Piracy for Game Development is Outrageously High

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39 Replies - 4989 Views - Last Post: 09 December 2013 - 05:39 PM

#31 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Piracy for Game Development is Outrageously High

Posted 15 October 2013 - 08:57 AM

DRM doesn't just suck for games. I just installed MatLab and Octave, so I could play with the two and see what I could see. MatLab required a half a dozen steps - set up an account on their site, confirm the email, download this, run this installer, go back to the site to find an install key, fill out some more this that and the other, rotate the computer around the Z axis three times, sacrifice a goat, etc. For octave, on the mac, it was "download this .dmg file and run it".

MatLab is starting itself off on the back foot as far as I'm concerned - they'd better be pretty special to justify all that rigamarole.
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#32 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: Piracy for Game Development is Outrageously High

Posted 15 October 2013 - 09:07 AM

View Postbaavgai, on 14 October 2013 - 06:01 AM, said:

Now, since I own these copies, would manipulating them in this way be illegal? I'm not entirely sure.

I would agree that it should not be, but both Sony & Apple have sued because of this.
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#33 belgarion262  Icon User is offline

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Re: Piracy for Game Development is Outrageously High

Posted 23 October 2013 - 07:01 AM

*-Mini NecroPost incoming-*

Have any of you heard of Game Dev Tycoon? It's where you are a game dev, trying to make games. Going from working in your basement in the Atari ere, all the way to making your own console in the post xbox360 era.

The game developers released a cracked copy of the game with a twist.

In the cracked copy your company is plagued with piracy, losing you money until the game becomes unwinnable (i.e. you go bankrupt).

it's an innovative way of them putting their point across.

EuroGamer aritcle


EDIT: I should mention that the cracked copy they released was done so secretly. meaning people just thought someone had cracked it, rather then it being a deliberate ploy

This post has been edited by belgarion262: 23 October 2013 - 07:02 AM

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#34 farrell2k  Icon User is offline

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Re: Piracy for Game Development is Outrageously High

Posted 23 October 2013 - 07:34 AM

A great game Volgarr, a Rastan clone, is heavily pirated as well, with only 4% of players playing legitimate copies.

It seems like IOS and consoles are the only somewhat safe havens for indie developers these days.
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#35 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Re: Piracy for Game Development is Outrageously High

Posted 23 October 2013 - 08:13 AM

View Postbelgarion262, on 23 October 2013 - 10:01 AM, said:

Have any of you heard of Game Dev Tycoon?


Interesting.

Put another way: I believe that beating children with stove pipes will lead to a utopian society. I write a novel where people behave as I say they should and everything comes out the way I say it should. It proves... creative writing? For some reason, I'm thinking of Walden Two now...
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#36 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Piracy for Game Development is Outrageously High

Posted 23 October 2013 - 08:59 AM

I have to say, it's a pretty poorly-designed lesson. I think most of the people who tried the game in the "cracked" version probably ended up thinking the game just sucked.

I think it may be worth considering a world in which the crackers have won. Just pretend to yourself that there is no point in trying to prevent someone from copying a game. Are there still business models? Of course there are.

To start with, there are probably some models to draw on in the history of literature. Think of serials - a company could develop a game, and if there's demand, they could continue. If there's nobody buying, they don't develop any more. With Kickstarter, this actually becomes pretty viable: the different levels of contribution give people opportunities to influence the plot, to get their name or picture into the game, or maybe buy an enhanced game experience. Under the kickstarter scenario, you could actually make each "chapter" of the game free, since you'd have the development costs paid for out front.

There's the public-radio model, where people get some symbolic totem to carry around for paying to support a public good. You could have a special T-shirt made that costs, say $60, and the only way to get it is to buy it from the game company. People who play the game would know that this is a person who supports their entertainment - if they respect this, then you've just managed to sell real-world rep points. (I'm not sure tote bags would go over real well, but you could try)
Extending that idea, you could even talk companies into "sponsoring" the game. The hipper-than-you startup culture (so pathetic, but maybe useful, since it makes people so easily manipulated) suggests that you could easily make something like this happen, if you found companies that make things gamers want. (Hah. Like there's any of those. Like gamers are a market that any company would want to tap into... as if! Oh, wait. Yeah, that could work)
Or, you could provide a "I made your fun happen" badge that people could use to decorate their on-line personae. Sort of like the progress badges that the euler project provides.

If you don't like those, there are others. There's no shortage of ways to get money from people, and making them pay at the gate is just one of them. If people have figured out a way to get around the gate, you can still sell them T-shirts and hot dogs.


I remember the day when a guy came into my coffee shop with a DVD - "Dude, I've got everything Tom Waits has ever recorded, right here! And I got it free, from the internet!" I was horrified - being a musician, that meant basically my model of making a living had just been shot in the head. I spent a lot of time railing against the music pirates - well, technology more or less happened, and my side lost. And as it turned out, not much changed. Once upon a time, bands would play shows so they could maybe get discovered and make records. Then the nineties happened, and now bands make records so they can get discovered and play shows. Six of one, half a dozen of the other. Bands still play. People will still make games. Some studios will make the wrong choices and go under, some new ones will fill those niches. Apocalypse not yet.

This post has been edited by jon.kiparsky: 23 October 2013 - 09:02 AM

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#37 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Re: Piracy for Game Development is Outrageously High

Posted 23 October 2013 - 12:13 PM

Apropos, I just got some spam from "The Lord of the Rings Online" trying to get me back. I might come back for a bit. Who knows.

This game, like many others, is "free to play." The income stream comes from extras that can be purchased in game. You never have to buy a thing, but if you play a lot, you might. I've thrown some cash at them over the years.

A quick look at current the gaming success stories shows this model is thriving. Variations of this are fundamentally pirate proof and these are the guys who will survive.
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#38 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Piracy for Game Development is Outrageously High

Posted 23 October 2013 - 12:31 PM

Have you read Reamde? The model might be pirate-proof, but there's certainly some room for shennanigans...
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#39 Ghostfreak  Icon User is offline

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Re: Piracy for Game Development is Outrageously High

Posted 09 December 2013 - 01:43 PM

View Postfarrell2k, on 12 October 2013 - 04:29 AM, said:

I remember reading a few years ago about World of Goo having a 90% piracy rate on the PC.

In the end, there is not much you can really do, if you plan to sell the product outright. Of course that's not the only way to monetize software. You could do something web based, or even monetize it via in-app purchases, which is what I would do.

I don't think the makers of MineCraft have man problems with piracy.


What still? I thought it was established that Steam defeats a large amount of piracy. It'd be interesting to see if the game did well...Although perhaps no World of Goo 2 might answer the question. I'd settle for 50% but 90% is a little high with a medium like Steam which basically hands the games over for free.
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#40 depricated  Icon User is offline

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Re: Piracy for Game Development is Outrageously High

Posted 09 December 2013 - 05:39 PM

The best anti-piracy tactic I ever heard of actually lead me to buy the game for no reason other than that. I don't pirate games, and my steam library is full of indie games to back that up.

But what I was gonna bring up.

Game Dev Tycoon. When it first came across my radar I dismissed it thinking, "a game about making games, how...meh. Why don't I just make a game? This is like guitar hero for nerds." Then I read about their anti-piracy measure. Prior to releasing the game, they intentionally flooded the internet with torrents of a copy which contained one key difference: it cannot be beaten. It was actually someone here who told me of this, but I forget who - modi maybe? Some time into the game, you start losing sales to piracy. While there is an event in the real game where you get pirated, it isn't something that breaks your company (and depending on how you react you get more fans). In the leaked copy, piracy gets so bad you literally cannot survive. So when you see people posting on forums "guys how do I deal with pirates I can't sell my games" you know that they're using a pirated copy.

I thought that was clever as fuck. When I read about it I turned around and bought the game for no reason other than I thought that a trick that cool deserved my dollar. It turns out though that I also really enjoyed the game, so double win!
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