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No evidence that piracy affects game sales according to EU Commission

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Piracy is a major issue around the world that affects various entertainment industries. One of which is the video game industry. Everyday gamers download illegal copies of games, purchase third-party consoles that emulate classic NES games, and of course download ROMS to their PC and play them. Piracy is everywhere but apparently, it has no impact on game sales, well, according to the EU Commission anyway. 

A 307-page report put together by research company Ecorys looked into various forms of piracy including books, games, film and more across UK, Germany, France, Poland, Spain, and Sweden. An average of 51 percent of adults and 72 percent of minors had illegally downloaded entertainment in some form or another. Of which, Spain and Poland boasted the highest rate of piracy. This entertainment included TV shows and movies.

Now, when it came to video games, these stats showed a very different route. Only 18 percent of gamers included in the report admitted to pirating video games and 16 percent of them admitted to playing on a chipped console. According to the report, the results do not show robust statistical evidence of displacement of sales by online copyright infringements. 

“That does not necessarily mean that piracy has no effect but only that the statistical analysis does not prove with sufficient reliability that there is an effect.”

The report also found that sales and price reductions do no actually affect consumers' will to pirate games because prices are “at a level broadly corresponding” to the prices these pirates would pay for the game anyway. 55% of people reported on said that they would be willing to pay for their recent illegal game at the standard price the game sells for on the market or even higher. 

The report actually wrapped up on a positive note saying that illegal consumption of games leads to an increased legal consumption. Gamers who pirate do indeed end up buying the game anyway, if not that game, they buy something else. 

If you ask me, this study was done in the EU which in general has always had low piracy rates. If we had to run this study elsewhere we would see a drastic increase in percent across the board. I know in SA piracy is a major issue that stems across illegal downloads, as well as hardware sold from retailers that included pirated and non-licensed games. 

What do you think of all these stats? Let us know in the comments below

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Marco Cocomello

Marco Cocomello

Managing Editor at Glitched Africa
Marco Cocomello
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