Piracy is almost always a service problem and not a pricing problem. For example, if a pirate offers a product anywhere in the world, 24/7, purchasable from the convenience of your personal computer, and the legal provider says the product is region-locked, will come to your country three months after the U.S. release and can only be purchased at a brick and mortar store, then the pirate’s service is more valuable.
Most DRM solutions diminish the value of the product by either directly restricting a customer’s use or by creating uncertainty.
Our goal is to create greater service value than pirates, and this has been successful enough for us that piracy is basically a non-issue for our company. For example, prior to entering the Russian market, we were told that Russia was a waste of time because everyone would pirate our products. Russia is now about to become our largest market in Europe.
Maybe I’m getting old. Certainly I’m an old media journalism snob. But the fact is, when faced with the fact that an increasing number of people can’t process news without a game element, my instinct is to reply… well… fuck ‘em…
…Increasingly, though, everyone is a gamer; if not through traditional videogames then through the increasing “gamification” (ugh) of real life. It’s no longer enough to enjoy a meal with friends: unless we check in (and maybe – gasp! – become Mayor!) the experience is hollow and meaningless. Every soda we drink, or cereal box we open, or wrap of cocaine we score is emblazoned with its own QR code allowing us to unlock points or win some unrelated thing; otherwise, why choose that brand? There is almost no area of life – finance, taxation, education, health that remains un-gamified. And now, apparently, it’s news’ turn. Because, let’s be honest, unless I can pull the trigger and take Gaddafi out myself, who gives a shit?
Paul Carr, TechCrunch, War, What Is It Good For? Three Points!
Carr is writing in response to Chris O’Brian’s recent article on PBS’ Idea Lab, Why Are Newsrooms Resistant to Creating Newsgames?
Both are well worth the read. Carr’s, perhaps, just a little bit spicier.
Our early challenge has been to understand why people would want to share live photos with the public, and how we can encourage a new social behavior. Game designers have a lot of experience in that realm, and we’ve studied successful social games to figure out how to power our platform. It’s a different way of looking at a social network.