Jimquisition: Online Passes Are Bad For Everybody

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BehattedWanderer:
What are you, twelve? Swearing excessively doesn't make your point more profound, Jim. Think of it as a salt, or pepper, on a meal. Enough can make it taste better. Too much makes it taste like ass.

In regards to your other, more drawn out, point, most people aren't going to be buying two AAA release games at once. They'll buy one now, and another when their next dash of spare change becomes available. If you feel so entitled that, once a week, or once a month, you should get a gratis copy of a new game just because you have played other new games, then more power to you, but I'd hate to be your wallet, for it must be quite lonely.

Have some damn patience for what you want, like an adult, or look into a rental service, as there are quite a few of them now, I understand. A bratty kid who complains that he wants his Christmas presents early and gets them has no room to complain when he has nothing to open on Xmas day with the rest of the people. It's baseless entitlement like this that continues to make us as both gamers and people look like egocentric, conceited little shits, complaining that they don't get exactly what they want. And as much fun as screaming about it is, offering no solutions means all you're doing is making an annoyingly ridiculous amount of noise that offends one ears to hear over prolonged periods.

Doesn't this go the same way for publishers that want money from used sells, or push for online passes and or cutting content for used gamers. Eventhough it might be the 3rd or 4th hand it been pass upon. Publishers are at fault for making their product so expensive and placing their release dates on top of other game releases. That's basically wrongs right there not every new AAA game it worth that 60$ price tag and that's why it ends up in the used pile so another person can pick it up. Normally to quite a lot of people the content isn't worth the full price and a consumer has the right to be pissed off that the quality of their product. Note rental services are treated just like the used games you won't get to play online and there maybe some content cut so you're not getting all that you expected. The publishers know if they lower the prices to like 45$ on a AAA more people would be compelled to buy it new,yet we know they only care about short profit margin then bitch when money isn't rolling in weeks to months down the road. When everybody that really wanted the game have it and those that just wanted to check it out already returned their copy.

BrotherRool:

All I'm saying is these games are possible, but Hawken and Hard Reset had to cut stuff to make the fantastic game they did.

The other cut any sort of multiplayer mode to retain funding.

They did not cut out multiplayer as a matter of funding, but a matter of principal in design focus! Half Life 2 didn't have a multiplayer. Is that because Valve is poor? NO! It's because MULTIPLAYER WOULD BE COMPLETELY IN APPROPRIATE! Any amount of money available would be better spent on an awesome single player. Focus. TF2 was multiplayer only.

You could argue that Activision has already make this compromise, the recent COD games have had such unbelievably shoddy and rushed single players, it's clear all the focus is on the multiplayer and it is the main selling point. Black Ops certainly didn't sell for Mason's fever dreams.

And even focusing just on single player, have you any idea how much is cut out at the publisher's mandate? For modern Warfare 2, half a Dozen maps never saw the light of day because the publisher said to focus on just these few to have the game out in time for the non-negotiable release-date. Other maps as DLC, though any serious games developer know how bad premium map packs are, how they divide the community. But it's easy money for Activision and they don't really care about excellent game design as long as it is money in the bank.

And what I'm saying is. These are great games. They are great games that exist amongst other publisher made great games, neither type of game could be made under the other system. Both co-exist and should co-exist. All indie games either find novel shortcuts or take out ridiculous loans where they end up in a lot of debt and the risk on bankruptcy. What's more, I predict those games you've mentioned will not sell as well as they should given the quality of the game.

Also I think your view of marketing is a little behind and you don't understand the amount of marketing money even goes into the mediocre games. It's almost certainly multimillion. You just see the more noticeable failed attempts at unique marketing whereas the real money is just to reach people who don't read sites like this, so TV spots and the like and generating a buzz. It's scary how much control marketers have over what people think of a game. Did you read the column on Duke Nukem marketing?

But anyway I think this discussion has run it's course, I've presented my side and I will leave you to your conclusions, thanks for the discussion, I've learnt a lot

You seem to think of "indie" only in the archetypal sense of poor studio struggling along by itself, under-appreciated and doomed to only make small insignificant titles.

Valve is an Independent studio, but a very RICH and successful one! That also does publishing.

As to marketing, money can't buy you everything. Not in this industry. It's telling that most of the successful games are sequels because I think the main influence on what gamers buy is past gaming experiences, reputation, and intuition. Expensive TV spots trying to leave an "impression" are a waste of space for gamers who are more likely to be playing a game than sticking around for ad breaks.

It's just crazy to buy TV slots!

TV slots are un-targeted, unknown, they're more likely to be seen by your grandma than the actual target audience, while SO EXPENSIVE and yet so fleeting. Yet all this time the target audience are using this internet connected device that ONLY gamers would use and its actual possible to directly sell it to them there! I've never seen a mascara advert in a hardware wholesaler's catalogue.

And where else is a better place: youtube. Have you any idea how many people upload video of Black Ops on there. Pay the most popular of those schmucks a few hundred bucks to stick up a MW3 pre-roll ad, and you have PRECISION LASER GUIDED marketing! Every hit, on that video, you're not targeting your grandma who has zero interest in first-person shooters, but someone who DOES!

The urge to use TV slots is lazy thinking, trying to regurgitate old brute-force media marketing techniques. It's the type of shit a lot of the big publishers do, they aren't smart, the saturate the media and wherever it works, it works and they justify their frivolous spending. Those black Ops TV ads, Jesus christomatic. What was the point in them.

BehattedWanderer:

Have some damn patience for what you want, like an adult, or look into a rental service, as there are quite a few of them now, I understand.

But don't they have the EXACT SAME PROBLEM that the publishers have with endless resale?

Several people enjoying and playing only one copy of a game that was only bought once?!? The publishers don't want that, they want every individual who has an interest in their game to pay to play. And the same measures of $10 to access multiplayer apply with rental, all of a sudden a $5 rental becomes a $15 rental! And all the bullshit of CD codes.

Strange. No movie studio ever resorted to such a petty measure with DVD rental.

PS: you know the incongruous thing, if they actually made games worth keeping because it has a deep single player worth playing over and over, or an endlessly fun multiplayer. Yet because their multiplayer is so forgettable and sold on at the first opportunity... the publishers charge you to play it?

Sub-par multiplayer = $10 please

All the while games with generally considered good multiplayer like Call of Duty, have no plans for such measures.

So it's basically a mediocrity tax. I don't know why EA are doing this for Battlefield 3, do they think most of their customers will be bored of their $60 within a few weeks and sell it on? I take Project $10 as a terrible vote of confidence.

Okay, Jim, I understand your anger, and I agree with it 100%. However, there is a very simple answer to this problem that doesn't require bursting blood vessels from rage. JUST. DON'T. BUY IT. Don't pirate it either, but don't buy it.

Game publishers are just like any other company, there are only two sounds that make any coherent sense to them, the creak of your wallet opening and the slap of your wallet closing. Understand that game publishers want our money more than we do. That gives us significant leverage over them. The only reason this leverage has not been effectual is because, as you mentioned in a prior episode, gamers just have no self-control to be able to actually go without a game. That's something gamers, as a whole, need to change for themselves; just stop being so addicted to the damn things. Find other outlets and better things to do in life. At the very least, become more discerning about which games to buy; this will also send a strong message to publishers because their revenue stream will slow significantly as gamers take longer to decide whether to purchase a game due to concerns of quality and customer service satisfaction.

Frankly speaking, if the direction of the game industry is the continued production of high-cost but worthless products and full hostility toward its paying customers(I don't like the word consumer because, to me, it implies such an impersonal and dehumanizing relationship between the business and its patrons), then it probably is time to just end the whole thing and move on to something else. I just do not see the current situation as being very sustainable or viable in the near future. At the very least, I could see the big game publishers and developers collapsing under their own weight and only the small and independents remain. We may be seeing precursors of such a moment with the current exodus of talent to becoming independent game developers.

I put off buying Saint's Row 2 for years and only recently picked it up after watching it languish in the Used bin of my local EB Games. And glory, glory hallelujah, it's one of the best games I've ever played and I'm definitely going to pick up a brand spankin' new copy of Saint's Row 3 come its release.

So yeah, there's your theory in practice, Jim.

Thing I don't get is where in the hell the publisher gets this sense that they're entitled to any additional income once they've SOLD the game. For off-line it's 100% clear - you sold 100,000 copies for $50, you get $5,000,000 and that's IT. You don't get any piece of the $10 I sold your game for to my cousin. With online gaming they're bent out of shape because even though they still sold 100,000 copies they can SEE that 150,000 unique users have played the game. But the thing is, piracy aside (and that's a completely separate issue) there were ever only 100,000 people playing the game at any time, which is exactly what you sold, so where's the problem?

If a publisher sells a game with online capability for $50 and offers online play for free, then they are promising to support online play through the cost of the game purchase price or microtransactions or advertisement, etc. So they suffer none at all when one customer STOPS playing and sells to another customer. Overall user base is flat.

If the publisher is bitching because they think they need more money to support online functionality then they can start charging for online play (and suffer the wrath).

But it is illogical to the extremes of insanity for any game publisher to believe they are entitled to be paid TWICE for a product they only sold ONCE.

Treblaine:
Any amount of money available

CD Projekt are as much an independent developer as EA Montreal or any other publisher created in-house developer. IE, they aren't. CD Projekt RED are an different entity from CD Projekt and CD Projekt owns CD P R and tells them what to make and how. It's trickier to say with Valve, they aren't independent in that they rely on revenue streams that don't come from the games they make and so can't be used as an example of how indies can support themselves but presumably the bosses are the people who were making games in the first place. But then they support multiple development teams, so presumably the people who make the games are not the same people as the people who decide who gets what money and what targets need to be met.

That was the only point I felt worth responding too, you have been making great and decent arguments from the very start and have changed my position a bit on the whole issue but just now you're beginning to make points which you aren't really don't have the knowledge to be making and you position them not only without evidence, but flying in the face of known evidence, the bit about tv spots being the worst. But thanks for the interesting discussion again

BrotherRool:

Treblaine:
Any amount of money available

CD Projekt are as much an independent developer as EA Montreal or any other publisher created in-house developer. IE, they aren't. CD Projekt RED are an different entity from CD Projekt and CD Projekt owns CD P R and tells them what to make and how. It's trickier to say with Valve, they aren't independent in that they rely on revenue streams that don't come from the games they make and so can't be used as an example of how indies can support themselves but presumably the bosses are the people who were making games in the first place. But then they support multiple development teams, so presumably the people who make the games are not the same people as the people who decide who gets what money and what targets need to be met.

That was the only point I felt worth responding too, you have been making great and decent arguments from the very start and have changed my position a bit on the whole issue but just now you're beginning to make points which you don't have the knowledge to be making and you position them not only without evidence, but flying in the face of known evidence, the bit about tv spots being the worst. But thanks for the interesting discussion again

CD Projekt RED is a perfect example of an In-House studio, it is all very much the same entity with singular vision and direction, just a dedicated department. The entity as a whole part that matters is independent where it counts. I am trying to avoid being pedantic, I don't hate publishers like Activision just because they publish games, they are not horrible for their namesake. I hate them because they are an outside entity with separate interests, ideals and experience forcing artists to make games certain ways. They are a negative force on this industry and their contribution is both becoming increasingly redundant and not worth the risk.

"That was the only point I felt worth responding too...
...you don't have the knowledge to be making and you position them not only without evidence, but flying in the face of known evidence, the bit about tv spots being the worst."

Please, elaborate on this. You clearly disagree with me and feel the need to tell me so, yet are unwilling to counter it other than to make it out as some sacred cow that I should not dare even to challenge. Things have changed, TV is going the way of radio, peripheral and existing only for convenience or to have on in the background.

I have explained why TV Spots are a frivolous waste of money, not just for how gaming still remains a relatively niche activity (Oscars on prime-time, VGA awards on midnight on Spike TV) but how modern technologies are far more targeted and effective. Sorry I don't have evidence, but it takes a second to realise the advantages and disadvantages, yet hours (that I do not have to spare) to find or fund conclusive scientific evidence.

Please, don't compare marketing of $60 games to selling Irish Stout or other mass produced beverages.

geizr:
Okay, Jim, I understand your anger, and I agree with it 100%. However, there is a very simple answer to this problem that doesn't require bursting blood vessels from rage. JUST. DON'T. BUY IT. Don't pirate it either, but don't buy it.

This isn't personal, he is talking about what is good for the industy as a whole, hence the "hurts EVERYONE" part.

Treblaine:

BrotherRool:

Treblaine:
Any amount of money available

CD Projekt are as much an independent developer as EA Montreal or any other publisher created in-house developer. IE, they aren't. CD Projekt RED are an different entity from CD Projekt and CD Projekt owns CD P R and tells them what to make and how. It's trickier to say with Valve, they aren't independent in that they rely on revenue streams that don't come from the games they make and so can't be used as an example of how indies can support themselves but presumably the bosses are the people who were making games in the first place. But then they support multiple development teams, so presumably the people who make the games are not the same people as the people who decide who gets what money and what targets need to be met.

That was the only point I felt worth responding too, you have been making great and decent arguments from the very start and have changed my position a bit on the whole issue but just now you're beginning to make points which you don't have the knowledge to be making and you position them not only without evidence, but flying in the face of known evidence, the bit about tv spots being the worst. But thanks for the interesting discussion again

CD Projekt RED is a perfect example of an In-House studio, it is all very much the same entity with singular vision and direction, just a dedicated department. The entity as a whole part that matters is independent where it counts. I am trying to avoid being pedantic, I don't hate publishers like Activision just because they publish games, they are not horrible for their namesake. I hate them because they are an outside entity with separate interests, ideals and experience forcing artists to make games certain ways. They are a negative force on this industry and their contribution is both becoming increasingly redundant and not worth the risk.

"That was the only point I felt worth responding too...
...you don't have the knowledge to be making and you position them not only without evidence, but flying in the face of known evidence, the bit about tv spots being the worst."

Please, elaborate on this. You clearly disagree with me and feel the need to tell me so, yet are unwilling to counter it other than to make it out as some sacred cow that I should not dare even to challenge. Things have changed, TV is going the way of radio, peripheral and existing only for convenience or to have on in the background.

I have explained why TV Spots are a frivolous waste of money, not just for how gaming still remains a relatively niche activity (Oscars on prime-time, VGA awards on midnight on Spike TV) but how modern technologies are far more targeted and effective. Sorry I don't have evidence, but it takes a second to realise the advantages and disadvantages, yet hours (that I do not have to spare) to find or fund conclusive scientific evidence.

Please, don't compare marketing of $60 games to selling Irish Stout or other mass produced beverages.

Sorry, I was rude to you and that was wrong of me. As far as television goes, the thing is the majority of people who buy games don't read sites like this (I think. Certainly the majority of people who buy the really really big selling games) whereas the majority of them watch television and the quality of the ad has persuading powers that can't be understood rationally. As an aside here is a bit of psychological research on advertising that I happened to be reading a few minutes ago

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110920163318.htm

EDIT: I also shouldn't do this, since I said I wanted to end the discussion and it's wrong of me just to continue my side so please feel free to ignore, but here's a review of Hard Reset that says it's a great game but only half made => could have done with more development or more development people working on it => with more money

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2011/09/hard-reset-is-one-half-of-a-great-punishing-game.ars

BrotherRool:

Treblaine:

BrotherRool:

CD Projekt are as much an independent developer as EA Montreal or any other publisher created in-house developer. IE, they aren't. CD Projekt RED are an different entity from CD Projekt and CD Projekt owns CD P R and tells them what to make and how. It's trickier to say with Valve, they aren't independent in that they rely on revenue streams that don't come from the games they make and so can't be used as an example of how indies can support themselves but presumably the bosses are the people who were making games in the first place. But then they support multiple development teams, so presumably the people who make the games are not the same people as the people who decide who gets what money and what targets need to be met.

That was the only point I felt worth responding too, you have been making great and decent arguments from the very start and have changed my position a bit on the whole issue but just now you're beginning to make points which you don't have the knowledge to be making and you position them not only without evidence, but flying in the face of known evidence, the bit about tv spots being the worst. But thanks for the interesting discussion again

CD Projekt RED is a perfect example of an In-House studio, it is all very much the same entity with singular vision and direction, just a dedicated department. The entity as a whole part that matters is independent where it counts. I am trying to avoid being pedantic, I don't hate publishers like Activision just because they publish games, they are not horrible for their namesake. I hate them because they are an outside entity with separate interests, ideals and experience forcing artists to make games certain ways. They are a negative force on this industry and their contribution is both becoming increasingly redundant and not worth the risk.

"That was the only point I felt worth responding too...
...you don't have the knowledge to be making and you position them not only without evidence, but flying in the face of known evidence, the bit about tv spots being the worst."

Please, elaborate on this. You clearly disagree with me and feel the need to tell me so, yet are unwilling to counter it other than to make it out as some sacred cow that I should not dare even to challenge. Things have changed, TV is going the way of radio, peripheral and existing only for convenience or to have on in the background.

I have explained why TV Spots are a frivolous waste of money, not just for how gaming still remains a relatively niche activity (Oscars on prime-time, VGA awards on midnight on Spike TV) but how modern technologies are far more targeted and effective. Sorry I don't have evidence, but it takes a second to realise the advantages and disadvantages, yet hours (that I do not have to spare) to find or fund conclusive scientific evidence.

Please, don't compare marketing of $60 games to selling Irish Stout or other mass produced beverages.

Sorry, I was rude to you and that was wrong of me. As far as television goes, the thing is the majority of people who buy games don't read sites like this (I think. Certainly the majority of people who buy the really really big selling games) whereas the majority of them watch television and the quality of the ad has persuading powers that can't be understood rationally. As an aside here is a bit of psychological research on advertising that I happened to be reading a few minutes ago

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110920163318.htm

EDIT: I also shouldn't do this, since I said I wanted to end the discussion and it's wrong of me just to continue my side so please feel free to ignore, but here's a review of Hard Reset that says it's a great game but only half made => could have done with more development or more development people working on it => with more money

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2011/09/hard-reset-is-one-half-of-a-great-punishing-game.ars

You're right, it is true that not every gamer uses forums like this where games spread by word of mouth. But that's kind of a straw man argument as Forums are not the entirety of the internet.

All gamers do however use youtube to watch game related videos, use social networks like facebook and twitter and use their console to connect online. THAT is where you put the trailers, not on TV slots.

The target demographic watch less and less TV, most of the people I knew in college never had a TV in their dorm and never intended to own one, especially how expensive TV licence fee is and how strict enforcement is. I know how effective a promotional VIDEO can be, but TV is an inefficient and EXPENSIVE way of delivering that video!

The target demographic have to actually SEE the video for it to affect them. TV is an inefficient way to achieve that, but many jobsworth publishers like Activision love to use such brute force media saturation because they aren't smart, they're rich and know if you spend money everywhere one place you must spend it in the right place.

PS: that Hard Reset thing is a low blow, it's an off topic jab at a pioneering indie developer. Not surprised the hate wagon has rolled around.

I remind you what score the original painkiller got:

http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/painkiller

81%

Typical.

I don't expect these games to get high metascores. They aren't made for the type of people who give games like Modern Warfare 2 a 9.6/10 and declare it to have a "wonderful story". I bet 10% got lopped off just for not having an online multiplayer mode. So many games are great and should be great just for their single player but are slammed for not having a multiplayer mode tacked on, like Uncharted: DF, Black and Vanquish.

But what blows all confidence in the average critic's opinion being worth anything:

http://www.metacritic.com/movie/kung-pow-enter-the-fist

1.4/10

You have got to be fucking kidding me.

Treblaine:

geizr:
Okay, Jim, I understand your anger, and I agree with it 100%. However, there is a very simple answer to this problem that doesn't require bursting blood vessels from rage. JUST. DON'T. BUY IT. Don't pirate it either, but don't buy it.

This isn't personal, he is talking about what is good for the industy as a whole, hence the "hurts EVERYONE" part.

Jim expressed an extreme amount of rage during at least one moment in the video concerning this issue, and that is what I was responding to. So, I maintain my point, don't get mad, just stop buying it. Whether this is personal or not is immaterial.

geizr:

Treblaine:

geizr:
Okay, Jim, I understand your anger, and I agree with it 100%. However, there is a very simple answer to this problem that doesn't require bursting blood vessels from rage. JUST. DON'T. BUY IT. Don't pirate it either, but don't buy it.

This isn't personal, he is talking about what is good for the industy as a whole, hence the "hurts EVERYONE" part.

Jim expressed an extreme amount of rage during at least one moment in the video concerning this issue, and that is what I was responding to. So, I maintain my point, don't get mad, just stop buying it. Whether this is personal or not is immaterial.

You ever think the anger might be part of the act? That it serves a purpose of emphasis?

And if he is mad, how the hell is simply "not buying" the related products going to help his emotional state? Rather than simply foster indifference? How can you confront a problem by running away from it?!?! You can't tell anyone to just get out of the industry because you don't like the direction they are going, that gives them no stake in it and an irrelevance to it.

Jimmy is a pundit that many people listen to, how about rather than an ineffectual boycott he uses this opportunity to explain what a shitty situation it is. Which is what he is doing. Only you seem to be so married to the idea that all problems with business can be solved by simply walking away from the problem.

I just can't believe people have fallen for this bullshit. Online passes have nothing to do with recouping perceived (at best) lost revenue as a result of the secondary market. If they did they wouldn't be on sale on the xbox marketplace. This is just about greed, plain and simple.

Anyone that wants to stop used game sales can also explain the existence of public libraries.

I dunno.. as the 360 and PS3 platforms become more and more exploitable, I don't see how these codes are any different compared to serial codes for PC titles. PC titles have practically no trade in value as a result of this and while disappointing, the trade is still there thanks to places like Good Old Games.

I can understand the frustration, but as primarily a PC player, I don't see an issue nearly as striking as Jim tried to make it.

Complaining about entering a 20-digit code on the 360 is a bit laughable when it's not an issue inherent with the codes but an issue with the 360 not having proper support for input. Throw a USB keyboard in there and it's quick and painless. The PC has already moved on to automatically embed keys into registries and authenticating applications (SecuROM, TAGES, etc) with minimal input from the user thanks to frameworks like Steam or dare-I-say Origin.

In short, the console markets are growing up, they're seeing the result of hardware based security breaking down. While publishers are making a huge howl about used games, they're simply able to back their decisions up with regards to content security and piracy.

I'm sorry, but with the lack of security in general on the PC, and the threat of the same hitting consoles, this isn't just going to disappear. It's time for consoles to move up to the same status as PC gaming. The OS for the PS3, 360, and Wii are all hackable, and content can be stolen as a result. With Online Passes, there is still a chance to convert someone who cheated the system into a BIT of a paying customer.

Treblaine:

geizr:

Jim expressed an extreme amount of rage during at least one moment in the video concerning this issue, and that is what I was responding to. So, I maintain my point, don't get mad, just stop buying it. Whether this is personal or not is immaterial.

You ever think the anger might be part of the act? That it serves a purpose of emphasis?

And if he is mad, how the hell is simply "not buying" the related products going to help his emotional state? Rather than simply foster indifference? How can you confront a problem by running away from it?!?! You can't tell anyone to just get out of the industry because you don't like the direction they are going, that gives them no stake in it and an irrelevance to it.

Jimmy is a pundit that many people listen to, how about rather than an ineffectual boycott he uses this opportunity to explain what a shitty situation it is. Which is what he is doing. Only you seem to be so married to the idea that all problems with business can be solved by simply walking away from the problem.

It is not walking away; it is making a choice to not waste energy pursuing impotent actions. Yelling at a con artist for ripping you off does nothing if you continue to keep giving him your money. The only way to change the situation is to stop giving him your money. Sure, you can tell him why you are no longer giving him your money, listing your reasoning and rationale why you think he is ripping you off in as much detail as you prefer; however, in the end, the message is not made concrete unless you do not give him your money.

The problems of the industry have been long standing, and many before Jim have preached on the issues time and again. Yet, there has been little incentive for the publishers to change their ways because gamers continue to buy. In fact, some have made arguments that imply things have gotten worse with the advent of DRM and these schemes to shut-down the used games market. It all comes down to money.

The publishers have taken the actions they have because they perceive a need to either protect themselves from losing money or finding ways to gain more money from customers to mitigate financial losses, such as rising costs of game development and marketing. But, they have chosen methods that are hostile to customers and devaluing to the products, despite the many exhortations against such methods. They have chosen these methods cause they see no reason not to; gamers continue to buy.

Even more so, if these methods actually work to protect and improve profits, then the publishers feel completely justified in their choice and will continue to pursue such methods. Just getting angry and yelling at them won't change that. You have to make your displeasure concrete with the one action that most affects the publisher, not giving him your money.

In not giving the publisher your money, notice I also said not to pirate the games. Piracy only pollutes the issue and negates the validity of customer dissatisfaction by committing an action that is just as unjustifiably hurtful as the publishers actions. If publishers feel they are losing money to piracy as opposed to customer dissatisfaction, then they will only be encouraged to pursue even more tyrannical measures to protect themselves against financial loss, not try to find ways to appease and win back their customers.

Ultimately, the choice is yours. When you get older, you learn to choose your battles. There are battles worth fighting, and there are battles not worth fighting. You can spend your energies pursuing an arduous series of actions that only have a chance to solve the situation, or you can pursue a much simpler action that will definitely deal with the situation; just the same as one can waste energy yelling at the annoying person, lobbing copious insults in a fit of rage, or one can simply put him on /ignore and get on with one's life.

Dastardly:

I'm shocked you didn't include the biggest reason (in my estimation) that online passes are bad for new purchasers: If you put another barrier in the way, you'll have fewer people online to play with.

Your used customers may not be paying you money directly, but they are providing extra heads for online play. They pad your servers, or at least ensure that your paying customers aren't sitting there for 20 minutes waiting for enough people to get a game going. That ensures more repeat business from these happy customers.

If you're going to use some kind of pass system like this (and I mean if you absolutely must), I wouldn't choose multiplayer as the sort of content you would be gating. Instead, offer things more akin to those pre-order bonuses. Or better still, why not offer some of the early DLC at a discounted price (or free) to folks with the "new game" code?

They mentioned that in Extra Credits at one point: "in a multiplayer game, players ARE content."

Freyar:
I dunno.. as the 360 and PS3 platforms become more and more exploitable, I don't see how these codes are any different compared to serial codes for PC titles. PC titles have practically no trade in value as a result of this and while disappointing, the trade is still there thanks to places like Good Old Games.

I can understand the frustration, but as primarily a PC player, I don't see an issue nearly as striking as Jim tried to make it.

Complaining about entering a 20-digit code on the 360 is a bit laughable when it's not an issue inherent with the codes but an issue with the 360 not having proper support for input. Throw a USB keyboard in there and it's quick and painless. The PC has already moved on to automatically embed keys into registries and authenticating applications (SecuROM, TAGES, etc) with minimal input from the user thanks to frameworks like Steam or dare-I-say Origin.

In short, the console markets are growing up, they're seeing the result of hardware based security breaking down. While publishers are making a huge howl about used games, they're simply able to back their decisions up with regards to content security and piracy.

I'm sorry, but with the lack of security in general on the PC, and the threat of the same hitting consoles, this isn't just going to disappear. It's time for consoles to move up to the same status as PC gaming. The OS for the PS3, 360, and Wii are all hackable, and content can be stolen as a result. With Online Passes, there is still a chance to convert someone who cheated the system into a BIT of a paying customer.

Here's the thing, consoles have the streangths and weaknesses, but the direction this is moving the consoles are taking a load of the weaknesses of PC gamign yet few to none of the advantages. Consoles are gettign the worse of both worlds!

You shouldn't have to plug a keyboard into your 360, they defies the very purpose of what the 360 is supposed to be, a casual gaming system.

If you are going to get this complicated why not just move wholesale to PC.

Actually, what if they did?

PC console gaming is dead.

(PS: PCs have good security for one reason: mindset. PSN was compromised because Sony assumed none of the PS3 hardware that people owned would actually be cracked, on PC everyone assumes the clinet-side hardware is doing it's own thing. It knows who it can trust and how much security needs to be within the network)

JustaGigolo:
You know what hurts the game industry even more than online passes? Cheap people who wait a month after a game comes out just to get a used copy of a game, thus giving all their money to Gamestop, and not the creators or publishers of the game.

"Oh no, I can't play this shitty multiplayer without putting in a code. Oh woe is me."

Am I hurting it by waiting over a year for a new copy around the mid 30-20s?

Personally, I'm more worried about what'll happen when publishers stop selling online codes for older games. Depending on how far this online pass bullshit goes, we could end up with years' worth of games that are nigh-unplayable. And that just sounds fucking annoying.

JustaGigolo:
You know what hurts the game industry even more than online passes? Cheap people who wait a month after a game comes out just to get a used copy of a game, thus giving all their money to Gamestop, and not the creators or publishers of the game.

"Oh no, I can't play this shitty multiplayer without putting in a code. Oh woe is me."

Who actually buys used games from Gamestop after a month? All they do is lower it by five bycks.

And no, us cheap people aren't hurting the game industry by waiting a month, finding that the price is about half or at least significantly cheaper on amazon or somewhere else, and buying it. That's called being frugal and applies to every market. The game industry is not special or deserving of any special treatment from all the other industries. They need to stop whining and look to those other industries for tips on how to stay in business without pissing consumers off.

The downside of Jims style is that when he is right, his faux-arrogance is funny and amusing when not overdone. But when he is wrong, he comes across as an obnoxious price even when you know he is playing a character and just being entertaining.

Yes Jim, paying less for games is great. and I can't judge you for wanting to buy the cheaper copy of a game. But the world does not revolve around you, or any 1 gamer, and a system where used games cut publishers and develoeprs out of the business transaction is a system that will lead to games that cut corners, play it safe, and don't dare to market to anyone except the lowest common denominator. And though lowest common denominator is fine and fun, we need more then that.

First off, he says that used games that are cheaper encourage sales of the sequels. Okay, we don't need to encourage the industry to make sequels. If they are willing to make a sequel to Kane and Lynch, if anything we should be encouraging new IPs over old ones. More importantly, Publishers already do exactly what Jim's talking about, only they do it with a sustainable business model. Games get there prices drastically reduced after a period of time. Early adapters get there game on time, those who wait get to still play the game for a fraction of the price and consider getting the sequel. We know that this works by looking at Steams business model. And those copies sold at a discount goes to making the sequel better, building confidence in investors, and giving more resources to the developer to improve their games. If you have a fantastic game that is slow to catch on, they all those late adopters are going to be passing around the same few copies of the game. A sequel that could have been polished and playtested to perfection is going to be dead in the water because the coffers were empty and investers saw no real hope for a significant return. Goodbye innovation, hello greyish brown CoD clone.

You turn in used games you don't play to get new games you do like? Or do you get used games for your used games? Wait a day and you can probably find a used copy of a game. If you have difficulty finding a used copy, there's a good chance that your dealing with one of the most popular of games.

The alarmist message here is annoying: Online passes won't even harm retailers selling the secondhand games very much. Say a retailer is selling a game used for 30 bucks. Along comes an online pass. Retailer drops the price of the used game to 20 bucks. This means that the publishers and developers who made the game are getting 10 bucks, and are happy with that. The retailers who PUT A STICKER ON THE GAME AND WALKED IT TO A SHELF, as opposed to thousands of man hours codeing the thing, get twice that. How is this unfair for the retailer? And best of all, the buyer is spending the same amount on the game, or possibly LESS if they don't care about multiplayer. Everyone wins.

Wanting to be paid for your hard work is not money grubbing. And all the hypothetical high minded idealism in the world isn't going to change the facts of business. Businesses need to get paid for there shit. Circumvent that, however rationally or reasonably you do it, and that business is going to do a shitty job.

Wanting to get paid to make something great that people love is not tantamount to murder. I know tongue is placed firmly in cheek here Jim, but your character needs to get a grip and calm down.

But think of the issue from the distributors' point of view: all they're really trying to do is resurrect Anekh-sen-amun! And since rituals don't actually work, they'll probably have to fund a lot of medical research into cloning or cellular regeneration or whatever. You may claim that's bad business strategy and customers may be forgiven for wanting no part in it, but videogame distributors swore they'd bring her back even if they had to defy all the gods and defile the sacred necropolis of Thebes to do it! That's the sort of promise one doesn't back out of! Surely you can appreciate sacrifice in the name of true love (or at least true obsession)?

I never thought I'd say this but...

JIM IS A GODSEND! ALL HAIL ALMIGHTY AND WISE JIM, OUR LORD AND SAVIOR!

Sorry for the Caps drive there. But I'm glad someone finally had the balls to speak the truth! He just repeated everything I've been saying about Online Passes and used games for years now. But because he's Jim, everyone is suddenly agreeing with him. "Doink! I'm a cool kid like Jim so we think alike. Durr!" I'm not referring to anyone in specific, by the way, so hold your angry horses.

Anyway, I don't care how it happens. I'm just glad Jim was able to show the truth to everyone. I'm not even going to repeat what he just said; everything about it is true.

Jim, I will make sure to thank You for You.

Seeing the response to this, I decided that I should watch this.... one more time. I agreed with his points, up until he broke into a long pointless rant about how imhotep in the mummy was a villain. Thanks Jim, That's what I wanted to hear, A pointless rant that wastes MY TIME. I think your position just eroded.

I can see that Jim can make even good points look bad.

To be honest, there's a lot of possible arguments to be brought up on both sides here.

However, there is ONE reason why I am highly critical of publishers' campaign against used games:

NO OTHER INDUSTRY DOES THIS.

Let's take cars. Buying a used car is a pretty common thing to do, because cars are expensive and have a relatively long life cycle. Imagine the manufacturers went and had everyone buying a used car purchase some piece to make it work again for 5000$. Instead, nearly every big car manufacturer has their own used vehicle branch. They buy used vehicles of their own brand, refurbish them, then sell them as used.
It is pretty much the same in several other industries. Why do video games need to be a special case here?

Monsterfurby:

It is pretty much the same in several other industries. Why do video games need to be a special case here?

Because you are not connecting online to those companies which continue to cost them money with your used products.

Edit: With a lot of new cars you get Onstar as well for a year free

When you buy one used you gotta pay if you want to use that service.

ghost whistler:

FelixG:

Monsterfurby:

It is pretty much the same in several other industries. Why do video games need to be a special case here?

Because you are not connecting online to those companies which continue to cost them money with your used products.

Wrong.

One word? Quite the argument there.

You pay a monthly cost I am assuming for your internet usage. Companies do that too, but not only do they do that, but they need to keep track of those players that use their services and keep their player data on hand.

FelixG:

ghost whistler:

FelixG:

Because you are not connecting online to those companies which continue to cost them money with your used products.

Wrong.

One word? Quite the argument there.

You pay a monthly cost I am assuming for your internet usage. Companies do that too, but not only do they do that, but they need to keep track of those players that use their services and keep their player data on hand.

What does that have to do with an online pass?

It really does? Were they ever dependent on a singular store a decade and a half before?

SenseOfTumour:
Many of us would be happier buying $30 games with lesser graphics, and unknown but quality voice actors, and the like.

As in heavily used actors or Hollywood actors? Because that's often rare to begin with and as for all those familiar voices, that's more of a VO industry problem since they don't hire much new blood to begin with.

steelguy17:
This entire argument just seemed a little weak to me. I don't have a strong feeling towards having or not having online passes. I know its an opinion based show, but I'd like a little bit more support to one's opinion than what seems to be whining more about time, and help the financially poor gamer.

I am a poor gamer myself. I find steam deals a godsend, but I pick and choose my spots where I buy my games and not rely on returning the game for store credit so I can buy new games. If i know i'm gonna love a game, and play it enough to get value for my full purchase I'll do it, if its questionable, I'll either rent or just not purchase it simple as that.

I want figures not just conjecture from this argument. It did very little to sway me and I think Jim can do better than this.

I love you

Someone please explain to me how in just one generation, we have already come to expect online capabilities (a miracle in themselves) for free in every game. Games are expensive, and online play just increases that cost even more. The simple problem is one that almost every industry faces, "If people buy our product why will they buy more?" sounds stupid at first, but consider most viruses are direct cause of an anti-virus company, because they need people to need their product, otherwise there wouldn't be enough viruses to justify getting an anti-virus. Every time you sell a game, that is one game that the company doesn't sell, and in a business where they offer a costly service for free (online play) resale just screws over they're already low profit margins.

ghgh55:
Every time you sell a game, that is one game that the company doesn't sell, and in a business where they offer a costly service for free (online play) resale just screws over they're already low profit margins.

If their profit margins are low, perhaps they should try making better games instead of crying about used games. Used games have been around nearly the entire span of gaming history; they're only a 'problem' now because bad companies that makes shitty products need a scapegoat, or else they'd have to take responsibility for their own failures.

Pandabearparade:

ghgh55:
Every time you sell a game, that is one game that the company doesn't sell, and in a business where they offer a costly service for free (online play) resale just screws over they're already low profit margins.

If their profit margins are low, perhaps they should try making better games instead of crying about used games. Used games have been around nearly the entire span of gaming history; they're only a 'problem' now because bad companies that makes shitty products need a scapegoat, or else they'd have to take responsibility for their own failures.

[sarcasm] Yes, I'm sure the professionals in the business, many of which helped developed those old games would never have thought of that. Lets face it, 2d graphics are so much better than 3d graphics. [/sarcasm]

Profit margins are low because games are really freaking expensive to make. When you only needed one person to do your sound for the game, and a team of six guys could make the best graphics the consul could hold, games were rather cheap, but when you start adding in the cost for awesome 3d fully rendered graphics and games themselves have gotten much longer and so much more complex. Now I know the price of games has gone up to accommodate for this, but the higher the price of the games, the less willing people are to buy them new. So used games are becoming more and more popular. And to make things even worse players are coming to expect expensive features like online play.

Companies, are being forced into a corner where if they don't do something than they are screwed. So they are trying to take away a new and expensive feature from those who don't pay for it.

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