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Op Ed

GameFront - SOPA Isn’t the Solution, But Can We At Least Agree There’s A Problem?
Game publishers are caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to battling piracy. If they do nothing, they are essentially ceding a good portion of their sales to pirates who have no intention of ever paying them a dime. If they institute a simple DRM scheme to try and protect their games, some gamers will get annoyed and others will get to work breaking the protection within days or even hours, making it worthless. If they institute a strong DRM scheme, such as Ubisoft’s recent efforts to require a persistent Internet connection to constantly confirm the validity of a played game, it ends up negatively impacting a good many legitimate customers and also cause the esteemed, self-appointed “Internet Representatives of Gaming” to go into a collective hissy fit so large that it ends up costing more sales than it saves.

Raph Koster - Improving F2P. Thanks Ant via Boing Boing.
The thing to understand about the free-to-play market, and its best developers, is that F2P developers treat everything as science. Everything is subject to analysis, and everything is subject to proof, and the business process is about seeking what works. If what works happens to also be an original, innovative, interesting design that meets a checklist set of criteria for being art, well, all the better. But really, it’s about what works.

We have to be honest with ourselves. There is an awful lot of stuff that we have cherished for a long time in the games business which turns out not to work. Sometimes it takes us years to shed the scales from our eyes about the fact that hoary conventions of yore are just that — conventions, mutable and open to change.

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55. Re: Op Ed Jan 12, 2012, 13:31 Creston
theyarecomingforyou wrote on Jan 11, 2012, 18:24:

I'm not sure why my posts warranted such hostility. I'm not even sure we're actually disagreeing on anything.

I'm not being hostile, buddy. Didn't want you to think that either, so apologies if you felt that way.

I don't really agree with your "Single use at a single time" point, though. You're legally allowed to burn a copy of a DVD you own for backup purposes, and once you've allowed that, how are you going to stop a family from watching that movie on two TVs in the same home at the same time?

So why can't a family buy a game, then have everyone in the family play it at the same time? Other than publisher greed?

I fully accept that that's not the reality and that publishers need to respond to the marketplace realities.

Exactly. All this wishy-washy "Well, if there were no piracy, you can't argue that we wouldn't sell more copies!" is just bullshit. It's the same as saying that if all people could fly, nobody would ever buy a flight simulator. (and the industry would then try to add a "tax" on flying, to make up for the deprived income and lost jobs of flight simulator devs... Sigh ) It's probably true, but it's still a stupid statement to make. (by the industry, not by you.)


This comment was edited on Jan 12, 2012, 13:37.
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