But isn't opportunity cost just code for hypothetical questions?
No, opportunity costs are very real. For example if for a given 4 hour period you can work and make $100, but instead play video games, your opportunity cost is $100 to play games. Likewise, your opportunity cost to work is 4 hours of enjoyment. The question, of course, is if those 4 hours of enjoyment are worth $100, or if you are better off spending that time working and using the $100 at a later time for more enjoyment.
You could claim that this isn't an opportunity cost issue, but you'll have to have a better argument than 'opportunity cost is fake'.
"Hypothetically if he wasnt a thief, and hypothetically if he had morals, and hypothetically if he had money, he may or may not have purchased that game..."
Hypothetically they should be paying me cause hypothetically i'm the owner of the business... see, gets kinda silly quick.
Good work on the straw man, just add hypothetical to everything. Although, I find it interesting that you call pirates 'thieves' yet don't have an apparent problem with it. Usually that word is called out as pure rhetoric...
But isn't that the same way 'shrinkage' in a store works? If the person who stole the item wasn't a thief, and had money, they would have made $X more. The only difference is there is no loss of inventory, just the loss of a customer, but it still adds up over time.
The simplest proof that piracy can have a real cost? If there's 100% piracy, they make $0 in sales. That's a very real cost, even if the sales they should have had are purely 'hypothetical'.
Even if only 10 people out of the 1 million who pirated would otherwise have purchased the game, the company has still lost money to piracy (about $600). The goal is to quantify that cost accurately, and determine what is acceptable and reasonable. It seems most people on /. are angry that the game execs are being unreasonable with the numbers, yet mistakenly rail against any quantification of them.