Cliff Bleszinski speaks out on piracy

Cliff Bleszinski

Cliff Bleszinski, best known for his work as lead designer for the Gears of War franchise, was one of two keynote speakers at the 2013 East Coast Game Conference this past Wednesday.

Among the myriad of topics Bleszinski spoke about, there was one in particular that resonates with gamers beyond the scope of developers — the issue of piracy.

The former Design Director of Epic Games used the term “millennials,” citing marketing departments as the originators of the term to describe the generation of gamers who grew up using file sharing services, such as Napster, Limewire and now BitTorrent.

“I absolutely loathe this term because it sounds like a disease,” he said. “It’s like, ‘I can’t come out to the bar; my millennials are acting up.'”

Bleszinski said he thinks these labels are manufactured by marketing people who like to create categories for the people who count the money.

“Honestly, there’s just as many older gamers who enjoy doing many of the same things the millennials do. There’s really no line there,” he elaborated.

Referencing millennials, Bleszinski added, “This group of gamers expects things for cheap, but if something’s great, they will shell out for it.”

This portion of the speech gets the most interesting when Bleszinski offers his opinions on how to handle people who pirate games.

“Many of these gamers who torrent may not realize that it’s technically a crime — maybe they see it as a victimless crime,” he said.

“I, for one, would rather convert these gamers into paying customers as opposed to spending federal money to track these gamers down, and arrest and intimidate them, or pass laws that could potentially limit internet freedom, thank you very much.”

This flies in the face of current industry trends, where certain games require an ‘always on’ internet connection in order for them to even function, and where rumors are swirling about the potential of Microsoft’s next console requiring the same.

Thanks to GamersNexus, you can watch and listen to Bleszinski’s entire keynote speech.




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Author: Josh Robinson View all posts by
Josh is a 25-year-old man-child who loves pizza, video games, baseball, cartoons and anime. Most of his heroes are middle-aged Japanese men, and he's been known to quote Seinfeld at random. You can find him on Twitter using the handle @averagejosh.

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