“Only pirate AAA games, and never pirate indies.”
This is the one rule to pirating that I got from my friends when I first started gaming. Throughout my time as a gamer, this is the one golden rule that almost everyone I met follows. In fact, the one time I met a person who doesn’t follow that rule and pirates indie games, everyone around him responded negatively almost immediately, myself included.
Pirating indie games is just repulsive to me. After all, indie games are made by small studios and sometimes individual developers. They normally poured a fair bit of their own finances and their lives into this, and generally developed the games at great personal financial risk. For example, Cuphead was developed by a small studio led by two brothers, who quit their jobs and remortgage their houses to deliver the game. To pirate indie games feels almost like stealing from a beggar. For the same reason, going to G2A to purchase keys is equally disgusting. And you can learn more about it from far more competent people here. And here. Also here. Don’t forget here as well. And here. And here as well. Just don’t go to G2A.
And no, the topic of discussion today isn’t about whether we should pirate indie games or not. I do not think that is ever up for debate, unless you’re making an argument about pirating really, really horrible games like The Slaughtering Grounds out of spite. The topic today is about pirating AAA games.
The general consensus is that AAA publishers can generally take a few hits in their profits. After all, considering the profits they report every year, it seems that pirating doesn’t seem to ever affect them. Aside from that, the fact that most AAA games costs $60 before DLCs and season passes doesn’t help matters.
The fact that most AAA games implement DRM, which a lot of people are unhappy about, would’ve also driven people to acquire cracked and DRM-free versions of the game from pirates. I am not as familiar in issues regarding DRMs, so I will not talk too much about it. However, I did hear of people driven to piracy just to avoid DRMs. Sure, it is anecdotal, but it does show that people do pirate games to acquire the DRM-free versions.
And people did commented that people who pirate games probably won’t be buying the games they pirate in the first place, so there really isn’t any sales lost due to piracy. And there is a study commissioned by the EU that shows that piracy may have actually boosted game sales.
My only issue with this is that I don’t believe in pirating games that are good. If the reviews are positive and there are no horrible business practices associated with the game, I will buy it as long as I can afford them (I’m poor please help), my laptop can run it (come on, why would I buy something I can’t run), and that game suits my taste (for example, I have no reason to buy RTSes since I have no love for that genre). I see no reason to not pay for something I enjoy. After all, the game I like is still made by the effort of others, and they should be reimbursed for their work. Whether it is by a small studio or a large company matters little in this case.
Personally, I buy any game I enjoy, AAA or no. Partly because of all the reasons stated above, partly because I am really not a fan of wading through potential Trojans and such for games, and partly because Steam has sales.
Editor’s note: For legal reasons, we advise you not to pirate anything and we condone the act. Last time I mentioned piracy in a vaguely positive light, I got an infraction on SPUF, so I’m covering our tracks. Don’t pirate shit. You’ll just get a bunch of shitty malware.
*insert tacky anti-piracy video here*