And what you expected from people who bought "power without price" ?
Seriously, I don't think that games for Atari ST were pirated more than for any other popular computer. If sales were low, that may be because less people was interested for games, and we know that Atari was more used for serious stuff than Amiga. And of course, Amiga was sold better, especially after 1988,
Maybe if SW publishers followed that idea of Jack Tramiel, from first line of this post, sales would be pretty much different. Prices of games were really too high in Germany . 100 DEM for 1 floppy game ? And most of consumers were young people, still going in school, college,
I don't defend piracy. Imagine similar reaction today: "Internet is full of illegal copies of newest games, SW, movies ... Let's shut it down! "
Okay, so you "don't think that games for Atari ST were pirated more than for any other popular computer. " You have your opinion. We had the sales data from numerous publishers that showed that the Atari ST had a massive piracy problem in its user community.
But what irritates me more is the attitude that, if games were cheaper, pirates wouldn't steal them. Sorry, I heard that excuse from every pirate since day 1 on my job at EA. It doesn't fly. If you were caught stealing a Porsche, how hard do you think the judge would laugh when your defense is, "Porsches are just too expensive. If they only made them cheap enough for me to afford..."??
Software companies run the same way all other businesses do - they price their products as low as they can to cover their expenses and hopefully make some kind of small profit margin. Truth to tell, most games lose money, and publishers are only sustained by having the rare big hit pay for the losses of 5 other near misses.
What is true is that piracy causes price inflation. More copies pirated means less copies sold, which means companies need to charge more per copy to cover development costs. It's the pirates, not the publishers, who were driving up prices for the legit customers. Do you know of any publishers who succeeded and grew back then with the strategy of, "We will sell games much cheaper than everybody else, so nobody will pirate us any more"?
Almost every publisher I worked for in the 80's (Broderbund, Synapese, Epyx, even Atari) went out of business went out of business because they could not get sufficient sales to make a profit. Worse yet, I saw numerous talented game developers driven out of the business into more mundane work, because piracy cut so badly into their royalty income.
So please, don't even try whining to me that, "Games cost too much. We were justified in pirating it."