Over at The Escapist, Ryan Sumo has a piece up on software piracy, in particular focusing on the Philippines. He points out that selling illegal games is part of the economy, underground though it is.

One reason for rampant copying is that the price of legit games is simply much higher than many can afford. As he says, when you have only $300 a month income, there isn’t much left over after basic needs are taken care of to buy games.

Which doesn’t mean he is exactly in the pro-piracy camp. What he does suggest is that in certain markets, companies lower their prices to what people can really manage to pay. That price, naturally, would be much lower than, say, in the U.S.

Why not? Wouldn’t it be better to sell games, even at a tiny profit, than have all those illegal copies floating around? That certainly appears to make sense. We know the big profits for any release come from the western world: North America and Europe.

Or would everybody just start ordering games by mail from Asia? After all, why pay $60 if you can get it for $5? Before you answer that question, though, do read Ryan’s piece, so you know the background.

Piracy & The Underground Economy on The Escapist