WoS: Can Piracy Save the PC?

A tweet prompted me to read an Editorial of Stuart Campbell of World of Stuart. I have never read anything by said person and this site maintains a $2/mo paywall for content. The editorial is free and if it is a sample of what the site has to offer, he can keep it. The title is pandering hyperbole and meant to do exactly what it did, make you want to read more. The editorial itself is half-cocked pretension, not surprising from a person who names his site worldofstuart.excellentcontent.com - Ummm, really? A quick summary of said editorial is simple: Stagnation of the PC gaming market is killing sales and pirating everything, buying only what you enjoyed, is the solution to the problem. Ummm, No.

First off, the PC is swimming in console ports so this stagnation would not be platform specific. Next up, the most innovative gaming you will find today is in the indie market - most of which never hits consoles. Variety in gaming is something that the PC does not suffer from. If anything, it's the console market slathers itself in repeated ideas - God of War 3/DarkSiders/Dante's Inferno anyone?

Piracy is not just the copying of software, it's the freedom that PC users have to mod, develop, backup and play again 10 years later without having to repurchase the same content. Consoles come and go, when a new one is released you can slap a new coat of paint on an old game for a quick buck. Not to mention the free content that many people develop and give away when the developer is trying to sell horse armor for $5. Piracy is not just about the game itself, but the potential income that can be squeezed out of it in the future.

Private servers is another sore point, why let modifications be free when we can gouge another buck for a new gameplay type when the existing one becomes stale? Again it's about the freedom that PC gamers have with their content and how it impedes the devs ability to get more for less.

We as PC gamers are going to have to deal with less and less when it comes to mods and servers as it encroaches on possible revenue. Smart Devs will use this to their advantage by promoting and including these abilities to bring a larger and longer lasting community for a game they don't want to milk for the next year. The few hardcore PC devs still available will include it as a matter of principal, and you can expect it from the indie market as they can't afford to support continued development.

Again, the solution to the dwindling commercial arm of the PC games market is simply to make it lucrative by buying your software. It's the money they care about, not your $2/mo opinion.
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