losing money.

Which is why I think most pirates have the IQ of a dead stoat. Funnily enough, pirating the game is encouraging the kind of business practices they rail against precisely because it tells the publisher there's interest and demand for the game. Learn some self control and refuse to buy, or even simply wait till the game is offered at a price you feel comfortable paying, and the message changes to one of "I want the game, but not on the terms you initially offered". You can bet they'd start looking for ways to convert that "buy it when it's on sale" to "buy at full price".

durruti
01-12-2011, 12:20 AM
@ kadayi: take that quantity-says-books-have-no-merit-on-games approach and shove it. seriously, either you want to argue or make this a bigger-number-farce. i'd also be fine with you spelling out how difference in quantity/"metrics" alone leads to completely different dynamics so go for it instead of condescendingly dismissing that because you can't.

but my main concern is your whole standpoint time and time again seems to rest on your defending programmers that produce a kind of entertainment for a living, which is a privilege. i understand that when things turned industry this privilege probably turned into not feeling like one for the privileged but that's capitalism for you. now if you want to go out and fight for programmers rights to eat, drink and feed a family based on that line of work (or any other for that matter) your concern sure as hell is not software pirates. same as the problem with the current european financial crisis sure as hell is not the greeks or italians. so shove this moral high horse of yours and concern yourself with "market mechanics" and their popular misrepresentations. but for a start you could stop using dire expressions like "nintendo is being killed"... also stop using them programmers as victims you can side with for cheap indefeasibility... maybe you get the idea...

other than that, everyone set that notion of lost revenue/sales straight towards loss of anticipated revenue/sales.

and gundrea got it right, except maybe don't use justification but excuse...

Kadayi
01-12-2011, 01:00 AM
Please direct your attention to question #7, where the author demonstrates that more than 83% of participants are at least somewhat likely to purchase a video game if they enjoy a pirated version.

And my counter point would be when exactly? Because there's a gulf of difference in profitability for publishers and developers between a person buying a game when it's first released, Vs buying it months/years down the road in a sale.


@ kadayi: take that quantity-says-books-have-no-merit-on-games approach and shove it. seriously, either you want to argue or make this a bigger-number-farce. i'd also be fine with you spelling out how difference in quantity/"metrics" alone leads to completely different dynamics so go for it instead of condescendingly dismissing that because you can't.

TBH I'd of thought anyone with a modicum of common sense was able to understand the metrics of why you can't compare games to books when it comes to sales and piracy, but still if you insist: -

1) It only takes one person to write a book. George R Martin might have taken a monumental 5 years to shit out 'A dance with dragons', but it still only required him to put the effort in to do the writing. Pretty much all triple AAA titles involve teams of hundreds of people. The time investment and financial overheads are of a magnitude different in terms of scale, when it comes to the actual production. More lifetimes went into the production of Skyrim than all of Martins back catalogue and Shakespeares combined (don't believe me? Do the math).

2) The margins on profitability are significantly different. Martin might of spent 5 years writing 'ADWD' but bar publisher costs and promotion, even if 50% of his readership pirate or 'borrow' his books, he only needs to make enough money to maintain his own household to keep going. A developer needs to be looking at making a profit that will ensure that it can finance it's next development cycle. So in other words. they need to make enough money to pay the salaries for everyone on payroll (and support their households), cover their office expenses and hardware investment for the next 2 - 3 years. Again a magnitude of difference in terms of scale.

A fairly successful writer like Neil Gaiman can afford to 'not worry too much' about piracy of his works on the basis that from it some residual benefits will come down the line, however that's not a position the vast majority of businesses (and game development is a business) can really afford to adopt.

outoffeelinsobad
01-12-2011, 01:42 AM
I would point to your post that Subatomic quoted on the previous page, but you seem to have edited it.

I agree that time=money, as far as game sales go, and that might even be a point in favor of piracy, considering how plenty of devs neglect to release a PC demo. If one had decided to wait for a demo of Skyrim or RAGE, for instance, Bethesda would be out $30 or so, depending on when they get around to making a demo, or whether one decides to pick the game up in a sale.

Kadayi
01-12-2011, 02:19 AM
I agree that time=money, as far as game sales go, and that might even be a point in favor of piracy, considering how plenty of devs neglect to release a PC demo. If one had decided to wait for a demo of Skyrim or RAGE, for instance, Bethesda would be out $30 or so, depending on when they get around to making a demo, or whether one decides to pick the game up in a sale.

Sure demos would be great, but from a development perspective they are largely an extravagance, and can often backfire if done badly. Firstly you're having to set aside precious development team resources (often when you're in crunch) to specifically work on fine tuning the demo (a good demo is generally a vertical slice, rather than 'first level of the game') Vs working on the game proper. Secondly it's debatable as to how much worth they have given we live in an age when magazine cover discs are practically extinct and game coverage (intervews, previews, developer walk throughs, trailers, hands on quick looks) are prevalent and readily available.

Spider Jerusalem
01-12-2011, 02:28 AM
And your objection to it is what exactly?
nevermind.

i've read the rest of the thread and now understand that i don't need to take you seriously.

Kadayi
01-12-2011, 02:32 AM
'Yeah, sorry I've got nothing'

Nothing? Not even a vague half-hearted counter argument? Seriously, you are the height of disappoint Spider.

Spider Jerusalem
01-12-2011, 02:38 AM
You are disappoint.
that's cute. you're doing the thing that stopped being humorous and/or interesting the moment the internet popped into existence.

as mentioned, i read the rest of the thread, noted your stubbornness and general disinterest in having an actual discussion on this topic and decided to not waste my time.

i'll wait until my paper on piracy gets into some peer-reviewed journals.

deano2099
01-12-2011, 03:39 AM
It doesn't take a studio of 150+ people 18 months to 2 years working often absurd hours to make an album. You can argue till your blue in the face about 'games cost too much' but plain truth of the matter is if you want games with AAA production values you have to comprehend the enormity of the resources and man hours that go into their production.


That's not how the world works though. Stuff isn't priced on the man-hours that go into it. Do you have any comprehension of how much more time and money it took to make Lord of the Rings than it did The Fully Monty? Orders of magnitude. Cost of a cinema ticket to each? The same. Cost of the DVD? The same.

You price low enough to be an impulse purchase, you mostly eliminate piracy and the secondhand market as a real concern. You price high as a premium product then it's something you have to deal with. If you can't, find cheaper ways to make games. Split your game into three parts and sell it for $15 a part. Not rocket science. But the industry is set up around these premium price points and it's unlikely to change.

deano2099
01-12-2011, 03:44 AM
However if we accept that, we also have to accept that if the game was sold in a manner that precluded piracy before and after release, a certain percentage who would of pirated it by default, would ultimately opt to legitimately purchase it, if that were the only option available to them. People didn’t pirate ‘The Witcher 2’ simply because it was ‘available’ on TPB. They did it because they had some level of personal curiosity/investment in playing it. Sex and the City 2 is available right now on TPB, why am I not downloading it ? Because I, have zero interest in watching it.
This notion that a pirate denied somehow doesn’t equate to a potential paying customer just doesn’t hold water. If people are motivated enough to pirate something, then it’s fair to say they possess an interest in it. There in exists the potential.


It's much smaller than you think though because of a subtle point you're missing. If The Witcher 2 had perfect DRM, then yes, maybe an interested pirate would buy it instead. But they'd have to be so interested that they'd pay money for it instead of consuming any other game from the entirety of history. That's what you're competing with on The Pirate Bay. They can get anything ever released for free, so the motivation to play the game has to be so strong that they choose to pay for it over playing anything else for free. That's a big ask.

Now, if, going forwards, every game had perfect DRM, it's a different situation and I think it'd be closer to what you're looking at. But a single game with perfect DRM? Wouldn't make a difference.

hamster
01-12-2011, 06:07 AM
No. If someone offered to sell me a car without allowing me to inspect it first, I'd refuse to buy it. I wouldn't break into the car, take it for a drive and then attempt to claim my actions were justified due to the seller not providing me with enough information. Instead, I'd find a seller who was willing to let me inspect the vehicle before I bought it.
The same applies to any other commodity. If you are not provided with sufficient information for you to conclude whether it is worth the price, then don't buy it. Buy from a seller who does provide enough information; or wait until you can pay a price at which point you're happy enough taking the risk you may not like it.

Of course. But unlike appropriating a car, where the manufacturer loses money (at least until you return it), since games are freely distributed and the cost of distribution is incurred on file hosting sites + peer bandwidth, the dev loses nothing. So the market here is unique in that you can try before you buy, without taking away the thing i.e. without the manufacturer's expense. Is this not a more efficient market? Alternatively, people can get burned by buying something they would not have paid for at a certain price point, and the entire market stagnates due to distrust OR consumers are paying over what they are willing to pay. Is this not detrimental to the consumer or therefore, in the long term, the market?



TBH I'd of thought anyone with a modicum of common sense was able to understand the metrics of why you can't compare games to books when it comes to sales and piracy, but still if you insist: -

1) It only takes one person to write a book. George R Martin might have taken a monumental 5 years to shit out 'A dance with dragons', but it still only required him to put the effort in to do the writing. Pretty much all triple AAA titles involve teams of hundreds of people. The time investment and financial overheads are of a magnitude different in terms of scale, when it comes to the actual production. More lifetimes went into the production of Skyrim than all of Martins back catalogue and Shakespeares combined (don't believe me? Do the math).

2) The margins on profitability are significantly different. Martin might of spent 5 years writing 'ADWD' but bar publisher costs and promotion, even if 50% of his readership pirate or 'borrow' his books, he only needs to make enough money to maintain his own household to keep going. A developer needs to be looking at making a profit that will ensure that it can finance it's next development cycle. So in other words. they need to make enough money to pay the salaries for everyone on payroll (and support their households), cover their office expenses and hardware investment for the next 2 - 3 years. Again a magnitude of difference in terms of scale.

A fairly successful writer like Neil Gaiman can afford to 'not worry too much' about piracy of his works on the basis that from it some residual benefits will come down the line, however that's not a position the vast majority of businesses (and game development is a business) can really afford to adopt.

It's probably true that people buy books based on the author, so the "spin-off" is that one pirated copy of a book that the pirate happens to like may induce future legitimate copies of other books written by the same author, whereas for games, the interest for each game is individual to that game rather than spilling over to the developer, and the spillover effect for games is enjoyed only in franchises.

That being said, I think when you talk about margins, you already sort of assume that piracy is detrimental. Which was really not what I attempted to discuss in the OP but it seems the thread has spiraled into that direction.

Nalano
01-12-2011, 06:55 AM
Considering that seeing a movie at a theater the week of release costs more than half the games out today, it's pretty much caveat emptor. If it's good, you'll more than get your money's worth. If it's bad, you have to write off your loss and walk on.

Yeah, that's why we have demonstrations and reviews and word of mouth and all the defenses we have before somebody comes and takes our money, but at the end of the day it's the purchaser who makes the final decisions and sometimes those decisions will be wrong.

Mihkel
01-12-2011, 07:35 AM
Considering that seeing a movie at a theater the week of release costs more than half the games out today, it's pretty much caveat emptor. If it's good, you'll more than get your money's worth.

Holy shit man. That's very expensive. Movies here on release cost regular 4 euros or something.

Nalano
01-12-2011, 07:40 AM
Holy shit man. That's very expensive. Movies here on release cost regular 4 euros or something.

$17. Plus $4 for IMAX. Plus tax. And concessions will double it.

Mihkel
01-12-2011, 07:48 AM
$17. Plus $4 for IMAX. Plus tax. And concessions will double it.

Crazy stuff. Tho I do have to say that in my country we don't have IMAX (yet).

archonsod
01-12-2011, 07:48 AM
Of course. But unlike appropriating a car, where the manufacturer loses money (at least until you return it), since games are freely distributed and the cost of distribution is incurred on file hosting sites + peer bandwidth, the dev loses nothing.

Because the game costs nothing to actually make in the first place, right?


Is this not detrimental to the consumer or therefore, in the long term, the market?

That would be the point yes? If the consumers aren't spending, then the suppliers either adapt or go out of business. What do you think is more likely to cause things to change; people pirating stuff and justifying it by complaining about business practices, or people refusing to buy stuff unless it's supplied via a method they agree with? Quick hint - companies don't bother listening to pirates in the first place.

R-F
01-12-2011, 08:12 AM
I'm still waiting for Kadayi to post some studies after demanding them of other's.


TBH I'd of thought anyone with a modicum of common sense was able to understand the metrics of why you can't compare games to books when it comes to sales and piracy, but still if you insist: -

1) It only takes one person to write a book. George R Martin might have taken a monumental 5 years to shit out 'A dance with dragons', but it still only required him to put the effort in to do the writing. Pretty much all triple AAA titles involve teams of hundreds of people. The time investment and financial overheads are of a magnitude different in terms of scale, when it comes to the actual production. More lifetimes went into the production of Skyrim than all of Martins back catalogue and Shakespeares combined (don't believe me? Do the math).

2) The margins on profitability are significantly different. Martin might of spent 5 years writing 'ADWD' but bar publisher costs and promotion, even if 50% of his readership pirate or 'borrow' his books, he only needs to make enough money to maintain his own household to keep going. A developer needs to be looking at making a profit that will ensure that it can finance it's next development cycle. So in other words. they need to make enough money to pay the salaries for everyone on payroll (and support their households), cover their office expenses and hardware investment for the next 2 - 3 years. Again a magnitude of difference in terms of scale.

A fairly successful writer like Neil Gaiman can afford to 'not worry too much' about piracy of his works on the basis that from it some residual benefits will come down the line, however that's not a position the vast majority of businesses (and game development is a business) can really afford to adopt.

lol.

So, basically, you're admitting that games and books are essentially the same thing but on different scales?

Books usually sell 10k. They cost about £30k to write, publish and push out to stores. Assuming they're sold for £8. The store therefore makes about £80k revenue. The store takes a cut of £3. Therefore, the publisher makes around £20k per book released. The author gets minimum wage which has to support him until he can write his next book (authors almost never get to the royalty point).

A game like, say, Magicka usually sells about 100k. That cost around £300k to produce and a negligible amount of cash to push out to stores. It was sold for £12, I think. The publisher (who I believe was Paradox) takes a cut of about £1 per sale and Steam takes a cut of around £3. Therefore, a total revenue of around £1.2mil, of which £800k goes to the developers. That's not bad to support a company that cost about £300k to make their last game.

It's funny how you can file off the names and it'd work just as well. Both games and books have publishers, they both have noticeable sales figures, they both have authors or development studios that are required to survive on their last makings.

Except for the fact, of course, games development studios make a LOT more profit than a single author. Your average author gets paid £5k-£15k for his first book (more lower end, there), and has to wait for royalties to roll in (trust me when I say they rarely do, since it's hard to sell that many books).

So, yeah, Kadayi. Essentially you're wrong on all counts. Please leave.

Hanban
01-12-2011, 08:44 AM
Neil Gaiman has spoken.

Your point is invalid.

I've pirated a lot of games I then decided not to buy, but ironically pirating is how I discovered my favourite comic of all time. At the suggestion of some friend I was asked to have a read of the first Sandman comic. I read it, read the rest of them, and then I proceeded to buy all of them so I could read them again. Now I have not only Neil Gaiman's Sandman in its entirety, but also a bookshelf full of his books (American Gods being my favourite).

Neil Gaiman is, however, the exception. There are times I in the past have downloaded games that I did enjoy and thought to myself "Ah, but I can't afford it. I've got all this stuff I need to do." and instead bought something else. These days I tend to not pirate at all. It has happened certainly, but I'd rather buy games om Steam than download them.