Home > Computer gaming, General > Why PC gaming piracy has lost

Why PC gaming piracy has lost


Softwre piracy is a very controversial topic. Some people see it as theft, others as freedom from companies charging ridiculous prices, a way to strike back. In some ways, the situation has slowly been getting worse year after year. New networks come online to share. In turn more effort is put into shutting down those networks and suing the users on the network. Copy protection methods in products keeps getting more and more exotic as crackers find ways around protection.

It has actually come to the point now where it’s easier and more hassle free to buy a computer game, install and play. With the exotic new Starforce, SecuROM, and SafeDisc protections, the effort involved in cracking the games is no longer worth it. Just when you think you’ve got it working, a new update patch comes out that updates the game, and suddenly your crack no longer works. So the cycle goes on and on. Some games can be played fine with the “Gold” release, but many others are buggy and therefore need the patches.

Console gaming is generally devoid of this issue on the newer platforms, especially the Playstation 3. Because it’s Blu-ray based, no games have yet been pirated, nor the system chipped. I know an image of a game was made by using Linux on the console, but whether that game could be burnt and played I never found out.I don’t know about Xbox360, but I assume it’s also near impossible to break. With the console, you also get the added bonus of that the game will run, unlike on a PC where your system might be too slow or old.

After seeing first hand the effort that goes into trying to get a new game to work as a pirate copy, I believe it’s simply easier to buy the original and enjoy it. Sometimes the price is too high, but often enough games end up in the bargain bin quickly, and you can pick up some good stuff for pretty cheap. I have picked up quite a few classics that way. Best of all, I’ve supported the guys who make a living from making the games, so it feels good.

The war will go and on, much as it always has, but slowly I think that piracy will end up fighting a losing battle. Every copy protection system will be cracked, but the time and effort involved may slow down crack releases a lot. If the game companies can just reduce the prices of games a bit, more and more people would turn legit again.

PC Gaming may never recover the limelight it once had thanks to consoles, but if piracy rates come down, along with prices, some good growth may again occur.

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