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Valve Takes Optimistic View of Piracy 509

Posted by Soulskill
from the non-customer-is-always-right dept.
GameDaily recently spoke with Jason Holtman, director of business development and legal affairs for Valve, about online sales and piracy. Holtman took a surprising stance on the latter, effectively taking responsibility for at least a portion of pirated games. Quoting: "'There's a big business feeling that there's piracy,' he says. But the truth is: 'Pirates are underserved customers. When you think about it that way, you think, "Oh my gosh, I can do some interesting things and make some interesting money off of it." We take all of our games day-and-date to Russia,' Holtman says of Valve. 'The reason people pirated things in Russia,' he explains, 'is because Russians are reading magazines and watching television — they say "Man, I want to play that game so bad," but the publishers respond "you can play that game in six months...maybe." We found that our piracy rates dropped off significantly,' Holtman says." Attitudes like this seem to be prevalent at Valve; last month we talked about founder Gabe Newell's comments that "most DRM strategies are just dumb."
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Valve Takes Optimistic View of Piracy

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  • Finally (Score:5, Insightful)

    by zwekiel (1445761) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @02:14PM (#26507709)
    Finally some intelligent thought on this matter from game publishers. They should focus on benefits that will get pirates to switch over, rather than annoying DRM technologies which do nothing but hinder the use of the game by legitimate customers, while real pirates bypass them with ease.
  • Common Sense (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Manfre (631065) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @02:19PM (#26507755) Homepage Journal

    Common sense is a lot better than DRM. Glad to see that at least some companies are willing to spend a few hours to identify reasons why people pirate games and think of simple solutions.

  • Naivete (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Sunday January 18, 2009 @02:20PM (#26507759) Homepage
    From my experience in various Eastern European countries over the last decade, the reason people pirate is not because they don't get attention from publishers. It's because people don't think films and games should cost much more than the cost of their storage media. Who doesn't want to get stuff for almost free?
  • Re:Finally (Score:4, Insightful)

    by zach297 (1426339) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @02:21PM (#26507771)
    DRM is not designed to stop pirates forever. It is designed to stop it for the first few weeks when a game makes a large portion of its money. In that respect DRM has been successful in some cases (but not all).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 18, 2009 @02:22PM (#26507797)

    He'll have to retract his statement that game companies are the cause of some kinds of piracy.

  • by Archimonde (668883) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @02:22PM (#26507799) Homepage

    I downloaded Team Fortress 2 via torrent and played on some cracked servers. But that was pain because the servers were changing daily, then had to manually download patches, update and then realize that the next day servers reverted to the patch before etc. But the game was excellent and I thought, those guys really deserve the money, and I would have a hassle-free experience. Then I went out and bought Orange Box (which includes TF2).

    Now year later I'm still playing this excellent game and it was worth every penny.

    But I see a problem though. I generally use Steam as the game updater, nothing more really. But take for example GTAIV. It requires three services to be active when playing: Steam, Games for Windows and rockstar social club. 3 separate registrations and 3 resource eating programs. That is way over the top.
     

  • Saying I heard (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Caboosian (1096069) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @02:24PM (#26507807)
    "Companies need to stop treating potential customers like pirates, and pirates like potential customers." That's exactly what Valve is doing, and has been doing, and will continue to do. That's also why I continue to buy their games, rather than pirate them (hi EA).
  • Re:Finally (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mabhatter654 (561290) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @02:29PM (#26507853)

    this is where they benefit by Steam. They make their money from online access. That is much easier to police. So a few people crack HL2... if they can't get updates easily or play on the main servers with their friends, regular people won't deal with it past a certain point. Make it slightly easier for the paying customers than for people to casually pirate... the "real" pirates won't be phased... but they won't ever pay anyway.

  • Re:Finally (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 18, 2009 @02:30PM (#26507857)

    Typically when I download a game, it's before the release date. DRM does nothing to prevent this. If publishers used a digital distribution model like Valve and had a secure supply chain, they'd probably see less piracy.

    I usually end up downloading a game because it's available before you can buy it in stores - I'm not going to be noble and wait an extra week so the publisher can make it available for purchase; no, I want it as soon as I can get it.

    To that end, digitally distributed games should cost less than their physically distributed counterparts - I feel cheated when I don't get the neat box/manual/CD case/map/other goodies but I pay the same price.

  • by JaredOfEuropa (526365) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @02:34PM (#26507887) Journal

    Pirates are underserved customers.

    Just so, at least in my case. And I hope that music and movie publishers will come to this sensible conclusion as well. I'd love to be able to download a legal "zero day" copy of movies direct from the studios... or go see the movie in the week of its release. Not wait until they finally get around releasing it in my country. As for music... the not-really-legal AllOfMP3 should be an example to the music industry. A wide selection of music, and more importantly, a wide selection of formats, from MP3, WAV, to OGG. Now there's "plays for sure" for you... And you could choose the bitrate as well, from small files to files without compression.

    If publishers stop punishing their legit customers with crippled products and late releases, those customers might decide to not turn to piracy.

  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @02:38PM (#26507915)

    I think part of the problem companies have is they try and group everyone who copies games or music or whatever in to one group. They talk about "pirates" as though it is one homogeneous group with one mindset. That's not the case. There are important sub groups, and the question needs to be what do you do about each? For example I'd say you can divide people who copy along these rough lines:

    1) People who want stuff for free and wouldn't pay no matter what. You write these people off and just don't worry about them. They are the kind that even if you made it impossible to copy your stuff, they'd just do without. You aren't going to get their money so just don't bother. Let them do what they do.

    2) People who are doing a "try before you buy." In music in particular I've known people like this. They want to download albums to see if they like them and want to buy them. For these people you needn't worry too much, they are likely to buy if they like your stuff. Only things to do is make sure you are offering quality stuff, and try to offer a superior experience if they pay. For example in the case of a game maybe a nice online community and auto updater, that requires a legit copy.

    3) People who pay for some stuff, but don't have enough money for everything they want. They are somewhat similar to the first group, but they do buy things, just not everything they get. Something like university students with little disposable income. This is the only group that tighter DRM measures might help you get more money. However if everyone is tightening DRM, well you are back to where you started.

    4) People who would like to pay you, if only you'd let them. These are the people who either live in a country where you refuse to release your product, or people who have been screwed over by your DRM. They'd like to buy your stuff, but you won't let them, or your protection technology means it won't work. Thus they turn to copying it. These people the answer is less, not more DRM to get more money. Give them the ability to pay legitimately, and they will.

    Ok well when you start breaking it down, you see that really there are a number of groups that you just need to write off. You aren't getting any more money from them, so stop worrying. Don't screw over people who want to be customers just to try and screw over those who don't. It really needs to be looked at as a profit maximization thing. Implement DRM only to the point that it actually helps you make more money. Don't just try and "punish" people for copying your stuff. I mean really, who cares? You are in it to make money, not to be a justice crusader.

    I also think firms fail to take in to account the cost of DRM. It's never free. Most of it is purchased from a third party and there's costs for that, Macrovision isn't a charity, and if you develop it in house you are paying the development cost. Either way you pay the support cost. So if you spend $100,000 buying a DRM package, but it only gets you $50,000 in additional sales, it was a lousy buy because you actually lost money. If it then also loses you $25,000 more sales from people who can't play, well then it was a REALLY lousy buy.

    I think the best thing companies can do it make it easy for people to buy things legitimately, make the legitimate buying experience better than the illegal copying, and provide things that are a good value for the money. That will get the most sales. The copying figures don't matter, what matters is getting the most sales you can. If you do something that increases copying by ten times, but also sales by ten times, well then that's a win. Doesn't matter that copying went up, what matters is sales went up.

  • Re:GTA4 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by zippthorne (748122) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @02:42PM (#26507945) Journal

    Uh.. I think speaking on it is one of his tools for cleaning up the mess. A big, "Hey, stop asking for this delayed release thing, it's only hurting you" message.

  • by Iceykitsune (1059892) <stevemon23&gmail,com> on Sunday January 18, 2009 @02:51PM (#26508061)
    5.) people who want games that are not sold anymore.
  • by Zironic (1112127) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @02:53PM (#26508075)

    The basic premise is that there are enough people that are willing to pay for things that they like that the industry can go around, not everyone will get things for free just because they can.

  • Re:Finally (Score:5, Insightful)

    by flewp (458359) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @02:57PM (#26508109)

    To that end, digitally distributed games should cost less than their physically distributed counterparts - I feel cheated when I don't get the neat box/manual/CD case/map/other goodies but I pay the same price.

    I don't know, I personally think the same price is justified if I can download it as many times as I want, whenever I want. I can't count how many times I've reinstalled games via Steam, and been happy with the process. It's usually even pretty quick to download even ~4gb of data for an install.

  • Re:Finally (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) <sexwithanimals@gmail.com> on Sunday January 18, 2009 @03:04PM (#26508187) Homepage
    I've purchased games I wanted through Steam instead of pirating them simply because it was easier to get it through Steam.
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @03:05PM (#26508197)

    But those people aren't the ones that you will win over as customer as a producer of content anyway. Why bother trying? They will not buy your stuff, even if you somehow managed to magically find that holy grail of DRM (i.e. DRM that actually works and is unbreakable), they wouldn't buy your content. They'd settle for other content that they can copy because they don't buy on principle. I'm fairly sure they don't play games like WoW (or if on some half-assed "hacked" server), they probably don't play multiplayer FPS games (or if on some "hacked" servers that also don't check for cheats) and so on. This is not your customer base. This is your user base. And, frankly, I don't care for the users of my software. I care about the customers.

    Make software for the people that buy your software, not for the people that use it. It may look like the same, but it isn't as you pointed out quite directly. What would the customers of a FPS multiplayer game want? What can I offer to them as paying customers that they couldn't get from illegitimate copies? Focus on this and more people will buy it. The GP made a valid point. A "legal" copy has its benefits. Less hassle updating, more available game servers, anti-cheat tools at those servers ... actually that last point may well play into your hands as a manufacturer when you actually allow copies to exist but force them to play on cheater ridden servers because your cheat aware servers won't let them in. First of all, all the cheaters will avoid your servers, because it's less hassle to cheat on a server that has no anticheat means installed. Now, I tend to think that this demographic matches the "would not buy it anyway" group pretty well. Second, fewer attempts to hack your anticheat mechanisms would happen, since cheeaters have a place to play. And everyone who's fed up with cheaters will probably drop the 50ish buck for your game to get out of wallhack hell and play the game.

    In a nutshell, you have to give people an incentive to buy the game instead of copying it. So far, I've seen tons of incentives to NOT buy the game (stupid DRM, CD checks, limited installs, CD drives that can't deal with the DRM... all problems that only apply to actual customers but never to people who copied your content). Give the person buying your game something they can't get with a ripped copy, and people will buy your games.

    If someone is avoiding buying games on principle to show how "cool" he is, you won't sway him. No matter how much DRM you cram into your game and no matter how much you piss off your paying customer. At the very best, you may keep someone from copying it (let's assume some miracle DRM nobody has seen, i.e. one that actually keeps people from copying for more than a few minutes or hours). But that isn't a sale yet, quite far from it. The idea that "can't copy == sale" is flawed at best. There's a thousand other games out there that I can copy, if I can't copy yours, so be it. NEXT!

  • Re:Finally (Score:3, Insightful)

    by FishWithAHammer (957772) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @03:07PM (#26508215)

    You know, that's actually a really good idea. I really like that idea.

    Although I'd think they'd release a patch to remove the check rather than have it check time servers, because checking time servers makes it really easy to crack right away.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @03:19PM (#26508325)

    That is exactly what's wrong with content. A legally bought product has to be worth more than an illegaly acquired one. And it's usually the reverse when it comes to content.

    Usually, when you buy a piece of hardware, furniture or whatever, you have additional benefits when you buy it legally in a store instead of, say, off a truck. You get warranty, you get coupons for addons, you get support, you get all those nifty little things that you're either entitled to by law or because the manufacturer wants to keep you as a customer. All that is not at your disposal when you get something from Honest Henry's Fencing Outlet.

    It's the opposite with content. When you download a rip, no hassle. No DRM, no "keep that CD in the drive" problem, no messing with your driver setup, no limit on installations, in short, no DRM hassles. When you buy it, your HD is filled with crap drivers that clog your system or worse, you have to dig for that CD key codes every time you want to reinstall it (btw, why do they print that on the manuals, the manual is the FIRST thing I lose. Some are smart enough to at least put the sticker into the CD case... if you get a CD case at all these days, of course...), no phone hassle when you should dare to install it more than thrice (and then prepare to be accused of being such a pesky pirate, and cheeky to boot because you DARE to call them after you stole their crap) and so on.

    The same applies to music and movie content. In a nutshell, copy cripled content that you can buy is limited in its use, either to a certain format, forcing you to watch stupid commercials before you may watch the movie you paid for or wanting to limit you to the countries that you may watch it in... all those limitations and more do not apply to content you did not pay for.

    So, allow me the question, when content is worth more (in terms of flexibility and usability) to me as a customer when I rip it instead of buying it, explain to me why I should buy it? Just because of the legality issues? A business model that is based on pissing off your customer because you can, since he can't get your product legally any other way but to allow you to piss him off is not really what I consider a sound and sane business model.

  • by itsdapead (734413) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @03:24PM (#26508367)

    Its not that Slashdot loves piracy, its that many people on /. hate the idea of copyright infringement being treated as equivalent to theft of physical property, and they hate stupid DRM schemes that make life difficult for people who have acquired software legally but which the most serious, organised, pirates seem to have little difficulty circumventing.

    I'm a software engineer and I'd be out on the streets if our customers illegally downloaded our software.

    No, you'd be out on the streets if not enough of your customers paid for your software to keep the company profitable.

    but most pirates are people who want to listen to music, watch movies, or play games for free.

    In which case, they were never going to pay for your software anyway, so unless they physically stole a boxed copy which you had paid to manufacture, you have not lost a dime. Most software/recording industry scare stories make the ludicrous assumption that every pirate copy represents a lost sale.

    Conversely, some people who pirate your software will go legal when the next version arrives (or someone checks up), recommend it to others or (if its serious software) acquire skills in using it which result in future sales.

    Equally, if you try and stamp out piracy by treating your paying customers as potential criminals and using intrusive DRM, you will lose customers to the competition (be it pirates, other companies or open source).

  • by p0tat03 (985078) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @03:43PM (#26508549)

    Agreed. A few friends and I got together and got the Left 4 Dead 4-pack and having been playing the hell out of it - while an entirely separate group have pirated the game and seem incredulous that we chose to *buy* the game.

    Piracy will continue to proper until we as a society start looking down on it with the same disdain we treat freeloaders.

  • Re:Finally (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stephanruby (542433) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @03:51PM (#26508621)

    DRM is not designed to stop pirates forever. It is designed to stop it for the first few weeks when a game makes a large portion of its money. In that respect DRM has been successful in some cases (but not all).

    Name one single well-known DRM example where this has actually been the case, that the game wasn't pirated within the first week. Your assertion is actually quite reasonable, after all DRM may not be winning the war but surely it must be having one or two victories -- it's just that I don't know of one single popular example myself where this was the case.

    DRM makes as much sense to me as those nefarious FBI warnings that you can't forward through at the beginning of those DVDs. Only the non-pirating consumers are being penalized by that functionality, the consumers that are pirating on the other hand do not even see those.

  • Re:Finally (Score:3, Insightful)

    by linhares (1241614) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @04:04PM (#26508719)
    You ARE paying a price, though it's not a monetary one. You are running the risk of running some pirated game that may infest your machine(s) in unpredictable ways, such as installing a keylogger or other shit like that.
  • Re:Finally (Score:2, Insightful)

    by fucket (1256188) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @04:20PM (#26508845)
    As far as I can tell, that is actually more of an issue with legitimately purchased copies. Huge mechanisms have evolved to overcome the trust issues inherent to "pirated" software.
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @04:28PM (#26508921)

    Maybe, but when you're dealing with Anime, it's interesting how often you actually get better quality from counterfeiters.

  • Re:Finally (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 18, 2009 @05:00PM (#26509181)

    And people like me who rarely play a game more than an hour or two can spend five hours downloading a game from a crappy seeder just to delete it the next day after getting bored with it, without wasting $50!

  • Re:Naivete (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 18, 2009 @05:03PM (#26509209)
    Nice try Captain Revisionist, but the October, February and succeeding Soviet Revolutions were very much communist and all of the hard working 'capitalists' that lost their family owned businesses through appropriation would probably argue otherwise, if they could. While the end result might have been complete corruption of communist 'ideals' (arguably the end result of communism), the beginnings were very much communist.
  • Re:Finally (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 18, 2009 @05:09PM (#26509277)

    Huge mechanisms have evolved to overcome the trust issues inherent to "pirated" software.

    lol, what a load. Simply because something is put out by a trusted release group means fuck all.

    Oh and quoting "pirated" just makes you look like a douchebag who is trying to pretend what he does is legitimate.

  • Re:Naivete (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sj0 (472011) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @05:10PM (#26509281) Homepage Journal

    Science works, bitches.

    "We found that our piracy rates dropped off significantly," meaning the prediction that piracy rates would go down when release dates became the same as other countries was proven true with hard data.

  • Re:Finally (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Kral_Blbec (1201285) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @05:12PM (#26509297)

    If they dont have the money to buy the game, where did they get the money to buy a system powerful enough to run it?

  • by Kalriath (849904) * on Sunday January 18, 2009 @05:14PM (#26509317)

    Receivers can be called in whether you're publicly traded or not. And I assure you - in the event Valve goes under, the creditors aren't going to let the outgoing management authorise the wholesale destruction of Valve's entire asset base - its software.

    In other words, if Valve goes under it doesn't matter what Gabe Newell says, he's no longer in charge and the receivers will decide if they'll patch games to remove checks - and I guarantee they wont.

  • TV (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Repton (60818) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @05:19PM (#26509351) Homepage

    The reason people download tv shows in New Zealand is because kiwis are reading blogs and watching fansites - they say, "Man, I want to watch that show so bad," but the networks and distributors respond, "you can watch that show in six months...maybe."

  • Re:Finally (Score:4, Insightful)

    by HungryHobo (1314109) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @05:32PM (#26509437)

    If you go to the easiest to find with a google search sites then you're, likely to get a virus but I'm told some pirate sites are remarkably virus free. At the same time some commercial products include software which neatly fit the definition of "malicious virus".
    Personally I tend to buy legit games because I trust them more, I expect them to not contain code that will fuck up my machine. Every event like the sony rootkit fiasco hurts that trust though.

  • Re:Naivete (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Krneki (1192201) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @05:46PM (#26509535)

    Warez usually works better then legitimate CD.

  • Re:Finally (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ChangelingJane (1042436) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @05:47PM (#26509545)
    My guess is the FBI warning is there to scare off average consumers thinking about "doing that pirating thing" rather than trying to affect people who already do it.
  • And they don't cut out bits they think will be inappropriate for western "target" audiences.

  • Re:Finally (Score:5, Insightful)

    by QMalcolm (1094433) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @06:14PM (#26509783)

    I've never really understood why people are afraid to play online if they aren't good. When you play tennis for the first time, you'll get your ass handed to you also. When you played chess for the first time you probably lost badly. Is it the fact that you might get chewed out by some 15 year old you'll never meet?

  • Re:Finally (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Frogbert (589961) <frogbert.gmail@com> on Sunday January 18, 2009 @06:35PM (#26509967)

    I'd trust RELOADED over Starforce any day.

  • Re:Finally (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ekhben (628371) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @07:02PM (#26510281)
    I paid for Spore, and it still installed a trojan rootkit. Where's the downside to pirated software, again?
  • Re:Finally (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Buelldozer (713671) <cliffNO@SPAMgindulis.net> on Sunday January 18, 2009 @07:22PM (#26510487)

    I can't speak for anyone but myself but my answer has two parts:

    1) Frustration: I'm no slouch at FPS style games. 10 years ago I was in my middle 20s and was a member of several clans for several different games. I was never the best of anyone in my clan but I was usually in the top 10%. However I could *never* figure out how to make the jump into the top brackets.

    It's even worse today in my mid 30s. When I hop on for a quick game of GenericShooter on either the PC or the 360 it's like I'm massively outclassed by at least 30% of the players. I'm still capable of fragging at least half the room but the players above me are so FAR above it's difficult to control shouts of "teh hax!" or "cheater!". What makes it even worse is that I KNOW some percentage of the players ARE cheating...even on the consoles.

    In short I'm frustrated by my seeming inability to be competitive at the level I would like to be.

    2) Embarrassment: Who wants to compete and consistently lose, especially when it's coworkers or online associates that you compete against?

    Put those two together with the constant stream of ABUSE you take, even if you're a good player, when you play online and I think it's obvious why so many people stay away.

    After being called a "n00b" about 2,000,000 times and a "fag" about 42,000,000,000,000 times during online play the better question is why does ANYONE put up with it!?

  • Re:Finally (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 18, 2009 @07:25PM (#26510511)

    In tennis and chess you will generally be playing against people at or around your skill level. You don't go against Venus Williams or Kasparov when you're starting out, you play with a friend or in, say, a beginner's tournament. Maybe you won't get to be a pro yourself but it's fun to be evenly matched if you're a casual player of the sport.

    In most online FPS and MMORPG games, you're instantly up against a lot of people who are incredibly good and seem to have 36 hours a day to spend online "training" and learning every tactic, secret trick and nook and cranny of the environment. That's fine if you want to put in the time to get good yourself (and endure a lot of heckling and griefing on the way) but not so good if you're a casual gamer just looking for a fun game.

  • Re:Finally (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Hadlock (143607) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @07:58PM (#26510811) Homepage Journal

    Demoman, and maybe, MAYBE the spy require reflexes. Heavy? Bullet spam cannon. Soldier? Splash damage. Medic heals. Sniper is sniper in any game. Engineer? Sentries. Pyro? Hah. Demo man, and I don't mean yours or my skill level, but a GOOD demoman will mop the floor with the opposing team using regular grenades. Aiming is not a huge issue in this game, people are constantly spamming ammo in random directions constantly. Spy needs good reflexes to jump over enemies while cloaked on stairs for the backstab, or stab-n-sap engineers. What class/map/gamestyle were you playing?

  • Re:Finally (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sortius_nod (1080919) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @08:26PM (#26511001) Homepage

    You do realise by putting a "meh" at the start of your paragraph you just destroyed any credibility you may have had?

    I'd say you're more painting yourself into a corner for no good reason.

    Go play Hello Kitty Island Adventure if you want a game to be "easy" (which is what you are saying).

  • by MrJones (4691) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @10:50PM (#26512041) Homepage Journal

    You can not spect to sell a 50$ game in a 250$ minimum salary country!

    So, is you can sell a game in a 3rd world country at the same relative price than in a 1st world country, then, maybe then the problem will be solved

    BTW, I live in a 3rd world country ;)

  • Re:Finally (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BlueCollarCamel (884092) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @11:00PM (#26512121) Homepage

    Or just download the demo which is much smaller than the actual game, so you don't spend 5 hours downloading it. Most are long enough to last you an hour or two, and you don't commit piracy.

  • Re:Finally (Score:2, Insightful)

    by BlueCollarCamel (884092) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @11:06PM (#26512155) Homepage

    Being called a "n00b" and a "fag" ceased the minute I stopped playing Counter-Strike. What a terrible game it was. I now play UT3/TF2/L4D on regular servers/with people I've "friended" and all is well.

  • Re:Finally (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RyatNrrd (662756) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @11:32PM (#26512325) Homepage Journal

    You've hit it on the head: EXACTLY what is wrong with Steam. Why would I pay retail prices or MORE to receive no install media, no printed manuals, no feelies and no package, plus pay for the distribution myself through ISP charges? Screw that.

    Let's see prices that reflect the lower distribution cost, lower quality product, lack of resale value and lower stock risk. Let's see playable demos of everything. Let's see a proper guarantee that Steam games will contiunue to work when the Steam service shuts down.

    Steam is pants. Don't buy pants.

  • Re:Finally (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bronney (638318) on Monday January 19, 2009 @12:44AM (#26512801) Homepage

    I can't compete with people

    Dude, relax. Why do you want to "compete" with people? Aren't real life competitive enough? Slow down, have a mountain dew, and enjoy the game. Who cares if you lose. Have fun.

    What I enjoy most in online game isn't even the game, but the interaction and the occasional 12 yo that decides to speak on the mic.

  • Re:Finally (Score:2, Insightful)

    by PhreezeVi (1435807) on Monday January 19, 2009 @08:26AM (#26514713)

    I have never played a demo that was actually the same as the full game. They show you the best parts to suck you in and get you to purchase it. So slap your hard-earned cash down for what should be an awesome game, get it home, and within a few hours discover that the full game is rather pathetic. I seem to be a slow learner because I got caught by this one more than once. And guess what? Now that you've payed for it, opened it and gasp! played it, you can't take it back. So you're stuck with it. The trade in value is pretty much worthless as well.

    I find that if download a game, play through it and discover it actually HAS REPLAY VALUE then I will purchase the game because it deserves my money.

    The sheer volume of junky, buggy, useless cop-outs in the video game world is astonishing. And yet consumers continue to fall for the idea that the demo is going to be the same as the full game. If they want to avoid piracy trying making something worth replaying, and thus worth buying. If you only play through a game once it wasn't worth the disc it was burned on.

    -Phreezevi

  • Re:Finally (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ivucica (1001089) on Monday January 19, 2009 @08:50AM (#26514809) Homepage

    Losing isn't fun.

  • Re:Finally (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Miszou72 (927439) on Monday January 19, 2009 @04:04PM (#26519423) Homepage

    Try co-op games instead. Like you, I hate getting repeatedly owned by 15 year olds, but co-op is a whole other ball game.

    Hellgate:London was my game of choice for the past year, but there's only about 10 days of that left now :( Some other free to play co-op games include Diablo 2, Titan Quest, Dungeon Runners, Guild Wars, Sacred 2 and many others.

    Sure, you can play all these games solo, but they really come to life when there's a whole team of players helping each other out and kicking the crap out of the computer AI. :D

  • Re:Finally (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bronney (638318) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @03:41AM (#26526051) Homepage

    Someday, you might have a different attitude, young man. If losing isn't fun, there'll always only be a a few bikers in the marathon events. As I don't think the last 10 out of the hundred are insane enough to think they'd win.

    The only person you got to beat, is yourself bro. There'll always be someone smarter, richer, longer. No point for linux to compete with the baddies then. Now if linux is actually "competing", that would be a different topic.

Brain fried -- Core dumped

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