Forums - Gaming Discussion - Naughty Dog co-founder: “We’ve lost millions to Piracy”

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There is no way to claim a dollar lost to piracy. All of those figures are based on an assumption that "If someone didn't buy/download a pirated version, they would have bought the full priced version" which is provably not true.

I would wager that a very small portion of the people who pirate games would ever actually shell out the money for a commercial copy



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I knew a lot of people with chipped PS1's too and I a few mates defo had the Crash games. I'm sure ND lost money to piracy in those days, no doubt. Most likely millions too, they were big selling games which likely means they were some of the most pirated too.

Doubt they were as hurt nowadays though, Ps2 piracy struck later and PS3 piracy is all but non-existant. Maybe that Jak PSP game got hurt a bit, if that money would have even gone to ND.



Kasz216 said:
SWORDF1SH said:
Kasz216 said:

seems like a REALLY specific subjective situation to me.   I could eaisly note that I knew nobody with a chipped PS1.  Or PS2... only piracy ever being chipped Xboxes.

Also... that's not a lot.

It mor or less proves my point. 

The number of copies pirated that would of restulted in actual sales is generally very small and those piracy numbers are actually extremly small compared to other media.

Compare.

http://torrentfreak.com/top-10-most-pirated-movies-of-2009-091220/


How do you know? Thats seems subjective to me unless there was a study on every single game pirated.

I say a study on every single pirated game because each game game is a different case. People who bought Gran turismo pirated would of got it because they really wanted and would be more likely to buy it if they couldnt get it pirated than somebody who got, lets say, actua golf pirated because they are more likey to have got it pirated because they was curious or just got it because it was cheap.

My point is you can't say its say "The number of copies pirated that would of restulted in actual sales is generally very small and those piracy numbers are actually extremly small compared to other media."  without you actually providing the right facts and why provide a link to pirated movies but not top pirated game. So how can we compare?

Somebody made a good point on here though. Piracy in some cases can build up some franchises because when people get older they tend to start to buy the games. From my experience I got Metal Gear Solid and Gran Turismo pirated. I love them and bought MGS2, MGS3, MGS4, MGS1 (PSN), Gran Turismo 2, GT3, GT4, GT5P, GT5 at retail. Not a bad return from losing a few quid on 2 pirated game

That's a logical fallacy for sure to argue that each game is a unique situation.  If that's a case 90% of science would be usless.

Also uh... he posted a link to top pirated games.  So i responded with a link of the movies, it was about 10 times difference.

Though yeah, piracy does have a lot of positive effects too, I in general didn't want to get into it, because when you mention the positive effects people tend to get a bit pissy because it doesn't fit with their world view.


Sorry didn't see his list so I retract what I said about your link. But I stand by my opinion and I think it holds some weight. Each game would be a unique case for the reasons I said above. Crash being one of the more popular games would of had more people buying it pirated and also an higher percentage of the people buying it pirated would of bought it if piracy wasn't an option.

But anyway is there a study on piracy Would of/wouldn't of bought it ratio rate if piracy wasn't an option for games in general. Would genuinely like to see it.

Edit: I just read his links and 4M+ illeagal downloads for some games is huge. also consider that games retail for 4x as much than movies so 4x more of the profit lost. It also could be even more copies because 1 download can be burned onto numerous amount of disks.



Rpruett said:
It's just an excuse. Sales of all of this media is as high as it has ever been (With increasing costs and a poorer society in general) yet, Piracy is holding them back? Please. It's just an excuse for their shareholders. It's not looking at all of the facts just the selective ones.

Provide intrinsic value to your games and people won't pirate them, I guarantee it. People don't pirate World of Warcraft because there is no point. The value and fun being had on their servers is worth the fee and they don't really nickle and dime you until you get 2 expansions in. 


 People don't pirate WoW because they can't. Simple as that. The roots of the MMO genre come from making a game designed around combating the rife amounts of piracy in the Asian market - thats why they made games that were based not on the users computer but a host server - simply so people couldn't pirate it. It makes your example laughable to be honest, because WoW is the prime example of what a game company has to do to successfully counter piracy - make it not possible. Which is what Rubin pretty much says in this article, and is exactly where gaming is headed... give it 10 years or so and people won't pirate games, not because they offer incredible value but because like every MMO - you'll be going from some sort of authetication server.

I don't know if you read the article but this doesn't come across as an 'excuse' or anything. It's just one of the most influencial people in console gaming talking about one of the big issues. Rubin is someone for whom anyone who calls themselves a gamer should have the upmost respect for and once again he's completely spot on with what he's saying. It's a shame the guys at the top of EA and Ubisoft don't have half as much of a clue as him.

 Tons of games with tons of intrinsic value get some of the highest pirating figures going - The Witcher, GTA, Final Fantasy's etc. The only truth with how much a game is pirated is how good it is - the better your game the more people pirate it. 



I'm tired of this fallacy. Piracy is bad, but each download is not a lost sale. Many if not most people who download have no intention of buying. Are rentals lost sales? Are borrowers lost sales? It's bullshit. Naughty Dog, and other devs, need to deal with the fact that not everyone thinks their games are God's gift to gamers. Many people think the Uncharted series is nothing more than an interactive movie. A movie they wouldn't pay to see in a theater for $10 let along buy for their PS3 for $60. Naughty Dog needs to get over themselves.



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Kasz216 said:
Dallinor said:
Googling 'Crash Bandicoot torrent' turns up 1.5 million hits. With various emulators for the PC and torrents for the PSP. Just a quick search of two torrent sites shows the game as being downloaded nearly 50k times, with some of the download links only being posted a few weeks ago.

It may well have lost them millions, the game could well have been pirated for over the past 10 years now.

No idea of the rough math, but what would it need? 300k pirated copies over 10 years at an average selling price of $10 to make a loss of $3m in revenue? Doesn't seem outside the realms of possibility to me at all. That's covering all 4 Crash games which were big sellers. (They're also still selling, I think I've bought the game 3 times now.) Then there's also the 4 Jax games.

The download links being posted a few weeks ago works AGAINST your point you realize right?

Also, where are the PS1 crash games selling that ND gets a piece of the cut from?

300K a year, over 10 years, where people would pay 10 bucks a copy seems really outside the realm of probability... I mean, look again at the numbers posted on the more popular sites, it's miniscule .

50K?  You'd be lucky if you got 500 sales outta 50K downloads.

No, I don't realize that, could you please explain.

They're selling on PSN.

I was actually saying 300k total. 300k copies sold at $10 over the 10 years. Not 300k a year.

What's the % relationship between downloads to purchases you're working with?



A thing of beauty, strength, and grace lies behind that whiskered face.

Leave Naughtydog alone damn it! Piracy indeed takes from devs, but millions? I wonder.



           

Dallinor said:
Kasz216 said:
Dallinor said:
Googling 'Crash Bandicoot torrent' turns up 1.5 million hits. With various emulators for the PC and torrents for the PSP. Just a quick search of two torrent sites shows the game as being downloaded nearly 50k times, with some of the download links only being posted a few weeks ago.

It may well have lost them millions, the game could well have been pirated for over the past 10 years now.

No idea of the rough math, but what would it need? 300k pirated copies over 10 years at an average selling price of $10 to make a loss of $3m in revenue? Doesn't seem outside the realms of possibility to me at all. That's covering all 4 Crash games which were big sellers. (They're also still selling, I think I've bought the game 3 times now.) Then there's also the 4 Jax games.

The download links being posted a few weeks ago works AGAINST your point you realize right?

Also, where are the PS1 crash games selling that ND gets a piece of the cut from?

300K a year, over 10 years, where people would pay 10 bucks a copy seems really outside the realm of probability... I mean, look again at the numbers posted on the more popular sites, it's miniscule .

50K?  You'd be lucky if you got 500 sales outta 50K downloads.

No, I don't realize that, could you please explain.

They're selling on PSN.

I was actually saying 300k total. 300k copies sold at $10 over the 10 years. Not 300k a year.

What the % relationship between downloads to purchases you're working with?

 I  believe the Crash games are also now avaliable on all PS Suite compatible android phones and will slowly be making their way to the entire Android market. 



SWORDF1SH said:
Kasz216 said:
SWORDF1SH said:
Kasz216 said:

seems like a REALLY specific subjective situation to me.   I could eaisly note that I knew nobody with a chipped PS1.  Or PS2... only piracy ever being chipped Xboxes.

Also... that's not a lot.

It mor or less proves my point. 

The number of copies pirated that would of restulted in actual sales is generally very small and those piracy numbers are actually extremly small compared to other media.

Compare.

http://torrentfreak.com/top-10-most-pirated-movies-of-2009-091220/


How do you know? Thats seems subjective to me unless there was a study on every single game pirated.

I say a study on every single pirated game because each game game is a different case. People who bought Gran turismo pirated would of got it because they really wanted and would be more likely to buy it if they couldnt get it pirated than somebody who got, lets say, actua golf pirated because they are more likey to have got it pirated because they was curious or just got it because it was cheap.

My point is you can't say its say "The number of copies pirated that would of restulted in actual sales is generally very small and those piracy numbers are actually extremly small compared to other media."  without you actually providing the right facts and why provide a link to pirated movies but not top pirated game. So how can we compare?

Somebody made a good point on here though. Piracy in some cases can build up some franchises because when people get older they tend to start to buy the games. From my experience I got Metal Gear Solid and Gran Turismo pirated. I love them and bought MGS2, MGS3, MGS4, MGS1 (PSN), Gran Turismo 2, GT3, GT4, GT5P, GT5 at retail. Not a bad return from losing a few quid on 2 pirated game

That's a logical fallacy for sure to argue that each game is a unique situation.  If that's a case 90% of science would be usless.

Also uh... he posted a link to top pirated games.  So i responded with a link of the movies, it was about 10 times difference.

Though yeah, piracy does have a lot of positive effects too, I in general didn't want to get into it, because when you mention the positive effects people tend to get a bit pissy because it doesn't fit with their world view.


Sorry didn't see his list so I retract what I said about your link. But I stand by my opinion and I think it holds some weight. Each game would be a unique case for the reasons I said above. Crash being one of the more popular games would of had more people buying it pirated and also an higher percentage of the people buying it pirated would of bought it if piracy wasn't an option.

But anyway is there a study on piracy Would of/wouldn't of bought it ratio rate if piracy wasn't an option for games in general. Would genuinely like to see it.

Edit: I just read his links and 4M+ illeagal downloads for some games is huge. also consider that games retail for 4x as much than movies so 4x more of the profit lost. It also could be even more copies because 1 download can be burned onto numerous amount of disks.

Been looking, it's a pain in the ass to find ANYTHING pirate related anymore though.  Lot easier to read the stuff in academic journals when it comes out.

In general though it's common sense.

I mean think about it.  

A) The cost of piracy is essentially zero.  So actually the more expensive the loss is essentially an inverse relationship.   As an example, a friend of mine gave almost everybody he knew a copy of Paintshop Pro.  A program that is thousands of dollars.

Nobody he gave it to had ANY intention of buying the professional grade program, and only got it because it was "A Cool updated paint".  

I mean, assume for a minute you decided "You know what, piracy is fine."   Woulda you download every game you had the slightest interest in, even stuff like say... the Ironman movie tie ins, if you liked Ironman, even though you KNOW it's gonna suck?  Or maybe a game like Haze or Lair or some other game that's knon for being epically bad?

Shit if I was a pirate, i'd pirate everything from Call of Duty to Barbie games, just to see how Barbie game mechanics work... and neither are games I'd ever buy.

B) A lot of pirates tend to hold MASSIVE libraries, of pirated everything, because why not?   If the average person owned 30 albums, the average pirate would usually own 35 albums then have an illegal library of like 300-400 Albums worth of music often with multiple copies of the same thing, just because.  Your average pirate is going to have more games then they'll ever play, because essentially they can download everything, and give anything a try.

C)  People who are getting copies of games on disc from other people didn't even think the game was worth the effort to download... let alone buy.

D)  The highest rates of piracy are in countires like Armenia.  Per Capita GDP $6,400.

Essentially when looking at piracy you have to look at pretty much western nations only... and even more so, mostly the United States, if we're going off a "would of bought it anyway" model, then you've got to take out the archivists, the poor, redownloads (A lot more common then you'd think).



superchunk said:
haxxiy said:
You can't lose what you never owned in first place, so...


God, I hate that rebuttal. Its just stupid, childish, and plainly ignorant of basic logic.

Would 100% of those pirating pay for what they pirate if there were no way to pirate? No, of course not. But, to assume that none would is also just as idiotic.

ANY item being pirated is losing income as a good % of those stealing a copy would have paid for it. There is money lost on the part of the content creators.

Well the example in the article was the ND dude buying a CD with Crash games on it for $1. So people are paying already. If there was no piracy these people would not buy new games, they would buy used, the vast amjority of them anyway. So I think companies are blowing smoke by claiming any substational loss in sales from piracy. Their loss in sales might amount to about 1%, if that, of the number of pirated games distributed.

I also know people who, with movies, rationalise that studios are making money off them because they are seeing movies in the cinema, and they by some movies legitimately on DVD/Blu-ray. But they figure the legit spending they do is more than enough money going to the studions, actors, writers etc etc, so they also obtain a certain proportion of their movies through piracy. No doubt there are gamers like that too. They know developers need to get some of their money, so they buy some games new, and they pirate others. Again, if there was no piracy they'd buy used, or rent.



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