December 9, 2009

Placating Pirates May Piss Off the Rest of Us

In a recent talk with Kotaku, Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitello stated that even though the company doesn't care for pirates, EA is trying to view them as a market for downloadable content. He states, "There's a sizable pirate market and a sizable second sale market and we want to try to generate revenue in that marketplace." Basically, EA thinks they can get pirates to buy DLC and still recover some of the money lost to theft.

Now hold on a second.

What does that say to consumers who legitimately purchase video games if EA is so nonchalant about piracy? It sends the message that they're willing to let it slide if some people steal from them.

So why not the rest of us? Why should we bother to pay for a video game and the DLC when EA will allow others to purchase DLC even if they don't pay for the game? That's like giving out bonus points on future purchases at retail to people who buy items as well as shoplifters. Why should theives be allowed the same perks as the law abiding citizen? That's not fair at all.

If I were in charge-- mostly cause I can be a really harsh biotch when it comes to people breaking my rules --I would do what Eidos did with Batman Arkham Asylum and add glitches that render the content unplayable unless they are legitimate copies. You wanna steal from me punk? I'll make damn sure you get no pleasure from it.

Source: Kotaku


  1. I don't see it so much a statement of "We love pirates," but more a "We know there will always be pirates, so we might as well try to get what we can."

    EA hasn't always been the friend of the gamer when it comes to copy protection. I think we all remember when Spore first came out and all the problems that the DRM caused for a lot of people that played the game.

    In the end, companies are going to have to do the math and decide how much money they want to spend on technology to thwart software pirating and how much of that is worth it.

    We all know there is currently no way for us to 100% protect content while respecting the rights and convenience of legit customers.

    I give Mr. Riccitello a gold star for being honest and trying to find unique ways for his company to cope with situation.

  2. Well said, Carl. I don't think EA is pro-pirates in the slightest. It's smart to try multiple angles to get money. What I don't appreciate is an "ah well" kind of attitude that makes me wonder why the rest of us have to fork over $60 for a game when others don't and get the same perks.

  3. Now that we have seen some of their new mojo in action (Cerberus Network in ME2), how do you feel about their stance? People that buy the game new are getting free content, while used and pirated copies in theory have to pay to get this content?

  4. As I've mentioned on G4 Interactive many times, I think it's a brilliant move to increase revenue in general since they don't make money off used games.

    Still, I stand my original opinion that I'd like to see EA act more steadfast (even if it's just to placate me) about anti-piracy rather than just shrugging their shoulders and saying "Oh well."

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