Is pirating actually a good thing? Does the exposure given to a videogame from more people who otherwise would not have played it, equal to sales later on? Legit sales or sales for sequels?
Does pirating a videogame essentially bankrupt a developer who will not see the money they should’ve received from your purchase? Should pirating be stopped at all costs?
What about for videogames like EarthBound, that are out-of-print and cannot be legitimately purcahsed, either physically or digitally, and the owners of the game refuse to re-release it? Or games like that fair game? What about when those games are officially re-released through digital distribution, do they become off-limits?
I’d be interested to hear what you think about piracy. I believe piracy should always be a last resort, I waited until 2011 before finally downloading the ROM of EarthBound for play on an emulator. I could never play the game on my actual cartridge (bought in 1998 at Blockbuster for $15, little did I know how valuable it would become) because the battery backup would always either erase my save data, or the system would mess up, freeze, etc.
Since Nintendo has never re-released EarthBound, or the original Mother (“EarthBound Zero” on NES) or Mother 3, I believe all of them are fair game for pirating them. However I believe you should definitely avoid it if you can. While I do not think pirating an old classic game is that much of a big deal (especially since the developer doesn’t see any of the money if you were to say, buy the game at ebay or via a garage sale), I do think that people should do their best not to support videogame piracy and buy things legitimately. I do not think it should be a crime however, unless it is a new game. Even then, it is hard to estimate how much money developers really lose, because people who steal often would not buy the game legitimately anyway, or do not have the money to do so. And the spreading of the gaming goodness often helps in the long run even if they didn’t pay for it.
Overall, a very interesting article with interesting points on piracy.
Here is some random dude talking piracy from youtube.