Unity Technologies’ general manager defends piracy

Monday, 3rd October 2011 07:29 GMT By Matt Williams

Unity Technologies’ general manager for Asia, John Goodale, has spoken openly about the positive effects of piracy and has stated that he believes it has been to the company’s advantage in seeding a market in China.

Speaking with at Unite 11 in San Francisco, Goodale discussed how his own personal experiences as a software pirate in his youth taught him to appreciate the positive effects of piracy in establishing future demand for a product. “Piracy can be a way to seed a market. Nobody will ever fully conquer the piracy problem, but we can certainly turn it to our advantage, and I think that’s what we’ve done in China.”

Goodale explained his stance came from his experience as an original DOS, Lotus 123 user whose future purchases were influenced by pirated software. “I heard of this thing called Excel, but I couldn’t imagine going away from lotus 123 – it’s what I knew. Then somebody gave me an illegal copy of Excel, and I loved it, and I’ve purchased it ever since,” he said.

In Unity’s introductory keynote address they revealed that the four cities with the most Unity sessions per month, “legal or otherwise”, are Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai and Nei Hu.

Unity Technologies are responsible for the UNITY: Game Development Tool.

Thanks, Destructoid.



  1. freedoms_stain

    A lot of games companies owe piracy for the money I’ve spent on them over the years.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. danhese

    He certainly did not defend piracy, he is merely stating the positive effects piracy has had on their game engine. Very few pirates buy official versions of softwares after they have tried the pirated copy especially when it comes to games. Piracy has helped Unity Engine because not all pirates are versed in game asset creation using 3D programs so they end up buying official pre-made game assets from the unity built-in store hence boosting the sales. There are enough reviews and videos on youtube for people to look at in order to be convinced that they like a particular software or a game before they buy the official version so if someone is pirating, they damn well knew from the start that they never intended on purchasing it from official sources in the first place.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. schnide

    That graphic was drawn by idiots who cannot comprehend anything that goes on in the world outside their own bubble. It’s simplification in the extreme.

    A far more accurate picture would show things from the developer’s, publisher’s and (where appropriate) retailer’s point of view. There would be one game, and ten pirated copies. The image would show how only revenue from the one game would be regained, seven or eight would be pirated with no revenue lost but one or two copies where the revenue would ordinarily have been generated but was instead lost through piracy.

    Not as snappy as the graphic above? No, sorry it’s not. And explaining it how it really is also doesn’t allow people to pretend that they don’t have to pay for things, which is all that piracy comes down to.

    We all like getting things for free, but anyone who pretends that piracy is anything other than taking something you have no right to own is without credibility.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. DarkElfa

    @3, your logic depends on the other 9 people being actually willing to purchase the material. If only one of ten is actually willing to pay and the other 9 were not had the copies not been available, then the revenue is not lost at all.

    I have never pirated any game I would have been willing to buy. I’ve played many pirated games, though I would never have paid for them had the copies not been available. So the creators lost nothing to my DL of the copy. On many occasions however, a DL’d copy did lead to my purchasing a sequel or even a copy of the original if I found the game worthy, something I would not have done had the copy not been available.

    #4 3 years ago

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