Game of Thrones Author George R.R. Martin on Piracy and Video Games

March 22, 2013 -

George R.R. Martin, prolific fantasy author and the creator of the A Song of Ice and Fire book series on which HBO's hit TV series is based, took questions before yesterday's Game of Thrones screening for the new season set to air later this month.

Martin had some pretty interesting things to say about two subjects that get talked about here on GamePolitics: video games and piracy. First, when asked about video games Martin said that he loves them, though his obsessive play sessions tended to get in the way of his work so he has avoided them for quite a long time:

"I've looked at them. I've met with some of the video game guys, the designers, they came in and showed me some. But I played a few video games back in the 80s and that it wasn't that I didn't like them. It was that I liked them too much. And I think I probably lost a novel or two there, cause I would get hooked on something and I would be playing it over and over again, and I would be staying up all night. Just one more game, just one more game. So, video games can be very addictive."

Particularly with my own video games. Westeros is in my head, and these characters are in my head, and I've already got sort of a schizoid relationship here because I have the books and the television show, which are slightly different versions of the same thing. If I added video games to the mix I'd really go mad."

When asked about piracy and the show based on his books being the most pirated on the Internet right now, Martin said:

"We are the most pirated show in the world. In a strange way that's a compliment. It's the sort of compliment that you could do without, probably, but it is a compliment nonetheless. I know that a lot of that piracy is taking place in Australia, where for whatever reason they delay the show six months. So people are just anxious to see it. I think we're seeing — we're still right in the midst of a whole new template evolving for television and film entertainment. And the old template, where shows were made in America, and then they were sold to foreign broadcasters who would show them the next week, or the next month, or six months later, or six years later, or whenever they felt like it — that's breaking down. Because it is a global marketplace.

"And it's breaking down in publishing, too. I mean my British publishers and my American publishers coordinated to release the last book so they came out on the same day. Because otherwise, with Amazon and other online book sellers, if it comes out in one country before the other country, whoever is later loses thousands of sales because of people ordering it. So you're seeing — and new delivery methods, like Netflix. You know they just released an entire series that's never been broadcast. You just get it, and you get it all at once, and you binge watch it."

When asked if releasing content sooner in international markets would be a good way to deal with piracy, Martin said:

"I don't know if I'd use the word responsibility, but I think it would be good business. I think it would cut down on some of the piracy that's a problem. You know, if Australia was getting the show the same day that America was getting the show, then maybe the Australians wouldn't be downloading hundreds of thousands of copies. But I don't know. Why do Australian broadcasters choose to delay it? They have reasons; you'd have to go to Australia and ask them. But I guess that's a model of how they want to present it to their audience and what time they want to present."

You can check out the rest of what Martin said on The Verge. He has a lot more to say about Game of Thrones and its global audience.

Source: The Verge


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Re: Game of Thrones Author George R.R. Martin on Piracy and ...

As one of those "hundreds of thousands" of Australians, I wish the distributors did make it available at release.  However I do balance out my "evil ways" by making sure that the the blu-ray discs are a DAY 1 purchase.

Swings and roundabouts.  HBO still get their money in the end.

Re: Game of Thrones Author George R.R. Martin on Piracy and ...

Woah, a successful content creator with a level-headed view on piracy!  There's something you don't see every day, sadly.  He's totally on the ball about the changing marketplace and why most people pirate in the first place.  There's always going to be people who will pirate no matter what, but I don't think that's most people.  I think it's an availability/convenience thing for most people.

Re: Game of Thrones Author George R.R. Martin on Piracy and ...

He's dead right.  I used to fetch Doctor Who regularly online because I didn't feel like waiting for it to air on BBC America.   I think this will continue to be a problem as long as the existing model for television exists but if we ever transition to a more on-demand environment then it might be easier to coordinate releases on TV shows.  

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