Video game piracy is a volatile topic that has caused many heated arguments amongst gamers. Let’s not give it a special name though, let’s call it what it is: Theft. When a person steals a game they are robbing every member of the development team of their due payment for the years of development time put into that game.
Independent companies who release their games on PC can’t afford to lose a single sale. These companies are the ones who get hurt the most by the rampant thefts. These small companies consisting of only one to a few people spend their last dollars investing in their company trying to get into the video game industry. When they release a game every sale is very meaningful as they can only expect to sell hundreds instead of millions like big companies.
When you steal a game you are robbing these people of their source of survival and crushing their dreams. If they release a bad game that’s their fault and no blame can be put anywhere except on them. If the release a good game however and it is stolen more than it’s bought, that company will be robbed not only of their investment in the company, but of their chance of ever making another game.
Think about how your actions are affecting these people. The big companies like Activison can afford to take the financial loss of the thefts, but these small companies can’t. Your actions have very real consequences on the people who have poured their life, creativity and souls into the game you just stole. Every game stolen is one less chance of a sequel.
There are some common defenses I hear when pirating:
Trying the Game Before Buying
I can completely sympathize with this reason. Many games don’t have a playable demo in order to try out a game. If you steal a game to try it out, then buy the game then I have no problems with you. If you “try” a game and then never buy it, even if you liked it, you are a thief.
I Don’t like the DRM on the Game
Here is another sound reason for pirating a game to crack the intrusive DRM. However, you still have no right to steal the game. It’s perfectly fine to purchase a legal copy then download a crack to remove the DRM. However if you never purchase the game, you are a thief.
I can’t afford to buy games
Video games are a luxury, not a vital thing like food and shelter. There is no justification for stealing something like this other than being pure greed. It’s not like a person will starve if they don’t play a pirated copy of a game. If someone can’t afford to buy new games, then please wait for sales, discounts, etc. so they drop in a good price range. If you are a kid, mow some lawns, do extra chores for more allowance. If you are unemployed, you should have different priorities instead of stealing video games.
As a final thought think of this.