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Goodbye Galaxy Games fires back at Renegade Kid's piracy blog

Jools Watsham recently posted a blog about the dangers of piracy on the 3DS. This spurred on Hugo Smits of Goodbye Galaxy Game to put together his own blog post on the topic. He doesn't quite seen eye-to-eye with Jools.

Jools writes about his fear of the 3DS getting hacked and how his game Dementium II sold around half as much as the first game (Dementium). Jools blames these poor sale figures solely on piracy.

Every time a developer brings up piracy it feels to me they are putting their heads in the sand. It’s such an easy scapegoat to point your finger at, especially without any factual proof.

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18 total comments (View all)
User avatar
02 Jan 2013 14:40

1 Pirate download =/= 1 loss of a sale

I imagine the ratio is at least 100 Pirate downloads = 1 loss of a sale
User avatar
02 Jan 2013 14:44

Piracy does affect sales, yes it's not 1:1, but it would be ignorant to say otherwise.
User avatar
02 Jan 2013 14:47

LegendofSantiago wrote:Piracy does affect sales, yes it's not 1:1, but it would be ignorant to say otherwise.

No one is saying it doesn't. Hugo Smits is saying developers can't point 100% of the blame for poor sales on piracy.
No Avatar
02 Jan 2013 14:49

With software, services, and bundles still breaking record numbers on ALL platforms, I never take piracy complaints seriously. It's a loss, sure, but not the end all be all.

The DS was the easiest platform to pirate on in recent memory and look how that ended up.
No Avatar
02 Jan 2013 14:51

Piracy obviously does effect sales. Its not 1:1 because lets face it some people steal because they can't afford a game. A lot however can, so when something like Red Steel 2 sell 100k copies and has 4 million+ pirated downloads, its a little retarded to say piracy didn't have an effect.

I think the key is pirate downloads should not exceed actual sales, that's when you know there's a serious problem.
User avatar
02 Jan 2013 14:57

OmicronTurtle wrote:

I imagine the ratio is at least 100 Pirate downloads = 1 loss of a sale

Yes, that is something you imagined.
User avatar
02 Jan 2013 14:58

I said it on Twitter, but it bares repeating.

Jools blames these poor sale figures solely on piracy.

Piracy on the Nintendo DS crippled the DS retail market, especially in Europe. We’ll never know how/if Dementium II landed in as many hands as the first game, Dementium: The Ward, due to the rampant piracy at the time.

So no, he actually didn't blame the figures solely on piracy at all. Misinterpretation at best, misrepresentation at worst. Whilst I do agree with the sentiment of Smits' article stating that piracy is only part of a wider, more complex issue, it irks me to see him completely misquoting what Jools said originally.
User avatar
02 Jan 2013 15:01

@OmicronTurtle I know, but I imagine niche games that need all the sales they can get feel the burn of piracy a lot. Then people ask why X game didn't get a sequel, or why X series isn't localized. I am disgusted that a game like xenoblade was pirated over a million times, especially with fans starting a massive movement for its localization
User avatar
02 Jan 2013 15:16

I still don't think piracy solely affects software sales. Most people who pirate games don't even have the intention of purchasing them in the first place. That means the possible sale of the software was never there, and no loss is concreted. Remember that sales begin with a necessity, if the person needs that software and pirates it, then thats another story.
User avatar
02 Jan 2013 15:33

Jools speculated -- as have many people -- that they don't know what the true sales of their games would have been if not for piracy. I have seen that argument in a lot of places by a lot of people. It is not unique nor inaccurate.

It is also comparing apples to oranges for a DL game developer to take exception to something that a retail game developer said. In other words, GGG may not experience piracy to any set degree (and thus may devalue its impact) because it is making download-only games that are primarily appealing to a niche audience.

Mike from Morgantown
User avatar
02 Jan 2013 15:52

Piracy is not the issue.

The VAST majority of people who pirate a game wouldn't be buying it regardless, trust me on this, so it does not count as a lost sale.

If your game isn't selling and making money then there's problems in some other area/s, be it the game's overall quality, it's general appeal, the pricing, the marketing and exposure or whatever.

Forget about the pirates.
User avatar
02 Jan 2013 17:12


Very well-stated, I think.
User avatar
02 Jan 2013 17:38

especially without any factual proof.

Humble Bundle.
User avatar
02 Jan 2013 18:01

Don't remember the guy blaming piracy as the sole reason!
User avatar
02 Jan 2013 18:58

piracy is the effect of an industry intent on devouring itself. think about it. most people don't keep all the games they buy. no one i know does, they trade them in for other games. this means that in order to keep the market artificially inflated (ie so they can continue to sell at $60 a pop), the industry MUST make room for a second hand market. sadly, the second hand market is owned by a near monopoly (lamestop). this means most "gamers" are at the whim of a corporate giant who doesn't care about anything but $, meaning you get, like, 10-15% of your initial investment. this is a scam usually only organized crime can pull off. the corporate model is it's own parasite here. so what should the consumer do? should they blindly continue to throw money into this system (which is abusing it's supporters)? or should they stop supporting the broken way things work, and decide to support a different system of business? i perceive pirating as the natural recourse to being blindly ripped off year after year.

let me ask this: does pirating a game that has sold out of it's print run count as stealing? who exactly am i stealing from if i, say, download one of the TMNT SNES games? who am i hurting buy downloading, say, little king's story, today, in 2013? answer: Absolutely No One. downloading titles from systems which are no longer available hurts only the second hand market, which is already full of collectors who don't care about roms or iso, they care about carts and discs. pirating does next to nothing to the shelf value of second hand goods. a used copy of mario bros, or wii sports, etc is only worth about $2 no matter how many times it's shared via internet (even though big n will charge ya $5 for every system you want it on). the same is also true in reverse. pirating a copy of fire emblem wii does nothing to the secondary market value of the game, and also does nothing to hurt nintendo, as they've already had ample time to move their available stock from shelves. ie there aren't any more new copies of fire emblem in existence (besides in the hands of collectors, of course). also, how many times should we have to buy the same game? most games released in the last generation of games are remakes, sequels, and ports. another thought: shouldn't i have some control over the thing i purchase from a company? i mean, if you buy a chevy camaro, and you want to modify it, you can. but if i want to, say, boot my games from a usb drive instead of by disc (because my device was shipped with a disc drive made as cheaply as possible. seriously, i'm not replacing my wii disc drive again), i should be able to modify my personal item any way i choose. i'm also not agreeing to an unfair second hand market, where i'm the one being constantly ripped off. if you want to offer me a fair price for my games, fine, let's do business. you wanna give me $12 for the game i dropped $60 on yesterday, just because i took the cello off, no way, i'm done. plus, pirates get to play all the best stuff, like fatal frame 4, the uncensored manhunt 2, captain rainbow, zengeki, project zero 2, disaster day of crisis (which is WAY better than the reviews would lead you to believe),etc. there are also some really awesome hacked titles around like mariokart black and the new smb homebrew games made with the reggie editor.

anyway, i simply wanted to give word to thoughts of a different nature than just, "haxors suck." because they don't. actually, all the real hackers i've come in contact with have been exceedingly kind in comparison to most internet folk. oh, and if you're broke from buying all the games, don't feel guilty for a second, hack your wii today. it's a dead system, and the games are nearly worthless on the market. ie, it's not a crime, it's receiving a gift. there's a huge difference.
User avatar
02 Jan 2013 20:56

It's supply and demand. If there is a huge free supply obviously the price will go down, as will demand.
User avatar
03 Jan 2013 02:09

Many things come into play for lower sales, especially on good games that are less popular and more obscure. Piracy isn't the only part of it but it definitely is a major problem.

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