Chinese online game developer CDC Games announced that the company has joined with CCP Games (EVE Online), Ons On Soft (Shine) Sonokong (Shaiya) T3 Entertainment, developers of Audition, and Wemade (Mir II) in founding the Online Game Alliance Against Piracy (OGAAP) to fight the piracy of online games in China.
The goals of OGAAP are to establish a platform for industry participants and stakeholders to exchange ideas and share experiences; conduct market and technology research; propose industry-wide policies and practices; and lobby relevant government bodies and lawmakers to enact anti-piracy legislation.
The alliance will also actively promote public awareness of copyrighted online game usage, educate online game players about copyrighted content and vigorously pursue the continued shutdown of pirated online games as well as the arrest and conviction of their operators.
Piracy has been a major issue for the Chinese gaming market, encompassing activities like operators running private servers, and macro programs that imitate popular online games.
CDC says OPTIC Communications, which is now one of its business units, has helped the Chinese government convict two operators of "piracy for profit" of one of their online fantasy games, Mir II. These two landmark cases both resulted in criminal convictions versus private server operators; one received a three-year prison sentence, and the other paid a fine of $67,000 and was sentenced to six years.
In the latter case, the operator was running an illegal macro program that allowed players to purchase online game merchandise, such as special powers and weapons. With over 20 million users currently registered as players of Mir II, the revenue impact was "substantial," CDC says, before the illegal operation was shut down.
OGAAP is to be a non-profit organization headquartered in Beijing, and says it's already in discussions with several of China's governmental organizations that oversee the games industry to seek their support for the initiative.
"At CDC Games, we have long recognized the potential severity of illicit piracy activities, and have achieved success in individual campaigns against piracy," said Peter Yip, CEO of CDC Games. "The formation of OGAAP is a milestone achievement for the online game industry and will seek to leverage the combined power, experience and efforts of many key industry players."
He continued: "Like other segments in the entertainment industry, we have experienced an increase in piracy, especially with some of our more popular online games. Our primary objective is to reduce, and if possible, eliminate these piracy challenges so our industry can continue its vibrant growth throughout China. This alliance and the recent successful convictions of illegal operators are major steps in achieving our objectives."