New Study Claims Piracy is Driven by Availability and Price

dark_reign

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Games aren't expensive. They are rather cheap in fact. $60 for 20 hours of enjoyment is dirty cheap. And considering inflation, they are going down in price whilst their developing costs keep increasing.
True. I can't complain about the $60 price because some Super Nintendo games were selling for $90-$100 at release. $60 seems like a bargain nowadays, though I usually wait for a sale.
 

Sonicks

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Games aren't expensive. They are rather cheap in fact. $60 for 20 hours of enjoyment is dirty cheap. And considering inflation, they are going down in price whilst their developing costs keep increasing.
I tried to argue this at work with a coworker and was met with the counter arugument: “but what if I don’t like it?”.

Got me thinking. I tried equating the “not like it” argument to things like food, or movies, or just other general things that we buy and aren’t satisfied with but it wouldn’t convince him that games were overpriced.

Now that I think about it more though...that “not liking it” aspect of gaming is a luxury that we have as adults. As a kid, I still played the crap out of every game I had whether or not I was nuts about it. I really couldn’t identify that one game sucked over over another but I could tell which games I had more fun with than others. I guess what I’m trying to say is, we feel too entitled to enjoy every game now that we actually have to pay for it but as kids we simply had to find fun with what we got.

$60 really isn’t a lot to be honest. I hate to be that guy, but it really isn’t. We spend that kind of money on more temporary things every week. A night out at the movies with the kids, a night out with friends, a date with the wife/girlfriend, etc... If you are killing at the very least a couple hours on a game then $60 is nothing.

The idea that “ownership” of a game means more than the experience of it is what is driving the mentality that they are too expensive.
 
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Laowai

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Gabe hit the nail on the head nearly 10 years ago.

people will pay for your content if you make it available.
I'm not paying 100+ USD for a title. The way DLC has gone is bothersome. What used to be...
"Hey, our game is kicking ass, is there something we can add on it to improve the experience?"
became added on in the normal planning stage and workflow but dribbled out to consumers post-launch at additional cost. Few do DLC in what I would consider a reasonable manner. One company comes to mind....the guys who make Crusader Kings. They spit out DLC for their games, seemingly forever. Tons and tons of the stuff. It keeps their games replayable and interesting, years after launch. I can justify their pricig because I know I'll be able to play their games well into the future.

I know that in many cases, the quote you posted is 100% accurate. I'm not disputing that. For some though, pricing is a driving factor behind piracy. I never expected to be one of those people though, and don't want to be. I'd rather purchase the games, I have the money. I simply cannot justify the prices. I have thousands of dollars worth of software on my computers I've paid for, not including games. I can justify those expenses. Many AAA titles, I cannot justify.
 

lostin3d

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It's going to come full circle, as more and more services becomes exclusive and the big players like Netflix lose more and more licensing for their existing content. When you have to subscribe to 7 streaming services at $10-$20 a pop, its value over cable starts to diminish. It also becomes a pain to find the content you want, hopping between all the various services. The convenience and total availability of piracy will start to win out again.
I agree. I stopped sailing those seas about 5 years ago after the better part of a decade for a number of ethical reasons. At the time NetFlix, Prime, and basic cable had it covered. I could feel good about doing the right thing and it wasn't breaking the bank. This greed with everyone and their cousin deciding to cut out the middle man and then start their own service has me pissed. Wife and I watch about a half dozen shows per year. They're all on different networks. Not to mention the exclusives each service is funding. So the B.S. mantra of you only have to pay for the services you want means bend over and take it to me. It's the dark ages all over again and no matter which provider wins we lose. Those seas are looking tempting to me again.
 

lostin3d

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I agree $60 is pretty cheap for the amount of hours one gets from it. I would argue that the planned dlc from the start is them adjusting for needing/wanting a higher price tag but the market isn't tolerant to the increase. If they put all the dlc in at launch and with the $100 price tag, I would be not many would buy it. But $60 now and $40 later is easier especially once you already enjoy the game.
I also agree with this. If a game launched with $100 price and was basically as-is I doubt I'd buy it.

There's been a few studies on the lack of impact with time and inflation with games. Prices have steadily gone up thru the decades but it's taken the better part of 40 years for prices to double and in relation to costs of living/wages/etc. they're still slightly behind. In the 80's I remember paying $20-30 for games. In the 90's it crept to $30-40. From 2006 to now I've seen the climbs of $50-60+. For a 1-3 games a year I'll pay the $80 mark for the games I believe the DLC and extra content will really happen but the rest I wait until discounted or never.
 

Nafensoriel

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I'm not paying 100+ USD for a title. The way DLC has gone is bothersome. /snip
"Bothersome" is entirely to tame when things like this are realities:
Stellaris: Base game=39.99 DLC=132.89
Cities Skylines: Base Game=29.99 DLC=140.84

Give me loot boxes, please. I'd rather face that cancer than the actual cost of DLC.
 

Ranulfo

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"Bothersome" is entirely to tame when things like this are realities:
Stellaris: Base game=39.99 DLC=132.89
Cities Skylines: Base Game=29.99 DLC=140.84

Give me loot boxes, please. I'd rather face that cancer than the actual cost of DLC.
That is Paradox's business model and anyone sane learns real quick you buy their stuff on sale and a lot of their dlc you can skip. That said, Stellaris is barely the same game anymore as it was on release. Not in a good way IMHO though.
 

seanreisk

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People in america often dont get this one. Outside of the USA getting content can often be hillariously difficult legally or so absurdly expensive as to be offensive.
I was in Canada when season 1 was released and the cost to watch it in that country was a 180 dollar cable package. Period.
Hey, I don't think it's just America. I'm an American, and I couldn't get access to [NSFW] Letterkenny [NSFW] until the end of Season 4 (and I had to sign up for Hulu to get it.)

I would say there are more BBC shows that I want to binge than there are American shows, and I can't find good sources for half of them.


P.S. And I couldn't find any Bollywood movies until Netflix stepped up and offered a whole slew of them. My burning need for Indian romance musicals max's out at about, uh, one. Or maybe less. But Netflix handled it.
 

sfsuphysics

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"Bothersome" is entirely to tame when things like this are realities:
Stellaris: Base game=39.99 DLC=132.89
Cities Skylines: Base Game=29.99 DLC=140.84

Give me loot boxes, please. I'd rather face that cancer than the actual cost of DLC.
Thing is both of those games are completely playable without any dlc
 

sfsuphysics

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Games aren't expensive. They are rather cheap in fact. $60 for 20 hours of enjoyment is dirty cheap. And considering inflation, they are going down in price whilst their developing costs keep increasing.
Eh thats debatable. Since we are putting a value on time an imvoking inflation as a modifier. I used to pay $3 to rent a game for 3 days to which I could easily get 20 hours in on it if I wasnt in school. Heck I seem to recall the local rental store even allowed unlimited rentals for like $25/month so yeah adjusting if we are simply talk pay per hour of enjoyment adjusting for inflation we are paying way more now today.
 

DukenukemX

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Now that I think about it more though...that “not liking it” aspect of gaming is a luxury that we have as adults. As a kid, I still played the crap out of every game I had whether or not I was nuts about it. I really couldn’t identify that one game sucked over over another but I could tell which games I had more fun with than others. I guess what I’m trying to say is, we feel too entitled to enjoy every game now that we actually have to pay for it but as kids we simply had to find fun with what we got.
I get what you're saying but I'll never play Excite Bike ever again, no matter how amazing it was when I was a child. In all honestly, it wasn't. Before the internet my main source of entertainment was TV and the Nintendo, and I didn't like watching Full House but I literally had nothing else to do but watch TV. Now I never watch TV. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
$60 really isn’t a lot to be honest. I hate to be that guy, but it really isn’t. We spend that kind of money on more temporary things every week. A night out at the movies with the kids, a night out with friends, a date with the wife/girlfriend, etc... If you are killing at the very least a couple hours on a game then $60 is nothing.
$60 isn't a lot when you have money to burn and don't have debt but a lot of people today have credit card debt, student loan debt, and mortgage debt. Something like $60 for entertainment, not including the hardware to run it and possibly services, can get expensive fast.

There are cheap ways to get games legally like G2Play.net or just waiting until the price of games plummet as they normally do. I would mention Humble Bundle but I haven't see anything good from them in a while. Honestly with the way AAA games are going I'm just playing old games until they get their act together. A popular meme today is when people would rather play a game they've finished 13 times instead of playing new games.
 

Darunion

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Eh thats debatable. Since we are putting a value on time an imvoking inflation as a modifier. I used to pay $3 to rent a game for 3 days to which I could easily get 20 hours in on it if I wasnt in school. Heck I seem to recall the local rental store even allowed unlimited rentals for like $25/month so yeah adjusting if we are simply talk pay per hour of enjoyment adjusting for inflation we are paying way more now today.
It would be nice if renting was still mainstream. But it was a model that was inevitable to die off. The studios wanted more for the license to rent due to what they believed was lost sales, the rental stores increased prices to almost half the cost of buying a movie. And on top of that asshole kids that scratched up discs or ruined tapes and didn't own up to it.
 

dR.Jester

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Especially when these game publishers pull games from one platform to another.

Let the market decide.
 

DukenukemX

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Another Fun fact, buying a game for even just your quoted $50 (which there were way more expensive games in the 80s and 90s) that would equate to almost $115 in todays market
Yea, I don't go by inflation numbers and neither should you. Has pay gone up as much as inflation? If not then don't calculate inflation. Also remember cartridges -> CDs -> Digital Downloads. Lots more people buy games today than the 80's and 90's. Also again, why was a VHS tape in the 90's the same price as a Blu-Ray today? Why has music gotten cheaper cause I remember paying $25 for a music CD for 12 songs?

We've increased dev time by 2-5 times depending on the title (wage increases play in here too)
We've increased the dev team size by 2-15 times depending on the title (wage increases and logistics play in here too)
We've increased the amount of countries we sell games to (infrastructure & logistics isn't free you know)
And yet we've managed to keep the game prices the same besides inflation saying the games should be nearly twice as expensive, all while allowing for the above increases...
How many people made Hollow Knight? How many people made Undertale? Undertale was best game of 2015, and as far as I'm concerned Hollow Knight was best game of 2017. AAA gaming industry can pump up their numbers all they want but if the result is shit then they're obviously doing something wrong. Even still, some of these gaming studios have the most over paid CEO's of America. Justify it all you want but they're making lots of money and don't seem to have problems keeping the lights on. They're concerned about keeping investors happy and creating growth, not us gamers.

Also if you want to talk to me about games and piracy do it in this thread.

 

Laowai

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"Bothersome" is entirely to tame when things like this are realities:
Stellaris: Base game=39.99 DLC=132.89
Cities Skylines: Base Game=29.99 DLC=140.84

Give me loot boxes, please. I'd rather face that cancer than the actual cost of DLC.
For games like Skylines or Stellaris, I don't mind the DLC. Skylines is a game you can enjoy for years (if that genre is your thing) and has a wealth of free mods/additions/add-ons. The DLC in for Stellaris totally alters the game and again, it has infinite replayability. Due to the replayability of games like those, the value DLC offers is rather substantial imo.
It's the bullshit like giving a few new quests and a few new items for $30 that should come as free updates or have been released as part of the base game that I find problematic and disgusting.
Anyone going to be playing Assassin's Creed Origins 3 years from now outside of a brief nostalgia trip? Nope. It just does not have that kind of replayability. I enjoyed the game immensely, but it is what it is. I just used AC Origins as an example, there are countless others like it.
 

haste.

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You went to the extreme of what was typed, people pirated not because they didn't want to buy it, but because it wasn't available to legally obtain for a reasonable price, it's not that people don't want to pay in some cases it's because they can't pay for how much was demanded, legally speaking the law is open to interpretation even if people like you are not looking at it that way, in any crime intent and motive are the greatest driving factors of what you can be charged with, stealing a loaf of bread because you are starving is not the same as stealing 100 dominos pizzas to throw a party grant it that is extreme cases. In the case of gaming, ussually it comes down to DRM, I'll buy the game but if you expect me to play and run it crippled on top end hardware, you are insane, so I buy and download a cracked version, back in the day it was CD cracks so you didn't need a disk drive spinning loud every random moment.

On top of that, let's take a look at the government, is it stealing when people working as an agent of the government do it, or is a soldier shooting someone on the battlefield still murder regardless of post and position, you can honestly spin things to your liking and way of thinking to you make it right by your standards, but at the end of the day everyone is guilty of something....
Where do you guys come up with this stuff lol [insert Billy Madison trivia quote here].
 

Stxopher

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I know it seems like a "well, duh" to most of us and kind of stupid to make a study to show it but I think we could actually use MORE studies like this "duh" one. There is way to much "general wisdom" by people and companies who see something a certain way and can point to being right in their beliefs because there is nothing to prove it otherwise (therefore it must be true).

The more studies like this are done, the better the chances of it seeping into both the general populace (thus being more resistant to marketing reasons for bad procedures/products) as well as smaller and more agile companies (why is our income lower than it used to be/ less than this other media company making for the same thing?).
 

on2wheels

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You know what... I would absolutely pay for an hourly access system. I'd probably come out ahead with most AAA titles if I only had to pay the hours I actually played. Even at 1:1 dollar to hour played it would probably be more valuable than 60+ a title.
So would I. Even Origin Access has some games I've played in a month of subbing.
 

Dodge245

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You know what... I would absolutely pay for an hourly access system. I'd probably come out ahead with most AAA titles if I only had to pay the hours I actually played. Even at 1:1 dollar to hour played it would probably be more valuable than 60+ a title.
I too also thought that paying hourly would be a good scheme. Most games these days are 4-20hours... The problem is games like counterstrike, that game would have cost several grand, on an hourly scheme.

Edit

Spelling, on phone
 
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RealBeast

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Most "studies" in the entertainment area reach the conclusion that is desired by the sponsoring $$.

I just finished a study that concluded there is no piracy at all, that term is just a fantasy excuse by corporate management -- my study included 2 or so computers on the network at work, nope, no pirated content or even pron. ;)

Oh yeah, and fuck DRM, which is the best reason for piracy if it did exist.
 

Darunion

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I pirated at old game Thrill Kill for playstation back in the day because it wasn't available here. Also I was maybe 16 or 17 too IIRC.
 

Oldmodder

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When i was young and dumb i did pirate games to sample them and then if i liked the game i went and got a original, but i should maybe say that when i was young and dumb, well that was before that internet thing came about.
Today i would not do the same as i am old and smart, and have the internet thing so i have all manners from reviews to playable demos i can do before i go and buy something, so really to me there are no excuse for doing pirate today at least not in the western world.
Also you have to factor in back then if you heard about a new game it was thru magazines or if you was lucky TV programs.

I am pretty sure you could make a pretty penny if you was a game developer and just focused on simple games, and leave the huge over the top games to the big companies.
For instance the FPS game i wait for, well it are much like the games from back in the quake 2 engine, i would just like current graphics and physics in the games like collapsible walls and so on, and not least random maps which i am amazed are not in games still.
I would feel so cheated playing some of the current major FPS titles, and still have to play the same god damn maps over and over.

Just imagine what a change it would be if a totally new map loaded every time, it would so put a whole new layer on FPS gaming, and not least a level of realism which seem to be such a popular thing today.

I would so play such a FPS game, even if it took the server 5 minutes to generate and share every map with the players.
 
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Seriously it was obvious as hell that price and availability is what drove piracy. They needed a study for that. sheesh
you have seen the fuzzy math that the major studios use to profit at every single conceivable turn and we just had another reminder with the bones thing.


yes. the studies are needed. not to prove the point, but to prove it over and over until the horse is an unrecognizable puddle of goo.
 

Riccochet

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the only reason I'll d/l shows is because they're not offered on 3 pay streaming services I subscribe to. If it's not on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon then something is wrong. Star Trek Discovery comes to mind. Not paying CBS for their service to watch one show.

And maybe people wouldn't pirate games if they offered playable demo's like they used to. Not closed beta's, but playable demo's. Sorry, not dropping $60 to find out I don't like a game.

Remember the good old days when you'd get a CD in the back of PC Gamer magazine that was filled with demo's?
 

luisxd

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I think the research comes from another axis, not the traditional "regular" piracy but the people that the use of piracy goes beyond pricing or availability, they just don't justify any expense on games even if they spend everyday playing them.
 

DukenukemX

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Today i would not do the same as i am old and smart, and have the internet thing so i have all manners from reviews to playable demos i can do before i go and buy something, so really to me there are no excuse for doing pirate today at least not in the western world.
Oh yea, reviews of games are super reliable. Is Metro Exodus a good or bad game? I rest my case. Supposedly the game was getting review bombed by angry PC gamers about the whole Steam vs Epic store issue, even though on Meta Critic the score seems to be equal on the Xbox and PS4. Yahtzee didn't seem to like it. I like the Metro series, especially because they port their games to Linux, though I don't see that happening on the Epic Game Store. So I'll try before I buy to see if it's worth my money.


Just imagine what a change it would be if a totally new map loaded every time, it would so put a whole new layer on FPS gaming, and not least a level of realism which seem to be such a popular thing today.

I would so play such a FPS game, even if it took the server 5 minutes to generate and share every map with the players.
A solution to this is let players make maps like back in the Quake days of gaming, along with skins and etc. Team Fortress 2 does this now for years. Doing that today will get you banned, but if you buy this season pass that somehow costs nearly as much as the base game or more then you get to have skins and maps we've made. YEAH!

 

daglesj

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Never ever paid $60 for a game. I just wouldn't. When Fallout 4 arrived I waited a year and got it for $20.

Patience is key. I would also say I've never pirated a game. Always paid for my stuff. Just never full retail.

But I always say it's better to sell 100 of an item at $20 than it is to sell 10 at $60.
 

mope54

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LOL, yeah I was thinking the same thing. It's probably because people that don't pirate can't conceive of why people pirate in the first place.
Blame it on the tenure system. Wasted time on pointless study so someone can justify one's job and then once job security is obtained never publish anything worthwhile anyway. Welcome to the Tenured Mediocrity.
 
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