Piracy, as we all know, is a phenomenon that has exploded along with the introduction of the internet over the past decade. It is estimated that several hundreds of millions of dollars is "lost" to this illegal market. It is not without consequence, however, that companies are shifting their strategy around game development to require online authentication of their software. Funcom, one of the major players in the gaming industry who are responsible for games such as "Dreamfall", "The Longest Journey" and the upcoming "Age of Conan" are putting their foot down.
Funcom CEO Trond Arne Aas told the press that they have decided to discontinue their development of "offline" games. The loss of revenue to piracy is just too big. He noted that prior to Dreamfall even reaching the stores last year, over 200'000 copies had allready been downloaded and distributed illegally on piracy websites such as The Pirate Bay, and according to Aas, the widespread piracy of today is radically changing the gaming industry.
Game developers who focus solely on offline games are running into some major problems. For exacmple, in France the gaming industry is in a crisis due to piracy.
The game development industry is not alone about noticing the effects. Other industries like movies, music and porno are reporting decreasing sales, both in box and internet sales due to the large amount of "free" websites on the net. For example, the sales of porno DVD"s decreased by a whopping 15% last year.
3 things you should know about intellectual property rights:
1) Data and intellectual property theft is illegal almost everywhere globally.
2) Copying/duplication for privat use is legal a lot of places if you own an original copy of the media.
3) Downloading games, movies or music from "open" websites such as The Pirate Bay is illegal, and not only do you expose yourself to digital theft but due to the way most "open" P2P networks operate you also end up re-distributing the data yourself.