Gaming Reviews, News, Tips and More.
We may earn a commission from links on this page

Is it Okay to Download a Pirated Copy of a Game You've Already Purchased?

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Commenter President-Magikarp has already purchased a copy of Street Fighter X Tekken on Steam, so he feels no qualms about downloading a pirated pre-release version of the game. How's that sit with you?

Okay, I have a question to ask. One that people are going to be very polarized on.


Is it wrong to download a cracked copy of a game you've already legally purchased?

I ask because I've been playing Street Fighter X Tekken on my PC for the last few days, one which I've already bought a pre-order for on Steam, as shown in the image. By all means, I already own this game and a license to download the files. Granted, not until tomorrow, but I've still supported the developer and publisher by giving them my money. I even pre-ordered the game for two friends too.


I've gotten messages from people I know saying that I'm "killing the PC gaming industry" and "adding to the number of reasons why Capcom doesn't want to port games to the PC." I do tell them that I've already purchased the game, and even show proof, but it does little to sway the rhetoric. The gameplay videos I've uploaded and forum posts I've made detailing possible bugs in the game are down rated. I'm still treated like the scum of the Earth because I wanted to get a few days' head start on learning a new game I've already proven I've bought.

To me, it's no different than breaking the street date on a physical copy.

Sometimes, store clerks slip up and give paying customers copies of games ahead of their release date. What I've done here is essentially no different. I downloaded the game's files and played it ahead of its scheduled release, but no matter how much I remind people I've spent money on the product several times over, they bash me because I downloaded it from a torrent instead of a Steam content server. It's still the game I paid for. Why does it matter?


About Speak Up on Kotaku: Our readers have a lot to say, and sometimes what they have to say has nothing to do with the stories we run. That's why we have a forum on Kotaku called Speak Up. That's the place to post anecdotes, photos, game tips and hints, and anything you want to share with Kotaku at large. Every weekday we'll pull one of the best Speak Up posts we can find and highlight it here.