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A Boxless Industry - Digital Downloads 37

Posted by Zonk
from the steam-for-everyone dept.
Next Generation is running an article entitled Gaming's Digital Future, discussing the reality that digital downloads are likely to be commonplace in the industry in the near future. Today they've polled publishers for their opinions, with developer and distributor opinions later in the week. From the article: "While the digital distribution of music took that industry by surprise, and Hollywood is still figuring out the best way to utilize digital distribution for movies; the videogame industry has embraced digital distribution as a new revenue stream for videogames new and old, at least on the PC side of the games business."
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A Boxless Industry - Digital Downloads

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  • by Phantasmo (586700) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @02:22PM (#13660695)
    First of all, I don't think that music downloads took the music industry by surprise. I think they did a good job of acting surprised. It's very important to them that we think of ourselves and each other as thieves who will only feed the starving artists when we're forced to.

    Okay, rant over.

    As for downloading software, I've seen both ends of the spectrum. Steam, IMO, sucks hard. Downloads and patches take forever, and the decryption takes even longer.

    Guild Wars, on the other hand, was a pleasant surprise. Buy your access key online, download the 90k client (which can be downloaded anywhere in case you want to show the game off to a friend or play during a long break at school) and you're playing within 10 minutes. Yes, it downloads the bare minimum to get you logged in and playing, then pulls down the rest of the content while you play.

    I doubt very highly that I'll ever buy another Valve game, but I will be ordering Chapter 2 of Guild Wars as soon as it becomes available. The Guild Wars model (no annoying DRM, up and running in 10 minutes) should be blatantly ripped-off by everyone in the industry. It's elegant, simple, convenient and shows respect for the customer.

    Okay, a little more ranting:
    the last game that I bought in store was Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory. I brought it home to discover that the copy protection software isn't compatible with my drive, so I can't play it. Unfortunately I had to open the box to discover this, so I can't take it back, either. Ubisoft has ignored my e-mails so far (I even went so far as to send them postal mail, also ignored). I could have just downloaded a pre-cracked torrent for free but instead I got burned because I felt I should contribute to their company. So I'd much rather buy my software online if only to get around incredibly stupid copy protection schemes.

The key elements in human thinking are not numbers but labels of fuzzy sets. -- L. Zadeh

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