Piracy Figures

Discussion in 'PC Gaming & Rigs' started by Rasczak, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Some interesting figures have been posted on Digital Spy:

    'Crysis 2', 'Gears of War 3' top 2011 most pirated games list - Gaming News - Digital Spy

    The key extract:

    :eek: Some fairly shocking numbers there and makes you appreciate why the PC is so unpopular with developers. For example even though Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 sold significantly more on the Xbox (some articles are putting the PC sales as just 15% of the total), PC piracy was FOUR times higher than Xbox piracy. Interesting to note that PS3 piracy, presumably in no small part due to Blu-ray, has low levels of piracy.

    Also interesting to note that Crysis 2 was the most pirated PC game - especially as it was so rubbish.
     
  2. Razor

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    Interesting and surprising figures Raz. I wonder how many of those pc downloads resulted in actual purchases of that game? I guess this is one figure that will never come to light.
     
  3. Naaktgeboren

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    Indeed :smashin:
     
  4. WildeKarde

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    Well looking from my own perspective I've played none of the PC games. If the wee shady bloke comes in to the pub and handed me the five discs would I try the games, maybe/maybe not but probably no more than a demo of them. It's not something that would interest me (and to be honest I don't have the time for the games from steam sales never mind copies)

    Speaking from experience of seeing the dodgy market traders locally they have 90/95% of them selling console games and very few of them would do PC games. We could say those who pirate PC games are able to source direct from the internet (hence the high numbers), but I'm thinking if you compared pirated copies from both downloads and buying at a market the numbers might be closer.
     
  5. Hillskill

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    I can't see the word "estimate" anywhere in that article despite the fact that can be the only way to ever get piracy numbers.
     
  6. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    I'm guessing for Crysis 2 none :D

    Seriously though it is a good point and, as you say, probably there is a degree of 'try before you buy' going on for some titles. But for games like Modern Warfare 3 is that really going to be the case? I mean we all know exactly what to expect from such a game after two previous, near identical instalments. And, having just completed the SP game myself, it is a highly polished but very short affair. I can't imagine too many people download it, try it for a bit and then buy. I think I completed the game in a day and half at the most.

    You are probably right - I don't really know how torrents work - but the article's data is drawn from a torrent site so wouldn't they have an accurate number of actual downloads? Or doesn't it work like that?
     
  7. jjgreenwood

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    interesting most of them are from the EA stable
     
  8. Hillskill

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    Torrent indexes aren't in the habit of giving out details to the companies that literally want them dead and gone. I don't dispute Piracy is an obvious problem but I honestly think Steam has done PC gaming the biggest favour.......infact I would go as far as say it has saved PC gaming. Choice, value (when considering the sales) and reliability. Its a business model that no doubt MS and Sony will be looking to ape once their next gen consoles arrive.
    The real juicy piracy figures will come out of eastern europe and the far east and those cats sure as hell won't be volunteering an info. Its impossible to gauge how good or bad the problem is. The video game industry now makes more cash then the movie biz and those guys have to pay their leading stars 20million+ a film. Activision sure as hell didn't pay Soap that kind of cash! I want gaming to thrive and from what I can see it is. No doubt the same site will be reporting record sales next week.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2012
  9. Hillskill

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    great spot! lets put it this way: Joe public sees all the pirates have gone bat crazy for Crysis 2 then he thinks "hmm, guess that game must be good. I'll buy it!". No such thing as negative press.
     
  10. =adrian=

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    As you can check yourself for fun, I'm sure there are more 'generic' numbers available for the chosen ones and more serious tools out there to do it.

    You Have Downloaded - We show what you downloaded

     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2012
  11. Sega Mega Dave

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    In my eyes a few simple steps would go a long way to help cut piracy.

    1) Provide a demo for every game, then we can see whether it is worth purchasing or not. Not everyone wants to spend £30 on something they play for 30 mins and either don't like or find out it doesn't work.

    2) Similar to the above but provide a system checker with every game to see if a) the game can run and b) run well enough.

    3) Have some form of industry standards in place that a game has to be fit for purpose by external testing before release and not 3 months after when a dozen patches have been supplied.

    4) Provide cheaper prices for downloads, surely the cost of servers is cheaper than producing a cd, manual, case and then shipping it to retailer. Most cases physical copies are cheaper than downloads.

    You will never stop it completely as some people want everything in life for nothing and that stretches out far more than just gaming.

    I think with all piracy though a lot who do it don't really see it as much of a crime or any at all. They would likely never walk into a shop and steal as they know it's wrong but then don't think twice about downloading a song, film or game.

    I know good people who illegal download at times when they want a quick song, these would never steal in real life but they just don't grasp what they are doing is really stealing.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2012
  12. Rasczak

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    I agree that Steam has brought many positives to PC gaming but it doesn't seem to have stopped piracy - you'll note that Portal 2, a Steam exclusive, is also in the top 5 pirated PC games.

    As for MS copying Steam I fully agree. Infact I wrote a blog - when will GFWL get Steamed? - sometime ago :)
     
  13. =adrian=

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    IMO it does not work the same. If you steal something from a shop, it means you take it away and the rightful owner is missing that item.

    If you download something illegally you are not taking anything away, you just copy it, so you and the rightful owner got a copy each.

    That does not mean, that the piracy is a good thing. Just that the real life examples, do not (or should not) work the same way.
     
  14. Sega Mega Dave

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    Doesn't work like that though does it? The outcome is the same.

    Steal BF3 from a shop DICE/EA lose out on that sale.
    Illegal download online DICE/EA lose out on that sale.

    End of the day that person is still using the product without paying whether its copied or stolen and either way the people who created it see nothing of it.
     
  15. cabanatuan

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    i dont believe those figures mate because back in china, phillippines etc, piracy is rampant on the consoles more then on pc as not manyc an afford a £600 gaming pc whilst a £200 console is more affordable. Seriously i dont believe those stats. where are they based from?
     
  16. cabanatuan

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    I added the one in bold for you as the prime reason why devs dont do demos anymore
     
  17. Goooner

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    By the same token, borrow it off a mate DICE/EA have lost a sale, or have they? Would you have bought it if your mate hadn't lent it to you? Not necessarily.

    Also, buy it second hand, DICE/EA lose a sale, but again, have they? Would I have bought it for full price? Maybe not.

    Piracy obviously exists, but I'm very sceptical of these numbers seemingly plucked out of the air by publishers/developers.

    Put out a decent game and people will buy it, put out an average game, full of bugs, with no manual, which seems to be the norm now, where's the incentive for people to buy it?
     
  18. cabanatuan

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    Well said..borrowing
     
  19. AJBek

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    Borrowing games is pretty alien to me as a pc gamer, but the console boys do it all the time. My mate regularly takes his copy of mw3 and fifa to a mates and they play it on his ps3. This is technically a lost sale as they should both have bought a copy according to publishers, same as second hand games which publishers are doing their best to stamp out on the consoles with online passes etc. PC gaming has none of these issues. TBH I couldn't be bothered with piracy for pc games as my internet connection would take about 2 days to torrent a game and I only have limited bandwidth per month (steam is the same problem). I amn pretty happy about the cost of pc games anyway and am quite happy to pay for them, music on the other hand....
     
  20. wolvers

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    Surely piracy on consoles is done mainly by disc copies, rather than downloads?

    Also, JM is bang on. If you've ever been to the far east you'll know how rife console game piracy is there.
     
  21. =adrian=

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    To be perfectly honest, I think that the 'piracy problem' is not even half as big as all those massive companies want us to believe. Chasing the pirates is a big business in itself worth millions if not billions. And while doing it look what else they can acheive.

    I'm not sure you are aware but we are on the verge of the biggest internet censorship ever. I think it just awaits the US Senate signature.

    I'll try to dig out the source.
     
  22. =adrian=

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    Last edited: Jan 3, 2012
  23. Dave2

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    I think the pc stats are based on expected sale based on console sales if you catch what I'm trying to say.


    So console sold 6 million but pc only sold 2 million so the pc version was illegally downloaded 3 million times.

    What does scare me is what the stats tell me and that is pc gaming will move to things like onlive and this will spoil pc gaming as a whole.
     
  24. heathen666

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    It's down to the level of risk. I can download (if i wanted to) a pirated game with a very, very small chance of being caught. Where if I walked into my local Tescos and stole the same game, there is a far higher chance of being caught. This just doesn't apply to software piracy, but also think about the next time you go over the speed limit, or jump a red light, but that's a whole separate debate entirely.

    End of the day, back when trading tapes was popular, the record companies looked the other way because they were still getting money from everytime you purchased a blank tape. Why can't the same be done for broadband / cable connections and blank CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray disks??
     
  25. Rasczak

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    The figures are based on downloads whereas my experience of the Far East is that pirated copies tend to distributed on disk. I acknowledge that, if disks are taken into account, console piracy might be far worse than illegal PC downloads. But I also think this is a smoke screen over the issue raised.

    The publishers have to accept and budget for mass piracy in the Far East because anti-iracy measures cannot be adequately enforced. Whereas in the main Western economies (including Japan) disk based pirate sales, as well as console modding, can be more effectively attacked. This leaves those wishing to pirate to resort to the internet and we can see clearly from the figures that it is the PC that is haven to most.

    It would inevitable to me that we will get to a stage, perhaps when PC gaming reaches a low ebb again when the new consoles emerge, where publishers decide not to release on PC. I just see how such mass piracy figures are sustainable in a retracting market.
     
  26. TheNameIsJambo

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    If that statistic is based off of the NPD figures it could be skewed, in favour of the consoles; the NPD figures don't include digital downloads, just store-bought purchases. So, that figure could/should be marginally higher.

    I've bought 2 games from a shop as of late, BF3 and Skyrim. The rest of my of purchases are digital - Those sales don't get counted on any retailometer, other than Steam's.

    A few people I have spoke to said they download the game nefariously to try it out, to choose whether to buy the game or not - Due to the lack of any demo.

    It's terrible when people have to resort to illegal activities to decide on a purchase.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2012
  27. AJBek

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    See, I don't think PC gaming will ever really die off as though it is in sony, microsoft and the developers interests to get everyone into consoles it is most certainly not in Intel, AMD and Nvidias interest. If this was to happen their high margin graphics cards and cpus would then not be sold, and pc hardware development would stagnate which is in no one's interest. Also the games are all developed on the pc anyway. What I think will happen is that the times between console and pc releases will increase so the devs can make all their money off the consoles, then poorly optimised pc ports will be released to mop up the enthusiast pc market with a few cutting edge features that don't run right but require a monster graphics card to play propery so NVidia and AMD can carry on selling high end cards. At this point piracy won't matter so much as they have already made their money and they won't have to put too much effort into the pc build anyway so any sales are a bonus. I think we have started to see this already with the release of Batmn AC and skyrim, batman was delayed and didn't work properly on release and skyrim has not been optimised at all and therefore hasn't cost them any real money to develop. Won't stop them from bleating about all the imaginary millions of pounds they are loosing to piracy though.
     
  28. cabanatuan

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    Skyrim has been optimised. it runs brilliant on my 3 year old pc at ultra settings
     
  29. AJBek

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    Perhaps I should have said not optimised properly rather than not at all. According to the skyrim thread on here the game only uses 2 cores of a 4 core processor (to be fair a lot of games only one one core) and produces shadows on the cpu rather than the gpu (as that is what the consoles do so they didn't change it), so a lot of people with high end pcs are having major issues getting it to run right. Having said that lots of people with high end pcs can't get Batman to run right and it plays fine on my machine so obviously it is different for different people.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2012
  30. Sinzer

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    I think the only commentary I would make, is that the figures do not show how many of those gamers actually go out and purchase the games after downloading or purchase OTHER games.

    Illegal downloaders 'spend the most on music', says poll - Crime - UK - The Independent

    Research on the music industry already shows that the people who pirate music actually spend 100% more on legal music than people who do not download. I could (from personal experience) agree this is highly likely in the computer games industry.

    Piracy is a problem however it is not solved by tyrannical measures. As Gabe Newell said (I rarely agree with most of his nonsense). Piracy can be alleviated by providing a good service, both in terms of value for money and quality guarantee.
     

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