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Namco Bandai’s David Miller – a lone voice of digital sanity

By on October 7, 2009

In amongst calls by Lord Mandelson to execute illegal filesharers and attempts by the likes of Codemasters and Atari to send their customers to jail, one man has stood up and said “do we really want to criminalise young people” like that.

David Miller, Namco Bandai’s UK marketing manager told MCV last week (I know I’m late to this story, I’m not so good at dead tree reading matter these days) that we need to think very carefully before enacting draconian laws.

“Do we all really still believe that it’s either realistic or in the best interests of an industry (and a world, for that matter) going through a genuine revolution”

David identifies two uncomfortable truths:

  • There is a massive upsurge in piracy, fuelled by Moore’s Law, the ubiquity of broadband, the proliferation of peer-to-peer and torrents, increasing storage and general access and ease of use.
  • Generation Y is growing up in a culture that just feels differently about media consumption.

David points out the developers and publishers can adapt to this new model and thrive, whether that be via free, freemium, ad-funded, microtransaction or subscription models. But we need to change our way of thinking of the market, away from the “old-fashioned idea of just a buyer and a seller.”

Well said David. It’s great to see someone saying that this issue is not black and white.

Copyright law needs to be updated to reflect the new reality (that does not mean that I am on the side of big record labels and copyright holders: it means that when a law is so out of touch of reality that most people are breaking it all the time, both wittingly and unwittingly, it’s an ass and needs to be rewritten).

At the same time, business models need to adapt because the world has fundamentally changed. It’s great to see publishers recognising this.


(Full interview and story on publisher calls for draconian anti-piracy law like that proposed by French President Nicholas Sarkozy is available at MCV).

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: