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Old 10-08-2008, 07:25 AM   #1
DoctorFinger
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EndWar Developer Joins Parade Bashing PC Over Piracy

Piracy. No one doubts that it affects the gaming industry a lot. But is it really killing PC Gaming? That's the view of Ubisoft Shanghai creative director Michael de Plater, who pins the delay of the PC version of Tom Clancy's EndWar on the proliferation of piracy.
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“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,” he said, talking of the voice-controlled RTS.
“But at the moment, if you release the PC version, essentially what you’re doing is letting people have a free version that they rip off instead of a purchased version. Piracy’s basically killing PC.”
Piracy isn't killing PC gaming, fear of piracy is killing PC gaming. Somehow smaller companies like Valve and Stardock can release their titles on the PC with a minimum of hassle, but the big dogs like EA and Ubisoft can't seem to figure out how to do the same. If these companies really felt this way about PC gaming, they'd stop producing games for the platform altogether (a route some others have already taken), but they don't. That tells you something about the strength of the PC market and inherently belies the "PC Gaming is dead" malarkey.

Source - Videogaming247.
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Old 10-08-2008, 07:36 AM   #2
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I prefer to think Ubi just makes shitty games, that I do not buy.
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Old 10-08-2008, 07:42 AM   #3
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To be honest, I'm just sick of the whole piracy discussion, and the "PC gaming is dead" discussion that so often gets associated with it. It seems like the longer it goes on the more polarized it becomes. Publishers continually overstate the piracy problem, acting as if there is nobody out who will legitimately buy their product, and ignoring obvious exceptions that prove there are ways to do this without criminalizing your customers. Gamers continually understate the problem, refusing to concede that large amounts of people stealing games with impunity has a negative impact on sales that publishers have a right to be concerned about. There's no middle ground anymore, and this has become a blood feud with both sides blaming the other and no hope for reconciliation in the near future.
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Old 10-08-2008, 07:42 AM   #4
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it's amamzing, how hard is it to grasp that most of the pirates would never have brought you game anyway. There seems to be this strange disconnect between what piracy really dose and things like preowned or rentals just beacuse they in some form make money.... yet the point that pirates need to be seen in the same view as the people who would buy preowned or rent the game.... people who would not have brought the game anyway. I have in the past pirated games most of the time there games that i would never have brought ever and in some cases i've liked them enough i went out and put money down on them... and yet the games i did download and never brought, games i would never have brought anyway, are 'lost sales'... the logic is a joke.
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Old 10-08-2008, 07:44 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctorFinger View Post
Somehow smaller companies like Valve and Stardock can release their titles on the PC with a minimum of hassle...
Valve is a smaller company? Really? And to be fair, Valve has essentially solved their problem with a DRM solution by making you play games through Steam.

Last edited by Cupelix; 10-08-2008 at 08:41 AM.
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Old 10-08-2008, 07:47 AM   #6
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Valve is a smaller company? Really?
Almost certainly. Although there's no way to know since Valve is a private company that does not disclose revenue figures, the very fact that it's private makes it unlikely that it's larger than a public company such as EA. Just take a look at the volume of games they produce. Valve puts out maybe 1-2 games a year at the moment. EA puts out dozens.
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Old 10-08-2008, 07:47 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by itchyeyes View Post
To be honest, I'm just sick of the whole piracy discussion. It seems like the longer it goes on the more polarized it becomes. Publishers continually overstate the piracy problem, acting as if there is nobody out who will legitimately buy their product, and ignoring obvious exceptions that prove there are ways to do this without criminalizing your customers. Gamers continually understate the problem, refusing to concede that large amounts of people stealing games with impunity has a negative impact on sales that publishers have a right to be concerned about. There's no middle ground anymore, and this has become a blood feud with both sides blaming the other and no hope for reconciliation in the near future.
no gamer has ever ever said that piracy dose not effect sales but the argument simply is that its only a tiny % of pirates that are really 'lost sales' in terms of the game. In that if piracy was stopped dead over night that there simply would not be a significant jump in game sales that justifies the paranoia that companies seem to have.

Piracy is a real and legitimate problem but it's one that is never going away what ever happens, instead of looking at the problem with logic and taking steps that make sense to adapt to the market publishers are doing exactly what the music industry did which is to ignore it and hope that there old market model can carry on working. The sad thing is that this market model still dose work on the consoles and as such the industry is latching on to consoles in the hope they can save them... problem is that consoles are going to end up more and more PC like as time goes on and there will come a point where piracy is just as much a problem on them as with the PC... yet that won't be for a few years so for now they can, unlike the music industry, hide away from the changes that need to be made and point to the fact that there still doing well as reason never to make the changes at all.

in other words, people are stupid.
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Old 10-08-2008, 07:51 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Cupelix View Post
Valve is a smaller company? Really? And to be fair, Valve has essentially solved their problem with a DRM solution by making you play games through Steam.
yes, yes it is, take a look at how many people work for valve and how many people work for EA... now we have no idea how much valve is making acting as there own publishers using steam (as they don't want to scare real publishers due to the need for console ports, see my last post) but EA is a giant, its turn over is huge and when you think about the number of titles they deal with it's not hard to work out how much more money they are making... valve may not be small but calling them smaller than EA is not a huge leap.

The thing with steam is that the dmr is effective (if not unbrakeable) but it's also dmr that makes you want to use it... the fact i prefer to buy games on steam, that i'm more likely to buy a game if i can get it on steam is a stunning coup for valve...
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Old 10-08-2008, 07:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itchyeyes View Post
Almost certainly. Although there's no way to know since Valve is a private company that does not disclose revenue figures, the very fact that it's private makes it unlikely that it's larger than a public company such as EA. Just take a look at the volume of games they produce. Valve puts out maybe 1-2 games a year. EA puts out dozens.
Wiki lists Valve's revenue for '07 as $70 million. As you said there's no way to be accurate, but that sounds like it could be right for a company of that size with their development process etc... Of course I think the Orange Box falls into the '08 season, so that'll help. By comparisson wiki also lists $4.08 billion as EA's revenue for '08. Even if the Orange Box increased revenue 10 fold they're still no way near the region of EA. Of course Valve likely have much lower costs, but their net income isn't listed.
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Old 10-08-2008, 07:59 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Hotcod View Post
no gamer has ever ever said that piracy dose not effect sales but the argument simply is that its only a tiny % of pirates that are really 'lost sales' in terms of the game. In that if piracy was stopped dead over night that there simply would not be a significant jump in game sales that justifies the paranoia that companies seem to have.
This is completely unsubstantiated. While I certainly disagree with the line put out by many in the industry that every pirated game is a lost sale, there are no definitive studies that show just what percentage of pirated games equate to lost sales. Even a relatively small percentage of pirated games, say 5-10%, represents hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars in lost revenue for publishers, especially for large budget games that rely on high volume sales to recoup their investment. To dismiss this as insignificant without any real evidence to the contrary seems rather closed minded.
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Old 10-08-2008, 08:32 AM   #11
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I am sick of this crap. These guys don't look at the whole picture. PC gaming may have lost marketshare to the consoles, but it hasn't gone down in total sales.

It's all about piracy. Nevermind the crappy ports, the DRM, and lack of demos. I wish Valve would release their sales numbers from Steam to silence the whiners for good.
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Old 10-08-2008, 08:48 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by itchyeyes View Post
This is completely unsubstantiated. While I certainly disagree with the line put out by many in the industry that every pirated game is a lost sale, there are no definitive studies that show just what percentage of pirated games equate to lost sales. Even a relatively small percentage of pirated games, say 5-10%, represents hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars in lost revenue for publishers, especially for large budget games that rely on high volume sales to recoup their investment. To dismiss this as insignificant without any real evidence to the contrary seems rather closed minded.
Just myself , I have about 3 friends I know who pirate PC games. I am sure each of them know a few people and so on...all 3 of those guys I know would buy a lot more games if they couldn't steal them. Certainly most of the games they pirate they wouldn't buy but I could see them buying 10 more games each a year if they didn't get them for free. The game makers are losing a ton of money each year to piracy , to think otherwise is foolish.
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Old 10-08-2008, 08:49 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by itchyeyes View Post
Almost certainly. Although there's no way to know since Valve is a private company that does not disclose revenue figures, the very fact that it's private makes it unlikely that it's larger than a public company such as EA. Just take a look at the volume of games they produce. Valve puts out maybe 1-2 games a year at the moment. EA puts out dozens.
That's true; I guess my perspective on "small" was a little different. Valve may only put out 1-2 games a year (hell, are they even on that pace?) but the ones they put out are huge sellers which I suppose skews my vision of them as a company. To me, developers like Big Huge Games, or maybe Firaxis are "small" developers. Granted, those are the ones that come to my mind because they're local to me.

The larger piracy and its effects issue just makes my brain hurt. That's not so surprising when you try to prove something that's virtually unprovable in the form of "lost revenue."
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Old 10-08-2008, 09:23 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by itchyeyes View Post
This is completely unsubstantiated. While I certainly disagree with the line put out by many in the industry that every pirated game is a lost sale, there are no definitive studies that show just what percentage of pirated games equate to lost sales. Even a relatively small percentage of pirated games, say 5-10%, represents hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars in lost revenue for publishers, especially for large budget games that rely on high volume sales to recoup their investment. To dismiss this as insignificant without any real evidence to the contrary seems rather closed minded.
But to presume it is with out any evidence what so ever is just as bad. Given that i can base my view on me and my freinds and make a best guess at the general pattens of most pirates... even hardcore ones since i know a few... the presumptions i'm making are much more likely to be true. I tend to believe that there would not be a a big surge in sales if piracy was stopped... PC game sales have been dropping but that due to a rise in console sales but there has not been a statistical significant drop in sales since the wide spread use of speeds that make it possible in its current state... can't remember where i read that but if some one wants to look it would be shock me to see a big down turn in game sales when compensating for other trends.

What down turn there has been can be seen in context. There is no preowned game market really for PC games and as such i would expect the loss of money to be not that much grater than the lose of money on preowned titles on consoles.

Like you said, none of this is substantiated but based on my own experience and that of my freinds and people i've known though forums i just can not think that the lost sales are that damaging. I'm not saying they are not damaging, but across the PC game industry as a whole the % lost is not going to be near enough to kill the industry... given that any big named PC game you can think of has made its ROI, even crysis, then it's not a question about if you can make money on the PC but how much you can make... and how much you can make dose not seem to have been hugely impacted by piracy.
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Old 10-08-2008, 09:25 AM   #15
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Simple solution for whining developers/publishers:

Publish for the PC exclusively on Steam + publish on any console you see fit to + STFU = Win for everyone
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Old 10-08-2008, 09:49 AM   #16
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I've always figured, maybe incorrectly, that if pirating was suddenly wiped from existence over 95% of pirates still wouldn't buy the games they downloaded. If your a pirate, you either don't have the money too spend or you don't want to spend the money.

Pirating could have a positive impact, word of mouth and try before you buy so to speak, but I doubt sales generated from this would match sales lost from pirating. So of course pirating is hurting the PC market, I just don't think it's as much as they would like to think. Consoles pander to the hardcore just like PC's but they also have a large casual base, where a lot of players wouldn't even know what a game review was. And just buy any game that looks cool or that had been recommended by a like minded friend. I know a lot of console gamers who buy games because they look cool, games that I wouldn't touch.

Last edited by Crowe; 10-08-2008 at 09:51 AM.
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Old 10-08-2008, 10:54 AM   #17
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There are two types of developers: the ones that make good games, and the ones that say they didn't sell because of piracy.
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Old 10-08-2008, 11:15 AM   #18
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Given that i can base my view on me and my freinds and make a best guess at the general pattens of most pirates... even hardcore ones since i know a few... the presumptions i'm making are much more likely to be true.
:rolleyes: Is this a joke?
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Originally Posted by Lutheran
Just myself , I have about 3 friends I know who pirate PC games. I am sure each of them know a few people and so on...all 3 of those guys I know would buy a lot more games if they couldn't steal them. Certainly most of the games they pirate they wouldn't buy but I could see them buying 10 more games each a year if they didn't get them for free. The game makers are losing a ton of money each year to piracy , to think otherwise is foolish.
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Originally Posted by Wikipedia
The expression anecdotal evidence has two quite distinct meanings.

(1) Evidence in the form of an anecdote or hearsay is called anecdotal if there is doubt about its veracity: the evidence itself is considered untrustworthy or untrue.

(2) Evidence, which may itself be true and verifiable, used to deduce a conclusion from which it does not follow, usually by generalizing from an insufficient amount of evidence. For example "my grandfather smoked like a chimney and died healthy in a car crash at the age of 99" does not disprove the proposition that "smoking markedly increases the probability of cancer and heart disease at a relatively early age". In this case, the evidence may itself be true, but does not warrant the conclusion.

In both cases the conclusion is unreliable; it might happen not to be untrue, but it doesn't follow from the "evidence".
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Old 10-08-2008, 11:33 AM   #19
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PC publishers want a viable solution to piracy? Either incentivize the DRM so I actually want it on my computer like Steam or Impulse, or start targeting your products to an audience that primarily doesn't pirate games like the turn-based grognards, MMO players, indie game supporters, and "casual" Bejeweled soccer moms.

It's unfortunate, but the the mid to high end PC gamers that like shooters and RTS games are part of the same demographic that has gone in for pirating in a big way.

Anecdotally, I have a friend that pirates just about every game that comes out. He plays about a third of them. He literally burns most of them to disc and tosses them into his collection without ever firing them up. Obviously, not every game he pirates correlates to a lost sale. (Heck, he doesn't even like the genre of some of the games he lifts!) But he does play some, and to argue that people like him are having little to no effect on the industry is insane. He never buys any games. I don't think he's actually paid for a video game in a good five years. He sure enjoyed many, though.
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Old 10-08-2008, 11:45 AM   #20
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:rolleyes: Is this a joke?
no, but who is more likely to be right, a developer who has not pirated a game and dose not know any one who dose who can not make any kind of judgement on the pattens of pirates or some one who knows a good few of them... its not statistical or means my views are the truth but the simple fact is that it's a larger sample size. Out of all the people i know who pirate 95% of the stuff they pirate is stuff they would have never gone out and brought... you can not use that in any meaningful sense as proof but it's a damn site more incite than anything i've seen publishers ever offer.

I can't comment on Lutheran 3 freinds but i can comment on the good 20 or so i know personal who i've talked with pirating about, and another good 10 or from forums which includes some really hardcore torrent and newgroup pirates.

Again, and i do wish i could dig up this study, the sales of PC games have not taken a huge downturn since fast internet has been much more common that was not already in motion or more related to console realises. There has been drops in sales, no one is denying that. I just think the down turn in sales is not at all the same as the number of torrents and for big games the down turn in sales is far more to do with consoles and the need for higher and higher specs. Piracy is, thanks to the consoles, a convent excuse and is being used so much that it's going to end up more damaging to sales on PC though DRM and it being harder to find backing to publish to the PC than piracy ever was in the first place ironically
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