UKIE has told the BBC that chipped or modified consoles cost the game industry dearly last year in lost sales as well as the loss of 1,000 jobs.
The Association of UK Interactive Entertainment estimates the industry lost £450 million in 2010 compared to the year prior, and for every game sold in the UK, one is pirated. Software sales in the UK were down from £1.9 billion in 2008 to £1.45 billion in 2010. In 2010, the total UK games market made £2.875 billion, which was down from 2009’s £3.3 billion.
According to UKIE’s director general, Michael Rawlinson, the issue isn’t just a threat to the industry, it’s people also breaking the law.
“When people play a pirated game that money goes to a criminal, not to the industry,” he told the BBC. “That takes away jobs from young developers and graphic designers, so it actually stifles creativity and stops new games coming out.”
The BBC was told by a person admitting to piracy that games are just too expensive to purchase, and if publishers were to bring prices down, “maybe people would stop doing this.”
Rawlinson, however, does not believe games are too expensive, as each offers anywhere between “20 to 50 hours game play, which is tremendous value for money.”
“A game like Call of Duty could take two years to make and cost millions of pounds,” he said. “So there are huge sums of money involved in individual games.”
Despite industry heads claiming the monetary lost is piracy is a conservative figure as the actual loss could be greater, critics of the industry’s piracy stance feel a pirated game does not equate with a lost sale.
According to the opposition, pirated games are usually games these folks wouldn’t purchase to begin with, therefore the figures provided by the industry “don’t add up.”