News Article

Goodbye Galaxy Games Responds To Renegade Kid's Piracy Claims

Posted by Andy Green

Indie developer says plenty of other factors contribute to poor sales

Over the weekend Jools Watsham, co-founder of Renegade Kid, wrote in a blog post that he felt hacking into the guts of the 3DS would result in an increase in piracy - something that could force developers to stop supporting the system.

Watsham pointed to the DS which suffered greatly at the hands of pirates, specifically talking about Dementium II, a game that didn't sell quite so well as its predecessor Dementium: The Ward. Dementium II received good reviews and Watsham felt that the low sales could have been due to piracy, saying:

We’ll never truly know why that was so, but many seem to believe that piracy had a lot to do with it.

In response to this Hugo Smits, game designer at Goodbye Galaxy Games, has written his own blog post expressing his view on the issue of piracy. In it he shares a view that it's often used by developers as a scapegoat when games don't sell so well.

There are tons of other reasons that seem just as legit as piracy. For one, the game [Dementium II] wasn’t as wildly available (at least I haven’t seen any copy on store shelves). Secondly, it came late into the Nintendo DS lifecycle opposed to the first game. At this point the Nintendo DS established itself as a casual gaming handheld, yet the game was aimed at a more mature and hardcore public.

Smits says he has noticed that publishers generally want to play it safe when putting new games on the shelf. While he can find plenty of publishers to churn out the developer's tried and tested Bejewelled titles, he finds it much more difficult to get an original game out into the wild at retail.

A couple more reasons for poor sales are put onto the table by Smits: price and quality. He believes while games are affordable in some European nations they are less so in others where the minimum salary is low:

An average game upon release costs between 40 and 50 euro over here. Now this is ‘expensive’ but doable where I live, in the Netherlands. Over here the minimum salary is around 1200 euro. However, the game prices stay the same even in countries that have a minimum salary of around 300 euro.

How many games can be expected to sell in a country where the average game takes up around 16-20% of a family’s income?

Smits feels that though the DS was a great system it was burdened by "shovelware and quick cash-ins", pointing specifically at games for children where parents take a gamble in buying a branded game which then gives their child about 30 minutes of play-time before it gets tossed away.

Imagine how big the gamble feels like when they are holding Dementium II in their hands, a product they have never heard of, from a company they have never heard of.

The seal of quality means nothing. It only makes sure the game doesn’t lockup or mess-up the player's system. It does nothing to prevent poor quality of game design or length versus price. My cousin once got a famous kid game that consisted out of 8 mini games that could all be played through within 30 minutes. You feel miserable if you spend money on such a product as a parent!

Smits naturally does not condone piracy, but clearly feels that wider issues play bigger roles. We are also, it must be said, yet to see how the situation develops with 3DS, especially as Nintendo has been so active with system updates since the system launched.

What are your thoughts on all of this? Do you think Renegade Kid is right to speculate that piracy may have caused low sales for various games, or do you think the view of Goodbye Galaxy Games is more accurate? Let us know in the comments section below.

[via goodbyegalaxygames.blogspot.co.uk, joolswatsham.blogspot.co.uk]

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User Comments (74)

Kirk

#2

Kirk said:

Piracy is not the issue.

The VAST majority of people who pirate a game wouldn't be buying it regardless, trust me on this, so it does not count as a lost sale.

If your game isn't selling and making money then there's problems in some other area/s, be it the game's overall quality, it's general appeal, the pricing, the marketing and exposure or whatever.

Forget about the pirates.

SuperCharlie78

#3

SuperCharlie78 said:

Either I have seen Dementium II on shelves, I've just happened to see the first one among the used DS software.
But dear Watsham, piracy exists on smartphones right before we could even start to think about it regarding to the 3DS, but on smartphones Mutant Mudds is 0,99, while on the 3DS you must pay 9,99.
Look at it, look at how badly wrong you are.

DazzaAdmin

#4

Dazza said:

I'd tend to agree with @HugoSmits too, it's all too easy to blame piracy for poor sales of Dementium II.

I never even saw it on the shelves in stores or advertised anywhere, so how are causal consumers expected to hear about the game and then buy it? Blame SouthPeak Interactive as the publisher for not marketing the game better before worrying about piracy.

Waann

#5

Waann said:

I have to agree with him. I've never seen a Dementium game in a store either, and I've never seen it advertised.

Linkstrikesback

#6

Linkstrikesback said:

@Kirk.

Oh please, do we have to do this whole dance again?

Yes, it is a stupid claim that EVERY single person who pirates a game would have bought it. However, claiming that NOBODY who pirates it would have bought it is just as stupid.

Kirk

#8

Kirk said:

@Linkstrikesback

Well, I did edit my post before I saw your comment to address that point but the reality is that the absolutely tiny percentage of people who've pirated the game but seriously would have bought it if they had no way of pirating it is absolutely not worth worrying about.

Now, you either understand the mind of a pirate or you don't and if you do I'm sure you will agree with me on this point and if you don't you probably won't.

The point is that the piracy is really not the problem if your game isn't selling and making money.

As someone who makes, buys and yes sometimes even pirates games I can promise you, that assertion is accurate reliable.

Kirk

#9

Kirk said:

@Kawaiipikachu

That is not the solution at all imo.

In fact, that would just make most pirates go to even greater lengths to play it for free or they'd just ignore the game altogether.

That is not going to result in more sales or more profit.

No, the answer lies in all the pretty obvious ways imo; make better or more appealing games, make your games more affordable, have good free demos, market your games more and increase exposure...

Those are the more reliable and effective ways to give your game the best chance of sales success.

Focusing on stopping the pirates is just wasted time, money and effort.

Waann

#10

Waann said:

DRM is a horrible practice that only affects paying customers. Pirates always manage to bypass it in a week, so why bother?

Dogpigfish

#11

Dogpigfish said:

Sounds like their pricing model isn't any good and they failed to advertise. Stores decide what they provide in their inventory.

ToxorAxiom

#12

ToxorAxiom said:

He said that many seem to believe it, not that he believed it himself. Plus I just happened on Dementium II by accident at EB Games this past Saturday, so I've seen it in stores. Cheap Hollywood-horror cover, though.

ToxorAxiom

#13

ToxorAxiom said:

@Waann
Nah, stick to your first point. Nevermind those pirates who bypass it, DRM always punishes the paying customer. An oxymoron.

Rensch

#14

Rensch said:

The fact that piracy was so widespread on DS was because of the fact that the first two models did not have any firmware updates, unlike the 3DS. With firmware updates you can simpy block flash card hardware. You are forced to buy a new one much more often, making it more of a hassle to use flash cards.

Mk_II

#15

Mk_II said:

and why didnt those games appear on shelves? because DS game sales in general had plummeted thanks to the R4 etc. This led to less shelf space, fewer games to choose from and shrinking release lists because publishers did not want to take the risk.

Slapshot

#16

Slapshot said:

While the DS did have a boatload of shovelware on it, blaming shovelware as the reason for the low sales of games is asinine. The DS was loaded with hardcore titles: Contra 4, Contact, Etrian Odyssey, Bangai-O, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword, Puzzle Quest, Retro Game Challenge, Rhythmn Heaven, Super Robot Taisen OG Saga, etc, etc, etc.

Hardcore gamers pay attention and we spend money on the games we desire to play - regardless of advertisement. I'm sorry, but that's a weak argument.

FPS games are painful to play on the DS/3DS. They absolutely kill my wrist, so that's why I have no desire to play Moon, Dementium, Kid Icarus: Uprising, etc.

@ToxorAxiom Not so long ago I wouldn't have agreed with you, but the harder these companies push DRM, the more of a challenge it is for the pirates to try and break them open. Honestly, I get it. For them, it's a big game. But, the implications that come afterward punish so many people for their little 'game'. Obviously, I'm not speaking just to the DRM, as that's a simple bypass.

DRM free bundles are raking in money, so I'm starting to think that the DRM itself is actually hampering sales in today's market.

Waann

#17

Waann said:

But Kid Icarus did sell. So did Metroid Prime Hunters. I don't think the control scheme is to blame.

WaveWarlock

#18

WaveWarlock said:

I'm pretty sure nobody pirated Dementium II. The only fun thing about that game was using the sledgehammer to smash wood off the doors.lol

Slapshot

#19

Slapshot said:

@Waann I was speaking strictly for myself on that matter.

The reason Dementium II didn't sell well was because of the lack of availability, poor marketing and low interest.

HugoSmits

#20

HugoSmits said:

@Mk_II I don't know where you are from; but over here (the Netherlands) the DS shelf space is still the biggest in the store. But again, it mainly has games on it like bejewelled, Caesars palace, treasures of the ... you get the idea.

Partly this is due to the fact that economics are bad and those bejewelled clones are easy to predict (how many units will sell) while a fresh IP or unknown game are a big gamble.

So I don’t think less games appear on the shelves due to piracy.

@Slapshot you have to look at the bigger picture. Yes there are many hardcore titles you can list here, but if you look at it from a percentage point of view it really is a small number compared to the casual games.

a quick search on http://mobygames.com will reveal that around 70% of the games listed there are either puzzle, mystery/detective or education titles. Some of them are really good games, but they aren’t hardcore.

@Waann
That those titles sold well has more to do that they came from Nintendo and had a big marketing budget + fan following than the control scheme. I know a lot of people that weren’t so much in First Person Shooters, but bought Metroid anyway because it’s Metroid.

Not saying that the control scheme was bad in anyway, just that you cannot judge a control scheme by how many units a popular well marked game sold.

Rizsparky

#21

Rizsparky said:

Iv'e never seen Dementium II in any shop, it didnt sell well because it wasn't distributed properly

beat

#23

beat said:

i still dont support piracy. everything about it is so unfair. specially in our country. everything including iOS apps, games for almost all consoles, movies and moar stuff! no one even bothers to buy something legitimate. :(

Dreadjaws

#24

Dreadjaws said:

Piracy is a big thing in my country. There are pirated games being sold in legitimate stores, and this all comes from a complete lack of care about the videogame industry.

Check this: every CD, DVD or Blu Ray for everything that's not a videogame doesn't have import taxes, but videogames do, and it's a 60% tax on the price of the game+shipment, which means a U$S 60 game ends up costing about U$S 100.

This means one thing: original games are very rarely sold here. The only way to get them is to import them yourself. That means, since games are not sold here, they get pirated. You would think the prices of the few originals would go down in order to attract more customers, but you'd be wrong.

As it is now, people don't buy originals and buy pirated instead. But the exhorbitant prices would mean that even if there were no pirated games available, people still wouldn't buy originals. The problem is that people are note educated in this matter, and buy games because they're being sold cheap. Most have no idea what piracy means, and those who do rarely care because they've been raised in a place that doesn't do much to push the legitimate products.

It's really difficult to convince people to purchase originals instead of pirating (I myself have only been able to convince a couple), but the videogame industry itself is not making things any easier.

sweetiepiejonus

#25

sweetiepiejonus said:

I just realized the reason there isn't outcry from all the other developers. The pirates were specifically targeting Renegade Kid. That has to be it.

AbeVigoda

#26

AbeVigoda said:

@Kirk
Haha! BS!

That you think people only pirate things they wouldn't have paid for anyways shows your naivety.

filterclay

#27

filterclay said:

FINALLY! A serious argument about piracy, low sales and the MOST important that is usually ignored: gaming value and price in countries with abysmal salaries!
Thanks, Hugo Smits for leveling up this discussion beyond ranting developers!

rayword45

#28

rayword45 said:

NONONONONO, NO DRM NO DRM NO DRM. iTunes is the perfect example of why the creator of DRM should be shot.

But yeah, Hugo is right. The average pirate probably wasn't gonna buy Dementium anyways. It's quite different for huge games like Brawl, or even more prominent indie games like World of Goo, but it still isn't as huge a problem as failing devs would like to think.

AVahne

#29

AVahne said:

Piracy was pretty huge on DS, but I do very well see and agree with Galaxy that there are other factors to low game sales. However it seems people are very much inclined to make the generalization that it is the dev's fault as some are to blaming pirates. I'll stay neutral on this whole piracy and sales issue.

ouroborous

#30

ouroborous said:

THANK GOD THAT NOT EVERYONE IS AN IDIOT just looking for a flimsy scapegoat!
Who cares that the DS was technically hacked, you had to actually buy hardware to do anything with it in that respect and the DS was still the #1 selling handheld of all time in the entire world. And there were like 10-Zillion games for it. In fact, they are STILL making games for it. So explain how piracy hurt it???

Windy

#32

Windy said:

Seems to me the only way to truly fight piracy is to go all digital download. I hate the thought of all digital download. However, these developers deserve respect of getting paid for what they put their heart and souls into. So if digital download is the only way to go well then so be it. I personally like to own the cartridge of games for my own reasons which I wont get into its been debated enough. If you guys want to see a great documentary about what game developers go through to get a game out checkout a netflix movie called "Indie Game the Movie". these guys go through hell and back and alienate themselves pretty much from everything in life. They eat, drink and sleep coding. They truly deserve what they worked for. Bad games are also no excuse to pirate games. If you think that, well I pirated a bad game and it was bad so no big deal....there is something wrong with you. That is a person who has no respect for others hard work. Frankly it's nothing short of shoplifting. Pirate a game, good or bad makes you a shoplifter. If you don't think that to be true go seek immediate help with a therapist. you need to straighten a few things out

rayword45

#34

rayword45 said:

@ouroborous To be honest, I think the concept of R4s and other flashcarts helped shift more then a few thousand DS units. I know some people who said they'll get a 3DS when homebrew is available

@Windy No, that won't help. People can download PC games that are Steam-only. People can download WiiWare/XBLA games.

Windy

#35

Windy said:

@rayword45 For nintendo consoles I do think it would help fight piracy. Iwould hate to see it but from the actions of maybe 30% of shoplifters out there the rest of us will be made to suffer when the whole show goes digital. especially for those of us who like to own our cartridges. 30% is just a guess at how many people pirate games it could be way higher. I have alot of faith in people and hope its not higher than that

Kirk

#36

Kirk said:

@AbeVigoda

I didn't say pirates ONLY pirate things they wouldn't have paid for anyway. They will pirate anything, whether they'd normally pay for it otherwise or not. As you have aptly demonstrated.

What I did say was that "the VAST majority" of pirates, not EVERY pirate, wouldn't have bought the game in the first place, so there is no sale lost, and I stand by that assertion.

If developers cut out piracy entirely they'd only gain a handful more sales imo. Well it's all relative to the popularity of the game in the first place but in Dementium II's case it would probably be countable on one hand how many extra copies they would have sold if piracy didn't exist. At the same time however they'd lose all the additional word of mouth, blog reviews, Facebook comments and whatever else all those pirates who actually played their game, but wouldn't have otherwise, would have contributed.

How much is all that publicity and word of mouth worth...?

I'm sure someone much smarter than me could do the maths but I'd be willing to bet that for the small amount money they actually lost because of piracy, where they genuinely would have got that sale otherwise, that the thousands of extra people playing and talking about their game was probably worth more money in the end.

Either way, piracy is not the cause of low sales.

Windy

#37

Windy said:

@Kirk I dont want to get involved in argument but piracy is certainly the main reason of Millions maybe Billions of dollars lost to programmers and developers. I do agree if a game is bad that is the reason for low sales. most of us already know what a game is like before it comes, we have educated ourselves by reading reviews or simply going to a developers website to checkout a games content before release then decide if the game is for us or not. Piracy does play a huge part in how games will be distributed in the future because of what a developer considers lost sales due to piracy. On the same token if a game is bad and has been rated bad by experts/gamers a developer should maybe consider a pricedrop to get sales moving. Some people, myself included would change their minds on a game if the price was right. Gamers hate to feel ripped off. If a game comes out and there hasn't been enough information on it or some things are simply left out of the description I always put up a Red Flag and wait for a review especially if some features to a game remain a secret before release

@Abe Vigoda= Self Admitted Shoplifter. nothing more nothing less. sounds as if you have done it multiple times and should seek out a little help. you can offer no excuse at all that would label yourself differently. get some help

rayword45

#38

rayword45 said:

@Windy First off, you're highly misinformed. It does not eat "millions", nowhere NEAR "billions". Do some research before you say that. If it ate that much, nobody would make high-budget games anymore.

Second, no, "digital-only" will not curb piracy in the slightest. Look at the iPhone, goes up against PSP as the most pirated system of all time if you consider it a console. And WiiWare games can be pirated.

Seriously people, DRM/Region Locking/Digital Only DOES NOT CURB PIRACY. IT ONLY INCREASES IT BY MAKING IT LOOK BETTER. You wanna curb piracy? Make homebrew/devkits officially supported and easily achievable, remove the region lock and DRM. Look at the PS3. It went unhacked until Sony effed up and removed the custom OS abilities.

If homebrew was easier, the only people trying to hack the console would be seedy flashcart makers trying to get rich quick, and they'd probably struggle without the help of actual good-natured homebrewers (Team Twiizers for example is against piracy)

Windy

#39

Windy said:

@rayword45 Hold on a minute. There is no need to get so heated in a decent discussion.

Piracy does cost developers and programmers many millions each year. thats a fact. You should probably do your Research cause I already did.

sites.duke.edu/soc142-videogames/political-deterinants/piracy-issues/

Reported losses are near the Billion dollar mark. thats alot of cheese

I do not know if digital only is the answer but that is the direction Nintendo is headed to fight piracy and you can mark my words on that. it's a much easier way for them to police the problem. I do not think its right cause I like to own my carts. The problem gets worse and worse thats for sure.

Windy

#40

Windy said:

@Everyone If you all get a chance watch "Indie Game the Movie" on Netflix. An excellent watch it has nothing to do with piracy. just an everyday documentary in the lives of a few Indie Game Devs. Great watch for any gamer

rayword45

#41

rayword45 said:

Yeah, those figures are exaggerated to the extreme. It does not cause "billions of losses" every year. Think for a second here.

You are a CEO of EA or some other multi-billionaire company, stoked on cash. You want to make a huge-budget game, like Mass Effect 4. But wait! On Xbox 360 and PC, you'll lose billions if you release it. The only platforms safe from piracy are the PS3 (newer games), 3DS and PS Vita, the latter 2 almost to burst.

Think for a second. What sort of CEO would say "Let's go do something that'll cost BILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN PIRACY LOSSES!"

And digital-only doesn't police the problem at all. Absolutely not. Look at the Wii again. Once it's hacked sure you can fix it faster, but even so it gives out loads of information, and then eventually you won't even need a game to hack your console (Look up Bannerbomb/Letterbomb)

TheDreamingHawk

#42

TheDreamingHawk said:

Please.
Stop.

Piracy is illegal whether you like it or not. No exceptions.

Keep in mind that not only will it hurt game sales, but it'll also annoy buyers who shop online. Pirated games are sold for the DS on ebay all the time, and sometimes more than the real game.

That's a problem. Developers,Piracy must not happen on the 3DS. Respect the region lock (Whether you like it or not) and hope for a system update to end this problem.

Windy

#43

Windy said:

@rayword45 well im not going to try and convince you cause I can see thats not possible the way you think. but these companies are a business. they have payrolls, they have facilities, they have advertising costs. Each time software is pirated it costs them. If a company doesnt make budgets which im sure piracy is a factor it can cost employees their jobs. This is all a fact and its happened before

Demonic_St33V

#44

Demonic_St33V said:

Piracy is interesting to me.... Maybe because all my pirating friends are the "If they didn't want me to pirate it, they would've released a demo" type who tend to go out and buy copies of the games they pirate if they end up actually liking them.

rayword45

#45

rayword45 said:

@Windy It costs them. It costs them somewhere in the thousands. A quick search shows that Black Ops 2 right now has about 3000 seeders. I'll be generous and multiply that amount by 5 to estimate the download count (since obviously not everyone seeds). $60 x 15000 = Approximately 900,000 in losses. This is one of the BIGGEST GAMES OF THE YEAR, and I bet you the piracy count is much, much lower but I decided to be generous about the people who don't seed. And then there's still the millions who legitimately bought the cashcow game.

So if the biggest game loses that much, how the hell would a game almost nobody has heard of like Dementium have a big loss at all?

It's not near the billions at all. Dementium II if nobody could pirate would probably sell, what, 100 more copies?

rayword45

#46

rayword45 said:

@TheDreamingHawk Also, region lock ENHANCES HACKING POSSIBILITIES.

49.9% of the people working on a 3DS hack? Yeah, if they could play imported game, goodbye. I'm not wasting my time on a hack. Another 49.9%. Give us cheaper devkits or homebrew possibilities and we won't touch you.

That leave a VERY SMALL AMOUNT interested in hacking for piracy. Most of the people who pirate are people who don't know how to hack at all.

HugoSmits

#47

HugoSmits said:

@Windy that’s not really factual. In this case it would also costs us money for every ’good’ person that decide not to pirate but also decide not to buy the game. I don’t have the illusion that if tomorrow piracy would completely dissapear my sales will go up ten folt.

Games aren’t food, you don’t die if you don’t play. You don’t have to play. And people will decide that it’s just not worth 40/50 euro to them and not buy the game.

You can see this also with free-to-play games. The precentage of people that decides not to pay for anything is the same as the percentage of piracy on normal platforms.

@TheDreamingHawk piracy has been there ever since computer software was invented. It’s not going to stop, ever. It’s like trying to stay dry in a swimming pool. You can try and fight it, but you will get wet eventually. I rather focus my energy and resources on customers. I try to provide them with the best service and answer all their questions personally.

I hope this will make them care about me and my products and because of that, hopefully they are willing to invest rather than to pirate.

rayword45

#48

rayword45 said:

@HugoSmits Nobody CAN pirate your games though. DSiWare has never been hacked, and you've admitted that you don't care about your Bejeweled clones of which I know nothing about (they're not on your website)

A bit of an off-topic question, but a few years ago you had a contest for a boxed Flipper. Do you have an image of the back of the box? I would really like to read it. Also, was that cart playable on a DS Lite?

paburrows

#49

paburrows said:

I agree that the messures against piracy hurt those who don't pirate more then those who do. My Wii recently broke down and I have tons of downloads that I paid for. I wanted to buy a cheap replace ment and just more the games over via an SD card, but I can't since Nintendo has these silly non piracy messures that tie anything downloaded to my first Wii.

Skotski

#50

Skotski said:

I just think it's not smart to sell your game on the App market for 0.99 and expect it to sell well on a (handheld) console for quadruple the price without it having a serious upgrade (worth quadrupling your smaller price).

Piracy or not, it's smarter to go with the cheaper option.

As for piracy: I'm just against it. Period.
I'm not even for homebrew communities. The stuff there's genius and awesome, but... well, I don't think its genius is enough to encourage piracy (which it does indirectly encourage).

Blue_Yoshi

#51

Blue_Yoshi said:

Okay, so ya see its not that developers blame EVERY bad sale on piracy but they have to send the message out that its wrong and that there will be consequences if it continues. While it is true that most people who pirate games would not have paid for it in the first place, that does not mean there entitled to play it. Being poor is no excuse for stealing. If you weren't gonna pay for it than don't play it, simple as that. All arguments in favor of piracy are wrong and/or ignorant. Saying that people try the game before they buy it is a horrible statement. That's what we have demo's for, reviews, trailers, screenshots, everything you could possibly need to determine a sale. Also saying that people will feel bad and pay for it as well is also a horrible argument. If spend hours of your life slavering away at cookies and give them away for free to the masses and say you have the "option" of paying for them if you want is a bad deal. Sure some people will giving you money but 99.97% wont and never interact with you ever again. Saying publishers are greedy isn't fair either because it takes millions to publish a game, the publisher makes sure they make their profit BEFORE the developer and give them the rest, whether THEY make a profit or not the publisher comes first. Their not greedy, making video games is a business and their making sure that their business comes first before the developer because they have to support potentially hundreds to thousands of other developers. Saying that used games also hurts developers is pointless because your still buying and supporting something whether it be Gamestop or a local shop. Believe me developers are slowly transitioning into a digital only future where they dont have to worrying about all that stuff. Any other reason is pointless and you'll only be lying to myself, heck I have one friend who claims he pirates Wii games because they don't make the graphics look like classic N64 games anymore which is just ridiculous and nonsensical. The last and possibly biggest argument is that ITS NOT FAIR TO THE CONSUMER. Why should people like me spend my hard earned money on new video games while my friends who don't have jobs and spend their time doing unproductive things get them for free? Are you making fun of us? Calling us suckers? Throwing us under the bus because your saying where the ones who have to pay money because where stupid and we have a conscious and your smart and clearly have no morals to something as artistic as video games? CD's and DVD's piracy don't matter as much as video games because not only are they cheap to make, there back up and supported by filthy rich musicians and actors and the even richer industries behind them and have support from the TV and radio. Video games are supports by publishers constantly losing profit and developers constantly losing even more profit and having to lay off workers and even shut down their studios. People who work in the video game industry have to work stressful 80 hours weeks and have a low salary their lives depend on people buying their games and when they don't they cant pay their mortgage and lose their homes and can't feed their children. Plus all this piracy is forcing measures that no matter how drastic, still hurt ONLY the paying customers. So yeah piracy needs to instantly be taken out and what better way of doing that than blaming it on the reason games don't sell and there not made or have to include less content. I myself am about to quit console gaming altogether because of piracy, HOWEVER I will always stay faithful to Nintendo and it will be the only console I support this generation. I have a 3DS as well and a Vita so any console games I want for PS4/720 I can probably buy on that due to cross-play.

AlGator

#52

AlGator said:

I bought the first Dementium game. I didn't buy the second because I found some of the design decisions in the first one so frustrating that I didn't get past the first few levels - for example, getting killed in a boss fight required replaying the entire level (sometimes quite a long or challenging level, 15 minutes or more) to get back to it. Only to die again and again until you figure out the trick. Or look at a FAQ and get lucky the first time, and that shouldn't be necessary to enjoy a game.

I do not buy music with DRM, ever. I know how to make bit-perfect copies of CDs and DVSs, and yet I spend plenty of money on music and movies and never pirate them. DRM (meaning that if Nintendo ever goes out of business I'm out of luck and lose all my games) and lack of an account system (meaning that if something happens to my 3DS I may never get my games back) dramatically cut back the money I spend on the eShop. Without DRM I'd spend far more, and even an account system would help. If you think you can't lose everything when you're stuck with DRM, Google the Circuit City DIVX fiasco, anything you bought in that format couldn't be played after August 2001. At least with a cartridge, if I can find a system that will play it, I can play the game - I can still use my old GameBoy carts after 20 years with no worries.

AlbertoC

#53

AlbertoC said:

@KawaiiPikachu: Your comment really makes me wonder if you really read the article.

First of all, what the heck is Dementium? It's seriously the first time i've heard of that.

Second. Blaming piracy nowadays is the solution for every developer's lack of money, it seems.

See Tomorrow Corporation's bold moves. Those guys didn't increase DRM on Little inferno even knowing the high piracy rate of World of Goo: 82%. Did they got angry, yelled, ranted and flailed like angry monkeys, blamed piracy, and stopped making fun, weird little games? To give this a little more perspective, those guys are no big company. (Source: 2D Boy http://2dboy.com/2008/11/13/90/ )

And for those of you guys not following what i mean: I don't say piracy is right, developers are working for a living. But let's be realists and not just say: "If piracy didn't exist i'd make just anything and then i would be filthy rich just because." Goodbye Galaxy is taking an objetive approach.

One of the main issues of piracy is this: If you construct a wall, you get paid for that wall and that's it. But if developers make software, some of them want to profit without measure from that. (Bringing more complexity to the table, since you can copy software pretty easily: developers wanting to sell more and more, blaming piracy for the fact they lose non-existant money and customers that simply want everything for free). Tomorrow corporation, IMHO, is taking the right attitude since they are winning over their people.

(My take applies for indies. Nintendo makes a whole lot of money so they can afford more infrastructure, paying lots of security professionals for protecting said infrastructure that in turn is giving lots of more people work.)

EDIT: @AlGator: That second paragraph is a delight to read. Because of DRM i lost all my data and savegames when transferring from the stock 2GB to a 32GB card, even when every file was copied verbatim. Savegame and other exploits are a hassle to the developers, but when security measures are a hassle to end consumers compromising performance or funcionality they are useless, period. (for example, the "sandboxed" security mode Adobe Flash Player has that makes it incredibly sluggish. Another topic that could be discussed another day or googled.)

And no matter how convenient buying downloads may appear, should i lose or break my 3DS having spent over twice the handheld's price on games that i know beforehand i can't recover, based on my currently owned games, i seriously wouldn't buy another one ever again. (That's why i haven't bought or will buy in a near future retail games on the eShop, no matter how hard they advertise this to me and think carefully what eShop games i buy, aside from the fact i have no credit card). They really need a secure yet reliable account system.

End of colossal wall of text.

sillygostly

#54

sillygostly said:

Dementium II's sales were poor because it wasn't made available... anywhere. It was classified way back in 2009 by the Australian classification board and I'm yet to see it on shelves. I've emailed South Peak games about it and they basically told me to import the game. No dice. I want to support the Australian version if only for the fact that they bothered to go through the expense of classifying it locally.

I'm surprised that the first game even received a proper local release (as opposed to a European import with the Australian rating stickered over the PEGI/BBFC rating) considering that adult titles on DS don't seem to perform very well sales-wise.

Zombie_Barioth

#56

Zombie_Barioth said:

Its nice to see someone with the guts to actually talk about this stuff, this is one reason I like indie devs.

Its been my experience that most pirates pirate because either (a) DRM (b) import only games or (c) situations like @beat and @dreadjaws mentioned. In my opinion it'd be better to use a carrot and stick approach. When training animals its usually better to redirect them towards positive behavior (i.e. buying products) rather than constant scolding (DRM), or in other words the path of least resistance.

This is something Apple actually does well. They may not be the most righteous company but at least they don't beat you over the head with their DRM all the while claiming it makes their product better. Pricing and availability would be a good start.

JaythekidRS

#58

JaythekidRS said:

(in reply to the first comment) Wooowww, Renegade Kid thinks they pirated their own smartphone game? That's...odd. Guys, remember, you wouldn't steal a car, you wouldn't steal a woman's purse, PIRACY IS STEALING!

gamerkev

#59

gamerkev said:

Renegade Kid is selling MM for about $8-9 on eShop. On the appstore it's only .99 cents. What a bogus industry.

rayword45

#61

rayword45 said:

Also, piracy is bad no matter what, but what about the companies who scam users or commit fraud themselves? Try FIFA 13 or PES 2013 for the Wii, they should be arrested.

Windy

#62

Windy said:

@Blue_Yoshi omg finally someone who makes total sense! Since nobody backed me up I will back you up. I dont care what anyone says. Piracy is horrible costs companies millions almost Billions and costs people their jobs who work for big companies and have losses Due too piracy. Lastly programmers and developers work more hours than you can imagine to get out a game good or bad. to say a game is bad and you should get it for free since thats the case is a lame excuse. Really any reason anyone uses to pirate is a lame excuse. Same as Shoplifting. Again checkout "Indie Game the movie" it sheds alot of light about what these programmers go through

HugoSmits

#63

HugoSmits said:

@Windy piracy doesn't really costs us that much. The problem with the 'research' link you posted is that it's not really based on the 'complete' truth.
what they did was look at how many units where downloaded times the retail price.

which would only be correct if each person would also actually have bought the game if piracy wasn't an option. And we know for a fact most pirates would not.

If you take a look at that list, you see countries like Hungary and Greece. Where the mimimum salary is around 300 euro and a new game is priced at 50 euro.

Do you honestly believe that if piracy wasn't an option a family would spend 20% of their income on a single videogame ?

Windy

#64

Windy said:

no I dont. I believe if people didnt have the money they wouldnt buy it. I guess in a way im looking at this narrow minded due to different economies around the world. Im not poor but im not anywhere near rich either. But, if I dont have the money I just do without. I don't go stealing. however I know there are people much worse off and I do not realize how that would effect someone mentally. Everyones situation is different and I need to keep that in mind. I work a customer service job that Ive been doing 31 years because I just love it and I try to keep that in mind, everyones situation is different and maybe that should apply here as well

Im going to be quiet and go play Gunman Clive now :)

LordGeovanni

#65

LordGeovanni said:

I completely support Galaxy's POV. For example, two thoughts:

First, what is Dementium II? I have NO clue whatsoever. I did not ever even HEAR of it or its original. Therefore there is a REALLY good chance that I didn't contribute to its sales... :P

Second, The biggest problem with Piracy, or at least understanding piracy, is the Percentages of abuse. For example, most piracy abusers are not willing to pay for the game no matter what, Those would all be no-sales anyway and therefore no money is lost. The second highest is the people who CAN'T FIND the game to purchase. I know that GameStop where I live is the only real place for me to get a game. They RARELY get more than 1 copy of any game when it is released. I HAVE to preorder or expect to purchase it online. Otherwise I have to just keep searching the Preowned and requesting them to search their system for other copies at other sites. Keep in mind that they NEVER transport from one store to another so it becomes difficult when the closest copy is in NYC when I am at Atlantic City...

HugoSmits

#66

HugoSmits said:

@Windy it's not even about being poor or rich. for example, I see you live in the United States. The federal minimum wage is about 7,25 dollar, so for a 40 hour work week that's 1160 dollar a month, right ?

if you convert that to euro's that's around 865 euro, well below the minimum wage of the Netherlands at 1200 euro.

Yet this doesn't matter because prices of other things scale also, a new game costs 26 euro in the United States, yet it costs 50 euro in the Netherlands.

But for some reason when you go to other European countries this scaling doesn't happen... somebody keeps the price high even though it's unreasonable.

Drawdler

#67

Drawdler said:

Nowhere else to really post this since we don't have an article related to the hacking itself or anything: these hacks will sadly have completely negative effects besides homebrew and being able to discover a few niche details on games(I.E. how exactly Uprising's fusion system works). Hackers would probably be able to send out spam notifications through SpotPass with enough work, the great online experiences of games like Mario Kart and Uprising would be wrecked with cheaters, and then piracy. I know this is off topic, but it's something I've thought about for a bit that I'd like to chime about somewhere even if this post gets deleted, et al. Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe they'd even be able to go into the StreetPass app and create a frustratingly endless array of fake panels. I'm not saying they're instantly bad because they're hackers but I don't see anything positive enough coming out of it. It's too bad that this is always inevitable with consoles. Things were simpler when there was only Pong.

Hetsumani

#68

Hetsumani said:

@HugoSmits That's one of the main problems here in Mexico too. Here salaries are about 200 to 400 usd a month, but most of the games sold at retail can cost anything from 50 to 100 usd, it varies for every title and console, even the 3ds eShop games are more expensive, all the nintendo downloadable retail games cost 62 usd in the mexican eShop, and the Wii U costs 588 usd at any store, that's a huge ripoff don't you think?

AlbertoC

#70

AlbertoC said:

@Nibelit: No. The wii has homebrew, yet you're not spammed by WiiConnect24, are you?

Yes, it is beyond me as to why some retail downloads cost more than retail cartridges on the MX eShop.

AugustusOxy

#71

AugustusOxy said:

Hugo Smits, one of the few honest people in the industry.

Poor marketing causes games to sell like crap.

qwe

#72

qwe said:

In a world where piracy is not an option, I believe that most of those who pirated would have bought the games. I can relate this to when I was a kid when the internet was not available, everybody bought their games. You beg your parents, work a graveyard shift at the station, saved up pennies for months until you had enough to buy that awesome game all your friends are playing. The reason people pirate is it because it's convient and easy to do so. People will always come up with excuses to pirate. Being poor is a horrible argument for piracy. Android/iOS games that average $0.99 are pirated just as much. When I was a kid, I didn't have an option to pirate. I had no money and had to travel out to the city to buy a game, so I had no excuses but to save up and go buy the game.

Henmii

#73

Henmii said:

So Mister Smits, you are dutch just like me! That's cool to hear!!

It pains me to tell you though that I am not a huge fan of your games so far. I can't help it.

Yoshis95

#74

Yoshis95 said:

i don't think piracy has as big of an impact on console games as they'd like to think. But i do believe the lack of availability as other people have said does play a part in this game's failure, but then again i never saw phantasy star 0 on shelves and i still bought it online as well as my friend lol. so they need to stop blaming other stuff and just man up to their failure lol XD

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