In general, we think there is a fundamental misconception about piracy. Piracy is almost always a service problem and not a pricing problem. For example, if a pirate offers a product anywhere in the world, 24 x 7, purchasable from the convenience of your personal computer, and the legal provider says the product is region-locked, will come to your country 3 months after the U.S. release, and can only be purchased at a brick and mortar store, then the pirate’s service is more valuable. Most DRM solutions diminish the value of the product by either directly restricting a customers use or by creating uncertainty.
Data East was an early game developer and publisher which went belly up in 2003. I’ve not had a lot of fond memories of their titles quite frankly. I recall, even at a young age, associating their logo with games that were just not quite as fun as their competition for one reason or another.
Jeff Minter created the amazing vector-powered game, Tempest and has since go on to carve out a very specific niche just on the outskirts of the video game community. Yet with more than a few titles under his belt throughout the decades it’s tough to say he’s really and outsider.
“I’ve always found that at any given time there’s some publisher out there who’s interested in innovation. Different people have taken up that mantle from time to time and they always get excited about it and then for some reason or another that light kind of goes out and someone else picks it up. And as long as there’s at least one publisher out there who is interested in innovation and doing something revolutionary then I think games like that will keep getting made.”