ARS: It's simple to say that piracy is a problem in the game industry, and particularly so in PC gaming. No extra hardware (like a mod chip) is required to pirate a PC game—just a fast Internet connection or a burnt disc. What isn't simple is finding out how many real-world sales are lost due to piracy (a problem that has bedeviled the content industries for some time). The question: if a pirate couldn't get his or her game for free, would he or she pay for it?
The head programmer at Wolfire Games goes by the name of David, and he has some thoughts on the matter. What follows is some heavy conjecture mixed with common sense, but it leads to a single conclusion: pirates may grab a large number of games, but lost sales due to piracy are much lower than everyone assumes.