View From The Road: Ubisoft Needs To Use a Carrot

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View From The Road: Ubisoft Needs To Use a Carrot

The worst part about the Ubisoft DRM fiasco is how close it came to being a good idea.

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I got Assassin's Creed II on a console, and I love the game, but seriously, if I didn't have a console there would be no way in hell I'd buy it for the PC. I moved in fall last year and I had to go without internet for three months, it was painful by itself. I hate how DRM these days seems to be edging me closer to making my games unplayable without internet. Until we have internet for free everywhere in the world (which I'm guessing will be never) I don't want to be forced to be connected to the internet for my games.

And what the heck happened to Ubisoft? They used to be cool. Now they're the next evil company on the block.

This is exactly it. People need to realise that not every pirate is a hardened criminal, the majority are most likely just people who can't afford things like that.

I buy games myself, but I avoid heavily DRM'd games. I think Steam does it best, it adds so many nice things that it's more of a benefit, so much so that a lot of people don't even realise it's DRM. I think Ubisoft should have just used Steam instead, it works a lot better than their system.

And for gods sakes, drop the prices. I've been buying used for ages, I just can't afford to spend that much money on a game, unless I really want it, which doesn't happen very often. If you drop your prices, you'll get less pirates, and less used games, meaning you'll most likely make more money.

I admit, I used to pirate almost all my games, but one day, I pirated Psychonauts, and I was so impressed with it, I sent 50 euros to Tim Schafer personally, along with an apology. He emailed me back saying he forgave me. It was at that point, I decided to stop pirating and support the industry. But it's hard, when every time I buy a game I feel like I'm getting cheated.

Publishers also need to realize that piracy isn't some technical problem that must be fixed with programs.

Its more of a social problem.

If you act like an ass, people see themselves as stealing from an ass. If you act like a cool guy, people will see them stealing from a cool guy, which will cause quite a few people to think about what they're doing and not steal from you.

And let developers interact with their fans more.

Who would you be more willing to steal from; An arrogant corporate executive, or the person who designed HK-47 and has kids to feed?

To be honest I think every legally bought game should come with an actual carrot. It would increase sales by at least 200% and provide one of my fruit and veg for that day. What's there not to like?

Hey, I'll say what I've said before:

If they want to seriously reduce piracy AND used game sales, all they need to do is lower the game prices. Make it so it's not worth the effort.

I know we disagree on a lot of things, but *I* think a good part of the problem is that the gaming industry isn't "people bringing home a check to feed their families". It's increasingly corperate with increasingly huge payouts both for developers and producers. People playing "keeping up with the Riches" rather than simply making a living, or even simply becoming rich and successful. Any way you look at it we're dealing with millions upon millions of dollars that don't go to hardware or office space that winds up in the hands of the human resources one way or another. We also don't have any shortage of people who are willing to hand out those mega-millions of dollars to pay developers, mainly because they receive massive returns on their investments.

Heck, if some guy can just walk into a store and plop down $20 and walk out with the newest game the appeal of finding and downloading a torrent or whatever reduces considerably. By the same token when the game is only selling for $20 it doesn't leave too much room for a cut-rate used game market.

What's more it seems to have been shown that piracy has a minimal impact on the sales game companies are making. Not every pirate would be buying a new copy of a game given the option. Ditto for those who purchuse things used.

Heck, if instead of spending all that money developing killer DRM, maintaining DRM servers, creating $10 "incentive" content, and all of that was simply taken out of the prices of the games, I think that would increase sales more than the "protection" does.

That's just my opinion though. The pirates will never disappear, but I think the amount of piracy can be reduced... albiet not with these methods. To "win" the industry has to do the one thing they aren't putting on the table, and pretty much become a lot less greedy themselves.

I also think Kotaku ran an interesting article on Piracy and such:

http://ca.kotaku.com/5533615/another-view-of-video-game-piracy

I don't entirely agree with them, but they make some good points.

I think part of the problem is that the industry doesn't listen to things like that because they want to dismiss anything that they don't want to hear as "filthy pirate sympathizers" or whatever.

Also, I tend to think that part of the problem is also that people in the games industry have created lives for themselves that require massive profiteering to maintain. Some dude making a fortune isn't going to want to give up his 200' party Yacht no matter what you say, things pretty much have to crash on those guys before they "give up" their stuff. While many disagree, I think one of the issues people have to realize when argueing about the game industry is that I don't think the perception some people are fed that these guys are "making money to feed their families" is accurate. Heck, I don't even mind a lot of these guys being rich. However looking at some of the money in these game budgets that goes towards human resources, I think we're dealing with the kind of guys who belong on an MTV lifestyles program.

Great article - I would say that this is why STEAM (and, to some degree, Impulse) has been successful. It's DRM, but it makes life convenient and easy and offers everything you want.

EA's Bioware games have been taking steps in this direction too. Although I suspect their reasoning is less about piracy and more about preventing second hand game sales, it's still accomplishing the same thing.

Imagine if, back when this whole thing first came to light, Ubisoft had simply announced that it had a new service wherein all of their customers who registered their game - and connected to the optional Ubi.net while playing - would get some extra goodies. They would get the option of saving their game in a cloud, and the option to download and install the game on whatever computer they wanted (just need to log in!). They would get their game automatically updated with the latest DLC, and some extra cosmetic goodies as a way to reward them for buying the game legitimately.

And this is why Steam wins. It doesn't get in your face too much, you don't need to be online, and it actually offers you lots of free gains. And what do you know, my friends pirate plenty of games, but Steam games, they buy.

The "DLC and other cosmetic goodies" argument is total bullshit. They're cracked just as easily as the gmaes themselves.

The rest of your arguments were not that bad, save for the fact that alot of this stuff can be done by the pirates. Being able to install on any machine? Pirates have that. Infinite installs? Got that too. Optional cloud savegames are the only thing you mentioned that they can really offer.

You know what's funny? Hearing the pirate crackers saying the exact same thing ages ago over and over and over.

Isn't this exactly what they said when they cracked AC2? "Focus on making a better game next time rather than a DRM that hurts your customers?" Ring any bells yet?!

Bottom line is the same. If it takes more resources to develop systems of security than it does to crack them, then DRM will fail. Developing the systems takes money and time, pirates that crack them don't do it for the money and they've got tonnes more time than the developers.

Hilariously enough, this article states the exact same thing that the pirates have always stated. But I imagine people won't catch on anytime soon and we'll be seeing more corporate apologists who feel they need to 'compete with' or 'persecute' piracy rather than to do the much wiser thing - ignore it.

Therumancer:
snip

Actually, what you said about the lavish lifestyles is interesting. It reminds me of a discussion I had a while back, would another industry crash really be a horrible thing? I mean, we would have some people losing their jobs, bad thing indeed, but on the other hand, it would slow the mainstream gaming industries rapid descent into Scarface-like greed and self-destruction.

Of course, we could always just blame John Romero...

Therumancer:
Hey, I'll say what I've said before:

If they want to seriously reduce piracy AND used game sales, all they need to do is lower the game prices. Make it so it's not worth the effort.

I know we disagree on a lot of things, but *I* think a good part of the problem is that the gaming industry isn't "people bringing home a check to feed their families". It's increasingly corperate with increasingly huge payouts both for developers and producers. People playing "keeping up with the Riches" rather than simply making a living, or even simply becoming rich and successful. Any way you look at it we're dealing with millions upon millions of dollars that don't go to hardware or office space that winds up in the hands of the human resources one way or another. We also don't have any shortage of people who are willing to hand out those mega-millions of dollars to pay developers, mainly because they receive massive returns on their investments.

Heck, if some guy can just walk into a store and plop down $20 and walk out with the newest game the appeal of finding and downloading a torrent or whatever reduces considerably. By the same token when the game is only selling for $20 it doesn't leave too much room for a cut-rate used game market.

What's more it seems to have been shown that piracy has a minimal impact on the sales game companies are making. Not every pirate would be buying a new copy of a game given the option. Ditto for those who purchuse things used.

Heck, if instead of spending all that money developing killer DRM, maintaining DRM servers, creating $10 "incentive" content, and all of that was simply taken out of the prices of the games, I think that would increase sales more than the "protection" does.

That's just my opinion though. The pirates will never disappear, but I think the amount of piracy can be reduced... albiet not with these methods. To "win" the industry has to do the one thing they aren't putting on the table, and pretty much become a lot less greedy themselves.

I also think Kotaku ran an interesting article on Piracy and such:

http://ca.kotaku.com/5533615/another-view-of-video-game-piracy

I don't entirely agree with them, but they make some good points.

I think part of the problem is that the industry doesn't listen to things like that because they want to dismiss anything that they don't want to hear as "filthy pirate sympathizers" or whatever.

Also, I tend to think that part of the problem is also that people in the games industry have created lives for themselves that require massive profiteering to maintain. Some dude making a fortune isn't going to want to give up his 200' party Yacht no matter what you say, things pretty much have to crash on those guys before they "give up" their stuff. While many disagree, I think one of the issues people have to realize when argueing about the game industry is that I don't think the perception some people are fed that these guys are "making money to feed their families" is accurate. Heck, I don't even mind a lot of these guys being rich. However looking at some of the money in these game budgets that goes towards human resources, I think we're dealing with the kind of guys who belong on an MTV lifestyles program.

Sigh.

How dare skilled workers with college degrees in an obscenely competitive industry make ~80k? Face it, dude - that's really not an unreasonable salary at all, and a disproportionate share of the profits going to management is by no means limited to the games industry - you'll find it in pretty much every corporation here in the West.

Every single developer I have ever met lives a pretty damn modest life. You have no evidence to support your claims other than "this is how I think it is," when all the evidence I have ever seen supports the latter - there is not nearly as much profit in games development as you think there is. I'm sorry, Chicken Little, but I have seen nothing ever to suggest that the sky is falling. Yes, executives like West and Zampella make millions. Executives at ANY company with that sort of revenue make millions.

Games used to be much more expensive, especially considering inflation. We get it. We get it. You don't think they're worth it, fine. Then stop buying them already. Meanwhile, the rest of us who find satisfactory value in them will continue to support the developers we like.

Great article. However, if Shamus Young writes an article about World of Warcraft for Friday, I'll know the universe has collapsed in on itself.

I do like how simple you worded the solution. As long as the legitimate copy is better than the pirated copy, its a success. I'm glad a few developers and publishers have realized that this is the key, and hopefully more start to join in and we can say goodbye to malicious DRM.

If piracy really had anything to do with stealing from "bad guys" or "large corporations", then we wouldn't see it on things like the Humble Indie Bundle. There is no way to justify that one, except that you don't have a credit card. I think these types of claims tend to people trying to justify doing something they know is wrong. Also, especially when it comes to larger companies, for each guy with a name and face we know there's a handful of smaller employees who aren't getting rich off every game.

I'm a big fan of anti-piracy schemes like project $10 (when they don't add that extra crap), and make a point of supporting developers who use it. On the other hand, I'm not buying anything from Ubisoft for a while.

Loonerinoes:
You know what's funny? Hearing the pirate crackers saying the exact same thing ages ago over and over and over.

Isn't this exactly what they said when they cracked AC2? "Focus on making a better game next time rather than a DRM that hurts your customers?" Ring any bells yet?!

"Better" in what way? Because Assassin's Creed 2 ain't exactly a shitty game.

Piracy is a complicated especially here in Australia where games sell for an average of $100.
Then you get poor games with often 8 hours of content in them.

Personally I think second hand games is a far worse problem than out and out piracy, the publishes still dont get the cash and the retailer gets a payday twice.

See with piracy there are two types, those who are unsure and want to reduce the risk and those who are too poor to buy the game anyway (students etc) who probably wouldn't buy the game (not at $100). Chances are neither of those people would buy the game anyways.
I have never heard of anyone who has the money, trusts the publisher and likes the idea of the content pirating the game.
Meanwhile that same person may very well buy a second hand copy to save $20 or $30 bucks.
Resulting in someone who would buy the game effectively not (from the publishers point of view).

Providing carrots is nice, I love Bioware's portal where you can register games you have brought and it puts up stats tells you about DLC and generally combines your bioware library.
And I know for a fact bad drm has stopped me buying a game (often I didn't pirate it either I just refused to buy it) prime example is assassins creed II. But if publishers do not fix the risk versus reward ratio, that is the amount of money it costs versus the likely hood it is a good game with a good level of content people will never stop pirating to some level.

I couldn't agree more.

The AC2 system is similar to prison discipline systems;

These were designed to keep inmates in check with a minimal amount of guards. The main idea is that when one inmate breaks the rules, his entire block may be punished.
This creates an atmosphere where inmates watch their fellow convicts and keep each other in check in order to avoid punishment for themselves.
An inmate will think twice before breaking the rules, because his entire block could suffer for it, and he will be hated.

That system does not work for games.

A pirate won't feel bad when he caused a developer to add DRM to his game, because it got cracked and he's playing it. He also won't care about the thousands of strangers across the world who are punished for his actions, for he doesn't know them. He doesn't care if they hate him.
The pirate is doing exactly what he wanted to do, and since the DRM was cracked, he isn't the one being punished.
A loyal customer gets punished for the actions of people he doesn't know, actions he couldn't have avoided.

This type of system effectively punishes the innocent for the misbehaviour of others, while the ones misbehaving are left to do as they please.

What reason would there be for anyone to behave in such a prison?

Personally, if I don't want to put up with a DRM system, I simply don't buy the game. I won't pirate it, mind you, I just won't play it.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who have different morals.

You will never stamp out piracy by brute force. Hell, you will never stamp out piracy period. Rather, the model should be about giving them incentives to buy the game legally.

This. A thousand times this. As a partially reformed pirate (I pirate some, I buy some), I can tell from my own experience, that THAT is the way to go.

What turned me around the most was the Orange Box and the ability to download it and redownload it anywhere, anytime, as well as being able to play TF2 online. This was about 3 years ago. Since then, I bought both L4D1 and 2 on release.

VALVe has it right. They don't fight piracy by including Shamus Young's bear trap that takes away your legs, and quite possibly, your manlyhood. They fight it by offering an online customer service that simply works. They reward you for taking that step and paying your dues.

Susan Arendt:

Loonerinoes:
You know what's funny? Hearing the pirate crackers saying the exact same thing ages ago over and over and over.

Isn't this exactly what they said when they cracked AC2? "Focus on making a better game next time rather than a DRM that hurts your customers?" Ring any bells yet?!

"Better" in what way? Because Assassin's Creed 2 ain't exactly a shitty game.

Actually, that's a common theme for many pirating groups, when they work with a game that comes with DRM, the whole "forget about these draconian measures and use those resources on making the game even better". It just got kind of famous thanks to the shitstorm that has accompanied AC2.

edthehyena:
If piracy really had anything to do with stealing from "bad guys" or "large corporations", then we wouldn't see it on things like the Humble Indie Bundle. There is no way to justify that one, except that you don't have a credit card. I think these types of claims tend to people trying to justify doing something they know is wrong. Also, especially when it comes to larger companies, for each guy with a name and face we know there's a handful of smaller employees who aren't getting rich off every game.

I'm a big fan of anti-piracy schemes like project $10 (when they don't add that extra crap), and make a point of supporting developers who use it. On the other hand, I'm not buying anything from Ubisoft for a while.

I think people who pirate are almost always just being entitled, selfish pricks (there are some exceptions, of course - chiefly referring to people in poorer parts of the world where buying games legit is literally not an option). I will never be pro-piracy. But draconian DRM is not the solution.

Susan Arendt:

Loonerinoes:
You know what's funny? Hearing the pirate crackers saying the exact same thing ages ago over and over and over.

Isn't this exactly what they said when they cracked AC2? "Focus on making a better game next time rather than a DRM that hurts your customers?" Ring any bells yet?!

"Better" in what way? Because Assassin's Creed 2 ain't exactly a shitty game.

Better in the way of not focusing on the DRM and using that time and those resources to add something else to it or even for more trivial run-of-the-mill things, like more playtesting.

I am not thinking of specifics of how to improve on the game. Don't get me wrong, I did not mean to say AC2 is a shitty game at all gameplay-wise. But what I am saying is that the publishers could've invested the money with the developers of the game itself instead of those who worked on their DRM system. It stands to reason that would help make the game...better!

Pirates can't make the game better. But they can crack any DRM. So...why not focus on what you can change and make your game even moreso appealing for the purchaser and ignore the things you *can't* change? And even if AC2 was indeed 'perfect' (which I doubt any game really is), heck, at this point even if they spent that money not on improving the game but in their marketing campaigns it would be money better spent than on the DRM, though - that's just buffing the hype of the game rather than its content.

John Funk:
I think people who pirate are almost always just being entitled, selfish pricks. [cut] But draconian DRM is not the solution.

But those, in your words, entitled selfish pricks would almost never buy the games if they actually had to pay for them, so isn't any DRM(not just the draconian ones) kinda pointless?

Susan Arendt:

Loonerinoes:
You know what's funny? Hearing the pirate crackers saying the exact same thing ages ago over and over and over.

Isn't this exactly what they said when they cracked AC2? "Focus on making a better game next time rather than a DRM that hurts your customers?" Ring any bells yet?!

"Better" in what way? Because Assassin's Creed 2 ain't exactly a shitty game.

Speaking as someone who neither pirated or brought the game isn't it? From what People tell me its a repeat of the first game only a few hundred years latter (the first game which I got bored of 3rd the way through) and in addition you have to be online at all times to play it.
I'm sorry the DRM was enough to put me off a risky buy (because of EB games silly no online games return policy).
See what the make better games argument is, is basically if if the game publishes put the energy they put into DRM they would probably be better off..
Personally I miss shareware and try before you buy games. At least they acknowledged the situation.

Great article John, I agree with every part of it, and I'm entirely on the side of the anti-DRM movement.

The most important thing to remember is that people will always cheat. It doesn't matter if they could get caught, it doesn't matter if it won't work, it doesn't matter if they might be stealing food from starving children: people will always cheat. (See Dan Ariely's "Predictably Irrational".)

Right now, it's entirely worth it for people (even honest, paying customers) to pirate. All the incentives go that way: no CD-checks, no install limits, no always-on connection requirements, and plenty of others. And, if you don't care whether your favorite publisher gets a dime: pirated copies are free.

So really, a pirate gets to save $60 and get away without any DRM crap, at the cost of his conscience (assuming he has one). You'd have to have one helluva conscience not to take this offer.

But if the legitimate games were actually better than what the pirates can get, there might be a good case for buying it. One example that comes to mind is Modern Warfare 2: online multiplayer is almost impossible to get with a pirated copy, and even if you can get it working for a couple of weeks, 3/4 of the people you are playing against are using aimbots. With that in mind, the pirated copy is completely broken and the legit copy is suddenly worth the $60.

The only part I don't agree with is the Ten-Dollar initiative. It does little to deter pirates (who cares about a few mostly-useless items?), but it does everything to hamper used sales. That's hampering us, the customers, who bought a $60 game and expect to be able to get our money back (one way or another) if we decide we don't like it. The only reason used sales "hurt" developers is that they make less money off of the people who got stuck with a $60 game that doesn't work or that they don't like. With a used market, highly-hyped but poorly-produced games lose out, because people resell them. Without a used market, the customers have to stuck up that cost when they buy it and find out it sucks.

By implementing DRM and anti-used market strategies, publishers are tipping the scales against customers. When that happens, customers are going to learn to distrust publishers. That means more piracy, fewer opening-day sales, fewer pre-orders, and less tolerance for price hikes.

Luke Cartner:

Susan Arendt:

Loonerinoes:
You know what's funny? Hearing the pirate crackers saying the exact same thing ages ago over and over and over.

Isn't this exactly what they said when they cracked AC2? "Focus on making a better game next time rather than a DRM that hurts your customers?" Ring any bells yet?!

"Better" in what way? Because Assassin's Creed 2 ain't exactly a shitty game.

Speaking as someone who neither pirated or brought the game isn't it? From what People tell me its a repeat of the first game only a few hundred years latter (the first game which I got bored of 3rd the way through) and in addition you have to be online at all times to play it.
I'm sorry the DRM was enough to put me off a risky buy (because of EB games silly no online games return policy).
See what the make better games argument is, is basically if if the game publishes put the energy they put into DRM they would probably be better off..
Personally I miss shareware and try before you buy games. At least they acknowledged the situation.

Oh, HEAVENS no. AC2 is phenomenal. Better than the first in every possible way. Play it on consoles.

VanBasten:

John Funk:
I think people who pirate are almost always just being entitled, selfish pricks. [cut] But draconian DRM is not the solution.

But those, in your words, entitled selfish pricks would almost never buy the games if they actually had to pay for them, so isn't any DRM(not just the draconian ones) kinda pointless?

...yes, that would have been my point...?

ReverseEngineered:
The only part I don't agree with is the Ten-Dollar initiative. It does little to deter pirates (who cares about a few mostly-useless items?), but it does everything to hamper used sales.

Uhm... think that's kinda the point of it.
Not a week goes by without a news item about some publisher complaining about used sales.
However that's majorly a console issue, and has little to do with PC DRM issues as there are almost no used sales on the PC.

Luke Cartner:

Susan Arendt:

Loonerinoes:
You know what's funny? Hearing the pirate crackers saying the exact same thing ages ago over and over and over.

Isn't this exactly what they said when they cracked AC2? "Focus on making a better game next time rather than a DRM that hurts your customers?" Ring any bells yet?!

"Better" in what way? Because Assassin's Creed 2 ain't exactly a shitty game.

Speaking as someone who neither pirated or brought the game isn't it? From what People tell me its a repeat of the first game only a few hundred years latter (the first game which I got bored of 3rd the way through) and in addition you have to be online at all times to play it.
I'm sorry the DRM was enough to put me off a risky buy (because of EB games silly no online games return policy).
See what the make better games argument is, is basically if if the game publishes put the energy they put into DRM they would probably be better off..
Personally I miss shareware and try before you buy games. At least they acknowledged the situation.

Well, while I can certainly see how someone could say it's a repeat of the first game - there are clearly deep similarities - it's such a vast improvement that it's a bit of an unfair comparison.

I do, however, certainly agree that there should be a way to play a PC game - any PC game - before you buy it.

John Funk:

VanBasten:
But those, in your words, entitled selfish pricks would almost never buy the games if they actually had to pay for them, so isn't any DRM(not just the draconian ones) kinda pointless?

...yes, that would have been my point...?

And that point has continually been made for as long as I remember(all the way back to the "brilliant" DRM idea of typing words on page xy, row z of the game manual to start the game), yet somehow publishers keep on insisting on even more and more complicated and pointless methods of DRM.
So even pointing it out is getting pointless ;)

Sigh.

How dare skilled workers with college degrees in an obscenely competitive industry make ~80k? Face it, dude - that's really not an unreasonable salary at all, and a disproportionate share of the profits going to management is by no means limited to the games industry - you'll find it in pretty much every corporation here in the West.

Every single developer I have ever met lives a pretty damn modest life. You have no evidence to support your claims other than "this is how I think it is," when all the evidence I have ever seen supports the latter - there is not nearly as much profit in games development as you think there is. I'm sorry, Chicken Little, but I have seen nothing ever to suggest that the sky is falling. Yes, executives like West and Zampella make millions. Executives at ANY company with that sort of revenue make millions.

Games used to be much more expensive, especially considering inflation. We get it. We get it. You don't think they're worth it, fine. Then stop buying them already. Meanwhile, the rest of us who find satisfactory value in them will continue to support the developers we like.

Well to be fair, you did say that you thought people in the industry made a lot less than that before The Escapist ran the Maxim article if I remember.

What's more I still maintain that when you look at the budgets being given to developers to make these games, there is a lot of money not being accounted for, even if you consider a big cut being taken by management.

The thing is, when you have someone claiming "we need to charge this much for games because of the amount of money they take to develop" by way of justification, it invites people to look at that development budget and say "okay, so where is all this money going?". Even with Maxim's claims the numbers don't even out.

-

As far as your comment trying to turn this on me personally, I will say that at the moment I can afford to pay $60.00 for games, whether that will remain true or not is still to be determined. However the issue isn't something I bring up for my own direct benefit.

In general I bring up these issues when we have the gaming industry crying about piracy and how much money they are losing, justifying DRM, and otherwise pretty much crying poverty. The point being that they are acting like "OMG, pirates are going to put is into the poorhouse" in defense of inconveinencing people like me who buy their products legitimatly in the name of protection.

A big part of my point here is that the gaming industry isn't exactly a group that can play the pity card. The pirates might not be right, but the gaming industry is still a multi-billion dollar corperate industry. Even if the little guys "only" make 80k a year we're not at the "your stealing food from the mouthes of my family" level.

My actual message here is that the extent that the industry takes things like it's anti-piracy crusade to is ridiculous, especially when they are trying to justify inconveincing users.

When it comes to the whining over the legitimate trade of used games it's even worse, because in that case nobody is stealing from them. It's just "OMG, we might not be getting every possible dime out of this that we could be".

Simply put the industry wants to have an attitude, I think us consumers should be giving them one right back since we're the ones getting nailed by this.

Also, looking at articles here, including comments from companies like 1C (on Digital Distribution), articles about the amount of money made by piracy crime syndicates in Brazil, and other things, it's pretty obvious that the game industry COULD be selling their games for a lot less. In doing so they would probably greatly reduce a lot of what they are complaining about... and I suspect *might* even wind up with more money due to increased sales volune, which is my point. The point is that the industry has not even tried to do this, because in the end it wants to have it's cake and eat it to. The "we have tried everything short of draconian DRM, and on-release DLC" simply put is not true, the industry as far as I can see has never tried to adapt it's business model as far as lowering prices.

Maybe I don't articulate well, my big point is that I want the industry to stop whining and acting like it's being horribly abused and oppressed. I care because things like digital distribution, DRM, and similar things are coming into MY home when I pay what they're asking for these games, and when I look at the reasons they're giving, I see no real actual *need* since the industry is hardly a starving institution. This DRM and such is not being done for purposes of survival, but for greed, and it's inflicting collateral damage on letigimate users who are actually giving them money.

Want me to be less critical of the industry? Then me, and the other consumers, out of it. Under the circumstances the more attempts to justify what's going on, the more I'm going to jump on those justifications. The industry backs off and leaves me alone, I'm not likely to keep running around writing messages criticizing it this way for yucks.

Edited In: Oh and just to explain my motivation behind other comments. I frequently talk about the corruption of the gaming industry, price fixing, cartel behavior, and other things. I do this because when it comes to the things that the gaming industry does to it's legitimate users it tries to claim a moral high ground on. The overall point I'm making is that while the pirates might do some immoral things, the industry can hardly claim to be without "sin" itself, although admittedly what it seems to do is a differant kind of wrong. I admit to not understanding all of the laws in question perfectly, but I do understand the spirit of the laws in question, and know a bit from looking at things like the "price at the pump" gasoline "wars" over the last few years... which i draw an analogy to.

Honestly I could care less under most circumstances, I mean angles like this are part of business in general and I'm fairly jaded to it. I don't actually expect anything to happen over it, but the point is that big businesses (and the games industry is one now) can't exactly sit there and claim righteousness by way of explanation for their actions.

Again, stop bringing this junk into my game purchuses, and then I'm going to be less critical. They stop whining about piracy and used games and with all these "protection gimmicks" that inconveincene me, and then I don't have much reason to hammer back.

They key for SC2 is to buy it for the online, and to pirate it for the LAN.

Only problem with that may be some funny reg entries, and the crazy file size.
________________________________________________________________________________

Any who, my sentiments match yours Funk, and I've been laughing about it for a little while as if you pirate you're rewarded, where as if you buy then you are punished.
_______________________________________________________________________________

Susan Arendt:
snip

*points to the incredibly awesome Just Cause 2 Demo, and nods.*

Therumancer:
Hey, I'll say what I've said before:

If they want to seriously reduce piracy AND used game sales, all they need to do is lower the game prices. Make it so it's not worth the effort.

I never quite understood the point of "Games are too expensive"

I paid fl.110,- for a new copy of Final Fantasy IX when it was released.
I paid eu.50,- for a new copy of Final Fantasy XIII when it was released.

fl.110,- = eu.49,91

So in roughly 10 years, I paid 9 cents more for the latest release.
Now, considering a yearly inflation of 1.5% to 3% is quite common and acceptable, that's a pretty good deal.

Not even taking into consideration technological advancement and increased numbers of people working on games. Or the fact that FFIX was released after the launch of the PS2, for an inferior console.

Statements like "just make games $20 and people won't pirate them" are quite disproved by things like this and don't really take the costs of making a game into consideration. People would end up pirating "because I ain't paying 20 bucks for a game that's not even HD" or whatever.

There are always excuses for piracy, there just aren't many good ones.

EDIT;

I want the industry to stop whining and acting like it's being horribly abused and oppressed. I care because things like digital distribution, DRM, and similar things are coming into MY home when I pay what they're asking for these games

This, I completely agree to.

What scares ne most this might become an industry standard...

Although the EA system in battlefield 2142 us similar, and sometimes as annoying I do see it as s viable way of doing it. With some major tweaks of course

sosolidshoe:
When you have to choose between food for a week and a few blissful hours of fantasy escapism to take you away from your shitty life, you can throw around phrases like "entitled, selfish pricks" and not look like a tosser.

Except, of course, that those same folk apparently have a PC and the broadband to play and download the latest releases. While ignoring that there are plenty of quality games available for cheap, or even free.

I don't see why is it that when making a choice, people will choose to do the illegal one.

Xocrates:

sosolidshoe:
When you have to choose between food for a week and a few blissful hours of fantasy escapism to take you away from your shitty life, you can throw around phrases like "entitled, selfish pricks" and not look like a tosser.

Except, of course, that those same folk apparently have a PC and the broadband to play and download the latest releases. While ignoring that there are plenty of quality games available for cheap, or even free.

I don't see why is it that when making a choice, people will choose to do the illegal one.

Yes, I do have a PC, I built it myself from old secondhand parts, it runs some new releases on minimum settings.

Yes, I have broadband, it's the absolute cheapest available service in my area, it costs a quarter of what I would fork out for a single game retail.

When there's a sale on Steam, I spend money on games. When I'm not stuck working in a horrifying job for peanuts, I spend money on games. When 93% of what is laughably called a salary by my employer is taken up with living expenses, I do not, I download them.

And pulling the old "but there's free stuffs!!1" card is a little disingenuous; only a tiny fraction of free games are actually worth playing, most of them are a joke.

sosolidshoe:
And pulling the old "but there's free stuffs!!1" card is a little disingenuous; only a tiny fraction of free games are actually worth playing, most of them are a joke.

A tiny fraction of probably millions are still a lot. Hell, some of my most played games are free (specifically League of Legends and Trackmania Nations Forever)

Also, what are you complaining about? I spent most of my life with worse.

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