The State of PC Piracy in 2016 [PC Gamer] “Piracy seems like it should be so simple, right? Stealing games is wrong. The end. But piracy is one of the most charged, complex, and divisive debates in gaming. Follow a piracy discussion long enough and it will spiral through issues as complicated as international economic policy, the concept of 'ownership' for digital property, game preservation, and the principle of the PC as an unrestricted technology platform. Piracy in 2016, the age of digital distribution, indie gaming, and Steam’s dominance, is a different animal from the PC piracy of 1990 or 2000 or 2010. Unlicensed software distribution is just as illegal as it was when Don’t Copy That Floppy was a meaningful anti-piracy strategy, but our own understanding of the crime and its motivations haven’t kept pace with technology.” [more inside]
Don't Make Me Steal - a Digital Media Consumption Manifesto.
2D BOY made around $100,000 in a week. That’s $50,000 each for writing a blog post about a game they finished a year ago. By letting people pay whatever they wanted. 2D Boy stirred up a lot of discussion (previously) about game piracy when they used online scoreboard data to estimate an 82% piracy rate for their fantastic indie game World of Goo (previously). For World of Goo's first birthday, they decided to try the Radiohead model and let people buy the game for any price they choose. Now they've released extensive data about the results. Short version? "A huge success," even though the most commonly chosen price was only a penny. [more inside]
Will Wright's PC game Spore was released yesterday. The 'Sim Everything' game from the creator of Sim City and The Sims takes the player from cellular growth to space colonization with several stages in between. Reviews are in, and the consensus is that it's good but not as legendary as its scope (and multi-year development cycle) would suggest. The game's 'draconian' DRM has sparked controversy, causing Amazon users to bomb it with one-star reviews.
Ubisoft's demo of the new King Kong PC game comes with a lovely surprise: StarForce copy protection software. Starforce installs a device driver with no warning, and many users have complained that it causes system instability. It also appears totally contrary to the idea of allowing users to copy the demo between one another (effectively robbing Ubisoft of free advertising). As with any form of copy protection it appears StarForce is simply an annoyance to the casual user, while the dedicated pirates are well on their way to cracking it.