Apathy and refunds are more dangerous than piracy. (Tommy Refenes)

#1railcsPosted 3/24/2013 6:07:06 PM(edited)
I found this just a little bit ago. Haven't seen it on the board and thought I'd throw it up here for people to give opinions on. It's an interesting read from one of the programmers on SMB. It does deal with Simcity directly.

http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/TommyRefenes/20130318/188683/Apathy_and_refunds_are_more_dangerous_than_piracy.php

So lets discuss the merits of this. Please be courteous. Not everyone will share the same opinion.
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Most people don't care about other points of view unless it coincides with their own. Nature of man I assume.~Me
#2railcs(Topic Creator)Posted 3/25/2013 5:08:49 PM
/Shrug

Though some people might have found this interesting.
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Most people don't care about other points of view unless it coincides with their own. Nature of man I assume.~Me
#3whitelytningPosted 3/25/2013 5:39:02 PM(edited)
Interesting article. I have a few comments after a quick read.

His point is pretty easy to understand and hard to disagree with. Yes, returns are a calculable(right word?) loss that is much easier to see and realer to a company than piracy. He makes a good point, some of his reasoning is a little sketchy and I think he simplifies piracy too much and completely ignores the IP aspect of it.

My immediate reactions:
1st. Piracy is less of a problem for small independent gaming companies because it helps get their product out into the public. It is extremely expensive to break into the industry and a small company looking to enter a market will take more risk in terms of loss than an established company. The amount of loss piracy causes is very different for a large game publisher because they already have an established market share and are active marketing in other ways.

2nd. Although you do have "infinite stock" in the digital IP world you do not have an infinate market. Once the market is saturated you will not sell any more of your "stock". (seems weird to compare digital IP to retail products at kmart)

3rd. I agree that it is speculative to try to calculate loss of potential sales due to pirating but that doesn't make DRM usless. The fact that so many companies are turning to it over and over is a good example that they believe it works.

4th. "People have to WANT to buy your software, people have to WANT to support you. People need to care about your employees and your companyís well being."

True, but if people can pirate your software they will not want to buy it.
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#4drfirepantsPosted 3/25/2013 5:41:43 PM
whitelytning posted...

True, but if people can pirate your software they will not want to buy it.


That"s not entirely true. Many people will still buy a product after pirating it if they feel the product is worth it and the company actually cares about the product that was produced. Can't really blame them for wanting to pirate it first, seeing all the junk that a lot of companies try to pass off as games now days. Of course there are still many people who will pirate it and not pay, but they are going to do that no matter what. I still feel that the best combat to piracy is quality products, even pirates know the importance of supporting companies that produce good quality games.
#5holden4everPosted 3/25/2013 5:55:50 PM
From: drfirepants | #004
Can't really blame them for wanting to pirate it first, seeing all the junk that a lot of companies try to pass off as games now days.


If more demos were released then it may cut down on the people that pirate then buy. I've bought a lot of games that I downloaded first just to see if it was worth getting. Out of the 65 games I have on Steam, most were "try before buy".
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http://thebulldogs.com.au/media/logo_2010.png - 2012 NRL Season: Minor Premiers. Grand Final runners-up. Bring on 2013.
#6PG50Posted 3/25/2013 6:12:23 PM
If I like a product, I will buy it, even if I've already played it somehow else. In fact, if I like a product enough, I'll buy it twice(ports, or HD remakes), or even seek out other games from the developer and try those.

I don't mind DRM, because I do buy my games, but ALWAYS online annoys me, and the game being based on a server for a single player game would be stupid. I understand that multiplayer is a thing in this Simcity, but could there not be a single player mode where I could run it off my computer instead, without the threat of a rollback or worse if my internet or their servers screw up? My internet is often very slow, and unfortunately changing providers would not solve that.

People will support things that deserve it, and people who wouldn't buy them because piracy was an option, aren't likely to buy them if they can't pirate it.
#7ThirdDegreePosted 3/25/2013 7:01:39 PM
"So what should developers do to make sure people donít steal games? Unfortunately there is nothing anyone can do to actively stop their game from being pirated. I do believe people are less likely to pirate your software if the software is easy to buy, easy to run, and does what is advertised. You canít force a person to buy your software no more than you can prevent a person from stealing it. People have to WANT to buy your software, people have to WANT to support you. People need to care about your employees and your companyís well being. There is no better way to achieve that than making sure what you put out there is the best you can do and you treat your customers with respect."

This is very true in almost every situation. Think about it. It's like going after the supply instead of the demand. If there is a demand, there will always be a supply. You can try to stop people from pirating your game, but for the all the people that don't give to craps about your company, they will still pirate it. So instead of going after the pirates, make people give a crap about your company. You can go after drug dealers, but if there are still junkies, someone is going to get them drugs. Put more effort into reducing drug dependency. You can put all kinds of crazy measures into your company to prevent internal theft, but if you treat your employees like crap, pay them low wages, some of them will always steal.

To be fair though, there will always be pirates, drug addicts and people that steal from their jobs. There's always going to be bad people. But so many people go about reducing it the wrong way. EA and almost every giant retailer are prime examples of going about reducing theft the wrong way.
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#8LordPonchoPosted 3/25/2013 7:09:02 PM
There's been many a time in my late teens when I would pirate something that I never intended to buy. If I liked it, I usually would end up buying it on sale.

Now in my mid twenties, I haven't pirated anything in years. Money is nice to have. Ahahah
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#9ThirdDegreePosted 3/25/2013 7:09:59 PM
Also, EAs total lack of concern of being voted the worst company in America is just adding to the list of reasons not to buy from them. I wish things could change, but they won't be cause people are going to keep buying their games because a lot of people don't know any better. I figure most people don't even look at buying a game as supporting a company. They see it as, if I buy Madden, I'm supporting the Madden Company. If I buy Dead Space, I'm supporting the Dead Space company.
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#10rikvanoostendePosted 3/26/2013 12:42:33 AM(edited)
ThirdDegree posted...
Also, EAs total lack of concern of being voted the worst company in America is just adding to the list of reasons not to buy from them. I wish things could change, but they won't be cause people are going to keep buying their games because a lot of people don't know any better. I figure most people don't even look at buying a game as supporting a company. They see it as, if I buy Madden, I'm supporting the Madden Company. If I buy Dead Space, I'm supporting the Dead Space company.


I must be an exception then, being (called) a Bethesda fan(boy), but that company has exclusive access to my wallet because they rarely let me down on any of their products. I love Fallout and Elder Scrolls, but I probably wouldn't have thought of buying Dishonored if they didn't publish it, and I would have missed out on a lot of fun.

I know they didn't 'make' the game but they sure have an eye for good developers, and as such, their name on the box is a stamp of approval to me.

*flamma scutum supra*
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