Curt Schilling Defends Kingdoms of Amalur Online Pass

 Pages 1 2 3 NEXT
 

Curt Schilling Defends Kingdoms of Amalur Online Pass

image

38 Studios founder Curt Schilling defends the online pass-protected day-one DLC in Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning as a reward for fans who commit their money to his company.

To most people, Curt Schilling was a pretty good thrower of baseballs who won a big trophy or something a long time ago, but these days he's all about the videogames. His company, 38 Studios, is on the verge of releasing Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, a big action-RPG for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC, but the "news" that the game will employ an online pass system has an awful lot of gamers up in arms. So Schilling dropped in on a raging debate on the Kingdoms of Amalur forums to say hi, see how everyone was doing and ask them to all please calm the hell down.

"DAY 1 DLC, to be extremely and VIVIDLY clear, is FREE, 100% totally FREE, to anyone that buys a new copy of Reckoning, ANYONE. If you don't buy new games you buy them used, and in that case you will have to pay for the Day 1 free DLC content the new copy buyers got for free," Schilling explained in a lengthy and well-written post.

He did acknowledge that the online pass is a two-way street - gamers who buy new are rewarded with free stuff, while the developers and publishers get the money they need to stay afloat and keep making games - but insisted, quite reasonably, that there's nothing inherently wrong with that system. "Every single person on the planet could wait and not buy Reckoning, the game would hit the bargain bin at some point and you could get it cheaper," he continued. "38 Studios would likely go away. That's just how business works."

His comment about snagging the game out of the bargain bin is a little fuzzy; after all, if I picked it up eight months after launch at a reduced price but still new, I'd expect all the online pass-related content to still be included. It's possible that he could be referring to the recent reports of expiring online passes, but I'm more inclined to think that he simply misspoke while differentiating between new and used.

In any case, Schilling said game companies are still trying to figure out how to best handle the vast and valuable used videogame market and that while online passes may not be perfect, the intent with Kingdoms of Amalur is to reward, not punish. "It's clear the intent right? To promote early adopters and MUCH MORE IMPORTANT TO ME, REWARD fans and gamers who commit to us with their time and money when it benefits the company," he said. "You can argue with methods, or process, and you absolutely can bitch and gripe about ANY DAY 1 DLC you are charged for, because I think I agree with many on that, but we are trying to create something here, product and company wise, and it takes dollars to do that."

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning comes out on February 7 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.

Permalink

Inb4 self entitlement.

I like this guy's attitude, he's not claiming that used games are destroying the industry or that pirates are the spawn of satan. He's just making it perfectly clear that people who buy the game brand new will be rewarded as a token of good will.

Makes sense to me.

Penny Arcade explained it best:

I've been reading a lot his weekend about Fat Cats and how fat they are and how they want your money, but the only choice you get in this matter (aside from the wholly valid "not buying it" choice, of course) is which supposed Fat Cat to enrich. You can enrich the people who made the game you are enjoying, or you can enrich people who had nothing to do with the game. Policies like this are designed to incentivize new purchases: that is to say, sales. We call those sales.

I've been hearing a lot about this game actually, and it might be a priority purchase for me, even before Skyrim if the combat turns out to be really good. Combat in the Elder Scrolls games always felt rather iffy to me.

*Sigh*

Every time a game gets into the whole "Durr! Used games are bad! New games are good!" argument, it just pisses me off so much. But whatever, I'll ignore that for now...

What intrigues/bothers me is that Kingdoms of Amalur, a new franchise that came out of the blue and claims to be godsend, is being as bold as to do something like this. Very few people will buy the game the day it comes out. It doesn't matter who wrote the game or who was part of the production team or whatever. The game is unknown. We cannot say its good or bad; not even the demo can tell us that.

Look, like I said, Online passes make me wanna punch babies. But when games like Assassin's Creed: Revelations or Uncharted 3 do that, it's expected the company will make a huge profit out of it because a lot of people will buy the game the day it was released. Why? Because the franchise is well-known. They already have followers who are DYING to play the game. But KoA? Ehh...not so much.

I mean, I know there are probably a couple of people who are happily expecting KoA, but you cannot possibly tell me it's the same amount of people as those who were waiting for titles such as Madden or Mass Effect. I just think KoA is being a bit too ballsy right now and it might or might not pay off. If the game is truly life-changing, then congrats. great move and I admire your bravery. If not, well, I would hate to say I told you so...

Curt Schilling founded a video game studio? When the fuck did that happen? I was wondering why a former pitcher was defending a random game company's business move. Also, caps lock is cruise control for cool. Those are my thoughts upon reading the article.
But to get on topic, I have a hard time believing that this day 1 DLC isn't just content locked on the disc.

Hes got it completely wrong. Just because you make it doesn't mean that it will win. You have to give people a reason to buy it. Thats how every other industry works. Pawning us off with a simplistic offering just because of time based purchasing. Is short sighted and stupid.

Want your product to be perfect? Want your product to be popular? Take all those DLC ideas and put them in the game. Then it will be worth what your asking.

You know he made a pretty good pitch.
I'm okay with this, really just providing a decent incentive to buy new.

DVS BSTrD:
You know he made a pretty good pitch.
I'm okay with this, really just providing a decent incentive to buy new.

You should think about what you've done.

You're better than this.

The initial attempts at day one DLC were pretty horrid, but I think the industry has learned from this. While KoA does not look like it will be my cup of tea I don't have any problem with an incentive like this.

At least, that's assuming these explanations are honest and the game won't feel like it's missing something important with this DLC removed. Developers and publishers aren't always trustworthy, but again they've seen just how unpopular those original attempts were and I suspect it's good buisness sense to avoid them.

If you have to pay for it - whether it's $10 on the DLC market to buy it or an extra $10 from buying it new instead of used - I am not being 'rewarded' for anything. I am paying more for an additional piece of content. This is not 'rewarding' gamers who are giving you money. This is charging gamers for an extra piece of gameplay.

It's not the online pass that pisses me off in this case, as much as it is the bullshit of the game's PR people.

Schilling likes this game? Dammit, now I feel like hating it on principle. And I liked the demo. God damn Curt Schilling...

Edit: The Yankees fan in Dusty got the better of him, and he commented before reading the article. The situation has be remedied, and not I do in fact that Schilling's studio made the game. BUT I will still be getting the game. I'll just have to listen to a particular song 27 times before and after each time I play the game and meditate on my daily readings from the Book of Yogi-isms to offset the hypocrisy of liking something Schilling was a part of.

Well, the demo was fun. I'm definitely interested in playing it (provided they fixed that audio dropping out problem and the way the dialog races past at times). You want to reward people why buy new, I'm alright with that. It's a system we need to work on, to be sure, but it does support the developers a little bit more, so I'm okay with it for now. A 12 digit code needs to be entered? That's a minor inconvenience. It stops being a minor inconvenience as soon as the code is entered. It's no big deal.

It's still so weird to me that Curt Schilling is making a AAA videogame. He was such a great pitcher, and now the jock-nerd gap has been completely obliterated.

Alright, new buyers get the first DLC for free. Fine, that's fine.

But publishers, of so many god damn people are buying/selling used games, maybe you need to just stop, and figure out why they're doing that. You could, oh I don't know, just fucking ask them. Like, on your site. Put up a big poll, ask "why do you buy used?", and maybe figure out the reasons people buy used, and work towards improving yourselves so they start buying new.

DustyDrB:
Schilling likes this game? Dammit, now I feel like hating it on principle. And I liked the demo. God damn Curt Schilling...

Well, he'd better like it. He's head of the studio that made it!

My thoughts on the subject are mixed. At the very least this is a hoop for me as a legitimate purchuser of the game to jump through.

With no offense to 38 studios, it doesn't matter how well they dress it up, it's an indefensible position from any perspective. The used game market has been here since before it even became an issue in the eyes of game producers, and is arguably one of the things that contributed to gaming becoming as big as it is, so that's really an unsympathetic position. These kinds of passes are simply an annoying obstacle to the legitimate purchusers of the game.

What's more, as a PC gamer I'm increasingly wondering how many sites I'm going to have to sign myself up for, for games like this. I pre-ordered this game actually from Amazon. I am already dreading having to deal with their code for promised content, and now this one seperatly since it sounds like a hassle, but how many services will I need? Am I going to get my disc, install the game to find it runs through STEAM but then also have to register it on the 38 studios site, and then redeem one code through STEAM and the other through 38 Studios site or whatever?

No offense, but I've been in positions like that with games recently, and this seems less like rewarding the legitimate purchusers as annoying them and holding content hostage until they perform tricks like a trained monkey for you.

What's more I'll be blunt, I believe in the right to anonimity, I don't think a game company has the right to know that I bought or use their product, anymore than say Wonder Bread has a right to know every time I buy a loaf or whatever, and I don't care how they justify it. These passes tend to work as a method of checking in with "Big Brother" except in this case the "Big Brother" that's watching you isn't a goverment that at least in the beginning had some persumption of acting in your interests, it's a company that wants to drain you of cash for it's own benefit and generally makes no pretensions otherwise. I mean in 1984 at least the goverment started with good intentions, it just didn't turn out that way, here we don't even really have that

Tell you what, 38 Studios agrees to send a bunch of it's people by to clean my entire house and do my yard work (it's a crazy, herculean task I assure you), and I'll concede the benefits of purchusing one of your products are worthy of having to redeem a code. Short of that though... what exactly are they doing for me? Giving me some content that probably should be part of the product anyway? ... they are all heart.

Antari:
Hes got it completely wrong. Just because you make it doesn't mean that it will win. You have to give people a reason to buy it. Thats how every other industry works. Pawning us off with a simplistic offering just because of time based purchasing. Is short sighted and stupid.

Want your product to be perfect? Want your product to be popular? Take all those DLC ideas and put them in the game. Then it will be worth what your asking.

You just described the same thing he described but you're saying his idea is crap?

They've given an incentive to buy it new, instead of used so they get money. It's almost like they need money to make more games or something. I dunno. I'm no master of economics.

shadowform:
If you have to pay for it - whether it's $10 on the DLC market to buy it or an extra $10 from buying it new instead of used - I am not being 'rewarded' for anything. I am paying more for an additional piece of content. This is not 'rewarding' gamers who are giving you money. This is charging gamers for an extra piece of gameplay.

It's not the online pass that pisses me off in this case, as much as it is the bullshit of the game's PR people.

If you're having to pay the $10, it means you bought used. Thusly they are not seeing a penny from you. Why should they reward you for them getting no money from you?

It's like if you went and bought a burger for McDonalds, then a random Burger King employee ran up and gave you some fries.

Sure we'd like that, but the world doesn't work that way.

Frostbite3789:

Antari:
Hes got it completely wrong. Just because you make it doesn't mean that it will win. You have to give people a reason to buy it. Thats how every other industry works. Pawning us off with a simplistic offering just because of time based purchasing. Is short sighted and stupid.

Want your product to be perfect? Want your product to be popular? Take all those DLC ideas and put them in the game. Then it will be worth what your asking.

You just described the same thing he described but you're saying his idea is crap?

They've given an incentive to buy it new, instead of used so they get money. It's almost like they need money to make more games or something. I dunno. I'm no master of economics.

I should have made it clearer. Eliminate the DLC portion of the business model and make the game the way its supposed to be made. Then you won't have to worry about used sales because you'll have a popular game. On the other hand if they strip down the game and seperate it into nice neat little DLC's they've got a good chance of people loosing interest in the game simply because its more difficult to get the "full" experience. If he wants people buying on day 1, then make a killer day 1 game. Not a mediocre game with a bunch of DLC that THEN could possibly make it good.

Yes its a bit riskier model, but as the ferengi would say, accurately. The greater the risk the greater the profit. If they aren't willing to take the risk, than they shouldn't expect to break any records, or stay out of the bargin bin.

Frostbite3789:

shadowform:
If you have to pay for it - whether it's $10 on the DLC market to buy it or an extra $10 from buying it new instead of used - I am not being 'rewarded' for anything. I am paying more for an additional piece of content. This is not 'rewarding' gamers who are giving you money. This is charging gamers for an extra piece of gameplay.

It's not the online pass that pisses me off in this case, as much as it is the bullshit of the game's PR people.

If you're having to pay the $10, it means you bought used. Thusly they are not seeing a penny from you. Why should they reward you for them getting no money from you?

It's like if you went and bought a burger for McDonalds, then a random Burger King employee ran up and gave you some fries.

Sure we'd like that, but the world doesn't work that way.

Well actually, you are paying $10 either way. The used buyer will save $10 (minimum) off the new price. The used buyer actually gets the better deal since he gets to choose to make a $50 purchase or pay the extra $10. The customer buying new will pay for the content, even if they don't want to redeem it.

Indeed, having to put in codes does not sound like a reward to me. Most games I get on Steam don't even require that anymore. It's just spin to make the online pass sound better.

Irridium:
Alright, new buyers get the first DLC for free. Fine, that's fine.

But publishers, of so many god damn people are buying/selling used games, maybe you need to just stop, and figure out why they're doing that. You could, oh I don't know, just fucking ask them. Like, on your site. Put up a big poll, ask "why do you buy used?", and maybe figure out the reasons people buy used, and work towards improving yourselves so they start buying new.

DustyDrB:
Schilling likes this game? Dammit, now I feel like hating it on principle. And I liked the demo. God damn Curt Schilling...

Well, he'd better like it. He's head of the studio that made it!

God, I'm becoming "that guy" who doesn't read before he comments. For shame.

Now I'm even more conflicted. My Yankees fan blood is making me all grossed out for liking the demo and being interested in the game (yes, I know it's ridiculously irrational. Such is the joy of being a fan). Schilling always came across as a pompous douche to me, though. Even my Red Sox fan roommate hates him.

How do you know a person knows they are doing something wrong? As soon as you get near the subject they are justifying themselves.

That said, I'm confused about this...

The game does not have MP. They are just trying to hit used sales by offering up the DLC for free when it's bought new. Other than that, there is is little incentive to buy the game new. I am all for buying a good game as soon as it comes out. But there seems like there is this big fear that people are going to get it and that same week be trading it in. They have honestly done a lot of things right up to now. They put out a demo and offered players of the demo incentive to buy the game with items. The game is supposed to pack about 200+ hours of content, I just don't understand this sudden stab at used game sales. Makes me think they are not that confident in the game.

Ah, the self-entitled video gamer. It never gets old. Never mind this pass is FREE, so the only thing you lose is the precious minute or two lost entering in the code. And never mind that even with the cost for a code after buying a used game will still mean a cheaper purchase than a new $60 game. It's completely unreasonable of these guys.

irishda:
Ah, the self-entitled video gamer. It never gets old. Never mind this pass is FREE, so the only thing you lose is the precious minute or two lost entering in the code. And never mind that even with the cost for a code after buying a used game will still mean a cheaper purchase than a new $60 game. It's completely unreasonable of these guys.

You can throw name calling around all you like but when it comes right down to it. I earned my money. And until I feel the product is worth my money, they can keep dreaming up whatever scenarios they like as to why sales are going down. But its a VERY simple equation to me and anyone familiar with most of the other businesses on the planet outside the game industry. You want to talk about self-entitlement? What about game companies convinced that their baby absolutely must be the best thing thats ever been made and it should outsell everything else that has ever been. It goes both ways.

DustyDrB:

Irridium:
Alright, new buyers get the first DLC for free. Fine, that's fine.

But publishers, of so many god damn people are buying/selling used games, maybe you need to just stop, and figure out why they're doing that. You could, oh I don't know, just fucking ask them. Like, on your site. Put up a big poll, ask "why do you buy used?", and maybe figure out the reasons people buy used, and work towards improving yourselves so they start buying new.

DustyDrB:
Schilling likes this game? Dammit, now I feel like hating it on principle. And I liked the demo. God damn Curt Schilling...

Well, he'd better like it. He's head of the studio that made it!

God, I'm becoming "that guy" who doesn't read before he comments. For shame.

Now I'm even more conflicted. My Yankees fan blood is making me all grossed out for liking the demo and being interested in the game (yes, I know it's ridiculously irrational. Such is the joy of being a fan). Schilling always came across as a pompous douche to me, though. Even my Red Sox fan roommate hates him.

Having grown up in Boston, I'm required by law to insert an obligatory "Yankees suck!" comment...but the funny thing is that despite the bloody sock incident and even one of my friends working for 38 Studios, I didn't like the demo. It wasn't bad, but it felt strictly average to me. The whole online pass thing is not really winning points with me, and no amount of excuse-making on their part will convince me it's justified.

Couldn't one argue, that the game when sold new should be sold for the price of the game minus the DLC? If that is how much the game is actually worth.

Free dlc for buying new has never been a problem, which from what I gathered is what they are doing here. What pissed me off was exclusive DLC, regardless of where it comes from. Stuff you can't get even if you are willing to pay for it post-purchase, usually a pre-order reward since different places offer different things. Or the kind of shit Bioware does.

..Fuckin bioware..

Funny, I tried the demo and wasn't terribly interested in it,
- the un-adjustable camera was zoomed in too close - which left me feeling ill
- and health only regen'd via pots or paying a town healer, making alchemy rather a must to skill into.

but all this publicity makes me want to buy and play it XD
(damnable media, you always get me in the end QQ)

not to mention it's one of the few $60US games which actually only charges non-Americans $60US (on steam anyway - where skyrim's still $90us & batman's $100us)

As far as the actual topic goes, I'm totally indifferent to all scenarios.

llubtoille:
Funny, I tried the demo and wasn't terribly interested in it,
- the un-adjustable camera was zoomed in too close - which left me feeling ill
- and health only regen'd via pots or paying a town healer, making alchemy rather a must to skill into.

The camera issues are supposedly going to be fixed in the finished product; the demo we saw was a three-month old build.

And health actually does regenerate over time, just very slowly. And I'm pretty sure that you can buy health potions from some shops. so this problem, like so many others, can be solved by throwing enough money at it.

This is the way day 1 DLC should be handled, period. ID software did the same thing when it released Rage. For the people who bought it new, sewer quests that added another hour or 2 to the game. For the people buying used, no sewer levels. The DLC does not affect the outcome of the game. It adds an extra hour or 2 to gameplay, that's all. If you buy the game used, you wouldn't notice you're missing anything. Yes, it is the studio's first offering, not an established franchise yet, and they chose a less obtrusive way to ensure their product is sold as intended. No in-your-face DRM telling you the game isn't actually yours like some companies are oh so happy to produce. Just an added bonus. Where's the problem?

DustyDrB:
Schilling likes this game? Dammit, now I feel like hating it on principle. And I liked the demo. God damn Curt Schilling...

Well, he not only likes the game, it's his company who's releasing the game.

OT: As a PC gamer, I really don't care about day 1 DLC, but trying to see this from the perspective of a console gamer, this will certainly piss off less people than other certain companies, this guy is all about rewarding the fans (or so he says), instead of sucking out your money for "server space".

DustyDrB:
Schilling likes this game? Dammit, now I feel like hating it on principle. And I liked the demo. God damn Curt Schilling...

You do realize Curt Schilling made the game right? Or his company did at least. Of course he's going to like it.

OT: I have no issue with day 1 DLC. Like the man said, it's an incentive to buy new; nothing more or less. There's no reason to get up in arms about it, ever. As long as the game does not outright prevent you from playing it without the code (eg, multiplayer lockout), there's absolutely no reason to be upset about it.

As per usual, I don't see the problem.

Then again, I'm PC-exclusive, so the "MUST BUY USED" mindset is completely foreign to me.

-'but the "news" that the game will employ an online pass system has an awful lot of gamers up in arms.'-

Hell, changing the color of a characters hair has gamers up in arms... they still buy the games.

Why does anyone care enough to defend a logical/legit business practice?

*reads responses posted by the internets*

Sigh...

Someone actually posted: -'Online passes make me wanna punch babies.'-

sad lol

Part of me wants to get involved in the same dead horse debate, but I am tired and honestly I have a different focus here.

So, am I like the only one who has been watching the progress of this game and studio for like the last 2-3 years now? As for Shillings involvement in all this. Shilling is a long time MMO player, who started off in EQ and got heavily invested in WoW. (I think the later is a major reason why the game looks almost Wowcloney in its graphical esthetic) Anyway he might be a baseball player, but hes been a long time gamer, and into RPGs heavily so really there should be no surprise. Also the fact that this game had art direction taken from Todd McFarlane, and writing direction from R A Salvatore I am really surprised this game "came out of the blue" for anyone into RPGs

Crono1973:

Well actually, you are paying $10 either way. The used buyer will save $10 (minimum) off the new price. The used buyer actually gets the better deal since he gets to choose to make a $50 purchase or pay the extra $10. The customer buying new will pay for the content, even if they don't want to redeem it.

Indeed, having to put in codes does not sound like a reward to me. Most games I get on Steam don't even require that anymore. It's just spin to make the online pass sound better.

Where do you get your used games? Most of the used Gamestop games I see nowadays are only $5 cheaper than the new game...unless the game has been out for ages and was a real bust. They were charging almost full price for used Arkham Asylum just a few months ago and that game is not new. That is why I don't buy used very often anymore. It just isn't a deal anymore.

If my options are:
a) Spend $60 for a new version of KoA, and it comes with free DLC, and I'm supporting the developer, or
b) Spend $55 for a used version of KoA, which may have a missing booklet or scratched, it doesn't come with free DLC, and I'm supporting crazy greedy Gamestop.

I go with A. I'll still buy a used game here or there...but it is usually some game that wasn't well received and I can get for $12.

lacktheknack:

Then again, I'm PC-exclusive, so the "MUST BUY USED" mindset is completely foreign to me.

PC-exclusive...yeah, I don't hear developers complaining about the used PC-game market...on the other hand I do hear the developers complaining about rampant piracy in the PC-game market. So I don't think the PC market is free of problematics.

 Pages 1 2 3 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here