Learn some economics before you start with the "hurts no one" crap.
Since pirates aren't actually taking the product itself and are merely copying data, how are the artists being hurt, exactly? They (or anyone else) aren't being deprived of the product itself.
Put simply, it devalues the work that they put in to the game. Less money coming in per man-hour means the value of those man-hours drop. They are being deprived of their time and effort because those that would prefer to steal copies of the game continue to think that because there is no physical good being moved that there is no loss.
Don't you think the system is broken when people who logically do no harm to anyone are blamed simply because they decided not to give someone their money (an action which doesn't really harm anyone)?
Strawman. People do harm when they steal a good or service yes? Is development not a good or service? Even then your question is completely loaded in order to ignore what is actually being sold as part of a software license.
Don't you think the system is broken when artists are encouraged to introduce artificial scarcity on products that would otherwise be in an unlimited quantity just to make a profit so that they can continue participating in said system? That's what needs to be fixed, not piracy.
Artificial Scarcity? You're talking about region locking? Well good news, boys and girls. GOG's version of The Witcher is supposedly not region locked. It's open world-wide. Outside of that, could you be more specific maybe?
"Potential profit," then? For one thing, in order for it to explicitly hurt them, something that they previously owned must be taken from them.
Is time and research not valuable commodities? That is effectively what a lot of development is, time and research. They owned their time with the intent to sell off the fruits of their labor (say for example working in a field) for the price that would be set. Instead, people that pirate the game steal the time and effort put into the development as well as the publisher's return on investment and distribution costs.
You used the generalization that making a physical good is the same as making a piece of IP. Not the case. Physical goods require materials to be handed over to someone at the time of sale, while for IP it's handing over the representation of all that time and effort put into the creation of that work.
A lot of people that say "it doesn't hurt anyone" seem to firmly believe that the "P" word is completely evil. Profit is not evil, profit is what encourages further investments into future projects. Profit is what makes the next game of the series. Profit is what keeps people interested in development, just like profit keeps people interested in making cars, computers and aircraft.
Sure not every stolen copy (yes, I said stolen) is a lost sale, but the representation of the work is now effectively inside the pirate's head and cannot be removed. Simply put, games are a part of media. Publishers don't care if you steal the DVD, they care if you experience the game, movie, e-book, etc. without paying the fee asked to experience the medium.
Why should you get to experience a movie if you don't pay for it? Because you don't take away physical materials from someone by effectively copying that piece of intellectual property? The cost of development is front-loaded on the hopes that there are sales expected to be made.
Various piracy justifications keep falling flat on their face. Do every gamer a favor, buy your games or go do something else, something a little less expensive.
If we could sell our experiences for what they cost us, we would all be millionaires. -- Abigail Van Buren