Peering Inside Game Piracy: Measures and Countermeasures

I sometimes feel like discussions on game piracy ought to be shelved alongside scintillating 1960s publications from the Rand Corporation like Counterinsurgency in Manchuria, except the piracy discussions are considerably more engaging.

Leigh Alexander has spoken with the ESA and PC Gaming Alliance about the piracy issue and how people are attempting to combat it. The two part article looks at tackling physical pirating, as well as the online variety, and how companies are attempting to prevent piracy from happening. Of course, there's been a lot of talk and considerable irritation when gamers are faced with poorly implemented DRM. Industry types who are intimately involved with decisions that gamers grouse about note that they don't like DRM any more than you do:

"I don't like locks on my door, and I don't like to use keys in my car... I'd like to live in a world where there are no passports. Unfortunately, we don't," [EA CEO John Riccitiello] said ....

"I think that was spot on," says [senior director of strategic planning and research at Capcom Christian Svensson]. "People rail against DRM and feel that it treats them like criminals - unfortunately, we live in a world where some people are criminals, and sometimes we have to take steps to mitigate as best we can. We live with some slight inconveniences, and obviously, we try to keep inconveniences to a minimum."

"I think people who put it out there that publishers are just trying to be evil — I assure you. We don't make money by making your lives difficult. If we didn't feel it was absolutely, positively imperative that we have this for our business, we wouldn't do it."

Damned if you do, damned if you don't. I doubt the piracy issues will ever really be worked out to everyone's satisfaction, since if you make it, someone in the world will figure out how to pirate it. On the other hand, it does seem like there should be options that at least placate both sides — protecting IP and keeping consumers happy.

Inside Game Piracy, Part 1: Crushing Discs, Pushing Education & Inside Game Piracy, Part 2: The Countermeasures [GameSetWatch]