Former Dragon Age chief Mark Darrah says ‘you are wrong’ about game piracy


Mark Darrah spent nearly a quarter century at BioWare in a career that saw him rise from a programmer on Baldur’s Gate to the executive producer of the Dragon Age series. He left the studio at the end of 2020, shortly after which he launched his own YouTube channel, where he shares videos on everything ranging from old game swag to console certification processes and business models.

In his latest video, Darrah takes on the timeless topic of videogame piracy. Instead of arguing for (or against) a particular perspective, though, he suggests that we’ve all got it wrong to some extent. Publishers who claim massive losses to justify their DRM efforts assume that every pirated copy of a game is a lost full-price sale, but that’s just not so, Darrah argues: Comparing it to police reports of the street value of drugs seized in raids, he says the calculations used to determine lost sales figures “exaggerates and expands the number well beyond what is realistic.”



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