GDC 2011: Piracy is not theft

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" Tells Indie Game Summit to treat pirates as potential customers: “Make a game last longer than a week.”

Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson told the closing session at GDC’s Indie Games Summit yesterday that the notion of piracy as theft is false.

“Piracy is not theft,” he said. Referencing the most common anti-piracy argument, he said: “If you steal a car, the original is lost. If you copy a game, there are simply more of them in the world.”

“There is no such thing as a ‘lost sale’,” he said, debunking another popular myth. “Is a bad review a lost sale? What about a missed ship date?”

Noting that most people want to do what is far and right, he suggests developers see pirates not as inherently evil, but as potential customers. He echoes a familiar theme for this year’s GDC, one that was mentioned on Monday by Rovio, countering Nintendo’s assertion that cheap, disposable games give the impression that all games should be cheap and disposable: the notion of games as services.

Like Rovio’s Angry Birds, Notch’s Minecraft is constantly updated. The game was put on sale in its alpha state, and at one point sold 350,000 copies in a single day; when the game entered beta and he raised the price by 50 per cent, sales doubled. “Treat game development as a service,” he says. “Make a game last longer than a week. You can’t pirate an online account. ”
Source: http://www.next-gen.biz/news/gdc-2011-piracy-is-not-theft-says-minecraft-creator
 
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Like most gamers will, I agree with the view presented above. Stealing a car and copying a disk are completely different, and while I've cut back a lot on my piracy in recent years, I still dabble in it from time to time. Fact is, if a product is good enough, people will pay to play it, and they'll pay to keep playing it. WoW is a commercial success because it's constantly evolving and there's reason enough to keep playing, or at the very least, return for a while each expansion (that and you gotta pay $20/month).

Your average PC title which goes for 10-15 hours and then is over is more susceptible to piracy than one where the player is going to keep coming back for countless hours.
 
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Average PC title these days are 5-7 hours...not kidding sadly.

If they were 10-15, I'd buy more, like older games used to be. I still buy a few games a year, but not as much as I'd like to, but when I read all my friends saying they beat it in 4 hours, and MP isn't that fun...and it's a 60$ Price tag...
 

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