gaming piracy in developing countries

Discussion in 'General Gaming Discussion' started by eriol33, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. eriol33
    OP

    eriol33 GBAtemp Fan

    Member
    460
    72
    Jan 2, 2014
    Indonesia
    hey guys, I want to know your opinion about justification of piracy in developing countries.

    In my home country (Indonesia), I have seen more people buy original games since the income are raising, however I believe the number is smaller compared to the pirated games circulated in the market. In some developing countries, I believe the major problem of piracy is the fact they have to import it themselves so it makes the games price become incredibly excessive.

    back then in. I remember in the 1990s I couldn't even distinguish between original super nintendo carts or pirated ones, and I was surprised when knew the original carts were very different! however it has always been hard to buy original games in my country.

    anyway, since my income has been rising, I could spare money to buy original games through online service such as gog/steam, and online shopping such as play-asia. I tried to list all games I have played and tried to redeem myself by purchasing all games I have pirated.

    I see that many gamers in developing countries are starting to be aware of the impact of piracy to the industry, but why they are not considered as market by the companies? we're still lucky that even the importe game is expensive, but it's not more expensive than the price of games in australia or new zealand, thus still affordable. I think the main problem of gaming piracy in developing country is education and distribution. do you think lack of game retail store could justify piracy in developing country?
     
  2. aiat_gamer

    aiat_gamer GBAtemp Fan

    Member
    304
    40
    May 1, 2008
    Iran
    It might for physical copies of games, for example in my home country (Iran) games become insanely expensive when they are converted to our currency. For example a 60 dollar game becomes roughly 250,000. Keep in mind that most people make something between 500,000 and 2,000,000 each month, so buying original game becomes very hard. Also you have to keep in mind that the sellers jack up the prices for popular games, I remember for example GOW 3 was selling for more than thrice the original price when it first came out. The same goes for the price of consoles.
    I for one have almost stopped pirating games ever since I have moved abroad and making decent money. But I have seen people in Iran buying more and more original games from the likes of Steam especially when they are on sale. That in itself is really hard to do since credit cards are non-existant and you have to find some middle guy to buy credits for steam wallet for you or ask them to pay and gift the game to you, which again jacks up the prices even for digital releases.
     
    Celice likes this.
  3. Taleweaver

    Taleweaver Storywriter

    Member
    5,527
    1,576
    Dec 23, 2009
    Belgium
    Belgium
    +1 to aiat_gamer's reply. Video games are a luxury good, and the average guy in a developing country doesn't earn enough to have enough money left to buy video games on a regular basis. As such, companies don't export their games or even consoles there. And as a result of that (and government regulation), importing is pretty expensive which adds up to that. And that leads to the end result of piracy being common or even the norm for game distribution.

    This can be reversed, but it really has to start with the average wealth of the common people that has to go up. Extra credits even links it to the Big Mac index, which is probably spot on (btw...extra credits have quite some good video's on the topic of "global gaming". They're worth watching :) ).
     
  4. shakirmoledina

    shakirmoledina Legend

    Member
    6,611
    218
    Oct 23, 2004
    Tanzania
    Dar es Salaam
    Here in TZ, very few who have access to original games really do buy them

    we have already developed this culture of pirated games however I see a move into the original games department with the advent of facebook and information sharing.

    However I still feel people looking for original games are not buying the original cds from shops (because new games don't arrive here soon enough) but are rather buying from each other on FB as used.

    Personally i have seen around 80% of my friends circle going for pirated games/movies etc. basically due to the lack of availability of the software or the means to pay.
    As aiat_gamer said, credit cards are hard to get here and people use other means such as ABC banking (or something) that is the deposit bank that you can use as a debit card provider.

    If you talk about income v price then yes, a usual worker nowadays earns around $400-$800 and the game costs around 80$ or more depending on its popularity and timing. However considering the rent, water, electricity and other expenses, it is unlikely that the person would remain with more than $150 a month as savings.
     
  5. eriol33
    OP

    eriol33 GBAtemp Fan

    Member
    460
    72
    Jan 2, 2014
    Indonesia
    interesting. thanks for sharing your opinion. I don't realize that video games are classified as "luxury products". Actually I'm surprised that many old games are actually quite affordable for people in my country, but the problem is, they are just not available to buy so you have to import.
     
  6. Qtis

    Qtis Grey Knight Inquisitor

    Member
    3,794
    1,292
    Feb 28, 2010
    The Forge
    I think the main problem is availability in many cases. Just looking back at, say, the Wii in Europe, you can notice people pirating games that were released in the US, but not in the EU area at the same time. Works also the other way around. Once they came available, it became kinda irrelevant to pirate if you wanted to play it. (note: importing the game would require some kind of region free loader, which in itself means you could usually play the game already from a HDD).

    As for the luxury feature: if you don't need something to survive, it can be considered a luxury. For example, I think a 60" 4K tv is luxury, since I can do just fine with a 1080p 32". But if I had a ton of money and/or the 60" 4K tv was cheaper, I could say that it wasn't a luxury item. As games and consoles usually fit the mark of "not critical and also not necessary in any form compared to a place to sleep and some kind of drink to drink (water)", I'd say they're a luxury item.
     
  7. Rockhoundhigh

    Rockhoundhigh Man with a mission

    Member
    436
    209
    Apr 2, 2011
    United States
    Southern California
    I believe it's justified in developing countries. Besides factoring in often stupid importation fees and currency conversions compounded by the fact that there's often just not enough money to go around in the first place there's simply not a real lack of standards and regulations when it comes to pricing. In Mexico at least the prices of everything are inflated even after currency conversion. More often then not people are buying their games from smaller "mom and pop" type stores that charge massive overhead fees and don't really even understand what it is that they're selling and why they should be priced differently depending on the current market value of the game. People might argue that through the infamous sales of services like Steam you can bypass the issues of a physical product in a scattered market ecosystem but anyone who's ever tried dealing with Steam's currency conversion and international pricing will know that's potentially complete crap as well.
     
    Nightwish and eriol33 like this.
  8. eriol33
    OP

    eriol33 GBAtemp Fan

    Member
    460
    72
    Jan 2, 2014
    Indonesia
    ^your opinion makes me feel less guilty. as someone who have more access to original games I too, want to buy original games though as I want to support my favorite developers. I was big fan of HOMM and was devastated when they went bankrupt. decade later I bought all the HOMM games in gog, I know it will not make 3DO return, but still... I guess I just want to redeem myself.
     
    aiat_gamer likes this.
  9. Rockhoundhigh

    Rockhoundhigh Man with a mission

    Member
    436
    209
    Apr 2, 2011
    United States
    Southern California
    Yeah, I understand. For the longest time I pirated games because I didn't have any means to pay for them. Now that I do though I go out of my way to support the developers that make the games that I love. I know not everybody can and that's understandable. The circumstances people deal with usually aren't a matter of choice. If people are now playing games they couldn't afford otherwise I don't think it's fair to treat them as lost sales anyways.
     
  10. Chocolina

    Chocolina GBAtemp Fan

    Member
    450
    84
    May 28, 2012
    United States
    Piracy is a distribution problem. If people can't get something by normal means, then they take something by abnormal means. Can't really sell a $50 game, a $30 album, a $30 movie in a country where people make about that much in a month give or take in a month. Piracy will exist as long as it's easier to pirate something, then buy something. Steam and Playstore are good examples as I don't pirate something that only cost me $1-$3
     
  11. Dork

    Dork Newbie

    You don't justify piracy, you just acknowledge that it's wrong but do it anyway.
     
  12. ilman

    ilman Gbatemp's Official Noise Eraser

    Member
    1,130
    243
    Jul 25, 2010
    Shibuya
    In my country, for example, the PSP sold quite well as a console, but not its games. I'm 97% sure that there are more PSPs in Bulgaria than legit PSP games, even though they cost 10 euros each. Same goes for the Wii and the DS. But on the PC, mainly because of Steam, I've noticed a huge dip in piracy. So, once all platforms get cheap digital destribution (unlike 3DS games for 50 euros a piece), I'm sure developing countries will take a turn on piracy.
     
  13. Nah3DS

    Nah3DS Madre de Dios! Es El POLLO DIABLO!!!

    Member
    3,618
    1,915
    Feb 9, 2010
    Argentina
    In Argentina piracy rules since the Famiclon days
     
  14. YoshiInAVoid

    YoshiInAVoid GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Banned
    560
    336
    Jan 10, 2011
    Video games are not a necessity, you can live without them. If a company charges a certain price for a product, then you have to ask your self if it is worth buying said product or not, and whether you can afford it.
     
    Skelletonike likes this.
  15. aiat_gamer

    aiat_gamer GBAtemp Fan

    Member
    304
    40
    May 1, 2008
    Iran
    yes but that really does not help someone who loves to play games but does not have legal access to them. I mean for example steam is a god send for some countries, poeple will buy games if they can get them easily and cheap.
     
  16. Wisenheimer

    Wisenheimer GBAtemp Fan

    Member
    373
    98
    Sep 23, 2013
    United States
    People in third world countries mostly produce manufactured goods. People in first world countries mostly produce intellectual property. There is very little concern in the west that children in the third world are working 16 hours a day for a few dollars to manufacture consumer goods like Nintendo's and iPods just like there is very little concern in the developing world for the artists, coders, and others who work 100 hour weeks and sleep under their desks to create things like video games and movies.
     
  17. eriol33
    OP

    eriol33 GBAtemp Fan

    Member
    460
    72
    Jan 2, 2014
    Indonesia
    well I think it's kinda oversimplifying to put all third world in same level, in every third world, there is a middle class - group of educated people with a decent disposable income and probably english speakers. these groups are actually the untapped market... the gdp per capita in my country is about $3400, however thanks to access of credits, more people consuming cheap smartphones, tablets, etc. and they also spend money to buy apps. for first time ever in my country, sony actually officially release PS4, and to my surprise, retailers begin to sell original games (although the price is bloody expensive).