You hear a lot about how PC gaming is full of piracy and people are downloading games left, right and centre. Personally I think the problem is probably blown out of all proportion. Now I will confess that I have pirated games in the past, but haven’t for years. The reason being that buying pc games (and games in general) is now easier, cheap and more convenient than actually pirating a game.

I refuse to believe the myth that every pirated game is a lost sale.One of the reasons people pirate is to see what a game is like, and I like to think that a lot of the people who try these games then proceed to buy them. Of course there is always going to be some asses who try and find a way around a system, and you can’t avoid that. However console games suffer similar issues to piracy that people seem to completely overlook.

I have a PS3 which I love, however I don’t buy that many games for it, and when I do I usually buy pre owned ones (since Christmas the only new titles I have brought for it are Portal 2, which I only brought because of the free steam copy, and killzone 3). The reason I don’t buy many games is because I rent them off a service called Love Film (other rental services are available).  So in most cases the PS3 game I am playing, has been played by a previous person/s, but the developer/publisher has gotten nothing out of me.

Take James Bond Bloodstone as an excellent example. This is a game I rented, completed (it is not that long a game in single player, about 6 hours), enjoyed and then sent back to my rental company.Now it is worth pointed out that the developers of Bloodstone, Bizzare Creations, were shut down by Activision due to poor sales on Bloodstone and their other game Blur. Now has the rental service, like piracy on the pc, lost Activision a sale? No because whilst Bloodstone was a reasonable entertaining third person action shooter, I wouldn’t have spent £40 on it.

This is were I get to my point. We may all bitch and moan about invasive DRM on PC games, but it has pretty much killed pre owned/rental pc games. To the point that if I saw Bloodstone pop up on a pc sale I might well pick it up, as I might if I saw a cheap pre owned copy on the PS3. Only one of those sales would the games makers see any money from.

I know ultimately it is my decision to buy new or pre owned, but given the economic times I really can’t justify £40 on a game I might get 6-7 hours worth of fun out of, which is why a lot of people buy pre owned games and rent them.