Posted on August 22, 2008,

Alternatives Are Better Than Suing Pirates, Says Moore

Gaming Today

Earlier this week, the Times Online reported that five major videogame companies — Atari, Codemasters, Topware Interactive, Reality Pump, and Techland — were going after the wallets of 25,000 people in the UK accused of downloading games. Those people face the option of paying a £300 settlement fee or risk being taken to court.

EA Sports’ president and former Microsoft VP Peter Moore had some strong words on the matter which he shared this week at the Leipzig Games Convention. He warned against suing individuals who have pirated games, claiming that there are better ways of handling the situation.

“I’m not a huge fan of trying to punish your consumer,” he said. “Albeit these people have clearly stolen intellectual property, I think there are better ways of resolving this within our power as developers and publishers.

“Yes, we’ve got to find solutions,” Moore continued. “We absolutely should crack down on piracy. People put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into their content and deserve to get paid for it. It’s absolutely wrong, it is stealing.

“But at the same time I think there are better solutions than chasing people for money. I’m not sure what they are, other than to build game experiences that make it more difficult for there to be any value in pirating games.”

Those who favor legal action will likely argue that people stealing games aren’t consumers. But Moore’s comments have to make you wonder what EA might be planning. He claimed he’s not aware of any plan on EA’s part to join the group of companies taking legal action, but beyond that, it lends a slight amount of credence to the rumors that Madden might adopt a subscription model in the future.

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26 Comments on Alternatives Are Better Than Suing Pirates, Says Moore

theturbolemming

On August 22, 2008 at 7:36 pm

I am absolutely in agreement. We’ve got to stop piracy, but the best way is definitely not to target the pirates, but rather the means.

Serio

On August 22, 2008 at 8:03 pm

“Pirating” has gone from being downloading full games, to being downloading torrents. Instead of such a huge fine, just tell them to pay for the game. That’s what they do at renting places if you damage the game. They make you pay full price for the game.

Bluegender

On August 22, 2008 at 9:00 pm

Moore can shove that statement up his own ***! EA has been punishing its own customers with its heavy DRM for mass effect and spore.You can only install 3 times and the installs cannot be gotten back by uninstalling…once used up your installs you have to contact EAs tech support may i remind you is not toll free and then you have to send your disk to them while paying 10 dollers to get another cd key. Oh and did i mention you have to have an active internet connection every time you install the game.
The software used for this drm is securom aka malaware that affects your computers performance and can stop certain programs from working that it thinks your going to use to pirate games.

ridlas

On August 22, 2008 at 9:39 pm

the only way to stop piracy is to make good games with awesome online play, i myself only buy games that i am sure will keep me playing for years. for example, need for speed isnt that great and i will stop playing it as soon as i finish it, so why waste money on something im only gonna play it for less than a week? id rather download it. for games like bf2, cod4, css etc. i buy them, why u ask? cuz they have good online play and they will keep me busy for months if not years. so yeah if u want for ur game to sell, make sure u add a good online play and that it will keep them busy for months.

The words of a pirate.

Raw

On August 22, 2008 at 10:36 pm

A very very good solution is the one inherently implemented on Battlefield 2 and BF2142. To enjoy the game, you have to play online. To play online, you need a Verified CDKEY. Of course you could download a crack and play offline, but face it, the whole cake is on the online portion.

wow

On August 23, 2008 at 2:13 am

Raw is right, but we all already know what there gonna do, it is impossible to pirate steam games because of the integrated software, soon all game companies are gonna do a steam type thing, Microsoft already has theirs and so does NCsoft and 1 or 2 other companies.

cloud

On August 23, 2008 at 4:22 am

Such a shame that the pirates are forcing game devs to use DRM.

Only ourselves to blame.
As for ridlas, you talk bollox. If you only want to play the game for a little while get the demo. Getting a pirated version is mean spirited.

Of course the game publishers & music industry are greedy as hell as well.

I think the steam method (cheap games tied to an online account) is the only way forward for big budget PC games :(

plz die

On August 23, 2008 at 6:21 am

I have pirated a few games that didn’t have a demo/playable demo. Half of those games (+ their expansions) can now be found from my shelves. The other half was trash and it is long gone wasting my hd space.

simple-jack

On August 23, 2008 at 8:36 am

I totally agree we need to put a STOP to videogame piracy…

now let me finish downloading these songs off limewire right quick.

J-Man

On August 23, 2008 at 8:38 am

Yeah, I pirate games. But there is only one reason: Valve’s nazi Steam system.

I’ll buy them when they get to be non steam requiring for online.

Hekynn

On August 23, 2008 at 8:43 am

I agree we need to stop the pirates cause of them theirs hardly any good PC games.

Handshakes

On August 23, 2008 at 9:29 am

Software pirates need to get slapped. If the fines get annoying and frequent enough, they will stop. ‘Nuff said.

Matt

On August 23, 2008 at 9:44 am

The question is, is a $600 fine really going to stop them from downloading > $600 worth of video games a year?

The suggestion of fining them only for the price of the game simply won’t work. I’d be the first in line downloading all of the games, knowing if I got caught I’d only have to pay $50-$60.

The way to go at them is their ISP. Have their ISP shut off their internet (or threaten to sue the ISP for promoting copyright theft.) That really kills people.

Bounce

On August 23, 2008 at 9:58 am

We got to stop DRM to stop piracy. Simple.

Ice

On August 23, 2008 at 10:04 am

Piracy will ALWAYS be around, face it. It’s a fact of life in the gaming industry, just like all the diseases that affect the human body.

If there is someone who thinks something along the lines of “I don’t want to pay for this” and are good enough, they WILL get to play it for free.

Look at Stardock, they are a shining beacon of light. They make games where there is NO CD Protection (hell, in Galactic Civilizations 2, you don’t even need the CD Key to install it!)

Piracy is generally targetted by companies who can’t accept the fact their game is HOUSE. Instead of saying ‘Our game has had very poor sales due to its low quality, but we will improve on what we messed up with our next release’
They will say
‘Our sales were so low only because of the fact that all the people playing it have pirated it’

Game Dev’s, get your head’s out of your asses and actually make GOOD games, that people want to play. not only that, but LISTEN to requests don’t just ignore all of us because believe it or not, we have good ideas. If you need an example, goto GPGNet forums for Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance. the developers are just ignoring everyone and the community is releasing patches that GPG could just make as an offical if they ACTUALLY CARED!

and J-Man, stop your ing. You wanna play Valve games legit, goto a gaming store and buy then. Lets see, 10 games you can play on Steam without buying online:
- Orange Box
Half-Life 2
Episode 1 & 2
Portal
Team Fortress 2
- Half-Life 1 Collectors Box (or Platinum Edition)
Half-Life 1
Counter-Strike
Opposing Force
Blue Shift
Team Fortress Classic

then theres the Non-Valve games:
Call Of Duty 4
Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War
Probably heaps others but I haven’t been on there in some time.

and if you want to get a game via Steam, pay a friend to buy it for you, (provided they got a Credit Card or similar) It’s how I got Garry’s Mod $10. Although If you don’t have friends, I can see that would pose a problem.

In conclusion, stop being babies and grow up. Piracy is here and until youo can make someone’s PC blowup just for opening an ILLEGAL torrent then your just gotta get used to it. Also, I HAVE played pirated games for example Oblivion, a few weeks later I bought it. It’s a great way to try out games since demos are always way too short. And in all fairness, who hasn’t played a pirated game?
That’s my rant, over to you Garry.

aewanko

On August 23, 2008 at 7:41 pm

As Ice said, there will always be pirated copies. I’ll admit using pirated copies but its because there are few resellers of CD’s here. Not only that, they’re also expensive and the place is far. Many people are also in my situation, resorting to cracks and torrents for video games.

Wahahohaha

On August 24, 2008 at 8:30 am

You’re all missing the point. Here it is if you missed it…
“Pirates harm the gaming industry by stealing games instead of buying them.”
That’s the general idea on why pirates are bad. But not only is this belief too narrow in design, and therefore flawed, it is wrong. Pirates who steal games would not be buying games should piracy be made impossible. Most pirates do not have the money to buy games, so if the ability were gone they would simply do other things with their time. The people that buy 3-4 games a year are the ones who pirate games like crazy, and the number games they buy would not change if piracy were gone. Not everyone can pump thousands a year into gaming, sorry.
That’s just one flaw in the general idea expressed by that quoted statement, I won’t go into long detail on the rest but some are…

“PIRATES HARM…” What about renters? Gamestop’ers who buy used games? Gamefly? None of this puts cash into developer’s pockets.

The gaming industry is partially to blame for allowing piracy to be so easy and not offering incentives to buy the game. Best example of this is Diablo 1.

The gaming industry produces ty games, often times failed games, to reclaim some of the money put into development.

The gaming industry has a large advantage over the average consumer not unlike that of a politician. They can influence reviews(see gamespot Kane & Lynch), offer up mass amounts of hype and straight up lie on what they’re going to deliver(see Conan:Hyborian Adventures, the unfinished-but-launched-anyways mmo).

Also, did you know that it is commonplace for the japanese to buy a console and game(ps3 and MGS4) that they want to play, beat the game in a week and return the console? How about that for “harming the gaming industry.”

Well, whatever. Anyways, software pirates play a part but it is small in relation to the full picture.

moonracer

On August 24, 2008 at 9:16 am

When I was young and didn’t have money I pirated most games I played. When I got older,finished school and got a job, I kept playing games and stopped pirating.

This is a big part of the picture. What percentage of pirates would/could buy the games if piracy was not an option? How many of them would be turned off to gaming if they were directly punished.

And as others have said, modern copy protection is enough of a hassle that it punishes paying customers.

Perpy12

On August 24, 2008 at 3:34 pm

I’ll stop pirating every once in a while when they stop releaseing half assed pieces of crap just to suck up some more money.

Jacob

On August 24, 2008 at 4:26 pm

Hehe, such good arguments on both sides. Shareware, is where it was at… Often better then the concept of a “Demo” The thing about demoes, is they all come with disclaimers claiming that basically… The demo only represents what it looks like at the time of that demo being made…. it is not, a promise, or an active contract, that all features seen in a demo will be in the final product. Another disadvantage of demoes is the fact that with the current gaming trends of Prettier is better, not content. the demo for star wars force unleashed is like 1300 megs… And plays for about 5 minutes. O.o Really? 5 minutes? 1300megs? Why’d I waste my time? But old school shareware, “Eh, here, go play through all of episode 1.” (Doom.) O.o but i doubt anyone would want to do that. As for those of you who say games suck, and I’ll pay when they get better… They’ll never get better if the majority stops paying. Wouldn’t be worth going into that career. Which funny enough, I’ve never heard the individual coders/developers so on, about all they’re stuff being pirated, (Prolly because they’ve already gotten their paychecks.) Only Big publishers…. Who have to sell as many copies as possible, to make their money…. Hm… So cut out the publishers? No? Not surprising.

DeadlyFred

On August 24, 2008 at 10:51 pm

The inflated settlements they always seek in these cases are what really gets me, though 300 pounds is a little better than the thousands of dollars the RIAA was going after people for.

Still, its a stupid waste of time and effort any way you look at it. For all the sword-rattling various institutions have leveled against piracy in the past, how much good has it done? Absolutely none.

Piracy has existed since the advent of the modem and, regardless that it might be easier now, PC software and gaming still flourished and grew to BE the big-business it is now. If piracy were such a scourge of the industry’s profits it would’ve died years ago.

Jacob

On August 25, 2008 at 2:48 am

Aye. Industries fine. Although a friend of mine expects the console industry to crash because of gamestop. :P And a joke poke, piracy’s older than computers. :D

gomimin

On August 25, 2008 at 8:15 am

One point isn’t on the table: Release Dates. All big interesting games are going to be on the market at nearly the same time. Look what’s coming in the next few weeks for PC that could be of interest for me):

Far Cry2
Mercenairies2
Fallout3
Brothers in Arms:Hells Highway
Stalker:Clear Sky
Crysis Warhead
Armaed Assault2
GTA4
Left 4 Dead
CallofDuty:World at War
Project Origin
Sacred2
Tomb Raider Underworld
X3 Terran Conflict

now imagine the amount of cash you need in a short period to buy them all (if you want em while fresh) – that’s one reason why people use pirated games too.

I now for sure which games i’ll buy cuz i know what Developers i want to support to make games:

Stalker Clear Sky
Fallout3
ArmedAssault2
X3 Terran Conflict

and i will buy FarCry2 – cuz i think it will be big fun to play!

All others are on my list to get them when on Budget price…no need to get pirated ones, i can wait – but others won’t…btw. if there were not pirated games, there still would be copy protection and else ;-)

Matt

On August 25, 2008 at 9:10 am

I really don’t understand how people can sit here and say that its the industries fault.

Piracy is a crime that has no repurcussions (most of the time.) Thats why its so popular. Not because the gaming industry makes ty games, its because people feel that they can make a gain without being caught. Its as simple as that.

Jacob

On August 25, 2008 at 8:48 pm

Piracy is a crime that has few repercussions. And also strange intangled law depending upon where you are at in the world. As for how it’s the industries fault? Nothing. EA And UBISOFT Love me. And do everything they can to make sure I’m a happy customer, and never take over developer studios and force them to make games in a completely different manner. :P

Jacob

On August 25, 2008 at 8:49 pm

Btw I know that was vague, point is, use your imagination, and also look at what people are saying. THe only real scale is morality, and morality is kind of liquid.