In recent interviews with Gamasutra and Ars Technica, PC Gaming Alliance (PCGA) president Randy Stude has firmly established his stance on software piracy. Talking to Ben Kuchera of Ars Technica, Stude remarked:
We are the guardians of the PC as a platform for gaming. We need to make sure there is an environment where publishers are not afraid to invest tens of millions of dollars in developing great gaming experiences…
He even went so far as to suggest a possible solution to the problem in speaking with Leigh Alexander of Gamasutra:
Let’s monetize every one of those pirates, and let’s advertise the hell out of them… Don’t throw [pirates] off [of the server], but show an ad every time a new level loads. The [paying customer] gets a billboard, a passive, less-aggressive ad than [pirates] are going to get.
These comments have prompted a number of discussions across the web, from message boards to major news blogs. Nate Ralph of Wired.com had this to say:
The PCGA also proposes tracking piracy, and the relative effectiveness of anti-piracy measures to get an idea of what the best approach is… The solution isn’t to slap on more draconian measures, but to figure out how best to turn software pirates into paying customers.
If this discussion becomes more pervasive and real effort is made to better understand the issue, we definitely think there’s a chance that the combined efforts of the PCGA and increasingly savvy PC gaming consumers will make software piracy a thing of the past.