PCGA President: Spore DRM Revolt Was Gamers' Boston Tea Party

By Blake Ellison, Nov 12, 2008 2:32pm PST Randy Stude, the outspoken president of the PC Gaming Alliance, has arrived at some conclusions about game piracy after turning his attention to the issue in October.

"I don't think it's getting worse, as much as it's getting easier," said the consortium head to Ars Technica. He offered file-sharing trail-blazer Napster as an example to show that pirates strike all forms of media and are not unique to the games industry.

While Stude represents a collective of hardware makers and game publishers, he surprisingly took the side of enraged gamers who took to the Internet with complaints about Spore's DRM limitations. "I think gamers wanted to make their voices known; it was the equivalent of the Boston tea party," he remarked.

Stude asserted his understanding that PC gamers are a unique and diverse bunch, and as such don't do well with limitations. "[PC gamers] don't buy one machine, stick it in the corner, hook it up to the TV, and play it forever. We play on multitudes of machines, and we want the same rights an Xbox 360 purchaser has, to move the game to whatever machine we want to play on."

His understanding of PC gamers notwithstanding, Stude was still pushed onto the piracy issue by the publishers he represents. For their sake, he promises a solution. "The PCGA would like to address the methodology that publishers might be able to take to solve ... the piracy challenge for their substantial investments in content." He reiterated his organization's promise to accurately measure piracy in the wake of wildly varying statistics on the issue.

Above all, Stude sees promise in high-piracy areas like East Asia. "Over half a billion in software revenue was generated in China, Korea, and Taiwan. All the top markets for piracy are also the top markets for revenue," he commented.

Concluding, Stude was characteristically dramatic about the challenge facing the PCGA: "We are the guardians of the PC as a platform for gaming."

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6 Threads | 14 Comments
  • Wow, this totally undermines the bad taste DRM has given us.

    Itunes had a fair DRM and didn't do badly, but have done much better since ditching it. If you can find a way to punish piracy without hurting purchasers go for it. Right now the opposite has happened by large and far.

    I don't want spyware installed without knowledge. Or any other intrusive software.

    I want to use the software copyright I purchased on any machine I own with the operating systems it (the software purchased) was specified to use. No install limit, user limits understandable.

    I want to never need internet access to use the copyright I have purchased. If it should be required digital distribution or not I would like it to be on the box or a bolded and immediate note on the NDA that internet access is required. Being that this is a new thing customers should have prior warning. Maybe make a symbol like the adult lyrics warning on CD's.

    I am all for defending the rights to your property. I hope the video game industry can find a way to do that without hurting the customers they depend on.

    Video game publishers:

    This is addressed to you, please do not do what the music industry did and make us forever hate you. We understand that this is not mainstream media and we must pay a premium to enjoy it. I beg you please do not piss off the people who support you. You must understand that most people who did not buy your product on PC either:

    A) Would never have purchased in the first place, example Adobe Products, honestly worth the price but most people pirating them will never know.

    B) Own them on another platform, consoles have stepped up to the big time in way that actually damages the PC market. Graphics still hold up well enough on Consoles that the very slight difference on a high end PC can not justify a PC upgrade.

    C) Broke ass college kids who can't pay rent or interest on their student loans and use every penny they earn on booze and beg for food. Times are bad and it hurts broke ass people the most.