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Op Ed

GIGAOM - Valve’s Portal 2 Early Release Promotion- Innovative or Crass. Thanks nin.
Those efforts, though, highlight why the Portal 2 promotion has limited appeal. The fans are open to getting content in different ways if they see value in it. That’s a key part of Kickstarter’s proposition: that projects need to offer supporters some kind of reward for their pledge. With the Portal 2 promotion, it takes up to $40 to do your part to get the title released early — (you can also buy games individually) which is a fair amount to spend on games — so you can have the privilege of spending more money on the game you really want. And there’s no tipping point like in Kickstarter to ensure an investment will pay off in the desired action. People just have to buy up and hope that others join in too. It may be a nice gesture to support indie game developers, but for people who are really just interested in Portal 2, it can be a little too much selling. Finally, the pay off is pretty minimal. It would be nice to get a game early, but with the April 19 release date fast approaching and the threshold for release a ways off, it’s not that much of a benefit to get the game a few days early. A week or more, and that might be cool.

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34. Re: Op Ed Apr 18, 2011, 18:23 Sepharo
 
nin wrote on Apr 18, 2011, 10:39:

Love to hear your take on all of this, Blue.


Unlike you, Blue was up all night helping out by playing Amnesia
 
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33. Re: Op Ed Apr 18, 2011, 14:09 Parallax Abstraction
 
Yeah, I think the only games they would try this on would be the huge blockbuster releases that have huge devoted player bases. Paying for a non-delayed release is exactly the kind of thing Bobby Kotick might try and I wouldn't be surprised to see him try it with CoD at some point. Which would be fine cause I bet it would result in much lower sales and that series needs to be kicked down a few pegs so it might actually try to innovate at some point.  
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32. Re: Op Ed Apr 18, 2011, 14:06 Creston
 
Parallax,

Good argument, I see what you're saying. It's true that something like this could have a major backlash if they tried to implement it for release day. Otoh, the large horde of mouthbreathers that stand in line at midnight for the next exactly the same Call of Duty game gives evidence that there's plenty of people who likely WOULD pay 5 bucks just to get a game "earlier" (read: on time) as opposed to the normal release date (read: artificially delayed.)

Then again, that'd be for the kind of games I have no interest in and would never buy full price on release day anyways, so it's not really that big a worry.

Again, this entire promotion just seems stupid to me, but eh, it's not like it's made any kind of difference to my expectations (or enjoyment, for that matter) for Portal 2.

Creston
 
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31. Re: Op Ed Apr 18, 2011, 13:53 Verno
 
Elessar wrote on Apr 18, 2011, 13:39:
descender wrote on Apr 18, 2011, 13:19:
$40 for $150 worth of games is a pretty good deal no matter how you slice it.
What if you don't want any of the games and were more interested in the main purpose of the promotion, Portal 2 being released early? I don't care personally, just trying to understand the logic here.

I'd say that's pretty foolish to spend $40 to get a $40 game released sooner, especially since it was never explicitly spelled out what "early" meant. On the other hand I do agree that peoples expectations may have been bumped up by doing this right before the weekend. Either way its been an interesting experiment if nothing else. Some of us have been doing the ARG the whole time and honestly up til now it's been one of the better ARGs I've seen. Most of the johnny come lately types just read a news blurb on Friday and are crying because they didn't get Portal 2 on Saturday (imo anyways).
 
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30. Re: Op Ed Apr 18, 2011, 13:39 Elessar
 
descender wrote on Apr 18, 2011, 13:19:
$40 for $150 worth of games is a pretty good deal no matter how you slice it.
What if you don't want any of the games and were more interested in the main purpose of the promotion, Portal 2 being released early? I don't care personally, just trying to understand the logic here.
 
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29. Re: Op Ed Apr 18, 2011, 13:19 descender
 
$40 for $150 worth of games is a pretty good deal no matter how you slice it.

It's like they ignore that there is more to those games than the 15 minutes of portal content they added for this promotion...

Hell, the defense grid content has me sucked back into finishing that game and probably buying the DLC packs for it. What a dumb promotion, so ineffective.
 
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28. Re: Op Ed Apr 18, 2011, 13:12 Ray Marden
 
Retail purchasers, 360 players, and PS3 users won't benefit.

In contrast, I am tired of PC players getting releases months (year?) after the console version. From a purely selfish perspective, this works in my favor. From a general perspective, my argument is against staggered releases rather than selective releases.

The obvious counter is how this is a digital release which cannot be held to the standards or complications of a retail release. Of course, I then question why the completed game isn't out now or why I am getting the retail version for a significantly cheaper price...

With some modifications, this could have been an amazing advertising drive. As it stands, it still benefited Valve and the indie developers, but I don't think it did a lot for the gamers. In general, I think there were so many obvious, minor corrections that could have been made that I question the competence (or perhaps just the intent?) of the current system.
Selfish me would consider things in completely different ways.
Shrugging,
Ray
 
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27. Re: Op Ed Apr 18, 2011, 13:07 DG
 
Um, you're still getting the indie games for your $40. It's not like some $40 extra fee for early access.

If you don't want the indie games, don't buy them. Either don't participate or play ones you already have.

I do think the promotion is a bit of a lame duck. 13 games is too many and $40 a bit much when it's just for a token bit of fun. Can't say I could be bothered participating in that, even to play the games I have already.

Mind you, rather this than the awful bonus weapons/maps/etc for pre-ordering or the store exclusives. It's not resulting in content becoming unavailable.
 
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26. Re: Op Ed Apr 18, 2011, 13:07 Verno
 
Tumbler wrote on Apr 18, 2011, 12:44:

No one is getting the game early. It's that simple.

Yes they are. Maybe they aren't getting it early enough for your taste but that's a different matter entirely.

People who paid got taken for a ride, people who didn't got to keep their $40 and everyone gets the game one the release date.

No one got taken for a ride. People might be disappointed by the promotion and that's their perogative but calling it a scam is just absurd.
 
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25. Re: Op Ed Apr 18, 2011, 13:06 Ray Marden
 
I realize this is unrealistic to the corporate world, but I would have loved if the Portal-themed portion of the indie games were released for free (at least a very, very minor charge.)

I would love to play around with the Portal world, it would get me more hyped for Portal 2, and I would get a taste of what the indie games were like.

Otherwise, I was already purchasing Portal 2, a weekend release of Portal 2 never materialized, and I did not have any incentive to try out the indie games I have previously not shown interest in.
I have more games than I can play - entice me somehow to buy more.
Just waiting for my Tuesday delivery at this point,
Ray
 
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24. Re: Op Ed Apr 18, 2011, 13:04 Parallax Abstraction
 
Creston wrote on Apr 18, 2011, 12:59:
Parallax,

I have no rage over this promotion, I wasn't actually even aware of it until this morning. It just seems stupid.

And yes, the promotion as it is NOW is nothing but beneficial to everyone. This is still the game industry we're talking about. It won't take them long to turn it around so it's only beneficial to you if you actually take part and PAY.

DLC when it first came out was strictly "additions to a game."

It didn't take long before it turned into a "content we're withholding, even though it's already included, until you pay extra" scheme.

All in all, it seemed like a lot of hoopla over something that tons of people apparently took part in, only for a ridiculously minor change in release date.

Creston

I do get your concerns and I agree that the game industry isn't above pulling a stunt like that. But for any AAA title to succeed in the way the market works like now, it needs massive hype and needs people there on day one. Over something like 90% of a game's sales happen in the first month. If publishers start promotions where it forces potential customers to either buy into pre-release content or wait weeks to play (especially with titles where a strong multiplayer community is key), it's a recipe for disaster. I wouldn't be surprised to see one of the big publishers try that idea and I guarantee you it will be the only time they do because that title will be pirated six ways from Sunday and will be a financial disaster.

I think this is a fundamentally different situation than how DLC has evolved into making people pay for a complete experience but really, even that hasn't played out the way people predicted years back. This is an industry where profitability is becoming based on luck alone in most cases and there's no doubt that increasingly desperate companies will try increasingly desperate things. But I think something like this just wouldn't work for them. Most people already think $60 for a console game is too expensive and with such a selection out there, very few will pay substantially more just to get the game on release day.
 
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23. Re: Op Ed Apr 18, 2011, 12:59 Creston
 
Parallax,

I have no rage over this promotion, I wasn't actually even aware of it until this morning. It just seems stupid.

And yes, the promotion as it is NOW is nothing but beneficial to everyone. This is still the game industry we're talking about. It won't take them long to turn it around so it's only beneficial to you if you actually take part and PAY.

DLC when it first came out was strictly "additions to a game." It didn't take long before it turned into a "content we're withholding, even though it's already included, until you pay extra" scheme.

All in all, it seemed like a lot of hoopla over something that tons of people apparently took part in, only for a ridiculously minor change in release date.

Creston
 
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22. Re: Op Ed Apr 18, 2011, 12:58 Tumbler
 
All I remember is them offering pre-order deals that allowed you to save 75% off the cost of a bundle of indie games.

You don't remember anything else about the offer? LOL...ok then. Seems to be something quite a few people are commenting on...
 
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21. Re: Op Ed Apr 18, 2011, 12:55 descender
 
I don't understand what your deal is. I was furthering your point not arguing with you.

Calm down your nerd rage. This is the internet, and it's not all about you.
 
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20. Re: Op Ed Apr 18, 2011, 12:52 Elessar
 
descender wrote on Apr 18, 2011, 12:47:
Why would they be lying about releasing it early? You are just dumb.
descender wrote on Apr 18, 2011, 12:51:
You are just totally lost, aren't you...
Oh the irony.
 
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19. Re: Op Ed Apr 18, 2011, 12:51 descender
 
You are just totally lost, aren't you...

Is there some other deal you may be referring to where Valve forced you to pay an extra $40 for something? I don't remember them holding a gun to your head.

All I remember is them offering pre-order deals that allowed you to save 75% off the cost of a bundle of indie games.

Those heartless bastards, saving your money. What were they thinking!
 
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18. Re: Op Ed Apr 18, 2011, 12:49 xXBatmanXx
 
Parallax Abstraction wrote on Apr 18, 2011, 12:38:
Tumbler wrote on Apr 18, 2011, 12:36:
Maybe you need to adjust your expectation of free $40 rewards.

FTFY, probably a spell check issue, somehow your phone thought you meant free when you typed $40? That the new Steam Phone I'm hearing about?

It only cost you $40 if you wanted it to. If you didn't pay it, you still get Portal 2 early and if no one paid it, you'd get the game when originally promised. Valve forcefully took nothing from you.

For 40.00 you got a bunch of games for half price. Quit bitching.
 
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17. Re: Op Ed Apr 18, 2011, 12:47 descender
 
Why would they be lying about releasing it early? You are just dumb.  
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16. Re: Op Ed Apr 18, 2011, 12:44 Tumbler
 
If you didn't pay it, you still get Portal 2 early and if no one paid it, you'd get the game when originally promised.

No one is getting the game early. It's that simple. People who paid got taken for a ride, people who didn't got to keep their $40 and everyone gets the game one the release date.

The game isn't being release early.

Make me a liar Valve.
 
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15. Re: Op Ed Apr 18, 2011, 12:38 Parallax Abstraction
 
Tumbler wrote on Apr 18, 2011, 12:36:
Maybe you need to adjust your expectation of free $40 rewards.

FTFY, probably a spell check issue, somehow your phone thought you meant free when you typed $40? That the new Steam Phone I'm hearing about?

It only cost you $40 if you wanted it to. If you didn't pay it, you still get Portal 2 early and if no one paid it, you'd get the game when originally promised. Valve forcefully took nothing from you.
 
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