Thinking: File-sharing and selling

It was way too long since last time I wrote, so it’s getting time to write again. I’m in the middle of something like four parallel school-projects at the time, so that’s one important reason I haven’t written as much as I should have to consider this thing “active”. Anyway, I thought I’d bang my head a bit on a really hard nut to crack: File-sharing, specifically the illegal branch of it, and how it can be dealt with. Note that I’m making a stand saying “deal with”, and another by not using the word “Piracy”. I’ll come to why later on.

So, File-sharing, or – as this text will focus on – the illegal file-sharing not followed by payment to the creator. It is very accepted among those I know of, and seems to be fairly accepted on the ‘net, as well. So it will probably, in some twisted way, be controversial of me to argue against it. And I risk breaking the radio-silence I’ve preferred to move around in with this blog (to keep expectations and problems away). But, as I want to do this for a living in the future, it will be vital you can make some money on development. And then you get to the question “how do we deal with the file-sharing”.

I think the answer must be found asking “why do people share files illegally?”, rather then “how do people share files?” followed by comments that should lead to “how do you make people stop voluntarily?” rather then “how do we make them stop?”. I don’t think that most of us suddenly turned into cold-blooded thieves for the sake of taking stuff. There should be, must be, other reasons as well, so I’ve been trying to find some, and then see if there’s counter-measures.

One reason is “I want to know if the game is good”. You could think demos are for this stuff, but we all know Demos are just to make the game look good, not giving an accurate picture. Often, one of the better missions in the middle-early game is taken which is not very complex but still not a tutorial. I ask – why? Wouldn’t just sending three or so of the early missions both give an introduction, give an accurate picture *and* make the game look good? And, as for multiplayer, let people play with each other and full-game users, but only something like one map. Give the complete picture while yet give a reason to buy the full game should be the mantra, not just the second half of it.

Another argument tends to be “it’s cheaper” or “the real product is too expensive”. And they’ll be right. Games are too expensive. But why don’t the prices lower? Because those in the other end of the piggy-bank thinks that’ll give as many buyers but less income. I’m having a feeling a lower price would instead make the game more affordable, and perhaps win over some of the people of this group. But that pretty much requires a *large* group of the potential buyers takes it from the ‘net, or the reduced price per unit won’t justify the difference in amount of units.

So, to why I’m not using the word “Piracy” in this text. It has to do with the “you’re customers aren’t thieves”-thinking. Using the word “Piracy” equals calling the potential buyer a criminal, and that’s more likely then not to make him/her one. Stuff like a ton of security-checks on the game falls into the same thinking. I’m not sure if removing all those would repair the damage, but I’d sure like to test it with a minor title that wouldn’t kill the company if it fails.

I think it’s getting time to conclude. The whole idea is “meet their expectations” or top them. It’s really that fundamental. It’s just that it’s not in the product, but in the treatment.

One Response to Thinking: File-sharing and selling

  1. Pingback: On Pre-orders | Tankeflod

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