Electronic Arts has discovered the secret to combating piracy . . . offer the legit consumer features and content that they simply cannot get with a “gimped” pirated version, which amounts to basically a “demo” of the real deal.
Speaking to IndustryGamers, EA CEO John Riccitiello joked about how the leaked pirated version of The Sims 3 served as a “secret marketing campaign” to give gamers a taste of the real thing, much like a demo. Why does it only offer a taste? Because a slew of content is downloaded and added to your Sims 3 game once you have purchased a real copy of the game and registered it. Including an entire extra city.
“The Sims 3 has a massive amount of content, and a lot of it is downloaded once you register with EA. For the pirate consumer, they don’t get the second town, they don’t get all the extra content, and they don’t get the community. [The piracy] was only concentrated on Poland and China, but I think of it as not being that different than a demo” Riccitiello said.
“I think that’s the answer [to piracy],” he explains further. “It’s not the answer because this foils a pirate, but it’s the answer because it makes the service so valuable that in comparison the packaged good is not. So you can only deliver these added services to a consumer you recognize and know…I think the truth is we’ve out-serviced the pirate.”
And offering additional content in this way is a growing trend among developers, who are using these extra incentives to not only combat piracy, but also combat used game sales.
Personally I think that this is the perfect way to combat piracy. Incentives are what drive people. For example, I am much more likely to pre-order a new CD if it comes with a t-shirt. Cause that completely ups the value of the package. And if I were to simply download a pirated version of the CD, I wouldn’t get the shirt.