With the constant "potentially confirmed" rumors regarding next-generation and the debacle of the always-on mechanic, I thought I'd take a look at a large part of the incentive for such a feature; piracy. Piracy has been around almost as long as gaming with even the earliest consoles having hacked counter-parts that allowed gamers to download games and roms. It's apparent in both PC and console gaming, although it's more openly available to PC users as it's as simple as loading up a website and clicking a simple link.
Piracy isn't exclusive to typical gaming titles as there's a host of private servers for most of the big MMO games. World of Warcraft, Lord of the Rings Online, Rift, they've all got fans that have created private servers that allow MMO gamers to play for free. Although this trend has died down with the decline in pay-to-play MMO games, there are a number of free MMO's that have private servers where players get insane exp buffs, free expansions and more.
Piracy is obviously damaging the industry, there's no arguing that. However, I quite often find myself feeling like some of the developers deserve it. I'm fortunate enough to get some games from developers and lucky enough to be able to afford a few games here and there but for people that can't just throw $60 at a brand new game; piracy can sometimes be their only option.
Two titles that come to mind are the recently released games, Sim City and The Walking Dead Survival Instinct. I purchased both of these titles and within 2 hours of playing I had serious regrets. Sim City was totally broken at launch and still has severe problems even today. The Walking Dead was arguably one of the worst titles of this generation, featuring nothing more than standard FPS mechanics and terribly mundane features.
Maxis stated that Sim City required always-on because their servers had to handle a large number of algorithms and calculations. That was until an individual hacked the game and found parts of the code that confirmed this was a complete lie. The Walking Dead Survival Instinct was nothing but a cash-in on fans of the popular franchise.
Working within the industry I would never condone piracy as I feel the majority of the developers deserve the revenue for the effort they put into their product. However, I cannot deny the fact that I totally understand why certain individuals would pirate video-games before purchasing the real thing; purely because gamers are getting screwed left, right and center.
Do you think increasing the quality of video-games would reduce piracy? Do developers deserve to lose revenue when they pump out poor products or do you think most pirates are purely looking for free entertainment? Post a comment below.
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