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2017 has been one of the best years for gaming in recent memory, but new games are damn expensive and nobody can afford to buy every new release. 

So obviously you might think of turning to piracy games on the cheap, but even with older games, piracy is not safe. There are simply too many risks to playing pirated games, here are some reasons why: 

1. It could introduce your PC to Malware

It is obvious that playing on any pirated software is an easy way to get a virus. Whenever you download from a reputable source, you can reasonably trust that the file you’re downloading is what the owners claim it is. When you download from public torrents, how do you know that someone did not mess with the file and add malware before uploading it?

2. You could lose online gaming privileges (oh SH!T) 

Particularly on consoles, playing pirated games is an offence that could result in a ban from Xbox Live or PlayStation Network. In 2009, Microsoft famously banned nearly a million Xbox Live players for modifying their Xbox 360 consoles and playing pirated games.

Microsoft’s Xbox Live Code of Conduct states the following (PlayStation has a similar policy):

“Don’t pirate or use another’s content without permission. For example, DO NOT:

  • Share content more broadly than you’re allowed to share
  • Use another’s intellectual property without permission (e.g., copyrights, trade secrets)
  • Play any illegitimately obtained software or pirated games
  • Play a game before it has been authorized for play on the service”

In short, pirating games is against the code of conduct and you could receive restriction on your account up to permanent suspension. 

3. It might land you in legal trouble... 

Just like illegally downloading music and movies, stealing video games via piracy is a federal crime in the United States. Punishment can range from paying back the copyright holder to spending time in jail. 

Do not get too frightened, there are many people downloading content illegally, but too many for the FBI to catch them all and since your ISP and the government track basically everything you do online anyway, it wouldn’t be too hard to prove that you’ve committed piracy. (Rather safe than sorry.) 

4. The game might not even work!

Many game developers don’t wait for the government to stop pirates — they take action themselves. Some use digital rights management (DRM) systems that prevent illegal copies from working at all. But others get creative with in-game copyright measures. If the game discovered you were using an illegitimate copy it showed antipiracy messages; life is over so now you have to spend all that money cause you are not a pirate anymore, you are BUSTED!

5. You might get more than you bargained for

This is a similar risk to the first point but still a problem nonetheless. As a Pirate, roaming into the world of game piracy, you open yourself up to the possibility of inappropriate content. Aside from straight malware, browsing pirate sites and searching for a cracked copy of a game could expose you to pornographic or other NSFW content. 

It's not worth the risk to become an expert – or try and be an expert – in Piracy. In the end, given the risks involved, there’s no excuse for video game piracy. If you can’t pay $60 for a new game, wait until it goes on sale and get a cheaper or free game instead. Don’t risk your security to save a bit of money and have the short-lived thrill of playing a new game right away.

We’d like to hear your thoughts on video game piracy. Is there ever a reason to pirate a game, and are the risks worth it? What other funny antipiracy measurements you saw? Leave your thoughts in the comments below to continue the conversation.

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