There's been quite a bit of controversy on the site today concerning pirates. Nate's piece Piracy is Never Justified was published earlier, and many comments criticized the writer of ignoring key issues such as availability and price of products, although Mr. Rumphol-Janc states quite clearly that he believes video games to be a luxury, rather than a thing a person is entitled to.
My fellow staff member Colin followed up on the issue by reposting a piece he wrote in 2012 entitled Piracy: the Good, the Bad, and the Future. In this piece, Mr. McIsaac-san brings up the idea that "piracy bridges the gap between supply and demand." Pirates can be both a good and bad thing, but it has to be executed in a way respectful to the game creators.
Want to know my opinion? I don't give two hoots about either of these pieces. Hell, I love piracy. The industry has proven to us time and time again that pirates aren't hurting the industry, but rather making publishers profitable. It's amazing what pirates can do to the video game market!
Don't believe me? Here's why I think pirates are a great thing to modern culture as a whole.
Look at that picture on the right. What do you see?
I see the boxart for Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, the next entry in the juggernaut franchise, releasing this autumn. Edward Kenway is the brand new protagonist in this entry, oh and guess what? He's a pirate.
Now I know what you must be thinking. "Jackson, Jackson! Pirates r bad 4 teh videoh gayme induztree! Assussin's Creed sux anywaes." Well I'm telling all of you readers to get your heads out of your asses. Assassin's Creed sells like hot cakes each and every year. Many gamers are excited for the expanded features in this entry in the series, such as exciting oceanic battles and a fantastical sea to explore. And what makes all of these features possible? Pirates. Motherfucking pirates.
I can guarantee as a gaming expert that given the possibility Black Flag didn't feature pirates, the title as a whole would sell less units. Sure it might sell well, but it won't rake in the dough. Trust me, I've played a lot of video games. I'm super good at this.
Now look at the picture to your left. Shown is the boxart for Aliens: Colonial Marines, an all-around abysmal title. The FPS released earlier this year and critics shot it down for holding hundreds of bugs and terrible design. Fans who bought the game were disappointed in receiving something that didn't replicate the fantastic demo they had received earlier. Hell, Sega and Gearbox are now being sued for falsely advertising the game.
But you know what could have stopped this? Do you know what could have kept all of this from happening?
The game should have included pirates.
If there were pirates in Aliens: Colonial Marines, I guarantee reviewers would have loved the game. Everyone loves pirates after all. Fans wouldn't even care if the game was different from the demo. After all, the game has pirates. Who could ask for anything more? Sega would be rolling in the dough.
Pirates plaster all forms of modern media. Disney continues to have huge success with the fantastic Pirates of the Caribbean movie franchise, and there are even websites now where you can make pirated music. I don't really know what "pirated" means, but I suspect it allows you to place parrots and YAAARRRGGGHHHHs throughout the entire song, making it infinitely superior to the original!
Many sites allow gamers to download ROMs and play pirated video games. Of course, ROMs stands for Riding On the Massive Sea. Yes, the extra "s" indicating a plural form counts. Every gaming expert knows that.
There's nothing quite like playing a round of Mario Kart Wii you obtained through the best means possible! I encourage all of you to go give the plumber an eye patch. Racing is ten times more innovative and fun, guaranteed.
I don't know why all of you are complaining about imports. It's not like all video games featuring pirates are exclusive to Japan only. Fire Emblem? Earthbound? I scoff at any game that doesn't feature pirates. Japan exclusivity is a problem, but the best video games always feature pirates. Games with pirates almost always come stateside, as the localization teams know what's up.
I mean, look at this picture! This is one of the most memorable moments from The Wind Waker. The protagonist of the series, Zelda, is climbing aboard the pirate ship with some chick, and the two are embarking on a journey. Zelda, the green clad elf, is one of gaming's most recognizable characters, and the fact that he supports pirates is a huge step forward for the industry. Wind Waker is also the first game in the Zelda timeline and creates a parallel dimension, effectively creating two different continuities that the rest of the series falls into. This allows Nintendo to differentiate between a timeline of piracy (aka the BADASS timeline) and the timeline of not-piracy (aka the stoopid nerd timeline). Naturally, all of the bad games in the series fall into the stoopid timeline, such as Ocarina of Time and Link's Awakening. The best games of all time come into the pirate timeline, such as Faces of Evil and Link's Crossbow Training.
Pirates are a wonderful part of the video game industry. You are entitled to your own opinion, but if you think otherwise, you're wrong and I hate you.
Don't tell me I got this "piracy" thing all wrong. I know I'm right. Shut up.