From: Aidan Williams aka Elite
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."
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.
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.