In the dictionary, a “Window of Opportunity” is defined as “a favorable opportunity for doing something that must be seized immediately if it is not to be missed.” For video and online game publishers, the window of opportunity for a new game is pretty short. Fourteen days short, to be exact.
It is within the first 14 days after a new game is released where publishers make the most revenue from their new title, ensuring that their business thrives and more games can be made in the future. At the same time, eager gamers anxiously await release dates and want to be amongst the first to go on the new adventure. Those dedicated gamers usually buy within the first two weeks of release.
I think we can all agree, 14 days isn’t a lot of time for publishers to recoup the investment put into a new game. But what if that window of opportunity closed even earlier? Or worse… what if that window is cracked and the open window of 14 days completely shuts? It’s not just the publishers who lose out in that scenario.
Cracking the Window
We all know about the damage that movie piracy causes the Media & Entertainment industry – that damage is felt by game publishers as well. Pirates capitalize on the eagerness of the gaming community to play a new title. As a result, they will look at ways to crack games as soon as, or even prior to, its release. Pirates will either offer it for free to the gaming community or as a new gaming title included in a pirate subscription service that offers a wide-variety of pirated game titles to consumers. If these pirates successfully crack the game – and there are recent examples of this happening on the same day as the release of the game – then that window of opportunity for game publishers to generate revenue is broken.
Piracy in the gaming industry also extends well beyond lost revenue, and actually hurts the gamers themselves. Over these 14 days, publishers determine if they have a successful title on their hands. Gamers who are eager to play the next chapter of a certain title may not get that opportunity if the revenue received is not indicative of a successful title. It simply doesn’t make sense for game publishers to invest in a title if it is not a profitable game. This loss of revenue also inhibits the creation of other games developed by the publisher as the revenue counted on during this 14-day window could be used to invest in other popular titles, new features or game modes, etc.
Keeping the Window Open
The damage that piracy causes the gaming industry is extensive, but there are ways to help keep the window of opportunity open longer for game publishers. By implementing security technology, including anti-tamper software that stops hackers from copying the game, reverse engineering and cracking the title, game publishers are able to keep that window of opportunity open for those critical 14 days and beyond.
Keeping this window of opportunity open ensures a healthy gaming ecosystem that allows publishers to generate the revenue they need to invest in future titles for gamers to enjoy.