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The Internet Entertainment Games

Spore the Most Pirated Game of 2008 404

TorrentFreak has posted some statistics on the most pirated games of the past year. Leading the list by a large margin is Spore, made infamous even before its release for the draconian DRM attached to the game. It was downloaded through BitTorrent roughly 1.7 million times, with The Sims 2 and Assassin's Creed following at just over a million each. (It's worth noting that Spore came out in September, so that figure is essentially for a mere three months.) GameSetWatch has posted a related piece discussing the countermeasures involved in dealing with piracy. It's the second article in a series about piracy; we discussed the first a couple days ago.
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Spore the Most Pirated Game of 2008

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  • Re:The Solution. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Loibisch ( 964797 ) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @06:25AM (#26011983)

    Three will come a time when the only version of a game that is actually playable will be the one you can download off Bittorrent.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06, 2008 @06:32AM (#26012001)

    This should be from the I-told-you-so department. Does this really shock any of the /. crowd?

    It sucks that something so popular with publishers and unpopular with consumers keeps making headline news (granted, /. headlines are a bit different), because we get to hear the same arguments again and again and again.

    And I'd say these numbers are highly suspect to boot. Where does torrentfreak get the rough total number of downloads?

  • by FriendlyLurker ( 50431 ) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @06:47AM (#26012043)

    Its because of the Marketing blitz.
    Everywhere I look its Spore this, Spore that. You'd have mushrooms in your ears to miss hearing about it.
    OF COURSE people are going to think: "Whats all the hype about - not like MARKETING has LIED to me before so I'll take a free no-obligation look-see for myself."
    Some %, possibly significant, of those downloaders are going to perhaps like it and/or will want to play online, so they will sign up for valid copies. These people are new clients - they would not of bought the game otherwise.
    Now the hardliners-stuck in the 80's software model will cry "these numbers will destroy the game industry". Bollocks. They are getting 1.X million potential clients who would never have bother buying the game to see if it was worth the hype in the first place.

    News flash: Bittorent downloads will reflect real world marketing promotion.

  • by kentrel ( 526003 ) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @06:49AM (#26012053) Journal
    Your data to prove this hypothesis?
  • by FriendlyLurker ( 50431 ) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @07:07AM (#26012081)

    Can go one better: The weight of evidence is in the real world sales: [] []
    The weight of real-world evidence is in favor of the hypothesis posted above. The only anti-hypothesis you've got is 1 Pirate == 1 lost sale. *cough* Your data prove your hypothesis?*cough**cough*

  • by SerpentMage ( 13390 ) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @07:33AM (#26012151)

    I got another one to prove otherwise.

    Bruce Eckel for a while released his books for free. And initially things went very well. But then things went downhill because people would end up NOT buying his books. They would have read his books, but not bought them.

    Now Bruce is not making the later editions for free anymore. Why? I can only surmise that it did not work out. I once asked him and he said, "oh yeah that it was an interesting experiment."

    I know Bruce personally and he is not a money freak. He is a very nice guy. He is in fact somebody who likes Open Source, etc. But I know he also has to feed himself and I wonder if sales did end up going down...

    It actually disappoints me because Bruce was very willing and wanted to help the community. But the community let him down...

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @07:37AM (#26012171)

    Now, let's ponder for a moment. Was this game P2Ped so often despite the insane DRM mechanisms? Or was it maybe because of it?

    How many read about what EA wants to do with their PCs to be allowed to play this piece of ... erhm ... software? Deep manipulation of your driver makeup, authorisation requirement to be allowed to use what you pay for, the sword of damocles hanging over you in the guise of limiting the times you may activate it, not to mention the question whether or not you'll be allowed to play it when EA decides that you shouldn't any longer because you're supposed to buy the successor...

    How many of those copies are actually people who bought the game and for some reason had to activate it once too often, and instead of calling the very helpful, friendly and lightning fast user support people of EA who speak flawless English they decided for the faster venue of downloading the game to play it? Or, how many actually HAD to download it to play it at all because for some funky reason that DRM barfed on them and all EA said was "sorry, problem at your end"?

    I'm actually willing to grant the DRM advocates that this time those copies are actually lost sales. But not despite, rather because of DRM. People wanted to play that game and they would have had no worries about the 50ish bucks it costs, but they just didn't want you to mess up their PCs.

    Before someone asks, no, I didn't copy it. The money allotted for the purchase of Spore was redirected to Sins of a Solar Empire when I heard about Spore's DRM mechanism. Sins was a purchase of protest, only to turn out to be a pretty well made game. I then saw Spore at a friend's and realized it ain't even worth the bandwidth necessary to P2P it. So, I guess, I'm not in this statistic this time.

  • by fastest fascist ( 1086001 ) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @07:39AM (#26012173)
    It'd be nice to see stats on sales versus stats on piracy for some recent top titles. Unfortunately, AFAIK, it's difficult to get stats from legal digital distributors.
  • Re:no demos (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MooUK ( 905450 ) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @07:39AM (#26012177)

    To stop people comparing the demo and the game files to see where the protection was added.

    At least, that's what I've seen claimed.

  • by LordLucless ( 582312 ) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @07:40AM (#26012181)
    From what I hear, modern pirates [] tend to have heavy artillery on their shoulder rather than a parrot:

    Maritime piracy still goes on, and is still a major problem in some parts of the world. Just because someone's smear tactic to conflate illegal copying with theft and murder has been successful doesn't mean we should stop resisting it.
  • Re:no demos (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Talrinys ( 888624 ) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @08:09AM (#26012299)
    You're exactly right, i hate the fact that demos are suddenly out of fashion, it used to be the best way to get a good preview of the game. These days i pirate every game that doesn't have a demo and check them out, and buy them if i want to keep playing after the first 20 minutes or so, did that with Storm of Zehir last week, CoD World at War the week before that - IMO it's the only way to do these things.
  • Re:no demos (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @08:39AM (#26012393)

    Various reasons. One, as has been mentioned, to avoid crackers to look at demo and final and compare (which is, IMO, bollocks since when you use some sensible algorithms to crypt it you can't see jack, just use a boilerplate version of the DRM software that doesn't phone home and you're set. If your DRM vendor doesn't provide that, switch the DRM vendor if you really insist in having one).

    Another reason, and more important if you ask me, as a gauge how many copies you might be able to sell. When a million people use your demo, it's likely that more people will buy it than when you see only about 100k using it. Downloads don't really count since they, too, could be redistributed or downloaded from pages that host your demo without your knowledge.

    And of course to give people the train of thought: "Well, I got that crap on my PC already anyway, so buying and installing that game won't make it worse".

  • by LingNoi ( 1066278 ) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @08:46AM (#26012421)

    I had to pirate the game after buying it in Thailand (I live there) because EA support refused to give me the English language (1.3 meg of files)

    Dear *******,

    Sorry for the inconvenience, but Spore Thai retail version support only Thai language as indicate on the package. And there's no English text file include in the build.

    The only way to get English build in Thailand is to buy the game at i27 []

    Kindly let us know if you need more info.

    Best Regards,
    EA Thailand Support


    Dear EA Thailand Support,

    You are right, that's very inconvenient and can't believe you are telling me to go buy this game twice for just 3 files that total up to
    1 Megabyte.

    You have left me no choice but to download the game off the internet and get the three files in need to put into the "Locale" folder. I
    find it frustrating that I have to pirate EA games I have bought to be able to play them.

    I hope that in the future you will provide a better service to your customers that are buying your products instead of leaving it up to
    internet pirates to provide support for your games.



    Dear *******,

    All AAA EA titles in Thailand are localized to Thai language. All are locked preventing user to change the language. We have this language switching protection to prevent our goods being export to other territories due to the cheaper price on Thai products. As for Spore, retail price in Thailand is only £8.5, while you have to pay for £35 in UK.

    We also aware that people can get the locale file from the internet. But it is against our policy to provide you the locale files from our side.

    We hope you understand and sorry again for the inconvenience.

    Best Regards,
    EA Thailand Support

    and why the fuck should I care if it's more expensive in the UK if I don't live there? In fact why do they mention the UK at all?


  • Re:WRONG! (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06, 2008 @09:32AM (#26012575)

    Well done, finally a picture that depicts the true state of the industry.

  • Re:Exactly !!! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by theaveng ( 1243528 ) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @11:20AM (#26013057)

    >>>want to see what a game is worth before buying!

    I just got into a debate on a forum about this very subject. Unfortunately the Moderator is pro-copyright, and I earned myself a one-week banning. :-( My argument was: "I downloaded Galactica 1980 to see if it was worth buying, and it was worthless trash, so I saved myself from wasting ~$50." I was amazed at how many people rushed in to call me scum, part of the entitlement generation who steals instead of pays, and that I should have supported that show by buying the DVD.

    RIAA's propaganda campaign seems to be working. They even have customers claiming I should buy ____ like Galactica 1980!!!

  • by King_TJ ( 85913 ) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @11:23AM (#26013077) Journal

    I recently bought the native OS X version of Call of Duty 4. (I had the PS3 version for a little while, but I can't get used to playing a 1st. person shooter with the console controller....)

    I only got to play online a few times before I was greeting with a "CD key already in use" message and kicked offline. Apparently, quite a few people are suffering from the same issue. Tech. support suggests that improperly exiting the game can cause the main server to hold onto your login info for a while, and to "wait a little while and try again". They also suggest that an "overloaded master server" could temporarily cause it.

    Well, that may be true in *some* situations, but the more obvious problem is that pirates have created key-generator programs that make valid keys that wind up matching ones paid for by customers like me. Will they issue me a new key though? No way! Forget it! I've barely been able to play in the last few weeks..... If I finally get online with my key, I guess I need to leave my Mac connected all the time? Ridiculous!

    My best friend had the exact same issue with Quake 4 a while ago - which prompted him to stop buying any more 1st. person shooters requiring keys for online play. Activision refused to help him with his problem -- so he was essentially better off just pirating.

  • Re:Standard excuses (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ub3r n3u7r4l1st ( 1388939 ) * on Saturday December 06, 2008 @11:39AM (#26013187)

    Most companies treat "chargeback" as fraudulent orders. You might be inviting police attention.

    YOu should always go with the company return policy first. Use chargeback only as the last resort.

  • Re:The Solution. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by theaveng ( 1243528 ) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @11:42AM (#26013225)

    For those of us who had Ataris and Commodores, that day happened around twenty-five years ago.

    - Pirated versions load faster.
    - Pirates versions customize the game (skipping levels, unlimited lives).
    - Pirated versions don't pound your 1541 drive's head to pieces and incur a $500 repair to fix it!!!
    - Pirated versions can be backed-up whereas the original can not; the disk dies and you're out $30. The game company won't send you a new one.

    Yep. I've been preferring pirated versions since circa 1985.

  • Re:Standard excuses (Score:3, Interesting)

    by theaveng ( 1243528 ) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @12:04PM (#26013353)

    Yes of course the chargeback should be last resort, to be used only when the corporate asses refuse to issue a refund.

    As for the police issue, I've not had any problems so far. (1) Most companies are located out-of-state so I'm not within their jurisdiction and (2) it's not worth the cost of filing court documents/hiring a lawyer for a $100 or less item. The company just lets it go and chalks it up to "shrinkage".

  • by Shados ( 741919 ) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @12:32PM (#26013545)

    Not sure about the method, but its the only way. Really, as a general rule, even for things that are part of the criminal code and even felony, only socially unacceptable things aren't done on a daily basis. Kiddy rape -> socially unacceptable. Illegal immigration (also a felony) -> socially ACCEPTABLE. Piracy -> Socially VERY acceptable. Working under the table -> 50/50, depends who you hang out with.

    And so on and so on. If something is legal or not often has very little effects on if people care or not (and I guess it makes sense... laws are probably supposed to some extent to represent what people think, on top of protecting minitories and other edge cases)

  • by Dun Malg ( 230075 ) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @01:43PM (#26013975) Homepage

    I got another one to prove otherwise.

    Bruce Eckel for a while released his books for free. And initially things went very well. But then things went downhill because people would end up NOT buying his books.


    They would have read his books, but not bought them.

    I only heard of Thinking in C++ because of the buzz about it being free. I read it online and liked it. I bought two copies on paper, one for work, one for home. My anecdote beats your unfounded speculation, 0 data points to 1.

    Now Bruce is not making the later editions for free anymore. Why? I can only surmise that it did not work out.

    Ah yes, the incontrovertible proof that comes from idle speculation.

    I once asked him and he said, "oh yeah that it was an interesting experiment."

    That answer is pretty evasive. Sounds equally likely that he could either be disappointed in the sales, or uncomfortable acknowledging he used the Open Source/"FREE STUFF!" model to make a name for himself. It's a perfectly valid strategy, but the FOSS crowd can have some freaky folks, and he might very well be concerned about being labeled a "sellout"...

    I know Bruce personally and he is not a money freak. He is a very nice guy. He is in fact somebody who likes Open Source, etc. But I know he also has to feed himself and I wonder if sales did end up going down...

    If the freebies are depriving him of sales, why does he still maintain a list of places where you can download [] the stuff on his web site? Again, you offer nothing but idle speculation.

    It actually disappoints me because Bruce was very willing and wanted to help the community. But the community let him down...

    Conclusion not supported by evidence. You're claiming to know Bruce's motivations with nothing to go on but a very evasive answer from him.

  • Re:Exactly !!! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ivucica ( 1001089 ) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @02:49PM (#26014377) Homepage

    Actually, if I bought a product, I should have a right to do whatever-the-fsck-I-want with it. If I get a candybar, I should be able to "copy" it however I want to. If I knew how, I would. And for computer data, I very well know how to do it.

    That's theoretical of course, reality is something different. But understand this: copyright and patents are not natural rights, they are granted by the society. They are rights to take away other people's freedoms. Copyright may have served books well, but in "digital millennium" they are barely enforceable and outdated anachronisms of a past era.

    If you can't control 1 billion Chinese and others from replicating a trademarked work, how will you control 6 billion Earthmen from replicating copyrighted work?

    Entitlement generation -- I love the expression, where'd ya pick it up? And I'm sad it won't come close soon.

    Let's face it, copyright serves so companies and people like me could earn money off their products. It's not a right, it's a tool. No, scratch that -- more like a toy. A toy that should be taken away from the babies.

  • Re:Exactly !!! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @03:29PM (#26014577) Homepage Journal

    I just got into a debate on a forum about this very subject. Unfortunately the Moderator is pro-copyright, and I earned myself a one-week banning.

    "Pro-copyright" doesn't mean what you use the expression for. FSF is pro-copyright. You need copyrights to protect openness.
    Perhaps he was an advocate of copyright-protection? That's a very different rat.

    Major digression:
    Personally, I'm strongly for strengthening copyrights. As in copyrights being made the inalienable and time-limited right of the creator, and not the sponsor. That would put the incentive back to create more, and not just exploit already created works of arts and science. It would shift the power from the big money to the artists, which I think was the original intent.
    Of course, it will never come to pass, as long as those with the money make the laws, and think it's perfectly fine that if they pay for a person's living expenses while he invents and creates, it's perfectly fine for them to take all profits of what's invented or created. Me, I call that exploitation, and just the modern form of slavery.

    Back on topic:
    DRM is not about protecting copyrights. It's about the appearance to protect copyrights. It's a CYA measure. If a game doesn't sell well, the company can blame piracy. And the investors will believe it, especially if the protection mechanisms were draconian but still broken. They don't see that the reasons it was broken was because it was so draconian, and the reason it didn't sell well was because it was a crappy game.

    Ask a pro-protection why Galactic Civilizations II is so much more successful than Spore. The answers will be interesting, but try not to giggle too much; it's not polite.

  • Re:Exactly !!! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by servognome ( 738846 ) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @04:19PM (#26014879)

    But understand this: copyright and patents are not natural rights, they are granted by the society.

    All rights are.

    They are rights to take away other people's freedoms. Copyright may have served books well, but in "digital millennium" they are barely enforceable and outdated anachronisms of a past era.

    Copyrights are seen as a necessary evil to encourage risk taking where there is a high cost to create but low cost to duplicate. And yes, I do realize that people will still create culture even when there are no copyright protections, but the quality will suffer due to resource restrictions.
    I guess we should also give up on managing SPAM, identity theft, DNA profiling, etc. since in the information age it's easy to do and barely enforcable.

    Let's face it, copyright serves so companies and people like me could earn money off their products. It's not a right, it's a tool. No, scratch that -- more like a toy. A toy that should be taken away from the babies.

    A tool like the ability to vote, or getting judged by your peers. These things, like copyright, are not necessary parts of a functioning society, but they have been demonstrated to improve the quality of life. That said, the "babies" have gotten out of control moving the balance between the creator and public too far in favor of the creator. But don't throw the baby out with the bathwater, reevaluate the implementation of copyright, don't just abandon the idea.

  • Re:Standard excuses (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TechForensics ( 944258 ) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @04:33PM (#26014943) Homepage Journal

    . - Call you credit company and ask to do a chargeback. Provide the DC number as proof the item was returned. - Get money refunded to your card.


    Not as easy as that, and not because companies treat chargebacks as fraudulent orders (how THEY choose to treat it does not define what it is-- if they sued you they'd probably lose). (Yes, IAAL.) The real problem is that credit cards pander to the merchant. The MERCHANT is their real customer, not you-- they can screw you 'til doomsday and your "cardmember agreement" holds you still for them. Many credit cards will REFUSE to charge back a merchant without extravagant demonstrations you've tried to negotiate with unreachable telephone personnel-- and in some cases, only if the merchant agrees to accept the chargeback. They may have the RIGHT to charge back a merchant if you dispute, but they sure don't have the inclination.

    The bottom line, and I have seen this over and over in my practice, is that credit card companies put OUTRAGEOUS terms in all of that fine print, terms that will essentially bend you over and spread your cheeks if they want you that way. You thought you'd cancelled the card? BZZZZT ! They have the right to uncancel it and start siphoning your wallet again if a charge comes through after the closure date. You forgot to stop a recurring charge? BZZZZT! Late fees, penalty fees, interest et cetera, even after you told them not to disburse any more money for you. I had a client who accepted a card and never paid the ten dollar initiation fee. It went on the card, but since she never used it she never looked at the letters that arrived. A year later, with penalties and interest, she owed two thousand dollars, her limit, and it began to climb higher on overlimit fees.

    Oh, and you want to sue the bastards? Check and see if all of that fine print has arbitration clauses, limitations on class actions, or restrictive venue requirements.

    As Homey D. Clown would say, lissen up, chilluns. There is REAL money in usury-- always has been, and that is what credit cards are. And we know in America, real money is above the law (because it bought it and lowered it).

    Back to the point, the parent's suggestion of trying a chargeback is quaint and charming. By and by, Citi and MBNA and the like don't play dat.

  • Re:Exactly !!! (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06, 2008 @05:03PM (#26015107)

    However, just because you are not physically taking something from the company, does not grant you the right to play it without paying for it.

    Except, if a rental of Battlestar 1980 is a preferred solution, you're still not paying the copyright holder. You're paying Blockbuster or whoever for a service you don't need, out of an unnecessary sense of obligation.

  • by Toonol ( 1057698 ) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @05:32PM (#26015261)
    Two areas are being conflated. The PC Games industry is the one committing slow suicide. Consoles are going strong. I think the problem with PC games is that publishers are trying to be force them into the same model as consoles, and it simply doesn't fit.
  • by morcego ( 260031 ) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @05:42PM (#26015311)

    I know you were joking, but I find your comments a good hook to hang my own.

    About a month ago, Blizzard released the 2nd expansion back for World of Warcraft. On the same day, it was also available for download .... from Blizzard. Considering I live in a country where you can't find anything warcraft for sale, that is what allowed me to get the game (I asked an USA buddy to buy an extra copy, and send me the cdkey).

    When I open my cabinet, I see a lot of old game boxes. And then I noticed that pretty much all the game I've got on the past 3 years (maybe 4?) were either torrent downloads (piracy, yeah), or buy&download (NWN2, NWN2:MotB, WoW, WoW:BC, WoW:WotLK and a few others). And my internet connection is nowhere as good/fast as that of most readers here (took me almost 3 days to download WoW + WoW:BC).

    I really have to question how much of all this piracy is not due to price, but due to how easy it is to get the games online. I will pirate any games I can't buy&download online. If I can buy online and download, I will pay for it.

    I understand all the DRM and price issues, but I have to wonder how much of the problem that is, when compared to the whole search+search+search+pray+search+search+maybe_finding_it_on_a_store issue. Specially for people outside the USA. Most people don't care about DRM. And people will pay through their noses for a good video card, memory, monitor etc (so money is not an issue there).

    My special thanks to all companies selling games online. You are the guys that will see my money.

  • by FriendlyLurker ( 50431 ) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @07:02PM (#26015735)

    Neither of those links actually prove your hypothesis or provide any data. They're news articles and are only reporting that two authors\publishers are trying something new to promote and sell their work.

    I suspect you have motivation to not want to see any real world figures? I gave you good references that do lead to real world sales figures in a number of locations. Here is one below, posted by the Author, who should know. Also see research article in my post above, there is more solid evidence out there - despite being shouted down by the majority of corporate media - hell bent against the idea.

    NEW YORK (Fortune) â" In 1999, best-selling author Paulo Coelho, who wrote "The Alchemist," was failing in Russia. That year he sold only about 1,000 books, and his Russian publisher dropped him. But after he found another, Coelho took a radical step. On his own Web site, launched in 1996, he posted a digital Russian copy of "The Alchemist".
    With no additional promotion, print sales picked up immediately. Within a year he sold 10,000 copies; the next year around 100,000. By 2002 he was selling a total of a million copies of multiple titles. Today, Coelho's sales in Russian are over 10 million and growing. ...

    By last year Coelho's total print sales worldwide surpassed 100 million books. "Once we did the Pirate Coelho there was a significant boost," he says.

    For all this, he kept quiet with his many publishers in countries around the world. "Sharing" is typically not the word they use to describe such activities. Coelho says the publishers have periodically taken action to remove books from the Pirate Coelho. "They think it is against me. They don't know it is in my favor. They will know it after your article," he says.

    "Publishing is in a kind of Jurassic age," Coelho continues. "Publishers see free downloads as threatening the sales of the book. But this should make them rethink their entire business model." []

    Your best defense at this point is to claim books are completely different to games. Any data to prove the hypothesis? You would have to have some pretty convincing data, cause at least some professional game developers disagree, with real world data to back their point up (you have been given a reference follow the lead - there are sales figures posted).

    Your turn: Where is the data to even slightly support the idea that one pirated good == one lost sale?**

    ** Quoting *IAA propaganda talking points does not count.

  • Re:Standard excuses (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MobileTatsu-NJG ( 946591 ) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @09:33PM (#26016601)

    Standard excuses for not paying for this or any other game (pick any that apply):

    Sounds more like standard misunderstandings from an ignorant given game developer to me. Come to think of it, I think you are a game developer, and I might even know which one. Pity you chose to post anonymously. Kudos to you for supporting democracy, rock legend.

    1) I will pirate it first and then pay only if I like it (a la when I go into a restaurant and only pay when I liked the food, or go to the theater to see a film and pay only if it didn't suck). If the game is not PERFECT, I don't pay.

    Crappy food? Don't pay. Crappy movie? Refund. Crappy game? Grab your ankles.

    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.

    As opposed to the rationale that all piracy is a lost sale? As long as you twits keep releasing sequels and rehashes, then yes, piracy is definitely not a 0 dollar event. You failed to grab their money, but you succeded in making a potential customer for the next sequel. If you had any business sense you'd look the other way like some other companies have.

    3) I am a cheap ass.

    Then the failure to attract their money is your fault. People make purchases based on perceived value.

    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.

    Sadly you've mutilated this one too much for me to trace back its origins. As far as I can tell, this is about public domain suffocating due to the ability of huge corporations holding on to copyrights in perpetuity. Irrelevent without clarification.

    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 case...

    I don't hear people trotting this one out often, either, but it is a little odd you didn't mutate this one to suit your needs a little better like you did with the others. It is a fact of the PC Gaming world. So is shoplifting. There's a reason stores don't check people on the way in and out like they do at Disneyland. If we're going to discuss business cases here, let's not forget what makes pirated software valuable to begin with. Do you really think that none of the people that downloaded Spore had purchased a copy? Mmm? You'd expect business cases wouldn't overlook the basic rules of economics.

    ...(besides, they should have been working on this full time as an open source program for free anyway).

    I can honestly say I've never heard this one. This sounds more like a generic Slashdot rant about proprietary software than a piracy debate.

    6) $50 for this game is too much. Come to think of it, $25 is too. And if it is only $10, then pirating it shouldn't be that much of a burden to the developer.

    If your price is too high, not everybody'll buy it. Basic economics. It's worth adding, though, that the lack of ability to return a shitty game, questions over its quality, and the general bombardment of "THE NUMBER ONE GAME IN AMERICA!" messages make it difficult enough to purchase without some form of evaluation. The copy restrictions themselves pose a problem, now. The games are systematically being lowered in value. This does not represent good business sense.

    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.

    Amusing point. We're now seeing trailers instead of demos. Game developers have strengthened this point.

    8) Who cares

  • Re:Exactly !!! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by theaveng ( 1243528 ) on Sunday December 07, 2008 @03:47AM (#26018377)

    >>>But that does not mean it is ok to watch it without paying for it.

    Disagree. EVERY customer has a right to either (1) testdrive the product prior to purchase or (2) return the product if it's crap. Since the media does not allow number 2, I choose number 1. I download it first, I try it, and if it's any good then I buy it.

    I find it unacceptable that media companies won't allow people to do what even car stealerships will allow (a free testdrive). It's as if they are afraid their product sucks so badly that it won't sell so they br you from even a cursory glance. Which means I would have thrown-away $50 for Galactica 1980.

    Also I don't think I'm "trolling".
    I'm expressing an opinion that just happens to be contrary to your own.
    Please recognize the difference & respect my right to disagree with you without being insulted.

  • by KlausBreuer ( 105581 ) on Sunday December 07, 2008 @06:27AM (#26018867) Homepage

    Actually, you can. 2D Boy ( brought out a very nice game called "World of Goo". I can certainly recommend it: a very nice game, great fun, no copy protection at all, good long demo for free, and the game itself for $20 (nicely low price).

    And yet they still got pirated. See, they allow anybody to send in their high-score. And thus they found out that between 80% and 90% of these high-scores come from pirated versions.
    Thus: no DRM, great game, low price: 80-90% piracy.

    The biggest joke is that they don't mind. They prefere to concentrate on their 10-20% legal users.

    Thus, a huge, inhuman game designed by a huge company and a committee and sold for a high price and a moronic copy protection (DRM is just a PC term) will certainly have a rather higher piracy percentage. And the producers should get used to this.

  • by Loibisch ( 964797 ) on Sunday December 07, 2008 @08:11AM (#26019349)

    Actually, the chance of finding a proper key that is suitable for online play is non-trivial, here is how key generation usually goes:

    1) programmer of company develops an algorithm to generate keys
    2) company runs said algorithm 100,000 times to generate 100,000 valid keys, covering only a tiny fraction of the complete keyspace
    3) company records those keys and adds them to their master server to allow online play
    4) those keys are distributed with the games

    What happens once the game is released is this
    5) cracker figures out the algorithm
    6) cracker tries to generate a "valid" key for online play, but fails because the keyspace is a couple orders of magnitude larger than the small number of keys actually distributed.

    Chance of valid duplicate keys: close to nil. Chance of generating a valid key for online play: also close to nil.
    Of course it happens, I just don't believe it happens that often.

  • Re:Exactly !!! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by servognome ( 738846 ) on Sunday December 07, 2008 @10:08PM (#26026585)

    False. There are some rights that are a *natural* consequence of being a human being. Such as the right to not be enslaved, or the right to use your brain, or the right to speak your thoughts, or the right of self-defense against thieves/murderers. *Study Greek, Roman, and Scottish philosophy.*

    *Study modern philosophy*
    If natural rights really are fundamental, why does the list of them differ from person to person?
    The fundamental problem with the idea of natural rights is that they are either derived from a moral (this is what's good), or theological (endowed by the creator) sources; neither of which can be well defined. If rights are truly based on the nature of humans then that would mean that infringing upon them would result in an unstable state which cannot be maintained. However, history has shown long-lasting stable societies where members actively supported slavery, intellectual and physical persecution.

    And as a result of those rights being natural, they come from within each individual. Both natural rights and power comes from the people and is devolved upon government with our consent... not the other way around.

    If rights truly came from the individual, then rights and responsibilities would come via an "opt in" method. However, we see the opposite as the case, the default state is for society to impose on the individual rights and responsibilities. If there is dispute about the list of rights, it is not until society comes to agreement (often through violent conflict) that the new rights are granted. Property rights, free speech, slavery, due process, taxation, if you want to define it as "natural" or not ... it really doesn't matter what gets agreed upon, what is important and what leads to social stability is the agreement itself.

  • Re:Exactly !!! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by servognome ( 738846 ) on Sunday December 07, 2008 @11:48PM (#26027505)

    No. Some property rights are NATURAL that we should have it. For example, it is natural that I should have ownership of a pencil on my desk. It is in my possession, I can easily exclude others from using it, and if others use it, I can't use it. Regarding physical objects, we have a very natural property rights where taking those rights away (such as in communism) would be highly unusual.

    Physical property rights are based on cultural views, not some fundamental natural fact. There have been socities where the idea of excluding the rest of the group from using a tool would be foreign. The success of property owning societies does not mean it is the "natural" state of things. While class cultures are dominant because they better promote technological and economical advancement, it does not dismiss the existence of viable communal societies throughout human history.

    But the strange idea that one should own his words (or, in this case, some lines of code that he wrote) didn't arise until modern times (17th century or so), and while not everything new should be criticized, it is a strong evidence that "intellectual property rights" are highly unusual and unnatural.

    Technology is the driving force in challenging and forcing social change. The strange idea that people should own things didn't arise until the excesses created by the domestication of plants and animals. When technology got to the point that humans no longer needed to share everything with their band to survive, new ideas like property ownership and social classes developed. Before the written word, there was no idea of an original author whose name was associated with the story. There was no need since the retelling of stories were all essentially derivative works, with as much influence from the speaker as the original teller.
    So it isn't that strange that with the invention of the printing press new social agreements would *naturally* arise.

    I don't think existing copyright law really encourages creation of new work and/or benefits the public---if this is the true intent, we should first do away with retroactive copyright extensions and the life of the author + 65 years crap

    I would say current copyright law does encourage the creation of new works, but I would agree that the same can be accomplished with more limited protections (on the order of 5-10 years). Other significant changes are necessary to place the law in better balance since the public benefit portion of the compromise has all but been ignored.

    If we don't, we get nonsense slogans like "copying is theft", and we have stupid people believing in this ridiculous propaganda.

    The propaganda on both sides of the debate won't go away. Like any complex issue where there is really no perfect answer, those pushing their agenda will try to sway the uneducated masses with emotion. The only way to combat such tactics is to educate people so they can engage in informed debate and make decisions (either way) - which of course is easier said than done.

  • Congratulations EA (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Rutefoot ( 1338385 ) on Monday December 08, 2008 @03:23PM (#26037531)
    My girlfriend has bought all 8 original Sims game, and all 9 Sims 2 games.

    That equals between $750 and $1000 spent on one single videogame franchise.

    And despite her being against software piracy, she is now unlikely ever going to buy another EA game again.

    You hear that EA?? You've lost one of your most loyal customers because of your ridiculous policies and DRM.

    The last game (Apartment Life) she installed was done via their online service.

    I spent Two weeks fixing her computer and trying to get the game working. With zero help from EA, I ended up finding answers on cracking sites (even then, all the security measures made it tough to implement the user-made fixes). After a few days I downloaded the pirated expansion pack onto my computer and let her play on my computer until I got hers figured out.

    The next Sims game she plays will likely be pirated. After seeing how easy it was to just download the pirated game and what the DRM encrusted game could do to her computer she very quickly changed her mind on the morality of downloading software.

Who goeth a-borrowing goeth a-sorrowing. -- Thomas Tusser