With Pirate Bay blocked, UK groups turn to freemium to stop more game theft
Following the UK High Court's decision to block The Pirate Bay in the country, major local game industry groups have said more needs to be done to combat game piracy, and have championed the free-to-play model as an effective measure.
The High Court ordered local internet service providers to block the filesharing site
on Monday, which would prevent online users in the UK from accessing The Pirate Bay. Many, however, worry this will do little to stop people from pirating games and other media on similar websites, or from finding a way around the barricades put up by ISPs.
Indeed, a representative from The Pirate Bay called on visitors to circumvent the block and posted instructions for doing so today. He also told supporters to "stand united against the censorship from [The Pirate Bay's] opponents," and advised them to write letters to their ISPs and members of Parliament to protest the ruling.
While ISPs blocking The Pirate Bay likely won't halt illegal downloads, many game companies are shifting toward business models that better protect their properties.
"The video games development and digital publishing sector is leading the way in addressing the piracy issue," Dr. Richard Wilson, CEO of The Independent Games Developers Association (TIGA), tells Gamasutra.
"Rather than taking legal action against consumers, game developers and digital publishers are typically adopting new business models such as 'freemium' and 'games as a service' to reduce the incentive for piracy and to work with consumers rather than against them.
"Ultimately, this is the best approach to doing business in the internet age."
UK Interactive Entertainment's CEO Jo Twist adds, "As an industry we quite rightly pride ourselves on the different innovative business models we have. These give people easy access to what they want to play and how -- from premium boxed products and cloud-based games to free to play apps, casual, and social games."
She also notes that beyond shutting down file sharing sites and pursuing new business models, more needs to be done to fight piracy: "Protecting intellectual property rights needs lots of different approaches: education about copyright, enforcement against criminal activity, and great, accessible, legal offerings at the right price are all crucial."