Illegal Video Game Downloads on the Rise: Preventable or Inevitable?

Gaming 2011/11/14 14:00:00
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The music, movie, and television industries have been struggling to address illegal downloading for years. With music, it's gotten so bad that Chuck Klosterman recently declared "recorded music no longer has monetary value." Now BBC is reporting that the video game industry is falling victim to the download epidemic quicker than ever.

According to a study done by a research firm called Envisional, illegal video game downloads have jumped 20% in five years. Naturally, this has the industry biting its nails; some gamers argue it's not that big of a deal. They say the downloads do not necessarily indicate gamers are going to stop buying games.

Sam, a gamer who says he illegally downloads around 100 games a year, told BBC, "I buy games because I've pirated them; if I don't get to try them I never would have bothered picking them up ... I've never been fined. I've been doing this since I was 14 and I'm now 23. Games that I enjoy I purchase, ones that I don't enjoy I delete."

That seems to mirror the attitude the music industry has already begun to cater to with programs like Spotify and Turntable.fm, which allow users to listen to whole songs for free with the hopes that they'll buy it. But the programs have also changed the way artists make money, but paying the artists with ad revenue.

The gaming industry is still resisting. Andy Payne, chairman of the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment, told BBC, "Look at Fifa, Modern Warfare, Black Ops, those games people are playing all the time. That's great value ... Two hundred, 250 people sat in a studio for two years building the latest Modern Warfare 3 ... You can be playing that game every single day for a year."
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Top Opinion

  • Toby 2011/11/15 00:15:54
    Only ungrateful bastards would do that , if a game is worth playing its worth paying

    If someone was unsure , and downloaded a game illegally online to try it... fine... but if they like it they should go to the store and buy a legal copy to support the people who busted their ass making it

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  • daniel.walters.58 2013/06/11 16:36:31
    ok heres a question? what about nfs underground 2 buying it on stem wont work and buying is from gamestop or cash and cultures wont work either because the company wont make any profit from it plus the game is from 2004 and is harder to find than underground. what i mean by steam wont work is the game isnt on steam older games like that arnt on there so then what else would i do anyways? i know piracy is bad but come on helping the industry is hard with 9 year old games!
  • Teh MIghty Pyro 2011/12/04 09:50:30
    Teh MIghty Pyro
    absolutely will out a single doubt inevitable.
    no matter what you do, no matter what Law you make, no matter how you enforce it
    there will always be a group that uploads it
    plus a major part is that the people who want to try to stop it dont even understand it or how it works.

    so anyone here who wants to prevent it: you can't do squat, nothing you do will matter of have any effect on pirating. so just dont bother.
  • Liberty Blade 2011/12/03 09:06:50
    Liberty Blade
    What do you expect though when Nintendo doesn't release games like...

    earthbound zero
    mother 3 earthbound
  • Zerg 2011/11/29 14:18:14
    If someone wants something they will get it, look at drug addicts. No matter how illegal or complicated you make it there will always be a way to get something that someone wants.
  • Silly Ness 2011/11/22 23:20:19
    Silly Ness
    It's always going to happen. People will always speed on the highway, people will always have trouble with their taxes, and most of all, people will always steal.
  • AngelSantos21RedNation 2011/11/17 20:50:35
    maybe video games shouldnt cost that much dammm
  • aksquad 2011/11/17 01:40:28
  • Morteza mirmehrabi 2011/11/16 21:12:12
    Morteza mirmehrabi
    if its prevent, then where can i get a game in iran. its like apple app store, we don't have visa or master card and i can't even get into app store 'cause apple prevent Iran from using that. So what do you think i should do! downloading is the only chose.
  • iamparrot 2011/11/16 19:19:22
    If developers and publishers would release quality games maybe they wouldn't see such a huge spike in piracy. Lately all developers are worried about is releasing this year's version of "that same game" (Call of Duty, Battlefield, Madden, et. al I'm looking at you) and reaping in profits on an ever increasing and unsuspecting market.

    I've been burnt before buying crappy games and not being able to get a refund (PC), specifically the game "Wolfenstein", the follow up to the fantastic and revolutionary shooter "Return to Castle Wolefenstein" (great game) The new version of Wolfenstein was an absolute piece of garbage that ruined the franchise name.

    Ever since getting screwed on Wolfenstein I will evaluate a game before I buy it and if it's worth it I'll make sure to support the developers. Example, I "evaluated" Serious Sam HD and Borderlands, and within hours of trying my "evaluation" version I bought both games. Same with Left4Dead and many other game titles.

    For other online games, I will always try to participate in beta tests prior to ordering and buying the game, so I don't have to seek out an "evaluation" copy. This past weekend I participated in the "Star Wars- The Old Republic" beta, and I'm glad I did. I will not be dropping a DIME on this PoS game, let alone wasting bandwidth to download an "evaluation" copy.
  • Ego Death 2011/11/16 17:49:39
    Ego Death
    It's a fathomable yet negative evil...

    Many illegal downloads yield to paying customers...

    Like the generations before..

    I discovered Duke 3d, Doom, and Counter Strike this way amongst many others... I bought them all because I like the code... I want to have sex with it...
  • rik4100 2011/11/16 16:17:02
    i will sure buy a game when its worth buying it but surely not in this case i had b4
    i wanted to buy UT3 when it came out it costs 50 euros in free record shop while it costs 75 euros for a PS3! should u buy that?
  • Reikyrr 2011/11/16 11:52:23
    You just have to think outside the box and get a way to gain money from these downloads. As a company you don't have to host your game files or package them, which would save you alot of money. And you could maybe think of an alternative by making the game free you could add advertisements ingame.

    Look at what a lot of game companies already do, they release games for free, and still make money off of it. While the people who cant afford it can still play.
  • Buhbye Sodahead! 2011/11/15 22:22:03
    Buhbye Sodahead!
    As long as there's a marketplace, there will be pirates and bootleggers.
  • I Wish I Were A Skywalker..... 2011/11/15 18:57:55
    I Wish I Were A Skywalker... ~ In Television I Trust
    But I don't support it. But I think I am a violater... I downloaded Pokémon for GameBoy onto my computer!
  • Bill ~PWCM~JLA 2011/11/15 18:01:39
    Bill ~PWCM~JLA
    I'm not a geek or guru nor am I a hacker or pirate. What I am is picky about the games I buy and I have bought quite a few though I doubt as many as most others. I have bought a couple of losers simply because I didn't check out user comments and ratings as much as I should have.

    I think piracy is preventable by either putting the games back on cartridge or by requiring some type of hardware key to be inserted in the console. Maybe that could be hacked or defeated but I recall games use to be on cartridges at one time... were those pirated?

    I hate pirates. I don't like your lame excuse that you want to try the game before you buy it either. Go rent the thing if that's the case or look at user reviews, comments and YouTube videos but stop with the lame excuses to justify your theft. The people making these games deserve to be paid.
  • lulzifer Bill ~P... 2011/11/15 18:41:33
    "I recall games use to be on cartridges at one time... were those pirated?"
    Yes. They were extracted from the cartridge and turned into a ROM file.
    You can now play them on the PC with programs that emulate the console the games were originally on... with higher resolution, image filtering and hardware acceleration.
  • Bill ~P... lulzifer 2011/11/15 19:25:13
    Bill ~PWCM~JLA
    I didn't know that. I guess the pirates are just a lot smarter than me.
  • Radical Ed Bill ~P... 2011/11/16 13:40:31
    Radical Ed
    wouldn't call them pirates. the old games are extremely hard to find now (even playstation games) so extracting the files of rare games and placing them on the net is one of the few ways new gamers can play the classics.

    if ya interested try searching for emulators.
  • Radical Ed Bill ~P... 2011/11/16 13:52:49
    Radical Ed
    reviews are extremely biased. the lowest score most games get now is a 7 when that was quite a rare thing 5 years ago. renting isn't always a possibility when its a triple A title as most stores will not have more than 4 or 5 copies.

    try before you buy is a good thing since people do not want to be paying £30+ on a game that they hate 15 mins in. demos are good but dont provide enough depth for someone to really get a feel for the game. having a specific full-game trail time would be the best option but this will still not be viable for PC (cracks and keygens).
  • iamparrot Radical Ed 2011/11/16 19:24:02
    PC Trial is totally viable, you code a time-out into the program's executable and done.

    Bill, you can't rent games for PC, you have to buy it or find another way to try it first. Yes, hackers/pirates are a lot smarter than you.
  • Alphadean 2011/11/15 17:48:23
    Over all this is the reason I do my best to get into the Beta Test for most the computer games I play. I really think the game industry should give players a 30 day trail or something anyway.
  • Assault 2011/11/15 17:26:47
    You might as well try to make the internet illegal.
  • DANNY_B0i♛ 2011/11/15 16:49:43
    Its going to happen like illegal music downloads and leaks. Its the internet there isn't much you can stop.
  • FordCrews 2011/11/15 16:19:07
    While they need to make a token effort to keep this down, let's face it, most of those that download the games would never buy them if they couldn't download them, they would just not play them. They should take a note from the music industry, when you can buy a song for $1, it's not worth the trouble to look for an illegal copy. If games were $5-$20 many, many more games would be sold, and almost nobody would bother downloading them.
  • BetaMaxevony 2011/11/15 15:11:17
    Seriously, they need to just give the single-player part out as a teaser for the multi-player online portion. Reviews and commercials can't give a person the 'feel' of playing the game. Download the game, play it, if it doesn't suck, buy it to unlock multi-player. This is not rocket surgery.
  • Yoru Azenia 2011/11/15 14:54:13
    Yoru Azenia
    Still pisses me off though. Sure why help the industry and buy our games like honest citizens when we can just download it illegaly
  • Deathman 2011/11/15 13:01:53
    Offline gaming will be inpossible in 5 years
  • Radical Ed Deathman 2011/11/16 13:41:19
    Radical Ed
    can be bypassed through private servers and cracks.
  • Deathman Radical Ed 2011/11/16 14:28:23
    Hope so because the most new game don't really wroth the money
  • Radical Ed Deathman 2011/11/16 15:55:30
    Radical Ed
    with cloud computing it is possible but will only happen if the internet infrastructure is improved. the only reason it isn't like that is down to cost.
  • Bart 2011/11/15 12:58:16
    it is ok to download it to try it but if you like it you have to buy it and if you don't like it you can just delete it
  • Omni 2011/11/15 12:45:40 (edited)
  • gaylehelen 2011/11/15 12:14:16
  • strawberry 2011/11/15 10:11:56
    Millions of people have been peer sharing music, including myself, for years, for free off the internet through Limewire and other music sharing web sites. Anything goes, finders, keepers.
  • Beat Ma... strawberry 2011/11/15 11:16:23
    Beat Magnum True Hero
    Limewire = viruswire. I've thrown away hard drives thanks to that program.
  • gaylehelen Beat Ma... 2011/11/15 12:15:24
    I did the same thing, but I have to admit, I really miss it.
  • strawberry Beat Ma... 2011/11/15 12:28:47
    I had no problem with Limewire. I used it for a couple years, was able to get my favorite recordings.
  • Radical Ed Beat Ma... 2011/11/16 13:42:00
    Radical Ed
    torrent files are a lot safer
  • Omni strawberry 2011/11/15 12:46:24
    Why would you use Limewire!?
  • iamparrot strawberry 2011/11/18 15:01:37
    Limewire, bearshare, kazzaa, and all those other programs ensure I've always got computers to work on. Users install and download their music and the next thing they know their computers are so screwed up with viruses they have no choice but to call in reinforcements. Ka-ChinG$$$$

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2016/02/14 10:09:38

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