While it has been a problem in the industry for quite some time, it doesn’t seem that piracy or counterfeiting will be going away any time soon. Not only in the realm of video games, but everything from movies, to music, to chocolate, anything with any value has and will continue to be counterfeited and pirated in one way or another. When it comes to video games, people spend ungodly amounts of time, energy, and money into creating these experiences for people to have. Sometimes they’re good, sometimes they’re shit. Regardless, someone needs to be payed for their work. let’s take a look at some reasons why some people may pirate games and how counterfeit versions of video games are making the problem worse.
Going back, let’s start with roms. Roms are video games that you can download to play on emulators, or programs that allow you to run the games. You can find all of your favorite classics from back in the day and then some, all free to play. Now, when it comes to roms, I can understand that some people can’t find certain games, they don’t sell them in stores anymore, and some of the harder to come by games can be priced up into the hundreds of dollars. Also, the makers of the games are going to see any of that money anyways so it’s not really hurting the industry so much. So what’s an oldschool gamer to do? Play roms. Even though I have a fairly large collection of old video games in their original form, I often play roms myself to record video footage for my own series. I use a combination of both “real” and emulated gameplay footage. There’s nothing wrong with that.
Now with newer games people are finding ways to rip, burn, copy, and distribute everything from Xbox 360 games, to DS games, to PC games and everything in between. This is a problem because these games are still in stores, the gaming industry is now actually losing money and fans are having to pay for shit that doesn’t even work, sometimes turning them off to gaming all together. People are getting counterfeit game disks, and cartridges, then passing them on when they find out they don’t work.
Now our hard copies of counterfeit games are getting mixed in with the good well-working games and everyone is having to pay. But then! Then the fan finds that they can download games for free and play them off of his or her computers. Fans and independent programmers get together and crack the games just so they can play one that works. Yes yes, I know that there are also those types that pirate software because they don’t have the money to purchase or feel that they shouldn’t have to purchase games ($60 for a game?!), but there are these others too that just want a game to work. Plain and simple. So I blame the counterfeiters creating a shoddy products on the rise in pirating. There, I said it.
But Wait, there’s more! An alternative thought, and this is going to make me sound completely crazy and like a conspiracy nut or something, but here’s another thought; What if the game companies themselves are creating crappier hard copies of games and distributing them themselves as a way to push the digital revolution in gaming. You know, they want everything to be down-loadable, convenience=more $$$ or something like that. People will click and buy, and if they lose the game, oh well, gotta buy it again. This sucks, but I think that it is a possibility. Stick with the hard versions of games. Pay for something that’s tangible. I know that a lot of us today are buying our used games online and there’s no for-sure way to know if it’s going to be a counterfeit or not. The only thing I can think to say to everyone, is just be careful with your purchases. Take your time, shop around, and always ALWAYS ask questions.