Piracy Will Get You Nothing, Good day, Sir!

If you saw my article about the DRM around FIFA 16 and Just Cause 3 being cracked yesterday, you should know something about a bit of editing that I did to that story.

While writing it, I included one sentence that I deleted, because I didn’t think it would fit with the rest of the tone of the story: that pirated games were mostly played by people apparently too lazy to work but not too lazy to spend hours and hours attempting to hack into a firewall so that they won’t have to pay 60 dollars for a game that took millions of dollars and hundreds, possibly thousands of man-hours to make.

Why? Why is piracy always so prevalent? Why is it treated like a big deal that people won’t be able to steal games anymore? Cracking a game’s DRM these days is like scraping off a barcode on a physical product so that you won’t trip the anti-theft sensors as you walk out the door with it in your pocket because you’re too cheap to shell out a buck fifty for a candy bar or something.

That is my general feeling on pirates. People either too cheap or too entitled to think that “Hey, I like this game. I should pay money so that I can enjoy it with a clear conscience” is the proper thought, instead saying “I deserve this game, and the company probably gets a ton of money from everyone else anyway.” This sort of attitude is why I put down the example of Game Dev Tycoon in the article.

That un-DRMed copy is actually a legitimate thing that happened, in an (apparently vain) effort to teach people that developers don’t have infinite money, and if piracy gets out of control then the studios that make the games that you love will be forced to close down, and it will be no one’s fault but yours.

Game developers do not get as much money as they need in order to finish the game from their higher-ups. They have budgets. Destiny at the moment is working with a handful of people on a crappy budget because of the game’s initial lackluster performance.

While Destiny wasn’t a victim of piracy, other games like it have to deal with that because pirates live up to their namesake, or think of themselves as some kind of cyber Robin Hood.

Newsflash, boys and girls, you’re not. Your piracy, if it gets bad enough, can cause studios to shut down and deprive dozens or hundreds of people of their livelihoods. You wanting “free” games in this instance is not a noble cause.

You’re being childish. Yes, video games are expensive these days, and constantly having Day One patches and game features being removed to make DLC is a dirty way to get more money, but all of that money is needed so that the studio can make more games. Without it, they’ve got nothing. And you’ll have nothing, too.