Here’s A List of Publishers/Developers Who’ve Gone Pirate Hunting

Published 3 years ago by

10 best ways of how to stop video game piracy

CD Projekt Red, developers of one of the best RPGs of 2011, The Witcher 2, made big headlines last week for their change in policies regarding software piracy. Despite being known as a fan-friendly developer for their choice not to remove any form of DRM for The Witcher 2 (currently available only on PC), CD Projekt Red took it upon themselves to recoup some of their (potentially) lost sales due to piracy.

How they went about this upset fans, earning the developer negative PR and convincing them to end the pirate hunt and issue a formal apology to their fans. They had enlisted lawyers to send copyright infringement notices to pirates they’d identified through IP searches requesting approximately $1,200 in damages from each. As it turns out, quite a few other publishers have also engaged in similar strategies.

In response to the CD Projekt Red apology, TorrentFreak, who also gathered and shared info on the most pirated games of 2011, took it upon themselves to show the world that this is not an uncommon situation, that many other developers and publishers have attempted to use these tactics to earn money from pirates.

“So, addressing concerns that CD Projekt might have been unfairly singled out, TorrentFreak decided to dig deep into the archives of various resources including legal firms, campaign groups and the account holders themselves, to find out which other games companies — either directly or through local distributors — have been generating revenue from cash settlement schemes in recent years.”

So, who else has been after software pirates to earn extra money months after the release of their games?

  • Codemasters for Colin McRae: Dirt and Operation Flashpoint: Red River (demanded 800 Euros)
  • DAEDALIC Entertainment on behalf of LucasArts.
  • Koch Media, on behalf of Techland for Dead Island.
  • Koch Media, on behalf of Square Enix for Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Dungeon Siege III (800 Euros from each pirate), several Final Fantasy titles and Kane & Lynch 2.
  • Square Enix again for Just Cause 2 (several hundred Euros).
  • Techland for Nail’d.
  • Ubisoft for Rainbow Six: Vegas.

The list goes on and on and other games mentioned included Tropico 3 & 4, the Painkiller expansions and various other smaller releases.

While we understand the problem with piracy and how it affects legitimate users (with crappy DRM), the bigger issue is whether or not said pirates would have bought the game if it were not available to them for free. Are they only downloading it because it’s free? Are any of the pirates purchasing the game after trying it for free? More importantly, where are the substantially large numbers coming from (800 Euros) and how much of that settlement goes to the publisher and developer?

There’s no right answer (yet) and it’s a controversial topic, but we are already starting to see the affect on PC gaming, with many major titles releasing on consoles only and PC-only games starting to come using play4free models. Perhaps the industry should look at our 10 fun ways to stop video game piracy.

How do you feel about publishers sending lawyers after alleged software pirates on per game basis?

Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes.

Source: TorrentFreak

TAGS: CD Projekt Red, Dead Island, Deus Ex Human Revolution, Eidos Montreal, Final Fantasy, Just Cause 2, Kane and Lynch 2, LucasArts, Operation Flashpoint: Red River, Square Enix, Techland, The Witcher 2, Tropico 4, Ubisoft

  • Chris

    Hahaha, looks like they are hanging pirates now, just like the old days.

    I think the saying applies here…”It’s not illegal until you’re caught.”

    All I can say is I hope the pirates out there know what they are doing, and not just downloading whilly-nilly. After all, there might be pirates in our midst! I suggest they all take the hint….and do some research mateys.

  • Edub

    And this is why games, movies, media, whatever, costs so much. Creators still need to make their money one way or another. If they keep pirating them, they’ll keep raising their prices. It’ll come to the point where it’ll either cost so damn much or even worse…they’ll stop making them.

    • Gehrich

      You got it backwards, bro. Piracy doesn’t lead to higher prices, higher prices lead to piracy. Media companies realize this and are in a kind of stalemate with themselves over it. If they lower their prices they ‘might’ get more sales but if they raise their prices then they’ll more than likely lose sales. That’s how the free market works.

  • Gehrich

    “the bigger issue is whether or not said pirates would have bought the game if it were not available to them for free”
    Back when I was a pirate I did it only because I couldn’t afford my games and the same goes for all the pirates I know irl.
    “Are any of the pirates purchasing the game after trying it for free?”
    Yes, for a few years in a row I would see people refer to piracy as ‘unhindered demoing’ all the time. There are plenty who say that any game they can spend an hour or two on without getting bored is worth paying for. Also, a large majority of the piracy scene is for supporting developers, especially independent ones.
    I honestly don’t see how so many people believe that piracy is hurting the industry’s income when, in my experience, most pirates resort the stealing because they can’t afford the exorbitant prices of games. Besides the number of video game pirates is generally pretty low. When the majority of 200k-400k pirates can’t afford games in the first place the loss of revenue isn’t that substantial.

    • Kuxir

      Its less 200~ 400k than it is millions of copies downloaded if some if the bigger games.

  • Clen

    Stop suing the people who pirate, sue the people who make the pirated versions. I mean really XD Yea arrest the addict will stop him from doing it again (maybe) but there will be 2 or 3 more to take his place. Now arrest the dealer and it will stop for a little while. Arrest 2 or 3 and there is a shortage of pirated goods. Now make it a big deal and you might just scare the people who know how to make the pirated goods from well making them. Its not like its hard to find these people lol just go to pirates bay, or many obvious sites like i mean geez its right in front of you LOL. Im sorry for bad grammar XD

    • Gehrich

      Agreed, but it seems like the companies really only care about getting settlements out of the addicts instead of decommissioning the dealers which shows they care more about getting money than stopping piracy.

    • Eric

      It’s nearly impossible when they aren’t American. Try tendering some dude in China a court notice and see if he shows.

  • Boris

    I kinda agree with Gehrich. Although I’ve pirated before, I’ve only done it in conjunction with buying the game itself.
    With Dragon Age: Origins i bought the CE, but I had to wait almost a week before it’d arrive so I just pirated it so I wouldn’t have to wait for so long in anticipation of it.

    Also gotta agree with Clen, gotta grab a tree by its root, not its branches.