While widespread PC game piracy is generally seen as a blight on the industry, PC Gaming Alliance president Randy Stude contends that the free exchange of games has definitely had a positive effect.
In an interview with Big Download, Stude, president of the non-profit organisation formed last year to promote and improve the state of PC gaming, suggests that early piracy actually helped make the PC gaming industry what it is today.
The PC Gaming Industry's history is littered with examples of startups (including Stardock and Valve) that actually benefited from wide spread piracy to grow a market for their future titles. Don't get me wrong, I am not advocating piracy... However, how would Quake, Doom, Starcraft, Counter-Strike, or Half-Life have been able to grow widespread brand recognition without a widespread network of gamers openly sharing these games. These titles (and many more) defined the industry. Personally, my first experience with a first person shooter was with Doom (back in the day) and I did not pay for it. Id Software turned the corner and has a very successful business built on the back of the early free/open source exchange of their games...
Yes, Randy Stude is a dirty pirate, but then again, so was I back then. I too had a non-purchased copy of Doom. Hell, my primitive high school computer programming class was a haven for the exchange of Apple II games of dubious origin. It wasn't right, but those first few "free" titles turned me into the adult I am today, purchasing upwards of a dozen PC games a year.
What I am trying to say here, is the man has a valid point. I probably wouldn't be here writing this article if not for the trespasses of my past. That having been said, the industry is doing fine now, and everyone can stop pirating now. Thanks!
Interview: PC Gaming Alliance's president gives us an update [Big Download via Blue's News]