PC Game Piracy Examined

Author: Koroush Ghazi

Last Modified: April 2012


If there's a single topic that's guaranteed to cause heated debate among PC gamers today, it's piracy and the impact it's having on the PC gaming industry. Almost every gamer you speak to has a strong opinion on this topic, ranging from full support for piracy to total condemnation of it. In the past year in particular this issue has really come to a head, with one major PC game developer after another stepping forward to point to piracy as a clear and present danger to the industry.

As a long-time PC gamer, I have to confess that I've become extremely frustrated with reading the numerous discussions and articles on piracy. PC piracy and related topics such as DRM seem to have become so shrouded in illogical excuses, hysteria, scaremongering and uninformed opinions that having a sensible discussion on the topic is virtually impossible. While it's true to say that it's very difficult to obtain completely accurate and conclusive data on piracy and its impacts, it doesn't help that there are a range of vested interests deliberately spreading misinformation on piracy-related issues.

I decided it was time to compile an article which takes a close look at every facet of PC game piracy with a view to hopefully clarifying the debate with a range of facts. I'm not looking to repeat the same old one-sided, superficial examinations of PC piracy that you'll find everywhere else. What this article does is examine PC game piracy in a logical manner, taking into consideration a range of publicly available evidence to provide an informed view of the current state of play. I encourage those of you who are genuinely interested in this topic to take the time to make your way through this rather long but thorough article, as I believe it provides a great deal of food for thought for those willing to read it.

Note: This article was originally released in December 2008. However it has been updated with major developments in PC game piracy since then.