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mbd
27th January 2004, 12:55 PM
I saw this article about piracy on the mac this morning and thought it was an interesting read;

http://maccentral.macworld.com/news/2004/01/26/piracy/

I've bought games on occasion in the past, and really don't play them all that much, as I am usually too busy to sit down and play a game for hours. However, when I do play a game, I do enjoy it, and it is worrying to think that such a fine platform as the Mac risks losing what little development of games as exists atm...

That said, from reading the article, I think Tamte comes across poorly. I think he is creating an us/them mentality with his statements, even if they are accurate. The games companies should try to create more of a spirit of community (all of us) rather than what Tamte is doing (Us vs Them).

They are aware of bittorrent and other p2p file transfer mechanisms that exist, and I reckon they should embrace the concept by offering legit downloads of the games for cheaper than boxed product. I.e., pay 20% less for a game, get a link to download it, a PDF of the manual and a CD key emailed.

I also think they should target the people who do get the copied games by making it easy for them to legitimise their copy. They should offer the opportunity to buy CD keys so that they are licensed with their pirate disc. Last year, I decided it was well past time for me to buy Quake 3 Arena for the mac. It was near-impossible to find it anywhere, and I ended up spending quite a lot of time tracking it down. If the developer would have been willing to take my credit card number and issue a CD key for use with my copy for less than boxed product cost, it would have saved me time and generated extra income for them.

Additionally, being able to buy cheaper CD Keys would be great for LAN gaming - no need to have to buy 10 boxed copies when you can buy one for full retail and 9 keys for less.

Finally, I think they should add extra 'carrots' to buying the game; like include a halo action figure when you buy the game. Or a t-shirt or something. Something to make you feel like you've got something more than the pirates out there. Infocom used to do this in the 80s with their text adventure games and I believe it worked very well for them.

I have been inspired to spend a little more on games, but thought the debate might be a good topic for this forum. What do others think about the effects of piracy?

decryption
27th January 2004, 04:03 PM
I haven't read the article, but I agree with everything you've said.

It would be good to have a pirate copy.. then play it.. and when you've been playing it for a while you realise "Shit, this is a good game" then you can just click a link, enter in your details, then purchase it legally.
And the bonuses thing with a copy of a game is great too, I know I bought the limited edition set of Neverwinter Nights for the t-shirt, book and DVD :P

Many people are honest, they want to buy the product, but just can't afford it. "Ideas" like subscription games aren't the answer, it's just a way to make more money. Making it more affordable through reducing the costs of distrubution and packaging isn't going to solve piracy, but will increase the number of people who actually buy a game.

The last game I bought was Battlefield 1942 for PC. That game had killer online play without charging a monthly fee for it. Look how popular it is and well respected it is within the community. Unfortunatley, the developers aren't in control there, it's the men in the suits who only see things in terms of profit and loss, not in terms of gaming experience and artistic quality.

Anyways, I'm ranting now... But yeah, the game industry is quickly turning into the same beast that is the music and movie industry :(

cmetom
27th January 2004, 06:12 PM
i read the article. your pointing out the "us-vs-them" thing that Tamte does is something i agree with.

he talks about how pirating halo to 'stick it to microsoft' has had minimal impact on microsoft and a large impact on bungie. this is unfortunate and true - i'm pretty sure microsoft bought them so that they could have a killer app for the X-Box. microsoft's mario, if u will.

apple have a 'community' of mac lovers out there. good or bad (products), these people will save and buy mac stuff because they feel they are a part of something bigger than them. also, i reckon there's a "stick it to the PC man" thing happening as well.

companies battling piracy need to convince the consumer (and the end-user of pirated software) that they should buy the product legit and "stick it to the pirates" - i.e. make the pirates out as the bad guy.

building a sense of community is the way to go - and it ties in with my next point (and those above!! :)).

"We can't afford to throw A-list software out there at a low price point and expect to make our money back. There are development and licensing costs we have to recoup," he said.
he goes on to say "just wait for the price to drop"... in other words, they expect suckers who buy it first to cover their initial costs. decryption is right in saying that it's turning to marketing crap - they want big numbers to show the boss, for the opening week of sales.

i personally would buy games as soon as they were released, if they were like ~50$. as it stands, they're not. and i wait - my brother and i own Warcraft II and III legit. II was $20 and that was a while ago!!!

if a company starts selling games cheaper, i wil buy them. not only that, i'll have respect for that company and will more-than-likely buy more of their products. customer loyalty is what it's all about.

anyway, i'll continue to do things the way i do them... for as long as the marketing morons continue to do things the way they do them!

purana
30th January 2004, 11:12 AM
I think them selling cd keys and the like is a good idea. Will it catch on? who knows.. As for downloading them online for a discount on the box price, this could happen also. It happens with other software on the internet, so I can't see it being a problem when broadband begins the norm for most of the world.

Cory5412
1st February 2004, 07:20 AM
As far as downloading games, i know that I have probably downloaded my fair share of software illegally, but that's because I have exactly $0 and there's really not a macintosh reseller anywhere within 140 miles of where I live (the closest one is in Las Vegas, Nevada about 150+ miles from where I live here in Kingman, Arizona, that was a 6 hour trip just to get panther!)

My other problem is that I'm on dialup, and I do know that there are still many places around the world that don't have access to anything faster.


That said, I get all of my playstation II games legally ;)

I wonder if there would be an effective way to make like a mac videogame store, where you can rent them or something...

it'd be interesting.

Shawry
1st February 2004, 09:40 PM
Its nearly impossible to eliminate piracy of games altogether. There are always going to be people with no money and very little guilt who donwload things or "lend" games to their friends.
I would love the option of purchasing a CDkey online for a discount price as it would save me the extra cost and hassle of finding a shop to buynthe game from. But this option also bring up the point that the game company would then have to host the game for people to download otherwise its still upto the warez community to deliver the game worldwide....if that makes sense.

mbd
1st February 2004, 10:19 PM
Originally posted by Shawry@Feb 1 2004, 09:40 PM
I would love the option of purchasing a CDkey online for a discount price as it would save me the extra cost and hassle of finding a shop to buynthe game from. But this option also bring up the point that the game company would then have to host the game for people to download
I don't see why they couldn't do that... When I decided to buy Quake III Arena, my biggest problem was that the publisher was no longer making it. I had to hunt high and low to find a copy that was just old stock gathering dust... Luckily I did find one last copy, but I had to mail order it from a place in Sydney in the end. (I live in Melbourne). And seriously, I looked in just about every shop that I could think of in Melbourne before using that option...