Showing posts with label Piracy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Piracy. Show all posts

Saturday, October 31, 2009

How About You Ask The Pirates?

Ars Technica is running a piece about Borderlands and the fact some players were able to snag a boxed copy of the PC version days before launch only to be greeted by failed authentication attempts preventing them from playing the game.
Borderlands was a highly anticipated release on the PC, but a one-week delay of the PC launch meant that console gamers were able to enjoy the gun-collecting goodness ahead of their PC gaming brethren. A few gamers were lucky enough to find stores that were willing to sell the boxed PC copy of the game before the street date, however, but when they installed the game and tried to play, they found that without the title being authenticated online, the disc and key were worthless.

The problem? They forgot that buying a PC game doesn't involve a product, but a license.
Gearbox big wig, Randy Pitchford, responded:
"I don't know if something can be done to unlock copies for people that somehow get a copy before the street date... I certainly can't do anything about it, but I understand and am sympathetic to the frustration,"
He doesn't know. The man responsible for the game doesn't know if it can be unlocked before its street date. Maybe he should have asked the pirates that were playing Borderlands DAYS before the official street date.

It constantly amazes me the things that Publishers and Developers push off on piracy. Pirates don't buy games. Stopping them does not generate any revenue. There is not a single developer that has proven that piracy hurts their game sales. In some cases it has proven to help sales just as a free copy of a ebook often spurs sales of the hard copy!

Yes, piracy does hurt the bottom line when pirated versions are allowed to negatively affect the community and service built around a game. However, rarely, if ever, does a pirated copy equal a lost sale. That is NOT my opinion, its proven fact. Unfortunately, few companies are willing to admit this.

One time, just one time, I would like to see these companies learn a lesson from piracy. Make the game easily accessible, with no restrictions, and allow players to play as soon as they have their hands on a copy. This makes for happy and repeat customers (an educated person may have noticed that pirates tend to come back again and again to the same hacking communities that put out the best product).

NOTE: I do not pirate games or endorse piracy.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hulu to Start Charging in 2010 - A Sunday Morning Post

Sad news for fans of all things legally free on the Internet, Hulu officially to start charging for content in 2010:
Bad news if you like free stuff: In 2010, the popular ad-supported streaming video site Hulu will officially begin charging for content.
Let me preface this with: as a fan of Hulu, I would pay for some premium content. However, the vast majority of what is on Hulu is something I am already paying for on cable or can get for FREE over the open air waves. The ONLY edge Hulu has is the fact that it is free and on-demand (meaning I can watch what I want, when I want). Is that worth paying for? As I said, maybe, for some stuff, especially if I dump my overpriced monthly cable bill. I gladly pay for Netflix, which a similar argument can be made for.

A lot of people are stating they are just going back to their torrents. Seriously? People are going back to torrents? I highly doubt any torrenters (aka pirates) dumped their torrents for Hulu. Torrents are simple to get, often better quality, and don't come with advertisements. Hulu was there for those of us that didn't pirate, but still wanted quality free content while supporting the content developers in some way.

Come 2010, my wife and I have decided to dump our cable TV and go Internet only. Regardless of whether Hulu is free or not, quality FREE and LEGAL content is available in droves on the Internet. Its just a question of setting expectations that we may miss a few things here and there (at the same time we may discover a few things we've been missing).

Anyways, we have Netflix and I think that is where the problem is. Can Hulu convince anyone to pony up for yet another online-centric service? I think the answer is yes, especially if it works out to be SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper than my monthly cable bill.

Back to Hulu and the pirates, and lets get this post back towards game-related

I just don't buy either side here. Hulu claims to be losing millions, but all the evidence shows how successful their model is for advertisers. Not to mention Hulu giving rebirth to almost dead TV programs such as Its Always Sunny in Philadeplphia. Hulu just needs to leverage itself better and get paid for the power that it now yields.

Pirates claim they were using Hulu, which is just laughable.

We've seen this in the game sector as well. Pirates ALWAYS claim they just want a free preview or that games are too expensive. As this post from an iPhone game developer shows, its a lie.
Well, from this data we can conclude that 0% of pirates think the game is worth buying (which, by the way, is contrary to most of the forum posts we read from legit buyers).
To summarize: iPhone games are cheap and NONE of the pirates came back to buy the game after playing it hardcore.

My view on piracy and what content creators should do:
a) minimize its impact to their service (don't let pirated copies tag along on your online services, make support requests, etc.)

b) ignore it
And that's that for a Sunday morning post.