Piracy response by cliffski

What Cliff said ^

If it quacks like a duck, waddles like a duck, its a duck.


Here is what I disagree with on this piracy stance. I was also a college student at one time, as many probably are or were on this site. If I could not afford something, I went without it. I was far from rich growing up, and if I could not afford something, I went without it, or saved the money to buy it.

I feel this is the biggest problem today. We are lead to believe that we should have whatever we want, no matter the price. This is also what lead us in the current economic mess we are in.

You also forget that games cost more than they did say 5-10 years ago. Cost of living and wages go up.

Remember, these are jobs, not just people sitting in their parents’ basement doing these things as a hobby. Many people go to college, end up with huge debt, as I am sure we all know about. They expect to come out, go to a gaming company, and develop games for a living. Well, what happens when these companies no longer exist because nobody is buying their games, but rather they pirate them?

I don’t believe in excuses, especially the excuse that you cannot afford to buy the games. I want to play many games, watch many movies, and so on, but if I do not have the money, I don’t do those things. If you want something bad enough, save up the money, and then buy it. If you pirate a game, movie, or music, you planned to buy it, otherwise, you would not have done so.

I hope everyone that is pirating gets caught, and receives huge fines. Why is it ok for you to take money away from someone working to feed and provide shelter to their family? We cannot afford to keep losing jobs, especially now.

It is obvious that sonichu has never had a job. Tell your boss you do not want any money for the work you are doing because you feel that your customers should get the work you do for free. Imagine how long your employment will last. Now, try to figure out what you will tell bill collectors when they come for their payment. What, will you say you are working for free, and you have no money? That will go over well. You know what happens? You will be living on the streets.

Saying that cliffski shouldn’t worry about piracy because he is an indie developer is idiotic. He may not have a big company, but he does have his own work. If this is his way of making a living, every sale matters. If people are pirating, how does he pay the bills? How does he put his kids through college?

It is like free lunch, it isn’t free, someone has to pay for it. Nothing in life is free, someone pays for it. In this case, it could be jobs lost.

if more Dev’s/publishers would post videos, information and feedback to people about products it would help reduce the problem. I doubt piracy will ever stop, it will exist in one form or another until humanity decides to do away with the whole “income” issue. Then again it may just be part of our species, some people just do it cause they can.

When i saw the you tube videos, comments and some stuff on foundation3D i decided to do some more searching. Type in just about any game in google and you see Torrent links to some site. Luckily i didnt find one thing for GSB piracy wise and i hope it stays that way. When i finally had the extra cash, i pre ordered GSB, im proud to support the publisher and everyone involved.

There was enough available info and feedback about the beta to convince me it would be a good game. I didnt need a demo but im glad there will be one when the game is complete.

Oddly enough it took someone “pirating” some of my own models before i truly realized how damaging piracy can be to ones income. While i think the RIAA and MPAA have gone overboard, i can understand why they go after these sites.

What I find funny is how people will pirate say software, then go to college to get a degree in programming to make the software they are pirating. Do they not understand they are helping destroy their own field? Similar to movies and music.

Until government steps up, and says this must stop, it will go on and on.

It will be interesting to see how these industries survive in the coming years as more and more people pirate their property. I know almost nobody that buys anything if they can get it online, and it will keep expanding.

I agree on all points. When I read things on the internet I hear things like “I only pirate because I have no money” “It’s a try before you buy, so I only support what’s good” or “I am only stealing from the faceless corperations”.
and that gets my hopes up, maybe the whole piracy thing could work.

But the very next day I am at school and see my close friends pirating everything except for Counter-Strike and WoW, wich they HAVE to pay for… they won’t even pay 10-20 bucks for a great indie game like Plants and Zombies(wich btw had a 60 minute unlimited demo!).

I have always loved media, especially videogames and my dream is to make games some day, but seeing how the piracy movement grows each day, especially here in sweden… by the time I am an adult I probably won’t even have the law on my side.
To be honest, that’s depressing.

The future generation will have more issues finding jobs because of piracy. I can state that without looking like an idiot compared to say 10 years ago. What type of jobs are there going to be when nobody buys anything, but rather “copies” them? Consider this, if you were a talented artist, you could make money from your work. Today, best of luck, chances are slim you will be able to make a living from it.

What I find sad is how people could care less if they are taking something without paying for it. Do you not understand that these people try to make a living from these products?

As someone pointed out, people will say they will support their favorite acts, certain programmers, and what not. One day they will stop because they can get it for free. What are we teaching our kids if let this go on?

It does make a lot of sense. Look at the kids today, possible the laziest generation in a long time. I keep hearing how people keep getting fired because they don’t want to work. Well, why should they when they can get everything for free? Don’t want to work? Ok, here is a welfare check. Don’t want to buy this? Ok, here is a computer with the internet, download everything you want.

What is going to happen? Nobody is going to want to work because what is the point if you will not be rewarded?

I get it, those corporations are evil because they expect you to work. We cannot have that, so lets take from them, and when they go out of business, we will whine that we lost our job. I get it now.


Damn them democrats monkeys.

Yes, damn them for trying to save the economy.

===long predictable anti-copyright rant went here===

This is my server. If you want to rant about evil capitalism and evil copyright, go to digg or slashdot and waste their bandwidth on it.

Ofcourse, if someone released a bad game they don’t have any rights to profit on it just because they made it. But on the other side, if someone want to aquire a copy of a game, he has no right to avoid payment.

With respect, I have seen far to much to belive that people are good and will “buy the games worth buying” or make generous donations to the developers who make them. I wish it was true, but it’s just not human nature.
Wikipedia tried to make money from donations and they made a few million dollars… out of probably close to 1 billion users. Our favorite indie developer wouldn’t have a chance if he tried that. :slight_smile:

If you don’t like buggy games, the PC is not for you. It’s impossible to make a PC game that people will call stable. According to gamers they are all buggy pieces of shit. On consoles most of thoose issues are gone because it’s much easier to develop there. If a game is terribly buggy, reviews and demos will show it, and if not. Just put the name of the developers in your mind.
There people who can pirate responsably, but I havn’t met a single one in real life. And logic says that most people can’t. If you let other determine what is a “fair price” of something, you will not make enough. Most people will give nothing or very little.

And you make 0% profit margin from every copy wich is pirated.
Let’s not forget, most games actually loose money, if I’m not mistaken. The goldmines have to pay for them. Besides, it’s not like all that money is going to a rich guys private bank account. Companies use most of the money to expand their buisness, some goes to rich bastards, ofcourse. But that’s more of a Capitalism issue than a Copyright one. In a capitalistic socity, we can’t decide how much someone is “allowed” to make. Do I have sell my tv and give the money to starving people in africa because they are worse off? Should we ban luxury and make sure that the extra money poeple don’t need is distributed to the poor?

That’s why this is so important:

If risk are high, rewards must be high too.
Why invest 1 million on making a game if you are only allowed to make a small profit out of it? I wouldn’t take that risk, I would close my company down, or not spend time learning how to make games in the first place, rather than risking my money on such a stupid investment.

Copyright is by no means perfect. But we can’t just abolish it without putting another system in place wich can reward artists.

And pirates regulary steal from gamemakers and beat them over the head with selfish bullshit. It’s not a black and white picture. If you don’t like greedy companies you can choose not to purchase anything from them, you don’t need to aquire illegal copies of their products.

If I got a protest list saying “X amount of people are pirating your game in protest” I wouldn’t care, they pirated to get something for free on my expense first-hand, and to protest second-hand.
If the same amount of people didn’t buy or pirate my game, I would care. I know they are truly doing it as a protest and that they are actually customers I should listen to.

co-owners? Are you saying that everyone who buys a game should have the right to distribute it as they wish? Or that the property should be divided, like stock-shares? How would that work? Either case, prices would have to go up.

This is already in effect. After a fixed period of time any creative work become open domain, and can be copied to any library.

And I agree that with you that IP is protected for far to long. I think the reason why works are still copyrighted afte the authors death is to make sure that, even if the author dies shortly after realing something. The publisher will still be able to make a secure income from it and also so that IP can be inherited. But it’s still protected for far to long.

Calling them morons is like calling a busdriver a moron for preventing someone from freeriding on his bus. I see it far to often, people who say “I love this game/movie, it’s great!” and then refuse to give a penny in return for their entertainment. My classmates won’t spend 20 buck on a LAN game they play all the time, but will gladly for over more, again and again, to play a MMORPG by the same developer. (I think everyone know who I am talking about)

The only difference is that in one case, they get something in return for their money wich they can’t get for free (a good multiplayer epxerience), in the other case they can get teh exact same thing for free (a good LAN/SP experience).

You make some good points, and I respect your view. But I think the “companies are greedy and don’t realy need copyright”-agenda you seem to be taking is too black and white. :slight_smile:

The point is developers complaining about piracy is like the them trying to stop prohibition of alcohol, you’re too young to understand the political nature of values and culture. You can no more stop piracy then you could stop people doing what they want to. Information is non-rivalrous therefore socialist economics is what people want (hence piracy), let’s not call it piracy shall we? Since nothing is stolen, only copied, if we could copy matter as easily as information capitalism would have to be rethought from the ground up or die away anyway.

Some people legitimately pirate to “try before you buy” how many times have we all played games that were I mean seriously as in not properly QA’d buggy and crash prone on release? We could rattle off a long list of games currently or recently released that were shoved out the door before they were ready, piracy will happen with or without buggy games but there are legitimate reasons people pirate to try out a game to make sure it is in a finished state before plunking down money. Piracy also allows consumers to choose to pay you or not depending on whether they like your game or not, thereby raising the stakes. Most games today are pretty mediocre and this has to do with the complexity and time consuming nature of development.

You’re not going to get people who wouldn’t pay for your game anyway, this is lost on you. Lots of people who download also pay for games because they are adults and support the work of people working for a living, but lets not pretend capitalism is fair and equitable system shall we? Poor people outnumber wealthy people by a wide margin in this world, hence piracy. You don’t have to like it but the poor don’t have to like capitalism either.

A lot of pirates fail to take into account that the very games they are downloading for free only exist because of the people that buy them. True, some extra greedy developers will pull some very shady tactics to milk every penny out of their customers, or inconvinience them with easily bypassed security methods that pirates will remove in a day or so (or before the game is even released!) This definitely reduces trust between people who know anything about computers and said shady developers, and I’ve been annoyed in the past by some of this to the extent where I wouldn’t complain about people pirating from them. It’s sad when your business model assumes all of your customers are idiots. In the end though, “pirates” need to understand that good games require lots of time from talented people to make, and there’s no excuse not to support the developers if you’re going to take advantage of their hard work. Otherwise, their time would have been better spent on any crappy job, and noone would be making games.

If we could do that, I don’t see the point of working at all. We wouldn’t need money in the first place, just copy yourself the food, the house and everything else you would need, we wouldn’t need property laws of any kind. People could copy whatever they needed to live, and all media would be created on free time.

I would wholeheartily accept the anti-copyright ideas if:

  1. People where fundamentally good, and contributed out of goodness even thouh the didn’t have too
  2. Someone figured out a better, or equally good, system to reward artists. Right now it seems most people are too busy complaining about what is wrong, to actually find something better.

I don’t think piracy is some kind of robin-hood act where the rich pay for the poor. That’s just not how humans work, we are greedy bastards and are not likley to contribute without getting something in return. That’s why I think Capitalism is the best system (not good, but the best) and Copyright allows for games and movies to exist in a Capitalistic system, a system based on demand rather than donations.

Like I said, I respect the ideas and I wish they could work, but I think it is unrealistic because of human nature. Making a system based on the belief that all people are fundermentally good is the sure way to make any system fail, if people don’t have to pay for something, they will pay little if anything, and if creators don’t make money they cannot or will not create. I understand that there are people out there who can do this responably, but sadly I have never met one. Only once in my life have I seen someone buy a game after pirating it in order to support.

Pirates (I can’t find a better word, sorry Foo) will have to think for themselves:
“Would I spend millions of dollars on something and then give my work away for free, Would I risk my co-workers jobs by doing so?”. if the answer is “no”, then why are they forcing others to do just that? If the answer is “yes”, go support the Open-Source movement and forget about the rest. Even better do something open-source yourself.

And Clfiski, I don’t think you should edit away other peoples comments (unless they are spam). Instead you should try to respond to them and to explain why you don’t agree, I didn’t see anything bad in his post. He actually raised a few good points and while I don’t agree with him I think everyone is entitled to their opinion.
I might be missing something, though. It’s your forum and you are free to do whatever you wish :slight_smile:

I’ve been arguing about copyright for years, and get absolutely nowhere with it.
I’d much rather be making games than trying in vain to persuade pirates to buy them. If you pirate games, the developer won’t make any more, its that simple. This is why console gaming is huge and the number of pc games goes down each year. Its also why evony (micro-trans crap) makes more money than AAA PC games, and why that sort of game is now everywhere.
If you like a game, its in your own selfish self-interest to buy it.

But I won’ttolerate endless pages of childish rants about evil developers making buggy games when I’m paying the bandwidth bill. People can go peddle such silliness at slashdot, digg or torrentfreak. Kids will even mod them up…sadly!

I registered just to say thanks for the intelligent post on the issues with piracy.
Why steam?
The biggest reason is not losing CDs anymore :-D.
After that I trust that they will be there to redownload the game long after other, less successful companies go away. I’m still loading 10 year old games every once and a while, but honestly this is about comfort.
Easy access, I have the game 4 or less hours after I decide I want it.
Good customer service
Easy to use

I’ve bought games I enjoy 3 and sometime 4 times for myself (add up to 3 more copies for family members and thats a LOT) … mostly because of destroyed CDs, and probably would have done so even without the destroyed CDs if the model was right. I wouldn’t have paid that much to start with though. Figure out how to tap into that (besides the MMO model) and you might have another winner.

BTW, that post is great marketing too. Like others here I’m off to buy more of your stuff in support. Hope you can promote the blog entry as it might drive more sales than you expected.

Keep making original games without ridiculous budgets and you will keep at least one person out there happy. Thanks

Found some interesting stuff from the Copyright Alliance.

blog.copyrightalliance.org/2010/ … t-the-man/
This is about an iPhone game called iCombat wich you can easily get legally for 99 cents, still it has a 75% piracy rate. And even more important:

So, 3 out of 4 decided to pirate this game. Out of them, no one decided to pay for it when they were asked for it, this check was made a few levels in the game, so the pirates where obviously intrested. The game was very cheap, not made by a huge evil company, still most people basicly stole his work.

That looks like sad news if you ask me and hope you all understand why some people don’t want this to become legal. Personally I don’t like people downloading the same stuff for free that I pay for as a consumer, freeriding on my money and I don’t like the idea of, if I become a gamedeveloper in the future(wich is my dream since I first sat at a PC, lol) , having all thesee people freeride while I may be struggeling to pay my bills.

But I am sure you have some counter-arguments, given how many anti-copyright people out there are visiting this thread, and I would be glad to hear them. :smiley:

His results don’t matter, period. Games are a successful multi-billion dollar industry, if piracy was such a problem it would be impossible for the industry to have such gigantic profits and them to be blowing 30-50 million on developing a game. Modern warfare 2 was pirated to high heaven yet still sold more then enough to recover it’s costs. Game developers just have to work on games people want to buy, all too often game developers think their pet project (game) is all that and a bag of chips, some game developers have a problem with perceiving and accepting the reality of the current demographics gaming tastes. Since original works are high risk or niche, unless you are a supergenius who can do the work of 100 people, you’re going to spend your life chipping away at overambitious projects and wasting a lot of hours you could be using to live your life.

It would be nice if game dev’s could make their ultimate game and could do the work of teams of hundreds by themselves, but lets face facts shall we? Game development is way too much work for developers for what an end user (us) gets out of it. So developers feel cheated without acknowledging that they are building highly complicated software that is less then it is worth to a fickle gaming public which is pretty close to the edge of insane as a business model.

As gamers, games are ephemeral and unimportant when it comes to real life, dedicating years of your life to develop skills to make a game then work at making games is a high risk because you’re making entertainment, no one care’s about all the math you did, or how you had to hunt down bugs, etc, they care about the experience your games give them, if you are unable to know how to give your customers this, then you don’t deserve their money no matter what your skills are, because you are just plain fucking stupid as a human being.

So am I plain fucking stupid according to you?

And if these games suck so much, why do people pirate them? are pirates valuing their time at absolute zero?

People risk being prosecuted or getting a virus on their PC to play a pirated game, yet apparently that game is worth nothing. If anyone si stupid, it’s the pirates surely?

No right to profit?

Of course there is a right to profit. It’s a “natural right.” Meaning that being able to profit is something that can only be taken away from you, it is innate to existence. I have something, I can sell it for whatever the market will bear unless it is stolen, or someone with a gun (the government) interferes.

Piracy is theft, plain and simple.

The arguments about having some sort of “right” to try something are absurd. If the seller wants to provide that as a sales pitch, that is smart, and their right. If I were to sell my house, no one has a “right” to break in while I’m out of town and “try it out” because they might possibly want to buy it.

The library analogy is actually interesting, but the reality is that book prices fold this loss in. If sales are decreased by some number, prices rise to compensate. Piracy hurts anyone actually paying.

All done by people who are unlikely to ever pull their weight.

I’m not calling you stupid, I’m saying that you have to acknowledge the reality that what you’re doing is risky (high risk) and you have to do your best to continually acknowledge reality (continually revising how you think about things). Now don’t take this the wrong way… For instance, a lot of the views you have right now on things, we could ask - is that the way things really are? Is the problem with pirates (a generalization for a huge diverse set of people) or with cliffski’s perception of the world and his reaction to it? In the end, I’m saying if a (hypothetical) game developer never grows to accept and react to reality as it is, someone who never learns to challenge his or her own assumptions about what he thinks about reality… then they are definitely in error and don’t deserve any success. Most successful people keep trying and learn from their failures, they don’t try to remake the world according to their own ideals. They attempt to identify the reality of their situation and then ask themselves if they can accept it, move on from it or rethink the situation from the ground up - keep looking for the information you are missing from the puzzle.

Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm – Churchill.

Men are disturbed not by things, but by the view which they take of them. – Epictetus

Suppose you were god and could see who would pay for the kind of game you were beginning to make before it was finished, let’s also assume you could see the how fun and great those people thought the game was after it was done. Would you even finish the game if you could see how it would end up before hand?

So let’s say this motivate’s you (as a guy with godlike powers) to come up with different ideas for games until you saw a big enough group of people who would pay for that kind of game and you would make decent money / serious revenue, would your views of what you think about yourself and the kinds of games you make not change if you had that kind of information?

What if you were making the games you wanted to make but most people didn’t find that they were really fun? (they were only fun for you?) would you not feel a bit selfish and a bit of a weener for asking for money when you were not catering to their sense of fun but your own? They might
find your game interesting for a little while but there was no long term fun to keep them returning and so they decide that is not money well spent for them.

Questions I would be asking myself if I were cliffski:

  1. Are the game’s I am making have a wide enough demographic to support me continuing to
    make money?

  2. Is there anything that instantly turns people off about my games? (spaceships, theme’s,
    User interface, lack of realtime RTS control of ships, etc)

  3. What causes people to buy a game? and especially my games? What is the factor that gets
    a person to say “yes I will buy this game”.

If people are pirating your game and you’re not seeing sales, this says something about the market’s tastes in space-ship games, the design of your game or your own efforts to market the game. It could be that people do not like your game enough (it’s not fun enough, or they don’t like the theme, or the design, etc) that they don’t feel it’s worth paying you because it’s not that good (in terms of fun/addictiveness) compared to other games on the market that they think deserves there money.

It could also be the fact that people that are interested in and will pay for space ship games only will pay for AAA spaceship games (which you can’t provide), or are casual/shallow and want a known familiar/property (Startrek online).

It could also be that you’re not exposing your game to different venues (Xbox live, Wii, etc) and you will have to figure out a way to do that to reach other demographics of gamers who are not PC centric and have no idea you or your game exists (probably a lot of people.

Other PC games are still financially successful so we have to ask - what are the kinds of game’s the paying gaming demographic is waiting for? What kind of paying demographics exists for different kinds of games, and how large are they? and am I doing enough to make people realize that this game I made even exists?

You know when you’re really excited about a new game and you can tell the developers/people making the game “get it”? I was this way about god of war, I could tell just by the screenshots and videos that the developers making a game “got” what we gamers were waiting for and went all out hardcore to make it. God of war is one of my favorite games of all time.

To be continued…