Piracy is a huge deal to creative studios these days, it seems more true today than any previous era of gameing; this is in large part due to peer-to-peer networking services gaining popularity. In Redmond, Washington (a city very close to where I live) there is a game studio HQ by the name of "Gas Powered Games" which you might know from titles such as Dungeon Siege and Supreme Commander. Their most recent game "Demigod" has received a lot of press lately for just how much the game has been pirated. According to their website their game has been pirated at least 120,000 times and of those only 18,000 have actually purchased the game. So in other words for every purchase their is over 6 pirates, which I find quite frankly appalling.
I'm currently in college working towards my degree in computer engineering, and working in the videogame industry always seemed like an interesting and challenging career choice. There are so many video game companies here in my area as Washington is home to some of the largest video game companies in the world. I know a lot of the income for small studios is the returns they get from the amount of sales they make so piracy is obviously going to affect them to some degree.
I think the mentality of pirates extends far beyond that of simply "I rather a have free copy then give my money to X company". That is not to say that mentality exists because everyone knows it does, but some people are afraid of buyer's remorse and that they are unsure of whether or not if they will enjoy the game. It is not unusual to have someone illegaly download a game and then proceed to buy a game, albeit the practice is done rarely. So is there anything that can help elimnate piracy? I believe a short answer to that question would be no, I feel that measures such as digital rights management does nothing if not worsen the problem. The solution may just be to inform the people that have commited the crime as they need to be educated on what they are actually doing and how their actions will affect not only the videogame studio but the industry as a whole.
Seems like a personal rant but I'm sure this topic will be raised for better or worse in the future.
Does anyone think they have a solution to the problem,if so I would be happy to hear it!