A real world analogy for current game publisher controls.

So after watching episodes of the Jimquisition and extra credits that touch on the subjects of publisher controls on videos games such as DRM, on-line passes and other such practises I've been looking for a real world analogy, mostly to find out if other industries could get away with what the game publishing industry does. Well, I've found it and I'd like to share it with you.

It's December 2013 and the Dirt-bike riding community is eagerly awaiting news from the 4 big dirt bike makers, Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki, about their 2014 model line up. Most of them are concerned about styling, power, suspension, EFI vs Carburettors and in general which will be deemed the best. Unbeknownst to them, this year the big four have spent their time putting in a range of manufacture controls;

>Honda's 2014 line up will have special seats that take an imprint of the riders ass that binds the rider to that bike. If someone else tries to ride it, the bike won't start. If you buy a second hand 2014 Honda, you have to take it to an authorised Honda dealership and have a new seat put on for $500. If you gain or lose wait, same deal.

>Yamaha announces that the only after market accessories that their bikes will accept are genuine Yamaha parts. How do they do this? Simple; each bike has chips which recognise chips placed in the parts. If those chips aren't present in the parts e.g you had the BALLS to bolt on an FMF pipe, the bike won't start.

>The Kawasaki big wigs have decide they're sick and tired of riders buying one bike and using it for trail and motocross riding. So, their 2014 bikes all have gps transmitters that let the company know where it is at all times. This sounds like a good anti theft measure but it's not their to protect the rider; it's there to control what they do with the bike. In the case of the motocross models, the bike will only start if the gps detects that it is in the bounds of an authorised motocross track. How does a track become authorised? A $5000 dollar a year fee to Kawasaki. What if your local club can't afford the fee? Sorry, no riding 2014 Kawasaki there. Same deal for trail bikes.

>As for Suzuki, well they've gone the same rout as Kawasaki with the gps units but not to the same degree. You can use them pretty much every where but the gps always has to be active. Unfortunately for customers, faults in the software will cause the units to be unrecognised by Susuki HQ, resulting in 10s of 1000s of 2014 Suzukis being sold in a non functioning state until the problems can be resolved.

So there it is, my real world analogy for current business practises within the gaming wolrd. Now my questions are as follows;

1) If this became reality, would these manufactures get away with it to the same degree EA, ubisoft and Actavision do?

2) If you were (or are) a dirt bike rider, how would you react to this news?

3) Do you think that this is a fair analogy. Personally I think it is but you may disagree. Feel free to tell me why I'm wrong.

Thanks for your time. Double thanks to people who read the whole thing.

Yeah...either I'm too dumb to get it or you're going to have to explain each bike to the respective Publisher analogy. Or maybe I do get it but don't think the same things apply so below is what I think you're going for and why I think it falls apart...

Honda
Analogy: I presume you are talking about install limits
Counter: You don't have to pay anything to reset that stuff; you give the publisher a call and they'll reset it

Yamaha: I presume you are talking about...exclusives maybe?
Counter: I don't think I understand this point so I'm not going to try to counter it since I don't get it...

Kawasaki: ...still not sure the analogy here.
Counter: See Yamaha

Suzuki: Online or no game
Counter: Online only is dumb and I'm shocked people are OK with it

I (somewhat at least) get what you're trying to say but it falls apart a bit when you talk about such expensive pieces of equipment versus my $60 game. Also, it's used with the piracy thing so I'll use it here: there is a difference between the digital medium that is video games and the physical medium that is dirt-bike-racing. Also, I am not a PC gamer so maybe some of these are going over my head because I don't really have to deal with DRM on my filthy peasants console.

Personally, if I think that the DRM or whatever is dumb and/or a unacceptable level of inconvenience, I don't buy the product but maybe that's just me...

I think the dirt bike analogy is good but another one will be if Ford or Honda in order to prevent car theft installed invasive GPS systems in their cars as well as installing a device that locks the car up and prevents the thief from taking it.

Where does this effect the consumer you ask?It's simple because the device can't tell who is a thief or not most people can't use their cars unless they contact Ford or Honda.That's exactly how DRM works everybody is treated like a potential thief and therefore people can't play games that have agressive DRM in them.

So a little clarification;

Honda is on-line passes. I don't agree with this at all. A physical copy of a game is no longer the property of the publisher after it has been sold as new. You are not entitled to profits from when it gets sold as used.

Susuki is the problems always on-line DRM causes. As we have seen with Diablo 3 and sim city.

Yamaha and Kawasaki I admit don't represent any current practises but they do represent unfair controls being exerted on the end user by publishers.

Also the specific choice of Dirt bikes is not important I just happen to like them. They point is to show just how ridiculous current publisher behaviours are by showing what would happen should they be applied to other industries, mostly for the benefit of those among us who let this behaviour slide.

Bikes and cars hold absolutely no interest to me; my eyes glaze over reading about that shit.

I can say that the big name publishers are the cancer eating at the heart of the game industry. They are the sole cause of the stagnation and decay of the overall quality of games this generation, and the sooner they fall, the better off the gaming world will be.

The obvious difference being theft vs copying, they don't have the same effect on the end user.

I will never advocate piracy unless there's literally NO other option. But it a distinctly different beast to object theft.

The comparisons are solid, obviously price makes a big difference here and you can usually call up the publisher to get more installs if you need them (changed hardware etc).

All said, I do think current DRM (a la Diablo 3) is too far, but with some sort of clause of ownership rather than service in the ToS I would be OK with (say) steam, which for me at least has a competent offline mode with all the benefits of a digital service (price, distribution midnight releases).

Raptorace18:
So a little clarification;

Honda is on-line passes. I don't agree with this at all. A physical copy of a game is no longer the property of the publisher after it has been sold as new. You are not entitled to profits from when it gets sold as used.

Susuki is the problems always on-line DRM causes. As we have seen with Diablo 3 and sim city.

Yamaha and Kawasaki I admit don't represent any current practises but they do represent unfair controls being exerted on the end user by publishers.

Also the specific choice of Dirt bikes is not important I just happen to like them. They point is to show just how ridiculous current publisher behaviours are by showing what would happen should they be applied to other industries, mostly for the benefit of those among us who let this behaviour slide.

I'd just like to add a little food for thought. People seem to keep making this analogy, that in any other business, when you sell something you previously bought, the manufacturer is no longer in the picture. However:

Take the car/bike example. You buy a brand-new bike/car use it for a while, then sell it again. WHen you sell it, it has lost value (mechanical parts wear-and-tear, mileage, accessories wear-and-tear etc.). Even if you kept the car/bike in perfect condition, there will have been use of materials, yes?

Well, for a game, that's not the case. A game does not have "wear-and-tear" on its software just because it gets played a lot (although sometimes it might feel that way). In essence, when you resell a game, you sell the exact same product, but at a lower price (because of the concept of pre-ownership, even though technically, you get EXACTLY the same experience). A lot of people know this. Hence why a lot of people are saying "screw this, I'll wait till I can get it pre-owned, much cheaper." They can say this, because the thought that a pre-owned article has some disadvantages to a brand-new one does not apply.

So the analogy is faulty. Because resales are effectively competing with new sales in the gaming industry in a way that they don't in other industries. A person who wants a new car will never wait till he can get it pre-owned, because that does not meet his expectations. However, a person who wants a game may well decide to wait for pre-owned and still get exactly the same experience.

Now, I'm not saying publishers are going the right way in dealing with this. But it is not as simple as people make it out to be and the analogy to cars/bikes is, IMHO simply not correct.

Sorry for the long post. -.-

A game does not have "wear-and-tear"

It loses value over time which is almost the same as wear and tear.

NKRevan:

Raptorace18:
So a little clarification;

Honda is on-line passes. I don't agree with this at all. A physical copy of a game is no longer the property of the publisher after it has been sold as new. You are not entitled to profits from when it gets sold as used.

Susuki is the problems always on-line DRM causes. As we have seen with Diablo 3 and sim city.

Yamaha and Kawasaki I admit don't represent any current practises but they do represent unfair controls being exerted on the end user by publishers.

Also the specific choice of Dirt bikes is not important I just happen to like them. They point is to show just how ridiculous current publisher behaviours are by showing what would happen should they be applied to other industries, mostly for the benefit of those among us who let this behaviour slide.

I'd just like to add a little food for thought. People seem to keep making this analogy, that in any other business, when you sell something you previously bought, the manufacturer is no longer in the picture. However:

Take the car/bike example. You buy a brand-new bike/car use it for a while, then sell it again. WHen you sell it, it has lost value (mechanical parts wear-and-tear, mileage, accessories wear-and-tear etc.). Even if you kept the car/bike in perfect condition, there will have been use of materials, yes?

Well, for a game, that's not the case. A game does not have "wear-and-tear" on its software just because it gets played a lot (although sometimes it might feel that way). In essence, when you resell a game, you sell the exact same product, but at a lower price (because of the concept of pre-ownership, even though technically, you get EXACTLY the same experience). A lot of people know this. Hence why a lot of people are saying "screw this, I'll wait till I can get it pre-owned, much cheaper." They can say this, because the thought that a pre-owned article has some disadvantages to a brand-new one does not apply.

So the analogy is faulty. Because resales are effectively competing with new sales in the gaming industry in a way that they don't in other industries. A person who wants a new car will never wait till he can get it pre-owned, because that does not meet his expectations. However, a person who wants a game may well decide to wait for pre-owned and still get exactly the same experience.

Now, I'm not saying publishers are going the right way in dealing with this. But it is not as simple as people make it out to be and the analogy to cars/bikes is, IMHO simply not correct.

Sorry for the long post. -.-

You go from talking about the game as a product to talking about the game as an experience. Well, experience is subjective. For the product side of things. A new game doesn't have stickers on the box nor does it a missing or damaged inserts. Now, a person can be picky about these things just as much as a person can be picky about a brand new car.

Right now my experience with Heart of the Swarm may differ from others who have the exact same game and we all bought it new.

NKRevan:

Raptorace18:
So a little clarification;

Honda is on-line passes. I don't agree with this at all. A physical copy of a game is no longer the property of the publisher after it has been sold as new. You are not entitled to profits from when it gets sold as used.

Susuki is the problems always on-line DRM causes. As we have seen with Diablo 3 and sim city.

Yamaha and Kawasaki I admit don't represent any current practises but they do represent unfair controls being exerted on the end user by publishers.

Also the specific choice of Dirt bikes is not important I just happen to like them. They point is to show just how ridiculous current publisher behaviours are by showing what would happen should they be applied to other industries, mostly for the benefit of those among us who let this behaviour slide.

I'd just like to add a little food for thought. People seem to keep making this analogy, that in any other business, when you sell something you previously bought, the manufacturer is no longer in the picture. However:

Take the car/bike example. You buy a brand-new bike/car use it for a while, then sell it again. WHen you sell it, it has lost value (mechanical parts wear-and-tear, mileage, accessories wear-and-tear etc.). Even if you kept the car/bike in perfect condition, there will have been use of materials, yes?

Well, for a game, that's not the case. A game does not have "wear-and-tear" on its software just because it gets played a lot (although sometimes it might feel that way). In essence, when you resell a game, you sell the exact same product, but at a lower price (because of the concept of pre-ownership, even though technically, you get EXACTLY the same experience). A lot of people know this. Hence why a lot of people are saying "screw this, I'll wait till I can get it pre-owned, much cheaper." They can say this, because the thought that a pre-owned article has some disadvantages to a brand-new one does not apply.

So the analogy is faulty. Because resales are effectively competing with new sales in the gaming industry in a way that they don't in other industries. A person who wants a new car will never wait till he can get it pre-owned, because that does not meet his expectations. However, a person who wants a game may well decide to wait for pre-owned and still get exactly the same experience.

Now, I'm not saying publishers are going the right way in dealing with this. But it is not as simple as people make it out to be and the analogy to cars/bikes is, IMHO simply not correct.

Sorry for the long post. -.-

Resale of games "doesn't have wear and tear" is only true if you only care about the content on the disc and not about anything else. I avoid used because few people actually bother to take care of cases & booklets. Not that manuals are worth a damn anymore. Wear and tear was much easier spotted on games when GOOD manuals existed and 1/4-1/2 of the game wasn't bogged down with tutorials so Mr. Lowestcommondenominator doesn't have to read a manual, yet still has to read it all anyways on the screen. At any rate, I like having everything the game came with. I won't buy a game if it doesn't have the original case in good condition. If I decide to buy it without the manual, which is rare, I will try to find a copy of the manual online or otherwise and will buy it to "complete" it.

Anyone who thinks games raise in value as a collector's item should understand that condition is everything when collecting. A 1957 Chevy is not worth near as much if it isn't all original. As for new cars, value is heavily decreased the minute it has 1 owner or "driven off the lot". As well, if games are a service and not a product then they need to start replacing discs, refunding money until issues with games like SimCity are resolved, and stop using the phrase "Own your copy today!" in advertisements.

Savagezion:

NKRevan:

Raptorace18:
So a little clarification;

Honda is on-line passes. I don't agree with this at all. A physical copy of a game is no longer the property of the publisher after it has been sold as new. You are not entitled to profits from when it gets sold as used.

Susuki is the problems always on-line DRM causes. As we have seen with Diablo 3 and sim city.

Yamaha and Kawasaki I admit don't represent any current practises but they do represent unfair controls being exerted on the end user by publishers.

Also the specific choice of Dirt bikes is not important I just happen to like them. They point is to show just how ridiculous current publisher behaviours are by showing what would happen should they be applied to other industries, mostly for the benefit of those among us who let this behaviour slide.

I'd just like to add a little food for thought. People seem to keep making this analogy, that in any other business, when you sell something you previously bought, the manufacturer is no longer in the picture. However:

Take the car/bike example. You buy a brand-new bike/car use it for a while, then sell it again. WHen you sell it, it has lost value (mechanical parts wear-and-tear, mileage, accessories wear-and-tear etc.). Even if you kept the car/bike in perfect condition, there will have been use of materials, yes?

Well, for a game, that's not the case. A game does not have "wear-and-tear" on its software just because it gets played a lot (although sometimes it might feel that way). In essence, when you resell a game, you sell the exact same product, but at a lower price (because of the concept of pre-ownership, even though technically, you get EXACTLY the same experience). A lot of people know this. Hence why a lot of people are saying "screw this, I'll wait till I can get it pre-owned, much cheaper." They can say this, because the thought that a pre-owned article has some disadvantages to a brand-new one does not apply.

So the analogy is faulty. Because resales are effectively competing with new sales in the gaming industry in a way that they don't in other industries. A person who wants a new car will never wait till he can get it pre-owned, because that does not meet his expectations. However, a person who wants a game may well decide to wait for pre-owned and still get exactly the same experience.

Now, I'm not saying publishers are going the right way in dealing with this. But it is not as simple as people make it out to be and the analogy to cars/bikes is, IMHO simply not correct.

Sorry for the long post. -.-

Resale of games "doesn't have wear and tear" is only true if you only care about the content on the disc and not about anything else. I avoid used because few people actually bother to take care of cases & booklets. Not that manuals are worth a damn anymore. Wear and tear was much easier spotted on games when GOOD manuals existed and 1/4-1/2 of the game wasn't bogged down with tutorials so Mr. Lowestcommondenominator doesn't have to read a manual, yet still has to read it all anyways on the screen. At any rate, I like having everything the game came with. I won't buy a game if it doesn't have the original case in good condition. If I decide to buy it without the manual, which is rare, I will try to find a copy of the manual online or otherwise and will buy it to "complete" it.

Anyone who thinks games raise in value as a collector's item should understand that condition is everything when collecting. A 1957 Chevy is not worth near as much if it isn't all original. As for new cars, value is heavily decreased the minute it has 1 owner or "driven off the lot". As well, if games are a service and not a product then they need to start replacing discs, refunding money until issues with games like SimCity are resolved, and stop using the phrase "Own your copy today!" in advertisements.

Fair is fair. If games were still sold with what they used to put in the boxes (I fondly remember the X-Wing book that accompanied the game) there would be wear and tear. Same goes for collector's editions, though I do think that's a different market.

And like I said, I don't necessarily agree with the practices of publishers in these regards. But I still think you cannot compare resale of a car to resale of a game.

Just my opinion on it though.

 

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