Wednesday, October 1, 2008

EA Admits File-Sharing Does Not Equal Lost Sales

Gamasutra has the story. Mariam Sughayer of EA's corporate communications department states:

Stepping aside from the whole issue of DRM, people need to recognize that every BitTorrent download doesn’t represent a successful copy of a game, let alone a lost sale. [emphasis mine]
Dan Hewitt, the Entertainment Software Association's senior director of communications agreed:
It’s important to remember that it’s not a one-for-one equation. Our calculation isn’t such that we say that every game that’s been stolen [he means downloaded] is a sale loss." [emphasis mine]
This comes on the heels of TorrentFreak's analysis claiming that Spore has been downloaded from bittorrent file-sharing networks more than half a million times. Last week, EA reported that Spore had sold 1 million copies. Now, EA is trying to downplay the record number of Spore downloads.

I have to ask: EA, if a downloaded copy of Spore doesn't necessarily equate to a lost sale, what is the point of your DRM? Are your DRM schemes simply to stop people who wouldn't have bought your games from playing them? That's the only conclusion I can draw, since we can see that your inclusion of SecuROM did not stop people from pirating the game.

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