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55 comments

  • GOD - June 14, 2013 11:08 a.m.

    So basically you're saying that every game that has online should have a subscription service that charges you relative to the amount of time you play online? That's sounds like a terrible idea. The whole point of online passes was to subsidize the cost of server maintenance and recoup some of the costs lost from used game sales. In 99% percent of cases online passes only locked you out of multiplayer functionality, and the pass only cost you $10 if you wanted to access that content. Once again people use publishers as the scapecoat. Believe it or not publishers are not the devil, and if you like big AAA games, publishers are very necessary and the more money they make the more studios they give money too, and the less money they make the more studios get closed down. It's really sad that whenever someone is asked to support a developer their immediate reaction is to complain about how they don't want that greedy publisher getting any more money, when that publisher was essential to that game being released and having the budget that it did. For a simple analogy: "Why should I buy my music on a new CD from the store when the greedy record label is just going to get all the money? I can get it from my friend completely legally without feeding Big Music's greed."..... and look what happened to CDs? Now they barely exist, and the majority of music is sold in a digital format which removes your ability to resell it. That's what will happen to games eventually too, and the industry as a whole will probably push for it much faster than most consumers will want it, for this exact situation of people trying to circumvent publishers to buy their games with less expense to themselves. The more you try to "push back" against developers, the more rapidly we'll get to things similar to what MS proposed for all games. Even disc copies of games will turn into one time installs because hard drives will be so big. Nintendo will probably be the last ones to implement any of this but a few years after MS and Sony are on the same page with it Ninty will also follow suit.
  • GOD - June 14, 2013 12:13 p.m.

    I'm fine with digital rights not being the same as physical rights. I reason being that due to the extremely minimal distribution costs of digital it allows prices to be much lower, and the lack of used sales certainly helps the content provider know they can be financially stable with offering lower prices. If indie games that were self published could be sold on the market like used games.... indie developers would make noticeably less than they do now, even though all the revenue goes to them and not some publisher. What's everyone's excuse when that happens? People love that publishers exist because they can always use the publisher as their scapegoat whenever they don't want to pay full price for something or buy it new. "Online passes only exist for publishers to milk consumers dry" and other similar sentiments are wrongly thrown around. A publisher has to be profitable. If not, then they won't publish games. It's that simple. Kickstarters are not feasible for huge AAA titles. In addition to that, not all of these titles are successful even after tons of money was spent on them by a publisher, and so it's simple business sense that when you have a success you'd like to get the best return within reason to help account for other ventures that ended up losing money. Publishers are far too often playing it safe with what kinds of games they publish and how much freedom they give the developers that they are financially backing, but that's because it's the PUBLISHER'S MONEY that was put into the production of that game and if the publisher doesn't make that money back with interest more often than they take a loss, that publisher will tank. That's why we see multiplayer added into traditionally single player games, that's why online passes exist to try and account for lost new game sales, and that's why pre-order bonues exist to try and encourage people as much as possible to buy a game new. Publishers need to make money. I don't know where you unfounded demonization of them came from but they're trying to make money so they can exist to publish more games. Publisher is not a single rich individual. It's a company much like any other that has funds games and then needs returns much like a bank loans money and requires interest. 98% of people that work at that publisher are not in any way rich. They are just working towards a living like the rest of us. If you think the heads of publishers are too rich, then your issue is with every company that has filthy rich executives. You should be complaining about Wendy's as much game publishers.
  • GOD - June 14, 2013 12:46 p.m.

    Digital sales of physical products usually match price because they are trying to stay in good relations with their distributors. Hypothetically, if a company sold a game to Best Buy for $40 and told them to sell it at $60, but then digitally sold the game for $50, Best Buy would complain that they are having their business undercut by the company selling them the games and then simultaneously offering it directly from the game company themselves for considerably cheaper. Best Buy either refuses to buy any more units of that game or starts selling it at $50 as well and demands that they are sold to Best Buy for less so they can maintain the same profit margins as previously. On the other hand, things like digital only games on Steam can continue to be sold at extremely low prices and still be feasible because they are digital products only, and don't have to worry about keeping in good relations with retailers. As for the online passes, I don't know what you mean. I have addressed them several times. The reason for them is not some silly made up excuse. Servers cost money, and making games cost money. Used games cut into profits, and so to try and recover some of that lost revenue the online pass was created to try and further subsidize the cost of that games production and it's server operation. Gamestop makes over a billion a year in PROFITS on used game sales, so why is it in any way unreasonable for the publishers to try and recover some of the money for their products that never went to them. You don't have to buy an online pass, and them creating an online pass is just as legal as used games sales. Both exist to try and maintain ones financial stability as much as possible. http://www.1up.com/news/gamestop-report-reveals-profit-margins
  • GOD - June 14, 2013 8:01 p.m.

    I didn't contradict myself. I was presenting the two paths that digital distribution take. When a comparable physical copy exists, distributors lead to the digital price being equivalent. When it's digital only, then the prices are lowered because the retailers don't hold them back. I never called Gamestop greedy. What I am saying though, makes complete logical sense. Essentially while both are things with lots of money that are trying to make more, publishers lead to the publishing and production of more games the more money they make, while the more money Gamestop makes off of used games the more money that is removed from the gaming industry. For your third paragraph: If no one wanted drugs, drug dealers would go out of business. Demand and consumer desire though, are completely irrespective of what happens to the money or where it goes. And please stop calling my analogies tangents. And I've said multiple times, that online passes ARE NOT ONLY FOR ONLINE. That's just a way for companies to subsidize the cost of the game and recover lost revenue from used game sales. As for your earlier scenario of why don't you get a refund if the previous person didn't use the online capabilities: If a game requires an online pass, it comes with one. If the person already redeemed that online pass, then obviously it's already been used so a new one does need to purchased for the next consumer. If you don't use the online pass in your copy, don't expect a refund either because it is part of the package you bought and you are using part of that package. It's your right though, just like many have said, to do whatever you want with that pass. I don't advocate used sales, but I don't deny that it's 100% legal.
  • GOD - June 14, 2013 8:32 p.m.

    The thing that you quoted and then followed up with FINALLY!!! is something I've said multiple times. I get the feeling you forget half of what I say. "The whole point of online passes was to subsidize the cost of server maintenance AND recoup some of the costs lost from used game sales." "online passes exist to try and account for lost new game sales" " Used games cut into profits, and so to try and recover some of that lost revenue the online pass was created to try and further subsidize the cost of that games production and it's server operation." But then when I say "That's just a way for companies to subsidize the cost of the game and recover lost revenue from used game sales." You somehow finally listen? You're not entitled to a rebate for an unused online pass. It's a part of the product that you purchased. Either return the whole game, or keep the whole thing. There's literally hundreds of comparisons I could use. Buying a collector's edition for the statue but not wanting the soundtrack and asking for a rebate for the unused soundtrack code. Buying a pair of shoes and taking out the shoelaces, replacing them with your own, and then asking for a rebate for the unused shoelaces. Buying any product that comes included with a lifetime warranty and asking for a rebate on the warranty because you don't plan to use it. Does that not make it clear how wrong it is to ask for an online pass rebate? Do you go into a restaurant and ask for a burger with no condiments and tell them you want to pay less because you're not having everything on it? Do you tell them you don't plan on using any refills so you want a cheaper drink? Or that you want twenty cents off your bill because you aren't going to use any of the taco sauce or napkins provided?
  • FoxdenRacing - June 14, 2013 8:46 a.m.

    All of the "MS can still be a force" suggestions all rely on three things: Completely rewriting their policy, slashing the price, and customers forgetting. Sony's shellacking was taken care of by cleaning out a few desks and dropping the price...allowing it to resurge once the company's foot wasn't perpetually in its leader's mouth and the price was within acceptable ranges...their policy itself was pretty good. Both had the problem of a "we are gaming, shut up and like it you dirty peasants" mindsets...on top of that, MS's also has the problem of policy, something Sony didn't have. So far, they're not giving any indication that the first is going to happen; every time criticism comes their way, they're digging their heels in further and further...watching them double down on their madness every time they're called mad is, honestly, pretty sad. The second...it'll happen with time, but it's always a delicate balance between 'acceptable' loss on loss-leaders and competitive pricing; I wouldn't be surprised to find out they're taking a three-figure hit on every system sold, if not upwards of $200. They can't bring the price down without bringing costs down, otherwise they'll just be digging themselves deeper. The third...people are fickle. More than a few conviction-free net-rage types will give in eventually. They'll still sell millions upon millions of consoles. The fanboys, the sycophants, and the "It doesn't affect me, so why should I care?" crowd will make sure of that. But they've got a long, hard battle to win anyone else back. Absent a massive shift in direction, or a catastrophic event for the competition, I really don't see One selling more than 50m before the 9th-gen systems are revealed. I love my 360, despite its faults...but I'm not buying one. Net rage is hilariously overblown most of the time...but we do have an example to look at. Sony's stunts in the run-up to PS3 cost them half their customers compared to PS2...it's no stretch of the imagination that MS's stunts...which in my eyes are far bigger blunders...will cost them a third of theirs. This is going to be the ugliest console generation in history; even the bad blood between Nintendo / Sony that spawned Playstation pales in comparison.
  • BladedFalcon - June 14, 2013 12:24 p.m.

    I dunno about you... But I kinda love seeing the companies slapping each other to the face :D
  • FoxdenRacing - June 14, 2013 1:57 p.m.

    Competition is good for the customer, so I'm all for it.
  • BladedFalcon - June 14, 2013 3:02 p.m.

    My thoughts exactly ^^ I mean... it was Sony's utter dominance of the 5th and 6th generations that led them to become despotic... And it was exactly thanks to competition that they got a healthy dose of humility because everyone switched to the other consoles... And now it's Microsoft's turn to be served with that very same humble pie. And well, I mean... Fuck it, I just love it when companies shamelessly troll or insult the other, specially in such wonderful ways as Sony's concise game sharing video XD
  • FoxdenRacing - June 14, 2013 3:14 p.m.

    And it was Nintendo's in the 3rd and 4th that caused them to be haughty [and get slaughtered by Sony in the 5th]. That video was a stroke of genius. Whoever had that idea really deserves a bonus. What blows my mind, though....by the traditional metric, MS is struggling to not be 3rd. If Sony would release some newer numbers than November '12, we'd know for sure. What are they using to justify this newfound hubris?
  • BladedFalcon - June 14, 2013 3:34 p.m.

    See, that also baffled me as well, since yeah, it's not like they were dominating the same way the other two had done before they became despotic. But then, maybe it's true that Microsoft never intended the Xbox brand to be a gaming console so much as a multimedia device to control the living room, and that started as a gaming console to ease people into it? Of course, i think if that's the case, they are going about it in a horrible way, but otherwise, i can't really understand why they are shitting the bed so badly this soon XD And yeah... See, that's the kind of videos Sony needs to do and use for their benefit and marketing, since I've always felt that Marketing and Publicity are one of their most glaring weak points. Remember the days of the creepy baby dolls crying and staring at a PS3? XD
  • FoxdenRacing - June 14, 2013 4:18 p.m.

    I think the skunkworks team that came up with the idea initially were all about gaming, and the X1...and even the early days of the X360...reflected that. Corporate wants the living room, they have since the first digital cable boxes started working their way into homes, but I can't fathom how anyone thought this approach was a good idea. [I've seen interviews where they also wanted to beat the fabled STeamBox at its own game, but wouldn't survive angering their retail, disc-selling partners] I hated the PSP 'Nut' commercials a lot more than I did the baby dolls. And are we seriously bouncing back and forth between two articles leaving one another giant posts?
  • BladedFalcon - June 14, 2013 4:41 p.m.

    Yyyyyup!!! Ain't it fun? :D I don't think anyone really minds though, and if they do *shrugs* Dun care, or they can join in the fun if they want :P I admit I actually never watched PSP commercials, though i do remember the scandal about a certain "all I want for Christmas is a psp" commercial that Sony misguidedly tried to ass it as a homemade viral video XD At any rate, it's obvious to me that between back then and now, they have a very different marketing team... and if they keep releasing stuff like the "Michael" or "Greatness awaits" adverts, I'm totally cool with that. And yeah... speaking about steambox, and consequently steam... You know what's another huge flaw in the Xbone's overall strategy? people keep defending it and saying that what they want is eventually a digital only market and that then it will all be in the XBLA store the same as it is in steam... Except I can't see Microsoft ever doing the kinds of deals steam puts out regularly. Mainly because people forget that steam became what it is because it had a TON of competition in the digital PC realm. Whereas any store that MS has on the Xbone would be competition free. So yeah... you're right, I have really no idea how MS ever thought this would be a good idea. And i'll be extremely depressed if they end up being successful with it as it stands.
  • BladedFalcon - June 14, 2013 9:46 p.m.

    ...To be fair, if you play a PS3, currently, there's a 60% chance that before playing the game will ask you to install it. And that's assuming you don't get to update it first as well, or download a patch specific for the game you just bought.... Yeeeeah, seem that's one of the promises i DO hope PS4 makes it good for, that whatever installs or downloads they make, they can be background ones that won't prevent you from playing right away.

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