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DRM Piracy Games

Valve's Gabe Newell On Piracy: It's Not a Pricing Problem 466

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-in-fact-all-about-the-benjamins dept.
New submitter silentbrad writes with a followup to our discussion this morning about Ubisoft's claims of overwhelming game piracy. An article at IGN quotes a different point of view from Gabe Newell, CEO of Valve: "In general, we think there is a fundamental misconception about piracy. Piracy is almost always a service problem and not a pricing problem. For example, if a pirate offers a product anywhere in the world, 24 x 7, purchasable from the convenience of your personal computer, and the legal provider says the product is region-locked, will come to your country 3 months after the U.S. release, and can only be purchased at a brick and mortar store, then the pirate's service is more valuable. Most DRM solutions diminish the value of the product by either directly restricting a customers use or by creating uncertainty." The quote was taken from an interview at The Cambridge Student Online, in which Newell speaks to a few other subjects, such as creating games for multiple platforms and e-sports.
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Valve's Gabe Newell On Piracy: It's Not a Pricing Problem

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  • Hmmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hedwards (940851) on Friday November 25, 2011 @07:42PM (#38170786)

    And yet Steam has that USD=Euro conversion and region locked pricing.

  • Re:Hmmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bignetbuy (1105123) <[r0ck] [at] [operamail.com]> on Friday November 25, 2011 @07:48PM (#38170822) Journal

    And they continue to screw the Aussies on game prices with most games costing TWICE as much as their U.S. versions.

  • Re:I for one... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Hentes (2461350) on Friday November 25, 2011 @07:51PM (#38170840)

    DRM does not stop pirates, they are smart enough to circumvent it, it only annoys legitimate users.

  • Re:I for one... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by zcomuto (1700174) on Friday November 25, 2011 @07:52PM (#38170860)

    I'd say DRM encourages piracy more than anything. I'd rather a game just work, than having to jump through hoops to make it work. If a game has something like Securom, frankly I'd rather pirate than have to deal with it. DRM never works, it will always be cracked. There's no getting around that fact.

    In truth I never like pirating, if a company makes a good game I'm of the opinion that they deserve my money, but sometimes they don't make it easy to take. Dreamfall is a noticeable game I remember, I have the boxed copy which uses a disk check, but thankfully there are loads of DRM-free .exe's the pirates have provided.

  • Re:Hmmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gman003 (1693318) on Friday November 25, 2011 @07:56PM (#38170902)

    If they tried to block "games aren't allowed to be unlocked at different times in different regions", all the publishers have to do is consider Steam the "last region" - not putting their games on Steam until it's made its worldwide launch. It's too simple to get around in a way that's bad for Steam.

    And Valve isn't responsible for enforcing their ethical practices on others. I'm sure they're happy to take a cut of anyone's money.

  • Multifaceted (Score:5, Insightful)

    by king neckbeard (1801738) on Friday November 25, 2011 @08:03PM (#38170992)
    Having a service problem doesn't mean there isn't a pircing problem as well. The three biggest issues IMO are pricing, service, and respect, although I'm sure other issues play a role as well. However, the respect problem isn't the 'pirates don't respect intellectual property' garbage, but rather, the lack of respect for customers from copyright holders. The FBI warnings on DVDs being a good example of disrespect that only affects those that actually BUY the product.
  • Simple (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheDarkMaster (1292526) on Friday November 25, 2011 @08:08PM (#38171034)
    Make a reasonable price, make easy to pay (paypal?), make easy to buy/download, do not annoy me with DRM or "you must be on to play" and I will buy the game. Is so difficult?
  • by Genda (560240) <mariet@@@got...net> on Friday November 25, 2011 @08:11PM (#38171044) Journal

    Piracy is a natural response to people who want to "CONTROL". The issue is not about IP, its not about getting something for nothing. Time and time again research, the research generated by the very vendors of IP, says people are happy to pay for something of value. That they simply want what they want the way the want it. It is the unbridled need, addiction to, the control of something that has become the crux of the piracy debate.

    The irony is, that by punishing consumers for the fear of being robbed, precipitates the actual robbery. People just ask to get their music, movie or game, simply, easily, and accessibly from any technology they possess. It is the draconian measures which now threaten to destroy (SOPA) the very conduit our collective futures rely on (the Internet), that is a clear extension of the avarice and need to control. These people have enjoyed decades of complete control, allowing an infrastructure of suppliers and middlemen to rape artists at one end and consumers at the other. With the advent of growing technology, old paradigms fail. For these people, the answer is not to learn how to leverage the amazing power of the new technology, but strangle it so they can bring back the bad old days. We need to make it clear to our representatives in no uncertain terms, that the future demands that the internet be free, broad and democratic.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 25, 2011 @08:13PM (#38171058)

    Standard excuses for not paying for this or any other game (pick any that apply):
    1) I will pirate it first and then pay only if it is PERFECT. As in, every thing else in life that I will consume and then not pay for if I decided I didn't like it after the fact.
    2) My pirating is good for the software developer (more people playing, even without paying is good, it gives them lots of free publicity). Piracy increases sales! I am doing them a HUGE favor.
    3) I am a cheap ass.
    4) There is no such thing as copyright (or shouldn't be). Other people should create art, music, games, films, and entertainment for me as a favor and fund it out of their own pocket.
    5) Piracy is a fact in the gaming world. Get used to it. It's the developer's own fault because they should have taken it into account in their business model (besides, they should have been working on this full time as an open source program for free anyway).
    6) You charge too much. And if it is only $10, or $5, or even $1, then pirating it shouldn't be that much of a burden to the developer.
    7) I do not want to try the demo because the only meaningful way to try out a game is to try out the ENTIRE game.
    8) Who cares if there is 99.9% piracy, all the developers need is to make just enough money to fund developing another game. They don't need to get rich (after all, I'm not).
    9) "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need."
    10) Because I have never had to create, develop and market a game and I don't have a clue as to what it takes to run a business.
    11) It is just normal human nature to take the product of others' labor without compensating them.
    12) Pirating something NEVER results in a lost sale. Not even when spread over thousands of people.
    13) Because copyright law that protects GPL software is no more to be observed than copyright that protects content.
    14) Personal honor is such an outmoded concept anyway.

  • Yes, yessss (Score:5, Insightful)

    by harvey the nerd (582806) on Friday November 25, 2011 @08:17PM (#38171084)
    Newell said that the "service problems" are the primary problem. He's right.
    I will not buy region locked disks precisely because my family lives and works between 3 regions. Region locking is an absolute ripoff, at least for us.

    Anywhere in the world, 24 x 7, purchasable from the convenience of your personal computer
    Is anything less ever acceptable in this day and age?

    Most DRM solutions diminish the value of the product by either directly restricting a customers use or by creating uncertainty."
    He's being polite. DRM is mostly a form of defective products and sales fraud.

    Price *is* an issue, it needs to be reasonable. But I won't even think about that until *all of the above is out of the way* or your "product" simply doesn't exist to me.
  • by vAltyR (1783466) on Friday November 25, 2011 @08:23PM (#38171138)

    Sorry but the only instances of pirated games I have ever seen (and btw didn't download) were cracked versions of a game that could be downloaded for free. I haven't seen a site offering to sell me someone else's game for a fee. I agree its a matter of convenience in a lot of cases - when something cool is out people want access to it now - but I think it must be a much less common thing that people buy the game from a pirate. I have never associated piracy with a separate sale arrangement, just people who want something for free, or simply want it where its not available or (as noted by an Aussie above) its grossly overpriced and people feel ripped off.

    The pirates charge less than the game companies. The fact that the price is $0.00 doesn't really matter; you're still paying less than if you bought it legally. If I were to make a bunch of copies of a game disc, and go around handing it out to people and paying them $5 (note, *I'm* paying them to "buy" my product), then I'm selling the game at an even lower price than the pirates. Yes, it would be incredibly stupid to do that, but that's not the point; the point is, just because the customer isn't paying doesn't mean they're not sales. I think Gabe's got it spot-on. In economics terms, the pirates are competition; competition who is selling a better product, more widely available, and cheaper. You can't beat competition like that by crippling your product even further.

  • Re:I for one... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by smellotron (1039250) on Friday November 25, 2011 @08:39PM (#38171248)

    DRM does not stop pirates, they are smart enough to circumvent it

    DRM stops "casual" pirates (pre-crack) and it increases the R&D cost for serious pirates. Take the PS3 for example: it was not cracked until the removal of Other OS. Increasing the cost of legitimate hacking and made the USB solution more attractive to research. I do not say this in support of DRM, but any counter-argument must be honest in order to succeed. DRM works for certain definitions of "works", and that angle must be addressed head-on rather than brushed aside.

  • Re:Hmmm (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dahamma (304068) on Friday November 25, 2011 @08:46PM (#38171288)

    Just like how there's no guarantee that they won't at some future time take everybody's games away or require a subscription to access them.

    Duh, yes, there is. As annoying as they are, ToS, EULA, purchase agreements, etc go both ways. And the way Steam's is worded, along with applicable laws, means they would have to either make the game available for download without Steam DRM, or refund you the purchase price.

    Short of going out of business in a spectacular fashion (which is always a risk with an online service), the customer's purchases are reasonably protected.

  • by cheekyjohnson (1873388) on Friday November 25, 2011 @08:50PM (#38171314)

    Other people should create art, music, games, films, and entertainment for me as a favor and fund it out of their own pocket.

    Not aware of any pirates who want to force or coerce other people into creating things for them for free.

    10) Because I have never had to create, develop and market a game and I don't have a clue as to what it takes to run a business.

    Never heard anyone use that as an excuse.

    12) Pirating something NEVER results in a lost sale. Not even when spread over thousands of people.

    Not really aware of any that think that, either (Maybe I'm just not looking hard enough?).

    Of course, all pirates are evil little thieves that desire nothing more than to see developers starve. It's almost like how all people who like copyright are corporate shills.

  • True, but... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sqrt(2) (786011) on Friday November 25, 2011 @09:00PM (#38171394) Journal

    What he says is spot on, but I think pricing is still a problem. $60-80 for a game is simply too much. I won't pay that, and certainly not when I have to put up with onerous DRM, micro payments to make the game worthwhile or allow me to be competitive online, and in game advertisements. You can't have it all; I'm looking at you, EA.

    So that's why I take what I want for free. It's too expensive, and there's enough of a disconnect between the legal definition of theft and copyright infringement that I feel it's an ethical choice to make to say I'm not going to support the current copyright model, I'm going to undermine it by making it less profitable.

    Eventually when things change maybe I'll start participating in the market again, but copyright, patents, "IP" was meant to be a two way street. Lobbyists and interest groups have thrown up road blocks on the side of the street that flows back to the public good. So I feel no responsibility to hold up my end.

  • Re:I for one... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Em Adespoton (792954) <slashdotonly.1.adespoton@spamgourmet.com> on Friday November 25, 2011 @09:01PM (#38171410) Homepage Journal

    Let me translate that:
    Locks on homes prevent people you don't want from coming in
    DRM prevents people from accessing the content

    Only problem is... the content providers WANT people accessing the content. Locks on homes are like having a firewall, patched software and some sort of AV software on your computer... the house would work just well without the security add-ons, and so would your computer. The add-ons make it more secure.

    With DRM, the entire idea is to prevent access.

    Now, a real counter argument is that if people are grabbing pirated copies of the content, there is nothing to prove that the content is still secure and hasn't been monkeyed with by the pirates, to, say, add botnet software, a keylogger, or something else nefarious.
    Then again, some of the DRM software includes keylogger and/or botnet-like hooks that the Bad Guys can leverage, so it's probably a wash.

    If your home security system only worked when you didn't have a cold, and only worked for some members of your household, or otherwise prevented people with the right to access the home from doing so in an accustomed manner, you'd find that security feature hobbled in some manner pretty quickly. Then you get the appearance of security without the benefit... just like with DRM.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 25, 2011 @09:16PM (#38171530)

    Buyers avoiding paying more then $15-20 for DRM laden crap they don't own.

    Yeah, there's some serious fucked-up valuation going on here.

    It is extremely strange that people who will happily pay $30 on going to a movie, $60 on eating out, potentially hundreds or thousands of dollars on a vacation - things that by their very nature you can only possess for a very limited period of time - will then complain that $30 is "too expensive" for a game that provides many hours of fun, simply because in theory they might no longer be able to play it if in many years' time a DRM server is hypothetically switched off without a no-DRM patch being released.

    I mean, seriously? Even if Steam's servers were turned off tomorrow, the games I've played on Steam would still represent some of the best value for money of any of the entertainment/leisure purchases I've made in the last few years.

    Seriously, try applying your logic to a restaurant some time. Go in there and announce that because you bought a full-price meal there five years ago, they owe you more food whenever you demand it. When they try to explain that it doesn't work that way, accuse them of being immoral and denying you rights that you self-evidently possess.

    Enjoy explaining your actions to the cops when they arrive. Then grow up and stop acting so fucking entitled.

    Also, I am using far too many emphasis tags. Sorry about that. Your dumbness is rubbing off on me.

  • Re:Too true (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sonicmerlin (1505111) on Friday November 25, 2011 @09:16PM (#38171534)

    This is why I think Good Old Games is the true hero in all of this. They have a no compromise policy- if you want to sell games on their site, you have to sell it 100% DRM free (Steam is DRM btw), with a lot of additional free content (like PDF manuals, soundtracks, codes, etc.). You can re download your game as many times as you want, copy it to wherever you want, give it to whomever you want. And with the success of the Witcher and its sequel, they're attracting interest and acquiring more publisher agreements. GoG is the real future, not Steam.

  • by bky1701 (979071) on Friday November 25, 2011 @09:26PM (#38171594) Homepage
    I am only replying to the ones of these I think are worth responding to. Some are quite non sequitur.

    "2) My pirating is good for the software developer (more people playing, even without paying is good, it gives them lots of free publicity). Piracy increases sales! I am doing them a HUGE favor."
    Strictly speaking, ignoring them entirely hurts them worse than piracy. From there it becomes a matter of if pirates are further encouraging piracy and/or if they can be made to pay.

    "3) I am a cheap ass."
    So you probably wouldn't buy it, anyway.

    "4) There is no such thing as copyright (or shouldn't be)."
    This is a perfectly reasonable position, which I take.

    "Other people should create art, music, games, films, and entertainment for me as a favor and fund it out of their own pocket."
    ...this, however, is not the summary of that position.

    "5) Piracy is a fact in the gaming world. Get used to it. It's the developer's own fault because they should have taken it into account in their business model (besides, they should have been working on this full time as an open source program for free anyway)."
    Like it or not, this is a foregone conclusion.

    "7) I do not want to try the demo because the only meaningful way to try out a game is to try out the ENTIRE game."
    Games still have demos? Wow, must be, what, one or two such games a year? The only demos I have heard of in recent times were released AFTER the game. Not much help there...

    "8) Who cares if there is 99.9% piracy, all the developers need is to make just enough money to fund developing another game"
    Not me, because there is not 99.9% piracy. Nice straw man bashing, though.

    "11) It is just normal human nature to take the product of others' labor without compensating them."
    Actually, it is. Copyright is a new invention. Look up history. Funny thing is that we had music, paintings, books, architecture, and all that, long before copyright. I know, it's hard to believe!

    "12) Pirating something NEVER results in a lost sale. Not even when spread over thousands of people."
    Has one person ever actually argued this? Curious because I'd love to hit them with a large blunt object. If they haven't, I guess I'll hit you instead...

    "14) Personal honor is such an outmoded concept anyway."
    Call me when the megacorps whining are any more honorable.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 25, 2011 @09:27PM (#38171600)

    However, an entrepreneuring Pirate will just duplicate the above and offer an additional service: Free.

    But there are also a number of services that many people find valuable that the pirate can't provide, such as "Not breaking the law" and "Supporting the artists".

    If the legal service is as convenient as the illegal service, and the only differences are the price and the legality, a lot of people will choose the legal service rather than the free service, even if the legal service is significantly more expensive. Again, we have evidence for this in the form of Steam, which manages somehow to sell games for $60 that you could pirate for free. If price was the problem, Steam would have failed long ago.

  • Re:Hmmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by grim4593 (947789) on Friday November 25, 2011 @09:34PM (#38171642)
    On the other hand I almost exclusively purchase games through Steam and a few of my friends are the same way. If a publisher such as EA pulls their games from Steam they are potentially removing a large part of their market. Steam has a lot of momentum with their large gaming library, constant game sales, and community. Systems like Origin, Impulse, etc, don't have the same draw.
  • Re:Hmmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bhcompy (1877290) on Friday November 25, 2011 @09:50PM (#38171754)
    Except Valve is privately owned. Sure, there are private shareholders, but at this point in the life of Valve most of the limited partner shareholders would have been bought out ages ago, meaning that the owners are also the managers.
  • Re:Multifaceted (Score:4, Insightful)

    by arbiter1 (1204146) on Friday November 25, 2011 @09:50PM (#38171756)

    The pirates have little cost except servers and bandwidth and every incentive to steal. It's still theft whether you agree or not. There's no debate on that issue. It doesn't matter if you respect intellectual property, when you don't pay for it legitimately, it's theft. You can equivocate all you want. That's your moral hazard and you have to live with yourself. Just don't whine when they arrest you.

    So if the DRM in the game f's up my computer or I use something like origin and my account gets banned, so all game that were legitely purchased now are gone. That is the biggest problem with these online services. If your account gets banned all games you bought on there are now gone and there is no way for you to play them or recoup your money.

  • Re:Hmmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Omestes (471991) <omestes AT gmail DOT com> on Friday November 25, 2011 @09:57PM (#38171814) Homepage Journal

    now we have origin. which sucks, but we can't play BF3 without it... Steam is losing customers at a slow trickle.

    I doubt they are too worried. I generally won't use a game if it uses a different store than Steam anymore, it isn't worth the hassle or bloat. 90% of the games on my computer are on/through Steam, so convenience takes a large dip when I have to install another full store/distribution service just to play a single game. I'm guessing I'm not alone in this, there has to be a demographic separate from the "gotta have it now" crowd. I had a couple games through Impulse (pre-Gamestop, now I wouldn't touch it with a 10' pole), and I found myself ignoring them completely since they weren't as available as Steam.

    I also stick with Steam for their insane and frequent sales, and their growing support for games in the various Humble Bundles. Its shocking the amount of cash I've split on random Steam impulse buys.

    As for EA, I can live without them, though I find it sad what they've done to places like Bioware (used to be one of my favorite studios, but Dragon Age 2 pretty much killed that).

    I know someone here is going to yell at me for supporting DRM... I can live with it. Gabe has a point, the value added bit that Steam has keeps me from caring too much. Steam actually manages to add value to my purchases, while keeping publishers happy with control. No, Steam isn't perfect, and yes, Steam annoys the hell out of me from time to time. But the future is DRM (love it or hate it) and digital distribution, and I'd rather have Steam leading the pack than EA, or Microsoft, Valve at least compromises between DRM and their users wants/needs/happiness, as opposed to the others who would love to eat your rights for dinner, with your enjoyment and experience as a nice after-dinner mint.

  • by Zironic (1112127) on Friday November 25, 2011 @10:04PM (#38171856)

    Disneys market strategy is to make you forget about their IP so they can sell it again to your kids. That is why they deliberately do not sell subsets of their content.

  • Re:Hmmm (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Warwick Allison (209388) on Friday November 25, 2011 @10:27PM (#38171994) Homepage

    Whoever brainwashed you with this "purely to the shareholders" junk knows nothing about running a real business. Some CEOs with short term interests (eg. they'll get their bonus and move on to destroy the next business) think this works (for them), but smart business people know that anything you try to do that DIRECTLY benefits the shareholders short-term invariably hurts them long-term, and that you're best off focusing on production and customers (supply and demand), and letting the stock price benefit flow on naturally.

  • he gets it (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tom (822) on Friday November 25, 2011 @10:45PM (#38172088) Homepage Journal

    Absolutely agree.

    There is one more aspect he forgets to mention:

    Dear publishers, if you put out all this DRM and copy-protection and basically treat me like a criminal, then who am I to argue with you? I'll use The Pirate Bay, because apparently that's what you expect me to do.

    If you treat me like a valued customer, then I will be one. There's a shelf full of boxes right next to me proving that I'm quite willing to spend money on games. But I don't enter into business relationships with people who disrespect me. I'd rather respond by disrespecting them as well.

  • Re:Hmmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KahabutDieDrake (1515139) on Friday November 25, 2011 @11:47PM (#38172408)
    Little hint... stop putting your steam folder on your c:\ drive. I've had literally the same steam folder since steam was in beta and only came with Counter Strike. It doesn't bitch much, it just spends a bit of time updating and it's happy as a panda. I have this 50gb folder with pretty much all the games from steam I want, and it transfers between any windows computer more or less without issue.

    I really can't understand what the problem with steam is? I have a bookshelf full of game boxes with discs in them. And I have a folder on my computer with ISO copies and cracks for nearly all of them. Because the boxed version kinda sucks more often than not, and if it doesn't have a significant multiplayer section, there is no reason to subject my computer to the publishers DRM wimzy. Steam on the other hand, doesn't give me a pretty box, but it also makes taking my games with me easy. It's a trade off I'm willing to accept as long as Valve sticks to their word and keeps the service up, refunds my money, or releases drm free copies. They have so far.
  • Re:Hmmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gaygirlie (1657131) <gaygirlie&hotmail,com> on Saturday November 26, 2011 @01:33AM (#38172884) Homepage

    I used to play lots of pirated games, and I mean LOTS of them, but.. a few years back I got introduced to Steam. I don't remember anymore what exactly drove me to try it, but I did. And suddenly I noticed using less and less pirated games to the point that I haven't had a single pirated game on any of my computers for a few years now. Steam just happens to be so extraordinarily convenient, not to mention two things they provide me with that pirated games don't: always up-to-date installations, and I don't have to bother with backups of my own or trying to keep the original discs safe. And again, the constant sales thing is also great; if I can just stay patient and wait for the game I like to come on this or that seasonal sale I'll be able to safe quite a bit, but I also can just rush out and buy it the moment it's available if I just can't stay patient.

    My roomie has a very similar story in fact, we're both old "pirates"; we never produced any pirated copies ourselves nor did we spread them around, but we did use them ourselves a lot. And when we learned of Steam we both started using pirated games less and less until we eventually stopped altogether. In other words, whatever Steam is doing, it seems to be working.

    Now, as for the "competing" services, like e.g. the one you're required to sign to when you buy BF3... well, we both view them as an inconvenience, not a convenience. They do not offer anything that Steam already doesn't, plus they're handicapped in several ways, like only offering games from one, single publisher. I understand that they want a piece of the Steam-cake, but the way they're going about it is simply not working all that well.

  • Re:Hmmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EdIII (1114411) on Saturday November 26, 2011 @05:42AM (#38173664)

    Which is why it is funny that he says it is not a pricing problem. It most certainly is.

    While he is correct that DRM, when logically and rationally evaluated from the perspective of the informed consumer, severely diminishes the value of the product, he fails to compare the cost and availability of the product.

    Lack of availability will certainly, and quite obviously, push consumers to alternate distribution channels (piracy), but price will push them there regardless.

    I have often wondered, "Just who the fuck are they selling this shit too?". I just don't see their demographics having that much disposable income, especially now, and they are pricing themselves out of the market.

    Honestly, if the price was reasonable, they would sell more volume. A fair amount of technically minded people would opt for the reasonable payment vs. the uncertain download (malware) from predominantly public trackers. Not to mention dodging the legal liability of piracy and the threat of being sued for some ridiculous amount.

    I have been a contributor to all the Humble Bundles simply to support that idea that good games (they really are pretty good) can be made and sold without ridiculous prices and hundred million dollar budgets.

    Pricing is the primary issue when speaking of piracy. DRM is secondary. Availability is in there, but only because distribution channels have gone full-retard for decades about treating regions differently.

    Strange they have not learned anything from the hard lesson in Russia. The entire reason R5 releases exist is because they are forced to sell to Russian markets faster since competition from piracy on the streets is too much for them.

  • by Cloud K (125581) on Saturday November 26, 2011 @09:16AM (#38174228)

    Yeah it's that point about lack of demo for me. That seems to be the norm now that we have all the "app store" distribution models (iTunes Store, Steam etc). You're supposed to just "know" if a game is any good, that it will work well on your PC properly etc and gamble £30-50 on it. No thanks - if they can't be arsed to make a demo, I'll make my own.

    Of course, once you've got a pirated version working it's up to discipline and morals to buy it. I would, but tend to be in the minority (I'm the sort of person who drives the speed limit. Almost no one does that). Maybe writing demos would help reduce it a little, or maybe there's not enough "pirated it for a demo and now I have it I might as well keep it" activity to justify the cost of making one which is their choice.

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