Is A Multi-Platform Release An Excuse For Piracy?

Is A Multi-Platform Release An Excuse For Piracy?

Kotaku commenter Mellowguy wants to know if downloading an illegal copy of a PC game is OK if you already own the console version. What’s your take?

The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim comes out in only about five weeks now. I’m getting it for the 360 — my computer is great but I don’t want to have to worry about balancing the graphics with frames per second. However, I was thinking of downloading Skyrim illicitly after I buy my 360 copy. My reasoning is so: I bought the game — what could be wrong with playing my game on a different system? It’s just like playing Skyrim on a different 360, except that it’s my computer.

So I suppose what I’m wondering is, does anyone else use this reasoning? Am I actually stealing the game because I’m only allowed to use the version I purchased?


  • How can you even be confused on the issue, it’s stealing and there is no grey area.
    If you didn’t want it on PC in the first place then don’t steal it because you think you’re entitled too after buying a copy on a different system. Theft is theft and this why PC gamers get a bad rap.

    • I think Sess he is more interested in the legality of multi-platform ownership. In terms of copyright, if you consider the game a singular object then he has payed for the right to own the copyrighted game. Does that allow (legally) for him to own it on multiple platform without infringing copyright?

      Now i doubt publisher’s legal teams would allow that sort of loop hole to be un-plugged, however Valve did it with Portal 2, allowing ps3 users to download a free Steam version.

      It would nice to see this trend continue, because when you buy a game, the majority of the price is for the copyright to play the game (the game box/disk would be a small part of the total cost i assume) and PC users can download their version for no cost to the publishers (via digital distribution).


      P.S. in a similar vein, purchasing a video clip on itunes doesn’t seem to entitle you to owning the audio track (although surely you own the copyright to it if you own the video clip?)

      • Like when some developers let you have DLC on multiply platforms. Not that we’ve seen much of this lately. If a developer gives the means to download the same game on PC that you have on a console then yeah fine. But going and finding it from some dingy torrent somewhere and nicking it just because you feel justified because you have a legit copy already isn’t right. It’s still stealing…

        • Given each version of the games coding is slightly different due to its console of origins nature (or pc) it is therefore considered a different product. It’s not a case of being a mirror image merely running on each system. It’s theft, plain and simple. Have I pirated before? Yep. Am I aware I’m stealing? Yep. Do I make excuses for it? Nope.

          Does it piss me off when people try to justify it? Oh hells yeah.

        • You don’t own software of any kind, you own a license to use the software and a physical disk that contains it, the software itself is still the property of the developer/publisher however.

          As far as the legality goes, it would depend on what is stipulated in the license agreement, you may very well be free to play the game on any platform if you only own a copy on one, but if you need to crack the game in order to play it you’d be violating the section of the license agreement that forbids unauthorised modification or reverse engineering and you would instantly lose your right.

          It gets even vaguer in regards to who exactly is breaking the law if the pirate copy comes pre-cracked and pre-installed with no license agreement attached.

          • A bit OT..

            But I have always wondered why the hell us gamers ever let the publishers get so much power over us consumerwise to the pointe we’re politely asking to play a game w/ cash as opposed to owning the actual software on hand for use.

            It’s just one of the very many small insidious erosion of consumer powers gamers have put up w/ as the market has matured and now tolerate =/

          • This is well beyond the scope of just videogames, the entire software industry operates like this, and always has.

      • Australian law actually does allow you to make copies of content across formats for your own personal use (Phillip Ruddock of all people was behind this law!) so you can convert your VCRs to DVD or burn your DVDs to a hard drive – so technically if you could somehow port your 360 copy to be playable on your PC then you could do it – but given that’s all but impossible then I’d say no.

        Besides which this is kind of trolling – who needs the one game across multiple formats (save for TF2 which I bought on Xbox and later on PC cuz they’re so different)

        • I’ll take BF3 for example of WHY I need the same title on more than one ‘console’.
          I have more than one friend. Hell, I have a number of gamer friends. Guess what? They don’t all own the same console. I am currently unsure of what format to buy this game simply because of this issue. I will definitely not be buying it more than once.
          See why it’d be nice to have it open to my PC, XBOX, and PS3 yet?

          • Wait until the Wii U, then there’ll be more of a mindf***. God I hate these situations. 😛

    • Let’s at least discuss this properly – Piracy and stealing are not functionally equivalent. Thievery or Stealing deprives the original owner of an item. Piracy does not. Shoplifting and filesharing are not the same thing; the former is more tangibly, measurably detrimental to the original owner than the latter.

      In any case there’s no actual product to be stolen; as any game you buy, even at a shop, is just a license to view/use a piece of copyrighted media, and a copy of that media. There are physical production and logistical costs behind the ‘hard’ copy you’d find at a shop, but you do not -own- any game you purchase.

      • By that logic you could steal 1 million dollars electronically and not have it be theft

        You are depriving the publisher/developer of income they might have otherwise received (not going to get into the issues of if the person would have bought it given no option to pirate).

        • Disagree, If you stole that million, someone would lose it. If you could duplicate that million, with no loss to anyone else, then it would be copyright infringement. Then again this is not possible, as the gov earns tax $ off every dollar, so your ripping off the gov buy making (counter fitting?) which there are criminal laws against. Copyright violation is not theft as theft is dealt with by the criminal code, copyright violation is dealt with by civil, both very very different things. One is jail, one is you handing money over to a private entity.

          • BTW must post as it might not be clear, both are wrong, I dont agree with piracy and do buy games. But legally speaking, theft and software piracy are very very different (piracy only becomes a Crime legally when you seek to make money from it).

    • What everyone needs to remember is that you are not purchasing the game or the data itself, but rather the license to use said data. As such, once you have purchased the license to use the data contained within the game “The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim”, you should be able to use it on whichever hardware you choose to (without making copies), not limited by that and forced to then spending more money to purchase software that is being sold under the same name. Developing for the different systems is just a way of making more profit from the guys who buy it on one system, realise that it’s shit on the 6 year old system they just bought it for, and then are forced to go out and purchase it on the pc to actually get the gaming experience they should have gotten the first time around

      In short, I’m against piracy in general. The developers who do a good job deserve your support. The one case where I honestly think it should be reconsidered is where there is a lack of multi-platform support without actually going out and buying another copy of it

      • So therefore, you’re purchasing a license, a license is a tangeable product. A license is therefore stolen, stealing is theft. *shrug* It’s pretty straight forward.

        • yes, but when you’ve purchased a license to use the software already, why should you then have to purchase another license just to be able to use the same software on a different OS? You’ve already got the license, you should be entitled to use the license on whatever software or hardware configuration you choose. The lack of cross-compatibility is neither your fault nor responsibility, after all.

          I mean, don’t get me wrong, I always go for the PC version regardless, but when I hear console players complaining about controls, graphics and limitations on their versions, I can’t help but feel that they should be entitled to play it on the pc instead without having to fork over another $100

          • Because you’ve purchased the license to play it on say the 360, not the ps3, or the pc. I understand what you’re saying but it’s not exactly rocket science.

            I agree whole heartedly and long for the day that they give you the right to download via code use or something, other versions when you purchase the physical copy or whatever, like Valve with portal 2, but at this point, you guys are just pissing up against a thousand foot wall that aint budging.

          • How exactly is a licence a tangible product? And if a pirate version is unlicensed how have you deprived the owner of anything? You obviously haven’t taken a “licence”. It is not at all similar to stealing. If you haven’t deprived anyone of anything, you haven’t stolen. It’s pretty strait forward.

    • the reason you cannot download one game for the other platforms when you own it for one is the way that licensing, publishing, development, and ownership are intertwined. I am not a lawyer but I do know a bit about the subject. I would not recommend you use this information in a legal dispute but for the basic purposes of understanding why it is not legal it will do just fine.

      Company A develops the game. They develop versions for each platform. These are essentially the same product, typically with a slightly modified engine to allow for running on the “port” devices. Sometimes independent versions are developed from scratch but this is more rare.

      Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, Sega, Zenimax… etc, these companies are publishers. Either they own company A or company A has come to them requesting them to publish the game. It is possibly for a developer and publisher to be the same company but this does not always happen.

      Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo determine licensing for their respective consoles. They make money by allowing the publishers to sell the game they received from the developers in versions that run on their consoles. There is no licensing for pc (As far as i know.)

      Then there are the distributors. These are companies like WalMart, Amazon, Gamestop, Newegg, and other stores. They purchase product directly in bulk and sell it at a small markup.

      When you buy a game, you purchase from a distributor. They are not concerned which platform you choose to play on, however they can’t let you have all platforms for one price because they do not own the intellectual property on the game disks, they only own the disks themselves.

      The developer typically is also not affected by which platform has the best sales, unless they have incentives from the licensing companies or publishers.

      The publisher typically is not affected by which platform has the best sales, unless they have incentives from the licensing company.

      The licensing companies, Sony Microsoft and Nintendo, are in direct competition with eachother. They sell essentially the same software (in the case of cross platform titles where this argument applies), however they only profit from the versions that are sold on their consoles.

      Because each licensor is a separate entity and do not share profit, the purchase price for your game does not go to each of them, but only one. When you buy the game on one console and then torrent for the other, the licensor loses out.

      The licensors like sony have invested tens of hundreds of millions of dollars into development of the gaming hardware and they take losses on selling consoles with the hope of making more money on licensing later.

      This is also the reason why PC hardware is typically more expensive than console hardware. The developers of PC hardware do not get licensing rights on software that is developed for pc, while the console developers do.

    • It may be stealing, but the theory isn’t wrong. Why do people have to buy it multiple times for different platforms? I’ve never pirated a game because I wanted it on PC as well but I have had to re-buy games because a friend has it on another platform and I don’t see why I should have to.

      As it stands it is stealing, but perhaps publishers could devise a way to let people get a code to download it for the other platforms either for free or for a nominal fee.

      • Sorry Pioneer, but I think you’re wrong at least twice. Firstly, it’s not stealing at all – see my response to Sesshomaru. Secondly, the theory is unsound in the case of videogames, because while very similar, the products are not identical, and the different platforms’ versions have wildly different costs and production histories. So they’re sold separately because they cost different amounts to produce; it’s not realistic to suggest that a payment for one platform covers the development cost for all platforms.

        Were we talking about music or video formats, then I’d agree with your logic, but videogames are more complex.

        • It’s not stealing? Well I’m glad you were there to tell us that, silly Law and all that giving us disinformation! I guess those people fined for copyrighting and STEALING music in the ole days of Napster when they were made examples of would be so comforted by this…

          • Not a single person who used Napster was charged with Theft. They were charged with Copyright Infringement, which is a different kind of violation of the law. The same is true for any user of bittorrent or usenet websites or technologies.

          • By definition, you are right it isn’t real theft, but you have a product that you did not pay the creator for. Dance around the meaning of the word all you like, the fact is if everyone did it there wouldn’t be anything to pirate.

          • You’re right – it’s illegal, and even more importantly, it’s unethical. Don’t get me wrong: I definitely do not agree with Fahey here today.

          • Thank you for making that point, I totally agree with you. Piracy is not stealing and can not be stealing. It may be illegal but it is a completely different crime and should be treated differently because of it.

            In fact I believe it was Notch from Mojang that actually came out and admitted this, that piracy does not affect him as he loses nothing from it. He does not even consider it a lost sale, as if the person couldn’t get it illegally it does not mean they would then buy it, but rather move on to something else.

    • It’s called thinking or having an opinion on something. Doesn’t make someone an idiot.

      I most certainly see both sides of the fence on this issue. I see the legal issues surrounding it and agree with them – if you buy said game then you agree to the Terms & Conditions of owning such a product. Much similar to tampering with the OS on the PS3 for example and Sony retaliating or suing someone.

      However I BELIEVE publishers should start looking at introducing such practices with their games. Allowing more people to cross play. It can be implemented in a number of ways. A universal disc, cross platform with 360/PS3/PC etc.. or download codes for different systems.

      I also see more people buying these games to play with their friends. So there is certainly a logical excuse to believe in/want such a thing.

      I’ve never done it myself but believe that something should be introduced. Piracy is a topic that is never going to agree with everyone and thats fine cause everyone has their own opinion. Right now – if its illegal to buy one copy and download another, then its illegal you shouldn’t do it. But it doesn’t mean their heart or logic is wrong, it just means the way they are going about it is legally wrong.

      I will say though – I have purchased a book before. I left it somewhere and was without it for two days. So I downloaded an eBook copy from a torrent to continue reading. I still purchased the book legally and read 80% of it with the physical copy but read a part of it through an “illegal copy”…. is that wrong?!

  • I wish you COULD do this legally though. Fat chance with all the greedy publishers around though. It is not like they would lose money, who buys TWO copies of a game for themselves anyways?

  • It’s not stealing. It’s copyright violation. Stealing something takes it away from the rightful owner. If someone steals my motorcycle, I have to take the peasant cart tram to work. If someone copies my motorcycle, Honda doesn’t get the money from selling one… but the person might not have bought one if he couldn’t have copied it.

    It’s still wrong, but it’s not stealing.

    • Yep. “Copyright holders frequently refer to copyright infringement as “theft”. In law copyright infringement does not refer to actual theft, but an instance where a person exercises one of the exclusive rights of the copyright holder without authorization.”

  • You buy an MP3 place it on your Ipod, burn it to CD to play in your car, stream it from your computer and play it through your 360 etc. etc….
    Why shouldn’t you be able to play the same game on different platforms?

    • Great example. Realistically… If you’re buying a cd, then shouldn’t you be buying the iTunes version to use on your mp3 player etc.

      Personally it still seems wrong to me, but it’s definitely NOT a black and white issue.

      The developer has simply made the SAME game for different consoles/ pc etc. So you’d be paying saying $250 for 3 of the same thing with different comparability yes?

      This is still similar to the mp3 argument. Why would you be paying more than once for the EXACT same thing when all you’re getting is x-comparability.

      • While my view is that if you’ve bought it in on one platform it’s free on another.

        But the difference here is that an MP3 on a CD or itunes is the same no matter what you use it in.

        However when it comes to Video Games, Theres a PC version that had it’s own budget and dev team(even if only for porting) same with the 360 and PS3 version.

        each platform has it’s own cost’s. And as such when it’s bought on 360 and pirated on PC. You are funding the 360 development and propogating that all PC gamers are pirates.

        So when it comes down to that i say If you want the same game on different platforms you can god damned well pay for it.

        because the last thing we need is for PS3/360 users also being counted as PC pirates to make the figures even worse

        • This I agree with. I think at least a fee or some small charge let’s you download it for the other platforms, at least enough to cover the cost of porting it over.

    • To put it simply, the PC version of a game *should* outshine both the PS3 and 360 versions. However in this day and age its easier (quicker?) to port an inferior console version to PC and sell that. 🙁

      • and when people are willing to pay for the console product and steal the PC one.

        you wonder why they don’t bother putting in the effort

      • Wow… That didn’t take long. PC gamers never miss a chance, do they? Well done, sir. Thanks for your stellar contribution!

    • Because the song you listen to on your car, the song you listen to on your MP3 player, and the song you listen to on your PC are all the exact same song; you’ve just copied it.

      A 360 game and a PS3 game and a PC game are not the same; they work differently, were built differently, and have to pay different license fees for their respective right to be played on their respective platforms. While I disagree with the licensing of platforms, it’s absolutely irresponsible to say that the different games are the same.

      Where it’s ethical (though likely not legal) to download a copy of your game is when you already own that platform. For example, if you buy Dragon Age in a shop, and you lose the disk and CD Key but have proof of purchase, it’s not unethical to download a copy and crack it to play. Such is the benefit of owning a license, not a copy of the media.

      • That’s an interesting point, it’s a different “version”. So in theory if you could play the 360/PS3 version on an emulator on your PC then it would be perfectly fine. Never thought of that…

        • Huh. I never thought of that. I suppose that’d be okay, because it’s not like it costs the developer anything!

          Along those lines of thought, if you purchase The Legend of Zelda, Ocarina of Time (N64), and then choose not to purchase the 3DS version… I guess you’re still not doing anything unethical! Hooray for licenses and not products! \o/

    • Well, if you use the examples of a mp3, let me take the example of an operating system. Windows 7 requires you to purchase separate licences to run on multiple machines, where as Mac OSX Lion only requires you to purchase one copy, and instal i on as many machines as you like, therefor, it is essentially up to the developer to control how it should be distributed.

      • Not up to the developer, it’s up to the publisher, or in consoles’ case, the licenser (e.g. Sony, M$, Nintendo).

  • Agreed, but i hope publishers go the way of valve with Portal 2 copies included with ps3 i believe (bought 360 myself).

  • Gotta go with the gang on this one. Just dont. At the very least, it sways things unfairly in the direction of consoles. Some of us still prefer Computers. If you’re gonna play a AAA game, the least you can do is support the console you play it on.

    Also…It’s gonna be hard to get the inevitable, amazing mods on 360. Which version of the game are you going to be playing in a few years time?

  • If your reasoning to download the PC version illegally is for access to the user-created content that you won’t be able to get on Xbox 360, then the least you could do is shell out the money for the PC version so Bethesda have adequate reason to continue investing such time and effort into their toolsets for the community.

  • I’m definitely not with the crowd on this one. I can’t agree that this is stealing, or even immoral/unethical. You might be breaking the EULA, but to me that’s a problem with the agreement, not what this gamer is proposing.

    Time and time again, publishers take the line that when you are buying a game you are really buying a license to “play” it. If that’s the case, they need to be more flexible about which platforms I use that license on. It really should be platform agnostic. I think Valve moved in the right direction on this with Portal 2, and I’d like to see it become the norm.

    Regardless, just get the PC version. It’ll be cheaper and we need the sales numbers.

    • It would be fine if the development money was spread equally regardless of what platform you buy on.

      But all they are going to see when they consider their next game is that there was a sale for 360, and a pirate copy for PC.

      and that isn’t good long run for the PC.

      The fact that he’s even considering the PC version means it has something he want’s that the 360 copy doesn’t offer and if that’s the case he should pay for it

    • It’s not stealing; it’s copyright infringement. But it is unethical because different people did different work to result in a similar product that runs on different hardware and with a different operating system.

      I’d absolutely -love- to see platform agnosticism be brought in to gaming, but while there are different production constraints and licensing fees, it’s just not practical.

  • “My reasoning is so: I bought the game — what could be wrong with playing my game on a different system?”

    You have not bought the game – only the license.

    Read the EULA – either online or if you are luck at the back of the instruction manual.

    Game publishers are one of the few companies that ensure a specific platform is specified in the EULA.

    Thus, if you buy a copy for the 360, your have purchased a license to play the game on the 360 only. You have not purchased a license to play the game on a PC.

    • Surely things like iTunes say the same thing in their EULA don’t they? The reason I feel that it’s ethical to circumvent those EULA’s terms but not a game’s is that the amount of work and cost involved in bringing a song to another platform is negligible (you just export the raw data into a new format), but it’s very expensive for games (you rebuild the whole thing to run on the new OS/platform). I personally respect the work and effort that people put into the media I consume, not the terms of use cooked up by a corporate lawyer. How do you feel about that? Am I a terrible thief, or am I okay? I’d like to hear your opinion, WiseHacker.

  • “but I don’t want to have to worry about balancing the graphics with frames per second.”

    This has to be the lamest thing I’ve ever read. It’s like a grandpa talking about video games.

    • Yeah, I think that in this instance you should buy the pc version instead of the 360 version. My reasoning? You will be supporting a version of the game that will be superior in almost every way. If you are worried about balancing graphics with fps, just set it to about 360 graphics because that is all you will get on a 360. If your computer isn’t good enough to achieve that, then don’t bother getting it on the computer at all, legally or not.

    • I do, but it’s not the same as grabbing another videogame which is very similar that runs on a different platform.

      I’m okay with backup of the games you own, but Skyrim (360) and Skyrim (PC) are not the same game!

        • When you purchase digital media, you’re purchasing a license to access it, not a physical copy, because, well, there -is- no physical copy. To use an analogy, when you purchase sheet music, you’re not allowed to play it, because you didn’t buy the CD. Or maybe you could play it, but only if you did so in such a way that noone could hear it.

          Whether or not the CD fits into the mp3 player is irrelevant; I purchased a license to the mp3 files on the CD.

          • Ha, well said, Cerzel. I always forget that.

            In that case, if you had a 360 emulator on your PC, and you owned Skyrim (360), and you downloaded an ISO and played it on your PC, without using the PC version, while owning the 360 version, are you committing an unethical act?

            It’s probably a violation of the ToS/EULA, but legal definitions are boring because they’re so clear cut; I’m more interested in the moral/ethical judgement 😛

          • I think that’s something more people should be able to agree upon.
            I buy DS games. I don’t even own a DS. I do have a Wii, but if a game doesn’t have motion controls I’ll buy it and play it with Dolphin instead. I like having that backup of the game I own as comfort (especially since my nephew turns to the Wii when he visits), and emulators are ever capable of providing a better experience than the console (playing Wii games at 1080p, 4x native resolution, 16x AA/AS etc.).
            I’m playing the same version of a game I own on the “same” platform. Where’s the issue there?

  • These days you don’t purchase the game, but the right to play it on a certain platform with conditions. So, no, you can’t justify piracy because you, at no point, own the game.

    Even if you did own the game, the differences between the platforms mean it’s a different product. It’s like having the book and movie versions of the same story. Having own doesn’t give you a right to the other.

    Is it bullshit? Sure, but not a lot we can do otherwise unless the game is stupid high profile and has a profit margin the size of the american debt to cover the cost of the portings, media, casings, etc for each platform, it’s not feasible to expect the current cost of a game to cover three, preferably four, platforms. Unless you want to buy a combined lisence but then we’re back to square one.

    Anyone who tries to justify piracy for this reason is not deserving of the oxygen they’re using, which could be put to be use powering cow farts, and I’m sorely disappointed that someone from the games industry would even be tempted by such a reason, especially a someone with a wide public profile like a journalist.

    • “These days you don’t purchase the game, but the right to play it on a certain platform with conditions.”

      I think that may have been the case for many years, not just these days.

      But you are right and that is what most people don’t see. You don’t buy the software product, you buy a license to it.

  • Its only theft when its to big to download.

    Stupid isps charge so much these days. Some even shape P2P traffic too!

    That said though I normaly just prefer a legit copy as its much simpler and suports developers.

  • I don’t understand why so many people in these comments are saying it’s theft.. It’s copyright infringement.
    Just because the copyright holders treat them essentially the same, they’re not. If it was theft that would mean the original copy has been stolen and it is no longer there, whereas piracy involves making a copy of the original while leaving it in place.
    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying piracy is good, but as far as I’m concerned (going from experience when I used to pirate games), most people pirate because they can’t afford it, and if they didn’t pirate wouldn’t get the game at all. So not only is it not really a lost sale, but it gives their game more exposure and therefore potentially more sales from said pirates friend. I’m sure there is a portion of piraters that are just evil nasties and want their game for free, but from what I’ve seen this is a relatively small portion.

    • Picture yourself in a country where a game cost you USD 120 (like my country). I bought 1 game, pirated another, but spent the same money in original games than an American buying 2 or 3 games. I think that there is a grey area with piracy in some scenarios.

      Or look at what I do. I demoed a lot of games downloading pirated copies just to be sure to spent the money on it (keep in mind also that Dollars are really expensive in my country). If the game is not worth it I just don’t play it. Recently I pirated Dead Island just to know how it will run in my PC. I was happy with the results, so I bough it. There is this thought that if you download a pirated game you are automatically a criminal… I just don’t get it. Like it or not, there is a percentage of people who buy games thanks to piracy.

      Digital copyright infrigement is a sign of our times and it’s not stealing. Is not like going to a store and stealing a product. It’s more like going to a store, then going home and make an exact copy of a product you saw.

      From Wikipedia: “Copyright holders frequently refer to copyright infringement as “theft”. In law copyright infringement does not refer to actual theft, but an instance where a person exercises one of the exclusive rights of the copyright holder without authorization.”

  • Theft removes the original, so this is copying. People copy all the time, and have been since the technology existed – Cassette tapes in the 80s and 90s, recording shows to VHS and now HDDs.

    It’s nothing new, it’s just that the media companies are now getting pissed off that they can no longer charge an arm and a leg for their products, because we’re more than happy to find alternatives to paying BS prices.

    • You also realize that technically speaking.

      Your only allowed to watch a VCR recording once. which i assume has translated to DVR recordings these days

  • Using the articles logic I could buy it on PC for a much cheaper price than pirate it on 360?

    Yep it doesnt work.

    But id like to see them do what they are doing with some blurays at the moment and give you a dvd and digital copy for little extra cost.

  • I’ll be buying it on PC then picking it up on ps3 pre owned, that will mess with the publishers profit,… if enough of us do that then maybe it will force their hand to offer more with the original copy for maybe a bit more, id buy the licence for to play on another system $20, free is better but maybe the colectors edition can offer it… Pc plus one console

    • It’s not going to happen because you just end up with what alot of the people done with Portal 2.

      People bought the Ps3 version. Added their Steam copy then traded the Ps3 version back

  • Pirating PC versions because you own a console version is stupid because it sends the message to developers to stop making PC games. Not good.
    Be a good PC gamer and import your $40 copy, it gives the devs a reason to keep making great PC games, and it supports the distributors and retailers that don’t rip us off.

    • That’s the other thing.

      For what you would pay local here, you could import both copies for the same price.

      though this article has been pulled of KotakUS and probably only got a run because it will cause arguement traffic, which seems to be what they exist on

  • In my opinion, one should act ethically, and respect the work that is required to produce engrossing media. Whether or not you act legally, as long as the developer is supported and their costs are covered, I think you’re in the clear.

    Pirating a PC game is almost always unjustifiable, because it -costs- the developer money. They have to work to support your copy of the game, to develop and transmit patches, to provide customer support, to run the forums you’re using, etc.

    To be clear: Skyrim (PC) != Skyrim (360) != Skyrim PS3. They are different, albeit externally similar products. Different people worked to produce them, to ensure that they run correctly, and so on. The costs are very different, and that’s why I would consider it to be unethical to download one platform’s version of the same game, even if you already own it on another.

  • what about the other way round, pc version is generally cheaper so if you buy that do you have the right to pirate on your 360?

  • I bought the C.E of fallout New Vegas on ps3 and d/l it on p.c. I do not see any problem with this because I have already payed for the game, I am not out there to support ps3 or pc or xbox but I will buy a game to support developers. I know if I was in their shoes I would support that option.

    • You only purchased a licence for PS3, by downloading the game on PC you have used the software without a licence. It is the same as operating a vehicle without a licence, it is possible but it is wrong and you can be prosecuted for it.

  • Really people? Seriously? Kotaku, anyone on your team should know by now to not even bother posting articles like this. The discussions people can have about piracy and EULAs are never healthy and fair, and turn into bitter flamewars between pirates and white-knights.

    Of course if you want that then my opinion is this: I don’t believe any thing I own is bound by an EULA, and I consider the hypothetical presented in this article to be fine, however, please put the money in the camp that deserves it: If you will be enjoying the superior PC version a lot more of the time then buy PC and send the message to the publishers that PC is best.

  • It begs the question:”why wouldn’t you just buy a pc copy and play it with nicer graphics/performance?”

    • Some people don’t have the best machines but feel more comfortable at their PC than on a console. Unfortunately gaming is one of the products where consumers feel they have been “cheated” if not everything is perfect.

  • i bought portal 2 on PS3 for the sole reason that i could play it on my computer if i wanted, beccause at that time i was unsure if the game would work on my computer, turns out it could, and since i won a new graphics card (from this website) i can play it with full gaphics! although, i bought portal 2 when PSN was down, so it was a few weeks before i could play it on my pc 🙁

    however, i think that it is up to the publishers, if they want to be cool like valve, then they can do it, if they dont want to do it, then they dont have to. i bought left 4 dead on PC, even though i had a copy on 360 as well, because the PC version is better, and i was fine with that.

  • Let me just establish and confirm this fact before this thread gets confused:
    Game developers DID NOT decide to start whoring games on additional platforms to make money off of multiple buys, BUT to make the sale to a market that they would not otherwise be able to access, there are countless people who only own 1 of the 3 platforms and they release the game on all 3 in order to form a drag net and get the sale from as many individual gamers as they can.

    Thank you and good day, don’t bother arguing because I have more to add to that if the need arises.

  • Whilst it may not be “stealing” in a traditional manner, as many have pointed out, it is important to recognise that when you purchase a game you purchase a single license, unless otherwise specified. For example, Bethesda own Elder Scrolls and produce a certain number of licences. These take the form, generally, of discs. Typically consumers don’t know that a purchase is a contract. By purchasing the game on 360, you have a licence for the 360 version of the game. In order to play the game on a different platform, legally, you will need a licence for that platform.
    Additionally, the disc is not the licence, the licence belongs to the person who purchased it, technically (and I think this is being pedantic) when you loan the game to someone, you still own the licence and, in theory, can be punished for not being around when the licence is being used.
    It has been pointed out that with Portal 2 people purchased the PS3 version, downloaded the PC/Mac version and traded the PS3 version back. Legally, those people must remove the PC/Mac version as they no longer own the licence.
    In similar fashion, however, if you lose your disc, you are not able to request a free copy since you still own the licence. You purchased a licence and a disc, if you purchased the game for games on demand or arcade or PSN you have purchased just the licence and no disc, meaning you are able to download it again if you delete it.
    I thought this issue was straight forward, owning a copy of a game on 360 does not mean you can pirate other platforms.
    Whilst this is not necessarily the greatest system for consumers with multiple platforms, it is something that is still being worked out because some consumers will do anything to get free copies of a game.
    I purchased Borderlands for PC, hired for PS3 and purchased for 360. I felt a little cheated, however it is important to recognise that I purchased 2 licences that could have belonged to anyone.

  • very rarely do people actually buy a game on two different consoles: they will usually just get the game for the right platform (360,PS3,PC) unless maybe they get the cash to buy a pimped out beast of a pc, and they want to play the game in better graphics. If this is the case, they probably also have the cash to just buy the game again. Another thing to ask yourself when pirating is ‘if I didn’t have the option to pirate, would I legally purchase the game’? because if the answer is no, then the companies aren’t losing any money. I believe it is ethically sound, but illegal none the less and hopefully publishers will allow games to be used on multiple platforms like with portal 2

  • another good question is that when publishers allow for multi-platform game owning, how will they ensure that you only play it on one console at a time? because I could get something on 360, and my friend can play the pc version simultaneously; even though it is only supposed to be owned by one person

    • Presuming we have a situation where purchase of a single license allows for play on more than one predesignated platform, you’d need a technical solution to prevent simultaneous use of multiple platforms with only that single license. Realistically, there’s no other way to do it than internet activation. Nasty as it is, I can’t think of any other solution to the issue of platform-agnostic license abuse.

      • unfortunately I think that’s the way we’re heading. As much as it is a pain, pirates have forced publisher’s hands. I, for one, have been a console gamer for years and will continue to do so because I can no longer justify purchasing PC games when all that is doing is fuelling pirate who just take because they feel it’s not bad.

  • The extra work that goes into developing the game for each individual system is what you are paying for, i think your rationalizing pirating by saying you already bought a different copy. That being said, i will be shamelessly downloading Skyrim myself, because i cant afford all the shit coming out this quarter, along with the computer upgrade 😛

    • Then you sir, are a hypocrite and whilst I agree that there are a f**kton of games coming out, who are you to decide that you deserve free copies of these games that you clearly understand take time and money to create when people who can rationalise decide, I will just wait until I can afford the game

    • matt, you are a terrible, terrible person, who clearly understands that his actions will contribute to putting talented and passionate people out of their jobs, and continues anyway.

      • On the other hand, he’s denying money to corporations who knowingly derive profits from gross human rights violations in Guangdong province. Most people who buy this (or any) game will understand that their actions wil contribute to those violations, and do it anyway.

        In terms of the morality sliding scale, pirating Skyrim would be very slightly on the bad side of the middle ground.

      • woot woot, out come the white-knight brigade! Oh the horror, somebody pirating a game, worse than murder!

        Look at it this way people: Lets imagine for a second that you can actually separate the decision to buy a game or pirate a game. Somebody who usually pirates a game has decided not to buy it, but it is possible to not buy it, and not pirate it. How much money did the developer get out of that decision?

        But a pirate who decided to not buy your game, but pirate and play it instead, has made another important decision: To not play your competitions games.

        I’m not being an advocate for piracy since the above outline still doesn’t get money to the developer if you’re into that whole ‘support the developer for more goodness’ craze.

        Some of good games 2 important traits: High sales AND high piracy rates.

      • I play more games than probably anyone i know. i spend so much time trying new games (through piracy) that when any friend of mine asks me for a game recommendation, i can give them a solid one, backed up with play experience. Many times i have bought a game that i already had a pirated copy of, because i felt the developers deserved it. I’m not some anti-corporate geek pretending im making a difference either, i just decide for myself what companies deserve/need my money. A million+ other people are going to buy Skyrim. I’m likely to buy it myself at some point, when the price comes down a bit. I just don’t feel that they need my money as much as say, mojang might. Smaller company, initially Minecraft was a smaller game, now its huge (in the community). I prefer to give my money to Indy devs, so i tend to spend alot on PSN and Steam. Regardless, i’m not a terrible person because my conscience doesnt eat away at me for pirating games…


      Flawed comparison. You’re better off asking “I bought these Galas, why can’t I take take some grannysmith free of charge?”

      But I’d like a world where we only have one devkit which was MPC (multi-platform compatible). Then we can save millions & tens of thousands of hours of labor to make inefficient, buggy ports…

          • A game isn’t a physical product?

            I see the argument you’re making, but game developers put a certain investment of time and money into a game based on their expected sales/profits. If you copy a game, even if there’s no cost to the developer to produce the copy, you’re still affectng potential sales.

            “Oh, but if I didn’t steal it, I just wouldn’t play it at all, so they haven’t lost a sale!”

            Firstly, that’s usually not true. If the option to steal a game was simply not available, as in, it could not be done, there would be more sales. People WOULD find a way to buy if they couldn’t pirate.

            Secondly, if you can’t buy the product you should not experience the benefit of owning it. That might sound like capitalist garbage, but hey, welcome to the western world.

            Should you have to buy it on the PS3 if you already have it on the PC? There’s certainly a stronger argument justifying piracy if you have already paid for the license to use the software in one format and want it in another, but really it’s not really different than just stealing one copy, or a dozen copies.

    • ps3 has blu lazer so it only reads blu ray diks, xbox 360 uses the ultra violet spectrum laser which is brighter than the blu ray spectrum so they have to use different disk formatts

    • The game is also compiled for a different platform with (possibly) a different operating system and even different processor architecture.

      What are you going to ask next? “Why can’t I put my square pegs on round holes?”

  • Why would anyone buy a TES game on anything other than PC? Maybe they haven’t seen all the amazing mods that come out?

    • My TES experience isn’t complete until the Elves all have inflatable tits and monster dongs.

    • Because not everyone want to put up with the hassle of PCs.

      Either way, the TES games are good (despite their bugs) so it would not matter what platform one runs them one.

  • I’d prefer the PC version but I know my PC won’t run it perfectly so I’ll be settling for the PS3 version – then when I get a better PC I’ll grab that version for $5 in a steam sale.

    In an ideal world we could buy a game on one platform and play it on any other platform, or ‘convert’ it to another platform. If we had that capability then we would use it, like the CD – Mp3 – multiple machines example. But we don’t, so we can’t.

  • Seeing as I’ve met and sympathize with folk who think Timed Xbox Exclusive DLC is an excuse to pirate it on PC…

    You might as well go for it.

  • Definitely not stealing it. I doubt it’s legal, but if you’ve already purchased a copy on a different system, you’re not really playing it for free, I guess. You do own the software (the copyright law allows for that, despite what any EULA says – it can’t override the law), but you only own the software for that system.

    If you could decompile the 360 version and recompile it into something that runs on PC, you’d be fine (and a genius). Unfortunately, you could only do that by breaking suite of encryptions, which is illegal (or at least, illegal-ish, under changes made as part of AUSFTA).

    I think morally you’re OK – but only just. Personally, I’d just wait until the price of the PC copy comes down and buy it then. Are you seriously going to be playing multiple platform versions simultaneously?

  • For those who think its not theft

    If i own a BMW, (i wish) and i see the same car as mine in the parking garage, can i take that? i mean, i already OWN a bmw, so why cant i just grab another?

      • Then you’re getting a BMW for free and thus get goods (the BMW) without paying BMW for making the product, sort of contrary to the entire idea of capitalism.

        • Not at all. Capitalism is about the allocation of scarce resources based on the interplay of supply and demand for goods and services.

          Being able to cheaply clone a resource and provide it for free is more contrary to commercialism – the ability to maximise the profit on a good. Large multi-nationals tend to engage more in a kind of corporate mercantilism than what tends to be thought of as capitalism.

          Either way, it’s not theft.

  • No, it’s not. For the same reason that when I buy a book I’m not given the eBook and audiobook versions of it. Effort went in to putting on separate platforms, so why shouldn’t people have to pay for it?

    And then, of course, there’s the fact you only bought the license.

  • I think it’s a legitimate claim that significant effort goes into creating each different version of the game over and above the art and level textures etc. If you accept this as true then being required to buy multiple versions is not a moneygrab it’s a valid business model and to download a version you haven’t paid for is theft.

    • True. Having said that, the developers are not waiting on sales before getting paid for creating each one. The money is spent on each console for development but that doesn’t mean ONLY pc sales pay for the PC devs. Realistically, given current sales figures, console players are paying for the pc devs. I still say it’s a very grey area no matter how you slice it.

  • I pre-ordered skyrim on steam. Then an X360 fell into my lap. So I bought it for that platform too. It seems to me the kind of game that I would like to play, comfy on the lounge.

    Having said that. I would LOVE to see a one time purchase that gives you a valid license for any and all platforms of your choosing.

    Steam does this for some of their games! If you own it on pc, you own it on Mac too. And don’t forget what they did with Portal 2 on PS3. Buy it on PS3, and you get the pc / mac version included.

    So pirating a game you have already bought? Stealing, technically yes. But I would feel much less guilty about doing it. I they already have my $70. I should be able to play it where and on whatever I want!

  • Undeniably wrong. Whether or not it actually pulls at your moral heartstrings enough to cough up for multiple platform copies though is another question entirely…

    I don’t think however that buying one copy gives someone ownership of the franchise, just the copy you bought and the use of it according to the applicable T&C’s.

  • You’re all console owners pissy about the fact that someone wants to justify it.
    You’re transparent, and pathetic.

  • I love these piracy threads on Kotaku.. everyone jumps on their high horse and makes out they are against piracy..

    It’s a bit like masturbation.. no one admits to it but we all know that they are beating it like it owes them money at home..

    Everyone also needs to stop making out that the PC is the only platform that piracy is rampant on, its simply not true.. 360, Wii and 3DS are just as easy to get pirated games for. PS3 is about the only console that its difficult to pirate on..

    As far as the ‘you bought a licence for only one system as per the EULA’ argument goes then here’s a question.. If I buy a game on PC does that mean I’m within my rights to then download a cracked copy of the game for PC then? Does that qualify as a grey enough area for some of you?

    • issue here isn’t really piracy though.

      I admit i pirate to demo games, because it ensure that im not dropping a on of cash on a title that otherwise i won’t play.

      so if it doesn’t capture me in the first 20-40 minutes it get’s deleted.

      Problem here though is because each platform has a seperate development budget, which ever platform you pirate it on even if you bought it on another has 1 less sale than it should have and 1 more piracy number.

      Which can be bad in 2 ways. First ports and PC games get given less funding because there are less sales being made.

      PC games start to get even more Ubisoft like DRM because suddenly you have a bunch of console gamers pirating games they have already paid for on console, counting on all the stupid trackers that the companies use.

      Plus i highly doubt if in 3 months time he decides to trade in his 360 copy, he’s going to then buy the PC copy if he’s already pirated it

  • i think that if you have paid for a product then you shouldn’t have to pay for it again for your own personal use, but if you buy a game and then for example your brother wants a copy of it then it is not right to illegally obtain another copy, you should buy another license.

    so in my mind:
    If i buy a game, and i want another copy for my own use then i don’t think i should have to buy the same game again.

    but if someone in my house wants to play it on their own machine then they should buy their own copy.

    • An Xbox version of a game is not the same product as the PC version. And when you purchase one or the other, you know full well what you’re purchasing so there really isn’t any excuse, and you’re not entitled to the rest.

      Despite what people seem to think, it does cost money to develop for different platforms and even the laziest port needs time and money. Indeed, the publisher LOSES money, because they still have to pay licensing fees to Sony/Microsoft to release on their consoles, expenses that should be reclaimed from sales.

  • It cost them money to develop it for each platform, so pirating it for any platform that you didnt buy it for already is stealing, imo. That being said, I hate stream, DRM, and every dishonerable thing it says about our culture and species that such policing is deemed necessary to protect intellelectual property.

  • tl;dr version:

    Anyone who doesn’t make the same decisions as me is an idiot, because their choice invalidates my choice and I don’t like that.


  • What you shoud do is purchase it for PC, which is what you want to do. It boosts PC sales records, and encourages PC development. If it runs poorly, return it the next day for an X360 version. Simple, and legal.

    BTW, if you wory about tweaking FPS, perhaps you are not cut out for PC gaming?

    • Umm where are you returning PC?? Lots of places here have a NO return on pc games policy purely because of serial keys/ licenses. We can’t sell them out to someone else if it’s already been used. Hence you’d be selling a license which already belongs to someone

  • Unfortunately it is illegal as a pc version of a game is still a different version of an xbox game. Therefore different products. If you bought a car that purely runs on unleaded, it does not mean you are entitled to a free car of the same model that runs on leaded petrol.

  • Who cares, I say go for it. Piracy isn’t as big a deal as everyone makes out, do what I do and pirate the PC version but if you see it on sale or something then buy it for that platform as well.

    • “Who cares, I say go for it. Piracy isn’t as big a deal as everyone makes out, do what I do and pirate the PC version”

      So your entire premise is that it’s a victimless crime? Well, it’s not. It’s precisely due to selfish people like you, who think it’s not a big issue, that they can coast and let others shoulder the burden rather than supporting development by voting with their wallets. The PC platform is plagued by piracy.

      You’re a selfish prick. If everyone else thought as you did, there wouldn’t be any PC development at all. You’re a parasite who relies on others forking out for the bill, hoping that your personal dent in the meal is not enough for you to be noticed.

  • Libertarian version:

    If you’re not hurting anyone, then go for it.

    If you’ve bought it on xbox, and have no plans buying it on pc but want a sneaky little look, then I don’t see why not.

  • This is a dumb question. No, it’s not right. Pick the platform you want to play it on and buy it. Goddamn gamers have the biggest sense of entitlement. “I BUY THIS GAME AND I HAVE THE RIGHT TO PIRATE IT ON EVERYTHING ELSE!”

    • Realistically though… If some one HAS bought the console version, I dont think the developer inherently thinks the consumer will buy a second copy. All sales results are on a per person basis. Not that I condone it, but pirating that ‘second’ copy isn’t actually hurting anyone financially because you bought that 1 assumed copy, but what it does do is promote the idea that pc gaming is dying, which doesn’t help one bit!

  • No one’s going to give you permission to pirate a game, so the question itself is a bit problematic.

    Piracy is a personal choice – only you can make the choice as to whether you think the harm being done is worth the enjoyment you gain.

    There is no absolute in this area of ethics.

  • After 3 RROD’s, I really really want to buy a JTAG’ed xbox.. =/

    I know it’s wrong but I’m quite tired of being screwed over.

  • It’s not complicated. One purchase, one copyright to run the software. There are even a lot of circumstances you cannot run the software that you have the purchased. Read a licence agreement one day. And yes, purchasing software is a legally binding agreement to the conditions imposed by the software’s owner. Speaking as someone who deals in the application of terms and conditions, just deal with it. Read what you agree to.

  • I think people are forgetting these publishers:

    -Are ramming DRM down our throats and there ain’t a single thing we can do about it
    -Force you to sign a Terms of Service just to play a videogame
    -Install spyware on your computer
    -Install cookies on your console(s)
    -Rip off Australians by 50%
    -Force “Online Pass” bullshit on people
    -Put DLC on the disk and make you pay extra money just to unlock it
    -Cut content from a new game and release it as “Day 1 DLC”

    And people wonder why videogames get pirated.

    • That’s splitting hairs and we both know that’s not entirely true. Even if they release DRM-free games with none of the issues you’ve brought up, people will pirate it with a smile on their faces. Look at the Humble Indie bundle. No DRM, pay what you want, all goes to charity, and small devs… and people torrented the shit out of it.

      Stop attempting to make excuses for piracy.

  • I’d probably say this is one of the worst kind’s of piracy. Trying to justify it, if you need to ask it’s probably wrong.

    And again here i think it shows that you want the PC version for whatever reason but don’t really wanna pay for it. Considering it’s going to be the PC version you’ll be playing in 3 years time. seems a unfair to send the money to the 360 department, and a piracy stamp to the PC department.

  • I make music for a hoppy. When I buy any sort of music software that is multi platform, I am given access to Windows and OSX installs. Not vastly different to 360 vs ps3 vs PC.

    Gaming industry is falling behind.

  • i think its ok, its like saying you brought the CD version of an album, now if you want to put it on an iPod does that mean you also have to buy the itunes version aswell?


    Now lets put that into video games lets say i buy portal 2 ON THE 360, the PS3 version comes with a free PC download of the game, but i buy it on the 360, i still have the same game but i want to play it on the PC aswell but i dont have the ps3 version, simple answer is illegally download it for the PC. If PS3 users can get the PC game for free why cant i? Either way you still have brought a copy of the game. the code, the art, the engine, still remain the same but with different controls, its like saying i should buy i a different version of the game just for different controls.

  • With the prices of games in Australia it’s perfectly legitimate. We pay twice what others pay so why shouldn’t we be allowed to have two copies of the game? After all, we payed the price of two.

    • Do you shoplift at the supermarket too? After all, a Chinese peasant only pays 1/10th what we do for the same bag of rice.

      Let’s forget basic economics, costs of living, minimum wages and taxes, we pay ‘twice’ as much, so I’m allowed to pirate. What are you, 12?

  • What about stores like EB selling 2nd hand games, the devs don’t make a cent from those and people get cheap games. Whos the scumbags now?

    At least with stuff from the pirate bay no ones making a profit

  • Haha. Between everyone repeating themselves, platform bashing, making terrible analogies, and being idealists, the facts are these.

    -Buying a game for 1 platform does not entitle you to pirate it for a different console.

    -Whether it is theft or not is irrelevant, it’s illegal.

    -What the situation ‘should’ be is also irrelevant in answering the original question.

    You can argue morals and ideals till you’re blue in the face. In the eyes of the law it is wrong, and cosidering that law trumps idealism, this one is really a no brainer.

    No. Purchasing Skyrim on one platform does not entitle you to pirate it on another platform.

  • ok time for me to throw my spanner into the works and please do not throw hate at me for asking this question.

    Correct me if I am wrong but isn’t the new windows 8 going to let you play 360 games. So then this discussion will not really matter. Unless you are buying from one platform to another like say Sony to Windows.

    • And sorry lol further to my post. I agree with everyone up the top with PIRACY IS BAD MMMMMKAY. Even though it might look like the same game on PC then it is for a 360 or PS3. Game developers spend even more time tweaking the game engine and sometimes add new elements to it to make it an entirely new build so that it would run on a PC. I say the more Pin heads out there that pirate, the harder it is for Game Developers to make good PC games.

  • Actually, if you bought the 360 version then you didnt buy the PC version nor the PS3 version, so they are counted as lost sales by the industry, making you a dirty thief regardless of where you play your game. In fact, since you only bought 1 copy, you’ve effectively stolen the 12 copies you didnt buy. And all those games you didnt buy whilst playing Skyrim? Stolen. Sorry, but you cant justify your actions. There’s money to be made from you, and its not being made, YOU THIEF.

  • Breach of copyright is “illegal”, but unless you are doing it for trade it is not a crime. There are civil sanctions, but it is not a crime.

    And as human beings we should be concerned with what is morally wrong not just what is legally wrong. If you’re not hurting anyone I don’t see why it is morally wrong. If you are hurting someone then it is morally wrong.

  • This can be rationalised in several arguments all very similar to rationalising piracy.

    (The following is not me. It’s theoretical. I’ve bought games on multiple platforms many times.)

    If I have the game for 360 already, and want the PC version for various reasons (flat out being superior, shitty Xbox port etc) then if I get the PC game, I’m never gonna play the Xbox version again, really. (And seeing as I’m not gonna pay money for it on PC even if I couldn’t torrent it they’re not losing any sales from me.) But I am not gonna pay double the price to play a game that I already own just to get an extra few features. This isn’t a legally sound solution but it makes more sense ethically. I don’t give a damn about their EULAs and the fact that I purchased a “license” to use the game, in simple terms I’m not gonna buy the same damn game twice, especially not when gaming is as stupidly overpriced as it is.

  • I saw yes. I already own the game, why should I have to pay twice just because I want to play it on a different platform? It’s stupid. When you buy a game on Steam, it allows you to play it on both Mac and PC. If steam charged you twice, there would be an outrage. However, people perfectly accept having to buy a game twice for other platforms…

  • I’ve been thinking about this recently, as an ex pro game developer and new indie after-hours game developer.

    If you’ve paid me for my product, then I want you to be able to play it wherever and whenever you want. If I could find a way to give purchasers of my PC version a free copy on ios, I would.

    I bought all the LucasArts adventures back in the day, and I still love playing them on my Wii using ScummVM. I love putting them on my Android and playing them on the train. I shouldn’t have to re-purchase the content just because I no longer have an old DOS machine sitting around.

    It’s the content and experience that you’re paying me for. All the tech stuff is just the work I have to do in order to deliver the experience to you. If you’ve paid me for the experience, go forth and enjoy it wherever and however you want.

    • Further to that, we’re not developing across multiple platforms because we want to gouge you repeatedly. We’re doing it because there are a number of small, disconnected markets and we want everyone to have the opportunity to give us money, no matter what console they own.

      Publishers may see things differently.

  • It’s the equivalent of me buying a Red Ferrari and then stealing a black Ferrari to drive on the weekends.

  • The problem I personally had was if I bought a game in one region whilst I lived there, then moved to another region, should I have to buy it again, even if it was bought online through a digital download distribution service like Steam/ etc?

    In this situation there is only 1 copy, 1 system, 1 install, but I can no longer get access to the download to re-install on my machine because I bought it in a different region.

  • I’m a dev that works on multi-platform games, this behaviour wouldn’t really bother me.

    Honestly if you buy a new copy you’ve already done more for us than most people ever will.

    The best way to question yourself about it though is to ask yourself if piracy was impossible, would you purchase a second copy for your pc?
    If you would then your piracy really is a lost sale and it’s definitely unethical, if there’s no way you’d buy 2 copies then I don’t see a problem here.

  • There are a lot of knowledgable people on here, but it does still surprise me how little people actually know about their rights when it comes to other peoples intellectual property.
    The situation, as given, is illegal. Most people get that but then, most of those have justifications as to why they do it anyway.
    The time is coming when this will be the case. The movie industry is going that way now with “Triple Play” type things. The thing is, you pay a little more for the ability to use the product in more ways.
    Games aren’t doing that yet, so buy 2 copies or pick your preference.
    If you find yourself on a site with listings of cracked games on it, you can be pretty sure what you’re doing is illegal.

  • Oh, and it would be good if Kotaku actually attempted to educate it’s readership on this matter. Perhaps some advice/info from a lawyer (pertaining to how much water a personal justification holds in a court), some possible penalties, and what all that text is that everyone clicks “Accept” to when installing a game.

  • Sorry if this was said, I didn’t go through all comments…

    Why don’t they start offering CD keys for PC download with Collector editions of console games? that would encourage me to pay more, rather than some random crap statue or commemorative coin.

    • Some already do. I believe Deus Ex had the OnLive thing, as did Portal 2 for consoles. But this was a gesture of goodwill, it’s not standard. If you give a gamer a finger, he’ll take a whole arm. They have no obligation to keep you supplied with every platform based on your whims.

  • The question at the core of this is what are we buying? Is it a license, or is it a product? Publishers want it to be both, when it suits them. Personally I’d never use this as an excuse to pirate, but pirates will use any excuse (“It’s got DRM”, “It has DLC”, “It doesn’t have enough content”, “It costs too much”…) but it would be nice to move to a future where you buy the software and can run it on any platform with a minimum configuration…

    • The ‘it costs too much in Australia!’ crowd never ceases to amuse me. They seem to have missed the part about videogames being a LUXURY. By its very definition, we pay for games from our disposable income when we can afford it. There is no obligation whatsoever to make it affordable because it’s a toy, just as there is no clause where you deserve/need to play everything on everything.

      Yet people bitch about Aussie gaming prices like the price of water or electricity (essentials) has been jacked up. Get your priorities straight. Indeed, the very argument over Aussie gaming prices is flawed because anyone with a prudent bone in their body never, ever pays full RRP for games now.

  • Just destroying the computer industry more, there is no effort put into PC games nowadays, Dead Island was a good example of that. If you buy it on console play it on it, otherwise buy it on the PC.

  • I do not believe it is piracy OR stealing. Think about it with MW3 it is for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC. (the wii is a bit of a different story.) The game first must be made and tested on a PC, therefor it is in the C/C++/C# codec and whatever else they use. When it is released to consoles all they do is put that SAME code into a translator for the consoles’ specialized instruction sets, and architecture. And they make slight changes to the controlling method. That license you are given may be directed towards the console in question, but you’re really getting a license to the original code they used, and crossed platformed it on, therefor it is neither piracy nor stealing if you buy a copy for one, and and rip for the rest (excluding wii, they have to add useless IR crap >.>) You own a LICENSE but are license, once again, to the original code, you buy for one, you deserve for all. The cash cow can starve…. now just straight up stealing without ever paying for a single capy is a different ball game…

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