A real-world impact of video game piracy

2 min read


Piracy is a thing that won’t go away any time soon. Seen as a victimless crime, many pirate games, videos and other media using the skewed logic that it’s not really theft; it’s a copy, leaving the original untouched and is therefore peachy. Here’s a thing; publishers are growing increasingly weary of supporting platforms whose predecessors have a strong history of piracy – such as the 3DS and Vita. Both the DS and the PSP had security that was terribly easy to circumvent.

Speaking to Gamasutra, Peter Ong, co-founder of DreamRift who developed the pretty awful Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion has said that publishers are becoming cautious of, in particular the 3DS, when it comes to support. The Nintendo DS was a piracy hotbed, something that’s not quite happened on the 3DS…yet. Still, the doubt that publishers have leaves the system’s future in jeopardy.

"The publishers’ fear was that, in a climate where piracy is commonplace, original games and new mechanics are far less likely to be successful than games based on previously successful mechanics, established licenses, sequels, and sports," he said.

"There’s a perception that the parents/grandparents/non-enthusiast/mainstream/etc. are less likely to go about pirating games. Now, I want to make this point loud and clear: Regardless of whether it’s true that enthusiast/hardcore gamers are more likely to pirate than mainstream gamers, the fact that publishers believe it to be true has a very real, unfortunate and ugly impact on games."

Basically, if you core gamers keep pirating games…publishers are going to instead focus on old people and casuals, who they believe are less likely to steal their software.

Last Updated: January 11, 2013

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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