How can game companies best prevent piracy of their stuff?

Tydirium

For the Empire!!
Validated User
How can game companies best prevent piracy of their stuff?

My group was recently talking about a new edition of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay and why game companies pretty much get annihilated by piracy of their stuff...and hence why we'll probably never see a Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 3rd edition.

So, how can game companies best prevent piracy of their stuff?

More cardstock? Mini's? Multiple, multiple releases? Is the WOTC approach of going after people working?

Jh
 

DrFaust

Roll away the dew.
Validated User
How can game companies best prevent piracy of their stuff?
The unhelpful answer is for companies to release all their material under some flavor of a Creative Commons license that allows sharing. It stops piracy by changing file-sharing to not-piracy.

Unfortunately, this method would put a crimp in most publishers' cash flow.
 

Dr Velocity

Bearer of the Mind-Sword
Validated User
I think because of the internet and virtual products, it is going to take an overhaul of the current worldview of what "piracy" means, as well as intellectual property and ownership, how "stealing" applies to something that actually doesn't go anywhere when "stolen", but is copied.
 

DannyK

One Shot Man
Validated User
I'm not impressed withWotC's approach, because I lost $100's worth of PDF's when they suddenly pulled them from the download companies and my backups got toasted. WotC lost me as a customer for good. I doubt I'm the only one.

Similarly, I suspect heavy-duty intrusive DRM is counter-productive because it makes legitimate products less valuable than pirated stuff.
 

Prof. Anybody

Active member
Validated User
How can game companies best prevent piracy of their stuff?
They can't, and to the extent they try (beyond building a good relationship with their user base, charging reasonable prices for their materials, and not acting like dicks*) they are only going to hurt themselves (by destroying their relationship with their user base, and acting like dicks).

Next question?

*exception - companies that get to be too large, or too popular, are going to get pirated simply because of the massive userbase, and the general tendency towards "screw them, they've got theirs" found in a percentage of any sufficiently large userbase. The smaller a company is, the more likely "Go buy it, they're poor" is likely to be the response to "Where can I DL <x>, doodz!" on some message board.
 

Rawrster

Retired User
I suppose everyone could switch to a setup like Reign has, though I don't see that actually happening. I'm not really sure piracy is that big of an issue as far as lost product is concerned. Most of the people pirating the book probably wouldn't buy the book if it wasn't available for free online. In fact, in some ways it could help to sell product. I know numerous people who people who will download a product to give it an initial read through, and then if they like it they will go out and buy a physical product of it. That way they are confident they are spending their money on products they will enjoy and use.
 

argo

Registered User
Validated User
How can game companies best prevent piracy of their stuff?
Jh
Make a high-quality product that is backed by good customer service so that people will gladly pay you money for it.

Realize that the majority of the people who steal your stuff were never going to buy it in the first place.

Concentrate on running the best business possible and don't get your knickers in a twist worrying about imaginary "lost" income from piracy.
 
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