By Crash_Happy 9 Comments
The Internet is 80% Porn.
1 in 4 people will suffer a mental health problem during their lifetime.
9 out of 10 cats prefer a particular brand of food.
There are so many downright false statistics out there that when various reports come out claiming that x% of console or pc systems have run illegal software, I don't really take it in. Are there really that many people with modded consoles? In todays supposedly online world, it just doesn't seem it would be that attractive to do.
I would also have to assume that the games industry is taking a leaf out of the film and music industry's handbook. Complain, alot. I mean there some research out there that suggests that the very people that download films and music are the very same people that spend alot of money on those products. A try before you buy maybe? I don't know and I think that research wise, it would be difficult to cover and it's early days.
Speaking of research, where do they come up with these statistics? If you just go around asking people they'll surely be a percentage that lie? I suppose with enough work you could account for that within a certain margin of error... I think so anyway.
So ok let's assume that you can devise some clever set of surveys that establish a fairly reliable percentage of users buy illegal software. So the next step, how on earth do you work out how much? And once you do come up with a figure for how many titles they might on average, obtain from an unofficial source, can you truely put a cash amount to that that reflects lost income? Surely at least some of those titles would never have been bought. Should they really be included?
All that aside I never fail to be stunned at the amount of people I know that own illegal games. These people are not hardened warez dudez. They're the twin set and pearls brigade in sensible jobs, married with children. They couldn't work out how to download a pirate film for love nor money, they might not have even owned a DVD player for very long and look at you all confused if you say "Blueray".
In short, these are not 'core gamers'. I don't know, maybe the hardcore enjoy owning the product too much to pirate? They'll take all the night-vision goggles you can sell and yelp with glee at the idea of thrusting their arm into a pip-boy. I think that the current illegal games market is too complicated for any of the current reports of research to really explain. Maybe it does begin with people just enjoying something for nothing, but with retail prices climbing are the publishers helping that? I'm not convinced we'll know any time soon how prevalent it really is.