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Pirates as a Marketplace 214

Posted by Soulskill
from the marrrrrrrket-share dept.
John Riccitiello, the CEO of Electronic Arts, made some revealing comments in an interview with Kotaku about how the company's attitudes are shifting with regard to software piracy. Quoting: "Some of the people buying this DLC are not people who bought the game in a new shrink-wrapped box. That could be seen as a dark cloud, a mass of gamers who play a game without contributing a penny to EA. But around that cloud Riccitiello identified a silver lining: 'There's a sizable pirate market and a sizable second sale market and we want to try to generate revenue in that marketplace,' he said, pointing to DLC as a way to do it. The EA boss would prefer people bought their games, of course. 'I don't think anybody should pirate anything,' he said. 'I believe in the artistry of the people who build [the games industry.] I profoundly believe that. And when you steal from us, you steal from them. Having said that, there's a lot of people who do.' So encourage those pirates to pay for something, he figures. Riccitiello explained that EA's download services aren't perfect at distinguishing between used copies of games and pirated copies. As a result, he suggested, EA sells DLC to both communities of gamers. And that's how a pirate can turn into a paying customer."
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Pirates as a Marketplace

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  • Half a game? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rik Sweeney (471717) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @07:35AM (#30375780) Homepage

    As a result, he suggested, EA sells DLC to both communities of gamers. And that's how a pirate can turn into a paying customer.

    So what you're saying is that we should only sell half the game in the shops and make the customer download the rest of it as DLC?

    • Re:Half a game? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Thanshin (1188877) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @07:50AM (#30375848)

      Or simply release a skeleton of the game, and then demand payment for the rest.

      And you could even release that starting representative little part of the game for free. After all, it's going to be pirated you'll be getting most of your revenue with the DLC, right?

      And you could even call that representative little part "demo", and then say that the first DLC is the "full game".

      Brilliant! ...

      If they start releasing a significative part of the game as DLC, DLC will be cracked as full games are now, anyway.

      This is just one more way to use "OMGPIRATES!" as an excuse to get more money for the same game from the paying customers.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        What's a DLC?

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Captain Hook (923766)

          Downloadable Content

          You want a new map in you FPS, you buy it and download it. At least thats how it started, as add-on content smaller than an expansion pack would be.

          These days it can be really small trivial stuff, like a new hair style for your characters, or a better weapon. Personaly I have no problem with it when dealing with non-competitive add-ons such as image tweaks. I have a much bigger problem with it for items which offer a competitive advantage over other players - especially in player vs play

          • If I want new maps in my FPS, I head to FPSBanana [fpsbanana.com] and download it. Or just find a server that's already got it and see if I can download it from there.

            Oh wait, you meant DLC for consoles (and for the PC version of Modern Warfare 2)?

          • by cayenne8 (626475)
            "Downloadable Content"

            Thank you, I too was wondering what the hell "DLC" was...the article didn't give anything telling what the TLA (Three Letter Acronym) was...

            Actually..."Downloadable Content" is only two words, shouldn't the acronym be DC?

            • Too many obvious things that DC already stands for... direct current, District of Columbia, direct connect...

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by ultranova (717540)

        If they start releasing a significative part of the game as DLC, DLC will be cracked as full games are now, anyway.

        It already is. For example, a quick search for "Sims" on Pirate Bay turned up multiple Sims DLC torrents.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        You are in a maze of twisty passages, all alike.

        >N

        Thank you for your purchase of Zork! If you wish to continue your adventure, please purchase and install our DLR content "Twisty Passages 2" $5.99!

        >buy/install

        Downloading.....................Complete.
        Installing.....................Complete.

        Thank you for your purchase of Zork and Twisty Passages 2! Enjoy your new and amazing Zork experience!

        >N

        You are in a maze of twisty passages, all alike.

        >N

        Thank you for your purchase of Zork a
    • Re:Half a game? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by sakdoctor (1087155) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @07:55AM (#30375866) Homepage

      And that's how a pirate can turn into a paying customer.

      And that's how a paying customer can turn into a "pirate".
      I would buy the game in the shop and torrent all the cracked and nicely packaged DLC. Winrar!

      • by Lord Lode (1290856) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @09:43AM (#30376356)
        You mean: Winrarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!
      • by Thansal (999464)

        I wonder if they actually think of this as deriving revenue from pirates. I mean, any decent release will include cracked copies of what ever DLC there was. However some one who prefers to buy used games of piracy will NOT get the DLC that the original purchaser or the pirate gets, so I suspect that the people behind this know they are really only targeting the 2nd hand market with this.

        There was an article a while back about DLC packaged with games, and some one (iirc, it was a high up in EA) said that it

        • Re:Half a game? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by TheLink (130905) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @11:57AM (#30377582) Journal
          FWIW, my bro bought a pirate version of GTA3 from the local "unauthorized distributor". Yes he didn't download it, it's just more convenient to just buy it.

          So after playing many hours of it, he decides that the GTA bunch (Rockstar/Take Two Interactive) deserve some money, so he tries to buy a legit copy of GTA3 but it was banned (in this country) so there was no legit copy around to buy.

          So when he was in another country, he tried buy it, but it was banned there too :).

          I figure if the GTA bunch had made it easier to pay them, they'd have the money.

          We preferably don't want to pay for shipping, distribution, shop's margin and all the other crap - the pirate shop has already done that for us, just let us pay the difference? That's fair right? They get what they'd normally get from the sale, and we get what we want (the game).

          It'll be interesting if list price from pirate + GTA bunch's normal cut < list price from legit shop.

          Of course that could be because the pirate shop sells more than a legit shop (cheper) and people don't necessarily pay the normal cut to the game makers. BUT, if it turns out to be much cheaper, perhaps the game makers might make more by working better with the pirate shops and other "unauthorized distributors" :).

          Many of the "pirates" are already happy users of the software. Just make it easy for them to pay, and don't make it annoying - just have the link present on the main menu - obvious but not annoying. For example have something that says "If this game is a nonlegit copy, but you really like it, click here to pay us a discounted price". Not all will pay, but the more they play the game, the more likely many of them will just go "this game is great, I guess they deserve X bucks (which should be a _lower_ price than RRP).

          Years ago, one of the Microsoft bosses in my country scolded subordinates for going hard on people that were using pirated Microsoft Software (reporting them to BSA/courts _immediately_). Told them in effect "These people are already happy Microsoft users, all you have to do is get them to pay". And it's an easy sale - just go to the users and say, pay us "$$$"/copy now or have the court tell you to pay far more per copy. I'm sure they did give some discounts/special payment terms in some cases (many businesses just don't have all that cash available to go legit immediately). But they've already got all the software installed and configured - no cost to Microsoft, get the money, give them the license keys. Pure profit. No need for sales talks, presentations and "expense account spending". In contrast I've heard some cases in USA where Microsoft went hard on companies and those companies just completely stopped using Microsoft as a result (and as long as the CEOs are still around their companies will never buy Microsoft).

          Do it right and it's an opportunity for you, do it wrong and it's an opportunity for someone else :).
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          My thought is... while what you're saying is true (most cracked releases will include the cracked DLC), the number of people who didn't buy the original game but do buy the DLR is still greater than zero.

          Maybe they're looking more for the 'piracy in the form of borrowing the DVD from my friend and installing it' kind of piracy -- I suspect (for games that don't have some kind of online play that makes it problematic) that kind of piracy is a lot more prevalent than the downloading cracked torrents kind. No

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dave1791 (315728)

      They learned this from the MMO model. Piracy is a non-issue for online games. So be prepared for a future with microtranscations in your single player FPS.

      • And that will be the end of my modern gaming career. Rather than be nickle-and-dimed to death, I'll just dust-off the old PS2, Nintendo64, Genesis, Amiga, and Atari systems and play them instead. I want to OWN the things I buy, not rent them.

        • by hairyfeet (841228)

          Well I can say that their anti piracy crap has already made it so I won't buy ANY game on release date anymore. Why? Because I end up needing to crack it more than half the time because I get that "disc not in drive" error. WTF? It IS in the damned drive, you %^$&^%$& DRM POS! And why the hell do we got big honking hard drives if we have to feed the damned thing discs like it is a PS2?

          But this guy [metacafe.com] (warning-language NSFW) sums up my feelings on these large corps and their anti piracy crap better th

      • by tepples (727027)

        Piracy is a non-issue for online games.

        But having to pay $720 per year for a mobile data plan for your handheld video game system is an issue.

    • Re:Half a game? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Grygus (1143095) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @08:44AM (#30376054)

      I think the opposite is true; you need a quality game for this to work. There is a class of pirate who isn't going to buy anything, no matter what. He can be ignored for the purposes of this conversation. There is another class of pirate who regards torrents as a sort of extended demo program. These guys either buy games that turn out to be good, or at least they wouldn't object to that behavior even if they often never seem to get around to buying the game. That's the target here.

      If you put out a game that is good enough right out of the box (or the original torrent in this case), and then issue compelling DLC they might well go ahead and purchase the DLC if that's easier than (or just as easy as) getting a torrent. A lot of these people aren't stealing for financial reasons; they're stealing because the pirated version of most games is actually superior in some way(s) to the retail version. DRM is removed, you don't need the CD in the drive, and it's convenient to acquire. If the DLC doesn't introduce any of those inconveniences, and if the button to buy it is right there on the launcher or even in-game (like in Dragon Age,) I bet there are in fact some pirates who are stealing the game but then buying DLC.

      I don't think it's a solution; there is no solution to piracy unless your game was free of charge to begin with. However, I think it's a healthy attitude and I think it's a step in the right direction; instead of seeing piracy as this holy war to fight, approach it as a sales problem.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I think the opposite is true; you need a quality game for this to work. There is a class of pirate who isn't going to buy anything, no matter what. He can be ignored for the purposes of this conversation. There is another class of pirate who regards torrents as a sort of extended demo program. These guys either buy games that turn out to be good, or at least they wouldn't object to that behavior even if they often never seem to get around to buying the game. That's the target here.

        That is me, I think that 99.9% of mainstream PC games are total garbage and not worth my money. The latest games tend to be ports of some console game with the same shitty console controls on my PC. On top of that I can not return a game if it sucks.

        Look at Assassins Creed for example, good reviews but I it was one boring, repetitive game.... typical console shit. I stopped playing it after the second city or so.
        I also downloaded Dragon Age Origins and liked it so much that I went to the store yesterday to

        • Assassins Creed is a multiplatform game, it's not specifically any platform's shit, just like Dragon Age, which is also multiplatform. Perhaps instead of blaming the console, you should blame the game itself or simply decide that some games aren't to your taste but others are.

          • Assassins Creed is a multiplatform game, it's not specifically any platform's shit, just like Dragon Age, which is also multiplatform.

            I think Anonymous Coward was trying to say that the developers of the PC version of Assassin's Creed did not take advantage of features unique to the PC platform that would have added depth to the PC experience. It'd be like an Xbox 360 fan complaining that the Xbox 360 version of a PS3/Xbox 360 cross-platform game has only bare-minimum Live features.

            But sometimes you want arcade-style or console-style controls, such as when you have more people than gaming PCs in your home.

        • by Nadaka (224565)

          tell me about it. Right now, the only games I am playing are Lords of Magic special edition from the win95 era and dwarf fortress (a modern independent game with ASCII graphics).

      • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @09:36AM (#30376322) Journal

        >>>There is a class of pirate who isn't going to buy anything, no matter what. He can be ignored for the purposes of this conversation.

        Awww.

        (walks off)

      • If you put out a game that is good enough right out of the box (or the original torrent in this case), and then issue compelling DLC they might well go ahead and purchase the DLC if that's easier than (or just as easy as) getting a torrent.

        If you start to accept that, why sell the base game, as such, at all? Why not just release a fully-functional base game as a free starter, and sell DLC and services (e.g., access to premium servers) related to it? If you are going to sell something at retail as a box, th

    • Re:Half a game? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Kamokazi (1080091) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @09:31AM (#30376288)

      It's that kind of stupid thinking that made me pirate the DLC for Dragon Age. I paid the full $50 and change for the game, then I pirated all the DLC, even the free DLC (Which, IMO, was much better than paid...Soldier's Peak kinda sucked), because to hell if I am going to phone home to EA every time I play the game.

      I do this because I think DLC has turned into nothing but greed. I was always a big fan of expansion packs....$20-30 for a nice lump of additional story or content. Then a few DLC-ish things started popping up here and there, which wasn't bad either. A nice string of extra content, priced reasonably. Apparently it was quite popular, as it evolved into the monster system we have now, where DLC is oftentimes content that should have been present from launch.

      Also I think DLC is targeted at used much more than pirated...this is just smoke and mirrors to hide their true ambition, in that they want to get paid for every person who uses a copy...and not paid for a single copy that changes hands a few times. Otherwise they wouldn't give out 'free' DLC with every copy of the game...a pirate will just pirate it, but a used buyer may not.

      • You don't need to phone home every time you play the DLC. Unless it installs incorrectly, however there's an easy fix which turns authorization off.
    • Re:Half a game? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Bakkster (1529253) <Bakkster@man.gmail@com> on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @09:36AM (#30376320)

      As a result, he suggested, EA sells DLC to both communities of gamers. And that's how a pirate can turn into a paying customer.

      So what you're saying is that we should only sell half the game in the shops and make the customer download the rest of it as DLC?

      As long as the game in stores costs half as much, or gives credit to download the other half of the game, that seems acceptable to me.

      Some genres of game might even be better because of it. For example racing, sports, and music games.
      Racing: a core group of cars from all the classes, then download packs for american muscle, touring cars, exotics, supercars, japanese late-models, etc. You only pay for the cars you want.
      Sports: soccer (football) game where you only buy the leagues you want to play. MLS, premier, and national teams, for example.
      Music: same idea, buy the disc and get $X to spend on downloadable songs. Never have to play that song you hate, just don't buy them.

      Of course, this is predicated on the idea that the initial game would be cheaper (har har), and the DLC of course necessitates DRM (otherwise it all gets pirated, and it's a bunch of extra work for no pay). This would work great in theory, but in practice I imagine nothing good.

      • by tepples (727027)

        As long as the game in stores costs half as much, or gives credit to download the other half of the game, that seems acceptable to me.

        So the publisher tries to put a $60 basic edition and a $120 "all DLC included" edition on store shelves. Guess which edition stores are going to carry.

        • by Bakkster (1529253)

          That's why it would fail, of course. But, putting out a $30 game and $30 of 'essential' DLC is what would happen in my candy-coated world. It still relies on a working DRM model for the DLC, though.

    • Re:Half a game? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by eonlabs (921625) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @11:26AM (#30377244) Journal

      So anyone that doesn't buy the game in the original shrink wrapped packaging is now a pirate? Man, EB Games and Game Stop make half their profits off used games. How about Play and Trade?

      Am I missing something here? Is it no longer legal to sell the original copy of something you purchased?

      In the same breath, the DLC model still works in this situation as well and, provided the original game is worth playing, can potentially keep a game fresh for a while.

  • Thanks buddy (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jedi Alec (258881) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @07:36AM (#30375790)

    And that's how a pirate can turn into a paying customer.

    And why I, a legitimate customer, can't play Dragon Age if my net connection is down, because the game checks if I'm really entitled to start that savegame with DLC content in it.

    In other news, the amount of legitimate Dragon Age + DLC owners planning on getting a pirate copy of Mass Effect just increased by 1.

  • Did they ask why? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Kman_xth (529883)
    Is there any research as to why DLC's are bought more then the actual game? Is it because DLC's are harder to pirate, is it's delivery system preferred above physical discs or is it the low price that drives pirates to a buy? Or perhaps the lack of a decent demo-version?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by FictionPimp (712802)
      Maybe it's people borrowing the game. Fake example: I beat Dragon Age, my friend wanted to play it. I gave him my copy to use. I can not play while he has my copy, but he made a EA account and got the DLC so he could play. Now we have 2 times DLC for 1 copy.
  • by Ynot_82 (1023749) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @07:44AM (#30375816)

    'I don't think anybody should pirate anything,' he said. 'I believe in the artistry of the people who build [the games industry.] I profoundly believe that

    Really? Funny old world, isn't it
    I distinctly remember EA being sued a while ago for copyright infringement.
    They used a piece of music in their games without permission from the composer
    Anyway...

    • by lxs (131946)

      EA management pretending to believe in the artistry of their creative staff is the funniest thing I've read in months.

    • by testadicazzo (567430) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @09:01AM (#30376150) Homepage

      And when you steal from us, you steal from them. Having said that, there's a lot of people who do.'

      I'm sure the EA lawyers didn't go into court calling their copyright infringement theft either. I would really like to see the press (at least the technical press) conditioned to call the PR assholes on their use of "theft" as a synonym for copyright infringement. The two things are legally and conceptually different. We live in an age where copyright laws, distribution models and our attitudes towards "intellectual property" desperately need to evolve and be rethought. Changes in technology have drastically transformed the cost function for distribution of idea and information distribution, and the old ways of doing things are, simply, harmful and holding us back. When I think that people's lives are being ruined (financially and through prison and social condemnation) i an attempt to keep oligarchs in power and wealth, well, it breaks my heart. At the very least we need to fight against this newspeak conditioning by the PR asshats.

      Of course "and when you violate our copyrights, you steal from them..." doesn't carry the same punch does it?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jcnnghm (538570)

        So what is your solution to this problem? You still want these same "oligarch's" to fund the creation of the content you want, right? Why would they do so if there was no possibility of a return on their investment? You are aware that a large percentage of projects fail, right? What would inspire people to take the risk if there was no reward? More government? Magic fairy dust? Bullshit fantasy land?

        • by tepples (727027)
          Why does it cost more to develop and publish a video game than to develop and publish a couple books or a couple record albums? Dedicated amateurs seem to have little or no problem doing that.
          • by jcnnghm (538570)

            The same reason there are so few open-source games of a reasonable quality. Time and complexity. Unlike a book, it can take a large team of people years to produce a modern game. The average cost to produce a modern videogame is over $15m. And before you say it wasn't always that way, keep in mind it cost $100,000 to produce Pacman way back in 1982.

            And to cut you off again, not many people are going to work on something for your enjoyment full time for years on end. It's a fantasy, nothing more, nothin

            • by tepples (727027)

              keep in mind it cost $100,000 to produce Pacman way back in 1982.

              How much did it cost to record an album in 1982 using equipment more powerful than a Fostex prosumer deck?

              And to cut you off again, not many people are going to work on something for your enjoyment full time for years on end.

              Then explain shareware, and explain the whole free software movement.

              • by jcnnghm (538570)

                How much did it cost to record an album in 1982 using equipment more powerful than a Fostex prosumer deck?

                A hell of a lot more than it does today with a cheap Mac? Quality hasn't exactly gone up with falling costs and more amateurs.

                Then explain shareware, and explain the whole free software movement.

                How well do shareware games cope with piracy again? What was the last shareware game purchased by over five million people?

                The free software movement works well for one and only one type of software, software used by programmers, in particular, library code. This includes things like operating systems, web browsers, programming languages, web servers, and other related code. My c

                • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                  by tepples (727027)

                  What are you going to replace copyright with so that large projects are still undertaken?

                  Bounties [wikipedia.org].

                  • by jcnnghm (538570)

                    But if the produced material sucks, you're stuck wasting your money on something that isn't any good.

                    Or in the alternative, you could allow investors to shoulder that risk, and in exchange be allowed the exclusive right to distribute and charge for the produced material. This way, if the game sucks, you don't have to spend any money on it. But if the game is good, you've got to give the investor some money to cover his cost, plus some to cover his risk, plus some to provide a return on his investment to enc

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by ultranova (717540)

            Why does it cost more to develop and publish a video game than to develop and publish a couple books or a couple record albums?

            A video game has inherently more information than a book or a record. It's closer to a movie, but while a movie lasts two hours and is completely linear, a video game lasts tens of hours and has plenty of interaction with a reactive world, which requires realtime AI of some sort.

            Video games can be made very cheaply; 3D action games with photorealistic graphics, voice acting and RPG

            • by tepples (727027)

              A video game has inherently more information than a book or a record.

              Super Mario Bros. 3: 393 KB. An Eminem album compressed with Ogg Vorbis or AAC: 70,000 KB.

              Amateur games tend to be pretty small, precisely because large games require a lot of work.

              That, and there is a powerful oligopoly that opposes amateur or semi-professional outfits self-publishing their games because they're amateur or semi-professional. This oligopoly comprises three companies, none of them named EA.

              • by Dutch Gun (899105)

                Super Mario Bros. 3: 393 KB. An Eminem album compressed with Ogg Vorbis or AAC: 70,000 KB.

                Ok, now you're just being pedantic. If I release a five hour long audio track filled with white noise, do you think that contains more "information" than either of those products?

                That, and there is a powerful oligopoly that opposes amateur or semi-professional outfits self-publishing their games because they're amateur or semi-professional. This oligopoly comprises three companies, none of them named EA.

                You're looking for a conspiracy where none exists. Large publishers don't care about competition from amateurs for the same reason automobile manufacturers aren't concerned about small shops that create custom cars. They produce entirely different products, and operate in completely different spaces (obligatory car analogy).

                Besi

          • by Dutch Gun (899105)

            Why does it cost more to develop and publish a video game than to develop and publish a couple books or a couple record albums? Dedicated amateurs seem to have little or no problem doing that.

            Books can easily be written by individuals and published with small teams (as can music). Some types of videogames can also be done in this way. My first videogame (many years ago) was created by three programmers and a single part-time artist in just a few months. When I wrote a book, of course the bulk of the work was done by me alone. My publisher did the work of support, contracting a technical editor, marketing, printing, distribution. That all was undoubtedly handled by a fairly small team of peo

    • by tepples (727027)

      I distinctly remember EA being sued a while ago for copyright infringement.
      They used a piece of music in their games without permission from the composer

      And I remember a composer being successfully sued a while ago for accidentally using a piece of music by another composer. Is there any surefire way for a composer to avoid this?

  • Article (Score:4, Informative)

    by Mr_Silver (213637) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @08:10AM (#30375918)
    The link to the article might be useful: http://kotaku.com/5421466/ea-ceo-i-think-of-pirates-as-a-marketplace [kotaku.com]
    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      Hmmm.

      Still doesn't tell me what a DLC is. People, especially reporters, shouldn't use acronyms without explaining what they mean. I mean, like OMG, WTF? LOL. (shrug). IAAL. TTFN. L8r

      • Re:Article (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Sebilrazen (870600) <blahsebilrazen@blah.com> on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @11:00AM (#30376998)
        Honestly? Are you still trolling? This isn't a general population website that has the story it's an informed audience website, a gamer knows what DLC is, a gamer visits Kotaku. The rules for acronym usage clearly state that if the acronym is commonly known it can be used as a word and needs no explanation, however if your audience isn't expected to know the word you must spell out the words first then parenthesize the acronym that will represent the words and then use the acronym.from then on. That is why we can write IQ, FBI, CIA, Washington, D.C. without issue.
  • by RenHoek (101570) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @08:17AM (#30375944) Homepage

    Seeing as EA still treats their customers like crap. (See the Saboteur article even just a few posts back.) I'm _still_ not being anything from EA, so no DLC for me either.

    Les'see Last thing I bought was 6 copies of the Zero Hour expansion for me and my friends (Command and Conquer 3). Which turned out to be a fucking piece of crap. Thing was full of bugs. You used to play with your friends, building up your forces for 3 hours, and when you wanted to start moving in for the kill the fucking thing would de-sync and crash.

    And EA did _nothing_ to fix the bugs. And this trend continued, and results will be the same for stuff like the Saboteur game.

    So fuck you EA. Fuck you.

  • EA is a pirate! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CmpEng (1123811) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @08:26AM (#30375982)
    I used to heavily play BF2142 and then decided to take a break. Upon finding the game stashed away in my closest I wanted to try playing it again with some old university friends on my new computer. Needless to say, after contacting EA they would not validate my account ( their server said my account had already been activated )and the game would simply not work for online play anymore ( the vast majority of game and only way to unlock upgrades is online ). So regardless of the that I was the original purchaser, with box and serial in hand, I was out my purchase of BF2142. I have otherwise always purchased my games and respected copyright but this experience has been a turning point for me with EA. If you're going to lock honest people out of their own products you can't be upset that your products get pirated; because you're pirating the funds they paid you.
    • I had the same problem with BF2142, or at least a very similar one. Their stupid EA downloader thing kept fucking up until I just threw up my hands and stopped playing eventually, then a year later when I went to try it again I couldn't get my account working right. One of the reasons I only buy games through Steam now.
  • 'There's a sizable pirate market and a sizable second sale market and we want to try to generate revenue in that marketplace,' he said, pointing to DLC as a way to do it.

    I had no idea diamond-like carbon [wikipedia.org] could make money in the video game industry!

    Or maybe they meant Data Link Control. Anything with the word "control" in it has to be a moneymaker for someone.

  • by gringer (252588) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @08:42AM (#30376048)

    And when you steal from us, you steal from [the people who build]

    Really? Do the people who build the games get paid royalties for games that they help create?

    If so, I suppose we can get into the 'making a copy of a piece of software' vs 'removing cargo from ships without permission' debate. If not, those builders got their money for the game before anyone was able to take it from them.

  • Seems to be saying that now the paying customer will buy half a game for full price then pay to complete the game whereas the pirate will only pay for the complete game. Now if they were to make the paying customer pay half first and then the other half for the DLC it would cost the paying customer no more but then again someone will figure out a way to pirate the DLC so why are we discussing this again?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @10:45AM (#30376856)

    See the grouping they're doing with pirates and second-sale customers? In their minds, they're the same, but they aren't. Second sale are legitimate customers, buying used games from previous game owners. They want to stamp this out, because they don't get a second cut, and spinning it into piracy in people's minds is the first step.

    • Mod parent up! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Lemming Mark (849014)

      I don't usually do this but really the parent has an excellent point. It's bad enough that they have increasingly large amounts of DLC you can't resell or buy on a second hand market. Treating the second hand market as basically piracy is a) bad for consumers and b) stupid. When they find a way to make me pay full price for all games by eliminating second hand sales *I will buy fewer games* and I therefore won't buy the DLC for them. The people who didn't like the games and traded them in so they can af

  • Ignoring the logical fallacies in his statement, he is correct.

    However you can't sell half a game and them charge for the rest as DLC. You must have a complete game you can finish without DLC.
    Otherwise the whole package will be wrapped up and pirated.

    As a add on, it will generate revenue from whoever is playing.

    It also needs to be added in a manner that isn't too jarring to the story, and the DLC you pay for should never walk off. I'm looking at you, Dragon Age.

    Piracy isn;t stealing, and I wish more people

  • by amazeofdeath (1102843) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @12:19PM (#30377792)

    Seriously, using acronyms doesn't work if they aren't explained anywhere. And no, I didn't RTFA, naturally.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by mrrudge (1120279)
      What does the acronym RTFA mean ? I read the freaking article, but that didn't explain either ?
    • There wasn’t an article, and seriously, who actually knows anything about gaming and yet doesn’t know that DLC stands for downloadable content?

      If you didn’t, Google has this handy define: option. Or just search for video games dlc.

  • " I profoundly believe that. And when you steal from us, you steal from them." That's neat. It's literally true in a sense. But I don't like the implied viewpoint that - because EA pays the artists a cut - the artists and EA's interests are perfectly aligned, cutting EA's profits is bad for artists, EA is a purely good force for the artists. Sounds somewhat similar to the music industry's "But you're stealing from the artists!" line. Some of these people may even believe this stuff but we all know it's

  • As much as I hate the idea of DLC, I think these guys are right. It is a portal through which they can monitor who is using their game. What's the cost? 1. Crippled/Incomplete game. 2. Internet connection required. 3. Immersive game experience is disrupted by constant nagging connections. 4. Possible performance issues. 5. Customer privacy compromised. 6. Potential liabilities 7. Free Distribution and popularity for game less likely to go viral (if you suscribe to the idea that piracy can help gain custom

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