EA flip-flops on piracy ratios

From gamasutra.com:

Maryam Sughayer, EA Corporate Communications Department:

“Stepping aside from the whole issue of DRM, people need to recognize that every BitTorrent download doesn’t represent a successful copy of a game, let alone a lost sale,”

“To say that every download represents a successful copy of the game –- or that there’s been more than 500K copies downloaded – that’s just not true.”

What the…?


krise madsen

So, EA, how’s the weather now that you’re out of your ass ?

I just don’t understand why they don’t use the social/Sporepedia element of the game to get pirates off the game. Imagine that they could create the game with no creatures populating the game and with every bit of content only available through the Sporepedia. This would basically mean that you needed to create and account so pirats would get a game inhabited by only one creature, theirs, which should be as boring as death…

Pirates would register a copy, download enough content, figure out how to integrate that in a “blank” game, package the content and release it.
A lot of people simply want to play the game and have no time / nerve to create their own shit. The others can buy Spore.

Stop thinking that pirates are morons!
Parts of the industry is instead…

I never said it would stop the pirates, but that it would make it harder for them to distribute content and that it would take something important away from the game. That’s what EA needs to learn, how to make people see what they loose when they pirate games…

Agreed but right now they don’t lose anything besides some / all of the multiplayer part (depending on if it’s online only or also LAN).
However this can’t simply be some “tagged on” multiplayer just so it has some. It has to be implemented in the planning phase of the game already.
On the other hand developers shouldn’t forget people that don’t want to play multiplayer so the games have to be fun in single player only also.
I see some tendencies to emphasize “co-op” as the sole selling point and that might stop people that don’t want to play with someone else / don’t have friends that game, too.
Mercenaries 2 is one example and Red Alert 3 might be another (if the AI sucks in simulating co-op).

So your solution is for us to pay for games with even LESS content ?

No with all the content as long as you purchase and register the game, which is pretty much what Spore already wants you to do. Pirates would not be able to register and would end up with a game with no content…

Until they figure out some way to crack the content and get it into the pirated game.

I can’t imagine the work required to develop something like that. It may work for Spore, but what about the other games ? FIFA 09 without teams ? Left 4 Dead without guns ?

MMO’s don’t have a piracy issue for this very reason. I’m sure that there’s some pirate WoW servers wandering around. The huge undertaking it would take to duplicate WoW completely is almost certainly out of most pirates’ capabilities.

On the other hand, MMO’s have a much bigger credit card fraud problem than single player games because they have to absorb the fraud, unlike EA and other publishers who are paid by retailers.

Actually, finding pirate WoW servers isn’t really that hard. A couple of months after the game first launched, there were scores of them around. Now, it’s basically dropped to a couple really dedicated ones.

What really stymies the pirate WoW servers is the lack of the gigantic community. That’s the basic attraction for the game anyway to most people.

The trick is to run a shard with people you know. Unless you are there for squad based PvP, if you’ve got enough friends to form a party, what do you need the other 6 million people for? Half of them are robots and farmers and robot farmers, and most of the other half are gigantic douchebags.

You missed farming robots.

But somebody needs to do the work of running and maintaining the thing.
That service is worth paying for.

As for “packaging” the user content- “Ha ha, it is to laugh.” Sure, some people will dig that, but at that point you’re digging deep enough into the “hardcore” pirates that you can’t really worry about it. It’s not really a living community at that point, and that’s going to make a difference.