Why being pirated can be profitable

The world of browser-based Flash games is the industry's last bastion of unregulated, every-coder-for-himself anarchy. There are thousands of sites out there, offering access to free online games, most supported by ads. The sad thing is, very little of this revenue finds its way to the developers.

Recently Nick Harper, a creative director at Ubisoft, started designing his own Flash games, more for fun than profit - which, as he quickly discovered was just as well. "It's the wild west out there. There are a lot of sites that are well known for 'stealing' games from legitimate portals and running them with new ads, thereby siphoning the revenue."

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