The best way to tackle the challenge of piracy is to adopt a new business model.
That's according to a new survey by trade body TIGA, in which 87 per cent of developers believed this approach was the most effective in dissuading users from illegally downloading their games. Implementing online security checks that trigger every few days was also suggested as an effective method.
Conversely, only 10 per cent said stricter enforcement of intellectual property rights is the solution. In fact, 73 per cent of studios disagreed with cutting off the internet connections of consumers that pirate games if they continue to ignore warnings – a system that various markets overseas are currently exploring.
A further 40 per cent believe educating consumers against piracy is important.
More than half of respondents – 57 per cent, in fact – report that piracy is having a direct effect on their business. However, studios did observe that the majority of players do not know how to acquire and install copied games.
57 per cent also said they had been unsuccessful in their own attempts to reduce piracy. An unspecified majority admitted they had not attempted to contact sites offering pirated versions of their titles, either due to time constraints of running their business or doubts about how effective it would be.
"Piracy can be a challenge for many games developers and digital publishers," said TIGA CEO Dr Richard Wilson.
"Our survey shows that many games businesses continue to find the most effective response to the problem of piracy is to adopt new business models, such as subscription-based services and free-to-play games.
"UK developers are taking the initiative to deal with the issue of piracy and are looking for new ways of delivering content and communicating directly with their consumers. This is testament to the generally pragmatic and innovative approach of the UK video games industry."