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Arr! The Pirates have RETURNED!!!!! (Ninjas too)

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July 28, 2008 6:32:57 PM

I wonder where my thread about Piracy went? Hmm, as if it never happened. It's almost like someone used a forum for what it was originally designed to do, foster debate.

Apparently I'm not the only one who thinks this site has changed over time, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom%27s_Hardware

Weird.
July 28, 2008 7:07:50 PM

Nope, no squelching of the piracy debate here. PM OhSnap if you want to hear more on the subject :) 
Related resources
July 28, 2008 7:36:49 PM

Awesome, I did a search earlier and it didn't come up, and someone else asked me where it went in a private message, I assumed the worst (This is the Internet after all). Thanks Rob, My mistake, we'll have your journalistic integrity card FedEx'd back to you this instant. Black Edition with no limit.

In totally unrelated mental ramblings...I was thinking about the problem we face today. I then pretty much came to the following:

This goes way over games and movies, our rights are what is at stake. I don't care if every game company and movie studio goes out of business, because that's a cheaper price than our freedom that we have fought wars to protect, and are trying to spread globally. The constitutional rights of the many outweigh the rights of the few in this case, because the few still have legal recourse to punish the criminals. We cant condone removing everyone right to make a copy of things they paid for just because 50 companies are claiming they aren't getting enough money. If it got to that point, then people would have only themselves to blame and could only be mad at themselves, and that's still a cheaper price than trading our freedoms for security.

The government needs to stop pandering to lobbies, and stick to national defense, taxation, and national level social programs. As Americans we have a constitutional right to back up our media. Period. That means DVDs, CDs, Games, and anything else that falls under media. Freedom means that you have to accept the good with the bad, you don't get to ban everything you disagree with. Freedom of speech also means sometimes, you are going to hear things you don't like. Stores call theft shrinkage, and accept it as an operating cost, and that's for physical objects. They know it's not cost effective to stop theft, so they give it only a cursory attempt, and accept the rest. The difference is that, in the case of media, we have a constitutional right to make copies, and they aren't supposed to interfere.

Did anyone think it's ironic that Ubisoft used a pirated crack to make their own game work?

DRM breaks games, and does nothing to stop piracy. It's like banning guns. The people who follow the law (Non-Criminals) are no longer armed, while the people that already break the law (Criminals) are still armed like they were before. Passing laws has no effect on people who don't follow laws in the first place.

If there were no DRM to break, there would be no 1337 cracker teams taking credit for cracking them. Companies would make more money, because they no longer have to license DRM that does not work, and people could actually use their own software that they paid for. My constant battle with EA over my EALink purchased games and serial keys makes me want to smother puppies.

There is not a single peer reviewed report stating that DRM does anything positive at all, only the DRM creators themselves suggest this. A quick web search by a 5 year old can find a crack for almost anything, thus circumventing the DRM. It's illegal, and its till there. Seems like a waste of time to me, maybe we should focus on a realistic solution instead of a moral one. And no, I'm not talking about Abstinence only, because we all know that doesn't work either. The best part? They keep making new versions of the DRM and telling everyone that THIS version is hackproof. Right. Thats why Securom is at version 7.

I find it ironic that the Library of Congress is running afoul of DRM now.

http://www.cdfreaks.com/news/DRM-a-major-problem-for-Li...

Because someone decided to pass an arbitrary law on the number of copies you can have (3!) for digital content. Then, they decided you cant make a copy until its ALREADY DAMAGED. Hmm, well their is the copy in the RAM, and the copy in the swap file, then while its transmitted over the network their is another copy!

We need less laws, not more, so the market can regulate itself. Politicians don't understand technology, and laws that apply to physical objects very rarely transfer over well into the digital domain.

It's a lot harder to get freedoms back after we allow them to get banned by people who don't see the far reaching consequences of their actions. They just want a platform to stand on to get re-elected.



So Rob, I agree with you. Piracy is bad, and they have a right to try and discourage it, as long as their methods don't include interfering with our rights to use our media as we see fit. Serial codes are fine, and banning leaked codes makes sense to me, as the buyer can contact the company and get a new one if it's leaked or stolen. I think PGP like keys stored in databases are great, maybe they can ship every game with a little mini-cd with a 4096 bit key, that's great. Disk based security is not. Music DRM which limits copies is not (Which is why their giving up on this totally, someone finally figured out that its not worth the cost).

It's not a bubble wrapped world, we cant ban knives because their sharp. We also can't allow a constitutionally given right to be castrated because a few well funded companies have problems with some people not paying for their kicks. Let them go after Pirates and sue them if they want, but don't try and mess with my constitution because it seems like a simpler path to simply curb everyone's rights as a whole instead of going after the people actually responsible for the mischief.

At a very basic level, I find DRM more morally bankrupt than piracy. They know what their doing, their doing it on purpose, and they think their ends justify their means. Well, they constitutionally don't.
July 28, 2008 8:15:08 PM

Ok, this is totally unrelated, but if anyone actually read through that then I'd like to reward them with a Chuckle or two.

When science contradicts popular fantasy...

http://www.100hot.com/webmkt.hot100/uncensored_top_100_...

This is what Americans were looking for on the web in July. SFW.

PS: BONUS! Google Trends shows what countries search for which terms, by popularity!

So, apparently people in New Zealand need information about preteen...umm healthcare?

http://www.google.com/trends?q=preteen&ctab=0&geo=all&d...

PSS: Goat Sechs? Pakistan. LoLz. Talk about aiming high, and getting your wildest dreams with the vast scope of what the internet has to offer. I love the smell of freedom...
July 28, 2008 9:13:46 PM

Martin, You're splicing two Piracy related issues into one topic when they are in fact very different. You bounce back and forth between DRM - which is the right of developers to choose to use or not- and copyright laws which are of concern to us all.
DRM is like I said a choice made by developers who have every right to do so. We can bitch about it all we want, but in the end it's their option. The free market will ultimately work out how much DRM will be used and what methods are acceptable. To what degree DRM stops piracy versus puts off paying customers will be determined by consumers and thus how much and what methods of DRM used will be decided.
You're rant is a little more fitting of the copy right laws aspect of piracy. I don't have a ton of time to get into this issue right now but I have written papers on it and tend to lean towards the "freer is better" side. However keep in mind that when you ask for more lax laws so to do the developers. This is the same in any industry where regulation vs. de-regulation can have positive and adverse effects for both the seller and consumer. The keys to keep a balance between both because that is what will produce the most healthy market.
July 28, 2008 11:12:17 PM

I don't think copying software is a constitutional right. I think there is a law that allows it, but it wouldn't surprise me if that was fictional.

You are definitely exaggerating your case. I'll stick with my position that either the PC gaming industry will implode due to its own idiocy (DRM) or it will follow the examples set by Valve or Stardock and adapt to a changing market in extremely profitable ways.
July 29, 2008 11:33:54 AM

infornography42 said:
I don't think copying software is a constitutional right. I think there is a law that allows it, but it wouldn't surprise me if that was fictional.

You are definitely exaggerating your case. I'll stick with my position that either the PC gaming industry will implode due to its own idiocy (DRM) or it will follow the examples set by Valve or Stardock and adapt to a changing market in extremely profitable ways.


Well, i guess it will do both. Some will implode for sure. So will become (or already become) big money makers, because they just adapted to the market. Although piracy is bad, it keep the companies in check. Some games companies aren't quite competing against others or themselves, but against piracy.

- If their product is crap, it wont sell, and will be pirated.
- If they try EOL a product that people will still consume, piracy will fill in the gap. They better make a better one next.
- If they make a good product, people will buy it, and some other will pirate it.
- If they make a heavy DRM product, people will pirate it, and wont buy it
- OR, they will buy and pirate/crack it. From hard disk loading to No-CD cracks.

So, anyway, the best competition is piracy. Many of you look at piracy as a sin. It isn't, it is to keep the Software houses in check and in tune with the market.

The Fifa 2008 VS PES 2008. I own PES2008 legally. It is a great product that is renewed yearly. Every year getting better. This year FIFA 2008 was hyped up to hell and back (as ussually is). THIS TIME i didnt buy it. I downloaded it. Played for 5 minutes. Uninstalled. Horrible.

Yes, piracy will keep EA in check. They know they have to launch better games. Software is a great market because when **** products are launched, they are just busted hard and fast. Like Windows Vista when it was launched. It putted Microsoft in check.

Piracy is keeping the software firms in check. MMORPGs went monthly fee, thus disabling piracy almost completely. You can copy their product all you want. You can even get it free. If you like, you must pay a monthly fee. Steam has it quite knitted also.

EA is still selling single player games. Many of them with none to low value. Don't tell me about crysis, although the graphics part was great, the game it self wasn't. I did played it, and i did bought Cod 4.
See, if your game isn't good enough it wont be bought. SIMPLE. Will just be pirated, Uninstalled and laughed about. Piracy is the competition in a market of exclusives. Funny thing actually.

Mendelson said that companies who fear competition, are already on a downwards spiral, failing to keep the market standards. EA is already on that spot. Failing to reinvent itself, and thus its product remaining the same (Or in case of HG:L, they were just cheap), failing to keep up with the market. There is Blizzard, Activision, Konami and others are going strong.

Why doesnt the RIAA and MPAA doing so much fuss about ? Because they are no longer competitive. Honestly mates, CDs still come in Stereo. The format hasn't change much (if any) in years. Of course Itunes, with this new approach, is selling like a madman. Even with the "rampart" piracy around. Honestly ? I hope they fall down, and leave the old models behind the times. Because a cash cow, has a cycle of life.

We will still type a lot of keys in this forums about this subject, and i for what i've said in this post, will be probably banned from THG. but hey. I'm not a cynical nor hypocritical.
July 29, 2008 11:50:00 AM

I agree with you Radnor... DRM is like gun laws, Only hurts the honest people.
July 29, 2008 1:24:24 PM

Haha wow...I forgot you were the one who wrote the UBER long posts on piracy, martin! I clicked Rob's link and immediately remembered reading through every last bit of your first post, and then promptly shaving because by the end of it, I looked like a mountain man! :) 

And as a side note, I'm interested in seeing how much further this debate continues to carry on, seeing as how (in my opinion) every point of view has already been discussed/debated numerous times.
July 29, 2008 1:55:17 PM

radnor said:
Although piracy is bad, it keep the companies in check. Some games companies aren't quite competing against others or themselves, but against piracy.

So, anyway, the best competition is piracy. Many of you look at piracy as a sin. It isn't, it is to keep the Software houses in check and in tune with the market.


This is a very interesting/fresh point of view on the situation. I must say that I agree with you.

I thought I would add that the Piracy issue has led to something quite good imo. Quake Live and Battlefield Heroes I feel would have never even been thought of if piracy was not around. I am in the beta of Quake Live right now and love it.

All of the stat tracking, easy install and lower requirements (not to mention that they are both free) gets me excited that we may draw alot of players to these titles and hopefully/eventually draw them into the more traditional PC gaming market, which could help to pull us out of this so called "PC Gaming Slump"...time will tell.

Best,

3Ball
July 29, 2008 2:58:56 PM

Quote:
Although piracy is bad, it keep the companies in check.

How so? Not buying games is what keeps companies in check, not stealing them. It's called capitalism. By stealing a product you're not telling a company that you want them to improve it; You're telling them you want the product but are trying to avoid having to pay for it. If they invest in improvements you'll still steal it. DRM obviously doesn't work very well but it probably gets more otherwise pirated copies purchased (albiet only a small amount) then spending the same amount of time and money on improvements would.
How many honest people it stops from buying it is another question, but it's not going to drive them to pirate the game. "I was going to buy it, but pirated because of DRM" is just a cop out for people who were going to steal it anyways. The idea that any significant % of consumers sways back and forth between honest consumer and theif depending on market conditions is a complete false hood. People who justify piracy because of DRM or crappy games will always find a reason to not have to pay. I'd be willing to bet that the most pirated games are also the most highly rated with the least amount of copy protection.
July 29, 2008 3:02:10 PM

http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-digital.html

Can I backup my computer software?
Yes, under certain conditions as provided by section 117 of the Copyright Act. Although the precise term used under section 117 is “archival” copy, not “backup” copy, these terms today are used interchangeably. This privilege extends only to computer programs and not to other types of works.

Under section 117, you or someone you authorize may make a copy of an original computer program if:

* the new copy is being made for archival (i.e., backup) purposes only;
* you are the legal owner of the copy; and
* any copy made for archival purposes is either destroyed, or transferred with the original copy, once the original copy is sold, given away, or otherwise transferred.

Thus encrypting my data, like on DVDs, prevents me from archiving them. Which is why they go after people for breaking encryption, not copying.

Then, crafting software so that the original disk is required to run, and not my backup, also effectively prevents me from archiving.

So as described, preventing my copy from working sure does seem against the spirit of allowing me to make an archive in the first place. Seems useless really. Serial codes and keys don't however, because the original media is not the point of verification.
July 29, 2008 3:59:17 PM

purplerat said:
Quote:
Although piracy is bad, it keep the companies in check.

How so? Not buying games is what keeps companies in check, not stealing them.


Piracy (non-profitable one) isn't stealing. I don't deprive nobody of a asset. Don't say stealing, It is a incorrect way to give strength to your statement. It is piracy or copyright infringement.

purplerat said:

It's called capitalism. By stealing a product you're not telling a company that you want them to improve it; You're telling them you want the product but are trying to avoid having to pay for it. If they invest in improvements you'll still steal it. DRM obviously doesn't work very well but it probably gets more otherwise pirated copies purchased (albiet only a small amount) then spending the same amount of time and money on improvements would.


This doesn't make any sense. Sorry. Capitalism isn't about improving improving your product to the consumer, but to milk the consumer for long and for a much as you can. That is why Steam and Blizzard are so successful, because they can milk the consumer for obnoxious amounts of time, with barely the same product. That is capitalism.
Another point, or you didn't read my post correctly, or you read too much on to it. I though i had put it simple.

Piracy is the competition in a market of exclusives.

That is the idea, and it is fairly logic. If you cant decipher the idea itself, sorry, cant help more than my original post.

purplerat said:

How many honest people it stops from buying it is another question, but it's not going to drive them to pirate the game. "I was going to buy it, but pirated because of DRM" is just a cop out for people who were going to steal it anyways. The idea that any significant % of consumers sways back and forth between honest consumer and theif depending on market conditions is a complete false hood. People who justify piracy because of DRM or crappy games will always find a reason to not have to pay. I'd be willing to bet that the most pirated games are also the most highly rated with the least amount of copy protection.


I gave the FIFA2008 vs the PES2008. Im a usual buyer of PES. I bought the 2008 and i wasn't disappointing. Due to the fact EA didn't let me try or return FIFA2008, i downloaded it to see if i liked it. I HATED IT. Remembered me of a excellent foot ball game MEXICO 86. Hell yeah.

if you treat games like any other product, calling STEALING for example, you must include all the OTHER rights to it. Rights that you and me have when we buy anything electronic.
All the other consumer rights to it. Read my post please, i guess you should have missed it.
July 29, 2008 4:24:48 PM

Gotta love the socialist who bashes capitalism as "but to milk the consumer for long and for a much as you can" but yet you demand all the best products which only capitalism can produce. Whatever you want to call piracy, I'm not going to argue about how you are or aren't stealing, it's still a fools argument to say it's good for the market or is "competition in a market of exclusives" - which doesn't even make sense. How is it a "competition in a market of exclusives" if all pirates are doing is reproducing exact copies of somebody elses content. If anything you are promoting exclusivness. Small developers are less able to both absorb the cost of piracy and/or try and prevent it. EA can mass produce tons of games each year and still turn a profit even if many games are not paid for. They also have the $ to invest in protecting their products.
Like I said I'm not going to debate whether piracy is right or wrong or stealing or not, but to try and justify it by saying it's a competitive or otherwise positive force within the industry is just plain silly. Silly, silly, sillly!!!
July 29, 2008 4:29:02 PM

Oh good grief...here we go again....why did I search for Martin's original thread?

This is like Groundhog Day, and there's not much in this thread can be considered new information or viewpoints.

Software piracy is stealing. Wait, no it's not -- I'm not physically depriving anything from anyone. Wait, yes I am -- I'm taking revenue away from the game developers/publishers. But wait, they deserve it -- their products are crap and they swindled me with a bad game. But wait, try a demo first before you buy the game. But hold on, demos suck and are misleading. But piracy is scaring away game developers from the PC! Wait, no it's not -- it's a form of quality control and only bad games get pirated. But wait, what about great games like Call of Duty 4 and Sins of a Solar Empire -- those got pirated quite a bit. But those games still sold great, so what's the big deal if a few got ripped....right?

Rinse. repeat. Again and again.

I will add one thing before I exit this thread. 3Ball, I respectfully disagree with your comments about piracy leading the way to free games like BF: Heroes and Quake Live. In fact, I've asked many publishers about that premise, and they scoff at it. Why? A "free" game doesn't mean it doesn't generate any revenue for the dev/pub. It's all about in-game advertising supporting the free game model, not piracy. Take a closer look at Quake Live and you'll see what I mean.
July 29, 2008 4:32:09 PM

Quote:
That is why Steam and Blizzard are so successful, because they can milk the consumer for obnoxious amounts of time, with barely the same product.

Could it be because they produce good products that people want? INCONCIVALBE!
July 29, 2008 4:39:30 PM

robwright said:
Oh good grief...here we go again....why did I search for Martin's original thread?

This is like Groundhog Day, and there's not much in this thread can be considered new information or viewpoints.

Software piracy is stealing. Wait, no it's not -- I'm not physically depriving anything from anyone. Wait, yes I am -- I'm taking revenue away from the game developers/publishers. But wait, they deserve it -- their products are crap and they swindled me with a bad game. But wait, try a demo first before you buy the game. But hold on, demos suck and are misleading. But piracy is scaring away game developers from the PC! Wait, no it's not -- it's a form of quality control and only bad games get pirated. But wait, what about great games like Call of Duty 4 and Sins of a Solar Empire -- those got pirated quite a bit. But those games still sold great, so what's the big deal if a few got ripped....right?

Rinse. repeat. Again and again.

I will add one thing before I exit this thread. 3Ball, I respectfully disagree with your comments about piracy leading the way to free games like BF: Heroes and Quake Live. In fact, I've asked many publishers about that premise, and they scoff at it. Why? A "free" game doesn't mean it doesn't generate any revenue for the dev/pub. It's all about in-game advertising supporting the free game model, not piracy. Take a closer look at Quake Live and you'll see what I mean.


Alright Rob, i guess your right, but there will be always discussions on this.

Lemme just add this to purplerat.
About capitalism and about Blizzard, you again missed the point. Like Talking to a brick wall. Never said they made bad games mate, only said they know how to milk a customer. Im not English native, a bit far from it, sometimes i write messy stuff. I believe this wasn't the case.

Like Martin said:

http://www.techreport.com/discussions.x/15189

This more than everything leads to piracy.


July 29, 2008 4:54:12 PM

I'm not sure how cows are viewed were you come from, but in the US the idea of being Milked is not a positive one. Cattle are seen as dumb animals used for nothing more than what can be taken from them. They receive the bare minimum required to get what is wanted and nothing else is giving to them in return (I'm sure you have some PETA friends who will tell you all about it). So to equate consumers with cattle getting milked implies that companies like Blizzard and Steam are just giving consumers the bare minimum required to make a profit and nothing more. Thus the consumer is getting the short end of the stick in the deal.
July 29, 2008 6:15:57 PM

robwright said:
I will add one thing before I exit this thread. 3Ball, I respectfully disagree with your comments about piracy leading the way to free games like BF: Heroes and Quake Live. In fact, I've asked many publishers about that premise, and they scoff at it. Why? A "free" game doesn't mean it doesn't generate any revenue for the dev/pub. It's all about in-game advertising supporting the free game model, not piracy. Take a closer look at Quake Live and you'll see what I mean.


I fully understand how they are generating revenue for there "free" games and I respect your position to disagree with me, but I do not believe that the game companies would be looking few new ways such as this to generate revenue. They may have considered it, but I strongly believe the recent slump that PC gaming has had is what pushed them to there decision to go all out with this idea.

id soft had considered trying to run this through a browser several years ago. (I read that in an intereview...I believe on IGN), but just didnt follow through with it. imo the reason for it was because they could have easily made money the conventional way...in just selling the game.

Nowadays less people are buying these games for different reasons from hardware requirements to piracy. Alot of people say that they pirate a game to see if it runs well on there system and when it doesnt then they dont buy it. This is yet again another lame justification imo, but alas...I digress.

So was piracy a direct result to this...no, probably not. I do believe though that it was one of the components that either 1.) Brought the idea back on the table (especially in EA's case with BF: H, because they are so prevelant about the issue) or 2.) Piracy finally pushed them to go through with there newer ways of thinkin in order to actually make some money.

I respect that you disagreed with me, but I feel that you thought I misunderstood the reasoning for the games being free and what their business plan was. This is not the case and I just needed to make that clear.

Best,

3Ball
July 29, 2008 6:58:18 PM

3Ball said:
I fully understand how they are generating revenue for there "free" games and I respect your position to disagree with me, but I do not believe that the game companies would be looking few new ways such as this to generate revenue. They may have considered it, but I strongly believe the recent slump that PC gaming has had is what pushed them to there decision to go all out with this idea.

id soft had considered trying to run this through a browser several years ago. (I read that in an intereview...I believe on IGN), but just didnt follow through with it. imo the reason for it was because they could have easily made money the conventional way...in just selling the game.

Nowadays less people are buying these games for different reasons from hardware requirements to piracy. Alot of people say that they pirate a game to see if it runs well on there system and when it doesnt then they dont buy it. This is yet again another lame justification imo, but alas...I digress.

So was piracy a direct result to this...no, probably not. I do believe though that it was one of the components that either 1.) Brought the idea back on the table (especially in EA's case with BF: H, because they are so prevelant about the issue) or 2.) Piracy finally pushed them to go through with there newer ways of thinkin in order to actually make some money.

I resprect that you disagreed with me, but I feel that you thought I misunderstood the reasoning for the games being free and what their business plan was. This is not the case and I just needed to make that clear.

Best,

3Ball


I've talked with enough developers and publishers to come to the conclusion that game piracy leads them to do only one thing -- find another way to make money and recoup the development costs. In some cases, like Crytek and other devs/pubs, piracy scares them away from the PC and they head for safer pastures, i.e. the consoles. In other cases, companies move to an online subscription model/digital distribution system to safeguard their products. And in some cases, pubs resort to restrictive DRM. Whatever the case, the idea that piracy is indirectly (or directly) improving the quality of the games couldn't be further from the truth. Publishers are businessmen, not gamers or devlopers. They control the budgets, and the equation is simple -- if a game is losing money because people are pirating it, then the next game's budget gets reduced. The more piracy, the lower the budget, hence the lower the quality. That's the cycle, guys. It's a fallacy to think that because people are pirating games, publishers wake up and say, "Gosh, we might as well give our games away for free!"

Take EA for example. Guys, this is the company that was going to charge gamers money for upgradable weapons in a game that you ALREADY BOUGHT (BF: Bad Company). This is also the company that tried to put a WORSE VERSION of SecuROM on Mass Effect and Spore. Do you really think EA is going to acquiesce to pirates in any way, shape or form? Or do you think it's about the publisher exploring another avenue to produce cheaper content and make potentially even more money? Read the fine print on BF: Heroes -- nothing is completely free.
July 29, 2008 7:14:37 PM

Haha wow...I'm definitely amused at the whole "capitalism" thing. I don't think it belongs here at all, save for the fact that it's not communism, in which case all the pirates would be paid the same as the publishers while doing nothing but sitting on their sorry bums all day.
July 29, 2008 7:21:41 PM

robwright said:
I've talked with enough developers and publishers to come to the conclusion that game piracy leads them to do only one thing -- find another way to make money and recoup the development costs.


I am not trying to cause problems or be rude, but doesnt this confirm what I said?

robwright said:
That's the cycle, guys. It's a fallacy to think that because people are pirating games, publishers wake up and say, "Gosh, we might as well give our games away for free!"


Assuming that this is directed at me as well. I feel that you still have the idea that I think that they are giving us the game for free because we would "steal" it anyways. As I explain...I fully understand that they are going to be atleast trying to make money on this new endeavor. I never said that they wouldnt.

robwright said:
Do you really think EA is going to acquiesce to pirates in any way, shape or form? Or do you think it's about the publisher exploring another avenue to produce cheaper content and make potentially even more money? Read the fine print on BF: Heroes -- nothing is completely free.


I have never been a fan of EA, but they publish so many games it is difficult to not get one of their products. This statement again shows that they are moving in a different direction because of some piracy related issue. I can definitely see them having microcharges for in game items of BF: Heroes, but I am unware of what you are getting at if that is your implication. Afterall, things like this are expected from EA at this point imo. lol

I feel that I am misunderstanding your point to an extent, so if you could help me in that regard that would be great. I also feel you missed mine, but hopefully I have cleared up that to some extent.

Best,

3Ball
July 29, 2008 7:46:54 PM

People should continue to discuss issues because laws change over time. This discussion will never end, because it's linked to human nature. Until we're in the Matrix and our overlord provides everything we need, there will be piracy, and we will need sensible mechanisms to protect both content creators and content users.

I posted the question not to convince people, but to have my own ideas changed if something more logical comes along. Times do change.

For example, if I start a company, then company assets are owned by all shareholders. If I sell shares for $15, and then buy a new CD with each purchase of a share, then all new shareholders will fund a new CD to the company collection. Thus by buying one share, you have access to the whole library, and can access it digitally over the internet for all of your own purposes.

I wonder how much they'd like that?
July 29, 2008 7:47:52 PM

3Ball, I don't really agree with you on the point that developers finding alternative revenue streams is necessarily a good thing for gaming. I'd much rather just pay a set amount up front for a piece of software than be nickle and dimed via subscriptions, ads or having to pay for additional content. Really what you are talking about is "Software as a Service" which is just about the ultimate form of DRM. I don't believe it's entirely the result of piracy, but it's not something I want either way. Forget about DRM that simply requires you to insert a disc or limits you to a certain number of activations. You'll be wishing that's all there was when single player FPSs get shut down for half a day for mandatory updates the same way MMOs do.
July 29, 2008 7:51:02 PM

Quote:
For example, if I start a company, then company assets are owned by all shareholders. If I sell shares for $15, and then buy a new CD with each purchase of a share, then all new shareholders will fund a new CD to the company collection. Thus by buying one share, you have access to the whole library, and can access it digitally over the internet for all of your own purposes.

I wonder how much they'd like that?


Sounds like a pyramid scheme, which by the way is illegal :p 
July 29, 2008 7:59:52 PM

Most of these are publicly owned companies. Thus their ultimate responsibility is to maximize profits for the shareholders, not make quality games. Software is one of the few areas that sometimes totally defective products are sold, and there is no recourse at all. Remember Battlefield 2142 titan combat? Crashed the servers, and they already had my money and offer no refund.

Free games usually have AD BASED content. Not only does it usually get the publishers software installed on their PC, which usually has ads, it also offers direct downloads of their other titles, for impulse buys. Then there is in-game ad content. Since their free, they can stay up forever, and as time goes on and worldwide PC hardware upgrades, these titles will be able to be played even in the back alleys of Calcutta, offering more chances for ad revenue.

Almost all of Google's fortune is from AD profits, so I'm not buying its not profitable.

My central theme is simply that companies should not be able to prevent me from making archival copies as a measure to prevent piracy. Anything else is go, be it online activation or high-security keys tied to personal accounts. I think World of Warcraft and other games prove that authentication works, and that even the few community run servers aren't denting their profits.

I think Steam makes the case for DRM that is both effective and non-intrusive. This Securom stuff is not only ineffective, but has secondary effects on my right to archive, which Steam does not.
July 29, 2008 8:00:00 PM

purplerat said:
3Ball, I don't really agree with you on the point that developers finding alternative revenue streams is necessarily a good thing for gaming. I'd much rather just pay a set amount up front for a piece of software than be nickle and dimed via subscriptions, ads or having to pay for additional content. Really what you are talking about is "Software as a Service" which is just about the ultimate form of DRM. I don't believe it's entirely the result of piracy, but it's not something I want either way. Forget about DRM that simply requires you to insert a disc or limits you to a certain number of activations. You'll be wishing that's all there was when single player FPSs get shut down for half a day for mandatory updates the same way MMOs do.


No no no, you misunderstand. I much rather prefer the tradition up front cost as well. What I am saying is that these low requirement/free games (atleast the initial game is free. In quake live I am pretty sure the entire thing is free) will help the PC game community expand out to people who otherwise would not play them. I am not saying this will happen for sure, but it has a chance of happening. Which I think is exactly what they devs are hoping for. Since after all, the only way to generate ad revenue is if there are enough people playing the game and viewing the ads for people to actually advertise in these games.

I just think that if these games get a strong community behind them that they may get the itch to venture off into the more traditional games and get more into PC gaming as a whole.

For example: I first played counter strike on my PC that could barily handle it, but it could run and I played for free because a friend installed it on my comp for a lan party. (This was like 8 or 9 years ago) This free game that I was able to run on my system made me curious is to what other games on the PC were like, since before this experiance happend I didnt care to much about PC gaming. Now look at where I am.

So these low requirement/free to play games I hope will have a similar effect on some people. Obviously not all, but why shoot down my hope guys! In theory what I am saying is good is it not? If not...please set me straight! lol

Best,

3Ball
July 29, 2008 8:02:17 PM

Ya know what....everyone just ignore all of my statements in this thread (except this one lol). I must have worded something completely wrong because everyone is takin what I have said in a completely different direction than what it was originally meant. lol my bad I suppose.

Best,

3Ball
July 29, 2008 8:02:27 PM

Pyramid schemes are against the law. This is not a pyramid scheme as you aren't required to recruit people to make profits. If you recruit others, you just have a larger library to choose from. You pay 15$, and choose a CD you want the company to buy in your name to contribute to the foundation. If the CD is already there, you can donate it to a community wish-list. You will have eternal access to the CD you chose, and all other company assets. There is no scam.
July 29, 2008 8:18:49 PM

3Ball said:
Ya know what....everyone just ignore all of my statements in this thread (except this one lol). I must have worded something completely wrong because everyone is takin what I have said in a completely different direction than what it was originally meant. lol my bad I suppose.

Best,

3Ball


Sorry, 3Ball, I didn't mean for my last post to come across as a knock against you. I was replying to your post not to disagree with you necessarily but to address the points you brought up and expand on them. Wasn't trying to "get all up in your grill or nuthin'"
July 29, 2008 8:33:28 PM

robwright said:
Sorry, 3Ball, I didn't mean for my last post to come across as a knock against you. I was replying to your post not to disagree with you necessarily but to address the points you brought up and expand on them. Wasn't trying to "get all up in your grill or nuthin'"


Ah, ya see...I knew I was missing your point in there! Touche sir! Well now that we have that out of the way. Just curious...anyone from Tom's Games makin it out to QuakeCon this weekend?

Best,

3Ball
July 29, 2008 8:35:50 PM

I know it's not a true pyramid scheme - though it could easily be turned into one by tweaking a few details. But I doubt such a scheme would be legal anyways. I have no real knowledge of corporate law but I doubt using a publicly owned company as a front to buy a product intended for personal use and redistribute it is legal. Actually I’d guess that doing so would carry much heavier penalties than if you just bought the CD yourself and shared it with all of your friends.
July 29, 2008 9:17:38 PM

3Ball said:
Ah, ya see...I knew I was missing your point in there! Touche sir! Well now that we have that out of the way. Just curious...anyone from Tom's Games makin it out to QuakeCon this weekend?

Best,

3Ball


Well, I was planning on being at QuakeCon but had to drop out. However, we do have some folks going, and I'm envious.

RAGE!!!!!!!!!
July 29, 2008 9:22:55 PM

robwright said:
Well, I was planning on being at QuakeCon but had to drop out. However, we do have some folks going, and I'm envious.

RAGE!!!!!!!!!


Yea I cant wait to see that. This will be my 5th year going.

Best,

3Ball
July 29, 2008 10:17:47 PM

purplerat said:
I'm not sure how cows are viewed were you come from, but in the US the idea of being Milked is not a positive one. Cattle are seen as dumb animals used for nothing more than what can be taken from them. They receive the bare minimum required to get what is wanted and nothing else is giving to them in return (I'm sure you have some PETA friends who will tell you all about it). So to equate consumers with cattle getting milked implies that companies like Blizzard and Steam are just giving consumers the bare minimum required to make a profit and nothing more. Thus the consumer is getting the short end of the stick in the deal.


In some cases, don't doubt that is what happen. Content is being released in timely fashion. This is obviously the drawback of a monthly fee. I guess you never played a game with a monthly fee then, or this problem wouldnt be new to you. This is one of the reasons i hate all the hype generated around software/hardware, because the only function is to start selling hard and fast.

Consumers are like cattle. You should start reading more. Start with marketing and advertising. You will be surprised.
Or better yet, talk with somebody in higher position in a big distribuition chain. He will tell you clients/consumers have "defined" path from when they enter to when they leave.

Or do you think the stores are just randomly organized by the sales-monkey ? No mate.
Sales projections, trends, local distribuition, local preferences, god, the list is endless.

We are all milked as consumers. Dont get offended, get informed. As a consumer it is the best you can do. I for example, working in IT for a long time now, i never had a USB Pen nor a laptop. But i do have a ftp area with dynamic IP pointing to my router. So, why do i need trendy and sometimes expensive products ?????

Again, dont get offended, get informed. I guess thats is,at least partially, the reason why THG exists.
July 29, 2008 10:54:25 PM

Sorry for the off topic with purplerat, but back on topic robwright.

As you correctly said, many publishers are trying to get other forms of income. In-game publicity seems to be one around.Alternative forms of revenue are always being searched for.

Necessity is the mother of Invention. People hated Vista, so many changed to Linux/Mac for a breeze of fresh air.

Fact: Piracy does hurt the software houses.
Fact: Distributors sometimes hurts software houses even more than piracy.
Fact: With more less money because of piracy, games are developed with a tighter schedule, and less budget,
Fact: Piracy, in consumer cycles, brings more gamers to the PC gaming Arena. You wont buy your first game, but you might buy your second.
Fact: In the US, the distribuition chain is great. In the rest of the world it is not. America might be Great, but Europe is a sizable market and China is a huge, almost virgin market. World of Wacraft is a Juggernaught because of the Far East market.
Fact: Bad games wont sell well. Hype can give them a push, but they fail on short terms sales.
Fact: Good games will sell well. Hype might influenciate the initial sales, but the short/middle terms sales are defined by publicity "mouth-to-mouth".
Fact: People have fun playing games, so they will only buy ANOTHER FPS when they had their fun with the previous.

To this i want to add, if publishers/developers had the option to sell on the internet and shipped worldwide, their sales would just bust a nut. Instead MAINLY EA is going still on the tradicional methods of distribuition with all the problems that brings along.

Why in the world (Is Carmen Sandiego) would i send snail mail to anybody this days ? I just email them. I guess everybody here does it.

So why do i need to take my car, drive a few miles to buy my games ? I even buy my groceries on the web. And they get payed and delivered on the act. Why cant i do them them with my games. I can pre-order on the phone (after the launch date, before it is pointless) , and theni got to leave my house, drive a few miles to get them.

I know i america you get all the games under the sun mailed at you. In Europe you dont, and i doubt about it in Asia. So, in the list of those facts this rant is there aswell. Maybe they arent making enough money NOT because the quality of the game is bad, but because the distribuition channels are hardly fine tuned also.

Edit:typ0 festival. Bah in home, i dont have english dicionary on my firefox.
July 29, 2008 10:58:35 PM

Piracy is quite simply not a black and white issue and it seems that most of you are treating it as one.

This debate feels a bit too similar to Democrats vs Republicans.

Regardless of whether you consider piracy to be the greatest evil facing the gaming industry, or it's misunderstood savior, it is a reality that companies must contend with. There are good ways of handling the situation, and there are bad ways. What we are seeing now is the 3000 pound gorilla EA stubbornly sticking to the least effective methods and willfully causing legitimate customers problems in doing so and many if not most of the smaller publishers changing gears to meet the new challenges in more constructive ways.
!