Study Claims Handheld Game Piracy Losses Top $41 Billion

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Study Claims Handheld Game Piracy Losses Top $41 Billion

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Japan's Computer Entertainment Suppliers Association claims that piracy on handheld gaming systems has cost the international videogame industry more than $41 billion over the past half-decade.

When we talk game piracy, we usually talk about the PC, which is far and away the most vulnerable platform on the market. But according to the results of an investigation conducted by CESA, the portable gaming market is being hammered pretty badly too. The association said that between 2004 and June 2009, illegal game copying on the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP added up to a worldwide loss of $41.5 billion.

Researchers arrived at this number by searching for Japanese versions of the top 20 releases from 2004 to 2009 on the top 114 piracy sites around the world. The retail cost of the games and their ratio of sales were then factored in to determine the cost to the Japanese market; that figure was multiplied by four, "under the assumption that Japan accounts for 25 percent of the world's software market," to come up with the worldwide figure.

It's a huge number and comes with certain presumptions attached that will no doubt lead to complaints that it's grossly inflated. However, as CESA points out, the study didn't include peer-to-peer file sharing, meaning the real figure could be even higher. Bottom line? It's just about impossible to nail down how much the industry is actually losing to piracy but whatever the amount may be, it's a lot.

The study also made the interesting observation that the country hosting the most piracy sites is none other than the United States, with China coming in second. Between the two, they account for roughly 60 percent of all servers, leading at least one observer (that being me) to wonder if the U.S. will place itself on the U.S. Trade Representative's "Priority Watch List."

Source: Andriasang

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Statistic is bullshit.

Piracy=/= lost sales.
How do you know if the person was going to buy it in the first place? Didn't lose any money on someone who wouldn't have bought it anyways.
And what about the people who pirated it to try it then bought it?
You can't form a statistic on something that can't be measured.

Remember when pirates had boats, treasure and swords?

Now they're just c*nts.

If a kid gets an r4 and downloads 240 games, that doesn't mean he would buy them all if he had too.
People who pirate handheld games usually don't even play halve of them its just a 3mb download for a gba game.
So this number has no relation to actual losses whatsoever, they might as well have guessed.

The study also made the interesting observation that the country hosting the most piracy sites is none other than the United States,

So for all the bitching about Canadians, Europeans, Russians and everyone else stealing the food from good honest hardworking American mouths because we won't follow good honest American laws it was them all along.

Well, that's not stereotypically American, not at all.

fix-the-spade:

The study also made the interesting observation that the country hosting the most piracy sites is none other than the United States,

So for all the bitching about Canadians, Europeans, Russians and everyone else stealing the food from good honest hardworking American mouths because we won't follow good honest American laws it was them all along.

Well, that's not stereotypically American, not at all.

To be fair, they could be referring to the percentage, and not the total amount.

Yeah, that statistic is BS.
...I think perhaps a better way to find out lost sales due to piracy would be to figure out what % of people actually pirate, and then see how much sales are lost by assuming that if they weren't pirating games, they would buy similar amounts of games to an average gamer (a game every few weeks or so?), and see how much those losses come to.
My guess is it would come to quite a bit less than $41B

Those studies should include a survey, asking people "Would you have ever planned on paying money for this game, were you unable to pirate it?" As I know a lot of people tend to pirate stuff on the handhelds because they get the games bundled with a bunch of others.This is a horribly flawed way to gauge how much money is lost in sales, and clearly just a way to inflate those numbers to make it look like a bigger issue than it actually is.

It is also revealed suckers who have to pay full RRP to play decade old videogames on the move (which they may already own) such as Chrono Cross/ Trigger have lost way more money.

Seriously, if companies are going to charge £40 to play a bloody snes game on the trot, I'm not surprised so many are pirating them.

Woodsey:
Remember when pirates had boats, treasure and swords?

Now they're just c*nts.

I'd much prefer to meet a modern pirate though, except for maybe the Somali ones...

OT:
I call bullshit on this one.
A game downloaded does not equal a lost sale, by far.

Yeah ok. Now they're just making shit up. Trying to guilt trip gamers into not pirating. 'Look how much money YOU stole. How could you? 41 billion *sniff* 41 billion gone. *sob*'

to be perfectly honest the sole reason i brought a PSP and a DS was only and exclusively for their homebrew capabilities.

I don't really pirate games for them a lot as homebrew games are usually a lot more fun then proper games for the system which i always find try to be like normal console games and kinda suck because of it. But quite a few people i know brought them just because piracy is so easy on them, the rampant piracy of the software actually drives their hardware sales, if piracy was totally eliminated from them i reckon it would actually hurt them just as much....

Piracy = lost sales now? More like DRM = lost sales and pirates get stuff free since its the cool thing to do.

To people claiming that not every download is a lost sale: That's true, but that's not the point. The fact that there's at LEAST $41bn of pirated software floating around out there is a staggering number. If even 10% of that was a lost sale, that's $4bn. That is a lot of money.

That's why you should sell cartriges on systems with no/few outside access.

It's so easy to Flash your PSP and obtain some good games fast and for nothing..It's very tempting for those not willing to make gaming an expensive hobby.

I am glad my friend bought a new 360 because he got banned for his piracy before. He said he felt more concious and 'less sinful' about it.

Yeah, yeah, staggering horrible criminal blah blah blah. The more I hear about it the less I care. Being somebody that doesn't pirate games at all.

I will say having lived with somebody with a modded console it is rather weird the sense of entitlement he had. It's like he got a kick out of screwing whatever company made whatever game.

John Funk:
To people claiming that not every download is a lost sale: That's true, but that's not the point. The fact that there's at LEAST $41bn of pirated software floating around out there is a staggering number. If even 10% of that was a lost sale, that's $4bn. That is a lot of money.

So what is the point? First, $41bn isn't a fact, just a rather half-assed cobbled-together number (assuming $40 a pop, that's 1,025,000,000 games). Second, if they're not saying this in some attempt to try and recoup that made-up figure, why bother saying anything at all?

In the end, morality of pirating aside, these folks are really living in a fantasy land if they believe that there's $41 billion floating around that they have some claim on.

John Funk:
To people claiming that not every download is a lost sale: That's true, but that's not the point. The fact that there's at LEAST $41bn of pirated software floating around out there is a staggering number. If even 10% of that was a lost sale, that's $4bn. That is a lot of money.

Not to put it bluntly, but the number may be 1%, 0.1%, 0.01%...
You get the drift, it's just as potentially significantly less as more.

Yes, the point is that there are a lot of copies of the games out there, but until they can actually tie piracy to lost sales (rather than tired, same-y game design, lacklustre marketing, terrible sequels, movie tie-ins etc.), is anyone going to care?

Lets be honest, DRM is the electronic equivalent of strip searching your customers as they leave the store because someone might be stealing from your warehouse, and IMO is far more to blame for lost sales ion recent years than straight piracy, since it is a (if not the most) significant cause of pirated software's wide distribution.

41 billion lost money? Cut the bullshit, it's 1 billion, tops, and IMO, a big stretch too.

But a mere billion doesn't sound big or threatening as a loss now, does it?

Id love to see how they were even avble to gather such massive statistics. I am sure its alot of money, for sure, but a sum near that amount...seems highly unlikely.

Wow (sarcasm) that nothing compared to the 3 trillion the US army's spend on the Iraq war.

Woodsey:
Remember when pirates had boats, treasure and swords?

Now they're just c*nts.

Remember when Swedish people were vikings that went out and did awesome shit?

Now we're just c*nts famous for hosting a site dedicated to c*nts and named after cool people who had boats, treasure and swords but are now only c*nts.

We also have a political party consisting of c*nts.

OT: While those figures are too big for me to believe entirely, I'm not going to deny the fact that they've probably lost a lot of money anyway.

Straying Bullet:
It's so easy to Flash your PSP and obtain some good games fast and for nothing..It's very tempting for those not willing to make gaming an expensive hobby.

The one time I tried it I bricked my console, I had to make a pandora battery to undo it and all I'd wanted was an alarm clock and the chance to install a Linux build.

I find it shocking that that people would value the games which were pirated at $41 Billion.

41 Billion a year?
Who made those statistics? Epic Games? Fox News? Boc&Base?
Does this mean handheld gaming is dyeing faster than PC gaming?
Can we mock handheld consoles now instead of PCs?

generic gamer:

Straying Bullet:
It's so easy to Flash your PSP and obtain some good games fast and for nothing..It's very tempting for those not willing to make gaming an expensive hobby.

The one time I tried it I bricked my console, I had to make a pandora battery to undo it and all I'd wanted was an alarm clock and the chance to install a Linux build.

In our cases, we could easily revert any tampering and send it back to Sony without them noticing. It was not really a glamerous thing I done, but ey, I was young and my job was not paying me much.

Oh dear god! Someone must stop those crazy pirates! They've been looting the game industry and plunderin' the goods.

James Hueick:
Wow (sarcasm) that nothing compared to the 3 trillion the US army's spend on the Iraq war.

Can someone help me out here? I can't, for the life of me, figure out what the above statement has to do with anything related to the topic.

OT: Of course those numbers are BS but that doesn't mean losses do not exist at all. What i like about the article is that for once it reminds people that piracy =/= PC piracy. It might be the biggest chunk but it for sure is not the only platform piracy happens on.

The industry is going about this wrong. They're going the baby-boomer-guilt-trip-fear way. Where they straight up lie about the figures and Pachter on GT saying 'Duh, I'm old guard and I believe in rightousness and all pirates should go to jail' Shut up, bland moron.

They keep doing this and they're going to get the equivalent of their kid listening to horrible swedish metal.

John Funk:
To people claiming that not every download is a lost sale: That's true, but that's not the point. The fact that there's at LEAST $41bn of pirated software floating around out there is a staggering number. If even 10% of that was a lost sale, that's $4bn. That is a lot of money.

And the other point would be that your figure of 10% just as justifiable as their figure of 41 billion, ie, not at all. It could be 100%, it could be 0.000000000000000001%, there is no way to know and, instead of claiming knowledge they lack and collectively punishing consumers on that basis, they should maybe do some studies which can produce workable outcomes such as; What can we do to encourage legal purchasing? What demographics actually engage in piracy?

They could also start actually paying attention to the studies which have been done which produced workable outcomes, such as the one which showed that people who pirate music spend MORE than people who don't on legitimate purchases.

Throwing around numbers and screaming "Piracy is bad, mmmkay" will not stop piracy, if they want to make more money maybe they should focus on ways to do that; constantly striving for an unachievable goal will only cost them more.

Wow, I didn't know piracy was such a problem on handhelds. I mean, I know there are emulators and those thingies Nintendo tried to ban a while back, but I've never thought of it as a widespread phenomenon. I know a few people who regularly pirate PC games, and even console games (a friend of mine got banned from XBOX Live for playing a pirated game, apparently), but I've never known anyone who pirated handheld games.

Aside from that, I'm really starting to get tired of the fact that every time people talk about pirated games, they call them 'losses'. I have a hard time believing that a non-trivial fraction of those pirates would've bought a legitimate copy of those games if they couldn't pirate them, and have yet to see a shred of evidence supporting such a claim. If a thousand people pirate a game, those are not a thousand lost sales. I recognize that piracy is a serious problem, but you're not helping anyone by blowing it out of proportions at every opportunity.

ramox:

James Hueick:
Wow (sarcasm) that nothing compared to the 3 trillion the US army's spend on the Iraq war.

Can someone help me out here? I can't, for the life of me, figure out what the above statement has to do with anything related to the topic.

OT: Of course those numbers are BS but that doesn't mean losses do not exist at all. What i like about the article is that for once it reminds people that piracy =/= PC piracy. It might be the biggest chunk but it for sure is not the only platform piracy happens on.

All I'm saying is that these numbers pale in comparison to the massive amount of money the US government has spent on that stupid war; and they're making a big deal out of less than a tenth of that.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the future of gaming: piracy. Although their figure is probably way off: I doubt Japan alone accounts for 25% of videogame sales these days. Plus don't forget: download started != download finished, never mind lost sale.

I'm sorry, $41 billion, isn't that more than the entire games industry has made in the history of the world?

These people need to start hiring financial experts and stop hiring proctologists when they need figures for statements.

However, despite not owning a DS, I have seen the ridiculous romsets on torrents, and it's no surprise that number is so high, as people tend to download 200 DS roms at a time, even if they only wanted 3. Now that's probably not 3 lost sales, but no-one with any sense would say it was 200 lost sales.

I'm curious, does the PS3 have a big piracy problem? Just that I know if a download was going to be 50gb, that's more than a lot of people have as monthly bandwidth in the UK, and even if you have unlimited, you're still going to be waiting a long time on 1-2mb DSL.

not debating the morality here, it's been done a million times, but I'd suggest that games under 1mb are going to be downloaded easy and quickly.

without defending idiotic DRM, protection built into the console I think is a good idea, the DS got hit hard by the R4 chip, I have a friend who's got one and I don't think he's ever bought a game for his, despite being fairly well off, he buys 360 games all the time, but the DS is just very easy to abuse.

Most consoles you'll at least have to take to an expert, have opened, voiding warranties, and have some kind of chip fitted, the DS you could play pirate games on forever, send it back to nintendo when it breaks and I don't think they'd know.

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