Video Game Piracy Problem Severity
Digital piracy is a big problem, of that there is no question. It is also to be expected, in this era of incredible digital media sharing. Digital information being what it is, a person can quickly and easily share data, often including copyrighted data.
If wanting to see a particular movie, of example, even a person not especially familiar with technology can easily find it. The same goes for modern video games. But just how big a problem is digital piracy, and what is being done to combat it?
Heavy Handed Anti-Piracy Measures
About a decade ago digital piracy was at a peak. Video games and movies suffered heavily, due to a significant number of people simply preferring to steal data, as opposed to buy it in the expected manner. Only games like the online Baccarat Canada had to offer were not adversely affected.Games reported millions of illegal copies, and declared that losses were easily in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
This gave rise to heavy handed anti-piracy measures, often so imposing that they hurt the legal buyers of video games in highly inconvenient ways. Assassins Creed 2, for example, released in 2009, required that PC players of the game be permanently connected to an online server. If this connection was lost, the player would lose play progress in the game.
Overall, many said that such anti-piracy measures only encouraged more piracy, given that the illegal copies were a great deal less restrictive.
Modern Piracy Control
As the years rolled on, an interesting, effective approach to piracy was adopted, and not at all what was assumed it would be. As opposed to aggressively protecting games from piracy, many developers decided instead to include game features that were strictly online in nature. This meant that an illegal copy of the game would lack this online content.
This technique, in conjunction with making games far easier to purchase and download digitally, via platforms such as Steam, went a long way to combating piracy. As stated by infamous CEO of Steam, Gabe Newell, piracy seemed to have been largely caused by poor customer service, and not gamers being unwilling to pay.
Still A Concern
Which is not to say that piracy is still not a concern in the modern video game industry. Many illegal copies of games still exist, although the issue is considered a great deal more under control than ever before. This is interesting, since pirated copies of games are still widely available online.
As a comparison, however, piracy was listed as the top concern of most video game developers in the mid 2000s. In a more recent survey, piracy was not even listed in the opt 5 concerns of most developers. Instead, the focus of most developers in modern times is their game being noticed in an ever more saturated market.
Over-saturation of a market is almost the exact polar opposite of a market crippled by piracy, but many would say a far more favorable concern to have. How this problem is resolved remains to be seen.