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Author Topic: "Retailers are 'Parasites and Thieves'"  (Read 11991 times)

WarpRattler

  • Paid by the word
« on: August 18, 2010, 08:08:22 AM »
Link

While GameStop definitely takes sales away from new games by pushing used copies, saying the publishers should get a cut of used sales is just stupid and greedy. There's no other industry where things work that way - how exactly are games any different?

Turtlekid1

  • Tortuga
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2010, 09:11:21 AM »
If they're used, then by definition, the publishers have already gotten their cut.
"It'll say life is sacred and so is death
but death is life and so we move on"

Glorb

  • Banned
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2010, 11:12:42 AM »
USED GAEMS ARE EVAAALLLLLLL
every

« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2010, 12:08:41 PM »
I only buy used if there are no new copies of the game in question. Paying $39.99 for a pre-owned copy of Dragon Quest V which didn't even include the manual was the last straw.
YYur  waYur n beYur you Yur plusYur instYur an Yur Yur whaYur

« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2010, 12:14:21 PM »
As a person who may potentially be working as a game developer, I fully support that. Plus Gamestop is stupid, the less money they get the better.

Chupperson Weird

  • Not interested.
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2010, 12:34:34 PM »
If anything, the people game retailers steal from are the ones who are selling back the games, not the publishers. Retail shops exist for the singular purpose of making money. And they do that by buying back stuff from people for 7% of what they sell it for.
Also I don't think games should as a rule cost as much as they do.
That was a joke.

WarpRattler

  • Paid by the word
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2010, 12:35:48 PM »
As a person who may potentially be working as a game developer
All the more reason to be against it. I would support his idea if it meant the developers would be getting more money, not the publishers.

And GameStop provides a valuable service. I have no problem with, for example, paying them five dollars for a PS2 game that came out back in 2004, since the game company definitely isn't making money on it at this point, and I get the guarantee of being able to return it if it doesn't work or if I don't like it. I don't trade stuff in, though, mainly because I don't get rid of games nowadays.

« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2010, 01:01:35 PM »
Oh, oops. I thought we were talking about developers. Yeah, publishers suck.

« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2010, 02:33:13 PM »
What do publishers do, anyway?
YYur  waYur n beYur you Yur plusYur instYur an Yur Yur whaYur

Glorb

  • Banned
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2010, 02:37:44 PM »
PUBLISHARS ARE EEEEEEVVVVAAAAALLLLLLLLLL

every

« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2010, 05:49:09 PM »
Publishers, at least one part of it, provide quality control and funding to developers. Things that are important. Also, as far as things go, the game industry is much less evil than music/movie
"We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special." Stephen Hawking

Chupperson Weird

  • Not interested.
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2010, 07:12:05 PM »
Publishers are still jerks though, even Nintendo, who won't publish in America what they do in Japan (Fragile and Xenoblade come to mind) although some are getting super awesome now (XSeed).
That was a joke.

« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2010, 07:43:40 PM »
This is how I understand it:

Developers are the ones who actually make the game, but they don't want (or don't know how) to do all the paperwork and other types of business that don't really deal with creating the game, so they pay a separate company to take care of all that. I guess publishers are like the middlemen.

Often publishers will fight with developers because publishers try to influence the game because they're trying to market it to a wide range of people, and developers just want to make the game they have in mind.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2010, 07:45:14 PM by bobman37 »

WarpRattler

  • Paid by the word
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2010, 03:08:07 AM »
And then you have developers who just sell their games online (only works for PC unless it's a dev willing to deal with the red tape involved with the console-based download services that aren't XBLIG, and even then they usually don't self-publish), as well as publishers who just don't give a crap about who they're marketing to, like Atlus USA and Aksys. They are the cool ones.


« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2010, 02:43:18 PM »
Uh, what?

« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2010, 03:16:50 PM »
YYur  waYur n beYur you Yur plusYur instYur an Yur Yur whaYur

Glorb

  • Banned
« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2010, 06:57:05 AM »
Guys, you all need to step your game up. I don't want Weegee to get POTY this year.
every

TEM

  • THE SOVIET'S MOST DANGEROUS PUZZLE.
« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2010, 08:18:49 AM »
The solution to these problems are to create your own publishing/development companies and do things the way you think they should be done. Clearly your ground-breaking ideas will send your businesses straight to the top.
0000

« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2010, 03:21:38 PM »
You don't want to read the survey I recently sent Gamestop. P= (Buy from Play N Trade.) Gamestop and everywhere else neglects to give the developers, nor the Publishers any money when people buy their games used. This is a bit sticky considering many people buy used copies more frequently to save a few bucks. There is an issue here that I do see. See if you can guess it.
ROM hacking with a slice of life.

WarpRattler

  • Paid by the word
« Reply #20 on: August 21, 2010, 05:33:10 PM »
There isn't any issue anywhere. You seem to forget that GameStop is a business, not a tool of the game companies. Clearly their tactic of suggesting you buy a used copy to save money (and ultimately give them more money than they would get if you bought new) works, and as long as the consumers let it work, the game companies can't do a thing about it, short of selling used games themselves (or following the new trend of making part of the game paid DLC that's included for free with a new copy).

Play N Trade doesn't give publishers money from used sales either. No non-GameStop video game stores do, so you're not exactly doing anything to support game companies by buying used games at stores that aren't GameStop. If you want to actually support a company without shopping at GameStop, buy new games online (preferably from the company's own store).

Something else to keep in mind whenever you want to say something about how the retailers should give the publishers money for stuff: usually the publishers collectively let themselves be the retailers' *****. (See: retailers' stance on things like the A-O rating and "anime" (read: Japanese) games, and how easily game companies cave in to retailers' demands in those areas.) And they don't really have a choice, since for the most part gamers still want to be able to play a game the day they buy it rather than waiting for it to come in the mail, which means shopping at a brick-and-mortar store rather than buying online, or going through a digital distribution channel (which, for new retail games, is currently only applicable for PC [and occasionally PSP, if Sony can be assed to make a game available on PSN when it comes out rather than two weeks or more later]).

Chupperson Weird

  • Not interested.
« Reply #21 on: August 23, 2010, 01:33:38 PM »
How much do publishers make off games anyway? The devs are the ones who should get the most (for new copies only), but the publishers, distributors, and retailers all make a cut (retailers actually get a pretty small percentage of the new sale price though, judging from the cost of games where I work).
I really don't mind stores selling used games because that is their main avenue of profit. And they are making that money exclusively off their willing customers. The devs aren't really being hurt that badly when someone buys a used game that someone else sold. The people losing the most money are the people selling back their games to the retailers.

(I buy new games from GameStop. I am annoyed though at how the guy working there managed to scratch my Ys Seven box in the hour or so he had it in store before I came to buy it. What the heck.)
« Last Edit: August 23, 2010, 01:38:34 PM by Chupperson Weird »
That was a joke.

« Reply #22 on: August 25, 2010, 02:02:49 PM »
The devs aren't really being hurt that badly when someone buys a used game that someone else sold. The people losing the most money are the people selling back their games to the retailers.
Yes, those people are losing the most money. But think about it: if you were to work tirelessly for months and months creating a game, then finally you release it to the mass market, only to discover that only a small portion of the people buying your game are buying it new, then basically it means most people are paying someone else instead of you for the product you made. It just doesn't make any sense. If you're the kind of person who gains satisfaction just knowing that thousands of people are using and enjoying your product, then I guess it's a non-issue. But in most cases, the idea is to get paid for your work.

I believe there are a few solutions to the used game problem, possibly the easiest of which is going full digital distribution. Ignoring piracy, which plagues every entertainment industry, I can see no downside to this solution.

Another one would be to simply lower game prices. I'm not sure how feasible this one is, because I don't know how much of a margin there is between the cost of making a game and the new game price, but one would think that by lowering the price, more people will be inclined to buy it new, so there's no real loss of profit.

Lastly, Tycho gives his thoughts on the subject and Gabe polls the general public.

CrossEyed7

  • i can make this whatever i want; you're not my dad
« Reply #23 on: August 25, 2010, 03:33:35 PM »
But think about it: if you were to work tirelessly for months and months creating a game, then finally you release it to the mass market, only to discover that only a small portion of the people buying your game are buying it new, then basically it means most people are paying someone else instead of you for the product you made. It just doesn't make any sense. If you're the kind of person who gains satisfaction just knowing that thousands of people are using and enjoying your product, then I guess it's a non-issue. But in most cases, the idea is to get paid for your work.
Lots of people worked tirelessly to design the car you bought used from a guy down the street too. Why do video games get an exception? Buying used CDs from FYE and Amazon and eBay hasn't killed the music industry yet, even with how much more prevalent piracy is in music (especially considering most CDs don't even try to stop you from copying them).

One reason that the music industry is still around in a post-digital age is because artists are increasingly getting the majority of their revenues from live performances. They could have just kept on fighting a losing battle against pirates with more and more restrictive DRM, but it wasn't until they switched to a solution focused on making consumers happy that they could have ever eked out more than a stalemate. Video game developers and publishers can clamor for restrictions on selling used games if they want, but I think the ones who instead come up with a solution that makes people happy when they do what developers and publishers want, rather than trying to **** off their customers -- who are, in a sense, their employers -- until they conform to the way they want them to be, will be much more successful. For example, one possible solution (for some genres) would be to make the game worthwhile enough that the player actually wants to keep it. Maybe one reason there's such a big market for selling back games is because they've become such disposable experiences (obviously this wouldn't work for all genres -- an Ace Attorney game is always going to have less replay value than an F-Zero game -- but it's something to keep in mind).

I believe there are a few solutions to the used game problem, possibly the easiest of which is going full digital distribution. Ignoring piracy, which plagues every entertainment industry, I can see no downside to this solution.
Even discounting (for obvious reasons) the ability to sell your games back to a store or to a friend or someone on Craigslist (which is a significant portion of the value for many people), how about transferring all your games when you get a 3DS Lite? Or when you buy a second 3DS Lite for the color but still like the original color too and use both of them depending on the mood you're in that day? What about lending games to friends (in terms that developers and publishers might like better: free advertising)? Or passing games down to younger siblings? What about the millions of people in flyover country who aren't going to be getting high-speed access any time soon (the video game industry in 2010 cannot afford to entirely remove vast swathes of demographics from their market) -- or alternatively, assuming every single one of those people gets high-speed access, what about the massive new stresses that would be placed on infrastructure just from adding all those people (let alone that using those connections to download 20 GB games), the huge costs of which could end up pushing out smaller publishers and creating even worse oligopolies than we have now? What about people who don't want or aren't old enough to get credit cards, and don't live nearby a store that sells points cards? What if changes are made to a game after it's released, say for censorship purposes, and you want to play the original? What if the developer loses the rights to a game or just doesn't care about it anymore and you can't download it anymore -- and what if that also deletes it off of your system?

For the hardcore market, most of these aren't major issues, but the hardcore market is an increasingly tiny, unsustainable niche out of a huge market. But even if you only care about the hardcore market, one word: importing. No Japan-only games ever again... unless you pirate them. Don't discount the impact of imports. Without the ability to import games, Elite Beat Agents would not exist (and Ouendan 2 might not either). And also don't discount the importance of piracy. Piracy would skyrocket in a digital distribution-only world, quite possibly enough to wipe out any gains you'd get from eliminating the used game market.

I won't go into a full-on romanticist lament for the experience of having actual discs and cartridges, but it still stands that most people are not going to go for the complete elimination of physical media. I think one reason so many are willing to opt into digital-only for music (and the opting-in is a big part of that -- there's still a big market for CDs and vinyls, and the option is still offered to those who want it) is because of how easy it is to back up your music collection on a hard drive, transfer it to a new computer, and maybe rip some songs off of YouTube once in a while. Video games feel insecure enough already without the ability to make backup copies (a right that fair use laws seem to strongly imply we're supposed to have), but at least now you know your cartridge or disc isn't just going to disappear overnight at the whims of the publishers. You might lose it, or someone might step on it, but if that happens, it's your fault. If the publisher decides to stop letting you play it because they don't like the way you're using it or because they lost distribution rights to it or whatever, that removes any feeling of ownership the consumer may have had, which can majorly impact the value -- meaning you'd have to lower prices anyway.
"Oh man, I wish being a part of a Mario fan community was the most embarrassing thing about my life." - Super-Jesse

« Reply #24 on: August 25, 2010, 03:55:48 PM »
Cars are in a completely different price range. I imagine auto makers make a great deal more money per car sold than game developers make per game sold, especially when you consider the cost of making a game vs. the profit earned per unit sold.

Music is a different subject as well, mostly because digital distribution is pretty much mainstream there. Plus I'm not sure I've ever heard of anyone buying a used CD, especially since the typical price of a new one is $12-15.

As far as transferring games to a new console/handheld in a world of digital distribution: of course, Sony and Nintendo would need to come out with some sort of system similar to Steam and Xbox Live, by which I mean, tying the purchases to an account and being able to download the game on any piece of hardware from said account.

Lending games to friends would suffer slightly, but just invite them over to your house. If you reach a point where you're handing your games down to your siblings, just give them your password.

But I mean, of course game discs won't actually become extinct. Using the music industry as an example, the vast majority of people buy their music online, but stores still have racks and racks of CDs for people who enjoy the physical aspect of purchasing music or need CDs for one reason or another. Lending games, importing, people who can't access internet and all those other things that rely heavily on disc-based gaming will suffer, sure, but won't become impossible. All I'm saying is, digital distribution should become the mainstream format of game purchasing because it's simple, effective and a great way to combat used game sales.

Luigison

  • Old Person™
« Reply #25 on: August 25, 2010, 04:39:18 PM »
But I mean, of course game discs won't actually become extinct. Using the music industry as an example, the vast majority of people buy their music online, but stores still have racks and racks of CDs for people who enjoy the physical aspect of purchasing music or need CDs for one reason or another. Lending games, importing, people who can't access internet and all those other things that rely heavily on disc-based gaming will suffer, sure, but won't become impossible. All I'm saying is, digital distribution should become the mainstream format of game purchasing because it's simple, effective and a great way to combat used game sales.
I don't think this is a valid comparison unless you are solely talking about computer games.  CDs work on almost all computers, DVD players, Blu-ray players, car stereos, and of course, CD players so they don't depend on a specific home console to play them.  Once console makers go digital there won't be other players to take up the slack for people without internet.  Besides, most gamers are early adapters anyway.  Still, I agree with your conclusion that digital distribution will eventually take over; I just think it'll happen with games (probably in Japan first, then Europe) before it happens with CDs.  I'm already there.  I have an extreme amount of games for VC, WiiWare, and the PSN store.  I just wish/hope Nintendo goes to an accounts based system soon. 

Note:  I have not yet read the link in the OP. 

In other news, there are several companies that are going to open account based digital systems for books, music, and video that can be accessed anywhere.  I think this is the future paradigm of distribution. 
“Evolution has shaped us with perceptions that allow us to survive. But part of that involves hiding from us the stuff we don’t need to know."

Chupperson Weird

  • Not interested.
« Reply #26 on: August 25, 2010, 05:52:22 PM »
to bob:
Mainstream music as it stands right now is almost a zero-profit industry for the actual performers unless they manage to make it really really big. Most record companies are essentially pure evil and tend to take all the money from your record sales. I will be working tirelessly for months to create albums of music that unless I get a really great record deal or create my own label or something, will probably never see profit from. (Of course I intend to do something that doesn't require me to succumb to evil record labels, but this is an example to counter your argument.)
Also, I work in a store where we sell hundreds of used CDs every day. What happens when the album you want is out of print? You can't find it online or on iTunes or whatever and you can't walk into Target and buy a new copy. You have to find a physical copy. This works even better at some awesome place like Amoeba or something where they have like every CD.

Lastly, digital distribution is epically lame. I keep using Ys Seven as an example, but it's a really good one. I bought the premium edition new because I am a fan and a collector, I want to support Falcom actually bringing the game stateside, and I want to possess those extra physical bonuses that came with it. I could have waited and bought it online, but what fun would that be? That's almost like not even buying a copy of the game and just downloading it instead.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2010, 05:54:21 PM by Chupperson Weird »
That was a joke.

Luigison

  • Old Person™
« Reply #27 on: August 25, 2010, 06:08:39 PM »
I could have waited and bought it online, but what fun would that be? That's almost like not even buying a copy of the game and just downloading it instead.
I can see your argument here, but think that once digital downloads become mainstream your view will go the way of the dinosaurs. 
“Evolution has shaped us with perceptions that allow us to survive. But part of that involves hiding from us the stuff we don’t need to know."

WarpRattler

  • Paid by the word
« Reply #28 on: August 25, 2010, 06:11:35 PM »
people who can't access internet ... will suffer, sure, but won't become impossible.
I think you're underestimating this. So we're clear: the majority of people in the United States do not have broadband Internet access. As CrossEyed said, publishers aren't just going to lock out massive demographics like that (except for companies who are doing the whole "Internet connection required to play" thing for single-player PC games, but PC gaming isn't that big a market anyway).

Furthermore, as CrossEyed also pointed out, games are just getting too [darn] big for digital distribution, which is reason enough for physical media to remain the standard. Not to mention, people still just want to be able to play a game the day they buy it, rather than having to wait (and as far as infrastructure getting clogged, you don't really have to look further than Steam's servers going down every time a new Valve game comes out to see how bad it already is, and that's just on PC - imagine how bad things would be if you had everyone downloading the new Halo game).

And yeah, with digital distribution, you don't get things like cool limited editions (/me looks at his Big Daddy statue and Raiho plush) or always being able to play games on their release date (see: PSPgo owners usually have to wait two weeks or longer to be able to play stuff after it hits retail). And if you try to go all-digital, what happens to games like Rock Band that require extra peripherals? People are going to be annoyed if they have to make a trip to a store just to buy controllers for a game, moreso than they would be if they went to buy the game itself along with the controllers.

Chupperson Weird

  • Not interested.
« Reply #29 on: August 25, 2010, 06:54:18 PM »
The only advantage to downloaded stuff that I see is the ability to have more than one game on your handheld at a time. If they did something cool like the 360 install feature and let you copy your physically bought games to your handheld system legally then I wouldn't want to download games I could physically buy at all. Unless it was something super uncommon that I didn't feel like paying $100 to play (legally).
That was a joke.

« Reply #30 on: August 25, 2010, 08:16:22 PM »
Chupperson: I was using the music industry as an example primarily to demonstrate the co-existence of digital and physical means of consumers obtaining the product, not necessarily as an example of how much money the artist/developer earns from them.

I understand the fact that not everyone has broadband, but not everyone has video games, either. Saying not everyone has internet isn't fair because that includes the entire population of the United States, so of course it's a small number. We're only talking about the percent of the population who are gamers. Besides, among the correct social classes, it's assumed that people have internet access, anyway. At my school, and probably most schools, teachers give assignments and post essential class materials all the time. Especially in the gaming community, it's highly likely a gamer will have internet access, since the internet is such a huge part of gaming. And I know not all internet access is high-speed, but Warp, your sucky internet connection hasn't stopped you from digitally downloading all kinds of games from Steam.

Plus, I think you're ignoring the part where I said physical copies of games won't completely disappear. People who legit have no internet but play video games will still be able to get their copies. The industry will just begin to put all the incentive into digital downloading. They already are, pretty much, with these online multiplayer access codes and all sorts of downloadable content, which brings me to my next point.

Yes, games are getting big, but there's no reason why game companies can't break them up into easily downloadable chunks. Say, release the game, then a few days later release some free downloadable content to add on to the game. Game companies do this literally all the time. In fact, I'd argue digital distribution is why games these days are so big.

As for cool pre-order and collector's edition extras: yes, those would be difficult to integrate with a game that is solely available online. The only solution I can think of for that right now would be to have gamers send for that stuff in the mail. I'm not sure how feasible that is, but right now the game companies are shipping that stuff to retailers, so I don't see why they can't ship them straight to the gamers.

If you're gonna pick nits about things like people getting annoyed making trips to the store for controllers, first of all, you can't really speak for everyone on that. People go to the store all the time to pick up an extra controller, or a memory card, or whatever they feel like buying. That's what the store is for.

Chupperson: in case you're not aware, the 360 install feature still requires you to put the disc in the 360 in order to play it. It just puts the game content on your hard drive and reads it from that, instead of from the disc, so really the only reason to install games is for faster load times and a quieter system, because the disc isn't spinning. I mean, those reasons are good enough for me, I install games all the time. Anyway, just clearing things up, maybe you already knew that.

« Reply #31 on: August 25, 2010, 08:17:46 PM »
Warp: didn't you buy that Big Daddy figurine completely separate from Bioshock? In fact, didn't you buy Bioshock on Steam?

WarpRattler

  • Paid by the word
« Reply #32 on: August 25, 2010, 09:46:39 PM »
I'm pretty sure I don't own any games on Steam that are more than five or six gigabytes for the download. And on my sucky connection I can download about three gigabytes total in a twenty-four hour period, on a good day. And that's only because I have a five-hour free period every day - a lot of capped-bandwidth users, satellite or otherwise, don't even have that. (And you're completely screwed if you're on dial-up!)

(Social classes have nothing to do with parts of our country, or any country, just outright not having regular and fast Internet access. And most schools frown upon students bringing in game consoles and connecting them to the school's network to leech bandwidth.)

(Incidentally, Luigison pointed out that a lot of digital distribution services for books, music, and video have been starting up and that digital distribution seems to be catching on for those media, but even with video, easily the largest example there in terms of file size, you can often fit an entire season or two of a TV show in the same amount of disk space a single game's installation files take nowadays, and that usually means the same for bandwidth usage for downloading either. So take what bobman said about the car argument, but change price difference to size difference.)

You said physical copies wouldn't disappear, but you're also saying that digital distribution should become the norm. So we're clear here, the "norm" usually refers to the majority. And the majority here would be locked out of gaming if digital distribution became the norm, especially since games would inevitably start being available only through digital distribution (already sort of happening now with some games on the console services taking up almost as much disk space as a retail game, and definitely happening with PSP titles that are full games but only available through PSN, like Fate/Unlimited Codes Upper and Patapon 2) - with the current situation, you already have people (BP) unable to download games on XBLA in their own home, so imagine what it'd be like trying to download full-sized games that aren't available any other way.

And DLC is another touchy subject entirely. I hate this idea publishers seem to like that involves shipping a game with some of the DLC on the disc and "releasing" it over time. It might work on consoles (though it's still just selling an incomplete game for full retail price and making you pay extra for the rest - definitely not what DLC should be at all in the first place - except even worse because you're paying for something you already paid for), but so far all it's done on PC is put pirates further ahead of actual consumers than usual, since when a game like that gets cracked it usually includes full access to that DLC.

Releasing part of a game to start and then releasing the rest in chunks over time for free could work, but again, publishers whose names are not Valve love to milk consumers dry with paid DLC, just because they know they can. (See: $15 Modern Warfare 2 map pack with three maps, Oblivion horse armor.) There was a digital distribution service a while back that used an interesting model involving the client downloading a game a piece at a time, so that you could start playing a game and have the rest of it download as you played, but I don't think it had any actually-current games, and it didn't catch on anyway. Same for OnLive, which sounds good on paper but requires impossibly-good Internet in practice.

I'd guess the costs of shipping limited edition bonuses to a bunch of individual consumers' addresses would be a lot worse than sending a box or two containing several LEs to each store along with the rest of a shipment.

And I'm not referring to buying extra controllers, which, yeah, everyone does all the time. I'm referring to buying a game online that requires a special peripheral and not having it, and having to go to a store to buy the peripheral. Basically, making an extra trip when you've already bought the game. It's a psychological thing (the "extra" trip is the same trip you'd have made to buy the game bundled with the peripheral in a store, but it's extra now because you already have the game) similar to what I mentioned with waiting for games you ordered online to arrive.
Obviously the easiest solution to that problem is just not making those games available for purchase digitally, but publishers don't think that way.



No, I own the LE legit, and don't own the game on Steam:



http://steamcommunity.com/id/donotcare95/games?tab=all

Chupperson Weird

  • Not interested.
« Reply #33 on: August 25, 2010, 09:48:54 PM »
I didn't know that but it makes sense.
Also re: your DLC idea, I don't know if games' core engines are going to be small enough for that in the future we're talking about here.
That was a joke.

WarpRattler

  • Paid by the word
« Reply #34 on: August 25, 2010, 10:00:10 PM »
It's mostly assets that take up so much space, not the engine. And even if it was the engine that took up a lot of space, you tend to have multiple games running on the same engine nowadays anyway, and sharing engine files isn't too hard to make work. The main issue with the idea is regular old greed on the part of the publishers.

« Reply #35 on: August 25, 2010, 10:30:29 PM »
This comic seems relevant.
Kinopio is the ultimate video game character! Who else can drive a kart, host parties, play tennis, give good advice and items, and is almost always happy??

« Reply #36 on: August 25, 2010, 11:45:17 PM »
No, what I mean by "the norm" is that eventually, most game companies will be delivering their content online (perhaps as well as in disc form), and then tons of people will be downloading their games online, and then before you know it, digital distribution is a widely accepted and used format for obtaining games. I don't know exactly how many people would be doing it, I don't care if it's the statistical majority or whatever.

You keep saying people with bad internet won't be allowed to play games anymore, and you even used BP as an example, but that's just it: that is a problem right now, because digital distribution exists right now. I don't know why we keep talking about it like it's going to happen in the future, because honestly it's happening right now. Really the only thing left to make people understand that is to get most big-title console games to be released online.

You also keep bringing up the subject of games being too big to download. I've given my solution, and you've even provided some examples of how it can be managed, so really it's very doable. Regardless of whether you like it or not, game companies will continue to release downloadable content for their titles. At this point, all it comes down to is people will probably be waiting around for a while waiting for their big-title games to download, but honestly, so what? What if that becomes standard procedure for the videogame industry? You purchase your game and wait for it to download. No big deal. People can play another game or do homework or maybe even go outside. Download it at night while you're sleeping, whatever. Minor inconvenience. Or go buy the disc version, doesn't matter.

Which is another thing you keep forgetting. I'm talking about a world where videogames exist both in digital and physical form. Don't want to wait for the download time? Don't have internet? You can still go to the store and buy the disc. Maybe it'll be harder to find, because maybe digital download will catch on and game companies will make fewer and fewer discs, but who knows.

Extra Trips to the Store: again, that's pure speculation. You and I can sit here and argue about whether or not people would be upset about driving to a store, but that'd be a stupid argument.

You keep reasoning with me about why digital distribution can't happen, but then you give evidence in the same post that digital distribution is reality right now. It's not like game companies are all of a sudden going to stop releasing games online, it's only going to get more popular as time progresses.

Again about core games being too big for downloading: I think breaking up the core game into chunks is very reasonable. I can vividly picture in my mind the Xbox Live Marketplace, with Halo: Reach (PT1) (PT2) (PT3) available for download. Warp brings up a fantastic idea: you can play Part 1 after it's done downloading, while the Xbox is still working on parts 2 and 3. I can see it working.

Chupperson Weird

  • Not interested.
« Reply #37 on: August 26, 2010, 12:32:17 AM »
I don't think you've ever worked in a store. People get upset about driving to stores. All the time. They tell you about it when they get there.
That was a joke.

WarpRattler

  • Paid by the word
« Reply #38 on: August 26, 2010, 07:17:53 AM »
The only way I could see full-blown digital distribution working would be if the companies set it up like Steam, where you can usually preload big-name games (but with better servers that don't get raped on launch day even with that provision in place). Again, people want to be able to play on launch day, and again, it wouldn't be discs just being harder to find; it'd be new games ceasing to be released on disc at all.

You have to understand that a lot of game companies are really bad at a lot of this stuff. It's why Activision released a billion Guitar Hero games in a single year, and why UbiSoft implemented DRM on their PC games that requires you to be online to play a single-player game. It's why Jim couldn't buy BioWare points so he could buy DLC for Dragon Age. And it's why you'd see disc releases stop entirely rather than just slow to a trickle. Like I said, there are already download-only retail games on at least one platform. The companies' logic: if you go to digital-only, you eliminate the used game market entirely, and as a bonus, you get to set prices however you want, so you can keep charging $60 a game (or more) even though you've eliminated most of the costs that should justify that price. Even better, if it's all-digital, you can always legally disable people's accounts and access to games they purchased at your discretion! (If you think they wouldn't do this: Some people have been banned from Xbox Live not for modding their system or other unwholesome activities, but rather for using a third-party hard drive.)

I really do like the idea of being able to download games a part at a time and them being set up to be playable like that, and it could work even during this generation (and, as a bonus, it screws over the pirates as well as the used game market, since as I understand it, it's basically impossible to pirate XBL Marketplace stuff), but companies would have to be willing to program a game like that, and the console manufacturers would have to be willing to let things work that way. And you'd have to work out all the possible bugs with the system, which includes testing on every possible model of your console rather than doing Sony's retarded thing and having every one of your dev systems be the same model.

As an example, I've talked with one of the devs from Rockin' Android, a company who licenses doujin games for English release. They recently released Gundemonium Collection as a set of downloadable titles on the PS3. Unfortunately, the games in the collection have a problem where if you download them all at once while you're playing whichever finishes first, the audio gets screwed up (I think it's more complicated than that, but that's the gist of it). And they couldn't possibly catch this in testing, because every dev console Sony supplies is the same model (though apparently it probably wouldn't have mattered because it's incredibly inconsistent with regards to which models do or don't have this problem). And they aren't going to be able to do a patch to fix this problem or any of the other problems the team that ported the game (unaffiliated with Rockin' Android) introduced, either, because apparently Sony makes you go through so much red tape to do anything that it's not worth the effort. (Said red tape would be another issue relating to the all-digital idea, along with the sheer size of games on Sony's console - Blu-ray discs are absolutely massive - versus games on the 360.)

And I like the idea of DLC. I like the idea of being able to buy extra stuff for a game - maps, challenge levels, full bonus campaigns, whatever - to extend its playability. You know, basically like what an expansion pack used to be, except cheaper, and you don't have to go to the store to buy it a year after the base game's launch. I don't like what companies do now, which is sell a purposely-incomplete game at full price and then release the rest as paid DLC (as well as DLC being on the game disc to start, which is just an open admission from the company that they're trying to milk you). And it's not going to stop, because gamers let it work. (Note that I have less issue with releasing an incomplete or ultra-buggy game with the intent to release massive patches or free content additions shortly after launch. It's charging extra for stuff that should've been in the game to start that I hate. And I'm aware some of this is Microsoft's fault more than the publishers' - they really don't like free DLC in XBL Marketplace, so companies don't have a choice but to charge for stuff that should've been free.)

Oh yeah, and I missed this before:
Another [way to combat used sales] would be to simply lower game prices. I'm not sure how feasible this one is, because I don't know how much of a margin there is between the cost of making a game and the new game price
I think the prices of new games basically boil down to costs for everyone except the developers (again, devs make far less than they should), plus publishers knowing they can get away with charging high prices for new games. Aside from boosting sales numbers, which I guess would look good for the stockholders and probably fuel more anti-video game arguments ("video games are bad because they sell so well and kids could be spending that money on more wholesome things") but is otherwise not particularly important, the publishers wouldn't really be any better off if they sold two copies of a game at thirty dollars each than they are selling a single copy for sixty now, so there's no reason there to lower the price.

Theoretically, digital distribution should involve lower prices than retail, since it eliminates things like retail and manufacturing costs and (in most cases) limited supply from the mix, but I think gamers are just used to spending fifty or sixty dollars on a game at this point, and the publishers certainly aren't going to stop if there's a market for it.

« Reply #39 on: August 26, 2010, 01:19:23 PM »
At this point you're just talking about minuscule details companies will have to work around in order to enable digital distribution, which I agree would be issues. But I'm not the one getting paid to figure out the solutions to those problems, and besides, I've made my point, and it seems you agree: digital distribution is a possible future for videogaming. It's very convenient for gamers and developers alike, and heck, it's even more environmentally friendly, if you want to go there. And, bringing the discussion back around to the point of this topic, it's a fantastic way to combat the used game industry.

« Reply #40 on: August 28, 2010, 01:20:08 AM »

WarpRattler

  • Paid by the word
« Reply #41 on: August 28, 2010, 04:57:46 AM »
Pretty sure the game is big enough that it would've used a full eighth of the space on that 16GB system anyway.

And now I feel even sorrier for anyone who bought a PSPgo for Birth by Sleep than I would have before.

ShadowBrain

  • Ridiculously relevant
« Reply #42 on: August 28, 2010, 08:22:09 PM »
Just a thought: Has anyone figured out how many equivalent "gigs" an average shelf can hold in relation to a game system's memory?
"Mario is your oyster." ~The Chef

« Reply #43 on: August 28, 2010, 10:14:00 PM »
Uhhhh... no. When I install games to my 360 hard drive, they're about 6-7 gigs.

ShadowBrain

  • Ridiculously relevant
« Reply #44 on: August 29, 2010, 07:57:42 AM »
You get what I'm saying, though, right?
"Mario is your oyster." ~The Chef

Chupperson Weird

  • Not interested.
« Reply #45 on: August 29, 2010, 10:27:48 AM »
Totally depends on what system's games are on that shelf.
That was a joke.

CrossEyed7

  • i can make this whatever i want; you're not my dad
« Reply #46 on: August 29, 2010, 11:06:06 AM »
Saying not everyone has internet isn't fair because that includes the entire population of the United States, so of course it's a small number. We're only talking about the percent of the population who are gamers.
You're not thinking like Nintendo.

Quote from: Reggie
Do you know anyone who's never watched TV, never seen a movie, never read a book? Of course not. So let me ask you one more question. Do you know someone, maybe even in your own family, who's never played a video game? I bet you do. How can this be? If we want to consider ourselves a true mass medium, if we want to grow as an industry, this has to change.
"Oh man, I wish being a part of a Mario fan community was the most embarrassing thing about my life." - Super-Jesse

WarpRattler

  • Paid by the word
« Reply #47 on: August 29, 2010, 11:15:18 AM »
I think bobman's problem is that he's only considering "the market for video games" as "hardcore gamers," when we're pretty much a minority. (Also, he keeps implying developers would get more money through digital sales than they do through retail sales now, but it's actually just the publishers who would be getting more money. Developers really only get more money when they self-publish, which isn't happening with big-budget titles any time soon.)

Totally depends on what system's games are on that shelf.
Not to mention what games. PS2 games could be anywhere from a few hundred megabytes (CD games) to several gigabytes (DVD-9 games). So it's really just a retarded way to look at things.

« Reply #48 on: August 29, 2010, 01:13:06 PM »
I've stayed away from the Special Olympics here partly because I don't have a PC to type screeds with and partly because the used games debate is a philosophical morass with no easy answers, but I do want to point out that two of CE7's attacks on digital distibution were absolutely ridiculous because no one else called him on it.

He said piracy would "skyrocket" if digital distribution took over, but full digital distro would be the worst possible blow to console piracy I can imagine.

He said importing would be impossible if digital distribution took over, but people do it all the time right now and it actually makes it quite easier because you don't have to have your games shipped in from another, you know, continent. Often you just need to create an account with your location listed as Japan (or whatever). Worst-case, you need to import the physical console from the other country but then you're ready to roll, never needing to ship something again and having access to any import game on release day.

WarpRattler

  • Paid by the word
« Reply #49 on: August 29, 2010, 02:40:58 PM »
I did mention that all-digital would kill console piracy dead:
(and, as a bonus, it screws over the pirates ... since as I understand it, it's basically impossible to pirate XBL Marketplace stuff)
And I wanted to mention importing, but never posted the thing I wrote twice. Yeah, as long as the console is set up for logging into an account (PS3, 360) rather than a single account or regional marketplace being tied to it (PSP for the former, Nintendo's systems for the latter), importing through digital-distro is a lot nicer. But if consoles went all-digital, companies would need to make it easier to buy points for other regions. Or better yet, ditch points and let people use regular credit cards regardless of region, adjusting costs accordingly when necessary. Or best of all, do that but also ditch region-based accounts altogether, and let users buy games from whatever region they want on a single account, as long as they accept a thing beforehand saying they know a game will be in another language and it's their fault if they buy a game and can't read it.

(And, continuing with that, make it so that if you own a game for one region, you own it for all regions it's released in, so that you aren't screwed if you buy a game in Japanese and then later find out it's been licensed for English release. And make it so that companies can't release massive updates or DLC for a game for one region but not the rest; among other things, this kills Square Enix's love for international editions, which is a plus for everyone who isn't Japanese.)

(Also, as it is now, you only actually have to import a console to play retail games, and even then, only the 360, where the most you can do with regions is change an older system's region through reflashing the console, a process I understand is very risky, somewhat time-consuming, and incredibly inconvenient due to being required every time you want to play Rock Band instead of Ketsui, or vice versa. PS3 is natively region-free, of course, and I believe the Wii's region lock can be easily bypassed through homebrew.)

CrossEyed7

  • i can make this whatever i want; you're not my dad
« Reply #50 on: August 29, 2010, 06:27:40 PM »
He said piracy would "skyrocket" if digital distribution took over, but full digital distro would be the worst possible blow to console piracy I can imagine.

He said importing would be impossible if digital distribution took over, but people do it all the time right now and it actually makes it quite easier because you don't have to have your games shipped in from another, you know, continent. Often you just need to create an account with your location listed as Japan (or whatever). Worst-case, you need to import the physical console from the other country but then you're ready to roll, never needing to ship something again and having access to any import game on release day.

Yeah, on closer examination, I didn't think those two points through all the way. You're right.
"Oh man, I wish being a part of a Mario fan community was the most embarrassing thing about my life." - Super-Jesse

WarpRattler

  • Paid by the word
« Reply #51 on: September 13, 2010, 05:20:23 PM »
So back on the subject of retailers sucking, I had an order from GameStop's Web site arrive today. I ordered Gradius Collection, PoPoLoCrois, and a disc containing the first two episodes of the DarkStalkers anime.

PoPoLoCrois doesn't work.
They sent me the second disc of the anime instead of the first disc.
None of these things have their original cases or manuals. Even the discs themselves are in new shells (games I already owned on the right for comparison):



I'm going to a physical GameStop tomorrow to (hopefully) return this stuff. When I was there on Saturday, they had complete copies of Gradius Collection and PoPoLoCrois, so I'll go ahead and exchange the copies that I have here, and get a refund for the other disc. Ultimately, I wasted $5 (shipping and tax) buying from their online store, a mistake I won't make again.

« Reply #52 on: September 13, 2010, 06:14:12 PM »
Yeah, their online store also sucks; I got a monochrome original Game Boy version of Chessmaster, and I wanted the game Boy Color version that they had pictured. I didn't bother wasting my time and money sending it back, so instead I kept it but I never bought anything from them online again since.
ROM hacking with a slice of life.

Chupperson Weird

  • Not interested.
« Reply #53 on: September 14, 2010, 01:20:14 AM »
The redone cases aren't actually bad themselves though; they're more durable than Sony's multi-piece UMD cases.
That was a joke.

WarpRattler

  • Paid by the word
« Reply #54 on: September 14, 2010, 04:39:08 AM »
Maybe, but that doesn't help if the disc itself doesn't work.

WarpRattler

  • Paid by the word
« Reply #55 on: January 24, 2011, 09:44:57 AM »
full digital distro would be the worst possible blow to console piracy I can imagine
As it turns out, nope, digital distro-only stuff on consoles is just as piracy-proof as anything else - which is to say, not at all. It's possible to run pirated download-only games on every current system except the DSi, and that's probably due to a lack of interest as much as anything else.

Summary of the recent situation for Sony's systems: no one bothered with the PS3 until Sony put out the slim without Linux, so no one found out for a long time that Sony screwed up big-time with the PS3's security (and by association that of Blu-Ray and the PSP). Hackers found the root keys for the PS3 and PSP, so it's now possible to sign homebrew (making it possible to run it on official firmware), and Sony can't permanently fix anything without issuing new hardware. A lot of this is explained a lot better in the fail0verflow presentation from last month. (Also, Sony took the hackers to court over all this. I'm guessing the judge will decide it falls under the ruling from the iPhone jailbreak case that Apple lost and throw it out.)

For piracy, on the console side it means the USB exploit that made the rounds a few months back is obsolete, and on the handheld side, people with later PSP models can now play the majority of games available on that system, no mods or exploits required. Notably, this includes the PSPgo; owners of that system can now play non-PSN games. On both systems, pirated PSN games work just like anything else, though the DRM used on paid DLC hasn't been cracked yet (one has to wonder why they don't just use that for everything).

I don't know anything about 360 piracy except that if you do it you're going to get your system banned from LIVE, and I believe several people on this forum have the Homebrew Channel installed on their Wiis (I don't) and could say more about that than I could. At any rate, it's possible to run pirated download-only games on those systems as well.

I'm not going to pretend to know what kind of anti-piracy solutions will be implemented with future platforms, but I'd guess piracy isn't going to be stopped even with full digital distribution. You can look at the all-digital system we have now to see that; even without the signing thing, people had already found exploits to enable homebrew (and by association piracy) using demos.

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