With the announcement of a large video game piracy group in China to cease pirating single-player games for a year, is this the beginning of the end for piracy in the video game industry?
Reportedly a prominent group by the name of 3DM in China has experienced great difficulty in an attempt to crack the latest Just Cause game, which has lead to it taking a break for a year to “see how it affects genuine sales”. This step back is due to the complexity of encryption used to protect the games, which has resulted in much slower progress in cracking games.
Generally, games are cracked and available online to download sometimes even on the day of release which supposedly results in a huge loss of sales for the developer.
Unless you are a die-hard fan willing to throw your money at an expensive pre-order with the inclusive season pass, and extra downloadable content, games are easily affordable by the target market in 2016. This is most true in the PC gaming market as many have powerful, purpose-built machines that cost sizable amounts of money and so games are a negligible cost and often at a much lower cost than console games.
Additionally, many of the most popular games are now available to people free of charge (with micro-transactions of course), but these are dependent on an active Internet connection such as Dota 2, Team Fortress 2 and Hearthstone.
That said the 3DM forums apparently attract millions of visitors every month. It would be interesting to know what percentage of gamers are downloading the pirated material or if they are being sold on further by crime syndicates.
So whether or not this is the beginning of the end of piracy will remain to be seen. Personally, I doubt it.
Are you a gaming pirate? What motivates you to steal other people’s work?