Naughty Dog co-founder: “We’ve lost millions to Piracy”; “I remember buying a $1 CD with all Crash games at a bazaar in Bangkok”

Posted By | On 24th, Jan. 2012 Under News | Follow This Author @KartikMdgl

There have been plenty of discussions about intrusive DRM, and how they aren’t beneficial to the anyone – gamers and publishers in the long run, but that doesn’t mean companies like Ubisoft will learn.

These companies use aggressive DRM to prevent people from pirating their games, but the problem is, it does not work.

There are companies that do get it though – like say, Valve. Or in this case, Naughty Dog. Jason Rubin, who founded Naughty Dog in 1984, shared his thoughts about piracy in an interview with Vivid Gamer, and I can pretty much say that, “he gets it”.

Naughty Dog has lost a lot of money to piracy, and he also mentioned an interesting thing he saw at a bazaar in Bangkok.

“I remember buying a $1 CD with all three Crash games at a bazaar in Bangkok, and I probably could have negotiated the price down if I had tried,” he revealed.

Now, it’s pretty disheartening for a developer to see his work cheapened like that, and available for anyone at that cost. It must have been a shocking moment for Rubin when he saw the amazing Crash games being sold for that cheap.

But what’s the point? He can’t stop it. No one can. And he realises that. “I think time will solve this problem for the industry,” he explained.

“Intrusive DRM is not the solution. It didn’t work for the music industry, it didn’t work for the movie industry, and it won’t work for the game industry. Luckily, it doesn’t have to,” he added.

“In the long run, digital distribution, servers, and cloud storage of data solve this problem. World of Warcraft has an extremely small piracy rate.

“There is no reason, in the long run, that games like CoD can’t be the same.”

These are pretty good analysis of what can be done to counter piracy. Ubisoft’s way is definitely not the solution here, but it will take a lot of time for such companies to understand.

If you’re wondering why Naughty Dog and Sony aren’t making Crash games any more, it’s because they unfortunately sold the IP to Activision (and also realize their mistake).

Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Awesome Stuff that you might be interested in

  • How can you lose something you didn’t have in the first place?

    • The problem is with your argument is any one user can become mass producer. Thus creating an unauthorized sales channel that the content creator has to compete with but that competitor doesn’t charge a dime.

  • “In the long run, digital distribution, servers, and cloud storage of data solve this problem. World of Warcraft has an extremely small piracy rate.”

    I respect all of the developers at Naughty Dog immensly, but I can’t say I aggree with this laissez faire attitude. Of course WoW has a low piracy rate, the game is free to play now. 😛 Very bad example for someone who is from the industry IMHO.

    That being said lets assume WoW didn’t have Free to Play. Still than WoW is a completely online affair. It would require a very high level of expertise to “pirate” WoW. Much more so than a single player console game.

  • tc

    It’s going to happen, period.
    There is always going to be someone that feels your product isn’t worth the price. Happens all the time with almost every product.
    I’d say they make enough money regardless of piracy. This statement says it all, “We’ve lost MILLIONS…” You must still be making enough to continue to want to make games. If you feel that you don’t make enough, make a better product that people will want to buy, simple.

    And you can’t lose something you didn’t have in the first place. If anything you are gaining profits due to pirating.
    Someone pirates a game they aren’t sure about buying; then they go and buy the game. However, had they not been able to play the game beforehand (you can’t rent PC games) they wouldn’t have bought the game.

    It’s all about how you look at it. If you want to see that people that would have bought the game aren’t buying it because they can get it free, then yes, it looks like you’re losing profits. But if you want to see that people are buying the game that wouldn’t have previously, suddenly it looks like you gained profits.


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