Real pirates threaten video games

Video game companies are now under threat from real pirates – guys with eye patches and swords – hijacking shipping routes.

It’s time for another story about piracy – except its about real pirates, and not teenagers downloading movies at home.

An increased amount of attacks in the Horn of Africa, an area south of the Suez Canal, by actual pirates has led to shipping companies debating the decision to ignore the Canal altogether and send ships around the Cape of Good Hope instead.

So what’s the problem? After all, if its a safer route, then no-one’s in danger right? Well, yes, but it also means that shipping costs go up – way up. You see, going via South Africa will add almost a month to frieght.

A normal run travelling from Mumbai, India to London, England would be 11,587 kilometers. Going via the Cape would increase the journey to almost 20,000 kilometers. Add the cost of just the journey alone, as well as increased costs for ship maiteanance, crew costs and other supplies, and its a good reason for consumers to be worried.

“Despite all the publicity over piracy it will really hit home when consumers in the West find they haven’t got their Nintendo gifts this Christmas,” said Sam Dawson of the International Transport Workers’ Federation.

Dawson said attacks had increased from one every couple of weeks to four a day.

Naturally, things other than video games are on the priority list. Somali pirates have been attacking aid shipments to war-torn Somalia.

The impacts could soon hit every country as more companies decide to avoid the Suez. Coal, grains, iron ore – the main ingredient in producing steel – and oil all use the Canal as a major shipping route, and prices could skyrocket should the carriers be forced to pass costs on of rerouting via the Atlantic.

Source: Reuters