EA CEO finds pirates’ booty in DLC

Avast, me mateys, it be true: as sure as we sail the seven seas, so do many gamers traverse the waters of game piracy. Yet, ever the optimist, EA CEO John Riccitiello sees the existence of such pirates as an opportunity rather than a detriment. Rather than seeking to vilify the existence of pirates, Riccitiello wants to work at turning them into legitimate consumers of EA products. His plan for doing this? Downloadable content.

In an interview with Kotaku the EA chief explained that, while people may be able to steal EA games, they can’t steal the downloadable content that subsequently gets released, “There’s a sizable pirate market and a sizable second sale market and we want to try to generate revenue in that marketplace.”

To be sure, he is not advocating the illegal piracy that takes place in the games marketplace. However, recognizing that such piracy exists, Riccitiello plans to build as much value into downloadable content and online communities that come only with valid purchase of EA software. While the goal is both lofty and admirable, it may be difficult to measure how successful EA is in turning pirates into legitimate, paying customers of videogame software.