Video games and piracy

During the 80s and 90s, piracy wreaked havoc on the sales of video games in Spain and abroad. Unofficial figures put piracy at 90% during those years. During this time, it was a very common practice since you simply needed a microcomputer that could read cassette tapes and a double tape deck. Nothing like today.

It might be difficult to see from the outside looking in. But the video game industry is huge, and not only in terms of users, but also with respect to the large number of teams that work in this sector.

How to pirate a console

The console in question is essentially modified so that it reads both the original discs and any file with an extension that is ultimately a video game. Once this has been done, the user searches questionable web pages, the ethics of which are even more questionable, for so-called ROMs. These are pirated games that can then be played for free on the console.

Many platforms have suffered from piracy and emulation, with the Nintendo DS possibly being one of cases we are most familiar with. Luckily, due to a variety of factors and especially the fact that the Japanese company sold large numbers of consoles, it was anything but a failure. However, it was not the same story for other consoles, such as the well-known Dreamcast.

Besides, there were many factors that contributed to the failure of this console, and competition from PlayStation which targeted the same audience as this console by SEGA, as well as the price which was higher than its competitors that played a role, but it was without a doubt piracy that was detrimental.

Losses in the video game sector as a result of piracy

Although this practice has decreased in recent years, its effects are still being felt in the global economy. Piracy and falsification of products in the video game sector is a bad practice, but it is nonetheless on the agenda. The most frequent downloads from the portal are video games, which is equivalent to a 20% profit loss for both video platform companies (such as Sony and Nintendo) and computer games.

Despite the fact that these actions have decreased in recent years, their effects are still being felt in economies around the world. Just in Spain 600 million euros were lost each year due to piracy, which includes cultural content such as books or films.