Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Piracy Games

DRM vs. Unfinished Games 462

Posted by Soulskill
from the it's-not-a-bug-it's-a-really-irritating-feature dept.
Rod Cousens is the CEO of Codemasters, and he recently spoke with CVG about how he thinks DRM is the wrong way to fight piracy. Instead, he suggests that the games industry increase its reliance on downloadable content and microtransactions. Quoting: "The video games industry has to learn to operate in a different way. My answer is for us as publishers to actually sell unfinished games — and to offer the consumer multiple micro-payments to buy elements of the full experience. That would create an offering that is affordable at retail — but over a period of time may also generate more revenue for the publishers to reinvest in our games. If these games are pirated, those who get their hands on them won't be able to complete the experience. There will be technology, coding aspects, that will come to bear that will unlock some aspects. Some people will want them and some won't. When it comes to piracy, I think you have to make the experience the answer to the issue — rather than respond the other way round and risk damaging that experience for the user."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

DRM vs. Unfinished Games

Comments Filter:
  • hmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworldNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday July 15, 2010 @01:20PM (#32915812) Homepage
    That was how the shareware market did it, back in the day. I know Doom was fairly successful that way, though I don't think a lot of other games really succeeded that way.
    • Re:hmm (Score:4, Insightful)

      by CannonballHead (842625) on Thursday July 15, 2010 @01:21PM (#32915840)
      And still does it, to some extent. Shareware games still exist, but they usually have some sort of "DRM" thing ... like registration codes...
    • My answer is for us as publishers to actually sell unfinished games

      Isn't that what they are already doing? Definitely most MMOs ship in that state.

      • Re:hmm (Score:5, Insightful)

        by tophermeyer (1573841) on Thursday July 15, 2010 @02:10PM (#32916730)

        Yeah, but MMO's kind of inherently fit that model. Players enter into an MMO expecting the game will grown and change with the needs of the community. As the community grows larger, and develops specific interests in certain gameplay aspects, it is fitting that the developer continue to develop the game to meet that need.

        Other games don't necessarily lend themselves to this. As a consumer, I can say that I am nervous that I will wind up paying more money for incremental delivery of content that should have shipped at release.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Machtyn (759119)
          The micro-payment and upgrade issue is why add-on and expansion packs are made. Many games make excellent use of this practice. If, however, I purchase the latest Elder Scrolls:Oblivion game and it contained all but 2 necessary cities and 4 oblivion portals, I would be ticked off. I just spent $40 on a game and now you want me to hand over another $20 for the extra content just so I can open the final few bosses?

          Of course, I am the type of person that waits until all expansion packs are released and t
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by grumbel (592662)

      Except for that little difference that shareware was free. Paying full price and getting half a game is something very different then paying nothing and getting the third of the game as in the case of Doom.

      The one thing I don't really get is why there is so much focus on tons of tiny pieces of DLC. I don't want a game to be splintered into a dozen pieces that I then have to buy each on its own. For Mass Effect 2 for example I have no less then seven DLC things that I have to download and install manually on

  • by localman57 (1340533) on Thursday July 15, 2010 @01:21PM (#32915854)
    Maybe I'm naieve or not understanding, but what will stop the pirates from unlocking/breaking/pirating the downloadable content? Aren't you just moving DRM from the front end to the back end?
    • Maybe I'm naieve or not understanding, but what will stop the pirates from unlocking/breaking/pirating the downloadable content? Aren't you just moving DRM from the front end to the back end?

      It will make the life harder for pirates. Every little push helps. Personally I enjoy the easiness that Steam offers.

      • It will make the life harder for pirates. Every little push helps. Personally I enjoy the easiness that Steam offers.

        Not really. The pirates get off on the challenge of cracking this stuff, and prestige in the community is directly linked to difficulty of the crack and time taken to crack it. This kind of stuff will just get them off even more.

        • by SquarePixel (1851068) on Thursday July 15, 2010 @01:39PM (#32916200)

          It will make the life harder for pirates. Every little push helps. Personally I enjoy the easiness that Steam offers.

          Not really. The pirates get off on the challenge of cracking this stuff, and prestige in the community is directly linked to difficulty of the crack and time taken to crack it. This kind of stuff will just get them off even more.

          What pirates are you talking about? Crackers, sure. But most people, the usual pirates, just want free stuff. When it's enough hard and complicated, they just buy the product. The casual users anyway, and that is what matters most to the game developers.

          • by icebraining (1313345) on Thursday July 15, 2010 @02:12PM (#32916748) Homepage

            But only one (or a small team of) crackers needs to do the job once and assemble the all the files in one RAR, and then all the "usual pirates" will just pick it on their p2p networks.

            Just like Securom: if each person needed to crack it individually, illegal downloads would be non-existent. The problem is that it only needs to be cracked once for all the other to use it easily, by copying a file or whatever.

      • by Moridineas (213502) on Thursday July 15, 2010 @02:06PM (#32916654) Journal

        I'm not really sure that's true...

        I thought of some of the fairly recent games that have had downloadable content...a few spring to mind. Oblivion, Fall Out, Dragon Age, etc.

        A quick search on any torrent site will show you distros all packaged together of the game plus downloadable content.

        Meanwhile for those of us who did buy the games, you can't move downloadable content around in some cases. For instance in Dragon Age, my copy came with Blood Dragon Armor and Shale. If I resell / lend / etc the game out, nobody else gets access to those without buying them.

         

      • by stewbacca (1033764) on Thursday July 15, 2010 @03:32PM (#32918110)

        Ah yes, Steam. That program that wouldn't let me play Half-Life 2 when my Internet was out. Mind you, I purchased the CD version, installed it from the CDs, and yet Steam felt compelled to not let me play it because it couldn't verify I owned it over the Internet. So I uninstalled Steam and played Half Life 2.

    • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Thursday July 15, 2010 @01:42PM (#32916244) Journal

      I'm okay with Little Pieces of DRM if the game is like Firefox where you buy a stripped product, and then pay micropayments to get various addons. The product would still be "complete" and usable but minus the optional features/sidequests.

      What I would Not be okay with is if I was playing Final Fantasy 12 or Zelda Twilight Princess and suddenly a popup says, "If you want to enter the final dungeon, please type in your credit card number. It will be charged $10." That would piss me off.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        What about the approach Ubisoft took in Assassin's Creed 2? Out of 14 Sequences (roughly equivalent to chapters), they shipped with 1-11 and 14. 12 and 13 aren't critical to the plot line, and they wrote around them ("These memories are corrupt, we'll skip to the next non-corrupt memory," which happens to be the final mission). 12 and 13 were later offered as DLC for about $3-4 each.

        I played through the game before they were released, and the gap was a little weird, but given that they often skipped a year

    • by v1 (525388)

      the basic idea is when your installation connects to their servers to download the content, it sends your registration key. They run the same sort of keyservers as do online activation. If the key is burned, it just won't let you download the update.

      The "fix" for that of course is to intercept the download off a legitimate installation, and package it such that you can download the update via torrent etc and run it locally to get the new content. But that's a lot more involved than simply shutting off a S

  • by nomorecwrd (1193329) on Thursday July 15, 2010 @01:21PM (#32915856)
    I have several funny and interesting posts in this matter

    Please insert coin to see the first of them.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I have several funny and interesting posts in this matter

      Please insert coin to see the first of them.


      I put a quarter into the slot on the side of my iMac a few minutes ago, but nothing's happened yet. Did you get my money, or should I call the help desk?
  • No. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Thursday July 15, 2010 @01:22PM (#32915866) Homepage

    No no no no no no no. Microtransactions are NOT the way to go.

    There really isn't any solid, fool-proof way to fight piracy. Most DRM schemes make things bad for paying customers, while pirates just play cracked copies that have less problems than the legit versions.

    That being said, a $10 drop across the board for new console games would go a long way. $60 is WAY too much for a console game. Sadly, the Humble Indie Bundle proved that on the PC, there isn't much you can do to fight it...offering non-DRM games for a single cent don't even necessarily work.

    Standard "only my opinion, no guarantees to work, etc." apply.

    • Re:No. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MrEricSir (398214) on Thursday July 15, 2010 @01:29PM (#32916002) Homepage

      "There really isn't any solid, fool-proof way to fight piracy"

      Sure there is: make software so crappy that nobody wants to pirate it.

    • by Americano (920576)

      No no no no no no no. Microtransactions are NOT the way to go.

      Why not? I get that you don't like it, but I don't understand your reasoning, you just make a flat statement that "microtransactions, they r teh devilz!" I'm genuinely curious, there's no "HA! IN YOUR FACE!" waiting, just curious how you're coming to the conclusion that it won't work.

      I'm not certain it'd be effective, but I do see that it might raise the bar for people trying to pirate the games, which might be "enough" of a solution that it d

    • Re:No. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Thursday July 15, 2010 @01:54PM (#32916434) Homepage

      Sadly, the Humble Indie Bundle proved that on the PC, there isn't much you can do to fight it...offering non-DRM games for a single cent don't even necessarily work.

      At the same time, the Humble Indie Bundle also showed that there are a lot of people who are willing to pay for something that they could easily pirate. You had DRM-free games being offered in such a way that people could simply pass a link around and everyone could get free downloads, yet they still made over $1 million in sales.

      And those people would wouldn't even pay a cent for those games-- do you really think they'd all rush out and buy the game if it were DRMed?

      • Re:No. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by apoc.famine (621563) <apoc.famine@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Thursday July 15, 2010 @02:28PM (#32917008) Homepage Journal
        On top of that, it was $1 million in ADDITION to their previous sales. Not the only money they made. I don't know where all those games were financially beforehand, but if they were already making a profit, that's quite a lot on top. If they were in the red, it most likely put them in the black.

        I was already thinking about half of what you said:

        To prevent piracy, you need to to two things:

        1) Produce a decent game, for a decent price, and not lie to and abuse your customers.
        2) Ignore the douchebags who don't ever want to pay anything for anything.

        If you fail to do #1, you create pirates because people don't want to pay a lot of money for garbage, and don't like being treated like shit. This ties into #2 - if you spend all your time worrying about pirates, and adding DRM and other idiocy, you end up producing more pirates.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by kyrio (1091003)

      You're right about the Humble Indie Bundle. They only made $1.3 million, that's shit!

  • by PhrostyMcByte (589271) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Thursday July 15, 2010 @01:22PM (#32915868) Homepage
    Right? Not $60 for an unfinished game, then two or three extra $10 for addons?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ThinkWeak (958195)
      Don't you usually pay $60 for an unfinished game anyways? What's the last game you purchased that didn't require at least 1 or 2 updates to fix things that were broken from the start?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by FrozenFOXX (1048276)

        Don't you usually pay $60 for an unfinished game anyways? What's the last game you purchased that didn't require at least 1 or 2 updates to fix things that were broken from the start?

        Not really. Here's a few that I'm thinking of off the top of my head I've paid $60 for and are perfectly finished (though some offer extras if you like, but the game itself is still complete): Crackdown 2, Halo 3: ODST, BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger, Super Street Fighter IV, Assassin's Creed II, Splinter Cell: Conviction, God of War III, GRID, Singularity, Uncharted 2, Gears of War 2... All of those for $60 offer a complete package, many of them with free updates and all of them with optional additional c

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Theoboley (1226542)
      My thoughts were exactly this when i read the headline. 60 Bucks for an incomplete game is absolutely asinine. And what about those poor souls who don't have the Web? how are they supposed to get the "rest of the game"
    • by hedwards (940851)
      I'm now in the habit of waiting to see if there's a GOTY edition coming out. Fallout 3 had all the DLC included in the GOTY, and Batman: Arkham Asylum was in 3d. Both were significantly cheaper than buying it earlier on.
  • This is acceptable IF the base game is free. If the Koreans can do it so can Codemasters.
  • by WillAdams (45638) on Thursday July 15, 2010 @01:24PM (#32915904) Homepage

    And okay, so long as the company is up-front about it and prices the add-on content fairly in relation to the additional amount of playtime which it adds and works it in in a way which doesn't disturb the gameplay experience:

    http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2009/11/6/ [penny-arcade.com]

    William

  • by PurplePhase (240281) on Thursday July 15, 2010 @01:25PM (#32915914)

    Companies are considering officially releasing *worse* and *less finished* products?? They call them MMOGs, bub.

    I've always hated that, whether through DLC or episodes or... well I put up with DOW and Civ4 releasing expansions but...

    Please, god, will someone release a finished game? When's the last time that happened?

    8-PP

    • Valve has released DLC's and patched TF2 for the last 3-4 years, since it's release. They have added content and maps and tweaked the gameplay. Blizzard has done the same with WoW, as have almost every other game company on the planet in the form of patches. Do you also bitch at them for releasing an "unfinished" game just because they add content later on?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by e2d2 (115622)

      Please, god, will someone release a finished game? When's the last time that happened?

      I happened this year actually, when Torchlight was released by Runic: http://www.torchlightgame.com/ [torchlightgame.com]

      This is what a small game should be like. The best $10 I ever spent on a game, hands down. I want more of these type of games. It's just very refined. I don't need the Epic Tale of Games to have fun and Not every game has to be a blockbuster release to make money.

  • But the DLC will still have DRM, and what's to stop the pirates from just cracking it just like they'd crack any other?

    As of today, I can't think of a single DLC for any game that is actually worth it. They are almost all just quick cash ins.
  • by joe_cot (1011355) on Thursday July 15, 2010 @01:25PM (#32915932) Homepage

    Yep, totally worked for Dragon Age, for example. You can't get the DLC if you have a pirated copy of the game, so you definitely can't download giant bundles of all the DLC that can be decrypted and plugged into the game. Said DLC isn't up on torrent sites 2 days after the release.

    If you're going to release DLC with micro-payments, don't "punish" pirates by forcing them to also not pay for your DLC.

    Only way to really combat piracy is to have an online element that only works with a valid CD key. That won't stop piracy, though; it'll just make it less useful.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by snarfies (115214)

      Oh, except that you actually CAN get the pirated DLC for Dragon Age, every bit of it. Check Pirate Bay. I did, and I'm running it. I have a legitimately purchased DVD version of the main game, and a legitimately purchased DVD version of Awakenings, but I flatly refuse to pay for something that is not issued to disk and that will only work if some server says I can run it. Now, if they issue all the DLC to a disk later, I will certainly be happy to purchase it (see Knights of the Nine for Oblivion), but.

  • by Alcimedes (398213) on Thursday July 15, 2010 @01:26PM (#32915950)

    Why is it that none of these solutions involve making a product that people are happy/willing to pay for to begin with?

    It's always about crippling something then fixing it later.

    • Why is it that none of these solutions involve making a product that people are happy/willing to pay for to begin with?

      Because people show that they are still unwilling to buy something even if it's DRM-free and you can purchase it at any price you want (even as little as a penny)? Just look at how widely shared World of Goo is on torrent sites and it has never had DRM and it has had a number of "pay what you want" sales.

    • by Americano (920576)

      Because even if YOU are willing to pay for it, there are a lot of freeloaders out there. See Humble Indie Bundle.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Quirkz (1206400)
      Well, there's one potential benefit--if I'm not sure about a game, I tend to skip it. Being able to pay half price for half of it before deciding if I wanted to shell out the rest for the other half has a small appeal to it. I might try out more games that way, and if it's a horrible game at least I'm only burned for half of the purchase cost. Assuming the pricing and playability actually worked out that way .... not that I'm optimistic about that.
  • Dear game industry (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cowscows (103644) on Thursday July 15, 2010 @01:27PM (#32915970) Journal

    Folks have been telling you this for years, but many of you still don't seem to get it, so I'm going to repeat it yet again. People who don't want to pay to play your games are never going to pay to play your games. Either they'll find a way to play it for free, or they'll go find something else to spend their time on.

    The average age of the gamer has been continuously increasing, and a bunch of us who grew up playing games are adults now and still playing. We're out of school, we work for a living, we have some disposable income, and we're willing to spend a portion of it on games. There are more people able, willing, and interested in spending money on video games than ever before. Worry about us more than you worry about the people who aren't interested in paying for your product. You'll never make any money off of them.

    Now if the industry has grown itself too fast, or you've let development costs get too high, or whatever you've done to make your businesses unprofitable...well that's your problem, not mine. Blaming it on people who don't want to pay for your product will not get you any sympathy or extra profits. Sorry.

  • by zero_out (1705074) on Thursday July 15, 2010 @01:28PM (#32915982)
    When I buy a game, I buy the game. I don't buy a license to play the game. I don't buy a piece of the game. I buy the game. This is why I avoid all games that involve microtransactions, limited activations, etc. There is a reason I chose to save my money to purchase my first game console 20 years ago, rather than drop quarters into machines at the arcade down the street. It's also why arcades are dead, despite the video game industry ballooning into what it is today.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sabt-pestnu (967671)

      Agreed. If the game that comes in the box isn't up to snuff, I'm not going to buy it. Put as many fancy bells and whistles on DLC as you want, I'm not going to see it. Particularly not at first.

      You only have one chance to make a first impression.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I see your point, and that's why I went from PC to console for the vast majority of my gaming also. If I don't have the hassle that's required of PC gaming, I'm perfectly fine with "dropping some quarters" into someone else's machine with the understanding that I won't get anything permanent in return. That's why Dave and Buster's makes so much money, at least from me.

      While I really enjoyed playing WoW, it cost insane amounts of money in the long run. I assume other MMORPGs are the same way.

      I guess there
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by eht (8912)

        Insane amounts of money? 200$ a year is insane amounts of money? (14$ a month*12 month + 34$ a year for each expansion pack(an expansion pack is usually around 50$ and gets released less than once every two years)) for a game that is continually updated with new content. That is less than the cost of 4 new A title games that you will probably spend maybe 20 hours each on. WoW is one of the cheapest forms of entertainment around.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Daetrin (576516)
      When I buy a game, I buy the game. I don't buy a license to play the game. I don't buy a piece of the game. I buy the game. This is why I avoid all games that involve microtransactions, limited activations, etc.

      How does this make any sense? Avoiding games with limited activations is understandable, but a blanket statement that you won't buy games that have microtransactions/DLC just seems strange. Do you not buy games that are part of a series? What about books or movies with sequels? Do you not buy a se
  • by jason.sweet (1272826) on Thursday July 15, 2010 @01:30PM (#32916028)
    Gamer: This game is crappy.
    Game maker: Just give us five more bucks, and it won't be so crappy.
    Gamer: That's a little better, but it's still pretty crappy.
    Game maker: Oh! We fixed that. Five more dollars, please?
    Gamer: WTF?!?!? There's DRM on this download.
    Game maker: Oh yeah. Pirates figured out how to pirate our DLC. Sorry about that. Five more buck and all the female NPCs will be topless.
    Gamer: Sweet! Keep the change!
  • by Necreia (954727) on Thursday July 15, 2010 @01:30PM (#32916032)

    This is simply "Demo that costs money, and still has other DRM". When you buy a game, you're buying a demo in which you have to buy the real game after. And in order to tie the download content to the demo you just bought, you need an authentication system. Likely online activation.

    The only thing Rod is saying is that game companies should double-dip to ease the DRM impression.

  • I don't know. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sheehaje (240093) on Thursday July 15, 2010 @01:32PM (#32916068)

    How about I buy a game. I install to my home computer, and to my laptop. I have an experience I can complete, and don't have to connect to some server to verify so if I bring my laptop somewhere, lets say to New York City for an extended business trip where the Hotel internet is intermittent at best and my air card won't work because I sandwiched between two high rise buildings, I can still play a game that I bought.

    Ok, maybe my circumstances are a bit extraordinary, but I want what I pay for.

    It was refreshing to actually buy a game recently (Dragon Age: Origins) and have a complete game to play without having to worry about authenticating to outside servers. I also appreciate that there are expansions that are optional, but there is no wall I will hit leaving me unsatisfied with the original game.

    I do play EVE-Online also, and I don't mind the subscription, but I don't just play MMORPG's. There are just certain games that I want that I feel I can put back on the shelf someday with the satisfaction of completing it, and also the option to play the game no matter what my circumstances are. Am I asking too much for my $50?

    I guess as an 80's generation gamer, I have different expectations. I still like going to the store (gasp!) to buy games. Hell, if there were still arcades around me, I might even go and drop a few dollars there.

  • at least civ 5 will be mod open and steam drm that way better then most of the other drm carp.

  • The BOOK publishing industry has had a model similar to this in place for a while, and I would love to see video games follow this. Most of the books I read are parts of a series, so I buy the first book ( the starter ), and then the next books ( DLCs ).

    Just like with book publishing, you could do DLC packs with price reductions after they've been out a while.

    As long as they deliver value proportional to the cost, I'm good with this.

  • Just what gamers are waiting for. Unfinished games. Forget paid beta-testing, now they are going to ship alpha products. Nice engine, where is the content, oh just 10 bucks for another hour worth...

    NO THANKS.

    And as for it stopping piracy. one word "The Sims 3". Oh okay that is two words and a number.

    That game has a horribly overpriced item shop, where you can download inferior custom content that you could just as easily get for free 100% legit, but all the payed content can be found on any filesharing n

  • That's a great idea. Sell games like the ones we find on the shelves today (ie uncompleted games) for $15-20, and charge an extra $5 or whatever if the user wants to play a single player game for more than 2-3 hours, or another $10-20 for functional multiplayer.

    Wait, what? They plan to sell a fraction of the existing games for less, and the 'additional content' may add up to the existing games (which are, more often than not, incomplete/complete crap)? :-|

  • cut the game price and add on price! $40-$50 + $30 is to much.

  • Option Multiplayer (Score:2, Interesting)

    by thewb005 (1849962)
    Of the games I play, I like the single player aspect of it. I would like to pay less for the original game and have it exclude multiplayer. Only if I felt the itch to play multiplayer I could pay for it at a future date.
  • When it comes to piracy, I think you have to make the experience the answer to the issue — rather than respond the other way round and risk damaging that experience for the user."

    but the vast majority of publishers still won't get it. But that's one of the most insightful comments I've ever read on the subject.

  • works for content providers because customers are either locked in or there are no other viable choices. this does not work for game developers because if your game is annoying enough, hard enough, or crashes enough i can always find another game.
  • That's right. Instead of having at least the semblance of a positive retail end-user experience, you sell a game that you know won't provide a good enough experience, then require they go online to get a chance of eventually getting a good game.

    Sounds like an invitation to folks to not buy the game while they wait to find out if it is good enough to buy. The folks who torrent it will delete it without finding out if the game would be good, leaving no chance for converted sales. If there's no way to know

  • "My answer is for us as publishers to actually sell unfinished games...."

    Funny, it seems that the industry has been doing this for at least 10 years already.

  • I've pirated several games that I would have otherwise, and quite wanted to pay for, because they wouldn't let me just *buy* the damn thing.

    I play video games to escape the constant buy buy buy money money money of the real world. Even with MMOs, you pay your monthly fee and it's done. So if I'm going to play a game, I'm first going to make whatever arrangements necessary so that I can do so without being interrupted by requests for my credit card.

    With games that have DLC, my only option is piracy. I have t

  • double-dip (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JustNiz (692889) on Thursday July 15, 2010 @01:47PM (#32916340)

    This is not about getting rid or DRM, this is about the games industry figuring out how they can get more money by double-dipping. We all know that the price of games won't drop even though you now also need to pay residuals to get the full functionality.

    Blizzard already trail-blazed that model with WOW and demonstrated that many people are stupid enough to pay full price up-front for a game that also requires monthly subscriptions.

    Assuming the game is not fundamentally tied to playing on-line, such as an MMORPG, whats to stop pirates just extracting and distributing the extra downloadable content too (after they've got it once)?.

  • But it's a good marketing ploy. I'm not paying for a demo -- say less than an hour of playtime. But I'll pay for a good game and expansion packs. I'll also pay very little for a known few hours of playtime (I would have bought the Doom demo -- it was long enough -- if I'd had my own computer back then...I would have paid $5 or $10 for it). None of this will stop hacking, but it may get me to buy more games.

    Sell $10 versions of the games on Steam -- readily downloadable, you can play them as soon as you

  • by raving griff (1157645) on Thursday July 15, 2010 @01:48PM (#32916358)

    As a member of the gaming community, I have come across a large number of discussions concerning DLC, and the vast majority of gamers I've seen online have been very vocal against this idea. The community as a whole doesn't care what the price of the game is--in this case, a game that would normally retail for $60 could be sold for $30 with DLC making up the other $30--they simply will not support a game that feels unfinished.

    Ultimately, the gaming community feels (unrealistically) that video game publishers are trying to milk them for all the money they are worth and that DLC that feels like it should have been included on the disc (or that was included on the disc and then unlocked via purchase) is one of the greatest sins conceivable.

    Personally, I think that the gaming community is largely built of alarmists and that these changes wouldn't seriously hamper gaming at all (especially if the retail price was lowered), but the community as a whole simply will not stand for this, and any attempts to roll this out in the near future will fail.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by thepotoo (829391)

      Huh. I don't think you're seeing a representative sample of the gaming community. I think the majority of gamers, even on the PC, are willing to fork over cash for DLC. (Slashdot is not a representative sample, and neither are the modding forums I frequent. Visit some Steam forums, or Fileshack, or pretty much any non-technical gaming forum, and you'll see that the overwhelming opinion is that people are willing to pay for DLC, as long as it's more elaborate than horse armor.

      Oh, you'd probably like a so

  • what about later? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    assuming this works, what would it mean when you want to play the game 5 or 10 years down the line, and can't find or access the content anymore?
  • by DaveGod (703167) on Thursday July 15, 2010 @01:54PM (#32916452)

    They're already doing this, in the wrong way that they can only be expected to implement it: selling half-finished buggy crap at full price then charging for patches + content that they took out from the original game and calling it "DLC". I'm not against DLC in principle, it has excellent potential IMHO, but rather how it is often being implemented in practice.

    Also, I'm not going to buy half a singleplayer game unless I can get the second half as soon as I've completed the first. Just like I don't watch half a movie or read half a book. I get "into" a game and play it a lot, then drop it and maybe have a run around a year or two later. The games that I'll pick up for long sessions with long breaks are few and far between (only one I can think of is Civ).

    Multiplayer games however, this could work. I find:

    - MP games often come out with too much content for people to get properly into, resulting in a long lead time of people being inexperienced with the levels.

    - related to above, many people tend to pick a few favourites and just ignore other maps, even if they're still quite good. These maps may offer more value if introduced when they are adding freshness as the old favourites are getting a bit tired.

    - the high initial price puts people off because MP games are "high risk" - good balance is hard to achieve.

    - related to above, enjoyment of a MP game isn't only related to the quality of the game itself, but the quantity (and quality) of other players.

    Most of the MP games I've got really into have stagnated from lack of fresh content as the game gets "old". Often these games go on for years longer thanks to some good modding, though fan made maps rarely fare so well.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by VGPowerlord (621254)

      Multiplayer games however, this could work. I find: ...

      Most of the MP games I've got really into have stagnated from lack of fresh content as the game gets "old". Often these games go on for years longer thanks to some good modding, though fan made maps rarely fare so well.

      Strangely, Valve has combated this in Team Fortress 2, but Valve hasn't try to monetize it. The latest (11th major) update came out last week with 4 new maps, 4 new Engineer weapons, and 38 new Engineer achievements. This is the last of

  • by Aphoxema (1088507) on Thursday July 15, 2010 @01:59PM (#32916528) Homepage Journal

    They're already pulling this shit. The new Price of Persia game doesn't really end and it is painfully obvious it's that way to sell you the "DLC", which is essentially the ending of the game. I got the game for 14, I would have murdered someone if I paid 60 and had to pay another 10 to witness the climax. For the PC version you can't even buy "Epilogue".

    Fucking whores.

  • Do this instead : (Score:5, Interesting)

    by unity100 (970058) on Thursday July 15, 2010 @02:54PM (#32917420) Homepage Journal
    Sell us an ENGINE with one storyline/episode, in FULL.

    put out new storylines/episodes as time goes by, and sell those to us, as DLCs.

    do not sell us half finished, half assed games to rip off money like base swindlers.
  • by Dr.Boje (1064726) on Thursday July 15, 2010 @03:54PM (#32918490)

    My answer is for us as publishers to actually sell unfinished games

    I'm pretty sure that's what most of them are doing now. Things certainly are nothing like they were in the 8-, 16-, and even 32-bit days; back then, it was a little hard to find a truly shitty game and even the mediocre games were worth at least one play-through. Nowadays, they are so focused on fighting these different wars ("piracy", second-hand market, etc.), making games look good, and turning an easy profit that I actually think they forgot what goes into making a good game. There are still some truly great games here and there, but overall the bar has been lowered.

    Personally, I don't think people really started pirating until after getting burned too many times by greedy publishers looking to milk their cash cows. So, instead of being smart and going back to making games that are actually worth paying money for, they waste all this money on stupid shit. As a result, people are a lot more careful with their money when considering purchasing a game and a lot of them don't see a problem with trying before buying, even if it is technically illegal, because they no longer have good reason to trust these publishers..

    Long story short... MAKE BETTER GAMES!

To understand a program you must become both the machine and the program.

Working...