Friday, August 22, 2008

Piracy: Freemarket Evolved Part.II

I think others are starting to see the light.

Thanks to nick for the link

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Sunday, August 17, 2008


I think that's a pretty novel approach. The game designer really hit the nail on the head. There are three companies who's games I've always actually bought (also, those three companies combined make up at least 85% of all the gaming i have ever done in my entire life.) those companies are squaresoft (sorry, havn't played any of their games since they merged with enix, just havn't had time) Blizzard (from whom i have purchased starcraft 3 times... because its worth the 10$ they want for it now just to replay it for a month and the CD's keep going missing.) and Valve.

These three completely support the points in the above article.

1.) They all make consistantly QUALITY games. I don't ever have that nervous feeling i have going to the movies that "i know this is not going to be that good, why am i wasting my time" feeling.
2.) The are reasonably priced. Sure, squaresoft used to charge 50$ for its games, and that made me buy alot less of them than i would have if they were cheaper, but they were worth it. in an age when most games where little indei productions square was making 4 disk long behemoths that lasted me a year; full of epic video footage and cutting edge new effects. they honestly outperformed everybody at their peak. As for blizzard, they CONSISTANTLY CUT THE PRICES OF THIER GAMES OVER TIME. Thats a strategy i can go for. sure, i dont buy their games when they are new, but when they drop down to 15$ i'm glad to pick them up. and that gives their games alot of longevity, that and the lasting quality of them all. then thier is valve... the half life games have the best value of any digital entertainment on the planet. for the price of any one source engine game you get access to a limitless online experience, free downloads of the games as often as you want (And this will be mentioned inthe DRM section) and literaly DOZENS of developer assisted free modifications that completely change the game. its like buying a car and getting free gas, a motercycle, a driving simulator, a jet pack and a thousand friends to go driving with for free.
3.) DRM (digital rights manangement, though nobody who doesnt know that has read this far.) is EVIL. I laugh my head off when developers use it. I'm sorry, but compared to the pirates, these guys are novices at security. So what ends up happening is EXACTLY what is said in the article. the legitimate users suffer from the DRM, and the pirates effortlessly sidestep it. So the people stealing the game, end up with a higher quality experience. very poor marketing choices.
blizzard has recently removed the CD check from their own games with a series of updates. i commend them.
Valve has by far the best aproach to this though. Yes, they are using a form of DRM. digital distribution. the results? epicly low piracy rates. one simple reason. they are the only company on the face of the earth that is actualy providing their product in a better package than the pirates are. thats right, it takes me 15 seconds of actualy work to pirate a game and i never have to leave my house. it takes 10 seconds to log into steam and download one. Their distribution method is the best anti piracy measure ever.

To sum up, Quality is the issue. I'm not going to get into a debate about the morality of piracy. I'm just going to say that the only legitimate view for a product designer to take is that its thier job to make a game thats worth buying, and sell it in a package thats easy to buy. its the same struggle that marketings always had. and its the same solution that the united states stands for in the world. i think we need a new slogan.

PIRACY, Freemarket Evolved.

Monday, August 04, 2008