PCGA President: 'Let's Monetize Those Pirates'

PC Gaming Alliance president Randy Stude has decided to turn his industry consortium's attention toward piracy after months of DRM controversy and PC release delays getting attributed to gamers getting their fix by way of a digital five-finger discount.

"At some point next year, we expect to be able to quantify the potential impact of piracy on the industry," promised Stude to Gamasutra, echoing detractors in the piracy debate who warn that most piracy-related statistics available today are inaccurate.

Stude was pushed into the issue by his constituency--a collection of hardware makers, PC vendors and game publishers including Microsoft, Dell, Activision, and Epic Games. "There's a far more urgent imperative [game companies] want to see discussion and debate going on around, which is piracy," he said.

The Alliance president reiterated the most frequently mentioned solutions to the piracy problem, such as digital distribution and taking games online, but he also had a novel idea for what to do before the day that markets go entirely digital.

"Let's monetize every one of those pirates, and let's advertise the hell out of them," Stude asserted. "Serving, for example, six times the number of in-game ads on unauthenticated game versions would be a piracy deterrent that also provides revenues to the developer," wrote Gamasutra of Stude's idea.