Halo 4, CraigsList, and Piracy-For-Profit

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.


Author: RPadTV


6 thoughts on “Halo 4, CraigsList, and Piracy-For-Profit”

  1. I’ve never been able to bring myself to pirate a game. Movies and music are one thing, even some books (but I don’t like that one as much because the quality is noticeably lower and now I like my kindle copies), but I’ve never pirated a game. I don’t think DRM is the reason I’ve never done this, but maybe it’s just because I’ve always cared more about the games industry. I also, for some reason, and very leery of pirated games and don’t trust them or like them.

    The other thing is that you are still paying for a pirated game in most cases, and if I’m going to pay for something then I want the real thing. I’ve never bought pirated music or books or movies. I don’t see any reason I ever would with the current prices the way they are; something drastic would have to change in the market price of a movie for me to rationalize purchasing a burnt copy of an upcoming release. A large factor in why I would ever pirate something is that I don’t want to pay anything for that item. If I’m paying for something then why should I get something less than the actual item I am trying to acquire.

    Another factor is that I don’t play PC games anymore, and I think I would find the hassle of pirating games for my xbox or DS to be more effort than they are worth. Also, I do feel there would be a higher chance of getting banned on XBL (nooo my gamerscore!!) or there being an issue with the game that couldn’t be fixed. With the disc (or digital download) and a proper system theoretically there should be updates for bugs and support from the manufacturer in case of any problems. I’ve already paid a decent amount of money for the system and accessories, now why would I want to risk voiding a warranty by MS finding out that I was pirating games and then banning me or not fixing my system should something happen while pirated games are on the hdd?

    1. Interesting point about caring more about the games industry. In many ways, the movie and music businesses are dirty. There’s certainly dirt in gaming too, but because it’s comparatively younger there’s also more innocence (though to be honest, I thought it was a much cleaner business 10 years ago). Obviously I can’t be objective about this since I respect so many game developers and know many of the creators of games that I love.

      1. I would definitely agree that it is still cleaner than the movie and music industries, and wouldn’t be surprised that it is getting dirty (although I wouldn’t be able to give examples of this, I just wouldn’t be surprised as that is the nature of things). I also think it is natural for me to feel slightly more protective of the games industry given my views on casual vs. hardcore gaming that I’ve posted on here before. Those specific views aren’t ones that everyone shares, including you, but I only mention it to use it as an example of a time I’ve been protective of how the games industry is viewed by the public. I think this is just another way that this ideal has more subconsciously manifested itself in me.

        The price difference between that of a game and that of a movie is another big factor though too. Much for the same reason I usually buy a new game vs. a used one when there is only a few dollars difference; I prefer a higher quality with my games.

      2. I resemble this thinking. I’ve pirated PC games before, but truly only to figure out if it’s something I want to spend my time on. People say that a lot, but in my case it’s true. I have no compunctions with pirating music and video that isn’t being distributed directly by the artists, but video games haven’t gotten into the same kind of awful business as have the music and movie industry. I always buy a game that I end up liking and playing longer than a week.

        I never pirate xbox games but I also don’t bother with new releases (with one exception so far). I wait till I can get it 50% off used (or on sale). Xbox games have to be 50-75 hours or longer, and rich in a good story, for me to care about them anyway.

      3. 50 – 75 hours? What the hell? That’s a steep requirement. Lots of great narratives or action games for an offline experience aren’t that long and worth the money. To each their own though.

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