Law enforcement authorities recently seized over 1,000 pirated Xbox 360 games from local retailers, following three raids in Abu Dhabi, a statement from Microsoft said on Tuesday.
The operation was part of ongoing efforts to combat the spread of pirated Xbox 360 games, Microsoft said. The vendor added that it often works closely with the UAE authorities to combat piracy, which it deems as detrimental to the region’s customers and legitimate games distributors and retailers.
“At Microsoft, we fully support the actions by the law enforcement authorities to support legitimate retailers and ensure that our customers receive the rich experience provided by the Xbox 360 platform” said Aman Sangar, Interactive Entertainment Business Lead, Microsoft Middle East and Africa.
According to an accompanying statement from Savas Yucedag, Anti-Piracy Lead, Microsoft Gulf, the commercial value of pirated software in the Gulf is worth more than $300 million. But despite the size of the market, Yucedag said that pirated games do nothing to benefit consumers – according to Microsoft, using pirated games can open up users to viruses, spyware and malware.
The pirated games market hurts the channel, too, as it entices customers away from genuine games retailers by offering games at extremely low prices. With this in mind, Arvind Agrawal, CEO at genuine Xbox 360 games distributor LS2 Pluto, praised Abu Dhabi’s crackdown on counterfeit products.
“We welcome the actions by the Abu Dhabi authorities to ensure that we are able to compete fairly as a legitimate distributor,” he said.
“As part of the regional gaming industry, we continue to advocate to consumers the dangers of copyright infringement and the negative impact of piracy on the video game ecosystem.”