Australia has become notorious for its pirating ways, regularly 'most piratey' lists when it comes to shows like Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones. So what's the solution: is it the carrot or the stick? Overly harsh regulations or the promotion of new business models?
Google seems to have a very definitive opinion.
In a letter sent to Malcolm Turnbull, Google Australian head of public policy Iarla Flynn urged the Australian government to refrain from committing to overly harsh regulation, particularly when it comes to piracy.
"[W]e believe there is significant, credible evidence emerging that online piracy is primarily an availability and pricing problem," he explained.
"We would encourage the Government to promote new business models and a free marketplace for legal purchasing of content. We would be disappointed if the Government decided to go down the route of overly harsh regulation to combat piracy without considering the evidence from around the world that this would likely be costly for businesses to implement and with little effect."
Surely this would apply to games. When an issue like piracy or importing rears its head in Australia the instinctual response always seems to be 'crush this scary new thing, protect the status quo' when we really should be consumer focused in our thinking. Why do people pirate video games and shows? Could it be — gasp — that it's often easier to do that than mess about with products that are completely anti-consumer at their core?
I choose to believe that, in this regard, people generally want to do the right thing. All too often it's difficult to do the right thing. Enable us, don't beat us down with regulations.