Piracy – Games, Movies… It’s All the Same

comic_pirates.jpgPiracy is a subject that has PC gamers, developers and publishers all on edge these days. The games industry estimates that 50% – 90% of players of any given game have pirated the title and are instituting Draconian measures to protect their investments that have legitimate customers up in arms. Twenty Sided has broken the whole sordid mess down into an analogy that almost anyone can follow.

Comparing software piracy to sneaking in to a movie theater, the author takes an amusing look at The Truth About Piracy that plagues PC gaming today.

Since realizing the great influx of people into the theater through the fire door, the theater managers have gone nuts. Now they have a new policy every week. Strip searches. Restrictions on what you can wear. Restrictions on where you can sit. You can no longer buy a ticket for a friend. Usually you have to pay for a ticket before you can find out what they’re going to do to you before they let you in, and you can’t get a refund if you refuse.

The author, like many of us, is collateral damage in this whole war. He has a lot to say about EA and 2K Games in particular and none of it is very pleasant. Unfortunately, as he fully admits, he is mostly “preaching to the choir;” but it’s good to be able to laugh at the whole situation.

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10 Comments on Piracy – Games, Movies… It’s All the Same

Phil Migrowen

On June 2, 2008 at 12:48 am

“it’s good to be able to laugh at the whole situation.”

Maybe so, but you seem to have been misled by the presence of the cartoon because that’s neither the intent nor the tone of his editorial. He’s dead serious about the issue and he’s also dead right.

On a related note I really enjoyed his piece on authorization servers at http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=1680 It’s a thorough explanation of the achille’s heel of such DRM/copy-protection, and it exposes just how hollow the false promise of “we’ll release a patch to remove it later” really is.


On June 2, 2008 at 12:50 am

Veggie Tales!


On June 2, 2008 at 4:55 am

Phil, you need to post more. I always enjoy reading your commentary on articles here.


On June 2, 2008 at 7:48 am



On June 2, 2008 at 9:22 am

I’ll admit I’ve pirated, but its only because I don’t want to pay $60 for a game if I don’t know its any good. Developers have stopped releasing demos, so now you have to waste money on a crap game.

Piracy will never go away, no matter how much protection the game has. Bioshock was cracked in a week.

The only games free from Piracy are the MMO’s (excluding WoW which has private servers).

If developers are worried about Piracy, they shouldn’t be. That 50%-90% statistic above is probably way too high. Developers can stop (or at least reduce) piracy if they had try before you buy policies, doing away with crappy copy protections that hurt consumers such as starforce (I’m not saying remove it completely, just the more ridiculous ones), and generally making better games.

On a side note, if you’ve ever pirated something, you’ll see at the bottom of the info that usually comes with it this statement by the pirates “If you like this game, buy it. We did”. So pirates don’t necessarily support not buying games.


On June 2, 2008 at 1:41 pm

Again, Ninjas are so much cooler than pirates!!! :cool:

Go Marlins!!!!


On June 2, 2008 at 1:52 pm


Shawn Sines

On June 2, 2008 at 4:50 pm

@Phil: I understand that Phil.. however its also good to try and see the lighter side of a situation most of us have no control over (the legitimate purchasers that is). I agree that he’s dead on and correct.. hence the reason I posted the editorial in the first place.. but thanks as usual for your wondrous insight.

Phil Migrowen

On June 5, 2008 at 9:45 am

“however its also good to try and see the lighter side of a situation most of us have no control over (the legitimate purchasers that is). I agree that he’s dead on and correct.”

That simply demonmstrates again that you didn’t actually read or understand this article and the others on this issue on his website. If you had and agree that he is correct (which you claim), you would know that one of his main points is that consumers do have some control over the situation. They should do what he has chosen to do regarding Mass Effect and the Penny Arcade game which is to not purchase them and to let the developers and publishers know that it is due to the DRM/copy-protection used.

Shawn Sines

On June 5, 2008 at 10:04 am

I got that Phil. Thanks. I don’t support DRM titles, but its not helping not to buy them either.. as that just prevents the games from being made. I guess I’ll just have to do what the publishers seem to want, and that is to move over to consoles as my primary outlet for many of these game.. oh wait.. I already have.. Bioshock, Mass Effect, Penny Arcade.. I have these all for the consoles and not the PC.