You might not want to admit it, but chances are you’ve visited Kick Ass Torrents, the most popular way to download video games (or anything, really) illegally. Its owner was recently arrested, but that doesn’t mean Kick Ass Torrents is dead. Today, it came back online...for now.
Marcin Iwiński, co-founder of GOG and development studio CD Projekt Red, has some curious thoughts on how to handle a very thorny subject: piracy.
Pokémon Go’s staggered global release has meant that a lot of Android users have resorted to installing the game via APK file rather than wait for their local Google Play Store. Nintendo would rather you don’t do that.
Software piracy in 2016 is so ubiquitous that we expect games to leak ahead of release. Back in the 20th century, though, it was a lot harder for pirates to get hold of video games before they hit retail shelves. As evidenced by this crazy old story about how the classic TIE Fighter got out a week before its release…
On a popular torrent site, Fallout 4 has been downloaded nearly 140,000 times. Nearly 200 people are downloading right now, as I write this. AAA or indie, Fallout 4 or Super Meat Boy, it doesn’t matter. Piracy is inevitable. But a torrent doesn’t appear out of thin air.
If you were wondering why you’ve suddenly started seeing lots of very high quality Force Awakens gifs over the last day or so, you’ve got your answer.
Boxing management tycoon Punch Club hit the top Steam charts at launch, marking it as a game that did well on the digital storefront. Even so, the number of people who pirated the game vastly overshadows the number of people who actually bought it.
Turns out, it’s never too late to do the right thing.
Whenever piracy is mentioned, people always whip out the argument that, if pirates actually like the game, they’ll totally purchase it in the future. For Stardew Valley, the farming simulator which is currently tearing up the Steam sales charts, that age-old saying might actually be true for some players.
More than two months after release, it’s still not possible to pirate Just Cause 3. The same is true for Rise of the Tomb Raider, released for PC in late January. Cracking computer games used to be measured in hours or days, but now, it’s turning into weeks and months. The nature of piracy is changing in a big way.
Torrents-Time is an interesting little browser plugin that lets you stream torrents without needing to download a whole separate client. It’s a boon for anyone who needs a simple way to torrent, but as a few people are pointing out, it’s also horribly insecure.
The last time we heard from Chinese cracking forum 3DM—responsible for illegal cracks of pirated video games—they were being frustrated by Just Cause 3's “Denovo” copy protection. Now they’re walking away from the game entirely.
The Witness has been illegally downloaded by thousands of people since it was released last month, but did you know pirates have their own forums? Comments sections? Technical support questions? Yeah, I was surprised, too.
QUOTE | “It seems The Witness is the #1 game on a certain popular torrent site. Unfortunately this will not help us afford to make another game!” - Indie developer Jonathan Blow talking about the unfortunate levels of piracy that he’s seen for his much-praised new game The Witness.
On December 20, 2003, a torrent file was created for an ASCII version of The Matrix. In January 2016, after countless other albums, movies and TV shows have come and gone, it’s still active.
Some of the world’s most notorious video game pirates, denizens of Chinese hacking forum 3DM, are worried that over the next couple of years video games anti-copy protection will have gotten so good that they’ll be out of a job.
Developers can’t always stop piracy. But they can try to have fun with it, at least.
For such an important topic, it’s a shame that we can’t ever seem to have a real discussion about video game piracy. Any attempt normally goes down like this: people downloading games are painted as criminals, publishers trying to stop them are portrayed as monsters, everyone sticks to this division and nothing ever…
Have you ever pirated a video game? Do you still pirate video games? Do you play emulated games? Do you make video games that have been widely-pirated? Are you involved in trying to stop piracy? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, let’s talk.