"Piracy is killing the PC game market"

Recently, Kevin Cloud, CEO of id Software, claimed that piracy is killing the PC game market. More and more game stores has begun selling more and more console games on the expense of PC games. This, says Cloud, is due to piracy.

One can't help to wonder - perhaps PC games are losing market shares to console games, simply because console games are winning market shares from PC games?

To me, it sounds like any other market - it changes. Some players win, and some players lose. Why should the game market be so much different? Do PC games have some form of natural right to maintain a certain part of the game market? Surely, this doesn't occur because PC games are possible to copy, but with console games it would be impossible. So, if piracy is killing the PC market, why isn't it also killing the console game market?

id is one of my absolute favourite game producers. Wolfenstein, Doom, Quake, say no more! Of all games I bought in my life, Quake3Arena was one I had waited for the longest. To win back market shares, the producing companies must release more price worthy products. Q3A didn't become much of a hit, mostly because of competition from Counter-Strike, a mod of Halflife, another PC game. Was this also because of piracy?

1up.com: Id's Kevin Cloud Says Piracy is Killing PC Gaming


lotr said...

No it was happening because Quake3 wasn't being as well sold as Valves products.

This begs the question: Are PC games just not tempting the money of the average pirate? Most pirates will aggree that if the game or music or film is of good enough quality they will get the real thing after they've tested it out. Thats what I do as I'm not paying corprate prices for stuff I may hate. Are PC games now just not good enough?

Thaumiel said...

lotr: Umm... Exactly. It did not sell as well as Valves products - quite frankly, CS was having an enourmous success and nothing could compete with that. Which means we said about the same thing all along.

Anonymous said...

Actually, this is upside down.

From my point of view, console games are way easier to copy, as there is no cd key activation, no activations etc. which make things difficult. I personally don't play enough much to think tjat games are too expensive to buy. However, many just buy original games when they have to. In the case of most console games, they don't have to.

Also, I wouldn't expect this story from id Software. I like their games, but I've always known they make more technology than games. They've usually only spoken when they have something worthwhile to say.

Obviously there's marketing behind the sales figures. The NG console hype is rather absurd, but there's nothing "media sexy" coming from the PC front.

Just lemme keep both my PC and my consoles, okay?

Thaumiel said...

anon: The problem, which I see, is not an attempt to put PC games in competition with the console games - for some, that competition will always be evident. The problem is that this guy is trying to blame the relative loss of the PC games to the console games on piracy, instead of seeing other explanations that are more probable.

We'll see what happens now that Nintendo Wii comes out - with their, relative to other console platforms', cheap development kits, chances are, there will be an explosion or relatively cheap Wii games, and if the Wii becomes popular, chances are the console market will have yet more of a boom.

Jasperwillem said...

Most people first try a game by downloading it, when the game proves itself, most of the people I know buy a legal copy to enter legal gameservers.

I dont get it at all...

Thaumiel said...

From the "copyright owner" perspective, I could claim that's what the demos are for.