I was going to chime in here with a rather long winded response to some of the stuff in the last couple of pages, but Flipside has hit pretty much every point I wanted to make.
A few things I want to say again anyway:
PC Game companies are not losing tons of sales due to piracy, just like the music industry isn't. They're losing sales due to developing ****ty, boring games -just like the music industry is losing money due to signing on ****ty artists noone wants to listen to. Spore, one of the most hyped games of all time (and most pirated), is actually boring once you beat it once or twice. There is very little replay value. I played a friends copy... and glad I did because I never would shell out $60+ for that game. Companies like EA and Ubisoft have become so paranoid to venture into new grounds that they're trying to "improve" existing models by throwing tons of money at it instead of actually innovating. That's their business model. It works on consoles (where little Jonny's parents will buy him every new game), but it doesn't work on PC near as well. Look at Crysis. It's not a terrible game, but it sure as hell isn't that amazing, yet EA's main selling point for it was "ohh... it's SHINY!" An example of how to it right is Sins of a Solar Empire -it was developed for under $1 million and is one of the most fun RTS games I've played in a long time. It's innovative. It does things differently. And Stardock (unlike EA and Ubisoft) doesn't treat its customers like criminals. I'm happy to support a company that makes games I want to play, based on what I tell them I want in a game. EA makes games they want you to play based on what they say you want. That doesn't work in PC gaming... but it works on consoles.
Another thing to consider is being able to trade in a console game. If you shell out $60 for a ****ty game, you have the option of reclaiming a portion of that by selling it back or trading it. No such option exists for PC games, since by law it's illegal to resell opened PC software. This makes PC game buyers much more weary of spending money... and makes people download games to decide if they want to buy them. I've done that a couple of times with FEAR and Dawn of War. I DL'd the full game, liked it, and bought it. I've also downloaded a couple of games that I'm really glad I never spent $60 on. Seriously, spending money on PC gaming is like rolling a pair of dice and hoping you land a pair of 6's. At least on console you get a saving throw.
I can't remember who said it in this thread, but someone said it's not piracy that's the problem, it's the business model. That's so true. Again, see the music industry... they refuse to admit that piracy isn't the problem -actually, there have been at least 5 studies that say music piracy actually increases record sales.. and none to the contrary. I know the same doesn't hold true for PC games.. but this "piracy is killing PC games" is bull****. ****ty games that people don't want to spend $60 on is killing PC games.