Do you guys intentionally look for what news stories will cause the most controversy?
Yes. They get revenue based off how many page views they get.
OP: Try it tough guy.I play Magic, table-top games, and I read a lot. Let us see who breaks first.
My theory is that very few console sales would be lost to 'boycotters'. Gamers seem to utterly fail when it comes to voting with their wallets. We cry about valid issues like lack of backwards compatibility but then just give in and buy the console anyways. Ultimately, the software or the eventual price drops brings us back.
I don't. I stick to my "boycotts". I haven't given any money to EA since 2007, Sony since 2009, or Blizzard since 2010.
It's true that many gamers have been gleefully letting themselves get assraped by overpriced junk for years; so I can't fault the assumption that such idiocy could prevail when it has before. (I still remember the petulant Left4Dead boycott...it was so fucking stupid.)
But even an idiot will balk when their games are consistently unplayable for the first week of launch, and for non-MMOs, the first two weeks (arguably just the first) is what makes or breaks a game's sales.
If Microsoft (or anyone) is pushing an always-online console, they had better get that service quality to sterling on day 1 for every release, or you can bet your ass an army of angry gamers (some more stupid than others) are going to bomb metacritic, tell their friends, and those extra fixed costs on the servers are going to add up real fucking fast.
Not that I'm confident anyone could pull it off in the primary markets.
If an online giant like Blizzard couldn't get their shit squared away week 1 with Diablo 3, how the hell are we to expect an entire console library to do better?
Not every game follows the MMO model, and trying to force them into such a model is foolish to an extreme.
One thing I am almost certain of with an always-online business: pre-orders are going to become PIVOTAL for their bait-and-switch scam-power like what happened with Aliens: Colonial Marines, or for getting idiots to buy into overhyped turds like SimCity and Diablo 3 months in advance.
Finally, I am getting sick of the argument that compares video streaming services like Netflix directly to games.
Quite frankly, it's misleading and/or ignorant.
Video streaming is INFINITELY simpler than any modern video game. At worst, videos can buffer to account for network lag because their content isn't function-based, it's just a static file being read in chunks. Most games (non-turn based) lack such workarounds because they're processed in real-time.
Introducing a constant internet requirement not only increases the cost to the publisher (hosting services costs money) but it also introduces a needless major potential point of failure to the user.
So, what can be done? Grace periods?
Well, if a game can work with something like a 1 minute offline grace period, then it's obviously a game that doesn't need to be always online in the first place.
Ever since AC2 I haven't bought a single Ubisoft PC item once. Nor every. Single. Title with DRM. Since.
And I really, really wanted the new SimCity until I found out about the DRM death-coil it had been strung up to, like a noose on a tree outside Salem.