How often do you pirate?

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Bill Loguidice
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The numbers don't lie

The problem is in the volume. When you're talking well over 5 MILLION pirated copies of say, Call of Duty Black Ops across all platforms, there's no statistical way that if all of those 5 million people were denied access to the game completely it wouldn't have resulted in a dramatic uptick in sales. We here at Armchair Arcade know the psychology of gaming--something you HAVE to have a game because it's THE game to own. Even 1 million times an average cost of $50 is an additional $50 MILLION going to retailers, publishers, manufacturing, developers, etc.

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Matt Barton
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Who's to know? If stores were

Who's to know? If stores were able to crack down 100% on every shoplifter, would that result in added sales?

Or would the cost of all that extra surveillance and legal proceedings far exceed it? Would a mandatory full body cavity search to catch shoplifters also turn away innocent shoppers?

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TripHamer
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If you couldn't Pirate it...

If you couldn't pirate it I'm sure they would of made a few more sales.

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Bill Loguidice
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So only suckers pay?
TripHamer wrote:

And yet it still made a ton of money. It's probably safe to say that the majority of the people who downloaded it probably weren't going to buy it anyway.

That's the problem, though. They still got to enjoy it for free. You can't say at least some of those people wouldn't have bought it if there was no other way to play it.

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TripHamer
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And yet,

And yet it still made a ton of money. It's probably safe to say that the majority of the people who downloaded it probably weren't going to buy it anyway.

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Bill Loguidice
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Most Pirated Games of 2010:
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Nathaniel Tolbert
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I feel where you are coming from
Hatta wrote:

This does nothing but breed disrespect for the law and our justice system.

I think more than disrespect, it breeds contempt. We sit here, as consumers, and I have no doubt that all of us pay for a heck of a lot more stuff than we pirate, and here are these companies. They are selling a product we don't want, and they are shoving it on us. So we avoid it. But the few people who couldn't afford it download it. They get caught, and because these companies are so large, and can pay so much under the table to the judge you have no legs to stand on. It's like that case in New York where RIAA was suing an 87 year old who didn't have a computer, never had. But because of a screw up in the records (computers never make mistakes, you know?) The IP address that was tagged was in her name. She showed unequivocally that she didn't have a computer nor had she ever had one. Do you know what the verdict was on that case? Guilty. 35,000 in fines. Pay up. I don't condone piracy, because it does have an impact but I also don't condone these strong arm, pay off mafia type practices that the companies that are here to serve us with a product are using to further their own ends. They use their lobbyists (sp?) in Washington D.C. to bend the ears of the politicians that are supposed to represent us to pass laws that put draconian restrictions on us. I remember when I was younger, if a computer game wouldn't work, I could take it back and replace it with a different game. No harm, no foul. When I couldn't get The Whispered Wind to work this past weekend, as the DRM had made the game completely unplayable, I couldn't even get a refund on it. I was stuck with a product that didn't work until I technically broke the law and bypassed it's DRM with a cracked exe. How far is this going to go? I know it isn't truly related, but people everywhere around where I live are muttering about how unhappy they are with the entire system. They raised our sales tax 1 cent (now 10 cents on the dollar) so that they could make the budget for this last year. We didn't get to vote on that by the way, like we were able to in the past. They just said, 'Oh by the way, we're raising sales tax to make the budget. You won't mind.' We grumbled and complained and they said that would meet their needs and nothing else would happen. Meanwhile, with no announcement our USD taxes went up across the board. Not 1 or 2 percent, but 35 percent. On one school district in my county my taxes that I pay (on top of paying a yearly fee if my child was going there approximately 800 dollars) went up by almost 150 bucks. So much for no extra taxes. People here randomly throw out on occasion that they wonder if our government shouldn't be overthrown and replaced as it's not doing the job it was created for in the first place. I don't know if that is true, as I haven't studied the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, or the Bill of Rights, but I can say that it feels like no matter which political party is in control, the only thing that is protected are the big businesses. That seems the antithesis of what the government is supposed to do.

-Edit- I forgot. Not only did they raise our sales tax, but they increased the state tax on gasoline (18c cents a gallon), cigarettes (almost a dollar a carton. Doesn't effect me, but my mother smokes), and we also get hit with a tax for the rain water that runs off of our property into the local sewers. (about 35 dollars a month, added to our water bill. Even this last month, where it rained maybe 2 days in the whole month.) They flat out told us that they couldn't truly identify how much water you have as runoff so they estimate based on the size of your land, and the average rainfall for the COUNTY for the month. (Not like it could be pouring on one side of the county and not on the other side, right?)

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clok1966
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Hatta- I cant see how the

Hatta- I cant see how the cost to make the disc (or the digital download) has anything to do with it. Cure's for health problems, drugs, an lawyers advice, many of them are basicly free to produce once the money has been put in to make/learn, but they took many $$ to make. So if a drug company finds the cure for acne (im going to pick something simple and not life threatning) spends 3 billion to devlop it, but it costs them 1 cent to make, they should charge 1 cent? becuase a product has no "real" hold in your hand tangible value does not make it less valuble. so when books go all digital, they should be free? Cable TV has no tangible goods, should it be free?

Value is what people will pay for it, not what we want to pay for it (free). It really has nothing to do with its actual value. Water is pennies a gallon in the USA, yet we are silly enouhg to pay $1 a bottle (or more) and thats not just confined to the US.. DO some reading, most (not all) city water is as good as any bottled water, its all image and percived value.

Here is how I look at it, if there was no way to Pirate, would more people buy games? I think they would, but thats a guess only. Take a look at some of the torrent downloads of Console games, before the 360 was broke/cracked, but games where ripped, the downloads of the games was almost nill, but when the equipment came out so those games could be played, the download numbers skyrocketed. more recently, the PS3 stuff, no downlods, the USB dongle comes out, downlods like mad, the patch to fix it,hardly any downlodas again ( at least acording to trackers).

I am a pirate, or have been in the past, currently I havent int he last 6 months... So "im not saying you shouldnt, that is for you to decide. I just cant see anybody saying a DIGITAL download of a game that took years (months, whatever) and many people to make, market, package and sell is only worth the value of the reproduction costs.

Matt Barton
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Hatta, just to clarify, I

Hatta, just to clarify, I think I have identified a fourth option.

Imagine a new console; let's call it the Wraith. The Wraith would use no disks; all games would be downloaded from the net, for free.

At this point, there are a few options.

The first scenario is the rental. You don't own a Wraith; you can only rent it (say from the cable company who also sells you the broadband). The other scenario is a very expensive console; say, $300 or even $500 for the unit, then all games are free. The last option is to buy the console, but then all games are streamed through a service with a subscription fee. I think the first option is probably the best (you may remember an earlier project that tried to go the subscription route and failed).

Now, the innovation is that the Wraith company pays development teams to create games for the system for a flat fee. They negotiate a contract; the company delivers, but then they must turn over control of the game to Wraith, who offers it free to their customers. Wraith can do this because they have the money coming in from the subscription or rental fees (in the second scenario, it's assumed that more and more people will buy the system or perhaps first-party or licensed peripherals as time goes on, thus providing revenue for more R&D). Naturally, Wraith would be able to see which of their games were most popular and make sure to buy new ones from their best developers to keep the library fresh.

In any of these scenarios (except the third), piracy is eliminated.

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Matt Barton
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Those are good points,

Those are good points, Android, no doubt. I think you're assuming quite a bit on the part of the would-be pirate, though. Sure, for people like us, it's easy enough to do this because we know how to make backups, what kind of files to be suspicious of, how to read comments and such to detect suspicious files, how to use and find torrents, etc. Imagine a common Joe trying to do this, though. Torrent? Malware? What's that?

One of my friends just had to wipe his hard drive because it was "running slow." Come to find out he'd been using some kind of p2p site called Limewire (or something like that), surfing porn with IE, etc. His computer was rendered not just slow but inoperable by viruses, malware, etc. He was getting popups every few seconds! Of course he had no backups of any kind. Now this guy is NOT an idiot--in fact, quite intelligent. But he was out of his league trying to mess with this stuff. Let's face it, most of our non-techie friends suffer endlessly because they just don't understand email and the dangers of opening unknown file attachments. This same friend has now switched to Google Chrome and claims it's safer, maybe it is, but I'm tucked behind Firefox with ABP and Noscript, and even still get nervous from time to time.

I remember back in my Amiga pirating days getting hit with the "Lamer Exterminator" virus. It definitely exterminated me. After a few weeks, almost every game or program I had was giving me read/write errors. I thought it was a bad disk drive, but it was this virus. Where did it come from? I wasn't on BBSes or anything; it must have come from some of our pirate friends, who were themselves unwary. It seems that it came from one a cracking group who, for some demented reason, wanted to harm their own clientele.

That episode taught me not to trust these guys. They are already consciously breaking the law and flipping the bird to the people in the games industry. They might just as easily snap and decide to screw you over good, and if they're clever enough to break copy protection, I'm sure they're clever enough to put a great virus on your computer.

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