Mark Darrah argues in a recent YouTube video that both publishers and pirates tend to misrepresent their positions.
Mark Darrah has spent more than a quarter-century at BioWare. He rose from Baldur’s Gate programmer to the level of an executive producer of the Dragon Age series. He quit the office by the end of 2020, after which he launched his YouTube channel. He shares all types of videos ranging from console certification to old game swag on his channel.
In his latest YouTube video, Darrah talks about videogame piracy. He says that we all have the wrong idea about piracy. Game publishers claim huge losses to justify their efforts. They assume that every pirated videogame is lost at a full-price sale. But according to Darrah that is not the case. He argues comparing it to legal reports of drugs seized in raids. He points out that the calculations used to find out the lost sales figures are often exaggerated beyond the real value.
He also argues that pirates claiming their activities have no actual impact on the business. It takes money to develop games. However, not all pirated games represent lost sales. Some pirates do it to boycott particular games. Good sales could be made if piracy could be prevented. This could be achieved with the implementation of more effective DRM measures.
In his video Darrah asks, why would you pirate a game in the first place if you weren’t going to buy it ever? Sometimes it happens that you pirate a game thinking you wouldn’t have bought the game. But then why would you want to pirate the game, if you don’t want to play it at all?
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This is a very tricky question asked by Darrah. The situation is even trickier in countries where there are no games available. The cost of imports can be very high, especially for PC games that don’t get a physical release. In such situations, piracy is the only option left.
Darrah claims that it is a “double-edged sword”. Quite often, large markets like Russia are overlooked by publishers due to the high rate of piracy. But this only makes the situation worse as people get more desperate to pirate a game.
Darrah considers piracy as a logical option only when the game is no longer available out there. This seems to be a good time to pirate a game as the publishers are no longer willing to sell the game. Also, you are not making money out of someone’s hand.
He concludes, that the problem of piracy is a serious one and it has a huge impact on the gaming industry. Some of you might argue why piracy is okay. But you should stop for a moment and double-check that it is not an excuse.
Piracy has many bad side effects that gravely impact the gaming industry. Security experts claimed that pirated games have helped a Trojan to spread and infect over 3 million PCs and stole 1.2 terabytes of personal information.
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