Report: Game Piracy Rampant in Brazil

May 13, 2009 -

Writing for The Escapist, Pedro Franco details brazen sales of pirated games by retailers in Brazil's largest city, São Paulo.

It wasn't alway so, writes Franco. He describes Brazil as a legit marketplace for games until the mid-1990s. Since then, however, low per capita income, high tariffs on games, the switch from cartridges to CDs and lax government enforcement combined to make Brazil a game pirate's haven:

The Brazilian Association for the Development of Electronic Games... estimated in 2004 that no less than 94 percent of the country's games market consisted of pirated merchandise...

 

If you're really interested in buying a game, your best bet is to enter one of the many "pseudo-malls" around São Paulo... The asking price is ridiculously small - usually around R$10 to R$15 (or $5 to $7.50) - but after a little negotiation, you can easily end up paying half that...


Comments

Re: Report: Game Piracy Rampant in Brazil

In other news, fire is hot and water is wet.

Re: Report: Game Piracy Rampant in Brazil

94% is an astonishingly high amount. I think lax government enforcement is an understatement according to these statistics!

James

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- fireplace design ideas and vacuum cleaner reviews

Re: Report: Game Piracy Rampant in Brazil

That is totally not true...

The government can do several things wrong on the issue, but it is not lax enforcement, the government cracks down HARD on piracy dealers, when the said on the original article (Ie: the article on the escapist, not here) that dealers pack their stuff and run when they hear the police car, it is serious...

I already saw dealers getting arrested in front of my eyes, cops chasing dealers around wielding all sorts of guns and threatening to shoot if they do not hand over the goods, and whatnot.

And it is not for show, dealers that get arrested, REALLY get arrested and lose their goods for good.

The piracy rate is high, because if was impossible to buy pirated games here, noone would buy legal games too, since like I said, games avaible here legally are a rarity, and only 1% of the population knows english (or borked english...) and only that 1% of the population know how to import a game, thus if no piracy existed, only 1% of everyone in the country would own games. Ok, that would result in 100% legal games, but only 0.0001% of games sold in relation to what sell in other countries...

 

criadordejogos.wordpress.com

--- Maurício Gomes twitter.com/agfgames

Re: Report: Game Piracy Rampant in Brazil

It IS this bad since we started to get neglected...

Like it states, about mid 1990, when carts were around, we had a fierce competition here of MegaDrive and SNES, both were sold legally (MegaDrive still is Oo), the carts were manufactured here, thus not paying importation taxes, and at the time several analists made a projection where the market in 2004 would be in the order of the several millions in size.

 

The CD came, Brasoft, the company that sold CD-based games here for 60 Reais, went bankrupt when the doubling of the dollar and the outrageous price that publishers ask, made their games jump to 120, EA, the other company that sold CD-based games here, is not much active around, also the only 128-bits console to be released officially here was the Dreamcast, when SEGA nuked it, the console market here got nuked with it.

 

So, we were left without any legal way to obtain a console and its games, and PC games were bizarrely priced, doubling their price (that many considered already high) in one or two years. Then it came Quake, Half-Life and Incidente em Varginha (a national AAA game in style of Quake and Half-Life), publisher wars ensued, the publisher of Quake and the publisher of Incidente em Varginha refused to sell their products to a company that bought the other product (ie: companies that bought Quake were refused to buy Incidente, and companies that bought Incidente could not buy Quake), this made BOTH not sell, and Half-Life was not published here officially... The result is that the three best FPS of the time had to be pirated, otherwise no copy was avaible...

This led to half-life catapult piracy to VERY VERY VERY high levels, EVERYONE wanted to play counter-strike, and noone sold half-life in the stores, as people went to buy half-life on the streets, other products became avaible, and soon piracy got ingrained into the local gamer culture, even floppy game piracy became more popular after that, finally computers started to ship with CD drives (before that CD drives were rare, explaining why floppy game piracy became popular too), and this entire industry sunk...

 

Currently, the game companies are selling serious games, advergames and cellphone games.

The Incidente em Varginha company, made some nice games for a european company named "IncaGold" that plainly stole the games (they sell the pitch versions Oo and do not paid... and one of the games were they could not get the copy, they sell the game with the promo screenshots from the company that made the original game, but on the CD there are another game, that is clearlty of inferior quality), this sunk them too (more than the publisher wars already did).

TecToy, the company that sold MegaDrive, in a surge of stupidity after the demise of Dreamcast (seemly they had no "plan B"), continues to sell MegaDrives, stopped selling cartridges, removed the cart slot of the megadrive (much to the unhappyness of Sonic 3 fans, that now have nowhere to stick that cart) and now came with the Zeebo idea (gamereporter already features this somewhere...) that is ridiculous (it may work, but for now the idea is ridiculous).

The company that made our AAA RTS, Outlive, disapeared (ie: they have the website still online, but they do not update it, do not awnser the phone, neither awnser e-mails)

The company that sold legally the Nintendo consoles and games here, went bankrupt (not for the game market reasons, they also sold TVs, VHS, Radio, CD Players...) and noone ever tried to pick-up Nintendo licensing again.

The stores that existed on our "golden age" selling carts and CD games for 60 reais, mostly ceased to exist.

All single-player game publishers here but EA (yes, the EA that I am saying IS Eletronic Arts) went bankrupt, including the two involved in the Quake vs. Incidente war...

The only game manufacturing plant that survives is Sonopress (that also make movies and music CDs and DVDs)

The media reduced their coverage of games (even to bash them), the culture of gaming here became mostly underground.

And this way, the legal market died here...

 

 

Last year, "The Hope" apeared... Sony promised in public that they will sell their consoles here, and they asked the government for permission to build a media factory and a Playstation 2 factory, gamers here that are more than 18 years old (thus the ones that remember the golden age) and in hope that this will make we "resume" from where we left (that is: the last release here is Dreamcast), and that with legal Sony sales here, the prices will drop and the support and localization will return (during the MegaDrive time, we had a extensive library of localized games, game mods and new games, we have for example a version of Alex Kid modded to fit the "Turma da Monica" franchise, that is the most popular comic franchise here, more than international ones, and TecToy, the same company of Zeebo, made even a MegaDrive Duke Nukem 3D), and that the dark age of gaming here will end.

 

GO SONY!!!!

 

criadordejogos.wordpress.com

--- Maurício Gomes twitter.com/agfgames

Re: Report: Game Piracy Rampant in Brazil

Finally, another country that isn´t Mexico taking the first place on piracy...

 

The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com/

Re: Report: Game Piracy Rampant in Brazil

Re: Report: Game Piracy Rampant in Brazil

This is really influencing where I choose to go on holiday this year...

Ahem, but seriously I didn't expect Brazil to be quite this bad due to its growing status on the international stage.

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