Gamers get used to piracy – Kommersant FM

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Every second gamer in 2022 began to download pirated games more often. Experts fear that this is not the limit. According to a survey by online development school Xyz School, two-thirds of gamers have launched at least one pirated release. A third of respondents were categorically against such practice. 7% of respondents did not buy games at all last year.

Against the backdrop of hostilities in Ukraine, many major developers and publishers left Russia. Platforms for the online sale of games are still working, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to pay for the purchase. And in spite of everything, there will be less and less people who want to buy the product legally, Vyacheslav Makarov, an expert in the gaming industry, believes:

“We are moving at a fast pace towards the rapid development of the pirate market. This is inevitable, since the legal one has declined, some of the games have become unavailable in Russia.

And, on the one hand, gamers want to play them, on the other hand, they have about zero remorse about piracy. In this situation, they argue as follows: if earlier it was possible to say that piracy harms the manufacturer, now the manufacturer does not want money for his product, therefore, by downloading the game illegally, he is not harmed.

Some players have retained the habit of buying games. As a market, we developed this habit for a long time, explaining that it is important to buy games legally, that this allows manufacturers to release a new product. And, of course, a certain number of gamers continue to follow this habit. How long they will adhere to her with such an attitude on the part of the manufacturer is unknown. I’m leaning towards short. The problem is not on the player’s side. Here the problem is on the side of the manufacturer, who does not want to sell his product.

The Russian market for “boxed” products has never taken a significant share. Of course, these are unpleasant losses for the manufacturer, but they are small. We are a free-to-play market. Free games cannot be pirated, and such products both received money, and receive.

Russian companies are developing their own platforms for selling games. And one of the largest participants in this market is VK. But won’t piracy hurt Russian business? Mikhail Pimenov, Game Industry Development Director at Synergy University, does not rule this out. But he believes that legal platforms can benefit from user friendliness:

“Before, games were bought on Steam. What’s stopping you now? First, you cannot purchase content with one touch. In stores where everything works fine, Russian cards are accepted, there are no problems with payment, games continue to be released and sold there.

The share of the pirate market has declined over time due to the fact that services for users have become more convenient. You need to do something with pirated games, you need to download them, install them in a not always obvious way, also download special software that will hack or look for those versions in which it is already embedded, for example.

At first, piracy can harm Russian distribution platforms, developers and publishers, but gradually the situation will level out, because, firstly, more platforms and payment methods will appear for Russian users. That is, it will be easier to buy legally than to engage in piracy.”

According to Mediascope, two-thirds of the Russian population at least occasionally play games on any medium. The survey was conducted in 2022 among citizens from 12 to 64 years old.


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Ilya Sizov

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