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Square Enix CEO Wada says user-generated content could curtail illegal copies

Can personalised games prevent piracy?

Introducing more games with customisable player content on formats like DS could help prevent piracy, according to Square Enix CEO Yoichi Wada.

Speaking in his keynote talk at the Montreal Game Summit today, Wada said that piracy on formats such as the original PlayStation occurred because its CD-ROM discs only contained fixed data created by the game developers.

"CDs only contained the data saved by the proucers – this created piracy," he said.

However, recent experiments with the Nintendo DS in Japan and the release of the new Dragon Quest have shown that users like to share data wirelessly – including information, images, maps and game content.

This element of personalised gaming makes them more reluctant to copy, pirate or sell on their games.

Explained Wada: "If the data contains information from the user it will stop piracy – data which has been saved by the customers that has become important to them."

He added that the game industry must learn to under stand that "the value lies in what is indispensable," and explore more ways of allowing users to customise and add content to their games.

However, he added afterwards in an audience Q&A that the industry still needs to address and understand issues over copyright and ownership of that content to successfully make this work across different games.

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