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    PQ | Features | Mailbag | January 19, 2001
   

PQ Mailbag

Medium Sized

I don't want to sound like I'm whinning here but it's gonna be another smallish Mailbag due to...well, just not much funky feedback. We need more editorials to spark the community ire. Got a well thought out point? Send it over to us. Now let's get on with the bag at hand.

Pappy-R: How are you this week Demonwench, are ya feeling frisky and ready to roll?

Demonwench: Demonwench: Hey, man, I'm ALWAYS ready to roll! I'll do my darndest to use my eeeeviill mind powers to hypnotize everyone into sending in more mail!

Let's crank this bad boy up with a readers thoughts on how software piracy could be extinguished in one big breath.

Quake 3 Team Arena and Game Piracy

Pappy: This week's Rants n'Raves feature got quite a bit of mail since we were talking about something people feel strongly about, the Quad in Quake.

Demonwench: Snort. Feel strongly about? THAT'S putting it mildly. You people are too high strung sometimes! Lay off the caffeine.

From: Aidan Williams aka Elite
Subject: Piracy

There are billions of dollars lost every year to game piracy and some of the largest game companies can't figure out how to lessen that. Well guys here's the big tip of the millennium: A SIMULTANEOUS GLOBAL RELEASE DATE!

Quake 3 Team Arena has been out for a few days now and already two of my friends have bought pirated CDs and are happily fragging away on the game at their homes.

I'll tell you how it happens:

1. Some person who runs a warez website buys a copy of the game.

2. That person uploads the game onto his website, whilst forcing people who want to download the game to look at his advertising to earn him money.

3. The game is then mirrored from that site to others all around the world, giving easier access to those people who don't live in the same country as the warez site owner who originally bought the game.

4. Someone in another country downloads the game, unpacks it from the 30 or so zip files and burns the working version onto CDs.

5. That person then burns the game onto tens or even hundreds of CDs and makes a lot of money from punters who can't be bothered to wait three months for the game to come out.

... in the end, the company that made the game and the company that published it have made about $20 from that single purchase, yet making the warez webmasters and the people selling warez CDs a lot of money. Not a very happy ending I think you'll agree. Well not for the game companies anyway. I doubt the gamers could care less how they get the game.

You must have a simultaneous global release date or your products will get pirated. It's as simple as that, people. I can't believe you haven't worked that out.

Maybe some of you have figured that out and you still can't be bothered to do anything about it.

"Well errr, America's our biggest market, so we'll have to get the game out there first!"

... hey, that's fine. Just don't expect people to wait for the game to come out in their country. It's not going to happen. It's you who's going to lose out.

"Well, if people are going to pirate our games, we'll jack up the price for those who will buy them!"

... yeah, great idea. Force more people to pirate the game because they can't afford to buy it.

I hope you guys won't read this and think: "Stupid gamer doesn't know what he's talking about!"

...and stubbornly continue on your way. You've got to understand that I'm writing this for a reason. Surely you're paying the publishers a hell of a lot of money not just to get your game out, but to think about these sorts of issues.

Don't be naive enough to think: "Well the average gamer isn't intelligent enough to warez games, so we won't lose that much money."

... well:

1. Don't jack up the price of product to compensate for money lost through piracy. If you can't be bothered to do something about it, then don't expect us to pay for it.

2. You've got to understand that entering into the gaming community is like entering a prison. You're going to learn a lot of things about what goes on in that community and in the gaming community. One of the things people will learn is how to warez games. Now I'm not saying all gamers are evil, but whilst the net is a wonderful thing, it will unfortunately expose everyone to game piracy and how to do it.

It's time for action and not just paying someone to investigate just how much money is being 'lost' or what I like to call 'being given to those who are intelligent enough to supply where there is so much demand'. I don't mean to be rude - I hope that's understood.

Obviously I'm not just doing this because I dislike pirated software. I'm doing it because I don't like to come online and see my American friends playing and talking about the latest game whilst I have to wait for it to come out.

I hope this gets through to someone and, to those who've got this far, thank you for taking the time to read it.

Aidan Williams

---

I put this in my .plan file and recieved a good response from it, so i decided to send it on.

Forgive me for spamming this to so many e~mails, but i would like it to be seen by someone.

Unfortunatly, ID software and activision make it pretty hard to contact them on issues like this, so i haven't found a way to send this to them. If you're interrested in this e~mail at all, could you please forward it to them. It would probably look better coming from one of your e~mail addresses anyway.

I'm sending this e~mail to those who are prominant in the community and who i think will be able to do something about it. Or at least raise the attention of some developers and publishers.

If you think this is a stupid rant, fair enough and sorry for waisting your time.

Pappy: Now where do I start? All you need to have your plan take effect would be for all the distribution spots, stores and what not to agree to not sell the game they have had in warehouses until after Christmas, so that the game could be marketed globaly like you say. The main problem is not that Team Arena being sold across the pond much later inspires piracy, it's people who would simply rather not pay to play the game. With the CD Key in the Quake III and Team Arena games, the pirated copies are mostly useless. The games are multiplayer games and just don't stand up for single play that well. While some people may check out a pirated copy until it comes up for sale in their area, the real players will anty up for a retail copy ASAP. On both your "plan" and "end result" I think you're off base by just enough to not get the frag.

Demonwench: Snnnooooorrrrreeeee. Hrm? What? Oh, is it my turn now?
First, what's your problem? What do you care about piracy? This is a problem, I'll give you that point, but how in the heck do you expect us to help you out? And why the heck are you sending us this load of hot air?
You say you're tired of waiting for the game your friends are playing to come out where ever you are. Well, have a little patience! My freakin' word, you bundle of overboiled limp asparagus! Good things come to those who wait, it's true! So sit back, relax, and crank on the other games you have! Nothings gonna come from you complaining about having to wait a couple extra weeks for a great game!

From: dennis from germany
Subject: Models

Hi my name is Dennis and im from germany!my english is not so good!
my problem is that i want to make my own model for quake III !
which program must i have for this ???
i search everywhere but i didnt find a progam !
can you help me !
can you give me a link to page where can download a program for this !
please help me !
thank you very much !

Pappy: Well bud, the programs it takes to make models cost some bucks. The best thing to do would be to hang out where the model makers hang out, and that would be polycount. Go and ask the artists there what they use and how much of your bank account you'll need to abuse to get into it.

Demonwench: I wish you luck, dude! I know some people like to use 3D Studio MAX and that's a very expensive program here. Maybe you can con some of your friends to help you out with either monetary units or the use of their programs. Have fun!

Next we have Demonwench's "Page of Luv" for ya!


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