The full version of Halo 4 has leaked and opportunistic people are selling Xbox 360s — with the game preloaded — on CraigsList. Kotaku’s Evan Narcisse did some honest-to-goodness (and high-quality) journalism on the matter. He interviewed some of the sellers and found a wide variety of justifications. None of them were very good. Disappointingly, though not surprisingly, these sellers will surely find customers.
Let’s be honest. I’m sure that most of us have pirated a song or a movie at some point. While it’s a bad practice, one of the common justifications cited is that pirating a movie/song doesn’t necessarily mean a sales loss for the publisher. In this case, Microsoft is definitely losing sales. People that spend a lot of money to buy pirated copies of Halo 4 almost definitely would have purchased the game legitimately.
Piracy-for-profit is just bad news. If it becomes more rampant (and I think it will) then companies — big and small — will tighten their belts. While some pirates justify taking advantage of large corporations like Activision and Microsoft, the people making “normal” wages at these companies will be the first to suffer. If people sell pirated versions of games developed and published by medium- and small-sized companies, the ramifications are even scarier.
That’s my take on it anyway. What do you think of the Halo 4 piracy-for-profit deal? Will this develop into a bigger issue for several companies? Or do you think it’s no biggies? Definitely check out Evan’s article when you have a chance. It’s one of the best pieces of videogame reporting I’ve read all year.