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RE: October NPD Sales Data
at 11:58PM PST on November 15, 2007.
That's true, I did forget about piracy as an issue for PC games. I guess I was under the naive impression that since my friends and myself all buy our games we were a relatively equal and reliable source for how piracy effects game sales. Thank you for reminding me that there still are pirates out there and that I need to take into account their activity on the PC side of the industry as well. If I could give you more than one upbid I would.
I say it is a good time to buy because of the installed user base and the amount of pull a family friendly sim game has on the general PC public. The Sims and Sims 2 are excellent examples of such. Knowing how Will Wright has a dedicated following and how the last few games he helmed have done spectacular sales, I said that it would behoove people to give some PC stocks a second chance. Games like Crysis appeal to the hardcore gamers with those amazing rigs that are overclocked into the next time zone. Crysis looks wonderful and I'm sure plays fine as long as the AI problems are resolved by launch.
PC Futures are what I would consider too high risk because of piracy yet the life time sales of a PC game are more assured as the pirated copies become more and more difficult to find as time goes on. People need the space on their drives and servers and games which are huge but bring little traffic are quickly removed.
But to think back to PC piracy, I doubt that the availability of free software is going to destroy the PC market. Music is a good corollary to base this decision on as Mp3s are much easier to download and that makes up for the gap in sales between music and video games. When Napster was first brought to court it was said that stealing music via mp3 was going to bring the whole system to its knees. But look where it is now? With the use of direct-to-drive alternatives to buying the game in a brick-and-mortar establishment we see that video games are still making money using a process similar to iTunes and its Store. Piracy is an issue but still minor enough to only drop, at most, half a million from life time sales of a product. With a game expected to sell a couple million, like Crysis or Fallout 3, people will buy the original because patching would fix problems while rendering their fake copies useless.
I dunno, software piracy is a bit overblown with hype like the music industry was five to eight years ago. The world won't end; programmers will still have a job and we will still enjoy the fruits of their labor.
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