As you might well know Megaupload was closed, and a few days afterwards other file-sharing services started to close their webpages or are no longer allowing their users to share files. For example, the only thing you can currently do at filesonic.com is store your own files.
Fighting with piracy has never ended with particularly great result. There was always a next service or method to get pirated games, music and films. This time will be no different. But is pirating always unjustifiable? Please note that I don’t support piracy in any way, shape or form, I’m just saying SOME people are pirating because of the poor service provided by publishers. On the other hand some people will pirate no matter what, and it doesn’t come down to income or a real life situation, it comes to the moral and ethical characteristic of a person. Those people will never change, but what can publishers do to convince the first group to stop pirating?
There are couple of reasons why people are pirating games. Some of them are more just than others.
Without a proper demo, getting a 50 € priced game is like buying pig in a poke. I’m sure everyone would like to play 1 or 2 levels of a game before throwing away that kind of money. Of course as you dig deeper into a full release, the game can be worthless, but it’s always been a risk. Another way to get an idea about a new game is watching someone’s playthrough on YouTube, but it isn’t exactly the same thing as playing the game, it is what it is, which is WATCHING a movie. So if publishers cared more about actually selling their games, they’d make a demo available to download and play. Without a demo some people will get pirated version just to test the game before buying it. But after they’ve gone through finding a working link/torrent, downloading and cracking the game, they might be satisfied with the pirated version.
This is about people with unreliable Internet connection or laptop users, who are playing games while travelling or whatever. If you are buying a game with a single-player mode, you should be able to play it without connecting to the Internet. Again what if a game has an annoying DRM and someone wants to play it without constant Internet access? They will pirate it, because pirate copies don’t have DRM and are “free”. So the choice is: being good person or enjoying the game in an unlawful manner.
Another annoying reason for piracy to grow. Lately some publishers are releasing half-done games because they know they will release the undone parts of that game as DLC. Moreover they are spamming their customers with DLC every month or 2, making the cost more like a subscription and doubling or tripling the initial price.
Of course we don’t have to pirate. We can always boycott the game, but, in order to make an actual impact on the publisher, we would need a ton of possible buyers to join the boycott. We can also play some free to play games. I’m trying to show you some good ones in my blogs on Hydramist. But what if we want to just play the games we really want but without annoying DRM and DLC coming out every month? What choice do we have?
To end this short rant in a stylish manner I’ll use a quotation from a 13 year old science fiction game “Alpha Centauri”. Sadly it isn’t fiction anymore, it is already happening:
“As the Americans learned so painfully in Earth’s final century, free flow of information is the only safeguard against tyranny. The once-chained people whose leaders at last lose their grip on information flow will soon burst with freedom and vitality, but the free nation gradually constricting its grip on public discourse has begun its rapid slide into despotism. Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master.”
– Commissioner Pravin Lal, “U.N. Declaration of Rights”
And a video from the game, I recommend you watch it, cause it’s worth it.