We brought DRM upon ourselves.
Three million, nine hundred twenty thousand. That’s how many copies of Crysis 2 were pirated. That’s how many copies of a very solid game (one that I said was one of the best of 2011) were stolen by people on the internet. People had no excuse to do so, and yet they stole it. Why? Because it was free, and they knew they could get away with it.
Can we take this into account for a second? $235,200,000 in potentially lost revenue. That’s insane.
Before I continue, I know that I need to clarify a couple things. First, I will say “potentially” lost revenue because not everyone who pirates video games does so to steal. Though I doubt it, maybe some of those people bought the game after stealing it. However, I also say “no excuse” in regards to Crysis 2 because there is a demo for the game, so you can’t say you stole it to demo it.
The fact of the matter is that, ultimately, there is a business behind video games. This isn’t like the music industry, where you can go the South Park route and try to say that it’s okay to deprive millionaires of money because fuck them. Not everyone involved in video games is rolling in dough. Beyond that, though they make more than what I do a year, I’d argue that they deserve to because of the hard work they put in.
I’m being frank. I know more about game development than most video game fans. The top people in the industry put in a lot of time, energy, and spirit into their work. These talented gents and ladies pour their souls into their work, often times working 12+ hour days just to get a game finished on time. Think of all the content that was in a game like Skyrim. Think of how detailed the visuals were in Gears of War. Think of how thick the storyline was in Planescape: Torment. Crafting these took a lot of work, a lot of heart, and a lot of money to put together.
By pirating, you’re saying “I don’t care about your hard work. Fuck you.”
So, the video game industry did exactly what they wanted to do when it came to a solution. They said “fuck you” right back. You know what? We deserved it.
DRM is not a virus. DRM is a symptom of the virus called piracy. There are too many people on the internet who are willing to steal because there are no checks and balances against them doing so. There’s no federal team looking out for the well being of the artists. There’s no watch-hounds keeping their eyes on cyber thieves.
I’m an honest man. I work hard to get paid every other week, and when I come home I buy the things that I have earned with my own money. Most people are not honest people. Thus, some people end up paying for the sins of the few.
Is it fair? Hell no. Is it part of life? Yes.
Listen, I don’t mind people being miffed about DRM. I’m not happy with it either. Thing is, I’ll fully admit that I’m not doing anything about the problem. Neither are you. Shut the fuck up if you’re not going to be part of the solution.