Sim 3 has lost $9m to piracy

Discussion in 'Gaming News Discussion' started by MIG-31, May 28, 2009.

  1. clanman

    clanman New Member

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    I read this a lot and I was in the same boat, being a student. I didn't steal software however, because it really is theft. I mean I couldn't afford a car either when i was in college but I didn't break into our car dealership and steal the latest convertible either.

    I know the arguements. "code" isn't the same, but its an easy analogy to get mixed up with. A team of 50 people can spend two years and possibly millions developing a game, or a program. If everyone steals it, then they can't afford to make anymore in the future, its logical. I mean if Ford made a new car and everyone just broke into the ford complex and stole them, it would be the same there.
     
  2. Trusteft

    Trusteft HH's Asteroids' Dominator

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    The thing is when someone who can't afford or not going to pay for certain software no matter what, steals/downloads software, the company that sells it doesn't lose anything. Where, in your example, a car is a program actually removed from the inventory and not being able to be sold by the company.
     
  3. Zelig

    Zelig Well-Known Member

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    It's the same deal as stealing software if you leave behind cash at the dealership for the marginal value of producing that single car.
     
  4. Trusteft

    Trusteft HH's Asteroids' Dominator

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    I am not sure what you mean. Bare in mind I NEED to get some sleep fast.
     
  5. YAYitsAndrew

    YAYitsAndrew Anti-Piracy Poster Boy

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    That's an impossible thing to determine. Who's to say that at some point in the future, maybe after you get a job or after prices drop, the software will become affordable and you will pick it up. This is eventually a sale to the developer, on the developer's terms. If you stole the software, you eliminated the need to buy the software at that future date. Now the developer can never get a sale from you no matter what they do because you've already experienced the content. What more do they have to offer?

    If there's a game you want, it creates a need. Because that need generates demand, developers can charge money for their product. By stealing the game you fulfill that need, remove the demand, and leave the developers with no way to charge money. So even though you haven't taken anything physical from the developer, you've irreversibly compromised a potential sale. If you don't think this is a potential sale, read my first paragraph again.

    Stealing a car works the same way, although it's more direct. By taking the car the dealer can no longer sell it to someone else which is where the loss comes in. You irreversibly compromise the sale because there is no car to sell.

    So what you said is only true if you can predict the future. And no one can do that. Six years ago I would have never thought I'd own an xbox. Now the 360 is my favorite console this generation. Using your logic, it would be okay to steal a car that you knew would never sell. The dealer isn't losing anything, because they would have just scrapped the car, right?

    If you bothered to mention that the dealer is losing the initial funding they put into the car so that they could have it on their lot, or the money spent on the floor space to display it, then the analogy to software development becomes even more direct. Programming talent costs money; desks, chairs, and electricity also cost money.

    Blurring the line a little more between physical goods and software, Dunkin Donuts throws out dozens of donuts at the end of the day. So it should be okay to steal those donuts a few minutes before they close, once again by using your logic. People like donuts, so more and more people hear about this way to get free donuts and they start showing up at closing time to get some. Now when they wake up the next morning, are they going to go and buy a donut? No, they just had one last night. And if they can wait long enough, they'll be free again tonight. Dunkin Donuts has to throw away their donuts at the end of the night because if they give you them for free, they've fulfilled your need for a donut and can't make a sale to you the next day. Even though they're wasting product, it's in their financial interest to leave the donuts in the dumpster. Your logic leads to an inevitable rise in theft and decline in sales, just like it's already done to the software industry.

    There's no difference between car theft, donut theft, and software theft, besides the laws in place to prosecute the thief.
     
  6. Trusteft

    Trusteft HH's Asteroids' Dominator

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    On the one hand it is impossible to determine but always act and talk (not you personally) without any such problem about POTENTIAL losses of sales. It's not "potential 9mil, it's just "lost 9mil"... There is no need to play a game or use any other software, unless you need to play it to make money from it. In which case for a variety of reasons you would be better off buying the software anyway. So there is no need to buy XYX game and when one steals/downloads a copy, there is no need to fill and no need remains there if he doesn't steal/download so that the company that makes the game can consider him a customer if he doesn't steal/download.

    There is a HUGE difference between car theft and software theft, at least when we are not talking about lifting a box/cd from a store. As you said, there is NO way to prove that one would pay for XYX in the first place. This is why numbers like the above ($9mil) are what I like to call "bullshit/made up numbers". It's like me claiming/accusing Jacques Villenueve that him dating Dannii Minogue, when Dannii Minogue was dating him, is the reason I wasn't dating her.
    Is it true that he was dating her? Yes
    Is it true that I wasn't dating her? yes
    Is it true that since she was dating him I wouldn't be dating her? yes
    That still doesn't mean that if he wasn't, I would.
    But the above claim is like me going to the Sun (or whatever "good" newspaper) how Jacques Villenueve stole my girlfriend.
    It's just bullshit.
     
  7. Neshi

    Neshi HH's cuddly Blue Bear

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    So if a restaurant or in this case Dunkin Donuts throws their food in the dumpster, and I take it out of the dumpster and eat it, it's theft?
    That analogy is so wrong I don't know where to begin.

    Taking your first paragraph, you say with each pirated copy of a game, it is a loss of a potential sale. this isn't entirely true either. I pirated Titan Quest, I admit it. But after playing it awhile I liked it so much, I went out and bought it. If I didn't download it, I would have never known I liked it and thus would never have bought it.
    In this case the piracy generated a sale.

    In the case with the donuts. Say someone steals one of the abandoned donuts in the dumpster and eats it. He likes it so much he wants a fresh one and buys one the next day. He stole, but it generated sales of donuts too.

    If the police saw the things like you do, they should arrest every homeless guy taking stuff out of garbage bins, because they steal from other people.. :S


    Good you point this out, because I thought the same thing.
    Pirating a game doesn't mean the downloader has a need for that game/program/software. I have downloaded some games, just to see if it lives up to the hype, to see if it justifies a pricetag of 50 euro's. Lack of demo's with some games makes people download a game too.
    The fact people download isn't necessarily due to the fact they want the game, but might be just because they are curious.
    And you can't just buy games you are curious about and when played for a little while, return them to the store because it turns out you don't like them. The store won't accept that.
    Besides that, 50-60 euro's for a pc game is in my view a pretty high price.
    (that's 70-85 dollars per game for the American people..)
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2009
  8. Judas

    Judas Obvious Closet Brony Pony

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    piracy is a win/loss situation period.... some win quite a bit from it other lose... depends on the product... if it's any good... it going to do well.

    UT2004 was pirated beyond reason, yet we never heard of it, and the sales for the game were quite good... so...... trying to draw a line is impossible, impractical, and actually kinda stupid to bother with as it's clear that hardcore DRM and anti-piracy methods have indeed led to more pirateing. They should have learned when they started putting CD present requirements in games back in the day and people were having in alot of cases, to use CD-Cracks just to play the bastards.
     
  9. YAYitsAndrew

    YAYitsAndrew Anti-Piracy Poster Boy

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    You obviously wanted to play the game or you wouldn't have taken the time to find the torrent and download the game. Maybe you read about it in a magazine, saw a review online, or a friend told you about it. Were piracy not an option, you would have had to go out and buy it. All piracy does to this equation is create the possibility that people will steal the game and despite liking it, not pay any money for it. Good for you for going out and buying a copy, but guess how many other pirates aren't doing that?

    It reminds me of this skit: YouTube - WKUK Hot Dogs
    At one point the patient says "yeah sometimes I just blow through lunch because of how busy I am" and the doctor says "really?" and the patient replies "well, pretty sure I did that once." How is it that every pirate says they're buying the games they like yet the PC industry is still struggling with piracy?

    It's actually illegal for people to do that, but the best thing that could happen to a homeless guy is a night in jail on a cold night so what's he care about the law? The police officers get tired of seeing the same faces in jail and being taken advantage of. My girlfriend used to work in a diner in an urban environment with not so high class clientèle, and the police wouldn't bother to prosecute certain individuals, just kick them out of the diner. They've been "dealin with Ol Jimmy" for years, and if he shows up, call them right away and they'll remove him. But not arrest him. My point is, just because you see people getting away with sifting through garbage cans does not make it legal.

    Anyway, my analogy wasn't clear enough. This isn't dumpster diving for donuts, it's what happens right before they're in the dumpster. Imagine being in Dunkin Donuts 5 minutes before they close. They're going to charge you for a donut even though you both know the donuts will go in the garbage can in 5 minutes. Making an argument that you should get those donuts for free is just as flawed as saying developers don't lose money to pirated games.

    I'm curious about what it's like to live in my neighbor's house, so I'm going to bust in. It's really his fault for not just letting me live there for a few days like I want to.

    Seriously though, it's my neighbor's house so who am I to be making the demands? It's the developer's game who are you to be telling them under what conditions you won't steal it from them?
     
  10. Zelig

    Zelig Well-Known Member

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    The marginal cost is the cost to the manufacturer and dealer of producing and shipping a single extra vehicle.

    I don't know the number, but I suspect it's much, much less than the retail price of a vehicle, maybe a fifth.

    In summary:

    Steal software: You get to use the software without the company making or losing any money on you.

    Steal vehicle, while leaving behind marginal cost of production: You get to use the vehicle without the company making or losing any money on you.
     
  11. Neshi

    Neshi HH's cuddly Blue Bear

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    That's a crooked example and you know it.
    A game, or a house or car isn't the same.

    You can testdrive a car to see if you like it.
    There are open house day's to see if you like the house enough to buy it.
    What option do you have to test a game when there is no demo? Just stories other people tell about it, no first hand experience. Other people have other taste for things then you do..

    It's claims like the first post that they use for the 'struggling' with piracy. How many lost sales they really have is a guessing game. Of course will the makers guess higher then the players (or pirates) but an accurate estimate can't be given. Because there are so many other factors involved then just: -Each download is a lost sale.

    I know there are scientific studies that show a decline of pc-game sales. But the factors are huge. Consoles and their games, economic changes, etc etc (you get the drift) and the fact that money can only be spent once are all to be considered.

    I am not talking piracy right, don't get me wrong. I just don't think it is as huge a big a deal as manufacturers make it out to be.
    I mean, they think of reselling of your used games as piracy too..

    Is selling your used car theft too? Aren't you spoiling a potential customer of the car manufacturers?
     
  12. The Captain

    The Captain New Member

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    I should add that I agree with you about Steam and such. Yes, it's a form of DRM, but I don't mind it for two reasons. First, I have hardly had any problems with these systems. Second, Steam offers things in return for using DRM, mainly the ability to automatically keep my games up-to-date, manage cd keys for third-party games, and install any game in my account to any computer (I no longer have to carry around game discs or keys).

    On the other hand, I DO have problems with other kinds of DRM which other publishers use, such as Securom and other low-level driver type DRM. As I mentioned before, I have had problems with every recent Securom game I have purchased (DMC4, Far Cry 2, etc), and I know I'm not the only one. It is unacceptable for publishers to use DRM like this, regardless of whether or not it stops piracy.

    I'm not saying that piracy would completely stop if publishers refrained from using restrictive DRM. There will always be freeloading slackers around who will steal as long as they know they won't get caught. However, there are also many PC gamers who feel they are being blamed and punished for something they didn't do in the form of DRM. They don't pirate the games, but now they have to deal with restrictive DRM which many times causes compatibility problems and other headaches. All the while, pirates aren't punished and don't have to take any of the blame because their cracks and hacks bypass the DRM.

    After awhile, many of these PC gamers who once bought their games legally become fed up with how publishers are treating them and resort to piracy themselves.

    Since when have cracks or hacks to get past DRM not been available on or before a game's release date? In the worst case, cracks may become available a day after a game is released, but not much later than that, which makes your point about DRM foiling pirates moot.

    As for Demigod, that could have been solved simply by requiring a unique key for multiplayer use, which is a fairly standard practice and not something I classify as restrictive DRM. Furthermore, Demigod has sold well, and its creators consider it a success, even considering the massive piracy which occurred.
     
  13. Neshi

    Neshi HH's cuddly Blue Bear

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    You'd be surprised. And I can tell you something else. I even downloaded games which I haven't even installed and I don't think I ever will.. Just sitting there taking up 5gb of space a piece. :uhoh: And I don't think I am the only one that does it.
    Is that a lost sale? I doubt it, but it is counted as one.
     
  14. YAYitsAndrew

    YAYitsAndrew Anti-Piracy Poster Boy

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    Look closer; this isn't comparing a game to a house. This is comparing a game to the rights over one's house (letting in who you want, etc). Both of these things are immaterial and fair for comparison.

    And you can demo a game if there's a demo. But it's the dealer's decision whether he wants to give you a test drive or not. And it's the homeowner's decision whether to have an open house or not. I happen to think that not releasing demos is as stupid as not offering a test drive or an open house, but it's not my decision to make unless it's my game. It certainly doesn't give me the right to steal a car and bring it back (test drive without car owner's permission), break into a house to see what it's like (open house without house owner's permission), or pirate a game to see if i like it (demo without the game owner's permission.)
     
  15. clanman

    clanman New Member

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    Yes but you have to give it back. I would say 99% of people who download a game with the excuse of "there is no demo I need to see what it looks like" don't rush out and buy it, even if it is great. I know this is really given as an excuse in a way. I know a few friends who warezed games, loved them and beat them. When I asked why they didn't buy them, they say things like "well I had to make sure I liked it, so I played 5 levels for 5 hours and then I realised half the game was gone, so it didn't seem worth $30."

    That is a lost sale.

    If you were test driving a car and loved it you couldn't really just kick the sales rep out the door and say "I like this but im not paying for it, so ill drive it until I get bored then dispose of it".
     
  16. YAYitsAndrew

    YAYitsAndrew Anti-Piracy Poster Boy

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    Fortunately the immaterial property you bring up here (the title to the car) is tied to a physical property, the car itself. With games, there is nothing binding a purchase to the real world, which is why it can be reproduced by pirates at whim. Until a system like auto titling is in place for digital media, aka something that gives you the title to your specific copy of the game as opposed to my copy, then there can be no such reseller market for PC games.

    The next hurtle will be of course that video games do not depreciate in value. Selling your used car is of no consequence to the auto maker because their car is new, has no miles, and has no known defects. Their product, at its greater price, is competitive with yours because of depreciation. With digital media, the copy of Eurotrip that I bought four years ago is just as good as one that someone bought today.

    These are the problems of the video game industry, and the music and movie industries. They aren't purposely trying to screw over the customer, there just isn't a way to conduct business as usual with digital media. Obviously they need to be paid for their work, so until appropriate new revenues can be found, the only way they have to get paid is to shoehorn digital media into traditional revenue streams. (This is what DRM does.)
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2009
  17. HardwareHeaven

    HardwareHeaven Administrator Staff Member

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    I can only imagine how much game companies lose in pirated downloads.

    Our company Heaven Media Ltd has lost 1 million dollars+ in relation to pirated downloads of drivercleaner.net.

    thats only the ones we have tracked too.

    It won't change, the simple fact of life is that the majority of people will always prefer to steal something rather than pay for it.

    I would love to know (if people were being honest), how many would pay for a car if they knew that a car warehouse near them was left open and keys were in the cars and they knew that there was a very very small chance of them ever being caught.

    The whole debate on software being immaterial and a car being "hardware" is irrelevant, because the only reason most people don't steal a car is the fact they know that it would be in most cases extremely difficult and the repercussions would be high.
     
  18. Neshi

    Neshi HH's cuddly Blue Bear

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    what are budget sectors for? Isn't that the place for old copies of games and software. Isn't the price here lower then it was then when it just came on the market, the value depreciated... just like with a car.


    Like I did before, I am trying to explain why people download, not talking it right.
    The only point I tried to make with the car thing was that the companies make a lot of bs statements about how many sales they lost to piracy. That is people downloading and people buying/selling used games.
    I don't think the latter can be considered piracy. It's just the way of things. Everything can be bought originally, and when it isn't wanted anymore it can be resold. Why should digital media be any different.
    I don't hear the sofa maker complaining that a buyer of him sold his couch to someone, or ATI about the market in 2nd hand VGA cards.. But I bet they'd love everyone to buy the new one, the one they get revenue from.
    But you, YAYitsandrew, you think that the reselling of Digital Media is a form of piracy too?

    I, personally, think they like to keep the numbers high for the drama, and when they would be realistic it all would be lower.

    As for the piracy of downloading digital media. It sucks for the companies, and there is no way to talk it right. But I think they have to live with it, deal with it, and try to find a way to contain it as much as possible.
    But it's the same as crime.. although you can(and in most cases will) get punished, people still commit crimes. The fact they can and will be punished for it doesn't stop them. And piracy will never end as well.

    I'd like to answer that but I think you won't like it. It all depends on the car. If the warehouse was storing Porsches, BMW's, and small small citycars, I would rather buy a decent car then drive one of those for free.

    But you are right. A lot of people don't think of Digital Media as some physical object, and thus don't get the feeling of stealing something when they download the media. This is were it goes wrong, because you are stealing.
    I get a bad feeling about myself if I steal something from a store. I don't do it because I feel it is wrong. If you don't have that connection and feeling with Digital Media, the threshold is so much lower to do it and live with it. There is no emotional boundary.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2009
  19. YAYitsAndrew

    YAYitsAndrew Anti-Piracy Poster Boy

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    Well there is currently no market for used PC games because of the nature of the platform. If you wanted to talk about console games, the difference between a used and a new game is still not visible. Once the publisher lowers the MSRP of the game, the gamestops of the world just lower the price of their used games to be competitive again. You can't use permanent price cuts to undermine used copies.

    You could perhaps make an argument in certain areas of the world where gamestops tend to be stocked with games in very poor condition - missing boxes or instruction manuals, and scratches on the disk. In this case the 4 or 5 dollars more you'd pay for a new copy has tangible benefits to it. Unfortunately there's nothing to guarantee that every used copy on gamestop's shelf is missing a manual or has a scratch or something, so it's a shaky argument to make.

    The real value of a video game is in the ones and zeros. These do not depreciate over time; Mario does not lose color, the enemies do not lose intelligence, and the guns do not accumulate wear and tear.

    I think you're putting words in my mouth at this point. I brought up used games to show that even if piracy had a solution, there are still hurtles for digital media to overcome. Specifically, once we tie a digital sale to a physical property, people will want to be able to resell those physical properties. Now what will the industry do to stay competitive against these pristine used copies? Their customers effectively become their main competitors. They have the exact same product, in the exact same condition, and the legal right to set whatever price they want. Never have I implied that reselling digital media is a form of piracy. It's a totally separate issue.

    That's exactly what companies are trying to do right now. There isn't any legislation in place to protect them and so they have to protect themselves. It's easy to say they should "find a way to contain it as much as possible" and then condemn them later for how they decide to go about it, I guess. What would you do in their situation? Putting yourself in your opponent's shoes can be a sobering thought process.

    If piracy were to become treated like any other crime, and punished with similar effectiveness, I would be a happy man. And there would be a lot less piracy.
     
  20. Neshi

    Neshi HH's cuddly Blue Bear

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    I have nothing against DRM. The only one I didn't like was stardock because of it's 2ndary effects it had on hardware.
    The trouble with downloading is it is so hard to track and punish. Maybe it would be smart for the companies to incorporate some kind of tracking virus in their games so it could be easier to track p2p.

    I just find it wrong to treat every download and reselling of Digital Media a loss of sale. The why is in the examples I gave earlier.
     

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