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Piracy's Toll On Mac Gaming


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#1 IMG News

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 09:00 AM

A recent article by Macworld's Peter Cohen examines the impact of piracy on the Mac gaming market. Cohen discusses the magnitude of the problem with key figures in the Mac gaming industry, and studies the potential solutions.

Vice President Colin Lynch Smith told me that his company estimates that up to 50 percent of the copies of its games that are played online are stolen...

Destineer President Peter Tamte tells me that the difference I’ve described between sell-through and update downloads is more common than not. He said that when his company shipped its squad-based first-person shooter First to Fight last year, it found within a few weeks that more people were trying to log on to multiplayer servers with a single banned serial number than the total number of copies Destineer had sold combined.

Aspyr Media Director of Development Glenda Adams didn’t have much better news. She sees the industry inevitably heading towards more copy protection systems like Steam, a scheme created by Valve Software, makers of Half-Life 2. Steam requires players to have an online connection to validate their software each time they want to play.

Feral Interactive’s Edwin Smith said that on any given day, dozens of copies of its games can be found being downloaded from pirate sites that use BitTorrent.
The rest of the article can be found at the link below.
Return to Full Article - InsideMacGames News


#2 striderdm1

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 09:08 AM

we all love our Apple Macs, so why are some of us doing this?? Would you not moan when certain companies go bust and then the Mac games are no more? I'm sure you would.... I know I would!!

I want to buy Call of Duty 2, but i cannot afford it for another couple of months. But this doesn't mean i'm stupid enough to search on a torrent server. Don't kill Mac gaming - save up and buy your games!!!

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#3 Quicksilver

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 09:27 AM

I think that the problem with First To Fight was primarily that it was a very flawed game that no one wanted to pay for (but would play, if it was free since there was a serious lack of new games for the Mac).  

The games that get selected to be ported to the Mac still boggles my mind.  They port steaming piles of crap like FTF and Zoo Tycoon 2, while completely ignoring games like Mechwarrior 4, Republic Commando, Max Payne 2, and Hitman.
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#4 Sternum

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 09:42 AM

View PostQuicksilver, on June 19th 2006, 09:27 AM, said:

I think that the problem with First To Fight was primarily that it was a very flawed game that no one wanted to pay for (but would play, if it was free since there was a serious lack of new games for the Mac).  

The games that get selected to be ported to the Mac still boggles my mind.  They port steaming piles of crap like FTF and Zoo Tycoon 2, while completely ignoring games like Mechwarrior 4, Republic Commando, Max Payne 2, and Hitman.

The decision to port one game over another is a little more complicated than just personal preference. There are licensing issues, source-code compatibility, and the basic economics of hours spent porting versus estimated sales. Apparently, someone crunched the numbers and decided that, all things considered, Zoo Tycoon 2 was a more viable option than Max Payne 2.

#5 Quicksilver

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 09:44 AM

View PostSternum, on June 19th 2006, 10:42 AM, said:


The decision to port one game over another is a little more complicated than just personal preference. There are licensing issues, source-code compatibility, and the basic economics of hours spent porting versus estimated sales. Apparently, someone crunched the numbers and decided that, all things considered, Zoo Tycoon 2 was a more viable option than Max Payne 2.


My point is, whoever did the math on FTF needs to go back to school.  :P
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#6 Frigidman™

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 09:50 AM

Here Here! Quicksilver. Well said.

They should do an analysis on "quality of game vs amount of piracy".

Of course the argument always given in regards to that is... if its worth playing at all, then its worth paying for.

Then of course those who argue that have their heads up their ass, because charging $60 for a really shoddy game that is only worth $10... is going to promote piracy of it, not purchases.

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#7 converted2truth

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 10:09 AM

View PostQuicksilver, on June 19th 2006, 09:44 AM, said:

My point is, whoever did the math on FTF needs to go back to school.  :P
FTF was/is a good game.  They created a new sub-genre to FPS that's pretty cool, and alot of fun to play.  People pirate games cause they're freeloading 15yr old+ asholes.  Freeloaders...   Our society is moving to into a morally imbalanced paradigm where people are no longer accountable for their actions.  You guys all saw the matrix... CAUSALTIY.  When the rythm of cause&effect are skewed, it's time for a RELOAD. hehe

No seriously, people think that the lack of consequence implies that it is no crime.  Is it legal to rob a bank so long as you do not get caught?  

I guess this is tangent and is probably an entire thread unto itself (that probably already exists).

Anyways, FTF is a cool game.  Very specific in its play, etc... but good.  people pirate cause they are asholes.
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#8 electricdawn

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 10:09 AM

OMG, not this discussion again....

I have said it before, I say it again. These people that have copied the game, wouldn't have bought it in the first place!

We keep hearing these horror stories more and more, so the publishers can prepare the ground for even more restricting copy protection measures that only do what?

Right, limiting their legal and loyal (wonder how long) customers. Cracked copies don't have the copy protections measures! So people who download these copies have no problem with it. Is that so hard to get?

If the trend to invoke more and "better" copy protection continues, you will see less and less customers, because they just won't bother. I myself will never buy a game that uses Steam, or Starforce.

Producers, think of what you're doing, before you shovel your own grave eventually, by driving away your up to now loyal customers!

v/r, E.

Usual Disclaimer: I don't advocate piracy and I will not do it myself. Just to make that clear...Otherwise the thought police will be all over me...  ;)

#9 Frigidman™

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 10:33 AM

"Sticking your damned CD in every time to play" was a complete and utter joke. I buy games, I don't want to be inconvenienced, so I SEEK OUT those NoCD patches. That does not make me a pirate... it makes me a disgruntled buyer who says F@%^# YOU to the developers for putting that crap in the game to inconvenience the legitimate buyers like us.

"Have to be online to start the game, even though its a fricken solo game" will make me not want the game period. What if I want to play on my laptop while on the road, or don't have internet because it went down again. What, so I have to wait around to get a connection finally just to start up a game that won't be using the connection in the first place? Gimmie a break.

Every scheme they come up with, there is a way around it in the form of patches.

The only games that get away from piracy (I think?), are MMORPGs. Because the only way to play them, is online with a paying account and serial number. Or have people pirated WoW already too? Wouldn't surprise me... pirates are very clever beasts.

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#10 Blackshawk

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 10:35 AM

Quote

I have said it before, I say it again. These people that have copied the game, wouldn't have bought it in the first place!
How does that justify what they are doing? Do you know why game developers and porters exist? To make money. That's why every business exists. Game developers/porters, supermarkets, ad agencies, computer makers, magazines, clothing designers, soda makers, lawn servicers, my newspaper..... We are all working for one cause, and that is to make money, and as much of it as we possibly can. Do we not have the right to paid for our services and products? Why should others benefit from our labor for nothing?

What you say about copy protection schemes alienating the customers is bogus. That's like saying people won't shop at a clothing store because they employ a security guard, or because they have remote sensors in place to detect shoplifters. I don't see the Mac gaming community (the honest ones!) suffering too terribly from more intrusive counter-piracy measures. Have to have an internet connection to register? So? Most of us buy our games from an online store anyways. Surely we can spare two seconds to allow our legally purchased game to authenticate itself on an online server. You probably won't even notice it happening unless you stole the game and a window pops up saying "HaXorZ! Die!"
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#11 bradc

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 10:36 AM

Quote

I think that the problem with First To Fight was primarily that it was a very flawed game that no one wanted to pay for (but would play, if it was free since there was a serious lack of new games for the Mac).

The games that get selected to be ported to the Mac still boggles my mind. They port steaming piles of crap like FTF and Zoo Tycoon 2, while completely ignoring games like Mechwarrior 4, Republic Commando, Max Payne 2, and Hitman.

FTF wasn't a port!  It was developed simultaneously for Xbox/PC/Mac by Destineer.

And as someone else said, it's not like the Mac game publishers say "Hmmmm .... Let's port some crappy games to the Mac."  There are all kinds of decisions that go into something like that.  Don't forget, for example, the fact that middleware like the Havok physics engine doesn't always exist for the Mac, and GameSpy jacked up their rates for Mac game publishers.

On top of that, game quality is subjective.  Just because you think a game is flawed doesn't mean that everyone agrees with you.

#12 strangemax

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 10:40 AM

I don't mind most piracy restrictions. I would not buy a game that requires an internet connection to play or one that can only be loaded on one computer. I do wish that one license would include a lan play only client, so that I could play with a group of friends, etc., without all of us having to buy a copy.
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#13 dorkhero

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 10:44 AM

Bitch, whine, and moan...  Want to sell more Mac games?

MAKE BETTER GAMES!!!!!

I am sick-to-death of crappy ports of old PC games. There are Mac game companies out there (You know who you are!) who do nothing but port the PC games they think will sell on the Mac. Yet they ignore many best selling PC games that have shown themselves to be profit makers, so we can have yet another insipid Sims expansion.

The Sims are like a vampire. You can keep staking it through the heart, but until you cut off the head, it will keep coming back. Sims!? How about some freaking FLIGHT SIMS! Want a new Mac flight sim? Fling a Sims disk toward the trash can...

(There, it's out, I feel better now.)

A new Mac game comes out (PC port or not). I head to MacGameFiles.com and grab the demo. Sometimes the game doesn't like my Mac, but most of the time I don't like the game. Therefore, I don't buy the game. (I must be a pirate!) Want to sell me a game? Guess... just guess. (Hint: See sentence above. The one in ALL CAPS!)

What have I been liking, and buying? Stuff from small 'independent' Mac game makers, also known as shareware, because they produce 'original concepts'. Even here we are seeing PC ports (Weird Worlds, Jets & Guns, etc.) but even these are better than what Big Name publishers are putting out.

Mac users are not buying games? Must be piracy. Has to be piracy. Everyone should want to buy and play crappy games. Right?

Give me a second while I put on my asbestos sneakers... Ok, let the 'flames' begin.

#14 Frigidman™

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 10:54 AM

View PostBlackshawk, on June 19th 2006, 11:35 AM, said:

What you say about copy protection schemes alienating the customers is bogus. That's like saying people won't shop at a clothing store because they employ a security guard, or because they have remote sensors in place to detect shoplifters. I don't see the Mac gaming community (the honest ones!) suffering too terribly from more intrusive counter-piracy measures.
Thats a load of crap.

A security gaurd at the door doesn't inconvenience you. Neither does the remote sensors. Now if the gaurd followed you around and insisted that HE pick stuff off the shelf, instead of you, or if the remote sensors made you first have to sign in, or type some code for everything... then yeah, it would be a pain in the ass.

Making a game have 'schemes' that piss you off, is NOT the way to go about doing anything.

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#15 paulc

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 11:52 AM

Well, this is a complex issue that does NOT have simplistic "causes" like "piracy." Obviously, piracy is an issue, it is a detriment to the "Mac Game Market." But by NO means is it the only one, or the most important one.

One sure could make a VERY good case that if there is a single "cause" it might very well be Apple itself. Do any of you delude yourselves thinking that a year or two down the road anyone will "port" an A-List title to run under X? I bet ya 80% of the folks who are there first in line for an A-List game are going to be on the winblowz version on day zero.

#16 Quicksilver

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 12:52 PM

View PostFrigidman, on June 19th 2006, 11:33 AM, said:

I buy games, I don't want to be inconvenienced, so I SEEK OUT those NoCD patches. That does not make me a pirate... it makes me a disgruntled buyer who says F@%^# YOU to the developers for putting that crap in the game to inconvenience the legitimate buyers like us.


When I purchase a product, I expect to be able to use it anywhere I want to--whether it's on the road or at home, and while I don't care if [insert company here] knows how many times I use app XYZ app per day, as a matter of principle, I don't think that it's right to gather that kind of information without asking for my permission beforehand.  I do not allow applications that I own (even Apple apps) to phone home unless I specifically request it.

Besides, nobody has the right to tell me that I must be connected to the internet to use a piece of software, unless that software needs an internet connection for it to work.  Internet connections cost money, and I already paid for the program.

View PostBlackshawk, on June 19th 2006, 11:35 AM, said:

How does that justify what they are doing?
You're right--nothing justifies piracy, but when [insert organization here] cries and moans about how their hopelessly overpriced piece of software (versus the usefulness or quality of the offering in question) is being widely pirated, you have to raise your hand and mention the obvious fact that there's something wrong other than the fact that a certain percentage of people will pirate regardless of the price.

View Postbradc, on June 19th 2006, 11:36 AM, said:

FTF wasn't a port!  It was developed simultaneously for Xbox/PC/Mac by Destineer.

On top of that, game quality is subjective. Just because you think a game is flawed doesn't mean that everyone agrees with you.


Good point about FTF!  However, game quality is not and never will be subjective.
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#17 Matt Diamond

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 01:23 PM

View Postdorkhero, on June 19th 2006, 12:44 PM, said:

Bitch, whine, and moan...  Want to sell more Mac games?

MAKE BETTER GAMES!!!!!

I am sick-to-death of crappy ports of old PC games. There are Mac game companies out there (You know who you are!) who do nothing but port the PC games they think will sell on the Mac. Yet they ignore many best selling PC games that have shown themselves to be profit makers, so we can have yet another insipid Sims expansion.
[..]
Sims!? How about some freaking FLIGHT SIMS! Want a new Mac flight sim? Fling a Sims disk toward the trash can...

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#18 bookman

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 01:28 PM

I don't understand why people would react with anger toward Mac gaming companies because people are stealing their games.

What happened to sympathy? :(
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#19 FunkyGum

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 01:44 PM

Steam is complete and utter bullcrap.  I hate the idea that I have to log on to play a singleplayer portion of a game.  Give me a break, I paid for it, I should not have to suffer for the mistakes of the other idiots in the world.

Boycott software with these restrictions, its the only way to make our voice heard.
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#20 Mister Mumbles

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 01:56 PM

Besides, what hurts them hurts us. If people were to decide to all of the sudden to go only for Windows gaming the situation couldn't possibly get any better. Though, I'm not much of a fan of DRM, either. Now that would be a serious pain in the ass.

I still think people complain too much about the CD-check. It's a minor quibble, really. While the amount of laptop-users may have increased over the years, I'm very doubtful it has surpassed the desktop-users.
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