Why Video Game Piracy is good business for the PC Gaming Industry

Why Video Game Piracy is good business for the PC Gaming Industry

Sounds strange, doesn’t it?  “Pirating Video Games is Good Business for the PC Gaming Industry”.  How in the world could ripping off someone else’s Intellectual Property and receiving digital content (a game…or two or three) for free rather than paying for it be a good thing for the PC Gaming Industry?  I’m glad your inquisitive young mind is seeking answers to such deep questions in life, let me explain.

I am a Pirate.  A big fucking dirty wooden legged, eye-patch wearing stinky pirate!  I have downloaded many games for free, read forums and “how-to” articles on how to move a few installation files around and play a single player game offline…for Free.  Let me tell you a few games I’ve downloaded (pirated) and the consequence to the developer/publisher.

Fallout 3 – I played through the pirated version 2 times.

Consequence: Since then I’ve bought 2 copies on a Steam sale (1 for me and 1 for giveaway) for both Fallout 3 GOTY, Fallout New Vegas.  Entering the wasteland for free made me feel so special inside that when the time came around I had to add it to my Steam Library.  And not only that, I’ve sung this game praises time and time again over the years (since Fallout 1 actually).

Crysis – Although my computer couldn’t really handle the original Crysis when it was released I did play the game on lowered Graphic settings.

Consequence:  I have since then bought Crysis 2, through Origin.  Tasting what Crysis was all about I was more than eager to drop a few bones on Crysis 2 when I actually had some cash to do so.

Amnesia: The Dark Descent – I was unsure about this one from Frictional games.  But now I know it is the best horror game of all time.

Consequence:  I have since bought no less than 3 copies of this game from Frictional games for personal use and giveaways.  Never having the opportunity to “try” this one out I would have NEVER spent any money at all on it.  Now since The Dark Descent was such a success, they are making A Machine for Pigs.  Win, win.

What the Video Game Industry wants you to think

They want you to think that Piracy kills video games and hurts the industry.  This approach taken by huge corporations is laughable.  There is no actual proof to back this up and is an excuse used by executives to nickle and dime gamers.

Crying “Game Piracy hurts sales” is all Smoke and Mirrors

There are no facts anywhere that clearly states Piracy hurts the video game industry.  I dare you to come up with some.  There are facts about how many times games get downloaded, or the most pirated video game of 2011 for example.  But how does anyone know that a pirated game is truly a loss of a sale?  And besides that, how do you know that if Crysis 2 was the most pirated game of 2011 who’s to say that that same person didn’t actually buy this game a month later to play online.  Or instead of one copy they told all their friends how awesome it was, (who in between all of them bought 10 copies) and themselves bough a copy as well.  How can you account for this in a statistic?  You can not.  And that is why there is NO Evidence that video game piracy hurts the industry at all.  Stop saying it does, it’s a lie.

Playing the Piracy Card is a reason to raise prices

Don’t be fooled gamers.  Companies like EA, Ubisoft and Infinity Ward are responsible and answer only to their share holders and no one else.  Do you know what this means?  This means that thousands of investors have bought their stock and own a piece of this company.  Most have bought this stock to make money.  Not because they love video games or have ever played a video game in their whole life.  They want a return on their investment.  And more than just a return, they want a yearly (or quarterly) increase from the previous year (quarter).  And how can a company make more money from one year to the next if they are projecting similar sales (total number) as a previous term?  Price increases, expensive DLC, Play Passes.  That’s how.

You think that these companies need to add this extra shit at a premium cost to survive?  No.  They need to add this extra shit to make more money and please their share holders.  That’s it.

Why Piracy is Good

Video game developers/publishers have amazing opportunities to create amazing digital worlds for us to get lost in for hours at a time, or even days.  I love what they create and praise their hard work.  But face the fact, the internet is here to say, and so is Piracy.  DRM and crying about something you have no facts to back up is bullshit.  Save your piracy rhetoric for some less educated gamers and shove it.  I understand you have to make money to stay in business, but more than enough people are already throwing money at you to get their favorite games.

Face the fact, Piracy is helping you.  Gamers like me have spent money on your products that we would have not otherwise done if it were not for piracy.  And by the way, we’re gamers for life, not just when we’re 17.  So, treating us right through the years (ty Valve) and acting like a responsible company will ensure we can adore your IP in years to come, keeping everyone employed and in business, and us gamers with a smile on our faces as well.


At your next share holders meeting, be a man and publicly state Piracy is not hurting your industry but helping it.  Lower the prices of digitally distributed goods in comparison to physical copies and treat us with respect, then we just might treat your IP with respect as well.

Airborne Gamer
Airborne Gamer
Gaming is my medicine and writing is my drug. Is it making sense now? "WELCOME TO WARP ZONE!"

This is complete and utter bullshit. What you are in fact saying is smoke and mirrors. How can word of mouth be fact? You're saying that because of piracy, you bought those games? So you stole the apple from the grocery store... went back, and paid for it? Video game pirating is like any other pirating: You steal it because you don't want to SPEND MONEY on it... most likely because it is expensive.

Why are video games so expensive? Especially triple A titles? Because people pirate them, and that inflated fee is there to buffer them from losses to to pirating. It's a self feeding cycle. So how about this: Stop pirating video games. It's plain and simple. Pay for your games like everyone else does.

John Vattic
John Vattic

@Deltasword94 "So you stole the apple from the grocery store... went back, and paid for it?"

No, no, no. Apples aren't the same as 1's and 0's. If you steal an apple from a grocery store, the grocery store is out one apple. If you pirate a game, the developer doesn't anything. So, yes. Video game pirating is like every other form of pirating in that nothing is actually being stolen. The only form of piracy that actually steals something is done by actual pirates commandeering ships.

"You steal it because you don't want to SPEND MONEY on it... most likely because it is expensive."

No, people pirate because they don't want to spend 50 dollars on a game that might be garbage, or 20 dollars on a CD where at best there are 2 songs that you actually like.

"Why are video games so expensive? Especially triple A titles? Because people pirate them, and that inflated fee is there to buffer them from losses to to pirating."

Bullshit. Video games going back to the Atari 2600, adjusted for inflation, have costed roughly the same. $50-$60 dollars.

Further, the video game industry is reporting record high profits. Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 is in Guiness as the largest entertainment launch of all time with $500 million sold in the first 24 hours.

"So how about this"

No, how about you stop feeding extortion groups like the RIAA and EA which continually lie about their DRM policies to their customers because they don't want to admit that what they're doing is trying to curb piracy; an attempt that is futile and self-defeating.