I have been a PC gamer for the past fifteen years. I play a lot of games on my PC in my free time, not only to unwind, but also to satiate the hardcore gamer inside me. Off lately, I have been following many gaming forums and websites which are talking about the downfall of the PC gaming scene because of the increasing piracy of the games. This fact is really disturbing for me as I have been an avid gamer and do not want to lose one of my most passionate hobbies.
The downfall is evident from the fact that most of the popular game titles are being released for the consoles even before they make their appearance on the PC, or even a declaration is made that they will be available for the PC. Popular games like GTA (Grand Theft Auto) which were exclusive for the PC in the past years, are now being launched for the consoles first (take the example of the latest GTA IV which has been already released for PS3 and XBOX360) rather than the PC. The foremost reason would be the falling sales figures of the PC titles and the rapid increase in the piracy of games. And because of this reason, major game publishers are switching to the consoles arena where the piracy element is much less. Although some companies are adopting new methods for game distribution like Valve which sells their titles through their online distributor (Steam) which allows you to download all the game content after you have purchased it online. Some game publishers also use strict copy-protection techniques, but then again, these methods install extra software into your computers and totally kill the experience for the gamers.
So, why do you think people pirate games? Is it because they cannot buy them? I really don’t agree with that because if you can buy fuel for your car every time you want to drive, or buy food when you are hungry, so is the case for buying anything that entertains you. The main reason for piracy is that the PC games are easily available for download from the Internet, P2P networks, Torrents etc. Just think how many times have you downloaded a game and then only played it for a short while before deleting it from your hard drive. I am sure this has happened many times. Would you have done the same if you had bought that game? No, I don’t think so. If you ever decided to buy a popular game title, you would have first made sure that you read all the available reviews on the Internet about that particular game, asked your gamer friends about their experiences, and finally based on those opinions, you would have gone out and purchased the game.
Some people also stick to the rule that if they like a game after pirating it, they go out and buy it from the market to support the publishers. What if you like most part of it and for the small part that you don’t like, you decide not to buy it? How many times have you done that? What i mean to imply here is the fact that such opinions cannot be always unbiased and true. If you want to support the gaming companies only after testing their products for 100% results, you are not playing fair. There are always game demos which you can play and try out these games to your heart’s content.
There is one more reason for the decreased number of people indulging in PC gaming. For playing all the new graphically intensive games on your PC, you need expensive hardware (graphics cards, processors, memory) which you have to upgrade regularly to match the latest games’ requirements, and it doesn’t stop there, you also need to be technically sound to patch your games, upgrade hardware etc. On the other hand, consoles are pretty simple. You buy a console system, pop in the DVD and start playing. That’s all there is to consoles. Personally, I do not prefer playing on a console as nothing beats the total control that I get using a keyboard and a mouse.
I think people who like PC gaming should really stand up and support the game publishers because this is the right time to do so. Or else, you can just keep waiting for quality game titles to be released for the PC and gradually watch the PC gaming industry die.
So, what is your take on this topic? Do let me know through the comments.