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Piracy Killing PC Gaming?

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the arrrr dept.


1up reports on comments from Kevin Cloud, co-owner of id, saying that piracy is killing the PC games business. He says that, in most markets, it's hard to sell official products because pirates can beat them to market. From the article: "'It's the primary reason retailers are moving to the console,' Cloud said, continuing on to say that ways to reduce piracy are in the forefront of every PC developer's mind, and citing World of Warcraft's subscription-based nature as an example of a possible solution to the problem."

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WoW is the solution? (5, Insightful)

preppypoof (943414) | more than 7 years ago | (#15865877)

I thought we already decided that WoW is killing the entire game industry...not saving it.

Re:WoW is the solution? (5, Interesting)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866185)

It would probably be marketing suicide to admit that a competing product is making your sales slump. Instead, blame something else and create a situation were you can embrace the competitors stratigy in hopes of retrieving/reviving some lost market share.

I dunno, I have pirated some games in the past. I never would have bought them in the first place though. It isn't as if they would have recieved money from the sale on my acount so i cannot be contributing to the loss thier talkking about in the article. (maybe so on a different level though).
Maybe most pirates are like me and the reasons they aren't selling games as they would like to is because of the ever increasing system requirment or maybe the win2000/XP only development approach. Maybe it is all the activation and anti pirating stuff they through on the CD making it dificult to even play in the first place. Maybe treating regular honest users like criminals gave them the idea that they could become one and get buy with it. Kind of like a "sticking it to the man" attitude.

Re:WoW is the solution? (1)

thelost (808451) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866305)

Personally I see WoW as the gaming world's napster. A good kick up the ass with the revelation that games are going to have to change. So yes, WoW may be destroying PC gaming (although I find that unlikely) or perhaps it might be tearing down the old ideas of PC gaming to replace it with something new, for which it is just the exploratory force.

Nah. Crappy games and HW requirements (0)

eaddict (148006) | more than 7 years ago | (#15865879)

That is the reason I have stopped buying games. Other things are also taking up more of my time - stuff that *gasp* I actually interact with other humans!

Re:Nah. Crappy games and HW requirements (1)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866016)

"If you are on fire you can just stop, drop, and roll. If you fall into Lava you are just dead." - my 5yr old daughter

Not if you're wearing >250 in fire resist. School that girl of yours with crappy games, this is important information!

Bah to interacting with humans!

Re:Nah. Crappy games and HW requirements (2, Funny)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866064)

> Not if you're wearing >250 in fire resist.
> School that girl of yours with crappy games,
> this is important information!

Tell ya what. Put on the best body armor you can find, and I'll stand there with a gatling gun like from Superman Returns. We'll see if ya do just as well.

While you're at it, let's see how you do vs. a real flamethrower, too. Somebody forgot to flip the "easy" switch on reality, my friend. And not many people are leaving for other games, I would like to point out...

Re:Nah. Crappy games and HW requirements (4, Insightful)

Achoi77 (669484) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866204)

Haven't they been saying that piracy's been killing the PC gaming industry for like the past decade? I used to pirate games during the 90's as a poor student, but now I have an income so I purchase everything. I think back to all the games that I've pirated back in the day - and I remember a lot of games generally being terrible.

Perhaps sales are slow because the market has started to reach critical mass - too many games! And way too many of them are crappy.

Re:Nah. Crappy games and HW requirements (1)

Captain Sarcastic (109765) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866466)

So, the rationale for pirating games is "they're crummy anyway"?

Isn't that like stealing a car off a dealer's lot, and then saying "Why's everyone so upset? It was a lemon anyway...."?

I'm not meaning to moralize here. I mean, I can see the reasoning used - "I'm poor, I can't afford to buy it, someone's willing to share it, so why not?"

But to then rationalize it as "and it was crummy to begin with" is going too far. It was the reason given for some software I helped write getting pirated, and so it's admittedly a personal peeve.

Re:Nah. Crappy games and HW requirements (2, Informative)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866217)

Actually I would like to subscribe to HW requirements part. Hardware requirements have gone 10years retro during the last year. For the most part of the last 10 years all games could run on all PCs and the only thing differing was the speed and sometimes graphical details for 3D games. But in the last year games have started to use DirectX 9 exclusively demanding graphic cards with atleast shader level 2 and often 3. This mean any machine more than a year old can no longer play new PC games!

Last but not least even when they "support" the older cards, they don't test against it and it leads to thousands of crashes.

Of the three games I've tried recently none worked out of the box in a Geforce4 4200Ti
Civilization 4: Should have worked according to requirements, but didn't until a patch 3 months after release
Galatic Civilization: Should work, but still crashes now half a year after release
Oblivion: Shouldn't work as the card is way below minimum requirement, but with the oldblivion patch, this game is the only of the 3 working perfectly!!

Re:Nah. Crappy games and HW requirements (2, Interesting)

Sporkinum (655143) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866250)

Yeah, I think that nails it. Our lan gaming group died not because of pirating, but because there wasn't anything that everyone wanted to play and that half the people that showed up only wanted to play WOW.

I haven't bought any new games in a while for several reasons. I'm a tightwad and can't justify upgrading my PC. Battlefield 2 runs fine on my rig (though the amount of cheating is getting like counterstrike was years ago). I own tons of legal games I haven't finished yet. Son has tons of XBox games (most for $10 to $20). Spending more time farting around in linux. Spending more time on my bicycle.

In a nutshell, I think PC gaming is frozen in it's current state for me. If I ever feel the need to do more modern gaming, it will probably be on a console.

Re:Nah. Crappy games and HW requirements (1)

sjwest (948274) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866357)

Last game i bought was doom 2 when it came out - it fits on to 6 floppy disks if you span it, Ive yet to complete it. I Don't buy/steal/hire games

prboom is great doom engine for linux and the doom2.wad works well and no i have no desire to buy doom3

Uh, no. (4, Insightful)

keyne9 (567528) | more than 7 years ago | (#15865888)

Unless they plan on, you know, providing a service, additional content, and other such niceties that the MMO genre provides, they need to keep their goddamned hands out of my wallet. Games already cost too goddamned much, and there just honestly has not been a lot of reason to buy many new games (as they've mostly sucked ass lately).

Make a good game, and people will buy it.

Re:Uh, no. (1)

Necroman (61604) | more than 7 years ago | (#15865936)

What I could see interesting would be for the initial game to cost $5 or something. Then when you first play it, you have to activate for a year of play time at $4.95/month or something. Then after the first year either make it free, or reduce the fee or something.

Re:Uh, no. (4, Funny)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866094)

That would totally suck. Where's the hack to disable that?

Re:Uh, no. (3, Funny)

Minwee (522556) | more than 7 years ago | (#15865990)

"Make a good game, and people will buy it."

I think you misspelled "people will download it for free". Which brings us back to the original problem that Kevin was talking about.

Re:Uh, no. (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866123)

*shrug* Bought HL1 after downloading it, bought HL2 after downloading it. Bought Ep 1 blind. Most of Blizzard's catalog I've got legit CDs for, and I don't do the multiplayer versions that require it either.

However, Doom 3? Pirated it, burned the ISOs (didn't have the HD space to emulate them)...and summarily used them as Airsoft targets 3 hours later (as well as uninstalling and deleting). I'm glad I didn't get that at $60 when it came out, and still glad I haven't gotten it yet at $20; id didn't earn my money for that one.

A good game might get pirated more, however, it's also more likely that it will have more legit copies sold.

Re:Uh, no. (2, Informative)

hackwrench (573697) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866231)

No, not entirely. It's the PC gaming business that they say is suffering, not PC gaming. There are plenty of games that are free from the onset that are fun. [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] []

Re:Uh, no. (2, Insightful)

winnabago (949419) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866353)

>>Which brings us back to the original problem that Kevin was talking about.

It's not just that the best games are showing up on torrentspy, that will always happen. What is more troubling is the entitlement that many gamers seem to have for new software, especially among the geek community. It comes from, I think, an association of development hours with quality. It is all too easy to raise your standards high enough to not pay for anything.

You might say that the quality level of commercial software just isn't beating out what has come prior and what is available in freeware. Would you pay 50 bucks for Snood? What about a flash based 3d game? Somehow we see sprites and traditional graphics and think, "free software". That is a problem. Some of the blame should fall on the developers too - with high quality open source FPS and MMORPG engines out there, it's not good enough to just be in the market anymore.

Software is no different that music or movies, in that our expectations for games are much different than they were even five years ago. There is real demand for a social network aspect, open source hex data for add-ons, free bug fixes, a nice box, and perhaps access to a strategy guide printed and online. We want something for our money, because if it's just a simple puzzle/strategy/text game, well, that should be free for download anyway, right?

Until this is addressed, the game industry will continue its struggles.

Re:Uh, no. (5, Insightful)

Skye16 (685048) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866410)

Unlike most people, I generally do buy the games I enjoy.

I haven't bought any games lately.

Why? Because, every time I try them out, whether downloading it 'yo ho ho and a bottle of rum'-style, or at a friend's, I end up hating it. I'll play it halfway through, put on god mode, type 'give all' or equivalent, play a few more levels, then type exit in console, uninstall, and delete.

I guess you can honestly say piracy IS hurting the game industry, but not in the "I'll download it and never pay for it ever and play it every day" sort of way you seem to be implying. It's more along the lines of going to buy an Impreza WRX, test driving a friend's for a few days, deciding that you love the acceleration and handling, but the interior is just too basic and plain for you to want to drive it every single day, so you buy an Audi A4 Quatro instead. To the Subaru dealership, they just lost out on a lot of money. But from my perspective, I did my research and was lucky enough to stop myself from buying something I wouldn't actually want. So, Dude-From-ID; if this is the sort of piracy hurting the industry that you speak of, then you don't have a single bit of compassion from me.

You want to get my money, developing studios and publishers? I have lots of it, and it's burning a hole in my wallet. I'll be thrilled to give it to you, actually. Only meet these simple guide lines.

1: Figure out some engaging multiplayer gameplay. I want to be able to play your for years. Not hours. I don't give a shit about your story. Your Single Player game is a complete afterthought to me. Something I do when I'm bored and the internet is out and it's raining outside, so I can't go play street hockey.

2: Make sure you have object collision, net code, and hit boxes down pat. Nothing is more irritating than getting killed by Tanks/Humvees that aren't even remotely close to your vicinity, but, through some fucked up net code, manage to kill you from 5 meters away.

3: Don't dumb the game down so fucking much. Noobs will always be noobs. The less complex you make the game, the more apt I am to get bored with it in days, rather than weeks, months, or years. Or at least find a way to make the game complex, challenging, and engaging, even after having played it for many hours. Even Counter-Strike can be fun after playing it for years, whereas Doom 3 Death Match is about as fun as gouging your eyeballs out with a spoon. And don't just add capture the flag and think that's the most you have to do. CTF is mind numbingly boring after a while. At least add some quirks to it that add some depth.

Re:Uh, no. (2, Informative)

weasello (881450) | more than 7 years ago | (#15865996)

Prime example; Galactic Civilizations II. Made headlines for selling so damn many copies. It's a very good game and it doesn't even have copy protection.

They're expectations of sales was doubled within the first month.

Good products rise.

But I suppose the 'industry' isn't intereted in stories like this; the various retailers are more interested in Madden XCXCII or NHL 254,200 (with the latest player skins!).

Re:Uh, no. (1)

Pulse_Instance (698417) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866107)

Those games are a perfect model for the subscription of micro payment. You should be able to download all the new stats and player skins for a small fee, that way they could maybe free up some developers to make some good games instead of having to make an entire new sports game every year where nothing really needs to change. Upgrade the game every 3 or so years instead of every single year and it could improve a lot of things such as employee morale and other games.

Re:Uh, no. (1)

Ipeunipig (934414) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866011)

AMEN. If the industry would come out with a decent game that either A: Does not get monotonous after a few hours of gameplay or B: Isn't the same game I quit playing last week only with different graphics/storyline, they may eventually see a growing market yet again.

Re:Uh, no. (5, Insightful)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866029)

Well, I can't quite buy that. I hate to risk my karma after FINALLY restoring it to neutral, but I'm going to say it anyway. People don't pirate games for because the games suck. They pirate them because they're good. Whatever the reason for piracy, it isn't bad games. And frankly the whole, "make good games and I'll deign to pay you" strikes me as being a version of "I'm not stealing because it's their fault they made me want it and charge so much for it!" that you hear out of young shoplifters. Note: I did not just say that piracy is theft, spare me the lecture on semantics so we can get to more substantive issues.

Does anyone know how game devs can recover their costs and make a profit (on good games) without copyright and serious enforcement of it? No, charity generally doesn't work. Subscription models are a great way of doing it, esp if they give the game away, so I don't see why it's so condemned here. I don't think you can deny that one reason devs are shifting to consoles is because it's harder to pirate there.

Re:Uh, no. (2, Insightful)

ThosLives (686517) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866156)

You're kind of on the right philosophical track here. Here's my take on the discussion (again):

1) Things like software and music are not scarce resources. They can be reproduced almost indefinitely with almost no effort.
2) People like artists and programmers are scarce resources. There is a finite supply.
3) If enough people pay an artist or programmer for producing something so that the artist or programmer keeps producing, it does not matter how many people experience the work of art without paying the artist because the work is already produced and the use of the work does not deprive anyone of anything.

The idea that an artist (or, worse yet, a distributor) is entitled to payment for anything is a serious economic faux pas. For instance, I can sit in my room and sing original songs all night, heck I can even do it on the street corner, but I'm not entitled to receive compensation for it. If people want me to keep doing that, I'll ask for payment so I can stop my current job and do that. Otherwise, they won't get my performance. The same thing applies with software: if I write a game in my spare time, say it takes me 500 man-hours over the course of a year. If folks want me to make another game but in 6 months, I'd have to ask for compensation because I can't spend that much time and keep my current job.

Now, if I invest a bunch of money, quit my job and make a game and try to sell it - if people do not pay me for the game they do not value it, so I will be forced to do something else to make ends meet. It doesn't have anythign to do with theft at all, because it is impossible to steal a service, which is what programming and other forms of "art" are. Now, you can steal a painting because that is a scarce good, but you cannot steal the image itself.

Anyway I'm starting to ramble, so that's all for now.

Re:Uh, no. (4, Insightful)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866406)

Well, yes, I hope I'm on the right philosophical track, which is why I don't see why you felt the need to remind me of the basics of intellectual works (positive value, high fixed cost, zero or negligible marginal cost). However, you then went on to make some errors:

The idea that an artist (or, worse yet, a distributor) is entitled to payment for anything is a serious economic faux pas

Where to begin.

First, the concept of "entitlement" is a moral one, not economic, so it can't be an "economic faux pas".

Second, you seem to be claiming the the distributor adds no value, which is false because someone has to inform people of the existence of the intellectual work and bring it within easy grasp, but is doubly false because until the artist, he *can* easily withhold the service of providing marginal units.

Third, if you are referring to the question of who adds value as the basis of entitlement, the artist certainly does, to the extent that people reveal through action that they are willing to spend their own money for access to something that would not exist save for his creative act.

Fourth, the economics on which you based that are in error:

If enough people pay an artist or programmer for producing something so that the artist or programmer keeps producing, it does not matter how many people experience the work of art without paying the artist because the work is already produced and the use of the work does not deprive anyone of anything.

This is totally false. It most certainly does matter how many people experience it without paying. The artist makes his decision what to produce based on what he expects to get for it (plus whatever non-monetary good he sees in doing so, but we'll stick with the case of for-profit production). If e.g. 2 of a million people will respect his copyright on option A and want him to produce A, while 3 of 3 people will respect his copyright on option B and want him to produce B, and he expects this, he will do B. The non-payment skewed his incentives to perform an activity not justified by the demands of the consuming public. It's true that after-the-fact non-payers *can* have no influence -- if they decide they like it long after production, when time discount had obliterated the value of whatever they could have given the artist, and thus could not have affected his incentives, then they would have no influence. But in the general case, they certainly can matter.

it is impossible to steal a service,

False. You promise to pay, you get the service, you don't pay. That is theft in all sigificant respects. (It's not what's happening here, but I'm showing your general statement to be false.)

With the rest of your post, I don't see your point: you labor to make what appears to be a semantic distinction to show how accessing an intellectual work "isn't theft" despite how I said such a distinction bypasses more substantive issues.

Yes, you were rambling.

Re:Uh, no. (1)

crosbie (446285) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866476)

Top marks!

You can count yourself as one of the few on this planet who grok this issue.

I'm working on a mechanism to facilitate the process you mention in your 'step 3', of funding the artist for their art, rather than paying the retailer for a mere copy: The Contingency Market [] .

I also wrote an article a while ago about using this mechanism for games development: The Bedroom Coder's Business Model [] .

Old news. (5, Funny)

mhazen (144368) | more than 7 years ago | (#15865891)

Man, I read this on BitTorrent like, two weeks ago.

Uhhhh. (3, Insightful)

Drachemorder (549870) | more than 7 years ago | (#15865893)

If pirates can beat the official product to market, why can't the developers just speed up their release process to match them? If the game is ready there's no real reason not to go ahead and release it, except perhaps to try to create artificial anticipation for it. I consider that a below-the-belt marketing tactic anyway; if one of the side-effects of piracy is to undermine its usefulness, that would be a good thing.

Re:Uhhhh. (4, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#15865928)

Because there's a physical component to the release process. They can't press the CDs/DVDs fast enough to beat the copy stolen from the pressing plant onto the internet.

The obvious alternative is something like Steam, where they provide a download of the game. It's quite a bit harder to beat that.

Someone else mentioned after-sale services... Most games that I play, I don't WANT further services from the company other than bugfixes. I don't even plan to play them again and I certainly don't want to have to play more money if I do. I'd much rather put that same money towards a new, fresh game.

Re:Uhhhh. (1)

Drachemorder (549870) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866403)

I know there's a significant physical component to the release process, but I'm thinking more along the lines of the artificial roadblocks the distributors set up. You can't eliminated the delay, but if the pirates cause the distributors to minimize it as much as possible, then the effect has been positive.

For my part, too, I like having a physical copy of a game. I may want to pull it out and play it again ten years down the road. Or I may not. Either way, I enjoy having a physical item to show for my money. I like to have an actual physical copy of the game, not just some nebulous "license" and a downloaded file. The problem I have with Steam and other online delivery mechanisms is that, since there's no physical item being exchanged, their license model is a lot stronger. They have a stronger right to restrict how you use the game, and they're not at all hesitant to use that right. If you buy a physical copy, you can at least argue that the sale gives you basic rights to use that copy as you see fit, save only for the restrictions of copyright law. If you buy a download, however, they can impose whatever conditions they want on that download before you make the transaction. In that situation you really have no standing to dispute the restrictions they enforce.

I doubt I'm the only one who likes to have a physical copy. I think that's really the best way for developers to fight piracy: provide additional value in the physical package that pirates can't provide.

Re:Uhhhh. (5, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866258)

The problem isn't that pirates provide a faster product, it's that they provide a better one. I used to game a lot. Sometimes, I would get a pirated game and then buy the real thing after I had tried it (more often I would play the game on someone else's machine first). Over the years, I noticed that the pirated game was often better than the official one. Usually it would not require me to hunt for the CD, for example. When I moved to being laptop-only, the requirement to have the physical CD in the drive was a total show-stopper; it dropped the battery life by half, meaning I couldn't play games while mobile (I also didn't want to have to carry the CD around with me).

For a while, I would buy a game and then download the no CD crack. Then I realised something. I didn't want to pay money to a company that was spending money making my life difficult. I didn't even want to support them indirectly by pirating the game and increasing its popularity. I just stopped playing them. I used to play Half Life a lot before the introduction of Steam; now I don't play it at all, and I haven't bought Half Life 2.

On the positive side... (4, Funny)

jolyonr (560227) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866393)

... surely an increase in piracy will help reverse global warming?


Galactic Civ (3, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 7 years ago | (#15865897)

That's odd. Galactic Civilizations was released as a downloadable game with no copy protection, and it sold extremely well.

Perhaps the secret to selling a game is releasing a good game in the first place, listening to your customers, marketing it well, and offering real incentive to pay for it.

I find the best way to combat piracy is offer exclusive content, or multiplayer modes that require validation. Hell, let people pirate the game for it's single player and sell them on it. Watch them turn around and then buy the game for the multiplayer, and other downloads.

Re:Galactic Civ (1)

dupont54 (857462) | more than 7 years ago | (#15865984)

Galactic Civilization 2 uses online activation, it's definitely not a DRM-free game, like Oblivion seems to be. To be really precise, only the retail CD of GalCiv is DRM free, but as soon as you patch it, the DRM is there. They just delayed it a bit. And from what I've understood, the downloadable version always need activation.

Re:Galactic Civ (1)

zoomba (227393) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866135)

It's not DRM. At no point does the game become unplayable. Entering your sereal key to your account merely allows you to download updates and fixes beyond 1.0x, which was pretty stable and full-featured for a release version of a game.

So actually, there's no DRM. It's not added in a patch. Your game isn't rendered unplayable, you just have to register with Stardock to get further updates.

Re:Galactic Civ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15866249)

Its code that manages access to certain aspects of the digital services they provide with the game. In other words Digial Rights Management. 'course it sounds like a reasonable implementation of such, but its still DRM, just not draconian DRM.

Re:Galactic Civ (2, Insightful)

Malevolyn (776946) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866473)

I find the phrase "Digital Rights Management" fundamentally flawed. If I have a right to whatever they're trying to regulate, then they shouldn't be regulating it. The correct term would be "Digital Privilage Management."

Re:Galactic Civ (1)

dupont54 (857462) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866316)

If you update the game and do not validate, it is not playable. Though, you can rollback to version 1.0, which seemed pretty complete and stable in this specific case, I must admit.

But I'm defintely not comfortable with this "compromise", it can be easily abused with that "must-have-bug-fix-which-needs-the-DRMed-patch". And I'm even less confortable when the publisher as made such a fuss about being against invasive copy protections. Online activation is definitely not a mere "serial number verification", as they used to say.

Re:Galactic Civ (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866474)

The game is playable out of the box (or the download if you go that method) with no DRM. But you're unhappy that you have to validate the game for updates?

I think that is being a bit silly.

Re:Galactic Civ (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866452)

There is no DRM or copy protection schemes. You can download a pirated copy and play it. If you wish to update the game (patches), download new content, or play online, then you need to use online activation.

Contrast that with Half Life 2 which requires online activation for single player.

Re:Galactic Civ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15866049)

Excellent point. That is EXACTLY what happened to me on Warcraft III. Pirated it, loved the single player, and then went out and bought both it and the Frozen Throne expansion pack.

I bet no business school grad thought of that marketing plan

Re:Galactic Civ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15866275)

Galactic Civilizations is that good? Where can I get a torrent for it?

Re:Galactic Civ (1)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866483)

It didn't sell all that well at all and it does have DRM as noted below.

Quit astroturfing. And quit making these lame arguments that pirating is just a 'demo'. There are real demos out there.

Umm (1)

utopianfiat (774016) | more than 7 years ago | (#15865908)

Most people who pirate PC games also pirate console games, sorry to burst your bubble there, Kevin.
Not to say that I've ever done any of this, but the same person who gets a bogus CD-Key for Doom 3 is probably also going to use the PSOLoader to pipe his/her favorite gamecube roms to his console, or install a modchip in his xbox, or have a library of every game ever published for Dreamcast...

Re:Umm (3, Informative)

acvh (120205) | more than 7 years ago | (#15865947)

"Most people who pirate PC games also pirate console games"

I find this hard to believe. It's an order of magnitude more difficult to install a mod chip, hook up your console to a PC, flash the BIOS and copy ROMS images than it is to google for a serial number crack for a PC game.

I would venture that PC game copyright violation (I don't like "piracy") occurs 100 times more often than console game copyright violation; especially if we're only looking at current generation games.

Re:Umm (2, Informative)

utopianfiat (774016) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866002)

What are you talking about? Console copyright violation is more than just dumping roms... There's modchipping and loading burned games, downloading roms and playing them on emulators, and furthermore, it's just as easy if not easier to jump to your favorite rom repository and grab Chrono Trigger as it is to search whatever "serialz" site you frequent for a working Quake3 key.

Re:Umm (1)

Moridin42 (219670) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866164)


Its a little more difficult, sure. Costs a little more, too. But consoles generally have more current titles on them than the PC.

And.. using solderless modchips and bootdisks, and plugging an ethernet cable into the console aren't exactly what I'd call acts of brilliance.

Re:Umm (1)

GodaiYuhsaku (543082) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866244)

While yes modchipping is more technically difficult. There's this thing called friends. All it takes is one person in a group of friends who knows how to mod chip.

Re:Umm (1)

marshallbanana6 (992780) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866232)

Naw, see the difference is console modding sometimes even involves a little money and work. Any 10 year old can pirate a PC game.

Re:Umm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15866311)

Yea, it's SOOOO hard I remember TechTV did a 5 part mini series showing how easy it was to mod your (original) xbox. And they showed a bunch of different methods. Anyone who has access to a VCR could mod an xbox. Heck, I did.

Re:Umm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15866426)

I pirate PC games and never pirate console games ...

I simply have never been able to justify spending $100 on a mod-chip, voiding the warantee, spending all the time (and bandwidth) finding and downloading a game, and then spending $1 on a DVD to burn the game when I can walk to Blockbuster and rent it for $5.

Don't get me wrong, I still buy PC games, but I would personally rather play the first hour or so of a game to determine whether it is worth buying; and don't mention "demos", a demo is a 15 minute piece of a game designed to sell the game (they are typically much higher quality then the real game is).

And you thought Steam was bad? (1)

PoderOmega (677170) | more than 7 years ago | (#15865914)

OK, so at least we did not have to pay for Steam (unless you want to include your ISP cost). But hey, even better, lets charge a subscription fee and just sit back and do nothing and every now and then throw in a new bad guy to justify the costs.

Disagree (4, Insightful)

Mirkon (618432) | more than 7 years ago | (#15865919)

I must respectfully disagree. Consoles have always been more attractive to developers than the PC platform due to the "moving target" dynamic - when you make a game for a home console, there are no system requirements, you don't have to develop for a lowest common denominator (unless you're marketing a game on multiple consoles at once), and you don't have to keep a tech support log of what works and doesn't work with every possible make and model of video card.

Years ago, this was a pipe dream to most developers because of the immense difficulties involved in developing for a home console (usually requiring a full knowledge of the hardware's machine code). But today, they're practically as easy to develop for as a PC. The royalties are a small price to pay for the numerous conveniences a console offers to developers.

Re:Disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15865989)

when you make a game for a home console, there are no system requirements, you don't have to develop for a lowest common denominator

Yet. Sony wants to change all that.

No, seriously. With the crippled PS3 and the full PS3, you already have a few instances where it's possible that a game will only run on the full PS3 and require addons to run onthe crippled PS3. Plus there's a great quote from the head of Sony's console division explaining how he thinks they should add more RAM to later PS3 models.

Sorry, I know, nothing to do with the thread, but it's just not a game's discussion without a little bit of PS3 bashing.

For what it's worth, I agree with you, the reason I mostly play console games is because they generally Just Work while with the last few PC games I've played I wound up getting stuck waiting for patches. And not just game patches, I've had fun with drivers screwing things up and requiring patches.

I'd much rather just use the console and be basically guarenteed it will work than play the PC lottery and pray that the brand new PC game will actually run on my PC without waiting three weeks for the patch.

Independent developers on consoles (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866043)

Consoles have always been more attractive to developers than the PC platform [...] Years ago, this was a pipe dream to most developers

And it is still a pipe-dream to smaller independent developers who currently self-publish shareware on the Internet because consoles do not yet take such a business model into account. Even Xbox 360, which has a pay download system, still keeps the terms of the development contract secret.

sigh.. (3, Insightful)

tont0r (868535) | more than 7 years ago | (#15865921)

Its always great when people see problem as piracy, and not the fact that almost every game just isnt good. Wow is a great example. It was a game that was done properly, and now it holds everyones interest. If a game is only going to hold me interest for 2 weeks and they want $50 or up to $65 for a game, I'm not going to buy it. More so, companies are more concerned with added some amazing physics into the game and forgetting about the story/gameplay. This is what plagues hollywood right now. Also, its not 'World of Warcrafts subscription based nature'. Thats every MMO's subscription based nature.

Games industry needs an *AA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15865933)

Clearly, it's not the crappy quality of the games we sell that are causing low sales, it's pirates!

Now they just need a cartel to start suing random people... Natural progression of media merchants.

I've been burned..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15865946)

Too many times have I had to deal with poorly coded, incomplete games and awful DRM restrictions;I've given up on the PC games industry and I'm not buying the games anymore.

The last game that I purchased that wasn't a total disaster was Half-Life 2 .. and even on that one I still didn't like the 'registration' process I had to go through. Since that one though, every one has been a total nightmare. To the point where I've spent more time getting the game up and running than I have even playing the game.

You're damn right I pirate the games now, I'm sick of paying for crap.

I think he's just mad his games suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15865962)

Maybe he's just looking for a scapegoat for why his games don't sell as well as he hopes they would. The PC game industry looks pretty healthy to me, with plenty of examples of recent games that are doing well. Oblivion's really easy to pirate but it still sold millions . . . it's plugins are easy to pirate too and even they sell.

Nope. (2, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 7 years ago | (#15865965)

Crappy games is killing sales.

Let's see the latest blockbuster from ID...

Quake4 - Boring.

Half-Life 2 - DRM so restrictive that most people did not bother buying it.

SIMS2 - selling poorly compared to the outdates Sims and the 65,000 expansions packs that sold at the same price.

How about that games suck right now? the few DS games I like are very different from what I can get for the PC.

Piracy is NOT hurting the Gaming industry. Their lack of ability to make a game that people want is.

Granted, I am waiting with baited breath for UT2007 in hopes they add more gameplay fun instead of the stupid graphics and shiney crap that do not make a game more fun to play.

Most lan parties we end up playing ut2004 with one of the myriad of mods for it that make it a major hoot to play. Carball is a blast with 16 people.

HL2? (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866106)

I don't see how it was restrictive. I just bought it with my credit card, and BAM, I was downloading it immediately. The day it came out, BAM, it was installed and I was playing within 30 minutes, not bad considering their servers were dying under heavy strain.

The only limitation is that Steam has problems when it can't find an internet connection, but even then, I'm an internet addict anyways, so if I wanted to try to use Steam without the internet I'd probably have shriveled up and died long before I had the chance to try.

Re:Nope. (5, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866197)

I don't know what the deal with this week is, but I've seen so many non-sensical comments on /. it's amazing.

Quake4 - Boring - I haven't played it, so I can't comment (although I seem to remember reading reviews saying it was nothing special).

Half-Life 2 - DRM so restrictive that most people did not bother buying it

Yes. That's why Half-Life 2 is one of the best selling games of the past few years. Because people didn't buy it because of the DRM. That's also why they are not making two expansion packs. That's why they aren't releasing new mods for it (no one plays, after all). That's why it's not getting put on consoles (tentativly scheduled for this fall). Oh wait...

SIMS2 - selling poorly compared to the outdates Sims and the 65,000 expansions packs that sold at the same price

Really? It's not quite as innovative as the last (after all, there was no Sims before Sims) but it's still a very nice game. My little sister and all her friends rushed out to buy it. They are churning out money making expansion packs as fast as they can. Again, my little sister and all her friends rush out to buy them. So Sims 2 isn't as successfull as the first (according to you). Well since Sims is the best selling game of all time, that might be a little hard to live up to (considering how long the two have been on the market).

How about that games suck right now? the few DS games I like are very different from what I can get for the PC.

Newsflash, different platforms have diffent games! Film at 11! The DS has some of the most innovative games on the market, and many games currently made are terrible. But if you look at the PC, it has them too. The problem is the signal-to-noise ratio.

Piracy is NOT hurting the Gaming industry. Their lack of ability to make a game that people want is.

If they made games no-one wanted, why are they being pirated? If they made games no one wanted, why is the industry making so much money? Piracy hurts. If the games were better, people may be less inclined to pirate.

But your entire post reeks of hyperboly and your points get lost in it.

Re:Nope. (2, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866422)

I don't know, I'm a pretty serious game buyer, and I've been affliced with a serious case of "meh" when looking at the new release section. There is certainly nothing out there right now that I feel like throwing money at.

The industry is always quick to yell "Piracy!" whenever something doesn't sell as well as their market research suggests it ought to be selling, but they haven't really gotten it with games yet. They think like the MPAA..."This game is like that game, and that game sold x million copies so if this one isn't selling x million copies...PIRATES!" People are much less likely to impulse buy a crappy game as opposed to a crappy movie. You've got to give your market a good product. A lot of people have mentioned Galactic Civ II. Excellent game, no copy protection, excellent sales. If piracy was that much of a scourge, you'd be seeing the worst effects of it on games like that, and yet they don't seem to be there.

Re:Nope. (1)

Moridin42 (219670) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866494)

The only part of your post I might take issue with is:

If they made games no-one wanted, why are they being pirated?

Just because the game was pirated doesn't mean the game was any good. The cost of pirating is very low. Just a disc and some time, really. With a cost that low, its worth trying the game out.

If the game sucks, then you promptly uninstall it and microwave the disc. Just cause thats fun and the disc is otherwise useless. Unless you need coasters. You also pat yourself on the back and say "congratulations, me! I held on to $50."

I stick to my consoles, now. I haven't built a new computer in years. Haven't even upgraded it all that much. Just hasn't been worth my time and money.

Re:Nope. (1)

MrSquirrel (976630) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866230)

Exactly, if they make games I want to buy -- I will buy them! *gasp*

Everytime I see these idiots from industries complain "boo hoo, pirates hurt us", I want to smack them and tell them "maybe the reason your sales suck is because of your product -- supply and demand!". It happens with the music industry all the time -- some trashy no-talent "artist" will complain that piracy is bad because they haven't had a platinum record... get a clue *smack*!

My friend got FarCry when it came out and offered to burn it for me, I said "no thanks, that game looks good, I'll buy it". Doom3 came out, I watched my friend play it... it looked neat for about a minute and a half... then it became *yawn* boring. Quake4 was Doom3, just with different skins for the bad guys and different weapons. I actually had some hope earlier this summer that good games were coming -- Prey looked pretty good... but it ended up being crap (tried to substitute portal-gimmicks for gameplay, way too short, same graphics and non-interactive environment as Doom3, crapcrapCRAP!). I still have hope for good games in the future: STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl, Crysis, and C&C 3 are on the horizon... let's hope they don't suck! [note: I don't just play FPS games, but they seem to have the games that are hyped up the most that fall the furthest from expectations]

Re:Nope. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15866313)

It's the hardware requirements and the derivative gameplay. I bought Half-Life 2 and it looked fine, was too easy, and ran pretty much like ass--it would drop below 30fps, and was typically well-below the 60fps range I'm most comfortable with. I played through it, dicked around with DM and CS:S a little and retired the game because I'm not going to buy two videocards just to obtain decent framerates from a video game and that's basically what it would have taken at the time. I can still find lots of online entertainment from Enemy Territory and it runs smoothly on my hardware. Doom 3 had high system requirements for even less interesting gameplay than HL2. It looked ok, but I wasn't interested and didn't buy it. Quake 4 had high system requirements for Quake 2 teh next generation and I skipped that too. I have friends that have both of these games and they're just not interesting. If any mods for Doom 3 come around that are worthwhile (yeah right) I might pick it up in the bargain bin, otherwise I'll never buy the title. QuakeWars looks promising despite its system requirements because Splash Damage actually makes fun games (Q3F, ET), but I don't know if I'll ever buy it because I still don't want to get two video cards each with power requirements that make the Pentium 4 blush.

id has a case of teh sour grapes. Its games kind of suck, and I haven't bought one of its games and liked the effort put into them since Q1. There were lots of third-party mods for Q1/2/3 that were fun, but id's contributions were pretty uninspired. They blow ass at making single-player games, and they're firmly holding to the position that single player games with increasingly high system requirements is where the money is. Raven's forums were full of that stuff when Q4 was in early development. When it fails to make the sales it's then about piracy. Well just making single player games will probably increase the damage of piracy, but the real problem is that id is designing its games out of the reach of the masses whose computers don't have $800 worth of GPUs and boring the people that do. His grand solution to the problem? Target consoles with hardware that is inferior to top-of-the-line PC hardware. Well maybe if they did that from the start they could sell more PC units too. Or create a game that justifies the expense. Either that or pressure NVIDIA and AMD to reduce the power requirements of their GPUs, because I'm just not going to buy $800 worth of space heaters for a computer I can only ever use for videogames because it uses more electricity than a heavy water refinery.

Re:Nope. (1)

Andy Gardner (850877) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866433)

I'm not sure that it's the lack of good games (there is the odd good game out there, although I can't think of any off the top of my head!). Rather the fact that in order to maximise profits games companies completely saturate the market with 'sequels', add-ons and all the other crap that fills the space between the creative and orginal games.

So, to save PC gaming we pirate console games? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15865971)

At least that's the message I got from that.

Anyway, it's a pretty stupid comment. He's complaining that he can't sell PC games to the 70% of the world that can least afford to pay for them. You're not going to sell many $50 games in Malaysia, dude. Of course they'll get $2 pirate copies - I did too when I was a schoolkid with no cash.

Obligatory karma burner... (0, Offtopic)

William_Lee (834197) | more than 7 years ago | (#15865981)

Netcraft confirms PC gaming is dead.

I used to be a big PC gamer (1)

Tweekster (949766) | more than 7 years ago | (#15865986)

back in the days before neon light case mods and such. Then I bought a console. It was simply easier to have a console and be able to buy any game for that system and have it work well.

No more upgrading ram, or video cards or whatever to play the latest. One $200 console and games that generally cost the same amount. Console gaming is a far better experience for me, less hassles, less cost etc.

Piracy doesnt help, particularly if it is widespread as pointed out in the article, but I think a lot of people are going to consoles because A: they cant spend every dime they have on upgrading their computer systems constantly. B: console gaming is a good experience, good graphics, good gameplay etc.

Granted Sony is trying to take the whole concept of spending every dime you have to the console arena but that wont work too well.

Sure, I donwloaded a lot of games when I was younger, and bought a lot too. I probably wouldnt have bothered downloading if I could go rent a game, the full game like blockbuster etc offer with console games. I can spend a few days playing it, either beat it, or decide to buy it because it has replayability.

Demos are okay, but they are rather limited and so not as much fun to check a game out.

Consoles just offer a LOT more than PC gaming and I think that fact is showing with the success of the xbox and ps2 and now the new consoles. People want to play games, not work on upgrading their system to play the newest game.

Re:I used to be a big PC gamer (1)

Akaihiryuu (786040) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866111)

I can relate to that...I'm not a big PC gamer either. Pretty much the only PC games I play are the Blizzard ones (WOW has pretty much dominated the computer for the last 3 months since I got it). The Blizzard games pretty much don't work on consoles (I know they made Warcraft 2 and Diablo for Playstation/Saturn and Starcraft for N64, but the control schemes on the consoles are pretty much need a mouse and keyboard). I couldn't see playing something like WOW on a console. Aside from that, the games that I like to play have been best on consoles and probably always will be (Metroid, Zelda, etc). They tend to push console hardware a lot harder than PC hardware, because when designing a console game, you know that everyone has exactly the same configuration and you can take advantage of that. PC games often have to be designed for the lowest common denominator, plus you have to take into account the overhead of an OS. Sure, games can take advantage of the latest and greatest hardware, but not to the extent that they can on consoles. Sure, consoles are always technically inferior to PC's at the time that they're released, but being able to push the hardware more tends to make up for it to an extent, plus you have games that are designed for the controller you'll be using. Ocarina of Time is still a damn fun game, even though the graphics are terrible by today's standards.

Re:I used to be a big PC gamer (1)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866257)

I've gone the same way: I've given up entirely on running a game PC, instead using an iMac for work and a GC&PS2 for games. It's simpler, the games are higher quality and I haven't had to worry about a game not running on my hardware. It's also meant I play a much larger range of game genres, rather than being so tied to FPS/RTS.

Re:I used to be a big PC gamer (1)

el_womble (779715) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866304)

I agree. Games are supposed to be fun, its kinda in the their job description. Take Half-Life, arguably the greatest game of its era. It truely was an immersive game that was ahead of the competition. But getting the bugger to work was a PITA. From what I can remember it took my 4x CD ROM drive 10 minutes to install it, which was quickly followed by the grim message that I need to download a new version of directX, which then told me I had to download the latest glide drivers for my Voodoo 2.

After all that, it worked - at around 15-20 fps at 640x480.

At the time I concidered this progress compared to getting Tie Fighter to load from a CD-ROM AND getting the mouse driver to load at the same time (I got much kudos from my peers for this miricle of config.sys engineering).

But that was the price you payed for wanting cutting edge graphics and realism. Consoles of the day were fun. SMB3, Star Fox we great games, but compared to PC Games they were for amatures and kids. The PS1 changed that for me, the XBOX more so.

I just put the CD in the machine and it worked! Better than that the games were as good as the current crop of PC games. And it was cheaper! The console was only £150!! And the games were the same price... and there were more of them!

From what I can see PC gaming is still 1 part playing a game to 1 part being told your system is too slow (and you really need to buy another one). Online play has made this worse, because when you get beat there is always the thought that if only you had an extra 10 fps or a lower latency server you could have got the bastard. Unless, you find the fun in fixing the box (which, until it turned into silly money, I have to admit I did) there is little fun in playing PC Games compared to a console.

The other part that has really turned me off is that the only reason its telling you that your computer is too slow is that its struggling to render the 50 billion polygons on a tree just off the horizon... ie its got nothing to do with gameplay and everything to do with the 'realism'.

Re:I used to be a big PC gamer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15866335)

"It was simply easier to have a console and be able to buy any game for that system and have it work well."

Umm, I've played a lot of PS2 games with shitty framerates, crap loading times and bugs which are never going to get fixed. As far as "just works" goes you're better off getting older, bargain PC games. They always run well on old, budget hardware and usually have been patched up into a decent state.

Hardly definitive as an article (1)

ilovegeorgebush (923173) | more than 7 years ago | (#15865988)

Come on, there where what, about 170 words in that article? How often does 'misconception' and 'out of context' apply to media quotes these days?

I don't personally feel that piracy is killing PC gaming. If i'm honest, I would say piracy has been around as long as the PC gaming industry has. Perhaps prevention is better than cure (i.e. take a leaf from the Steam engine's book?)

Simply... No (1)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 7 years ago | (#15865992)

Does piracy cost the industry money? Yeah, sure. But it's not to the same extent as some people would like to believe. One has to remember that the oodles of games your local 14 year-old downloads off BitTorrent are non-sales as it is. For every 10 games the kid downloads, how many would he actually buy if piracy was not an available option? One at best, I would guess.

There is a major problem in cases like Doom 3 where pirates beat the game to market, but those are rather rare cases. Yes, the product suffers if the pirates beat it to market by a significant margin, where you get curious gamers who can't hold their dicks for another 3 days to play the game downloading it, and then failing to buy it later (in the case of D3... who could blame them?)

The only real sort of piracy prevention one needs to do is of the garden-variety anti-burning type. As long as joe sixpack can't pop it into his CD burner and come out with a viable, immediately playable copy, you've done your job. There was a time when certain malware (helllllo Ubisoft!) was being used to "protect" games, and just caused grief for the customer instead. This is pointless. The hardcore pirates will ALWAYS find a way, there is simply no use trying to stop them. As long as you can stop the average joe, it's good enough, and that's certainly quite easy.

But back on topic: Piracy killing PC gaming? Hardly. The average player isn't sophisticated enough to pirate the games, your only major demographic of worry is the pre-teen tech-savvy kid. I sincerely hope that we don't see more shite multiplayer-centric games like Counter-Strike just because it's the easiest way to guard against piracy. There is an appeal to singleplayer gaming that needs to survive.

That said... I do think there ought to be education in terms of intellectual property and basic morals in our world. Many people would pirate a game (if they could) without batting an eye, and that disturbs me. I know of some people who rant and rave about how great Will Wright (or insert another game designer here) but has apparently never bought one of his games. There is a distinct number of people who are unwilling to pay for what they play: mostly the teenaged never-worked-a-day-in-my-life type. Most people I know grew out of it after, you know, getting a job and realizing that people do things for a living and need money for food and a roof and whatnot, but some of my acquaintances even now are still in the "games are a rip! pirate!" crowd.

WoW is killing PC games, not PC gaming. (1)

CharAznable (702598) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866006)

Tons of people are getting into PC gaming that would never have done it before. My girlfriend is into it, a bunch of coworkers and their SO's are into it. Adults with kids and jobs are into it. PC gaming is incredibly popular right now. Except that they're only playing one game, and that game is WoW.

Console Games Are Just Easier To Play (1)

blueZhift (652272) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866024)

It's true that piracy can definitely take a bite out of PC game sales. But I think the fact that for the genres that are still popular on and perhaps done best on the PC, the hardware requirements and setup challenges are a bigger factor. I don't think PC gaming is ever going to disappear, but the business model will have to change. Perhaps, PC games will just be a stepping stone to later console versions. That is, the PC game just becomes a loss leader to the console game where you make your real money. I can see the port friendly Xbox 360 being a good platform for this.

Status Quo in Asia (2, Insightful)

ObligatoryUserName (126027) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866030)

This is why the typical model in Asia is to give away the client software and charge for subscriptions. Piracy destroys the economic foundation of our high-production stand-alone mass media.

It's hitting PC games first because PC gamers are by definition going to have better access to pirated software.

DRM is actually the best hope if we want to keep having the same sort of entertainment that we can get now, unless the culture changes to shun pirates and piracy. I'd bet DRM is the reason that Square/Enix is looking into creating their own hardware [] .

I don't like DRM or subscription services, but when the government can't/won't enforce the laws and the people don't respect them it's inevitable.

Nope (1)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866034)

I'm pretty sure it's the lack of games that people feel justified in spending money to play. I think the last games I purched before WoW was Warcraft III and Command and Conquer Generals. Before that? Baldurs Gate and Warcraft II.

Bah, piracy just makes us pay more for games (1)

wookychewbacca (993304) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866086)

The gaming industry is making more then it ever has. We as consumers pay the extra fees that companies have speculated as shrinkage or piracy loss. yer/index.php?id=59a362eacbeaeda153f8e3fdf493c508 []

What Next? (3, Insightful)

ggKimmieGal (982958) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866089)

First, it's MMORPGs.
Now it's pirates.
What next? Will the gaming world be blaming ninjas?

Face it, most games for today's market suck. People are looking for either a quality game (such as Mario Tennis, which will keep you and your friends entertained for hours) or something different (MMORPGs still fit the different category, but probably not for long). Video games are also too expensive. $50 is a lot of money to spend all at once. Personally, I buy a new game about once a month, which equates to about $600. These games have to be a worthy investment.

Yeah, maybe, or maybe not... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15866099)

I have not bought a number of recently-released games that I would have otherwise found interesting enough to buy because:
1) they cost too much
2) they have onerous copy-protection schemes that require a network connection to phone home regularly, or
3) they stop working if you don't keep paying a subscription fee.

For example, Half-life 2 would have been interesting, but #2 means I haven't bothered. It isn't worth the hassle because I have a relatively slow network connection.

Instead, most of my recent game purchases have been vintage games from the "bargain bin" that are cheaper and don't require a network connection or subscription fees. Most also have "no-cd" patches so I can install them and play without having to dig out the CD and wait for them to spin up and the copy protection to validate (which it sometimes doesn't on certain CD drives -- one game I have validates fine on an old, plain CD drive, but fails on a newer DVD/CD drive. Don't ask me why).

So, is it piracy, or is it because the schemes to slow it down end up costing more and degrading the experience of the the legitimate consumers? Or have game manufacturers simply priced themselves out of the market?

If PC gaming really gets killed ... (1)

inflamez (885475) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866126)

... the day game developers decide to concentrate on gameplay instead of shiny graphics, will be the day PC gaming is reborn. Until then we have to play "Quake 7", the newest "Final Fantasy XXIV", "Generic RTS 7494" and the freshest "Wannabe-WoW-RPG".

Video Games are Dead, long live reality! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15866144)

Parents should weep over the wasted time of their children,
better the kids go out and play ball or ride a bike,
most of the USA could use a little more exercise
and less time sitting in front of a game screen.

Besides, that $50 a pop for new games now goes to feed & fuel the SUV!

With the oil running out, people should be spending time adding mini-windmills
and solar panels to their houses with no-battery, sell it back to the utility company,
grid tie-in systems. It will come in handy when oil hits $200 a barrel.

I think everyone agrees... (1)

databank (165049) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866145)

It's the quality of the games that make a difference. I was in EBGames the other day and I had to laugh at the ridiculousness of some of the games I've seen....Ant Bully? Everything else these days are sequels and expansion packs...if you like sequels, more power to you, but theres been nothing that innovative that warrants spending $60 these days on games.

I mean Gothic 3? Lego Star Wars II? Sims 2? Quake 4? Doom 2? Medieval 2? Dungeon Siege 2? Space Empires V?

Can you name one new game that isn't an expansion pack or a new version of the same title?

PS- given that, I'm still ANXIOUSLY awaiting for Command and Conquer 3 and Total Annihilation 2 that's coming next year...

simple fix (1)

clambake (37702) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866150)

You don't need the entire game to be subscription based, just the updates and add-ons. Tie each "key" to a single credit card number, chargh $5 a year "service fee" and never let more than a single key access at a time (ban them if you do).

Typical Corporate BS (1)

cronot (530669) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866151)

While Piracy may be to blame in part for this, it's far from being biggest reason. The fact is, as someone else posted above, PC games these days are more and more hardware hungry, and you know, I'm betting the majority of people just don't have the money to keep up just to play the latest games. I think also these same people, that used to be on PC gaming camp, have actually growed up, and found out that their PC is useful not just for gaming, but getting work done too, and see no more sense on burning money on their PC just for games, when their 2~3 years old PC can do all other tasks they need just fine. Obviously, when I'm talking on third person, I'm actually talking about myself, but I believe this to be the case for a lot of people: I have an Athlon XP 2400, 1Gb Ram and a GF4 Ti4200 card. That machine, except for the harddisk, is like 3 years old or more, and you know what? Its performance for the daily tasks is pretty good, comparable even to newer machines I've came in contact, and I do a lot of stuff on that machine - web and software development, browsing, and some casual gaming (not new stuff, usually just simple, 2 years old games). I see no reason to upgrade that machine on the next 2 years at least.

I used to be an avid PC Gamer 2 years ago. I never thought of having a console, but when I came in to contact with a PS2 (which is not even the best console, technically speaking), I completely changed my mind. Bought one, and now I rarely play on the PC. The thing is, you still end up having at least half of the latest games both on the PC and console, and you don't have to upgrade your console. And people just started to realize that. Nothing beats the price of playing in the confort of your living room, without having to upgrade your machine every year to be able to play the latest games.

Everyone is not WoW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15866155)

Not every game has to be World of Warcraft. First off there are still a lot of us, I would dare say a majority of us game players who do not want to pay for a game months after we bought it. Personally I'm opposed to the whole subscription concept in it's entirety but to say that the solution to PC gaming problems is to turn them all in to WoW is ludicrous. What about the whole 'casual gamer' market that was supposed to be the next boom in gaming? Are they supposed to play monthly for games they only play casually?

A flaw with shooters (1)

GodInHell (258915) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866160)

Even the best FPS is still just a damn First Person Shooter... FPS games have a torqued out product cycle, once the graphics and game play are smooth - why upgrade? Story? Yeah.. sure. Sure, at first each new generation brought real improvement over the last - smoother curves however, do not a revolution in gaming make. On the console side we're seeing a greater amount of depth, 3D platformers, puzzle games, role playing.. and of course, First Person Shooters. Meanwhile, in the realm where PCs have the edge, adventure games and RTS titles.. nothing. That's why PC gaming is dying. -GiH

I work for a games company (5, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866163)

I don't actually give a dman about piracy. People were copying games when they came on tape, and they're still doing it.

funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15866165)

i thought i just don't buy these games anymore because there copy protection schemes suck badly and intervine with the way i want to use these games (no disk in drive, image if really needed on hdd, no other option acceptable)

without piracy these markets never would have emerged to what they are now, so stop whining and invest into game content and design, not into useless protections schemes which protect your customers from playing these games ...

The problem.. (1)

JavaLord (680960) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866183)

The problem with PC gaming is nothing good is coming out. I made the mistake of buying battlefield 2, and Quake 4 and liked neither of them. Then there was UT 2003, which had gameplay that wasn't as enjoyable as as the original Unreal Tournament.

Seriously, I've just stopped buying new PC games, the only one I've bought really recently was World of Warcarft. I'm not buying another FPS unless a demo comes out ahead of time, and it's damn good.

So what am I playing? Since I quit WoW, it's mostly Counter Strike 1.6 (and yes, I have source) and Unreal Tournament with a few friends. If you can give us something worthwhile that plays better than the old games, we will gladly buy it.

Cost, replayability (1)

J05H (5625) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866194)

I've never pirated a game. The reason I buy at most 1 game a year is mostly cost. At $50 a game, it's hard to justify that. Replayability is another factor. A lot of games simply suck the second time through, many the first time through. Civ4 is great, but just variations on a theme - it needs more dynamics like flooding, weather, replanting/engineering the land, canals, etc.

Joshua Gigantino
Send a Note to the Cosmos!
Printed on giant rings in space at

Same ol', same ol'. For reference, see the MI (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866203)

It's just the same problem the MI is facing. It's not the copying. Copying is as old as the computer game industry. Granted, it's now easier than it was in the days when you had to travel around with your floppies (or have them sent across the country), and it's easier to get online access than it was in the days of BBSs. On the other hand, the market grew considerably since the old days of the C64. Gamers ain't no more just a few kids aged 12-18, more and more people discover computer games as a hobby, and the age bracket opened to something akin to 9-40 (i.e. the C64 kids didn't stop playing).

The market grew. Copying grew, too, but the number of people willing to buy did certainly not shrink. If anything, it grew.

The problem is the games offered. Yes, I would buy a game if it interested me. No, currently there isn't anything that screams "BUY ME!". Actually, currently there's little on the market that I would copy willingly either. Waste of bandwidth, if anything.

Sure, the expectations grew since the days of the 64. On a C64, you had a 3 colored sprite that resembled vaguely something that could be considered a human shaped something if someone told you it was so and you didn't look too close. Today, this better was true color and smoothly animated! But what really makes or breaks a game, at least for me, is its gameplay and the fun I have when playing it.

Most games today are more a chore than fun, though. MMORPGs aside, which are by their very definition a chore accompanied by the dangling carrot, games today become more and more a burden. Many games, even in the days of the 64, had something "in store" for you if you did well. If you practiced long enough in this platformer, you went on and saw the next level. If you knew the patterns of the enemies in that shoot-em-up and if you knew when and where the boss was vulnerable, you'd see the next powerup. But today, it doesn't feel like you "get" anything when you invest time. You get to see... a new character outfit in this beat-em-up game, or a new cutscene if you assembled enough thingamajigs in that RPG.

The carrot is getting too small for me.

This aside, many studios start releasing the same ol' game over and over and over again. New (better?) graphics, a few new toys, maybe one or two new kinks and presto, it's Unreal2006. Or Command&Conquer Generals. Stripping the fluff, it's the same game as the predecessor. And don't make me start ranting about the EA sports line. Did ANYTHING change between NHL2004 and 2005?

So the games industry faces the same problem the MI is facing. Your offer became very, very bland, incredible uniform and indifferent, and generally not really interesting anymore. 10 companies competing by making essentially the same games, each with a little flavor and a bit of spice added, but it's FPS or RTS, RTS or FPS.

Do not confuse leeches for pirates (3, Insightful)

aadvancedGIR (959466) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866208)

ID more or less created the FPS genre 15 years ago and it was good for their business. Now everyone, including ID, is doing crappy FPS because that is what is supposed to sell.
Try to innovate from time to time, maybe you'll fail (for major studio, it should not be that a big deal) but it the long run, it's the only way out of slow decay.

Welcome to gamesworld the next jump in MMO worlds (1)

thelost (808451) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866260)

Welcome to Gamesworld. Ten years ago it seemed as if the gaming world had come to a halt. Piracy had almost crippled the PC gaming industry and many companies were turning to consoles as a solution. Here at Gamesworld Inc. though we knew that the future came in a different form. Games life Everquest, WoW and Second Life showed us the way, we just built on what they began.

Today Gamesworld has more than 50 million citizens. Each and everyone has dedicated housing space in our MMO world. Within Gamesworld you can meet your friends, family and even your arch enemies... and frag them! We provide a basic framework for games developers to bring their projects to life in. Whether you enjoy FPS, Racing, RPGs or indeed any other genre you could ever think of - and some you couldn't even imagine! - we have it.

Our main City Kamajakin hosts some of the greatest speedways in the Gamesworld. We are currently hosting the annual Luna Day speedway championships so don't forget to check them out. Rumour has it that the prize for winning this seasons Championships is a previously unseen vehicle.

Of course if you want to relax then find one of our many welcoming taverns. There is sure to be some kind of card game going on in the gambling districts many drinking places, pull up a seat and have a few rounds.

We would like to emphasize here at Gamesworld that any talk that has been floating around of rogue elements within Gamesworld is entirely fictitious. Some of our more creative citizens have been spreading some colourful rumours. However if you happen to see any 'glitches' please do not approach them.

Unfortunately due to current system cleaning the Great Beyond will be not be available from now till 11amGST. Word from the top says a new area is being merged into the current realm. Sounds exciting.

This was the current message of the day.

You have completed logon.

you are in a room. it is dark and smells of death. something twinkles in the north east corner. a feeling from the south fills you with dread and terror. There are exits to the north, east and south. what would you like to do?

Piracy killing PC gaming debate is so 1990 (1)

David Fontanella (149231) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866435)

As long as I have been gaming, I have heard the same arguments... and they are still here to talk about it. Must not be that dead.

Where would we be without piracy? (2, Insightful)

Thanatos69 (993924) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866450)

I just don't get it why everyone has to blame piracy. They aren't really losing money as most people who pirate games just won't buy them anyways. I'm not going to go out and spend $60 on yet another Spiderman game. I will however, download it and try it out, if it's good I will buy it, if not, I'm not wasting money. I wouldn't have bought the game to begin with. When Starcraft came out, I had a pirated copy, played it for a bit then bought it. Someone else had a pirated copy, didn't like it, didn't buy it. That same person wouldn't have bought it to begin with. Same as movies, I'm not going to pay $50 (two people, popcorn, softdrinks...) to go see some crap movie, ie. Jersey Girl. It's not that I started out this way of downloading everything under the sun to try it out first, they caused it by releasing crap game after crap game.

For 30 years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15866488)

Piracy has been killing the games industry for going on 30 years now.
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