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PopRocks359 (User)

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Can Hacking/Piracy Be Considered Acceptable?

PopRocks359 | 573d ago
User blog

So with the recent news of the Wii U's supposed hacking, I thought I would ask the question presented in the headline while providing my own thoughts on the matter.

Piracy is something I think almost any big gamer is guilty of at one point or another and whether they know it or not. Downloading a free game or perhaps playing a copy that friend made for you, for instance. The use of ROMs, ISOs and other files that infringe copyrights is pretty prevalent in today's gaming industry which has lead to a restructuring of how developers handle it.

Ubisoft took the DRM route on the PC, forcing players to be online even when playing a single player game. EA tried the same approach more recently with SimCity, ultimately ending with disastrous results.

And finally, the granddaddy of these arguments; the PSN hack attack. Needless to say, this was an attack on the company of Sony itself as oppose to anyone else. I remember after the network had been cracked, there were reports of hundreds of thousands worth of PSN games being stolen. After having filed a lawsuit against a hacker who had broken into the PS3's supposedly unbreakable infrastructure, Sony received DDoS attacks from an online group that gad broken off of their original ties with Anonymous. This resulted in the personal information of many users being stolen as well as the entire Playstation Network being shut down. Unfortunately for me, this happened the very day I had picked up my copy of Portal 2 on the system, preventing me from linking my PSN account to my Steam account and even from getting my free copy on Steam.

On a side note, much of the media pointed many fingers at Sony. I felt that too much of the blame was aimed at Sony and not nearly enough at the hackers who had perpetrated the issue. It was a mess and Sony's handling of it was obviously not perfect, but they certainly handled it much better than other corporations have; and fans received free games as a result. Doesn't fix it, but it's better than nothing.

So we have the obvious drawbacks to hacking and piracy. But what are the positives?

Like with any medium, piracy can lead to one thing in particular; notoriety. As with band demo tapes getting passed around, a game that gets widely downloaded can become more and more popular as the years go by. The Mother series is a pretty good example of this.

Hacking on the other hand can also lead to breaking region locks as well as conveniences like the Homebrew channel for the Wii. While people could use this to effectively download and steal Wii games, the channel brought upon many neat features like DVD playback and game modding communities, particularly for the Smash Bros. series.

Where I stand on it is obviously not going to turn many heads, but I think hacking/piracy is acceptable under particular circumstances. For starters, I don't approve of stealing games that are currently on the market in some way. If there is a game you want to play and you can buy it legally (whether for its console or on an emulator), then I feel that's what gamers should do. If it's a rare game that cannot be bought in a legal manner, then it's hard to say that it's a bad thing to download since there's no money being made from the title.

For another, modding can lead to some cool things. But considering where hackers took the PS3 and in some regard the Wii, it's obvious that people with the ability to crack all of these codes cannot always be trusted. I think the Homebrew channel was a plus for the console as oppose to a negative, but leading to the theft of games like on the PSN (and obviously later the hack attack) really makes the line between acceptable and unacceptable a lot thinner.

Enough gabbing out of me. What's your take?

Valenka  +   573d ago
Piracy and hacking are against federal laws in my country and breaking those laws are not acceptable. There is no room for leniency or debate on that part. In my opinion, the bottom line is that the law is against it and that is the final word.
Sucitta   573d ago | Immature | show | Replies(3)
majiebeast  +   573d ago
No!

Especially not if it effects developers 99%(shitty ripoff games on phones and clones) of them work very hard on their games, in crush time they work probably 14-16 hours daily to finish the game we love. So i think they deserve the money even if you pick it up from a DD sale,bargain bin or just wait till it ends up on PS+. Dont go pirating it and saying well it doesnt matter i was never gonna buy it anyway cause that is BS.
caseh  +   573d ago
If you stand by not pirating games then you are also against pre-owned game sales right? They also take profit away from the devs yet are purchased from a legit source.

Piracy is a grey area that is often over played by the industry. Don't be fooled, its been around as far back as I can remember my brother cramming 10 games onto a tape cassette on the Spectrum and the impact it apparently has on the industry today is no different to what it has been for over 25 years.

It's an argument that swings both ways, I own a pS3 and about 80 original games and a PSP with about 100 copies. You may see me as a criminal or whatever for having those copies on the PSP but who is more profitable to Sony; The guy who has a PS3 and 80 games but copies PSP games or the guy who only has a PS3 and a handful of games?
#2.1 (Edited 573d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
-GametimeUK-  +   572d ago
Piracy is totally different to pre owned games. Stupid comparison is stupid. A gamer could buy a game and support the dev at least through DLC. By purchasing a pre owned game you are supporting a business that sells games (which has it's benefits to a dev). Piracy IS wrong in my opinion.

At the same time I don't really care if people pirate games. If you can do it and get away with it then more power to ya. I actually see the other side of the argument, too. A lot of developers are treating us consumers like trash these days so I guess a little piracy is justified (even if it is wrong).
young7yang  +   573d ago
Yes!

Just go to India, South Korea, Thailand, China, Brazil, Spain, South Africa and even Canada.

You can fight it but it will always be there. Our world is full of piracy even licensed products we use today got their ideas from someone or somewhere very little of what we do or use today is original.

Life it not fair "deal with it"
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Qrphe  +   572d ago
Many of the people from those countries that pirate such games would have never been able to afford them anyway. In order to be considered a potential costumer for anything, you must be a customer would was willing AND able to afford such product in the first place.

If those people were to no pirate they would not buy the games regardless.
young7yang  +   572d ago
wrong on both accounts!

take a trip to South Korea, China or Thailand one day you will see that the average person can afford to buy games but most are unwilling to pay for a game that will last them a few days.. as an example the PS3 has not been properly pirated yet it is very popular all throughout the world..

take Nobunaga's Ambition or Romance of the Three Kingdoms online for example.. these games are priced around 80-120 dollars depending on the version yet most consumers buy the originals and these games offer hundreds of hours of game play.

just go to play-asia website to see what i mean.
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Qrphe  +   572d ago
"one day you will see that the average person can afford to buy games but most are unwilling to pay for a game that will last them a few days"

You seem to agree. They're able but NOT willing to pay for such product thus they're not potential costumers.

I repeat, to be considered a lost sale as part of a specific industry, you must have been able AND willing to buy a product at some relative recent point.
#3.2 (Edited 572d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
HonestDragon  +   573d ago
I have never seen the hacking and pirating of games as a good thing. I believe that such instances of causing copyright infringement lead to companies enforcing certain practices (like DRM) on legitimate paying customers as harmful to both business and the industry. While it may be a good thing that gamers can get their hands on older, harder to find games like Chrono Trigger, the long term damage on modern hacking and pirating stings more.

It is with cases like Diablo III and Sim City that have caused gamers to go into an uproar over these practices. Companies reinforce that it is to protect their product. I don't blame someone for wanting to protect their investment, but others may not see it that way. The problem, however, is answered as to how and why the company went to this conclusion in the first place. They wanted to avoid piracy and hackers taking advantage in making money off of their games and abusing the system.

Look at the online communities of the Call of Duty games. There is a plethora of Youtube videos showing many gamers (some of them kids) using hacks online and making a profit off of it. Do they get in trouble for it? Nope. But the companies would instead enforce DRM or online passes to get by these people.

It is because of people slipping through the cracks and abusing a product that result in companies wanting more protection regardless of how it affects paying customers. So, in short, I do not think that hacking and pirating is a good thing for the industry and business in the present day, but I begrudgingly admit that it could open doors for older and hard to find games to be played. However, if that were the case, you would think that companies would release these games again on PSN, E-Shop, and the Marketplace.
matgrowcott  +   573d ago
Your main complaint is that because of pirating, legitimate customers have to deal with DRM.

But surely your complaint should be aimed towards the developers/publishers? There are a million better ways of dealing with piracy than DRM, but publishers have taken the attitude of each pirated game is a missed sale, and so they work to instead enforce that sale.

I don't pirate, but there are lots of reasons people pirate a game, valid reasons. If those issues were addressed rather than ignored, DRM wouldn't be necessary.
HonestDragon  +   573d ago
Oh, yeah, I'm right there with you. DRM can totally be handled better. When I played StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, I found out I had to be online for the single player. The original StarCraft did not, so I was a little more than taken aback at that. Maintenance and patches were very irritating to go through which I would then say, "Well, off to Team Fortress 2!" I aim to be looking at a few companies this month with their questionable business practices.

People do have valid reasons for pirating in the first place. Lack of money would be one obvious reason. Another would be sheer curiosity to try a game first. The thing that gets me, though, are the hackers and pirates who profit off of the work of developers of today. It's not even to say that they want to share an awesome game from 1996 that you can't find anymore. It's that they charge people for hacks and pirated games. Again, you can look at the Call of Duty community on Youtube and see that plain as day. You have a good point with the publishers, too.
matgrowcott  +   572d ago
@HonestDragon

Completely agree. The difference between trying something and paying when you can, or downloading and selling, is huge. Even then, I think there are issues that the industry has to face. If people are taking their $300 machine, paying to have it chipped/altered/having alt firmware placed on it so they can pay slightly less for games at launch, there's something wrong with the way publishers expect us to buy games.
HonestDragon  +   572d ago
Pretty much, yeah. Certain publishers really need to see the issues surrounding their business practices to see what people like and don't like. I think having games like Chrono Trigger available on the networks would really be a benefit for many gamers. So, it is with my last bubble that I ask, do you have any ideas on what can be considered for improving company business models?
matgrowcott  +   572d ago
There's no easy solution. Everything would either cost the industry money to set up or would mean less money per game. That's why we're stuck with what is perhaps the worst distribution method.

If we could start everything from scratch and implement this, I think it would be the best way of solving all the current problems. As it stands now, a game is released at a high price, is undercut by the used market and comes down in price to attract sales. This doesn't work, because unlike many other products that use that model, a single purchase, or even a hundred purchases, does nothing to recover the costs.

Instead, we need to flip this whole thing on its head. Set the price low when there are thousands of physical copies and then slowly increase the price as they become more scarce. Early players are rewarded by getting a brand new game at more than half off, and it'll encourage people to buy early.

The used market would be useless, because people would be looking for the optimum time to trade in (as the value of the game goes up), and hundreds of trade-ins would cause the used value to head back down. Piracy would take a significant hit as well, at least close to launch.

We'd be looking at more people buying new at a price that was just about profitable, and then more people buying new as the price went up (maybe, in some cases, as much as are buying at full price now, plus those that bought early).

Of course, there are too many things standing in the way of such a system. Both retailer and publisher would have to take a cut from day one. There'd also need to be a system that counted sales and an algorithm to judge a price based on those sales.

This seems like a perfect solution to me, in that everybody wins (after a bigger risk up front). A game like Skyrim, which has been very long-burning, would thrive under such a model. Even things like Call of Duty would probably sell far more copies at launch, although in that case I can't say they'd make more money as a result.

More realistically, just experimenting with the price point. Square Enix have been doing this on PC for the last twelve months. Start at the regular price and then drop it very quickly. You were able to get Hitman for £5 within months of release, and Tomb Raider looks to be going the same way. Again, even doing this would require publisher and retailer to take a hit from what they're used to, so it probably won't happen.
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Sucitta  +   573d ago
Does anyone recall when ANTI-GREED, ANTI CONSUMER-THEFT developer Notch (Minecraft) told everyone to pirate his game if they could not afford it?

Think deeply, beyond the small cube your thought process is trapped in.

There's a teensy weensy chance you might figure it out(though I seriously doubt it).

Why would he do this? Doesn't he realize he could have 37 more houses, 18 more yachts, 12 more Ferrari's and months more of coke/whores..

Doesn't he want to be like all the other corporate heads?
ChillOut707  +   573d ago
It all depends on the person's Conscience , I know some people who do piracy only to test the game and if they like it then they buy it , while there is other people who can hardly buy a system after struggling and after that they had no chance to keep buying 60$ games constantly even if they want to buy all of them in their minds so they save the money for the heavily online ones like Call of duty or FIFA and pirate the others , I think piracy is the rule in most countries around the world and buying legal is something that is looked like as an odd thing especially for video games in those countries , I don't support piracy of course but I tell the truth about what happening , the worst example for a pirate is the one who has the ability to buy games but keep on pirating it and thats the one who should be blamed the most , and even if some people don't have the money for it then with steam's constant sales with 5$ and 10$ games then I think thats their best chance to buy it legally even if it comes to that sales later than its releasing date

On side note , I thought that Piracy was one of the main reasons that X360 unit sales was so high in this gen and even topping PS3 in some times and the same applies for Nintendo DS
Meep  +   573d ago
Most people can agree that piracy is a bad thing. Some people say that it is unacceptable to pirate online content. I disagree with that. I believe piracy can be understandable. One thing that annoys me about people who are against piracy is that they say its stealing and should be treated as so. NOPE Nope nope. The UK law says it well.

"A person is guilty of theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it; and ‘theft’ and ‘steal’ shall be construed accordingly."

Keywords being "permanently depriving". You can't do that on the internet (unless you actually steal the file and make it unavailable for everyone else). When you pirate a game, you get a copy of it.

There are a few justifiable reason why a person can steal. First one is if the pirate is dirt poor and can barely buy anything. I'm pretty sure that most developers wouldn't care if it was only poor people pirating games. The problem is when people who CLEARLY have enough money buy the game decide not to, and just pirate it. Second reason I am NOT a fan of at all and that is if the pirated copy of a game is better than the actual sold copy. I can see why people pirate when this happens, but I completely disagree with it. You are just supporting the game, in a bad light. You instigate the developer/publisher to release the next game with even more annoying/crappy DRM. The Third reason being completely justifiable, is that if you already got the game.

Some publishers/developers punish pirates by implementing DRM, but in reality, it punishes the whole market. What I don't understand is why can't just use some positive reinforcement. Like giving small free DLC packs to registered players, or make the DLC a few dollars.

Also on another note piracy can be used for an advantage. I remember all the positive publicity from when the guy who went to 4chan and asked for help to pirate the game ( http://i.imgur.com/2EFi0.jp... ). Their are also some funny stories about some games that were pirated. A great anit-piracy games were:
Arkham Asylum: The game would slowly break as you played it.
Command & Conquer (forget which one): A few seconds after playing a mission your units would all explode.
Mirror's Edge: Before you made a fast speed jump, the game would slow you down so you wouldn't make it.
And the newest one being a game called "Game Dev Tycoon". Awesome Anti-pracy method here http://www.rockpapershotgun...

For my final word, Anti-piracy can't be stopped, and can't be beaten directly. So having blatant anti-piracy method will just screw everybody BUT the pirates (they will find a way to crack the game eventually).
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SilentNegotiator  +   572d ago
Is there any actual statistic that gives power to the "you probably have done it yourself" assumption? Because I don't buy that any sort of majority of gamers pirate video games.
I've never done it myself and don't know anyone that pirates games.
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PopRocks359  +   572d ago
I stated that one point in their lives gamers probably have tried a pirated game whether or not they know it. I find it difficult to believe that anyone who discusses games on the internet has not played at least a single ROM or ISO.
SilentNegotiator  +   572d ago
ROMs? Even when people play ones of games that they didn't buy back in the day, the developers don't lose out on any money from that anyway.

Downloading ROMs and real piracy aren't even in the same league.

And all of the ROMs I have are of games that I DID buy back in the day. I don't see any reason to have 50 consoles hooked up.
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PopRocks359  +   572d ago
Okay, so you have pirated games before. You can sugarcoat it all you want, but ROMs fall into the category. Buying a game is also buying a license that grants you the legal permission to own and play that game on a particular console. Downloading a ROM obviously provides no such license.

I'm not saying it's stealing which is what you seem to think I'm trying to imply. But downloading ROMs is piracy. How wrong it is up to you at this point.
darkpower  +   572d ago
I think the first confusion is that piracy isn't the right word, but it's more of a loaded word because people not only know what that means, but they can identify that as being a bad thing for all people.

However, what you really do is something called copyright infringement, which is a much harder case to prove because you also have to prove that there were other ways for someone to get a copy of something in the way they did it.

If you download a ROM of a game that is currently not being sold anywhere else (say, an old Nintendo game that you would have to go on eBay to find because it's out of production or something similar), then perhaps you're in the clear because you're not going to be able to actually play that game any other way. Obscure titles are notorious for needing the help of ROMs to be able to spread the word, for better or worse, that they even existed.

Also, people want convenience. If you notice, iTunes got very people extremely quickly once it launched. That's because the people condemning things like Napster got the reasons people wanted to download songs all wrong: they wanted to cut out the middle man/drive/whatever. It wasn't because they wanted to do anything illegal. It was because the corporate people never gave them that choice (never thought of it) and took forever to realize what it was all about.

Modding is a weird case, because look at PC gaming. Developers that support the modding scene (Valve, Bethesda, and Blizzard to a certain extent...just don't discuss Diablo 3 in that) get a lot of praise. However, turn that around, and you have publishers hating the notion of game modding. Of course, the PC crowd is going to be the most judgmental, because their platform of choice is the most modable. It's a system that YOU choose what YOU want to power your system, and the only barrier that prevents you from becoming "stronger, faster, better" is your wallet and where current technology is. You don't have to wait for a console manufacturer to make a new system while you're locked into what they put in there. It's rather expensive if you want something like Alienware or a high end machine, but you're going to get a ton in return, and you're damn right they have every right to be judgmental when they spend that much time, money, and effort building it.

Even a budget system like mine (I have a HiS ATI Radeon 6800HD, AMD Phenom2 64 bit processor, 8GB RAM, a plethroa of hard drive space (one of them running at 7200RPM), and a LOT of fans in my Cooler Master case that has proven to be a friggin' TANK (I've dropped it twice and it still runs like nothing ever happened to it). I might replace things in the future, but the bottom line is that I got a good machine for a good price (buying one piece at a time). I think I've spend about $1000 on my machine in all, so I am going to be wanting for the game industry to know that there are a lot of PC gamers like myself who spent a ton of money to not have to worry about being bogged down by consoles restrictive measures.

Now, say the same thing about a console, and look what happens. Ask for Homebrew, or someone to support modding communities on a console, and you get a shitstorm. Yeah, you can do it on PC and all, but why are console makers so scared of the idea? Everything that people have been scared of happening if it is allowed with consoles has been happening on PC for a good long while now without any substantial changes (unless you talk to EA and Ubisoft). THAT'S where you get your murky waters, and no one is ready to talk about it in a civil way (just look at what happens the second you bring it up on here).

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