What does DRM achieve, and does piracy equal lost sales?
16.04.2013 @ 03:42 #22
That's spoken out of ignorance about the matter. The problem here is, that there are influential groups which constantly push for stricter copyright enforcement in the law and trade agreements, which affect everyone's life. You think this is about piracy? Then think again, since in essence this is about the balance of power and civil liberties.
If it's not apparent to you how these are related, here is a simple example. Copyright lobby pushed the DMCA type laws into the US legal system, which are aimed at giving these interest groups control over various technologies. Ever wondered why you can't legally back up your video, or let's say legally change the provider on your mobile device? Or for example why disabled person can't legally strip the DRM to access something? You can thank the section 1201 of the DMCA - the anticircumvention provision, which is not aimed at preventing piracy, but aimed at giving power and control to certain corporate groups. You said the fair use doesn't matter? That's what DMCA attempts to do - to make it irrelevant. I.e. even if according to copyright law making personal back ups is perfectly fine, DMCA makes it illegal if you need to break the DRM in the process. Does it sound logical to you? No, but those who pushed for those laws did it for a purpose, i.e. to gain control. So you say, why complain? That's how such junk ends up in the local legal system - the public is too oblivious to it until it's already there and used against the people. And naturally the argument that these lobbyists push around to grab more control is "Pirates!!".
But this doesn't stop here, since the same kind of approach is sneaked into international agreements which bypass local legal systems (and any democratic processes) spreading this kind of idiocy far and wide. If you think people who protested against ACTA in Europe did it just for fun or because they aren't happy with buying games and e-books, then think again.
16.04.2013 @ 03:44 #23
If someone can't afford a game then they're not going to be a customer anyway, at least not at full price, so I think sales are a good way to appeal to such people (especially people in that situation who aren't willing to pirate games but can't afford to pay full price for everything either) and that's probably why Steam sales are so successful.
And sites like GOG are a good answer to the second case because there are no region restrictions and it's awesome to be able to find older games legally.
So I think the big game publishers would probably make more money if they focus more on digital releases and reasonable sales instead of worrying about piracy and DRM.
Because copyrights are usually enforced with DRM which can break the game for legitimate customers (at least that's why I care )
16.04.2013 @ 04:54 #24
It really pisses me off when I have to wait for a game to pump out its DLC in order to feel like I wasn't ripped off. New release Skyrim and its DLCs total ~$105 US. That's insane.
Mass Effect 3 looks fun, but after hearing of day 1 DLC, and a "DLC Ending", well, that's unbelievable. I can't support that, or contribute to more of it. I never had to fork over more money becuase the publisher tore out the last chapter of a book. "Sorry sir, but stay tuned for later installments!". I've never felt this way about a product before. It feels crazy to think the folks that make the games for our enjoyment are evil men that crack whips over the backs of the huddled mases of programmers and artists, but it certainly seems like it sometimes. It also feels off to hate a company, something that is not living and is composed of people like me looking for money to feed themselves and their families. But isn't there company supposed to make our lives a little less horrible? Aren't games supposed to.......FUN?
Well wake up and smell the stench of reality Glaroug, becuase we're not in Oz any longer. You're just a well endowed maiden in the big city and coroperations are just waiting to smother they're nasty faces in your girlish flesh.
I know its taken from an undocumented source on Wikipedia but I don't know what to believe anymore. Not taking any chances.
I'd sooner overload my hard drive with man on gorilla porn than download Origin. They're aren't enough Indie games in the world to scrub away its taint.
EDIT: I guess you could call it DRM working for the customer at last--sort of. I wanted to play the Witcher DRM free, so I went to activate the GoG code by using Steam product code that did not work. Contacted RED and with lightening speed, they looked over my Steam account, verified the Witcher was proper, and set me up. They made me feel like a special snowflake
"Remember, remember, the 5th of
Tell Google to boil its bottom. Try duckduckgo.com today for your search engine needs. QUACK!
Software is like sex. Its Better when its free. Go TUX!!!
16.04.2013 @ 06:51 #25
Spoken out of ignorance I presume?
Reading similar posts makes me remember "... and the sheep follow".
Be not a sheep...
Be a sheep not...
Usa a brain, use critical thinking, question everything.
16.04.2013 @ 07:58 #26
Guy N said:
I think the real problem is twofold, and it's not actually anything to do with freeloading. ›››
I don't see why *you* direct that towards me, my post contains nothing of the sort, just a desire for evidence to be used in the industry's discussion, and raising the question of why there has been no study performed to support the DRM trend. Perhaps you shouldn't have used the pronoun.
Your other comments are sound, although I would say it's even more complicated than that, with numerous historical factors pertaining to both the industry & consumers experiences, needs & rights over the years.
Unfortunately DRM software & strategies have now become a field & business of their own, with post graduates being encouraged to undertake research, because Warez groups keep beating the current techniques, because the game producers keep challenging them, because bean counters only understand counting beans, etc, to the top of the pile where this is just a bargaining chip / method to highlight the wider problem of copyright issues brought on by the digital age. So the big joint pressure groups fund further research completing the cycle, and out of an original irrational fear we get vested interests & blind stupidity ad infinitum.
This kind of thing is detectable across our society & structures.
The typical current attitude for extreme polarisation of an issue is at work here too. There is no middle ground anymore anywhere, apparently.
It's the game developers who really lose out of course, it's their work, and I'd bet more would speak out if they could. The suits who make these bad decisions contribute what work or positive action exactly? Rhetorical question of course, Guy has their agenda pretty much surrounded.
Piracy (Napster phenomenon in particular) did change the music industry. I believe it's changing the film & tv industry too, with more worldwide concurrent releases. Both these industries resisted in the early days similar to how gaming still does. Gaming will learn too, eventually.
Inane comment on a clearly innocent of your slur OP which is topical and from an inquiring mind, which we need more of, not less. Wise up.
“The evolution of the brain not only overshot the needs of prehistoric man, it is the only example of evolution providing a species with an organ which it does not know how to use” - Arthur Koestler.
"Games lubricate the body and the mind." - Benjamin Franklin
16.04.2013 @ 09:10 #27
I believe that I made a post in the technical claims thread saying that it has not been proven that piracy is harmful, and it hasn't been from what I know though feel free to correct me on that, the point of that post was not to justify piracy but rather against companies who use piracy as an excuse for their own failures: Ubisoft once claimed that the massive reduction in sales for AC2 on PC vs AC1 was due to piracy, this reduction was I believe around 90%. To which I say that this argument is plain fucking bullshit.
The reality is that piracy will not just go away regardless of the methods one tries to fight it, and the main reasons for this are: Pricing and availability. When we talk about piracy and when companies try and bring figures for how many times their games were pirated remember that it's worldwide, and worldwide there are a lot of countries where people lack the money to even purchase a game ( ask someone in a country where he earns 100 dollars per month to spend even 10 dollars on a game ) or if a game is even available, and they aren't in a LOT of countries.
As long as these factors remains the same, and I cannot imagine they will change anytime soon if ever, then there will be piracy. In the first world however, which is their main market, things are obviously different. Games are generally available and the number of people who can afford them is much higher then in poor countries, there are exceptions to this general rule but just that exceptions.
Still piracy exists, so how do you fight it? Does one take CDPRs policy of no DRM or does one go down the route of Diablo 3 and Sim City.
CDPRs policy gains them a lot of respect and good will, not only from gamers but also the gaming press. They gain pirates who will buy their games and then shout at people on pirate bay and other torrent sites to not pirate the witcher games. I've seen myself on romanian forums.
At the same time it also makes it a lot easier for people to pirate their games, there's no crack required after all and while I will look at the so called figure CDPR gave us of 4 million pirated copies for 2011 and call it complete bullshit ( look at torrent freak's most pirated games of 2011 and see how things really stand ) it cannot be denied that in some way it make it easier for pirates.
On the other hand there is the policy implemented by EA with SimCity and the one by Blizzard with Diablo 3. Let's look at their games and what they did there: An always online connection to the game is required, and if you don't have it then you get disconnected.
What has EA's policy and Blizzard's policy gained? A LOT of negative press and a huge backlash against the companies by the gamers, especially against EA ( when Amazon pulls your game off their site then you've fucked up ), and negative press by the gaming journalists.
However their games are very difficult to crack. Diablo 3 to my knowledge requires an emulator but like with WoW there are a ton of problems with this, while SimCity has not been cracked at all.
That's significant...and I want to kick myself in the balls for saying something good about this kind of practice....because it means no one has been able so far as I know to play a pirated version of SimCity, but considering the cost to their reputation was it worth it?
I don't know honestly. I am not expert on the matter though I'd be leaning towards saying no it wasn't.
16.04.2013 @ 10:48 #29
Who first? the hen or the egg?
Intelligence, whether emotional or any otherwise, or is social or is not intelligence
Una salus victis nullam sperare salutemPlease, PM me for correct my English mistakes, if you don't mind. TY
16.04.2013 @ 11:07 #30
Ward Dragon said:
16.04.2013 @ 11:42 #31
The hen, as in the publishers or developers.
Let me put it like this: With the vast majority of DRM solutions they make it a lot harder for the actual consumers who pay money vs the pirates. The pirated version is simply superior since you do not have to deal with any DRM in most cases, no online service you have to log in like steam or origin, no internet connection required, nothing like that.
So since we are at the point where the copy of the game you buy at a store, or digitally, is inferior to the one you can download from a torrent site ( except in some very very few select cases like SimCity ) then how in the flying fuck does anyone hope to convince any pirate to buy any game? It's too strong an argument to ignore in the pirate's favor. Of course this only applies to single player games.
If companies want the trust and respect of consumers they should embrace a NO-DRM policy, at least as an option ( have a steam version because people love steam for whatever reason ). If they do this they will give a strong argument to those that are anti-piracy, and which is already being used by those against pirating CDPR games on torrent sites, though as I've pointed out piracy will likely never die but the more SimCity and Diablo 3 like games the companies do the worse it will get.
16.04.2013 @ 12:23 #32
So I still think CDProjects way is much better. It might not prevent piracy, but at least it will give good will in consumers.
If you look at clothes or other brands the copies are cheaper, but tend to be inferiour. Here we are in the absurd situation, that the pirated game often is better than the original. The goal should be to make the original better, not make the pirated game worse...
16.04.2013 @ 12:28 #33
That said, devs and industry in general shouldn't focus on piracy, instead they should focus on sales. They should focus on delivering the best games possible because only this provide large amount of sales.
If pirated copy = lost sale and lost sale is the worst thing that can happen to company than bad reviews should be illegal.
16.04.2013 @ 13:38 #35
16.04.2013 @ 13:44 #36
There were certain games with heavy protection in the past, such as GTA4, which were rendered unplayable (due to having too heavy protection and hampering your system), for people who spent 40-50 euros to buy it legit! And people who bought it legit were FORCED to locate a crack, in order to play it properly without issues, uncountable log-ins into many irrelevant (and apparently unwanted) services (like gtaclub, GFWL and many others) and so on. In such cases, people who bought it legit were turned into pirates, and not the opposite.
Many companies, like Ubisoft, use DRM as a philosophy standard and company policy. This has agitated dedicated customers and fans alike, who protested, Ubisoft farted on their opinions and protests and continued bugging and spamming games with heavy protection systems. Customers and fans then boycotted their products, turned into pirates, until finally Ubisoft understood that something was not right from their own part and viewpoint, and removed part or entirety of DRM from many of their products. People then returned to purchasing their titles normally, legitimately, profitably and happily for everyone, ever after.
Some pirates claim that games are TOO expensive for them to buy. This arguement as of late has diminished to the point of being non-existent. Services like Steam, GoG or digital purchase stores, have package compilations, low prices and good deals for even an almost poor man (or woman). Plus, retail stores underprice their own products regularly, after some time has passed from their initial release.
Other pirates claim extreme DRM measures drove them to piracy. People like me were (in the past) lovers of this idea -or self-induced-delusion if you prefer-. But ever since i discovered GoG, i simply stopped pirating. No, i am neither advocating, nor advertizing, for either of them.
Also, the always on requirement is bad-practice/idea enough on its own, to drive someone in the wrong path, especially if it refers to a game which is NOT an MMO. Internet is relatively cheap today, true. But not everyone has constant, non-stop access to it. Forcing someone to be always on to play a single player game is quite stupid, to say the least, much like diablo 3 or something. This way you loose customers by your own incompetence/unwillingness to deliver the experience (the game) to each and every customer type range, not because someone pirated it (and there are some who did of course). And because you do not take into consideration and you do not respect all of your customers as a unit, or as a whole, despite their protests and years of dedicated purchases/fandom.
Finally, many "pirates", simply download a game to test it out better, much like a larger demo of sorts. And many times they like it so much, that they go out and buy it. This fact alone can reverse the title's estimated belief; sometimes, earlier piracy equals to more sales later, if it is about a quality product we are talking. This is not the canon, though, not a rule, and far from being absolute, but it simply happens now and then. And up until 2000, there was a certain law that allowed someone who bought a legit video game, to make 1 legal copy of it for strictly personal use. Now, even this is considered illegal from the vast majority of companies, except for gog. If your game stops functioning from old age or corrosion (of the media's material), then what? You 've been lawfully played for a fool and you have to repurchase it, IF it is still in sales/existence, that is!
***Please, do not flame or hammer. This was an analysis, with effort to be as colorless and apolitical as possible; plus, it is a personal opinion, if you will, so please avoid taking offense. The examples provided are random and are certainly NOT intended to badmouth or spread negative reputation about a company, a product, a service or anything else; nothing more and nothing less than typical examples. Thanks in advance for understanding and the continuation of a civilized, open-minded, educated conversation.***
16.04.2013 @ 14:09 #37
Bishop's Hood, a picturesque hamlet in the Peak District National Park.
16.04.2013 @ 14:45 #38
16.04.2013 @ 15:03 #39
3 months ago, I would've agreed with you, no hesitation.
Today however, I know that way of thinking is incredibly naive and skewed. I've seen the light and boy do I wish I hadn't. My enlightening has led to a small depression. My principles and ideals that I've hold so close to my heart has been demolished or at the very least, questioned. Excuse the melodrama, but as a person who's planning on working with games, the thought of nobody paying for my game but nonetheless playing my game, is disheartening as all hell.
Some might have seen my previous posts on pirating, where I talk about my friends who barely ever buy games and then use bullshit fucking rhetoric to excuse their vile fucking behaviour. That shit really does disgust me. Or rather, did. I used to debate with them, sometimes raising my voice quite a bit. The thought that people take games for granted saddened me and the fact that they didn't want to pay for it just "because" was absolutely repugnant. I had a friend who's big into politics and says shit like "games should be free and developers paid by the government. That way, knowledge is free and everyone can enjoy their favourite medium". Something like that. A god damn fine sentiment, and honestly, I agree. But the fact that he does NOTHING in order to promote his utopia but instead just "talks" about it, makes him a hypocrite and fake. I hate shit like that. And I have called him out on it but he's too arrogant to change his ways. I wish I was arrogant. That way I didn't have to be depressed about the current state of the industry, which subsequently made me change my disposition towards why people pirate in the first place.
And you know what, I always say, fine. You don't want to pay full fucking price for a game, ok. Sure. But how about paying them a bit money after the price has gone down? Just to show your appreciation? Hell, why don't you show you gratitude by just sending them an envelope with some money, directly to the developer. Sidestepping the publisher completely, if that's the element you have an issue with. And speaking to him quite recently, he didn't even want to pay for indie games. Indie... games... I get sick just thinking about it.
HOWEVER! Now to the factor that has destroyed me as a person. SimCity 5. For a long fucking time, developers and publishers have been forcing draconian DRM, bullshit DLC designed to milk us, shitty business decisions and other anti consumer practices. And I've taken it up the ass so far, like the obedient little drone I am, clinging to my principles because I am a moral man and a man of honour. I've still avoided truly obnoxious shit like shit DLCs and Games for Windows - Live but sometimes I'll take it because I'm tired of being the only one who boycotts shit, the only one who gives a damn... But SimCity 5 is the game that has completely fucked me in the ass regarding my ideals. That's the drop that spilled the glass. I'm trying to tread carefully here, because I'm not trying to promote piracy. I ask you to have an open mind and listen for a fucking second. Empathy in this world is running out and how about you not contributing to that? Alright, good.
So, I'm asking you, how would you go about to defend the launch of SimCity 5? Hm? Play the devils advocate a bit if you can, because I took this up with my pirate friends and I admitted defeat, instantly. How do you stay positive in this industry when it completely disregards their customers and asks them to take it up the ass and accept the industry like it is. I mean the shit SimCity 5 did is unacceptable. Absolutely unacceptable. And it still sold like crazy... Mindless masses ftw. To think, I've seen people actually defend SimCity's DRM, oh excuse me, I obviously mean the always online "SERVICE" that EA is providing, my fucking mistake. A game that's unplayable at launch, people spent their hard earned fucking money on that game and they CANNOT play it because of a feature they don't want. They asked EA to remove it, EA told people to fuck off. A modder comes around and disables the DRM without any problems and gets booted of the EA and Maxis forums. If you're not familiar with the SimCity debacle, there's plenty of articles on it. Google is your friend.
If you can defend this shit, then hey great. You should be a politician. As much as I hate piracy, I can't stand here and pretend that publishers acting like this is ok. What publishers are doing is unethical. Piracy is not the solution, but it does seem a lot more tempting and more convenient when the video game industry keeps on acting like a massive fucking dick. I try to be a moral person and while I hate piracy, I also absolutely DISDAIN anti-consumer practices that are frequently employed by nearly all publishers. You do NOT treat your customers, people who willingly PAID you money, in this way. So now, I cannot defend the video game industry anymore, and I can't yell at my pirate friends because of the precedence that EA has set.
Life is grey, or rather, shades of grey. It's not black and white. You're not either a pirate or a good citizen. They're not mutually exclusive.
So if anything, I ask you to keep an open mind and employ critical thinking. Demonizing pirates is simplifying the matter and you're not asking WHY people are pirates in the first place. Everyone seems to be focusing on the symptoms rather on the actual source of the problem. You can't just assume, ignorantly and fanatically, that if you're a pirate, you're a bad person. It's a stupid conclusion since it doesn't follow from the premise. I used to view pirates as evil as well but you know what. Sometimes you have a legitimate fucking reason to do something illegal. If the government was beating you up everyday, taking your money, demeaning you as an individual and giving you less rights in society, your answer wouldn't be to just blindly accept it and take it up the ass. Riiiiiiiight...? No, you take it to the streets and you riot. You take a stand. Sometimes people decide to take a stand and you have to respect their reasons as long as they're valid.
I guess the best thing would be to start putting more pressure on the publishers. Because we can't change the ways of the pirates. Pirating will, probably, always exist. Fighting them is stupid. It's a waste of energy, time and most importantly, money. We need to focus on publishers and tell them that they can't act this way anymore. If games increase in quality and come without any DRM, Day 1 DLC, etc, there's less incentive for people to pirate. My pirate friends, 2 of them anyway, bought the Witcher 2. In support of REDs mentality towards pirating and how futile that battle is and because of the quality of the game. RED seems to get it, EA are fucking idiots. Like I said, we have to treat the cause, not the symptoms. In a consumer capitalist there's always gonna be people who can't afford something they truly want. And if it's convenient enough, they're gonna get it illegally. If we make it more convenient for them to buy it and provide ample reasons to do so, by providing quality products, I think we'd greatly minimize the amount of pirates out there. There's obviously always gonna be the assholes who pirate because they're pricks, but those guys are the minority, trust me on that.
Excuse the long post. If you've read this far, I commend you.
TL:DR I condemn piracy but at the same time I don't condone the repugnant behaviour the publishers have and the way they treat their customers. That shit should be morally impermissible, it's that evil. We need to treat the cause of the problem, not the symptoms. We need to take a stand against publishers because that's an element we can realistically affect. How? With our wallets. If a game that you really want comes with an invasive DRM, don't buy it right away. If everyone waited a month and THEN bought it, we'd be sending a real clear message to publishers. Stop demonizing pirates, they're the symptom of a greater problem. If people are given enough incentive in terms of quality products, without bullshit DRM etc, and it's reasonably priced, people will buy it.
16.04.2013 @ 15:39 #40
Steam, Origin etcetera, we've created the rod for our own back, me and you can boycott and only use brother GOG, but we're chump change. The masses have spoken to say that they wish to be treated in an insultive and prejudicial manner, and pay for the pleasure of it. That's their choice, and they're reaping the consequences.
Bishop's Hood, a picturesque hamlet in the Peak District National Park.