150°
Submitted by AbsoluteZelda 351d ago | opinion piece

Piracy is Never Justified

Gamnesia: "We've seen some interesting, if not wholly distasteful, trends in the industry the last 5 years. We have seen day one DLC (which most agree is silly), on disc DLC (again, locking out content you technically already paid for), DRM (attempting to prevent pirate players from playing), and naturally some always-online talk (which most agree is a silly concept). All of this is done mostly because of one simple factor: People pirate games... and they pirate a lot of them. While it's most rampant on PC's, consoles themselves are not inherently left out of the equation.

Personally, I can't deny that I have never pirated a game. I have, just once, and at the time I felt my reasoning was justified. It was a game lacking a demo, and I felt entitled to "try before I buy". To many pirates, this is a logical excuse we use to reason with our own self morals. Of course, this is but one of the reasons pirates have for stealing games. The problem with every excuse out there becomes the fact that none of them actually truly morally justify stealing a game." (3DS, Android, iPad, iPhone, Nintendo DS, PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4, PSP, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One)

kirbyu  +   351d ago
I'm glad to finally see someone agree with me on this instead of actually TELLING ME I SHOULD DO IT, but it bugs me how he didn't give any reasons to why you shouldn't pirate OLD games.
DarkBlood  +   351d ago
well i sort of see it like this if a particular title is not for sale on any device or available in any stores *not counting used or not i dont know* then do as you please

but if it is then well do it the right way i guess but it would be pointless telling them that we all know what we are already choosing to do
iamtehpwn  +   351d ago
"Piracy is Never Justified"

Fun fact: If you buy a used game, *NONE* of that money goes to the developers. It goes back to the vendor, in example, Gamestop. This is why Gamestop will always try to convince you to buy a used game instead of a new one. This is also why there was talks of trying to limit used games and stuff.

Used games aren't significantly different than Piracy to the developer.
kirbyu  +   351d ago
Interesting thoughts. I never realized that. But I don't usually buy games used anyway.
MikeMyers  +   351d ago
The difference is you legally obtained it. Your game system will not recognize it as an illegal copy. Gamestop is also legally allowed to sell used games. Publishers know this and accept it. They can try and get laws made to prevent it but until that happens you are legally able to purchase and obtain that content. Can you name one torrent site that is legally allowed to offer you those games for free?

The problem really stems from people thinking it is their right. They have somehow convinced themselves it's ok.

edit,
DragonKnight is right, used games still have money flowing. A person buys it new, sells it and perhaps uses that revenue to buy more new games. The used game owner may also purchase DLC. A person who pirates never invested in the first place. You have no money trail, therefore nobody has made an investment. Juts a bunch of people playing for free. Some may go and buy the game after but chances are most of them won't.
#1.2.2 (Edited 351d ago ) | Agree(9) | Disagree(6) | Report
DragonKnight  +   351d ago
@iamtehpwn: For one, used games have a finite limit. Two, used games were at one point purchased NEW games. Piracy is limitless so long as it's hosted and it doesn't always require a purchased new game to be the uploaded file.
MestreRothN4G  +   351d ago
If a game isn't resellable, it is worth less. A lot of people wouldn't buy a 60 USD game it if wasn't resellable.

Devs got money for any resold game.
dark-hollow  +   351d ago
Fun fact: used copies are once new copies so the their worth already went to the developer.

pirated copies are not. sure you could argue that the origins of the pirated copy is once a new bought copy that has been uploaded to torrent sites but the thing is, used copies usually go from couple persons maximum. from the store/ your friend and etc. while ONE pirated copy goes to THOUSANDS of people.
Kratoscar2008  +   351d ago
Someone already paid for the used game when it was new,the developer got the money.

Thats a stupid logic.
thebudgetgamer  +   351d ago
That's wrong, a used copy was purchased at one point so the company got their money for that product. A pirated games brings money to no one. Just like buying a used Ford is not the same as grand theft auto.
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hazelamy  +   351d ago
100% wrong pwn, no, 1000% wrong.

you buy preowned, you know the developer got paid for it.
you know the developer got what they were legally entitled to.
with piracy, the copy you buy/download, you know they never got paid.

only mindless sheep fall for the industry propaganda that preowned is anything at all like piracy.

none of the money i spend on a preowned title goes to the developer true, but they have no right to any of that money, legally, their rights end once i've bought the game, unless i'm actually breaking the law, and selling on my games is still 100% legal, so they have zero say in the matter.

you say it goes to gamestop, or any other retailer, well, not all of it.
what about the original buyer?
they get money back for their game, or more likely they get credit used to buy new games.

and what about when it's a private sale, most of my preowned buys have been older games from private sellers, at car boot sales usually.
no store.

the publishers think they deserve a cut there?

the publishers are allowed to recoup some money on their investment, but the buyers aren't?

and people say gamers are overly entitled?

i just don't get this Stockholm syndrome that some people suffer from when it comes to publishers going after something they legally have no right to.

they actually compare preowned buyer to criminals when it's the publishers that are ignoring the law.
lizard81288  +   350d ago
Gamestop will always try to convince you to buy a used game instead of a new one.
One time, GS was going to sell me a used game without even telling me it was used.

They said, "we're sorry, but we are out of used copies, would you like to buy it new?"

I was a bit mad, but I wanted it new, rather than used, so I wonder how many games they sold used, without telling people it was used?...
SilentNegotiator  +   351d ago
That's because there aren't very good reasons why you should feel bad for downloading really old games. Unless the (original) developer has it on GoG or some other means to purchase it.
#1.3 (Edited 351d ago ) | Agree(4) | Disagree(2) | Report | Reply
ApolloTheBoss  +   351d ago
That's like telling me It's never justified to steal from the rich in order to give to the poor. Personally I'll only pirate a game that is YEARS old, from a previous generation that I never had a chance to play. They've made their money from it so there's no harm being done, but I never pirate brand new games. Also this: Companies like EA deserve to be pirated. Simply because they are already being unfair to their customers and squeezing them for every penny they've got via Online passes and sh*tloads of DLC, so how is what EA's doing justified and not piracy?
#2 (Edited 351d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(12) | Report | Reply
kirbyu  +   351d ago
True, the developers have made their money, but has the retro game store where you could buy one. And no, this is nothing like stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. No one but you is benefiting from you playing a pirated game. And yeah sure, EA is a terrible company, but their employees deserve their jobs don't they?
ApolloTheBoss  +   351d ago
I would rather download one retro game on the internet for free than waste my time and money looking for this rare game I'll probably never find at my local pawn shop. I'm a good guy, I really am, but one person who decides to stop pirating out of the millions who will continue to do so won't make a difference unfortunately. When it comes to an EA employee who depends on a games success for the security of their job, what the real problem would be is ridiculously high expectations of sales, which is a very troublesome mindset too many publishers share in the industry today. When said game fails to meet these expectations, that's when the layoffs start, a loss of a job just because a game didn't meet it's desired mark. A game that didn't sell well didn't do so because of piracy, it didn't sell well because of lack of advertising.

Like I said before I don't pirate from those who I believe deserve my money for an innovative, story-driven experience, or any game of this generation or the one before that. You don't have to like it, that's just how I see things.

@Unicron
@MikeMyers

You both are right. I don't have to buy their games and I haven't done it for a while. But that doesn't mean I can't despise their business practices.
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Unicron  +   351d ago
Don't like ea's practices? Don't buy their games. No one is forcing you to buy the games or dlc they publish. Doesn't mean piracy is thus okay, because its not ea you hurt, it's the developer who will really suffer.

No one "deserves" to be pirated. You want to stand up to their practices, do it the way that matters. All piracy leads to is more bs drm methods.
MikeMyers  +   351d ago
That doesn't make any sense. You are treating EA as an entity with no soul. They have thousands of employees that work there. If they get let go because software sales decline you'll just excuse yourself by saying the games aren't that good even if part of the problem is people like you who think it's ok to not support them but still play their games.

Nobody is forcing you to buy EA games. If you don't like supporting online passes or DLC then don't play them. It really is that simple. Gaming is a hobby, not a right.
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1OddWorld  +   351d ago
EA is an entity and has a soul, but it doesn't care about its customers, employees or morality, only profits. By law that is all it can care about.
MikeMyers  +   351d ago
If you feel they don't care about its customers then stop being one. That's the best way to try and get them to change their ways. Either that or address them directly through the forums or whatever. If they still don't listen then support the developers who do. Either way doesn't justify piracy.

This entitlement attitude is really getting out of hand. Gaming is a hobby, not a right. EA can do as they please and if they continue to mess up they will see their sales decline. Piracy does not dictate anything. It does not tell them what games are good or bad, what games came with a demo or not, which games were milked with DLC, which games were priced too high and so on. All it is is anonymous people wanting to play it for free while trying to justify why they don't think they should pay for it.
calis  +   351d ago
" Also this: Companies like EA deserve to be pirated. Simply because they are already being unfair to their customers and squeezing them for every penny they've got via Online passes and sh*tloads of DLC, so how is what EA's doing justified and not piracy?"

You sir, are a moron.

Don't like it, don't buy it.
jeffgoldwin  +   351d ago
@Yoemite

"EA is an entity and has a soul"

Newsflash: companies and other such inanimate objects do not have souls. Only people do (maybe animals, but prolly not so much).
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ifritAlkhemyst  +   351d ago
These sort of articles never compute with me. The only people that will agree with you are the people who already agree with you. The pirates don't need to morally justify anything they do and nothing you say is going to correct that.
Qrphe  +   351d ago
Exactly, pirates aren't going to change their ways just because you tell them it's "wrong."
calis  +   351d ago
"Exactly, pirates aren't going to change their ways just because you tell them it's "wrong."

Then I guess there is no point in articles on cancer, it won't go away. Or delving into the psyche of murderers since murderers will always murder.
rainslacker  +   351d ago
If they don't have to morally justify it, then why do so many of them often do so?

I do agree with your assessment though. peoples minds are pretty much made up on the subject. However that doesn't mean that people can't change their perceptions. I used to be a heavy pirater, even installed lots of mod chips back in the day, then one day just stopped because I realized all those moral justifications to myself were just wrong.

These kinds of articles are either for hits, or to bring the discussion about again. Possibly in the interest of swaying common consensus. Nothing wrong with reopening a debate of this nature.
THamm  +   351d ago
The interesting thing of course is being burned for 65 on a game that's not worth 5 after all the paid reviews out there. The market has been dirty on both sides and yes a demo of all games should be made.
#4 (Edited 351d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
Jirachi  +   351d ago
bull games like radiant historia cost too much to buy(300 last i checked) plus pirated games give me save states retail games don't.
why should i pay more for an inferior version?
GraveLord   351d ago | Immature | show | Replies(2)
isarai  +   351d ago
LOL really? so instead of simply downloading an extremely rare NES game i should instead buy it for thousands of dollars from some collector? that's really no different than pirating it since either way the money is not going to the publisher, so i'd rather not spend two months rent on a game when i could play it for free.

Even on newer games, publishers these days have a bad habit of making games look WAY better then they are, and far too often have i payed $60 for something that ended up being complete garbage and wasn't anything like advertised. In these cases, when a demo is not available and i am completely unsure if i find it worth my money, i use pirating as a way to test the game out, if it's good then i buy it, if not, then great i didn't waste my money on something i wouldn't have enjoyed.
rainslacker  +   351d ago
I think the biggest problem is that the few somewhat morally justifiable reasons that exist for piracy, such as you mentioned, or demoing a game, getting around draconian DRM on legally purchased copies, etc, are far outweighed by the negative effects that it brings.
jon1234  +   351d ago
sure it is, back when i was younger i couldnt afford a single game, but now that im older, i dont need to anymore :)
#8 (Edited 351d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(4) | Report | Reply
k2d  +   351d ago
Not even when piracy isnt to blame for failing sales.

Not even when piracy helps sales.

Not even when piracy is the only option .

List goes on..
Ken22  +   351d ago
If its a greedy company E.G. Ea,Activision etc...then its justified.
Supermax  +   351d ago
If its your money being used to make a game would you be ok with people pirating it
KrisButtar  +   351d ago
My friend is a pirate, all he does all day is burn stuff for people, but I would rather give him the $5, so I can play my sim city offline. Why because its the only option for me to be able to play the game
DragonKnight  +   351d ago | Well said
Piracy is justified if the following conditions are true.

1. Region locked games. Region locking is B.S. and an outdated practice that needs to die.

2. A developer/publisher refusing to release a game in another country for B.S. reasons like "the series doesn't generally sell well over there." But this is only legitimate if there is no option to import or download the game legally. Gamers who would have spent the money to buy the game shouldn't be punished because of business decisions.

3. The Final Fantasy Type-0 situation. Gamers don't care about a song in a game causing licensing issues. Gamers also don't care that that's being used as a lame excuse not to localize a game. Again, only applies if you can't import or download the game legally.

4. The Mother 3 issue. Just because some societies are stuck up and prudish, doesn't mean gamers should have to suffer not being able to play a game because said society doesn't like sexual themes or other "taboo" topics like that. Again, only applies if you can't import or download legally.

5. The game is old and can't be bought unless looking towards the used market. In this case, the developer wouldn't get the money either way. Most developers don't have a "retro store" where you can purchase their back catalog of games, and let's not forget that there seems to be some games that can't be sold today due to licensing issues that weren't a problem during the original release.

6. Finally, we come to the last example and that's being used as a "try before buy" system. Most games no longer have demos anymore because developers think that demos cost them sales and blame it on the consumers when in actuality it's their fault. Just as there are pre-rendered, high-res bullshots that developers release to hype people up for a game, only to have those images be proven to be a higher quality than what is in the final product; so to are there deceptive demos that are either outright lies (Aliens: Colonial Marines) or are just terribly made.

The other example of pirating a game to stick it to a publisher that is employing draconian business and DRM practices is not really a legitimate reason as it just shows them that you do want their game anyway. The better way to deal with this is simply to not buy it or show any interest in it in the slightest.
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Ken22  +   351d ago
Well said man heres a bubble.
darkpower  +   351d ago
Who the fuck are you and what did you do with DragonKnight?

Seriously, I don't think I've ever heard you justify anything LIKE this before! What changed your mind? Or was it just not the right subjects to bring this up in before?
DragonKnight  +   351d ago
I've never been completely against piracy and have defended it for the right circumstances. I just don't comment much on it to begin with though unless someone is saying something completely retarded. Also, I tend to NOT stick up for the majority of the developers or publishers who offer B.S. reasoning when it comes to piracy. I mean, when you look at developers like CDProjekt and what they said about piracy, vs the B.S. that EA always spews, it's easy to see which side of the fence you should be on.
Outside_ofthe_Box  +   351d ago
Coming from someone who hates piracy with a passion, I can't believe you came up with 5 LEGITIMATE reasons for pirating. I don't agree with reason 6 however.

The lack of a demo is not an excuse. If you must have a demo before buying the game either don't buy it (since you're obviously on the fence about it) or look up reviews and gameplay videos on youtube.

Can't people just use this as an excuse for every game they pirate?
"I'm just trying it out before I buy it"
"The demo wasn't enough so I needed more to try out before I buy it"
"The demo was horrible, I just wanted to see if the final build was horrible too"

Reason #6 is not justified.
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DragonKnight  +   351d ago
While I would agree, in part, with your gameplay video suggestion, it's not always the best solution. There are some things you can only judge by actually playing the game, and you shouldn't have to fork over $60 just to TRY the game out. Being on the fence isn't a bad thing. There shouldn't be a choice between being 100% hyped for the game or not being interested at all.

Also, just because some people would misuse the 6th reason, doesn't mean it's not a legitimate reason. If there were more options available to try out a game, then the 6th reason would be obsolete.

There are bad apples out there that are just cheap and pirate because of that reason. If you have an internet plan with the necessary bandwidth to pirate today's games, then you have enough money to buy games as long as none of the reasons I outlined are applicable.
Outside_ofthe_Box  +   351d ago
Personally I feel that every game should have a demo, but I also feel that developers are not obligated/required to give a demo for every game. If you aren't sold on a game then don't buy it or wait until it drops to a suitable price. Save yourself the $60.
DragonKnight  +   351d ago
That's reasonable. But, if a developer isn't required/obligated to give a demo, then they really have no right to complain about those people who pirate because they want to try the game out before they commit to paying full price for it. Again, people shouldn't have to be punished by being forced to wait just because a developer will invent a bogus reason to not release a decent demo.
rainslacker  +   351d ago
I think these are mostly valid reasons for piracy. Region locking doesn't necessarily have to be circumvented by piracy though. Modding is not piracy. But you did cover that in point two.

3 and 4 is kind of the same, but in this case it's likely a fansub version that your referring to, in which case, it would be nice if the pirate purchased the original, but the localized version would be the one played. hard to justify doing that for many. OTOH, not purchasing the original could show the company that there is a market for localized versions of certain types of games.

5. I believe if there is a legitimate resource for purchasing the game used, all steps should be taken to pursue that over pirating the game. At least that way some commerce is happening, and no laws are being broken. I know I'm tempted right now with Xenoblade chronicles because I won't spend that much on a used copy of a Wii game. Even as a collector.

6. Agree completely. Demoing with intent to buy I don't think people have a problem with. But it shouldn't be used as a way to make all piracy acceptable like many do. I do like how Sony PS+ has full game trials now though. Not as good as a demo sometimes, but still a step in the right direction. Would be better if it weren't behind a pay wall.

7. I don't mind piracy to circumvent draconian DRM on a legally purchased product. I've done it myself from time to time. Otherwise I agree with you. it's pretty obvious that if they're trying to send that message then the companies haven't received it or listened to it.

Sadly, the "valid" reasons for piracy are far outweighed by the actual harm it does to devs/pubs/industry. If this was all that was going on then I doubt anyone would care. But obviously there is a lot more invalid use going on.

Well said otherwise.:)
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Hicken  +   351d ago
I would pirate Phil Fish's games instead of buying them, but I don't want to play them in the first place.

That aside, what about older games that are no longer in print but cost ridiculous amounts for physical copies? Breath of Fire III, for example(I don't think the price is TOO high on it). I know it's a great game, but having to pay $150 for a PS1 game is a little crazy. Or games you can't get (in your language) in your area?

I think there are SOME reasons to pirate. Just not a lot. And not the ones people usually try to cite.
cyguration  +   351d ago
WTF are people supposed to do then when games like Batman Arkham City or Resident Evil, etc,. launch broke with GFWL and there is no patch to fix it? Seriously? Buy a new PC and try again? Format their entire hard drive and try again?

It's stupid because the only guaranteed working version for some games are the pirated version. Such a sad time we live in. There are people still begging MS and Warner Bros for a patch to fix GFWL, and since there is no fix some people have a $60 digital coaster on their hands.

*slow clap for more ball-licking gaming journalists doing the only thing they know how to do well*
Unicron  +   351d ago
Return it and stop buying things that don't work.... Send a message that things like sim city are not okay. "Oh but I love the series so ill just steal it" got us to where we are today. If people cannot play their game they need to hit up consumer protection or better business and get a refund. Make a difference instead of being self entitled. Just a thought.
cyguration  +   351d ago
You can't get a refund on digitally distributed games.

And what happens when people buy games on sale but don't install them right away? A lot of people buy stuff during Steam/GOG/GMG sales and let them sit until they're ready to play them, far exceeding the 30 day return policy (to which that policy doesn't actually exist for digital games).

The customer shouldn't have to bend over backwards for a product they bought expecting to work. Or are you just trolling?
DragonKnight  +   351d ago
Piracy isn't theft. Piracy is taking a digital product, copying it to a harddrive (meaning the original is still intact and capable of being sold), and then uploading it to a server for backup purposes. The developer does not have his/her/their product permanently removed from them without an exchange of money, thus it isn't theft because they are still making money of the original product that they are selling.
f789790  +   351d ago
I pirated Big Rigs Over the Road Racing.

I don't think anyone here will disagree my decision on that one.
DarkZane  +   351d ago
It doesn't matter if it's not justified, you can't do anything to stop it and if people want to do it, they very well will do it regardless if it's bad or not.

If I wanted, I could, since here, if you do it for personal use (meaning without profiting from it), then it's not illegal (not legal either), so the devs or publishers wouldn't be able to come after you.

Also, sorry, but used games are worst. I'd rather be a pirate and give money to no one, at least that way, places like Gamestop gets no money.

It's what gamestop are doing, reselling the work of someone else for their own profits. It's not illegal, but it's still very morally wrong.
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Orionsangel  +   351d ago
I guess in the 80's and 90's I was a pirate because I was recording music on the radio, albums and CDs on to cassettes. I was also recording TV shows and movies on VHS tapes. So if do that with my HDD I'm a pirate? You're copying things on to something else, just like you were recording a song on to a cassette. Now it's just happening on a bigger more attainable scale. That's why the LAWS are having a hard time handling all the pirates out there. There's too many people doing it and too many loopholes. The LAWS aren't equipped to handle the Internet. It's like stepping on one roach and a million more replace it.

Yes, many game companies are closing and pirating might be part of it, but can we be honest. Part of the blame could also be that the game industry is over saturated with third party companies. There's too many games and too many sequels. They're making shitty games that no one wants to buy. If your games are good, like the new Tomb Raider and Bioshock Infinite and have good word of mouth. People will pay for it. If the games you are making get piss poor reviews in the media and bad worth of mouth. No one buys them and your studio starts to lose money. Think about it. Quality and Fun = Lots of Money.
#18 (Edited 351d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
AndreausAhazard  +   351d ago
Life goes on Piracy is part of our culture and we can't change that sometimes a person just dont got the cash to keep up.
Qrphe  +   351d ago
I've pirated many games. I came to become a fan and later owner of games from series such as Persona, Disgaea, Phantasy Star, Valkyrie Profile and Ys, why? Because I liked the games so much that I felt I NEEDED to own the games. This would have never happened if I hadn't pirated them in the first place.

It may have been morally wrong (it doesn't matter) but I don't regret it and continue to do it to this day.
-Gespenst-  +   351d ago
I pirate the heck out of old games. I think once a console's hit the end of it's cycle, there's no reason not to pirate it's games.

Funny though, America was basically settled by use of a disguised piracy, and yet we loathe it in all it's forms. Good little consumers aren't we?
ufo8mycat  +   351d ago
If developers/publishers take shortcuts in games just to save a buck, such as hardly any bug testing (Bethesda), then piracy is definitely justified.
unicronic  +   351d ago
Piracy not being justified is one side of the same coin. The other side is rarely or never mentioned. That is service inequality. Try buying Diablo 3 digital copy in Asia, it is a complete nightmare.

Beyond games, look at how $15-20 will get you a months worth Hulu Plus and Netflix in the USA but none of this services have launched internationally.

Until service equality is pervasively available to supply the demand it is creating a major reason for piracy.

Understanding the reason and justifying the reason aren't the same for the purpose of my thoughts here.
hazelamy  +   350d ago
probably one of the biggest reasons for piracy, other than people not wanting to pay, is availability.

if the publisher doesn't make the content available through any legitimate means, people will use other, less legitimate, ways to get it.

not saying that excuses it, but if they make it legally available where people want it, that would go a long way to reducing piracy.
weirdo  +   351d ago
my physics teacher used to pirate atari st games in his lab. lots of happy school kids :)
Captain Qwark 9  +   351d ago
actually it can be justified. in the case of what roms were originally suppose to be.....back ups.

if you have bought the game once already and for some reason the cartridge or disc broke, doesnt work, or you just want a back up in the event something does happen, then pirate away. you already paid for it.

that said, thats one of the few cases where it can be but this article said it is "never" and i just proved it wrong
#25 (Edited 351d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(2) | Report | Reply
Iltapalanyymi  +   351d ago
but pirating games is good for testing out games before actually buying them. i have bought so many great games because of this.
schlanz  +   351d ago
How about old games from now defunct developers/publishers?
hazelamy  +   350d ago
it's never justified, but some companies don't do themselves any favours.

when they have drm that means the pirates can be playing the game and legitimate buyers are stuck because of shitty servers going down and their single player games not working without them.

and when dvds have half a dozen bloody trailers at the beginning.
and then you get the obligatory anti piracy video, if i bought the bloody dvd, you don't need to tell me not to bloody pirate it.

the worst one is where they claim the pirate will be waiting to watch the movie while the legitimate buyer will already be enjoying it.
which is bullshit because the pirate won't have to sit through half a dozen bloody trailers and a god damned anti piracy video.

anything that means the pirates get a better experience than legitimate buyers is not only worthless, it does more harm than good.

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