Posts Tagged ‘piracy’

An Actual Crisis: Crysis 2 Leaked

'Holy shit!' 'I know!'

EDIT: Read EA’s curt response here. “Piracy continues to damage the PC packaged goods market and the PC development community.”

I have no words. Actually, I have some words- according to a thread of the Facepunch forums (which may or may not be deleted any second depending how the Facepunch server holds up), a developer build of Crysis 2 containing the full game, multiplayer and the master key for the online authentication has been leaked, and is currently freely available from all sorts of astonishingly illegal websites. This sounds like it might be a serious tragedy for Crytek. Crysis 2 was scheduled for release on the 22nd of March, so the leaked build could be dangerously close to finished. More on this as we hear it, and thanks to RPS reader James B for letting us know.

CD Projekt To Pursue Fines For Torrenting

No, not until you stop downloading episodes of Supernatural.
Polish RPG developers CD Projekt recently announced that their next game, The Witcher 2, would ship without DRM, and there was much rejoicing. But that doesn’t mean they’re going to be all Mr NiceGuy about it. Speaking to Eurogamer, CD Projekt co-founder Marcin Iwiński said that the company would be pursuing legal action against those net users illegally downloading the game.

“Of course we’re not happy when people are pirating our games, so we are signing with legal firms and torrent sneaking companies… In quite a few big countries, when people are downloading it illegally they can expect a letter from a legal firm saying, ‘Hey, you downloaded it illegally and right now you have to pay a fine.'”

Of course the policing of downloaded content is a highly contentious area in which the legislation is still being proven – and fought against in the courts – but it does suggested a renewed interest by games companies in directly combating piracy on the PC. DRM doesn’t work, we all know that, so it’s hardly surprising that companies like CD Projekt will look to other methods to protect their work. Personally I think low prices and swift digital downloads have been the best weapon.

DRM Is NOTHING Compared To StarCraft II

They should refer to suits like this as combat DRM.

Blizzard supremo Frank Pearce has told VideoGamer.com, “We need our development teams focused on content and cool features, not anti-piracy technology.”

It accompanies the announcement that StarCraft II’s single-player mode will not require constant online connection to Blizzard’s Battle.net. Describing DRM as “a losing battle”, Pearce states that their company is far more interested in creating an online community that will endorse and support paying customers.

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Epic Fa… Oh, You Know.

Epic's new DRM involves releasing a mutagen to horrifically warp the bodies who infringe upon their IP, tooling up in power-arm and then shooting and/or giving their neck a nice hug.

Alec sighs and points at Blues News who points at The Sixth Axis who points at Edge magazine who points at Epic President Mike Capps in an interview situation who points at Piracy for Epic’s pointing away from the PC. He says things like “We still do PC, we still love the PC, but we already saw the impact of piracy: it killed a lot of great independent developers and completely changed our business model.” and “So, maybe Facebook will save PC gaming… but it’s not going to look like Gears of War.”. More here. I’m sure everyone agrees, so I’m tempted to just close the comments thread because there’s nothing to say, but maybe I’m wrong.

Uh-Oh: It’s The Top 10 Pirated PC Games of 2008

Another day, another post about piracy to fuel the impassioned debate of the principled hordes. See how we dance for you.

It’s a particularly interesting piece of piractical news this time, even if you generally avoid the shouting matches around the subject. Filesharing news site Torrentfreaks have done some mathematical investigative work, casting an eye over a bunch of trackers to come up with what they reckon are the 10 most pirated PC games of the year to date. Care to bet on what’s number one before we draw back the curtain?
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Video Game Piracy Taken Literally

Via Wikimedia Commons.

What better way to round off a day of arguing about gaming piracy than with some perspective. Real, rather frightening gaming piracy. From an article in the Washington Post:

Apparently pirates in the vicinity of Somalia have been stepping up attacks on [videogame carrying] trade ships beyond the Horn of Africa into the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea, imperiling access to the Suez Canal. Those attacks are up from one every few weeks to four in a single day, according to Sam Dawson of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), speaking to Reuters. “This is not just guys in little fishing boats anymore,” says Dawson. “We know there are three probably ex-Soviet trawlers acting as mother ships.”

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World Of Goo Piracy Rate: “82%”

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.

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EndWar Delayed Because “Piracy’s killing PC”

Ubisoft launch an airstrike on the PC : (

Sorry to get into this again, but as much as I want to ignore it, this one’s significant. Ubisoft have stated that they’re artificially delaying the launch of EndWar on PC because of, you guessed it, piracy.

Talking to VideoGaming247, Ubisoft Shanghai director and former Total War “Evangelist”, Michael de Plater said,

“To be honest, if PC wasn’t pirated to hell and back, there’d probably be a PC version coming out the same day as the other two.”

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Cliff Harris Talks To The Pirates

The music industry was destroyed by piracy in 1999, of course. How we all miss it.

If there’s one name that’s come up each time in RPS’s perennial piracy comment threads, it’s Positech‘s Cliffski. The moniker of PC developer, Cliff Harris, he’s ruffled feathers with, surprisingly, the anti-piracy position. As Kieron mentioned on Sunday, Cliff decided to run a survey via his blog, and then via every other website on the internet, asking people to tell him why they pirate his games. It’s a remarkably modest and reasonable question to ask, and now he’s back with an anecdotal presentation of the results.

Cliff Harris deserves applause for taking this approach. But he deserves carrying aloft the shoulders of those who have loudly disagreed with him in the comments (me included) for his response to his broad survey. He’s changing how he develops games as a consequence.

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Assassin’s Greed

I know I’ve used that headline before, but hell, it works. I really do need to find a way to recharge my pun batteries, however.

Assassin’s Creed was one of the most Angry Internet Men-angering games last year, and, like Bioshock, it refuses to go away. This time, there’s a piracy problem. Aaargh. I’m terrified that Assassin’s Creed + Piracy is the secret formula that will cause RPS readers to rise up and destroy the entire planet, but here we go….
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Uh-Oh It’s The P Word

Possibly a bittorrent metaphor

Right: I’m going to mention piracy. That isn’t an open invitation to go absolutely barking, spitting crazy, okay?

So, lately it’s looked as though Capcom – traditionally very much a console publisher – have really been cosying up to the PC. The Devil May Cry 4 port was pretty slick as these things go, and soon we’re getting Street Fighter IV. The dark times are over!

But there’s a problem.
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Ubisoft Having A Crack?

'Now arrest ourselves for terrorism.'

Piracy, as we are so frequently told, is wrong. Apparently it funds child abuse and terrorism (by means they’re not quite ready to explain just yet). It’s a serious business folks. Which makes it a bit odd when Ubisoft get spotted apparently doing it.

People who bought Rainbow Six Vegas 2 via Direct2Drive were having a bit of a problem with the 1.02 version of the game, with it refusing to install. So Ubisoft or Direct2Drive released a v1.03 patch to fix it. Unfortunately for them, canny people took a closer look at the solution in place.

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EA Backs Down From 10-Day Authentication

Now let's make them dance like a monkey.

Good news, loud, complaining denizens of the internet! Bioware have backed down on their draconian copy protection for Mass Effect.

Edit: And EA say the same goes for Spore.

Community Manager, Jay Watamaniuk, has posted to the Mass Effect forums saying,

“There has been a lot of discussion in the past few days on how the security requirements for Mass Effect for PC will work. BioWare, a division of EA, wants to let fans know that Mass Effect will not require 10- day periodic re-authentication.”

The reasons jumpward.

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Wardell: “Piracy is not the primary issue”

I am seriously the greatest at photoshop.

I was planning on working this into the Sunday Papers, but because I got distracted by staring forlornly at Romanian girls and didn’t do it, I think it’s worth getting out there to stand alone. Brad Wardell, Stardock CEO, has posted a short essay about Piracy and the PC which comes at it from a completely different angle. I interviewed Stardock CEO Brad Wardell for a forthcoming issue of Gamer, where he talks about some of the issues he repeats here, but I’m glad to see him put it in a single document. To paraphrase brutally, Piracy doesn’t matter. Only sales matter.

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The Yarr-ts: Piracy Snapshot 5.3.2008

Honestly, this is serious analysis.
Something I’ve recently taken to doing is keeping one eye on the big torrent sites, just to see what’s topping their download lists. I do so because it’s illuminating to compare what people are willing to take differs from what people are willing to pay for. However, I thought it’ll be an interesting exercise to be a little more rigorous than that. So, hitting the Mininova, I totaled all the separate torrents for each popular game and worked out a chart. This is a snapshot of PC gaming piracy, on a single torrent site, on a single day.

Top 10’s here. The rest of the chart, plus analysis and my methodology beneath the cut.

1) Assassin’s Creed – 25734
2) Frontlines: Fuel of War – 12688
3) Call of Duty 4: Modern Combat – 8792
4) Dark Messiah of Might and Magic – 8402
5) Lost: Via Domus – 5883
6) Turning Point: Fall of Liberty – 5183
7) Sims 2 – 4026
8 ) The Club – 3672
9) Bioshock – 3489
10) The Witcher – 3121
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BSA Piracy Study

Not that kind of pirate, silly
Ars Technica have posted a piece on the BSA’s recent piracy study, the conclusion of which is that digital file-stealing is actually stunting economies around the world to a significant degree.

If the amount of software piracy in the US were to be reduced by 10 percentage points over the next four years, IDC believes the end result would be $41 billion in economic growth, $7 billion in additional tax revenues, and the creation of over 32,000 new jobs. In countries with higher rates of piracy, the impact would be even greater.

And it’s at this point that my understand of economics fails, because aren’t those people who aren’t spending money on pirated good actually spending the money they would have spent on something else? And if there’s no money to be spent on the games in the first place, necessitating piracy, where would all this extra cash come from? Hmm.

Bioshock: The Future of Copy Protection?

I seem to recall that one or two people were slightly unhappy with the anti-piracy measures on Bioshock. There was no big deal about it, was there? Of course there bloody was. Folk don’t take kindly to being told they can install something they’ve just paid real Earth money for a limited number of times. Now that the shouting’s died down, Gamespot’s reporting on a recent talk by 2K Au… 2k Austra… 2K Arrrrgh, no, can’t do it, sorry – Irrational’s Martin Slater about the controversial measures.

“We achieved our goals. We were uncracked for 13 whole days. We were happy with it. But we just got slammed. Everybody hated us for it. It was unbelievable… You can’t afford to be cracked. As soon as you’re gone, you’re gone, and your sales drop astronomically if you’ve got a day one crack.”

I agree and sympathise with him – those torrent sites are very busy these days, and I really can’t believe it’s not hurting developers – but I did feel Bioshock’s measures were far too stringent. If you crossover from protecting your game into insulting the guys who have keenly thrown their money at you, frankly you’ve gone too far. Seems Irrational are somewhat on the same page: “I don’t think we’ll do exactly the same thing again, but we’ll do something close.”

So it is going to happen again. Read the rest of this entry »