Why Are People Pirating A Charity Game?

Last week, a pack went on sale that let you name your own price for five great indie games, all in the name of charity. Know what a ton of people then went and did? Pirated the thing. Wonderful.

To recap, this was a pack that let you pay what you want. With all proceeds going to charity. So you could pay $US1 and get five of the best indie games going around, and donate to a good cause, all at the same time. $1!

Even that was too much for many, though, with Wolfire - whose David Rosen penned a great piece on the matter last week - estimating that at least 25% of users got the games for free. And that's a conservative estimate, since it includes only those who scammed the games off a forum or website, and not off BitTorrent sites.

Some days, you're reminded how awful people can really be. Today is one of those days.

Kotaku AU Note: Hey, if only games were cheaper, people wouldn't pirate them! Wait, what...? This is probably the most depressing gaming news of the year.

Saving a penny — pirating the Humble Indie Bundle [Wolfire]


    Holy crap, that's appalling! Who the hell even thinks about pirating this!?!?

    I felt bad I only paid $5 for it that I went back and paid another $25, how can these people justify this!

    Oh man I am so disappointed with people right now...

      ditto, except i just paid the 5 bucks anyway. i like to think of it as 5 bucks i wouldn't have otherwise spent. :D

    I'm about as broke as a DRM policy by Ubisoft, and even i'd pay for this.

    Quite a disgrace. I paid US$10, which in itself is still a bit scungy as World of Goo alone on Steam is 10 bucks, but I figured it was fair since the average Windows users are paying is only US$7. Pirating this is just stupid though. Shameful.

      I put down US$10, and while feeling slightly shamed that I didn't pay more for these, I was glad I was above the PC average :P I was especially glad that part/all proceeds go to charity.

      It is absolutely disgraceful that people would pirate these games when a promotion like this is on. Seriously, folks, $1 is not gonna kill you.

    Which just goes to show, people are jerks, and there's plenty of reason for companies like Ubisoft to do whatever they can to prevent piracy. It would be far better if they didnt have to because people were honest, but that's not going to happen anytime soon.

    This is absolutely despicable.
    Pirating games from small indie studios = you are an ass
    Pirating a charity game = you are an ass
    Pirating a game you can purchase for $1 = you are an ass

    The only (very , very faint) positive I can see in this is that it knocks the stuffing out of any argument tht says every pirated game equals a lost sale. If people pirate a game that costs a dollar, then its not the cost of the games that are making them pirate...

      Pirating from studio = you are an ass. I don't see why their size enters into it.

      Plus, the argument it knocks the stuffing out of is the "I pirate because games are too expensive".

        Yeah, fair call that! Incidentally this humble pie tastes delicious...

        I'm as incensed as everyone else about the fact that anyone would do this (knowingly - to cover arguments about people who just got the link without knowing about the source).

        However, I don't think you can reach the conclusion that the argument that "I pirate because games are too expensive" is negated by this result.

        The only thing that this proves is that expense is not the only factor. I don't know the numbers, but I suspect that the rate of piracy for a full price game far exceeds 25%. All other things being equal, this excess *could* be explained by the "too expensive" argument.

        I think it's much more important to focus on the positives of this experiment: good indie developers got a bunch of cash and advertising that they probably would otherwise not have seen. With any luck this is not just a novelty driven flash in the pan, and it can become a viable business model for reviving games that are tailing off in popularity.

    No idea, people on 4chan usually justify it by saying the games are shit - but I don't think they themselves are downloading them. Who knows? But really, even a little bit of website protection could have prevented this.

    Yep, extremely pathetic. Such amazing games, such a great cause. And people can't even cough up one buck? Seriously?! I hope there's enough backlash over this that at least some of the morons who did this have some small sense of morality stirred within them to go back and give up some cash. But I doubt it.

    Thats just terrible, I honestly can't beleive someone would have the spine to do such a thing. Pirating games is one thing, but a game for charity... thats just beyond low.

    dzc12, did you bother to read the article on wolfire? there are many legitimate reasons people did not pay for the games.
    Also, you can pay less than $1.

      Hey Man, it seemed like the widely spread excuse on the forums was that people had no way to pay. Which just seems like the easiest excuse to make here.

      As pointed out, PayPal offers a service that links your bank account, without the need for a credit card. Granted it takes a little longer than using a credit card, but it certainly is not like people had "no other choice".

      "But the promo would run out before I would get approved" True, that very well may happen. But Child's Play still accepts donations. Why not donate a tiny bit straight to the charity after you've downloaded the bundle if you can't legitimately pay for it anymore.

      It feels like the excuses I read were extremely piss weak, when it's easier than ever to conduct transactions online.

      So I stick by my comment, no one can justify not paying for this bundle.

    I'd lay odds that a lot of people who pirated it haven't actually played it. I've seen a few people who see game + torrent & download it automatically but never use it, like some sort of crazed collection compulsion to have it just in case

    This is depressing on a level so much deeper than just games.

    Ok, devil's advocate here: would all the people who pirated it have KNOWN it was a "charity game"?

    The way it was pirated was that the direct download link was shared on forums etc, bypassing the homepage entirely. Were those links posted with "haha here's a link to some games that you're supposed to donate to charity for but screw that", or they were simply posted as "link to free games". I bet half the people downloading didn't know and couldn't be bothered looking at the website, they saw a link saying "free game" and took it. The concept of it being a "charity game" might have never even came up.

    (Whether that would have stopped them downloading it is a different story, but that's not what I'm talking about)

    Gish and WoG are two of the best indie games I've ever played.

    The article points out that there may be a few explanations why people are 'pirating' the pack;


    "You should also consider youngster who don't have a credit card.
    I made a lot of effort just so I can pay for the humble pack because I don't have a credit card."

    Also it seems that people are 'pirating' the game straight from their site using 'wget', which is where they're getting the 25% from.

    I assume they are either:
    1. People who don't know about this deal, and just found the games on bittorrent.
    2. People who are too young to obtain a credit card; or kids whose parents don't give them an allowance.

    But yes. Many people are cheap; and don't care about the people behind the things they enjoy.
    I was disgusted when I read that Japanese animators get paid less than McDonald's workers, because hardly anybody outside of Japan buys their Anime/Manga, and even the Japanese who buy their products are becoming fewer and fewer (and thus why companies are forced to all converge on moe and ecchi because only otaku's still buy Anime/Manga).

    That's.. utterly appalling. Who the hell can't afford $1?! Hell, -I- can afford $1, and I'm a broke-ass uni student.

    Good news!

    This will hopefully kill all piracy arguments dead.

    No more of this 'Games are pirated because they are expensive, because of the DRM, because of the cost in gasoline it requires to drive to a game store'

    This shows the game companies that no-matter WHAT you do there will ALWAYS be a percentage of users that pirate. It's been like that ever since floppy disks came around. Birds fly, grass grows, people pirate.

    I say good job on the pirates, this should show game developers to stop sinking so much time and energy into DRM measures, and start making their PC games better, instead of re-hashed console ports!

      NB: I'd like to clarify that I do NOT condone stealing from charities. I'm simply unsurprised that people would do this, and hope it gives game companies the kick they need to stop DRM

    Pretty weak - but likely most just downloaded a link without realising it was for charity...

    World of Goo $5 US
    Aquaria $13.39 US
    Gish $5 US
    Penumbra Collection $5 US

    These are the prices I paid to get these great games on Steam, and every one of them was money well-spent. World of Goo and Aquaria in particular are personal favorites of mine that I feel could easily warrant a $30 price tag each! The very notion that people aren't willing to part with even $1 for such a fantastic package, even knowing the proceeds could go to charity, sickens me to my stomach.

    Since most pirates wouldn't buy a game even if they couldn't torrent it they never counted as potential customers in the first place (making this article pretty pointless).

    I thought the point of giving people a simple hyperlink was so you could share it around. Three friends of mine paid $10 each (one donation of $30) and they all downloaded it from the same link. Does that make two of them pirates?

    Pirates don't care how cheap they can be bought for, they only care how quickly they can get them for free. It's not really news (at least to me), and frankly there are worse things going on around the world.

    I picked this bundle up for US$10, and I would have paid more if the promotion didn't run out before my next paycheck arrived!

    I think the pendulum swings both ways with piracy. If a game is expensive or has restrictive DRM, pirates will get it for free because they either don't want to spend that much money or they're "boycotting the system" or somesuch.

    Yet if a game is really cheap and easily accessible, the value of the game is deemed to be low and they think "Well I may as well just get it for free then."

    Either way, IDIOTS.

    By the way, Samarost 2 was added to the indie bundle so check your e-mail for your key to download it.

    As appalling as this is, I am not surprised. People who pirate will give you all sorts of easily dismantled excuses: It's too expensive! (Then why don you steal a car? They're expensive too) It's the DRM! (then why don't you torrent AFTER you pay for the thing - that I've done). Reality is, they do it because: 1) Its easy, 2) they know they won't get caught. I'm 100% positive that, given those conditions, these people would rob a bank just as casually. Sad thing, how many they are, as its revealing of true human nature.

      Can people please stop comparing piracy to stealing a car, robbing a bank, etc.

      Until such time as someone can make an unlimited amount of exact copies of a car or cash from a bank, leaving the original in its place these things will NOT be the same.

      I love that this comparison comes into play as soon as piracy is concerned. God forbid I should want to sell my used game then it's "no you just bought a LICENCE to play the game, you don't actually own the game". Conveniently forgetting the car analogy.

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