What can Developers & Publishers do to combat Piracy?

Epona

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Lord Fedora said:
Crono1973 said:
Steal from children?

How are you stealing from children by pirating games you wouldn't have bought anyway. If you choose to not pirate and not buy, the children still get nothing so I guess that is also stealing from children.
Because you're taking a product without paying for it that's not being offered for free. That's stealing. In this case, as the proceeds go to sick children, you are effectively stealing from them. There are instances where I'm okay with piracy, to be perfectly honest, but when it would cost you virtually nothing and whatever you would be spending goes to charity, there is no excuse.
No, the "children" never lost a sale. That kind of logic fails every time it is brought up.

If a person refuses to give their credit card info to Steam, then the children aren't going to get any money from them whether they pirate the game or not. Your appeal to emotion fails and your lost sales logic fails.
 

Sectan

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Kopikatsu said:
Sectan said:
Reward legitimate buyers. Whether it's some non essential game item like the Hats and vanity weapons in TF2 (Lugermorph) and such, or something physical like a figurine. Idk, maybe make it cheaper? Home recording was killing the music industry in the '70s, but I haven't seen it die...

CAPTCHA: Efecivx reduction. Effective reduction indeed...
I loathe to use the word because of how often it's been misused lately, but that right there is entitlement. Why should you be rewarded for doing what you're supposed to? Punishing the people who do the wrong thing makes more sense.
Yeah I guess I am an entitled little brat. It's not like I pay part of their paycheck. Oh wait...
 

Xanadu84

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Intrusive DRM is the least effective method one can do, and we learn that lesson time and time again.

The first and foremost, biggest way to combat piracy, and I may get some hate for saying this, is basic, consumer friendly within reason DRM. Disc Checks, one time online authentication, Steam and the like. Something that means that if you want a pirated copy, you have to get it from unsavory places that may be less then 100% reliable. Once you reach this point, however, you might as well stop, because your game will be hacked. That't a fact of life. All you can do is prevent yourself from losing so much as a significant number of would be buyers.

The second most important step is customer relations. Foster a healthy community that respects you by making long term decisions over short term ones. Pirates tend to be tech savvy and very good at justifying there actions behind some bogus idealism. They will appreciate a company that behaves in an upright manner, and are more likely to either buy a game after trying a pirated copy, or not download a pirated copy to begin with. Yes, there are some exceptions, particularly with some Indie games, but these indie games usually have 0 protection in place.

Thirdly, make demos. Its not as universal as pirates like you to think, but a lot of pirates do pirate a game in lieu of a demo. Also, if a pirated game is the replacement for a demo, then theres a good chance that these skilled justifiers will come up with a reason why they can keep playing the game despite it not being worth paying for.

Fourth, Incentives. Provide a service that makes buying new better then pirating. Even a tiny bit better will discourage piracy HUGELY. If it inconveniences the paying customers though, your moving one step forward, 2 steps back. The company that discovers a cost effective incentive system will be the company that takes the biggest chunk out of piracy. It won't be the company with the most airtight DRM (And by airtight, I mean a colander instead of a rope tied around a puddle.)

Fifth, outside the box solutions. You can't rely on these but they may help. Rocksteady did this by releasing an unplayable version of Arkham Asylum. Convenience of Digital Distribution might make people forget about downloading. Other social tools, when handled in compelling ways, give a reason to not pirate. The Free 2 Play model just doesn't allow Piracy really. You can't use these things in every game, but they can help in the right circumstance.

Sixth, and this is more a do not thing, don't just rely on Multiplayer to discourage pirates. Some games don't need multiplayer, and tacking crappy multiplayer on at the last second is...well, see point 2.

And lastly, figure out a better measure for piracy. Common Sense dictates that every download is NOT a lost sale, since it makes no sense that every person who will get the game for free would pay 60 dollars for it. We have been looking at this problem for ages, and publishers keep pulling numbers out of their asses. Come up with a realistic way to measure profit loss, since profit is your concern, and all the bad ways of dealing with the problem will fall apart.
 

Kopikatsu

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Sectan said:
Kopikatsu said:
Sectan said:
Reward legitimate buyers. Whether it's some non essential game item like the Hats and vanity weapons in TF2 (Lugermorph) and such, or something physical like a figurine. Idk, maybe make it cheaper? Home recording was killing the music industry in the '70s, but I haven't seen it die...

CAPTCHA: Efecivx reduction. Effective reduction indeed...
I loathe to use the word because of how often it's been misused lately, but that right there is entitlement. Why should you be rewarded for doing what you're supposed to? Punishing the people who do the wrong thing makes more sense.
Yeah I guess I am an entitled little brat. It's not like I pay part of their paycheck. Oh wait...
I didn't say 'entitled little brat'.

Pirating is bad. Buying the game is not. Abstaining from buying the game because you don't like the game/don't agree with the business practices/can't afford it is not.

So why reward people for doing the 'right' thing when that's what they should be doing anyway? It seems like an alien concept. Like...you don't get a weekly check as a reward for not having committed a crime, do you?

You're paying for their paycheck by buying THE GAME. The game is all you get for your money. If you think it's too much for just a game, then don't buy it!

Edit: That is kind of what I meant by entitled, though. 'I pay their salaries! They should give me extras because a game isn't enough!'
 

lord.jeff

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Crono1973 said:
Don Reba said:
Why would we want to combat file sharing? Copying files costs next to nothing and benefits the society as a whole ? we should embrace it. If we can agree that games benefit the society as a whole, like science does, then we should finance it like science, using public funding and peer review. The system has been tested by centuries and we know it works.
It's a funny game we play. It costs nothing to copy something which publishers believe has a value of $60 and yet we accept it and pay what they ask. If I offered to sell you a tomato for $1 and you could easily walk a few feet and get your own for free, would you pay me $1?
I would assuming your the one who grow the tomato or you're giving money to the farmer because that dollar goes to pay for the water, land, fertilizer, equipment, and time the farmer put in to get you that tomato. Same can be said for games sure distribution costs very little by a team of animators, voice actors, programers, writers, an office to put them all in and computers for them all to use, do cost money.

Enough of correcting flawed logic to the question at hand, it's been said before but it is the best option reward real costumers, one way to do it is regular free updates people who download will have to work harder to get all the new content(this also always you to target specific pirated version of the game) and people are going to like your game more, publishers could also give credits to be used for payed DLC or even for future games.
 

Phisi

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Offer incentives to legit customers that rival or exceed pirated versions such as access to betas, free DLC (a new gun or vehicle for every week would annoy the pirates who have to keep cracking the files), as many installs as you like, competitions, free candy all at a price that makes these worthwhile. Oh and good customer service.
 

Lord Fedora

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Crono1973 said:
Lord Fedora said:
Crono1973 said:
Steal from children?

How are you stealing from children by pirating games you wouldn't have bought anyway. If you choose to not pirate and not buy, the children still get nothing so I guess that is also stealing from children.
Because you're taking a product without paying for it that's not being offered for free. That's stealing. In this case, as the proceeds go to sick children, you are effectively stealing from them. There are instances where I'm okay with piracy, to be perfectly honest, but when it would cost you virtually nothing and whatever you would be spending goes to charity, there is no excuse.
No, the "children" never lost a sale. That kind of logic fails every time it is brought up.

If a person refuses to give their credit card info to Steam, then the children aren't going to get any money from them whether they pirate the game or not. Your appeal to emotion fails and your lost sales logic fails.
I don't care if they don't buy it or not, that's their business. They're taking a package put together with the express purpose of raising money for charity and stealing it-and let's be clear here, piracy *is* stealing, you are taking something that you haven't paid for and was not offered to you for free by someone legally authorized to do so, which, again, I don't care about most of the time. As far as I'm concerned, there is no excuse to do that. If you don't want to give your information to Steam, you don't get to play the fucking game.
 

Epona

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lord.jeff said:
Crono1973 said:
Don Reba said:
Why would we want to combat file sharing? Copying files costs next to nothing and benefits the society as a whole ? we should embrace it. If we can agree that games benefit the society as a whole, like science does, then we should finance it like science, using public funding and peer review. The system has been tested by centuries and we know it works.
It's a funny game we play. It costs nothing to copy something which publishers believe has a value of $60 and yet we accept it and pay what they ask. If I offered to sell you a tomato for $1 and you could easily walk a few feet and get your own for free, would you pay me $1?
I would assuming your the one who grow the tomato or you're giving money to the farmer because that dollar goes to pay for the water, land, fertilizer, equipment, and time the farmer put in to get you that tomato. Same can be said for games sure distribution costs very little by a team of animators, voice actors, programers, writers, an office to put them all in and computers for them all to use, do cost money.
Really, you aren't much of a consumer are you? Do you think about manufacturing and distribution costs when you buy something on sale or clearance?

The role of the consumer is to get the best deal so ask yourself, is that DVD with Skyrim on it and the plastic case really worth $60? We are told that the real product isn't the disc at all, it's the data and that's why it costs the same to buy it from Steam. Well, data can be duplicated an infinite number of times for next to nothing. You pay for the electricity and the media that you will copy it to but that's pennies. So is it really worth $60?

I understand that we have to buy games else there will be no more but it is true that anything that can be duplicated an infinite number of times for pennies is truly worth more than that.
 

Dismal purple

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Might have been said already but:

You don't. You simply have to live with the fact that some people will be able to get your product for free. Just like writers have been doing since libraries and music since cassettes.
 

Epona

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Lord Fedora said:
Crono1973 said:
Lord Fedora said:
Crono1973 said:
Steal from children?

How are you stealing from children by pirating games you wouldn't have bought anyway. If you choose to not pirate and not buy, the children still get nothing so I guess that is also stealing from children.
Because you're taking a product without paying for it that's not being offered for free. That's stealing. In this case, as the proceeds go to sick children, you are effectively stealing from them. There are instances where I'm okay with piracy, to be perfectly honest, but when it would cost you virtually nothing and whatever you would be spending goes to charity, there is no excuse.
No, the "children" never lost a sale. That kind of logic fails every time it is brought up.

If a person refuses to give their credit card info to Steam, then the children aren't going to get any money from them whether they pirate the game or not. Your appeal to emotion fails and your lost sales logic fails.
I don't care if they don't buy it or not, that's their business. They're taking a package put together with the express purpose of raising money for charity and stealing it-and let's be clear here, piracy *is* stealing, you are taking something that you haven't paid for and was not offered to you for free by someone legally authorized to do so, which, again, I don't care about most of the time. As far as I'm concerned, there is no excuse to do that. If you don't want to give your information to Steam, you don't get to play the fucking game.
You can't steal something the "children" never had in the first place.
 

lord.jeff

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Crono1973 said:
lord.jeff said:
Crono1973 said:
Don Reba said:
Why would we want to combat file sharing? Copying files costs next to nothing and benefits the society as a whole ? we should embrace it. If we can agree that games benefit the society as a whole, like science does, then we should finance it like science, using public funding and peer review. The system has been tested by centuries and we know it works.
It's a funny game we play. It costs nothing to copy something which publishers believe has a value of $60 and yet we accept it and pay what they ask. If I offered to sell you a tomato for $1 and you could easily walk a few feet and get your own for free, would you pay me $1?
I would assuming your the one who grow the tomato or you're giving money to the farmer because that dollar goes to pay for the water, land, fertilizer, equipment, and time the farmer put in to get you that tomato. Same can be said for games sure distribution costs very little by a team of animators, voice actors, programers, writers, an office to put them all in and computers for them all to use, do cost money.
Really, you aren't much of a consumer are you? Do you think about manufacturing and distribution costs when you buy something on sale or clearance?

The role of the consumer is to get the best deal so ask yourself, is that DVD with Skyrim on it and the plastic case really worth $60? We are told that the real product isn't the disc at all, it's the data and that's why it costs the same to buy it from Steam. Well, data can be duplicated an infinite number of times for next to nothing. You pay for the electricity and the media that you will copy it to but that's pennies. So is it really worth $60?

I understand that we have to buy games else there will be no more but it is true that anything that can be duplicated an infinite number of times for pennies is truly worth more than that.
There's a difference between being a smart consumer and being a thief.
 

John Farrell

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Lower prices and increase availability. Some shit I like is very hard to find (or Japan-exclusive i.e. Shin Megami Tensei 2 or Super Robot Wars). Same goes for anime. We anime geeks are expected to fork over way more for what we acquire and more often than not most shops only have recently released shit. For example, The zeta gundam movies set me back $130 for 3 dvds with no special content or exclusive stuff like posters or t-shirts. Don't get me wrong, the story was good, but it still felt like a ripoff. A complete set of all evangelion episodes costs roughly the same and is about 3 times longer. Then they wonder why there are so many fansubs.

I'm still looking for Mazinkaiser SKL.
 

Lord Fedora

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Crono1973 said:
Lord Fedora said:
Crono1973 said:
Lord Fedora said:
Crono1973 said:
Steal from children?

How are you stealing from children by pirating games you wouldn't have bought anyway. If you choose to not pirate and not buy, the children still get nothing so I guess that is also stealing from children.
Because you're taking a product without paying for it that's not being offered for free. That's stealing. In this case, as the proceeds go to sick children, you are effectively stealing from them. There are instances where I'm okay with piracy, to be perfectly honest, but when it would cost you virtually nothing and whatever you would be spending goes to charity, there is no excuse.
No, the "children" never lost a sale. That kind of logic fails every time it is brought up.

If a person refuses to give their credit card info to Steam, then the children aren't going to get any money from them whether they pirate the game or not. Your appeal to emotion fails and your lost sales logic fails.
I don't care if they don't buy it or not, that's their business. They're taking a package put together with the express purpose of raising money for charity and stealing it-and let's be clear here, piracy *is* stealing, you are taking something that you haven't paid for and was not offered to you for free by someone legally authorized to do so, which, again, I don't care about most of the time. As far as I'm concerned, there is no excuse to do that. If you don't want to give your information to Steam, you don't get to play the fucking game.
You can't steal something the "children" never had in the first place.
Fine, I'll rephrase myself. New official wording: you are stealing something that, had you paid literally any amount of money for it, would have gone towards Christmas presents for sick children, all because you didn't want to put your credit card information on the internet, which is a perfectly fair position, but while doing the above is, from a practical sense perfectly fine and hurts no one, is still a dick move on par with kicking a puppy.
 

Epona

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lord.jeff said:
Crono1973 said:
lord.jeff said:
Crono1973 said:
Don Reba said:
Why would we want to combat file sharing? Copying files costs next to nothing and benefits the society as a whole ? we should embrace it. If we can agree that games benefit the society as a whole, like science does, then we should finance it like science, using public funding and peer review. The system has been tested by centuries and we know it works.
It's a funny game we play. It costs nothing to copy something which publishers believe has a value of $60 and yet we accept it and pay what they ask. If I offered to sell you a tomato for $1 and you could easily walk a few feet and get your own for free, would you pay me $1?
I would assuming your the one who grow the tomato or you're giving money to the farmer because that dollar goes to pay for the water, land, fertilizer, equipment, and time the farmer put in to get you that tomato. Same can be said for games sure distribution costs very little by a team of animators, voice actors, programers, writers, an office to put them all in and computers for them all to use, do cost money.
Really, you aren't much of a consumer are you? Do you think about manufacturing and distribution costs when you buy something on sale or clearance?

The role of the consumer is to get the best deal so ask yourself, is that DVD with Skyrim on it and the plastic case really worth $60? We are told that the real product isn't the disc at all, it's the data and that's why it costs the same to buy it from Steam. Well, data can be duplicated an infinite number of times for next to nothing. You pay for the electricity and the media that you will copy it to but that's pennies. So is it really worth $60?

I understand that we have to buy games else there will be no more but it is true that anything that can be duplicated an infinite number of times for pennies is truly worth more than that.
There's a difference between being a smart consumer and being a thief.
Of course there is but if you could duplicate couches for next to nothing and infinitely, wouldn't that have an effect on the value of couches?

What I am saying is that software is a product that has no value except that which publishers put on it and consumers are becoming increasingly aware of that. Look at how Napster changed the way we buy music. CD's were no longer worth $20 when you could copy and distribute them for free.
 

Kopikatsu

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Crono1973 said:
lord.jeff said:
Crono1973 said:
lord.jeff said:
Crono1973 said:
Don Reba said:
Why would we want to combat file sharing? Copying files costs next to nothing and benefits the society as a whole ? we should embrace it. If we can agree that games benefit the society as a whole, like science does, then we should finance it like science, using public funding and peer review. The system has been tested by centuries and we know it works.
It's a funny game we play. It costs nothing to copy something which publishers believe has a value of $60 and yet we accept it and pay what they ask. If I offered to sell you a tomato for $1 and you could easily walk a few feet and get your own for free, would you pay me $1?
I would assuming your the one who grow the tomato or you're giving money to the farmer because that dollar goes to pay for the water, land, fertilizer, equipment, and time the farmer put in to get you that tomato. Same can be said for games sure distribution costs very little by a team of animators, voice actors, programers, writers, an office to put them all in and computers for them all to use, do cost money.
Really, you aren't much of a consumer are you? Do you think about manufacturing and distribution costs when you buy something on sale or clearance?

The role of the consumer is to get the best deal so ask yourself, is that DVD with Skyrim on it and the plastic case really worth $60? We are told that the real product isn't the disc at all, it's the data and that's why it costs the same to buy it from Steam. Well, data can be duplicated an infinite number of times for next to nothing. You pay for the electricity and the media that you will copy it to but that's pennies. So is it really worth $60?

I understand that we have to buy games else there will be no more but it is true that anything that can be duplicated an infinite number of times for pennies is truly worth more than that.
There's a difference between being a smart consumer and being a thief.
Of course there is but if you could duplicate couches for next to nothing and infinitely, wouldn't that have an effect on the value of couches?

What I am saying is that software is a product that has no value except that which publishers put on it and consumers are becoming increasingly aware of that. Look at how Napster changed the way we buy music. CD's were no longer worth $20 when you could copy and distribute them for free.
'Cause it isn't as though video games cost millions of dollars and year(s) to produce and they have to recoup those losses somehow.
 

Purkki

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My solution, which has been proven to work: Don't include a DRM. While this is not a way to fight against piracy, having a DRM or not really doesn't change the piratism rates. The game devs save lots of money this way.
 

niceguy191

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1. Remove ALL DRM. All of it. Every last ounce or tiny trace of it. It drives me absolutely wild that the pirated versions are BETTER than the legitimate ones for this reason. Why wouldn't you pirate if the product is better in every way? (Cheaper AND no DRM! Sweet!)

2. Lower prices. Hell, with the money you just saved from not having to develop/maintain DRM I'm sure that you could afford it.

3. ?????

4. Profit!!
 

Epona

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Kopikatsu said:
Crono1973 said:
lord.jeff said:
Crono1973 said:
lord.jeff said:
Crono1973 said:
Don Reba said:
Why would we want to combat file sharing? Copying files costs next to nothing and benefits the society as a whole ? we should embrace it. If we can agree that games benefit the society as a whole, like science does, then we should finance it like science, using public funding and peer review. The system has been tested by centuries and we know it works.
It's a funny game we play. It costs nothing to copy something which publishers believe has a value of $60 and yet we accept it and pay what they ask. If I offered to sell you a tomato for $1 and you could easily walk a few feet and get your own for free, would you pay me $1?
I would assuming your the one who grow the tomato or you're giving money to the farmer because that dollar goes to pay for the water, land, fertilizer, equipment, and time the farmer put in to get you that tomato. Same can be said for games sure distribution costs very little by a team of animators, voice actors, programers, writers, an office to put them all in and computers for them all to use, do cost money.
Really, you aren't much of a consumer are you? Do you think about manufacturing and distribution costs when you buy something on sale or clearance?

The role of the consumer is to get the best deal so ask yourself, is that DVD with Skyrim on it and the plastic case really worth $60? We are told that the real product isn't the disc at all, it's the data and that's why it costs the same to buy it from Steam. Well, data can be duplicated an infinite number of times for next to nothing. You pay for the electricity and the media that you will copy it to but that's pennies. So is it really worth $60?

I understand that we have to buy games else there will be no more but it is true that anything that can be duplicated an infinite number of times for pennies is truly worth more than that.
There's a difference between being a smart consumer and being a thief.
Of course there is but if you could duplicate couches for next to nothing and infinitely, wouldn't that have an effect on the value of couches?

What I am saying is that software is a product that has no value except that which publishers put on it and consumers are becoming increasingly aware of that. Look at how Napster changed the way we buy music. CD's were no longer worth $20 when you could copy and distribute them for free.
'Cause it isn't as though video games cost millions of dollars to produce and they have to recoup those losses somehow.
You know how movie studios give out Digital Copies when you buy a DVD? You know why they do that right?

Well, in case you don't, it isn't because they want to give you more for your money. It's because they know you can easily make you own copy and from knowing how to do that, you can make an infinite number of copies if you choose. They want to discourage that by giving you a single digital copy.

You see, they know that data can be copied infinitely and for a whole lot cheaper than they are charging and they know that sooner or later everyone will catch on to that. They know that at some point you are going to NEED to make a copy of The Lion King because your kid isn't careful with the real DVD. They know you are going to make your own copy, if you have to so they provide the digital copy to deter you.