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UKIE: Four out of five games in the UK pirated


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British trade organisation UKIE has revealed figures that show as many as four games in the UK are pirated for every one purchased. The news comes following a BBC Newsbeat article last week, where the UKIE claimed that game piracy cost the industry £1.45 billion in lost sales last year. Speaking to the BBC, Michael Rawlinson, Director General of UKIE, claimed that today's games aren't overpriced and that the issue of piracy comes down to a simple question of criminal law.

When people play a pirated game that money goes to a criminal, not to the industry. That takes away jobs from young developers and graphic designers, so it actually stifles creativity and stops new games coming out.

The £1.45 billion figure comes from a ratio of one game pirated for every game purchased, a figure which Rawlinson disputes is "a conservative position".

We did not say this was the loss to industry. What is clear is that people who share games via P2P networks or buy illegal copies are not buying the real product, and this reduces retailer sales. In turn, investors see higher risks and lower returns, and this will undermine confidence in the sector and lower the amount of money invested, reducing the developer's chance to create new products.

Statistics like the UKIE typically come under heavy scrutiny from the tech communities, as lost sales are difficult to prove. Intentions to pirate a game are not always a result of intentions to purchase a game, and it's an issue that has come up multiple times in the film and music industries too. Would a pirate buy a game if they were unable to pirate it?

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