A presentation on Game Piracy by Tommy Smith, Jeffrey Otto & Abhishek Sagi
Team Member 1: Talks about : Game Piracy – What? Game Piracy – History Game Piracy – How it evolved?
Hello everyone today we are going to talk about Videogame piracy. First! What is Game Piracy? Well , Its nothing but copying and distributing the contents without developer authorization. Say breaking terms and conditions. And Game Piracy is not new it existed ever since videogames started to appear in this little world. Today Games are Pirated on PC, consoles and handhelds. The platforms which are pirated the most are PC because it exists everywhere and is basic necessity for everyone these days. And amongst Consoles PS2 was the most pirated console when It first came out in the year 2000 in Japan.It is pirated with the help of a mod chip embedded onto the motherboard which makes it region free and lets it play copied games. The second most pirated console is Xbox360 which is following the footsteps of the PS2. Other consoles were pirated the similar way but was not as intense as the PS2 & Xbox360. Well PS3 was not pirated due to many reasons one of them being new format Blu-ray. Which is expensive to do so. Until this month where some developers figured a way to pirate PS3 using a pen drive which uploads a patch onto the ROM of PS3 . Which lets it boot in debug mode and allows it to backup games. PSP is pirated with the help of a custom software patch which enables the handheld to run games from the Memory stick. Jeffrey will talk in brief about handhelds later.
How did Piracy evolve? Well as I said earlier it existed ever since videogames came into existence and ever since technology started growing methods to pirate games also grew. And everyday more people are coming up with newways to pirate games. Which is bad for the gaming industry. Why do people pirate games? One of the main reasons being that games are released at some places earlier and are delayed in other countries due to various issues like rating etc. Games are not priced evenly around the world . Some of them do it because they want to play the game before deciding to buy it. Other main reason being that games are getting more realistic and expensive and many people who cant afford them decide to pirate games.
How do people get access to pirated games? One of the main sources is through Internet – via torrents and file sharing websites Piratebay is one of those popular internet websites. And Megaupload and Rapidshare websites also became famous recently. These websites are causing huge losses to the gaming industry. For example : Rockstar GTA IV 29 th April 2008 Sold 3.6 Million Units on Day One . And surprisingly the game was available online on torrent websites the same day and is being downloaded by 5million times by users around the world on 360 Alone!
Since the PC has become so popular, the demand for internet services has also risen. It is thought that over 83% of the UK population now have access to internet connections faster than 2MB. Although these speeds are minute compared to other countrys which are known to have access to connections as fast as 100MB. High speed internet has allowed pirates to host and share copyright material on a unified space and has helped pirates to take refuge on underground sites which host the material. Companies have been investing a lot of money into the protection of their material. Methods of protection have been introduced onto the discs in order to stop pirates reproducing the content. One example of this is PC version of Mass Effect which would disallow the player to save their progress, it would also stop the user accessing a feature in the game which was vital for progressing if it found out that the version of the game was infact pirated. This is one hell of a lot of downloads considering during the first day they reaped in revenues totalling somewhere around $310 million. *statistics taken from torrentfreak.com
Console piracy has been on the rise since the release of the original Playstation. There were always new methods of tricking the console into thinking copied material was legimate. Modchips are an ever popular way of modifying consoles into playing copied material. The Playstation was one of the first consoles that the modding community produced modchips for. Since then modchips have been developed for pretty much every console. The Xbox 360 was hacked not long after release and a torrent of modchips soon followed. These were not supported by Microsoft. Microsoft decided to try and combat the pirates by banning them from the Xbox live services. They decided to track a list of modded consoles and permanently ban them, meaning that if a person with a modded xbox wanted to play online again, they never could unless they went out and purchased another Xbox. Another way of modding the 360 was the Flash Drive trick. The flash drive trick required the user to go online and download some custom firmware which could them be used to flash the internal drive of the xbox allowing the user to play illegal back ups. This shows that no matter what the industry puts in place as protection, there will always be someone who has the knowledge and skills to reverse and get rid of copy protection.
According to a study by Japan ’ s Computer Entertainment Suppliers Association, handheld piracy has cost the industry at least $41.5 Billion (£28 Billion) between 2004 and 2009. The study was made in conjunction with Tokyo University by checking download counts for the top 20 Japanese games at over 100 piracy sites and recording those figures from 2004 to 2009. They then multiplied that number by 4 assuming that Japan makes up 25% of the worlds software market. The study did not take into account different methods of piracy such as peer to peer and the assumption that Japan makes up a quarter of the software market and simply multiplying that number by 4 would result in an inaccurate total. They also excluded other handheld and mobile devices like the iPhone and iPod Touch and didn ’ t consider how many people might have bought a legitimate copy after downloading a pirated copy.
The developers of the iPhone game Tap-Fu noticed that they had a piracy rate of over 80% within weeks of its release. They did research into how many people are pirating their game and found that none of the people who got a pirated copy within the first few weeks of release went on to buy a copy in the App Store despite a common justification of piracy being that they can test the game and buy a legal copy if they enjoy it. One way iPhone developers try and tackle piracy is to offer the base game for free and provide extra content through micro-transactions. Another way is releasing a free ad supported version of the app and giving users the option of buying a version without advertising. Greg Yardley, the CEO of Pinch Media said to Gamasutra &quot;Some developers are very, very active in their battle against piracy, but others, because they can't quantify the amount of money they're losing, because they don't know how many additional sales they'd get if they put an end to piracy, they choose to put their efforts instead into improving their game instead of keeping out the hackers.
Piracy on the PSP has been a big problem since it was released. The volume and ease of piracy on the PSP has significantly affected game development with developers like Ready at Dawn questioning the future of development on the PSP. In a recent interview the creative director said that &quot;It's getting to the point where it doesn't make sense to make games on it if the piracy keeps on increasing. It definitely hurts a lot of developers out there who are trying to make great games.&quot; It ’ s likely that Ready at Dawn will move away from PSP development and on to other platforms. Sony made an attempt to prevent the use of the “ Pandora ’ s Battery ” exploit with the release of the PSP Go. The PSP Go doesn ’ t allow you to remove or replace the battery which renders the “ Pandora ’ s Battery ” hack useless but it doesn ’ t matter much when earlier versions of the PSP hardware are so widely available. The release of the PSP Go also marked Sony ’ s move toward digital distribution and following Apple ’ s app store model with smaller, cheaper games called “ PSP Minis ” to try and encourage people to pay for smaller downloadable titles rather than pirating . They also denied pirates the ability to play SOCOM Fireteam Bravo 3 online by bundling it with a code that allows you to access the online features. Without the included code you have to pay extra money to play online.
Abhishek : Piracy Cant be completely reduced . It always exsists . PC gaming in under serious threat and is under verge of extinction . Some Analysts predict that PC gaming might soon die if immediate steps are not taken. Consoles and handhelds are also facing similar situation New efficient protection methods should be adopted to minimize piracy and save gaming industry from serious losses. Thank you.
Game Piracy <ul><li>What is Game Piracy? </li></ul><ul><li>Copying and distributing games in violation of its EULA (End User License Agreement). </li></ul><ul><li>Had existed ever since the dawn of video games. </li></ul><ul><li>Today : </li></ul><ul><li>PC </li></ul><ul><li>Consoles - PS1,PS2,PS3 ,Game Cube, Xbox & Xbox360. </li></ul><ul><li>Handhelds – PSP , Gameboy , DS , iPhone etc. </li></ul>
History <ul><li>How did piracy evolve? </li></ul><ul><li>It evolved along with the technology. </li></ul><ul><li>And it is growing under tremendous rate. </li></ul><ul><li>Reasons: </li></ul><ul><li>Games are not released at the same time around the world. </li></ul><ul><li>Inconsistent pricing at some parts of the world. </li></ul><ul><li>Try the game out before purchasing it. </li></ul><ul><li>Shortage of money. </li></ul>1992 2000 2008 1 2 3 4
How is it done? <ul><li>Internet: Torrents(P2P file sharing), File sharing websites – rapid share, mega upload etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Huge Losses. </li></ul><ul><li>Example: </li></ul>Game developer Sold 3.6 million units on day one Downloaded by 5million users around the world for xbox360 alone!!!
PC Piracy <ul><li>Since the Pc has become more accessible to the common man, piracy has become easier. </li></ul><ul><li>Copy protection has been put into place to stop the reproduction of copyrighted material. </li></ul><ul><li>Last year the most pirated game was Modern Warfare 2 on the PC. There was thought to have been over 4.2 million which is only 500 thousand less than the units sold in the US and UK in the first release day. * </li></ul>
Console Piracy <ul><li>Console Piracy is a large problem perhaps not as large as it used to be. </li></ul><ul><li>Mod chips. </li></ul><ul><li>Did you know: The original Xbox copy protection was defeated within the first three weeks and was cracked by someone who worked as a developer for the console. </li></ul><ul><li>Compared to the PS3 this is ridiculous! It has taken approximately four years for hackers to finally find a method to enable pirated material to run on the PS3. </li></ul>
Handheld Piracy <ul><li>Handheld Piracy cost the industry at least $41.5 Billion (£28 Billion) between 2004 and 2009. </li></ul><ul><li>The study was made in conjunction with Tokyo University by checking download counts for the top 20 Japanese games at over 100 piracy sites and recording those figures from 2004 to 2009. </li></ul><ul><li>Neglected iPhone and iPod Touch and reasons behind piracy </li></ul><ul><li>The total figure might be inaccurate due to how it was calculated </li></ul>
iPhone and iPod Touch <ul><li>Piracy rate over 80% for some iPhone developers </li></ul><ul><li>Piracy combated by releasing for free or ad supported then offering extra content later for a price </li></ul><ul><li>Not all developers are concerned with the level of piracy because they don't know how much they’re losing </li></ul>
Sony PSP <ul><li>Piracy on the PSP has been a significant problem since it was released </li></ul><ul><li>Developers have abandoned it due to high piracy levels </li></ul><ul><li>Sony have stated in many interviews that they are aware of the piracy issues on PSP and try to patch holes in security with firmware updates </li></ul><ul><li>PSP Go disables ability to remove or replace battery to try and cut down on “Pandora's battery” hack </li></ul><ul><li>Bundling SOCOM with a code needed to play online to encourage people to buy a copy similar to EA's Online Pass </li></ul>
Conclusion <ul><li>Piracy cant be completely incinerated but can be reduced. </li></ul><ul><li>Games on PC are on a verge of extinction. </li></ul><ul><li>Consoles and Handheld soon to follow PC footsteps. </li></ul><ul><li>Immediate steps should be taken to minimize piracy . </li></ul>