One Of The World's Biggest PC Piracy Groups Is Quitting For A Year

One Of The World's Biggest PC Piracy Groups Is Quitting The Game

The last time we heard from Chinese cracking forum 3DM — responsible for illegal cracks of pirated video games — they were being frustrated by Just Cause 3's "Denovo" copy protection. Now they're walking away from the game entirely.

As Torrentfreak report, last week 3DM's leader Bird Sister posted on her personal blog "We just had an internal meeting. Starting at the Chinese New Year, 3DM will not crack any single-player games."

Bizarrely, she then says that they will revisit the decision next year, writing "We'll take a look at the situation in a year's time to see if genuine sales have grown."

It's lovely to imagine a PC cracking team taking part in some grand experiment for the betterment of the legit video game industry, but it's tough not drawing a line between 3DM's frustrations with Denovo — which is becoming more and more popular among publishers — and a decision to take a break.

While this will be a blow to anyone who used 3DM's cracks, it's not like they were the only group in the world busting open singleplayer PC games, so PC piracy is still very much out there. Still ... if one of the bigger crews responsible for cracking is making a move like this, it's an interesting sign of the times in the war between publishers and pirates.


    Who will we blame noooowww?!


        Communism (Chinese)

        They're all about piracy. Heck, it's one of the biggest reasons to shop in China. Bootleg DVDs and counterfeit louis vuitton.

          All world's biggest problems.

            I hope that wasn't a serious statement.

              Welcome to the internet. It feels like somebody forgot to give you a tour.

                If you think the worlds biggest problems belong to the handle of counterfeit DVD's and overpriced status symbols for the 'I want to blend in with rich people' morons, then you need to reevaluate your perspective on what the real threats are to the world at large (i.e. a narrow point of view is a good place to start when it comes to what is wrong with humanity, and then not too far down that list comes judging some of the world's most desperate people on the methods they use to survive from the comfort of living in a first world country with all its benefits and luxuries).

                  Hahahaha this. This is why I love and hate the internet at the same time. Can't really express sarcasm properly through text. So what happens next? Some dude rides in a horse all ready to change my perspective and make me think about shit that will have no impact on my or anyone else's daily life. Oh please have mercy white knight. For I have only lived the past 2 mins and do not know anything other than not being a pirate? We need to spend money on

                  Bah OK I'm bored now.

    No real reason to pirate games these days...even if you're strapped for cash you can do surveys to get money. I do surveys while watching YouTube vids, 5-6 surveys gets me $5. Do enough of them and you can get whatever game you want.

    Sure it's a pain, but when you're strapped for cash it's either do something like this so you can get money that's dedicated to games or just miss out on games.....or pirate...

      Assuming that money is the reason behind piracy, of course.

        What other reasons are there? It's not like we struggle to get access to games, plenty of platforms available. Even age restricted content doesn't come up much anymore since we got the R18+ rating.

          Ideological reasons, like the rejection of draconian DRM schemes and such. Eg when I buy a game I buy it to own it for however long I see fit, so if a game limited you to, say, a single install before becoming useless then I wouldn't want to lay money down and support such a thing. Gaming on one's own terms rather than however the publisher dictates.

            To protest draconian DRM or other poor customer service you should not buy and not play the game at all. Find another dev who treats the customers better and buy from them, or watch TV, read a book, or go outside.
            Real boycotts involve some pain or inconvenience for the protesters as well, be it strikes or bus boycott etc. You can't have it both ways.

              I don't see how that makes any sense. How does it weaken a protest to play the game? In fact, playing the game and specifically informing the publisher that you have done so without paying them seems like the only way to clearly send the message that you are avoiding supporting something other than the game itself, rather than just making the game appear unpopular and an unworthy investment on their part.

              Fundamentally flawed assertion.

              Piracy-as-protest conveys a much clearer message than boycotting, because it indicates that the game is desirable enough to play, and thus not a problem with the developer, whose job was to make a good game.

              DRM, DLC, pricing, platform exclusives, retailer exclusives, region-blocking, and all the other anti-consumer bullshit that you might want to protest are the publisher's fault, and if you pirate the game, you indicate that the developers made a good game, but the factors under the publisher's control are the reasons the game isn't being purchased.

              If you simply boycott but don't play, then the publisher can - and will - lay the blame at the innocent developer's feet.

              If you care about studios vs publishers, then pirating is actually a more responsible and ethical form of protest than an outright boycott.

                What a load of old shite! You are just justifying having something you want and not paying for it! If you don't like what they stand or blah blah blah don't play the game! If you do play it, pay for the experience!

                  Lol, trying to guess my motives through projection. Dude. Look me up on Steam. I have the game industry defender badge that comes with 1,000 titles purchased. I don't need or want to pirate jack shit. Next up, maybe go look up the wikipedia article for confirmation bias.

                  No, I'm explaining the LOGICAL difference between how boycotts are received, and the logical reasoning behind what will be most effective in accurately, precisely conveying the motives behind a lack of purchase.

                  If you want the publishers to blame the developer, saying they made a game no-one wants to play?
                  Boycott the game. Low sales will always equate to criticism of the game itself.

                  If you want the publishers to realize the developer made a good game, but that no-one wants to pay for the DRM/DLC/exclusives/unethical marketing gimmicks/P2W/etc?

                  Pirate the game. The game itself will be proven as popular, but other factors that aren't the quality of the game will need to be attributed to the lack of purchase.

                  It's pretty simple.

                  You... do realize that development studios are different and separate from publishers, right? And that publishers are notorious for looking for any excuse to justify their anti-consumer bullshit, whereas developers usually just want to try and make a good game, right?

                  Last edited 09/02/16 3:48 pm

                Not sure why I can’t reply to your latest comment so I’ll reply here…

                What does you having 1000+ games on Steam have to do with anything? You could have pirated 1000+ games as well!

                It really is simple, if you play and enjoy a game, you should pay for it.

                And do you actually have examples of publishers behaviours, or are you just presuming that’s how they work?

                  Kotaku has a nested comments system which caps out after a certain number of replies. Replying to an earlier post by the same commenter - as you have - works just fine.

                  And there are numerous examples of anti-consumer behaviour from publishers which in no way whatsoever reflect on the quality of the game produced by the development studio itself.

                  I'm not necessarily endorsing piracy, because y'know... a dev deserves to get something for their efforts. (Which, actually, in most cases they've already got - publishers frequently pocket the royalties with the dev just getting paid their contract amount regardless of whether the title sells or not. An exception might be the infamous metacritic rating bonuses.)

                  In fact, the metacritic bonuses probably count as one of the unethical or anti-consumer things publishers do. Another is paying for platform exclusives - not funding a first-party title, but paying a 3rd-party to delay content for other platforms. Other examples include mutually-exclusive retailer-specific DLC, bad ports (eg: WB and Batman), mandatory online-only single-player modes where they don't belong, which are primarily motivated by their use as DRM (eg: SIM City, Diablo 3), Numerous instances of DCMA take-down orders (Konami, Sony, Activision, against critical youtubers as a means of bullying, which have been retracted as soon as contested, but not before the video has been taken down when it is most relevant and topical (and potentially damaging to preorders/early sales). From Deep Silver's misguided/tone deaf dismembered bikini torso stunt for Dead Island Riptide to the more manipulative Square Enix's 'preorders = more game/earlier game' promotion for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, marketing is frequently something worth protesting. Throw in the behaviour of WB Games when it came to the secretive, undisclosed 'no negative comment' paid early-access reviews through youtube 'tastemakers' (essentially buying positive reviews, most of which weren't disclosed), it's as if the industry can't go more than a month without some kind of shady behaviour coming to light, worthy of protest.

                  From recent news of Konami's treatment of dev auteur Hideo Kojima to Jim Gerstmann being fired from Gamespot for his negative review of Kane & Lynch, thanks to all the advertising Squenix paid for on the site, publishers have been a driving force of industry douchebaggery for years. That's before we even get into shuttering of beloved studios (eg: EA: Mythic, Origin, Westwood, Bullfrog, Dreamworks Interactive, Pandemic), resurrecting beloved IPs as cheap, shitty, exploitative mobile cash-grabs (eg: EA: Dungeon Keeper), holding dev studios to metacritic obligations for bonuses, but farming out the rating-affecting QA to a third-party (Bethesda to Obsidian), and every other example of attempts to manipulate the market, squeeze more money out of consumers than is fairly expected, and tamper with the creative control of games to make them 'safer' for mass-markets, at the cost of what brought fans to the franchise in the first place... regional pricing, raising prices prior to sales so that the sale amount can be exaggerated, the list just goes on and on and on.

                  There is no end to the specific examples I could provide you of dubious if not outright unethical behaviour worthy of a protest.

                  The point I'm trying to make is that if you want to protest against a publisher (not a game studio), then boycotting is inferior to pirating in terms of the specificity of the message. If you don't purchase a game, the Publisher will claim that the developer's game did not sell well because it was not a popular game. If you pirate the game, the publisher can no longer deflect that blame to the developer. If you care about developers and want to make a protest to a publisher, pirating sends a clearer message.

                  Last edited 09/02/16 4:46 pm

                  That's a good collection of crap going back over a decade. But piracy doesn't send the message you think
                  If you don't purchase a game, the Publisher will claim that the developer's game did not sell well because it was not a popular game. If you pirate the game, the publisher can no longer deflect that blame to the developer. If you care about developers and want to make a protest to a publisher, pirating sends a clearer message.
                  They won't blame the developer. Instead the publisher sees the piracy and claims it needs more DRM.
                  To get the right message you'd have to tweet at them or complain on the forums, or something else so publishers don't just make up a reason.
                  Pirates already get the best of both worlds - free and don't have to deal with all that crap, so why would they change? Maybe they feel bad about it.

                  Or to put it another way: three options (1) keep money, (2) don't get dicked around by DRM, (3) play the game.
                  Pirates take all three at once. 'Boycotters' take 1&2 while asking for 2&3; but the publishers currently offer 3 only.

          You do know the economic, social and cultural climate surrounding games and digitial media isn't the same everywhere in the world. Your circumstances are different than those in other countries.

            I'm well aware of that. This is on, I'm Australian and I'm generally expecting to be speaking with other Australians.

            I did ask "What other reasons are there?", if you can't actually offer and specific reason other than cost (which I've already mentioned) then it's a waste of time stating general broad band reasons for it which don't actually apply to the people who frequent this site.

              But these guys are Chinese, and serve far more markets than just Australia in what they do. The article has greater scope than just our country.

                Yeah, but I'm just looking at it from our perspective. I asked on here what other reason than cost. Since we're predominantly Australian I'd expect an answer from our cultural view point, in which case the factors I've stated are relevant.

                If I was considering other countries there'd be no point discussing it here.

                  I see. I don't really get why there'd be no point, but even then there wasn't really much to imply that you were only talking within context of Australia (especially since, as I said, the article is about a subject with a global scale).

      Yeah, between bundles, sales, and F2P there's really no excuse for piracy. If you can't afford to buy the latest big game find something else. You're not exactly hard up for choice.

        The only really legit reason I can think of is availability. I.e. if you're willing and able to spend the money but can't because it's not made available (e.g. refused classification or region-locked for whatever reason, etc). If they can't / won' t take your money when you offer it, then I reckon there is some justification for resorting to... other means.

          Fair enough, I'll give you that. I face this issue all the time with movies, they have no local distributor and they region lock their discs so that I can't watch them on my TV. At least games have mostly done away with regions.

            Region-free DVD players are easy to get and there are also Blu-Ray players that are either region-free or allow you to change the region easily. Kogan has one of the latter, for example.

            Generally agree with you however. It's been years since I played a pirated game (which was Chrono Cross, which has never been made available in AU and is no longer made.)

            I had to download Saints Row 4 and crack it to play with my Canadian friend because our stupid censored version would only connect with other Australians.

          Refused classification doesn't happen much anymore since we got R18+ and region locked games tend to either be online only (so get a VPN) or they're Korean or Japanese etc and aren't in English.

          So those reasons aren't really plausible for the general mainstream amount of piracy.

            No, most of the time it's not justified. But there are those cases - Hotline Miami 2 springs to mind.

              Yeah, so for particular games where region locking and refused classification applies you'd expect those games to get pirated more based on those reasons.

              However that's not what is generally observed or talked about. Tends to be the more popular a game is the more it gets pirated. People are doing it based on cost. They don't want to wait for a sale or even if there is a sale they can't afford it.

              My argument is that cost isn't a valid reason. If you don't have enough disposable income then find another way to generate more. I do stupid online surveys now so I can get paypal/amazon gift cards and use those to pay for games.

              Edit: Another reason is because it's so damn easy to pirate games. Why bother going to the effort of earning cash to pay for it when a pirated version is readily available for free? Yet when people can't pirate it they're then either forced to earn/spend their cash or just not play the game. Would be interesting to see the sales figures for Just Cause 3 as it's popular and people can't pirate it.

              Last edited 09/02/16 11:38 am

        Why would I need an excuse ? I'am pirating because I can that's it. I can't afford the game I want to play it now I'am pirating it. That's it.

          I suppose you'd steal a car or squat in a house that you couldnt afford too, right?

            It's a slightly flawed argument. I wouldn't steal someone's car, because then they'd have no car. I'd download the shit out of a copy, though.

              What about stealing a car from a dealer? They've got heaps of cars :P

                Sure, but they'd still have one less if I took one. I suspect that the vast majority of hardcore pirates would never walk into their local EB and shove a box down their pants.

                You're right, though. Movies have taught me that car theft is a victimless crime. The crims all have hearts of gold, the victims are mostly jerks, and in any case they get compensated by their insurance company. Stealing a car is just win-win for everyone.

              So then maybe you'd sneak your way into a cinema and watch movies for free? By your argument you're not stealing that movie so obviously there's nothing wrong with that.

                If I was walking past a drive-in and could both see the screen and hear the movie's audio, I'd probably stop and watch if I wasn't in a particular rush to be anywhere :P

                  Drive in is different, it's inherent in their nature that you can see it from far away. Sneaking into a cinema (that isn't full) to watch a movie for free is the closest physical analogy I can think of to pirating something.

                  @xenoun It does seem like a pretty decent analogy, actually. For me I guess the greatest deterrent (in cinema hopping at least, slightly different to just sneaking in there without having already paid for entry) is the fear of getting caught, which isn't anywhere near as present when it comes to pirating games.

                  There's the trespass factor as well when sneaking into a cinema, depending on where trespassing falls in your ethical spectrum. I'd probably consider it more unethical than media piracy, personally.

                Personally? No. I don't engage in piracy unless the rights holders have gone out of their way to make it difficult for me to legitimately consume it (e.g. DVD regions, as I mentioned above).

                I just wanted to point out that conflating piracy and stealing wasn't necessarily appropriate. They are very different issues. Pirating a game doesn't directly deprive anyone. Its effect is complicated, but definitely overall negative for the developer.

                  I don't know about definitely negative. There's been a few authors and developers point to increases in piracy as a measurable driving factor behind increased sales - one assumes word of mouth is a factor, as well as folks who 'try before you buy' being suitably impressed as to want to send money.

                  Studies have been published, and some very respectable authors changed their minds on piracy entirely (eg: Neil Gaiman.)

                  I think this falls into a similar category as game demos. Puppygames made a fairly notorious set of posts about how game demos kill sales, with the stats to back it up. Something that they neglected to investigate, however, was whether this applies to really good games. It's understandable that they weren't willing to entertain the idea that demos only kill sales for bad or even mediocre games.

                  Last edited 09/02/16 4:14 pm

                Drive in is different, it's inherent in their nature that you can see it from far away. Sneaking into a cinema (that isn't full) to watch a movie for free is the closest physical analogy I can think of to pirating something.

                Except that you're arguing that it's inherent in the nature of drive-ins being so easily accessible that they are different... which is exactly what is inherent to the nature of digital entertainment. It's easily acquired from far away with minimal effort.

                  If you really want to go there with the drive in analogy you also get worse quality further away. If you can even hear it (not audio boxes directly to the car) the sound quality is pretty bad at a distance.

                  So that means a pirated game would be poorer in quality than the original which isn't true.

                  Compare it to sneaking into a cinema though and it's just you getting to watch a movie without paying. Trespass doesn't come into it, it's a private business but they're open to the public, can't trespass by just going there.

                  That's the inherent nature with the digital world though, extremely hard to compare it to a physical analogy which is why piracy is piracy, not theft.

                  @xenoun It's also usually the case that pirated physical goods (think handbags, watches, etc) are usually of inferior quality... whereas when you pirate a DVD, you actually get a better-quality product because it's free of shitty menus, unskippable studio trailers, region-locking, and piracy warnings (irony!), and comes with the added benefit of being ready to shift between formats, platforms/devices, and to add custom subtitles files.

                  It's one thing not to be able to compete on price when you're up against 'free', but to then subsequently fail to compete on every measurable point of difference is why I have little to no sympathy for the movie industry when it comes to piracy. It's like they're not even fucking trying.

                  Last edited 10/02/16 8:42 am

                  I'm meaning more about pirating games...same views as you on movies/TV series.

                  I only used the cinema analogy as the closest physical parallel I could reach for game piracy. Games don't tend to be improved when pirated, just equal quality. In some instances the pirated game is worse because you can't access official servers, achievements etc.

                  @xenoun It's actually kind of a horrifying development, because all that paranoid over-exaggerated 'lost sale' fear is probably one of the driving forces behind some of the nastier, more unpleasant aspects of official products - forced online. Online-only single-player, arbitrarily tying progress to social networking components, 'register for DLC' inducements. Pretty ugly stuff done to combat piracy.

          Agreed. Why do people feel the need to justify their piracy? You can rationalize it anyway you want, whether its stealing or copying, but really when it comes done to it your getting something for free with next to no negative consequences and thats why people do it.

      That is a great idea to buy some of the indie games I want to get! Any chance of some info on where to go for those pleas?

      Is this like the Google Surveys I was reading about a while back?

        Not sure, I haven't seen google surveys


          Haven't done any myself because I have an iPhone and don't buy stuff from the Play store.

            Ahh, ok . I'm the same, don't use google play.

            Last edited 10/02/16 11:35 am

      people can pirate games just because. it's not like there's a singular reason why people pirate.

      I used to pirate to try games but between the dozen of online retailers having a sale every week, time limitation and more disposable income, I just don't see a reason to anymore.

      Honestly if 3DM stops cracking games it isn't going to make jack all difference. Just look at the latest XCom game for an example.

      Which survey sites do you use if you don't mind me asking :)

        Opinion World. I only use one, no point in using more as I'd just spread the points around and not be able to cash them in as a lump. Finished a survey last night that took 2hrs and gives $30 worth of points.

        That was an oddball special offer though, generally they're between 40-75 points each for 20 to 1hr time estimate (1hr ones take me 20 mins) and 250 points is $5 on amazon, paypal, other gift cards etc.

    For anyone interested in the tech, it's "Denuvo", not "Denovo". There are also claims that it's pretty bad for both PC performance and SSD lifespan, but those are largely unsubstantiated.

    The cynical conspiracy theorist in me wonders if they paid the group to say "it's too hard" as marketing. When has challenging DRM ever actually deterred cracking groups? Note that I have zero evidence of any sort, it's just a weird situation.

      A large group saying "it's too hard" just makes the other groups try harder to crack the same game so they can say they're better. If it wasn't so difficult then someone else would have cracked it by now.

        This, seriously. The best way to get an engineer to do something is to tell them it's impossible.

          As an engineer I agree with this statement 100%.

          On a side note - arguing with an engineer is like throwing a pig into mud. At some point you realise they enjoy it ;)

          Which is amusing, because in my experience, engineers are also frequently responsible for claiming that provably possible things are impossible, without any investigation.

            Best way to get someone to prove something is possible is to challenge them on it. They'll provide the proof or go away because they don't have it.

            I've become accustomed to friends/acquaintances randomly coming up and asking me about their ideas and whether it will work etc. It's easier to tell them no because if you say yes they want you to design it for them....which is often 100's of hours of work. Otherwise if I feel like explaining I'll tell them it'd work but costs a lot to get it started.

    I don't pirate games (anymore) but I can think of 3 other groups off the top of my head. If they disappear then there'll always be someone next in line.


    So even though I have no interest in Just Cause 3, I should still buy it to annoy these people, or remain a person who doesn't purchase it, which effectively makes me just like a pirate of a game anyway? What point are they trying to prove here?

    A middling average-to-serviceable third game in a series almost always gets more brickbats than bouquets, this happens to a lot of IPs.

    People aren't going to buy it because it's a game that didn't seem to set the world on fire.

    What will 3DM do, look at the (relatively) poor sales of this game after that period and use it as an excuse that they have no real effect on $ earned? Isn't that a self-fulfilling prophecy?

      I think you've misread a little. They didn't mean they'd look at the sales of this game in particular, but of games in general that they would otherwise produce a crack for.

    Giving up after a defeat in battle!
    Keep at it, you dont want RG to win do you!?!?!

    I tend to pirate these days only to try the game as a demo and if I like it buy.

    Last edited 09/02/16 11:41 am

    Is it classed as piracy if you use a torrent site to download a game you're buying because it's faster than using the official platform?
    Say, for example, Dragon's Dogma. I found a torrent that had neatly compressed it into a 6gb package and downloaded at almost 700kb/s, which was much better than the 18ish gb download through steam that was coming down at 450kb/s.

      Similar reason to why I pirate movies & TV. Why watch some buggy 720p stream on Netflix when I can download the 1080p version in like 3 minutes?

      Yes. It is. But it's a hell of a stretch to call it immoral or unethical.
      Which doesn't mean people won't still call it that.

      If the government signs the TPP, it will soon be illegal to download a copy of something you own in another format that's more convenient to you. An actual crime which you can be investigated for by police, with warrants on your communications and internet activity, and arrested for, and charged in a criminal court, gaining a conviction that will render you permanently ineligible for many forms of employment or public service.

      The same will apply to bypassing things like device/platform-locking, or formatting.

      Of course, apologists for all the flaws of the industry will try to claim that you're contributing to unethical piracy by seeding P2P torrents. IF you're seeding, that is.

    don't even see the need to pirate games anymore with steam sales and g2a around

    ITT: people acting like they're Che Guevara for pirating games.

    You want to play a game for free. Okay, fine. But be up front about it. Don't go around acting like you're crusading for teh Internetz freedom by downloading a video game.

    Even if you sincerely believe you're doing it as some kind of Braveheart protest against the evil publishers and their DRM, it's a pretty piss-weak protest.

    Last edited 10/02/16 11:13 am

      Heh. As opposed to a boycott and a strongly worded email or forum-post?

      "I totally would've bought your game, but now I'm not going to! I know there's no way for you to verify that I would've, but trust me. My boycott is real and true and you can totally take my word I'm able to afford it and am normally in the market for it and aren't buying it later on special etc. I'm willingly sacrificing enjoyment of a franchise I really like to make a stand! PLEASE BELIEVE ME."

      If piracy is a piss-weak protest, I'm not sure what you think is any stronger, outside of picketing the publisher's offices in potentially another country.

      I think silently pirating probably has a bit more kick to it. It means the game is good enough to play, just not pay for. Why not pay? Well. That could be due to being a tightass, it could be due to protest, it could be any number of things... it's probably not because you're not interested in the game, though. Pretty safe bet.

      Last edited 10/02/16 1:41 pm

        Don't buy the game, simple. You can't have your cake and eat it too. Otherwise, what's to stop EVERY consumer just saying "I like this game, but because of [insert reason] I'm unhappy with it. So I'll just pirate it to show the publisher I'm dissatisfied!".

        To me, the whole "I'm downloading this game because I'm a revolutionary freedom fighter" comes off more as internal justification than any sort of legitimate form of protest.

        And " could be due to being a tightass..." is in no way shape or form a good enough reason. Not that you said specifically you agreed it was, mind you.

        I'm a 100% supporter of consumer rights (see Valve vs ACCC), but this is just taking the piss.

          No, I still really don't see how that explains how a boycott is logically (not morally) a more effective protest than piracy.

          How does that make sense? You're purely arguing for ethics, not effectiveness of delivering a message (which is dubious in the first place - if you like the work of a developer, but boycott the game over the actions of the publisher, then you're doing equal damage to the developer as a pirate does. In fact more damage, because then you have no position of authority from which to extol the virtues of the developer's latest work, and have left the impression of a lack of interest.)

          I'm arguing that piracy is a more effective delivery of a message.

          Distasteful, but effective.
          If you boycott, how is the publisher to know that this isn't mere lack of interest in the game, and thus blame the developer for producing an unpopular game? At least if it's pirated, it's proven that there is interest. It seems to me that it's actually MORE unethical to open a developer to potential harm and judgement from their critical publisher by boycotting their work, because all you've demonstrated is a lack of interest.

          Actions, not words, form the most meaningful messages. Pirating is an action of very clear intent. It means you want to play the game. It may not even be an INTENTIONAL message. Your intent may have been, "I want this, but fuck all that online-only bullshit, I'm using the cracked version." (Hell, you may even have bought it and be grabbing the cracked version. God knows I've done that with Brood Wars, or god, Diablo 2. I've bought that fucking game four times in various packs and times thanks to lost CD cases/keys etc.) But it is a message.

          Dismissing self-serving forms of protest as 'an excuse' is to ignore the message. No, it is not an 'excuse'. But it IS A MESSAGE. Ignoring a true message because of the means through which it was delivered, or out of disdain for whoever is delivering it, is wilful ignorance.

          Don't buy the game, simple. You can't have your cake and eat it too.
          Actually, for the time being, we can.
          Otherwise, what's to stop EVERY consumer just saying "I like this game, but because of [insert reason] I'm unhappy with it. So I'll just pirate it to show the publisher I'm dissatisfied!"
          Nothing. Nothing is stopping us. Well. Except: Normal sense of decency, the convenience of online libraries like Steam with their fast download servers and localization support, regular sales keeping pricing competitive, community goodwill through consumer-friendly behaviour, and high-quality titles which perform to the standards expected of them. Those are the things which stop us from 'just pirating to show we're disatisfied'.

          And the burgeoning size of the industry, the increasing moves away from DRM, the increase responsiveness and sensitivity to community concerns (the least of which I inclusiveness), the implementation of refunds, and reduced piracy rates that correspond with improved support/localization all indicate that this paradigm can't be that broken.

          Last edited 10/02/16 2:18 pm

            You're assuming that the developers/publishers can differentiate between number of PLAYERS and number of purchases. Sure, perhaps with an online multiplayer game. But what if it's a single player campaign driven game? How will the developer track that? If they can't, how is the message of your protest conveyed?

            Just because you're a consumer and you have "muh rights" doesn't mean that you can do whatever you feel like. Just as developers/publishers can't do whatever they like because they're a big business and have "the power."

            I think it's pretty clear on this issue you have more of a libertarian-esque opinion, which is one I do not share. Neither of us is going to convince the other that we're right.

            (though, props for maintaining a civil discussion, even if I may not agree with the premise)

            EDIT - RE: DRM-free alternatives, Steam sales etc. That's the point. I'm willing to bet you dollars for donuts, the emergence of these more consumer-friendly options hasn't been because of brave pirates downloading games for free. It's been the natural progression to more convenient channels, because someone thought they could make money by opening said convenient channel.

            E.g., brick and mortar stores didn't start losing to online retailers because people started shoplifting as a form of protest (Inb4 "but digital is different because it's not stealing"). They started losing because some savvy business owners thought "there must be a better, legal alternative, we should capitalise on this opportunity" and made it happen.

            Last edited 10/02/16 2:27 pm

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