|Pachter: Piracy ruining PC gaming|
|Posted: 30.09.2011 15:51 by||Comments: 8|
Wedbush Morgan's Michael Pachter has declared that piracy has ruined PC gaming, and is forcing the platform online. This is the chief reason why the free-to-play MMO germinated in Asia, due to rampant, uncontrollable software piracy.
"Yes, piracy is ruining PC gameplay, and yes, it is forcing PC games online," Pachter stated in an interview, "This happened in China 15 years ago, and in Korea in the last decade, and it's happening in the West now."
Matt Ployhar, president of the PC Gaming Alliance, also noted the emergence of microtransactions in Asia: [style=greyItalic]"Free-to-play really got momentum quickly in Asia for several reasons, chief of which was that the only way local games ISVs [independent software vendors] could make money was to 'give the game away', then hope for a micro-transaction on the back-end (e.g. pets, weapons, clothes, etc.). This proved to be so effective that it pretty much replaced older (off the shelf) business models. Piracy persists primarily in those markets that persist in shipping a retail boxed good; namely Western game devs heavily focused on shipping games into the console markets."[/style]
Like Alexander Fleming discovering penicillin on bread mold, publishers discovered that they could earn more through microtransactions than selling games, even on non-MMOs, and Steam and other digital distribution is far safer than retail.
According to Eurogamer, piracy on today's biggest PC titles can be as high as 80 per cent. That is, only one in five copies of a game being played are bought. The fallacy that strict DRM will make those pirates pay for the game, however, is one that few publishers recognize is a false statement. Capcom, however, realizes that pirates won't pay for software, even if they can't somehow pirate it.
Capcom US vice president Christian Svensson noted, "There's a huge chunk of people that no matter what you do, no matter what measures you put in place, even if you deny them access to the content - they will never be a paying customer.
"That has a lot to do with culture, a lot to do with education, a lot to do with ability to pay, and it also has a lot to do with the very basic thing of could they even get access to the content - is it for sale in their country legitimately? There's a lot of content that ends up in China that is not available for sale legitimately in China, because it hasn't gone through the governmental hoops and approvals and/or there's no partnership with a Chinese publisher on the ground to make that happen."
Good Old Games managing director Guillaume Rambourg thinks that the Western countries that pirate the most are gamers with a huge appetite for "cultural goods", stating countries like Russia, France and Spain "need to have access to cultural goods,"
Pachter however, just thinks piracy is rampant because it's easier than ever. "Piracy was born out of ease," Pachter stated, "The fact is that every PC has a hard drive and an internet connection, and there are a lot of people who think it is perfectly acceptable to share software. So long as there is one bad apple who posts a game file on a torrent site, there will be people who feel it is appropriate to steal the IP for their own use. The answer appears to be DRM, and even if it doesn't work, it makes the publishers feel better."
Once again, on consoles, the legal used game market is considered worse than piracy.