I wanted to jump in and add to a few points of ronnoc10's post. The Entertainment Software Association estimates that the video game industry loses about $3.5 billion every year due to hard-goods piracy. Holy @#$%! And these numbers donít even include the 500-pound gorilla: Internet piracy and peer-to-peer transfers!
I actually think if the audience of people not playing legitimately is growing faster than the people that is, how could we gamers not suffer economically and financially (game companies shutting down because of loss of profit, etc)? As y'all know, a game with all the bells and whistles ó cutting-edge tech, deep gameplay, photorealistic graphics ó costs a lot of moolah to make. And plus factor in that development periods are longer, teams can number 100 people or more, and the commercial window for the average game is very short Not every game is part of a triple-A franchise. Not every company is Electronic Arts. And if your game is competing against a free copy of itself, it could spell real trouble for the people who made it.
This topic is a big enough concern for me that I'd like to hear ideas of how we could help stop game piracy. . .