Have you ever wished there was a way for you to share your games with your friends? Or perhaps you wished you could join in on the fun and have access to your friends’ favorite games without the cost. Regardless of whether it’s a realistic prospect or not, it’s a fun idea to ponder. Yet, what if it were possible? What if developers were willing to allow the free sharing of CD keys? What would be the ramifications? More to the point, would you do it?

Today, I’ll be delving into this possibility.

Sharing or Stealing: A Brief Look at File Sharing
People will always find cheaper ways to get the things they want. In fact, “file sharing”—whether you consider it piracy or not—had already existed even before the dawn of the digital age. If you go beyond the realm of videogames, then you will see the duplication of music and movies in various formats for decades now. These days, there are a ton of torrent sites that support a free market of file sharing that covers everything from music to movies and even videogames. So really, this “file sharing”thing is nothing new. No matter how hard developers and producers try to prevent it, it will continue in one form or another. While there is not much any of us can do stop this practice, we can choose how to react to it.

Fallout or Progress: The Possible Repercussions of Sharing
Let me confront you with a straight fact: video games take time, effort, and a substantial amount of money to develop. While we, as consumers, may feel unduly punished for the steep prices demanded by the games we want to play, the fact of the matter is that companies need to make money for development, distribution, and so on. If we truly love the games that we say we love, then we should have no problem paying for them so that the developers can keep coming up with titles in the future. Makes sense, right?

Here’s yet another truth coming from the other side of the argument: Piracy is appealing because, for some people, it is the only way for them to gain access to a specific game. However, this practice ends up costing companies millions in potential sales in the process. Whether this is a fortunate or an unfortunate turn depends on where you stand in the debate. Either way, the fact still remains that not everyone can afford the high price of premium quality games. Add the fact that some require subscriptions, and that others have a less than subtle pay-to-win scheme, and you’ll get what I mean.

Innovation or Crystallization: A Possible Solution
Here’s a thought: Why not incorporate a premium price for the possibility of CD key sharing? This way, companies will still gain profit from their games—albeit at a smaller fraction. The point is that in this scenario, everyone wins. The issue of CD key sharing is indeed a touchy subject. That being said, it’s still good to ponder the possibilities. After all, that’s how we can end up with bright solutions for the predicaments we face. What do you think?