The PC is the most famous format when it comes to videogame piracy. That doesn’t mean it’s not rampant elsewhere, but personal computers have certainly earned the stigma after years of abuse. However, the PC Gaming Alliance claims things aren’t as bad as they used to be.
“There are stats that do corroborate that,” claimed PCGA president Matt Ployhar. “I’m not saying that piracy is going to go away. It’s fascinating to watch. For example, you get a game like Crysis that got hit hard by piracy. Now what you’re seeing to combat that or reduce the chances of piracy are developers implementing achievements, in-game pets, all of these things that are tracked and stored in the cloud.
“So even if you pirate the game you’re still not getting the bragging rights. You’ve got all these additional mechanisms where the value proposition of the game, where if you pirate it, it’s just not going to be as fun.”
I think the use of Achievements and in-game content has definitely been effective in battling piracy to some extent, and it’s something I applaud. Rather than just lazily slap down unpalatable DRM, there are developers who work hard to ensure that people will want to buy their games, even if they’re predisposed to stealing them. Offering reward over punishment is always going to be more welcome among consumers.
While nothing will ever make piracy go away, I hope these extra purchase incentives do enough to keep the PC market profitable for a long time.
A Renewed Focus: PCGA’s New President Speaks [Gamasutra]