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Second Take: Console Piracy On The Rise?

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October 23, 2008 5:57:59 AM

With the pirated leak of Fallout 3 three weeks before its release date, Rob and Ben talk console piracy this time and how it how it affects the gaming industry as a whole.

Watch Video: http://www.tomsgames.com/us/videos/second_take_console_piracy_on_the_rise_.html

Do you think there was a PC gamer conspiracy to the recent slew of console pirating? Will a shift in PC gaming business models make consoles the pirating platform du jour?

-Ben

More about : console piracy rise

October 23, 2008 10:48:54 AM

I don't know about all that....i was trying to read the forums and listen at the same time, and was failing miserably.

I did however catch Rob's Marky Mark Talks to Animals impression and LMAO at how dead on it was. Good Impression Rob.

If they start pirating console games instead...maybe we wont see any more sloppy ports on the PC.

I don't know, I don't think it will swing the other way anytime soon....unless all of the newer games in development are going to be MMO and they move completely away from SinglePlayer offline games....In which case I think it would be time to call it quits.....Sell my computer and buy a Generic Dell etc...for email and surfing. Because I'll be damned if I play on a console.
October 23, 2008 1:09:24 PM

I don't think console piracy is on the rise, this is nothing new. The only reason it's only now making the news is that these are huge holiday titles in a relatively short time.

I mean, no one cared when Rapala Fishing Frenzy, new Hellboy game, or Mummy game hit the scene (or torrent sites), because these are not major league titles.

Console piracy has been extremely easy since the PlayStation days, I mean you could boot burned games with a help of an action replay, doesn't get much easier than that.

As for the conspiracy, that's pretty much the most ridicilous thing I've heard in a while. PC gamers =/= PC pirates =/= scene =/= p2p. Since all of these major titles came from scene, and scene is all about competition, suggesting that there is some kind of joint effort to hurt the xbox360 is about as ridiculous as it gets.
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October 23, 2008 1:21:01 PM

I don't know why the makers don't do bonded warehouses.
I know it will slow things down, people will have to wait until it is in the stores to steal them, but it would work...
It takes a large amount of effort to steal anything from a bonded warehouse.
I think they also need to look at the Disc manufacturers as well...
I know I have read of discs being stolen / copied from there as well...
October 23, 2008 4:55:55 PM

I am not saying that Piracy is right... but if it helps more games come to PC im not going to complain
October 23, 2008 5:04:07 PM

I think developers and publishers are being really lazy when it comes to piracy. You hear time and time again solid ideas for thwarting piracy and what happens? Publishers fall back on controversial, old means of anti-pirating methods that only really hurt the legitimate buyer.

Or the developers say "Yeah, the PC sales just aren't there because of piracy so we'll concentrate on consoles now." Well guess what? Console game pirating isn't going to get better and what will happen when console pirating becomes just as "bad" as PC pirating? What's the next excuse?
October 23, 2008 5:29:14 PM

as much as I appreciate karma biting Epic in the arse. I believe ultimately they are going to be unphased by this. As Rob stated even crappy/average console shooters are managing to sell around 2 million copies.

This is in a way a double edged sword for pc gaming. with console pirating creating a buzz in the pc gaming world. If GoW 2 releases with near GTA4/Cod4 sales numbers. This will only reinforce their decision to cater to the console market. This could very well backfire in the faces of everyone's who's laughing at Epic.

I really would hate to have to read more pointless garbage on how "pc gaming is dying" because the console games can still set sales records despite having games released weeks ahead of schedule over torrent.

October 23, 2008 8:00:16 PM

sometimes i think they (the presenters) should do more reasearch about it b4 go on and on, piracy in console is there since Original Nintando, piracy is been there for long freaking time in asia...is it hard? NO, it is so easy, once they got it mod u never heard from them again, why? b/c there is no patch, no fix...no crack needed for console games, while PC has keep update so on...

serious, please do ur freaking research b4 posting falsle infomation, we have like 100 in 1 catrages sold everywhere (pirated of course in the 1991, we have super nintando that reads pirated games using floppy drive (basicly is just a floppy drive that goes into the cartrage slot and u can jsut copy games to floppy disks and read it....geeze)

Gameboy has a piratcy too, u can buy a cheap flasher and a empty huge cartrage and jsut transfer games into it...

N64, there is CD-rom add-on, allows u to play like 10 N64 games from one CD...

saying console game piracy is on the rise? no, it has been there even b4 u are born, (Even Atari has piracy in asia) please do mroe research b4 making a stupid ass video

last example DreamCast, u just need to burn a game and off u go, no modding need it, or a simple loader where u can dl off net

jsut b/c u guys dont know about it does not mean it does not exist..
October 23, 2008 8:50:10 PM

allenpan said:
sometimes i think they (the presenters) should do more reasearch about it b4 go on and on, piracy in console is there since Original Nintando, piracy is been there for long freaking time in asia...is it hard? NO, it is so easy, once they got it mod u never heard from them again, why? b/c there is no patch, no fix...no crack needed for console games, while PC has keep update so on...

serious, please do ur freaking research b4 posting falsle infomation, we have like 100 in 1 catrages sold everywhere (pirated of course in the 1991, we have super nintando that reads pirated games using floppy drive (basicly is just a floppy drive that goes into the cartrage slot and u can jsut copy games to floppy disks and read it....geeze)

Gameboy has a piratcy too, u can buy a cheap flasher and a empty huge cartrage and jsut transfer games into it...

N64, there is CD-rom add-on, allows u to play like 10 N64 games from one CD...

saying console game piracy is on the rise? no, it has been there even b4 u are born, (Even Atari has piracy in asia) please do mroe research b4 making a stupid ass video

last example DreamCast, u just need to burn a game and off u go, no modding need it, or a simple loader where u can dl off net

jsut b/c u guys dont know about it does not mean it does not exist..



OK.....there may have been piracy existing for a while, and even for the older systems, but I doubt that it was anywhere near as prevalent as it is today. Even from your cursory description of pirating the cartridge games, it sounds like it is quite a bit more involved then just downloading a torrent. Plus, people then were obviously a lot less tech savvy then they are today.

Sure I'll agree game pirating existed a while ago, but it was nothing like game pirating today.

I don't think there was a PC gamer conspiracy to leak Fallout 3 way in advance of it's release. As cool as that would be, I find it hard to believe that someone or some organization would take on that much risk just to prove a point. Remember: the people who crack these games do not do this for profit. An opportunity to pirate Fallout 3 must have come up like any other game that is pirated.
October 23, 2008 8:56:48 PM

allenpan said:
sometimes i think they (the presenters) should do more reasearch about it b4 go on and on, piracy in console is there since Original Nintando, piracy is been there for long freaking time in asia...is it hard? NO, it is so easy, once they got it mod u never heard from them again, why? b/c there is no patch, no fix...no crack needed for console games, while PC has keep update so on...

serious, please do ur freaking research b4 posting falsle infomation, we have like 100 in 1 catrages sold everywhere (pirated of course in the 1991, we have super nintando that reads pirated games using floppy drive (basicly is just a floppy drive that goes into the cartrage slot and u can jsut copy games to floppy disks and read it....geeze)

Gameboy has a piratcy too, u can buy a cheap flasher and a empty huge cartrage and jsut transfer games into it...

N64, there is CD-rom add-on, allows u to play like 10 N64 games from one CD...

saying console game piracy is on the rise? no, it has been there even b4 u are born, (Even Atari has piracy in asia) please do mroe research b4 making a stupid ass video

last example DreamCast, u just need to burn a game and off u go, no modding need it, or a simple loader where u can dl off net

jsut b/c u guys dont know about it does not mean it does not exist..


Uh, did you watch the video, Allenpan? I don't think we ever said console piracy was new. In fact, I specifically stated the following: "Console piracy, like we said, is nothing new." I also said during the video that it was a big issue and that there are tons of console titles on the torrent sites.

Yes, we ASKED the question if console piracy is on the rise. We did not definitively state that it was. Ben said that it seems to be getting worse in the sense -- not in the absolute number of titles being pirates, but in the sense that console versions of titles like Fallout 3 and Far Cry 2 are leaking before the PC versions and well ahead of the street date, which hurts sales more.

And it would seem that we agree about playing pirated console games being easy, because I also said: "Modding your console, flashing your Xbox 360 is easy. It's not hard at all."

And finally, console piracy has been around before I was born? I must look younger on video, because I believe I pre-date the Atari 2600 by a year or two.
October 23, 2008 10:26:11 PM

I don't think console piracy is on the rise either. It's just getting more attention, which is good because I was getting mad at the ridiculous comments game company reps were making, and even more mad at "Cliffy B" because he should at least know better.

The console piracy thing just sounds like poetic justice to me. And you need to think about what really is the percentage of sales lost on both PC and console due to piracy. I really doubt it's that high. People throw all kinds of figures around, but I think they're all inflated. You need to take into consideration that a pirated game doesn't guarantee a lost sale. There are lots of other factors that are involved.
October 24, 2008 12:35:10 AM

njalterio said:
OK.....there may have been piracy existing for a while, and even for the older systems, but I doubt that it was anywhere near as prevalent as it is today. Even from your cursory description of pirating the cartridge games, it sounds like it is quite a bit more involved then just downloading a torrent. Plus, people then were obviously a lot less tech savvy then they are today.



is just north america are never that technical advance back in the 90s, as i said b4 just u guys dont know about it does not means it was not all over the place some place else, such as Taiwan so on
October 24, 2008 1:14:36 AM

and u say complicated? it is jsut a freaking external plug and play, u dont even neeed to do anything, like there is also external ps1 modchip, u say hard to get games? back in begining of 90s u can get games every street coners, u can transfer over BBS, u can get off null conneection, how is it different then now?
October 24, 2008 2:03:51 AM

Allenpan: Pirating games is definitely easier now then it was for the older gaming consoles. To pirate a game now the only thing you need is a computer with an internet connection, which is very standard today. You would be hard pressed to walk into a store and find the equipment you listed as necessary for pirating.

Also, the internet in the early 90s was not nearly as developed as it is now. The information on how to go about pirating was hard to find. Nowadays there are tons of forums on the internet that cover the very topic of pirating. Just think about it, if pirating is just as common now as it was back then, why are companies just starting to get concerned about it now?

I never said pirating the older consoles was hard, just finding out about it was. What is this nonsense about North America not being as technologically advanced as Taiwan? There is a country in North America called the United States, maybe you heard of it! In the United States, companies such as Intel, AMD, Microsoft, Apple, IBM, ATI (from Canada which is still North America), Nvidia, the vast majority of game developers, and even the open source project Linux all came from the United States! What are you talking about!!?? Please, if it wasn't for North America (not being technologically advanced as you put it), Taiwan would be a part of China!

Anyways, it is so clear that pirating is much bigger now then it was before. We all knew it existed a while ago, but no where near what it is today.

October 24, 2008 2:09:25 AM

no... piracy is much easier back in the day, u can go to a store, it will sell both legal and pirate stuff, have u been to pacific mall? or any hong-kong like shop? maybe North Americans should get out of country more and have mroe global view, back in the day u want a game they can make the floppy in 2 min, u want Gameboy games with 50 of ur favorates? no probelm 3 min,

Taiwan was once known as piracy island, and 90s alot of reverse engineering, ever heard of clone "Intel" cpu? and reverse engineering? (BTW NVIDIA is Taiwanese, ATI is found by Hongkong-ese

i live half of my life in CAnada, i been around the world too much, people in NA is really lack of global view
October 24, 2008 2:58:46 AM

Back in those days, there were no such things as encryption, no serial key, no Internet activation, no secureROM, no... DRM?! NO Bulls**t, that's why it's very easy to *copy*, and Allenpan just make ASIA seems like a pirating countries.
As Internet grows, pirated software are much easier to distribute, faster connection allow them to transfer much faster than last time "go to a store"?? No, I just sit at home, put it to download and *wam* I get to play it tomorrow.
That's why many company now are concern about piracy, it's not how hard it's cracked/hacked, it's the distribution speed, 3 weeks before the release is much worst than it seems.
And, piracy has been there since the introduce of trades and currencies, it just depends on how you intepret it.
October 24, 2008 6:15:07 AM

allenpan said:
no... piracy is much easier back in the day, u can go to a store, it will sell both legal and pirate stuff, have u been to pacific mall? or any hong-kong like shop? maybe North Americans should get out of country more and have mroe global view, back in the day u want a game they can make the floppy in 2 min, u want Gameboy games with 50 of ur favorates? no probelm 3 min,

Taiwan was once known as piracy island, and 90s alot of reverse engineering, ever heard of clone "Intel" cpu? and reverse engineering? (BTW NVIDIA is Taiwanese, ATI is found by Hongkong-ese

i live half of my life in CAnada, i been around the world too much, people in NA is really lack of global view


For someone who claims to have such a "global view" of things, you sure act a lot like the condescending, backwards hick you consider most Americans.

That's great if you can find pirate equipment at your local store in Hong Kong....in the rest of the world that is not available! Most developed nations have strict guidelines about selling that kind of equipment....if you were really so well traveled you would have known that. By the way, Nvidia has it's head quarters in the U.S. in California. ATI has it's head quarters in Canada. Please....you are embarrassing yourself.

Before you go about criticizing others about their lack of global view, you might want to step back and make sure you aren't saying something completely prejudiced and incorrect!
October 24, 2008 12:29:10 PM

Herra said:
I don't think console piracy is on the rise, this is nothing new. The only reason it's only now making the news is that these are huge holiday titles in a relatively short time.

I mean, no one cared when Rapala Fishing Frenzy, new Hellboy game, or Mummy game hit the scene (or torrent sites), because these are not major league titles.

Console piracy has been extremely easy since the PlayStation days, I mean you could boot burned games with a help of an action replay, doesn't get much easier than that.

As for the conspiracy, that's pretty much the most ridicilous thing I've heard in a while. PC gamers =/= PC pirates =/= scene =/= p2p. Since all of these major titles came from scene, and scene is all about competition, suggesting that there is some kind of joint effort to hurt the xbox360 is about as ridiculous as it gets.



Fair point but during the Playstation 1 era there was no such thing as 'Pirate Bay', and things such as the internet were not in everyone's home as it is today let alone cheap broadband connections.
October 24, 2008 12:35:12 PM

ATI was "FOUND" by Hongkong-ese, i dont care where the company was base off, Creative is off Singaport

ATI:
The company was founded as Array Technologies Incorporated in 1985 by immigrants Kwok Yuen Ho[1] of Guangzhou, and Benny Lau and Lee Ka Lau of Hong Kong

Nvidia:
Jen-Hsun Huang (Taiwanese) geeeze

pirate stuff is everywhere in asia, back in the day

it is easier to buy than figure it out and get it working, there are more people who knows where to get/buy pirate game than where dl and get it working, people prefer easier way
October 24, 2008 12:41:12 PM

let me get back to the topic, "Console Piracy on the RISE"? no, it was always there or worst b4, do a proper research
October 24, 2008 2:01:06 PM

If that was true, then why are companies just starting to care about piracy now? Why not implement some kind of DRM earlier if piracy was just as bad if not worse as you suggest?

It is so obvious that the internet has a huge factor in gaming piracy. The internet was not a factor in the earlier consoles. Everyone knows that there was piracy back in the day, but how could it be anywhere near as big as piracy today without the internet helping things along?
October 24, 2008 4:31:27 PM

no, is just that there is more publicity about piracy that is all
October 24, 2008 4:49:53 PM

allenpan said:
no, is just that there is more publicity about piracy that is all


EXACTLY!!!!

More people know about it and are pirating games!
October 24, 2008 5:02:11 PM

that proves my point that the Console piracy are not on the rise, ist just lack of knowing, and it has been there as bad as the PC
October 24, 2008 5:40:36 PM

allenpan. What the hell does the nationality of ATI and Nvidia's head honcho's have to do console piracy. Console piracy IS on the rise.

Back in the day growing I knew mod chips and such existed for the playstation. In fact my brother did have a modded playstation but we had only 2 copied games that we got when we bought it. However where the heck were two teenagers with a 28k dial up connection supposed to go on the net to download cd copies.

Back then kazaa, bearshare, and limewire were the kings of file sharing. cd burners were almost 100 dollars. And no places in town (50k population) had burned copies of playstation games. Even knowing more than most teenagers about piracy and actively looking for burned games. IT WAS HARD.

Compare that to today's consoles and piracy. A simple bios flash for the 360 and a torrent site is all you need. Everything you need nowadays can be downloaded and ready to go within an hour. Console piracy is on the rise. Your "I know more about console piracy and its roots than you do" attitude is annoying.
October 24, 2008 6:06:02 PM

I think people are blaming all the decline of PC gaming on piracy and all the decline in sales on it too. I will admit that it plays a significant part but I think that cheap, weak integrated graphics from the major technology companies are too blame especially intel since they set the trend.

I think this because most people who pirate games have a moderate knowledge of computers. Thats not to say programmers or enthusiasts but people who can reformat their pc and other slightly more complex tasks than the norm. Now imagine if all those people who only use their computer for surfing the net, or watching movies etc had a capable graphics system on their pc, lets say equivalent to the 8600gt. Now they can play new titles on medium graphics settings no problem and they are faced with the choice between a 70 euro console game and a 30 euro or less pc game. Suddenly a lot more peole are playing pc games yah? Even if only 10% went with the pc game choice it still would be quite an increase. And in mostly the kind of people who wouldnt know a torrent from a toenail.

I bet if the integrated graphics market kept up with gaming technology over the years the pc gaming market would be far larger, not as big as the console market mind you but quite large especially considering the fact that nowadays everyone has a computer with capable a cpu and ram.

I am a pirate and I know it is wrong but I do it anyways because Im not goin spending money on games, for me its a choice between pirating a game and no game at all. I just think we are letting the Nvidia,AMD and Intel get away with too much as regards their integrated graphics and the effect that has on the market.
October 24, 2008 7:25:24 PM

Ugh, you two...I'm so sick of this subject. The fact that it's at least acknowledged in the public domain every day means this problem will probably do one of two things:

1. Carry on as normal, or
2. Be quelled (although never stopped) through some means

I'd actually like to see a serious discussion about what I think are really the problems for the downturn in PC gaming and they're not something I see being pounded on like piracy.

PC gaming, IMHO, has been on a downward spiral because of, to put it succinctly, sh*t games and big money (which, these days, seems to go hand in hand). The amount of titles being prematurely released in the name of big money and release dates is absolutely ridiculous.

Nasty bugs, random CTD's...you name it. Games are hitting shelves and having critical patches ONE WEEK later! These games aren't even working right straight out of the gate! Why is this? What's causing it? Is it high-level execs sticking their nose into what should be the devs' business (ie. making design decisions and telling them to cut corners??)? Is it the lack of competition from small TPD's because they get bought up the moment large publishers sniff a good studio and proceed to turn them into another wing of an out of control behemoth that's rotten to the core with inner politics and wherein their creative say is basically sh*t-canned in the name of budget?

This is the kind of thing that's ruining PC gaming and it's been happening for too long. Look at the reasons Sid Meier gave for leaving MicroProse and starting Firaxis...12 years ago, before it got REALLY nasty. When some of the best designers in the industry say "screw this", you know the game's up.

I find it all highly ironic that these huge publishers are on devs' backs to get things released, all in the name of money, but when the game is released and is a mess of bugs and half-a**ed content, they wonder why people don't want to buy it. It's a classic example of the pot calling the kettle black as far as I'm concerned...first to complain, last one to do anything about it etc. "Gaaah...sales are cra*p!! I know!! Blame it on piracy!!"

As a law-abiding consumer I'm sick of this and it's a HUGE reason I rarely buy games on release nowadays...I wait until it goes on sale and all the bugs have been worked out of it, it's something I learned a LONG time ago with Windows. Why waste my money? Any more I feel like a beta tester for the cr*p that's coming out now...that's not my job. WHY is this happening? Where's the discussion???

Rob, you can't sit there and tell me this isn't as big of a cause for the general mailaise and downturn in PC gaming than piracy. You're around my age, you now what it was like before true "big money" got its hands on the PC side of gaming. The stifling of third-party developers by the big publishers in an effort to make them in-house is just one of the many unspoken crimes that's severely undermined PC gaming.

You wanna' shake up the PC industry? Go talk about this with a dev who's not afraid of losing their job...and therein lies my point.

Off my soapbox and back to lurk mode...
October 24, 2008 8:26:34 PM

chmod000 said:
Rob, you can't sit there and tell me this isn't as big of a cause for the general mailaise and downturn in PC gaming than piracy. You're around my age, you now what it was like before true "big money" got its hands on the PC side of gaming. The stifling of third-party developers by the big publishers in an effort to make them in-house is just one of the many unspoken crimes that's severely undermined PC gaming.

You wanna' shake up the PC industry? Go talk about this with a dev who's not afraid of losing their job...and therein lies my point.

Off my soapbox and back to lurk mode...


Chmod, you make a good point. There are plenty of examples of crap games hyped by publishers before release but then ship with an assortment of bugs and overall poor quality because of unrealistic deadlines and rushed development. It would be great if every developer could take the route of a Valve or Blizzard, who use the mantra of "it will ship when it's ready" and refuse to send a product out to customers that isn't top shelf quality.

BUT -- and this is a big but, if you'll excuse the pun -- here's the catch: games are getting increasingly more expensive to make. We're talking $50-60 million in a lot of cases. And if a large percentage of "customers" are ripping the games without paying for them, then the publishers will spend less money to make the games and lower budgets will lead to low quality title in a lot of cases. I mean, look at it from the perspective of a publisher -- why should they spend millions of dollars trying to make a game for fans when the "fans" are just pirating the content? The sad reality is that because of the economics of game development, only a small number of developers can do what Valve and Blizzard do, which is take years to develop top titles with their own schedule and QA the hell out of them to make sure they're ready. We'll see more and more Hellgates the way the business is going (and BTW, Hellgate shuts down in February).

So my point is, piracy is not a stand-alone topic. It's part of the economics of the game industry, and it's tied in with everything else.

@Skalagon, I don't want to beat up on you personally, but you did admit that you don't pay for games. Well, you're ruining it for the rest of us, and I urge you to stop blaming integrated graphics and take a long look in the mirror. Honestly, I'm shocked that you think Intel and AMD are "getting away with something" when you don't pay a red cent for a game. Please look for another hobby, one that doesn't require you to spend a lot of money. I suggest investing in a hacky sack -- it can provide hours of mindless enjoyment ;) 
October 25, 2008 4:04:43 AM

Quote:
It would be great if every developer could take the route of a Valve or Blizzard, who use the mantra of "it will ship when it's ready" and refuse to send a product out to customers that isn't top shelf quality.


Rob, you kind of hit at what I'm getting at. I mean, look at Id...I read an interview months back where they said they only sign publishing contracts for one game at a time...that's how much pull they have in the industry because of their back catalogue. But it seems nowaday's that new TPD's aren't even being allowed to release one hit game without the publishers splashing their face all over it because they are seeing their work at a forum or conference etc. and so they try to put them under their wing before they're allowed to get to a point where they have a modicum of control over their own place in the gaming industry. A big stink was made of this practice years back and then it was quietly shoved under the rug. The concern about all these mergers still rages on though. Look at the recent Vivendi and Activision merger for that example...people freaked, and rightly so. But here again Blizzard, like Id, has so much pull that it's now Activision Blizzard and not Activision Vivendi.

To me, it also seems no coicidence that Steam was born after Half-Life put Valve on the map. Why is that? I think you saw, like many of us, where Steam was really heading...even though it wasn't blatantly positioned as such when it first came out. Gabe's no fool and I think he got a heaping taste of the problems that were/are negatively affecting the health of PC gaming after the success of Half-Life...both of which we're talking about here. I fully understand where the publishers are coming from and things like the 'Romero Experience' and, more recently, all the crap that went down with Vanguard has, rightly, soured some things. Here's a third aspect we haven't discusssed but which you brought up...budget.

You mentioned how big the budget is now for games but, IMHO, I think a lot of that is down to the fact that it's now the perception that you have to have specialized devs for each and every aspect of a game. Blizzard now employs over 2500 people!! Are you kidding me? That's absolutely ridiculous considering they don't exactly pump out games hand-over-fist. I'd like to see the percentage of the budget that's gone into Starcraft II and Diablo III just to fund payroll, once they've been released. I was watching the DVD special from my GoTY Edition of Civ4 that Firaxis apparently played for the GDC a few years back about the development process for Civ4. One of the problems brought up was the communication issues they had in-house because the animator/s couldn't properly convey things to the coders about how something should look. I can only imagine what kinds of things go on in much bigger studios that have umpteen animators, coders, texture artists, level designers, audio engineers blah blah blah blah blah...come on!!

You can cite game complexity if you like and the arguement has its place to a certain extent but, going by the last 6-7 years, game complexity apparently has less and less to do with creativity, playability and longevity. These are the hallmarks of a great game yet the stuff that's put out now is so one-dimensional it's not even funny. How long have we been waiting now for something to recapture the feel of classics like Fallout, DeusEx or Baldur's Gate? I recently made the mistake of biting the bullet and buying Dead Space...meh, it's OK and that's about it. If we're being honest here it's nothing special Rob, I know you're a fan of the genre but don't let that fool you (I dont' think you will BTW). It suffers from the same thing so many games do now...repetition, lack of depth/story and replayability. It's as though games now are meant to to be played once and thrown away and for $50-60, in this economy (ANY economy really), I'm not surprised why people either copy it or, like me, find myself more and more often saying "hell no" and heading off to the $20 bargain bin to pick up 2 well-respected titles for $20 less...safe in the knowledge I'm going to get 10x more for my money.

I know piracy is and has been a problem and I'm more than happy to agree to disagree on this but, IMHO, everything I've talked about is just as much a cause for the slump as piracy, if not more. Maybe I feel this way because I don't even pay attention to or partake in piracy but I'm not the only one y'know? I know piracy's out there and I know it doesn't help the dev's but I'm already doing my part because I can't be bothered with it. But on the flip side of all this piracy crap, have dev's and publishers even considered the fact that there's a whole other group of us out here; longtime gamers...adults in their 30's and 40's with jobs, who CAN afford this stuff and are mature enough to not even contemplate piracy but are just plain sick of feeling like we just paid $50 to bug test or, essentially, be BORED for a measly 10 hours? I remember when I used to buy games at release and AGAIN when they hit the bargain bin because my old disc was so scratched up by then that I couldn't get it to install when I what (???)...decided to play it, AGAIN!! I haven't had to do this since Civ4, before that Half-Life and, before THAT, Quake...I won't even bother to delve into the era of floppy. "Who put my King's Quest on top of the speaker, damnit!!"

Sorry for the long posts but like I've said in previous ones, I've done my best not to get embroiled in this debate and I just want to get it all out, now that you've water-boarded it out of me with all these vids on the subject.

:) 
October 25, 2008 5:23:34 PM

chmod000: I definitely agree with your viewpoint on creativity. For example, I've always felt the complexity and shear enjoyability of the final fantasy series has declined as the series has progressed, with the biggest drop off after FF7. I think Rob was getting at something else though: the complexity of the game in terms of graphics and the game engine. Its unfortunate, but it seems like things such as plot lines and originality have been given the heave ho to make more time to code. Not that I don't like graphics, but I would rather have game companies hire more people and charge more for the game than release half a game with no story line.

allenpan: Piracy is clearly on the rise, which clearly explains why companies are using anti-piracy methods (DRM) now, which they did not use earlier for older consoles and PC games. You have not accounted for why companies are going through the extensive hassle and spending millions of dollars developing anti piracy methods. Why would they do this if piracy is not on the rise?

You really seem to have your head on backwards! You said yourself there is more publicity about piracy, and then said there is a lack of people knowing about it! Those are two directly contradicting statements. I am not going to debate this with you anymore as you clearly are just being stubborn and not listening to what anyone else is saying.
October 26, 2008 10:41:09 AM

JeanLuc said:
Fair point but during the Playstation 1 era there was no such thing as 'Pirate Bay', and things such as the internet were not in everyone's home as it is today let alone cheap broadband connections.

There was no piratebay, but p2p networks date back before bittorrent protocol. And even if you don't personally have broadband, everyone knows a friend of a friend who has one, and let the downloading commence. Another thing is what people did was pool their resources. Group of friends, everyone bought their own game, and burned copies for their friends and friends of friends. Like back in the Amiga days. Only their own resourcefulness could have prevented people from getting most of their games for free back then.

Speaking of Amiga, I think they should bring back the copy protection from those days. Everyone loved the Monkey Island 2 Mojo Wheel.

And lastly, creativity, expensive game development and all that... Indie games are the answer. Just now I've been playing World of Goo for the past couple of days with insane glee that I haven't had with an AAA title in a while. I wish some of the big developers would take a lesson or two from indie games. Games need to be more interesting, not that same junk over and over again.
October 27, 2008 3:44:45 AM

Herra said:
There was no piratebay, but p2p networks date back before bittorrent protocol. And even if you don't personally have broadband, everyone knows a friend of a friend who has one, and let the downloading commence. Another thing is what people did was pool their resources. Group of friends, everyone bought their own game, and burned copies for their friends and friends of friends. Like back in the Amiga days. Only their own resourcefulness could have prevented people from getting most of their games for free back then.

Speaking of Amiga, I think they should bring back the copy protection from those days. Everyone loved the Monkey Island 2 Mojo Wheel.

And lastly, creativity, expensive game development and all that... Indie games are the answer. Just now I've been playing World of Goo for the past couple of days with insane glee that I haven't had with an AAA title in a while. I wish some of the big developers would take a lesson or two from indie games. Games need to be more interesting, not that same junk over and over again.


Pretty much most of the games of the past few years have been just a graphics upgrade. Kill X or Find Y kinda gets boring =(. Also for copy protection, nothing more than simple cd-in drive should be enough. If a pirate wanted a game he would have gotten it. No point in punishing the people who actually obey the law! Some times I think the pirates have it better off...
October 27, 2008 8:56:19 AM

Greetings!
amdfangirl said:
No point in punishing the people who actually obey the law! Some times I think the pirates have it better off...

You noticed that, hen?

November 4, 2008 4:33:10 AM

Just FYI, AFAIK the PS3 is not yet moddable. And the XBOX360 is now shipping with new LiteOn drives that are so far unmoddable with not much hope in sight. Furthermore all repaired 360s are bing sent back with these new drives in them, so all rrods on previously modded systems will render them unmoddable on return. So I believe modding nextgen systems is on the fall.
November 4, 2008 4:38:57 AM

"Compare that to today's consoles and piracy. A simple bios flash for the 360 and a torrent site is all you need. Everything you need nowadays can be downloaded and ready to go within an hour. Console piracy is on the rise. Your "I know more about console piracy and its roots than you do" attitude is annoying."

Flashing a 360 is not a simple process at all. Depending on which of 4 drives you have there is a different and convoluted process, not the least issue is with actually opening the 360 without voiding the warranty. It's simply out of the reach of most people, with small businesses instead providing this service for a fee in most cases. Furthermore all new and repaired 360s are having the new unmoddable liteOn drive installed which cannot be flashed as yet with not much hope in sight.
August 18, 2009 4:47:18 AM

robwright said:
Uh, did you watch the video, Allenpan? I don't think we ever said console piracy was new. In fact, I specifically stated the following: "Console piracy, like we said, is nothing new." I also said during the video that it was a big issue and that there are tons of console titles on the torrent sites.

Yes, we ASKED the question if console piracy is on the rise. We did not definitively state that it was. Ben said that it seems to be getting worse in the sense -- not in the absolute number of titles being pirates, but in the sense that console versions of titles like Fallout 3 and Far Cry 2 are leaking before the PC versions and well ahead of the street date, which hurts sales more.

And it would seem that we agree about playing pirated console games being easy, because I also said: "Modding your console, flashing your Xbox 360 is easy. It's not hard at all."

And finally, console piracy has been around before I was born? I must look younger on video, because I believe I pre-date the Atari 2600 by a year or two.



Ahh; miss the old tomsgames days...
!