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Businesses The Almighty Buck Games

Can $60 Games Survive? 435

Posted by Soulskill
from the inflation-vs-customer-expectations dept.
donniebaseball23 writes "Game budgets continue to rise with each successive console generation, and with the Wii U launching later this year, the industry is on the cusp of yet another costly transition. Publishers have been regularly charging $60 for games this generation, but that model simply cannot survive, Nexon America CEO Daniel Kim said in an interview. 'I think at some point the console makers have to make a decision about how closed or open they're going to be to the different models that are going to be emerging,' Kim remarked. 'Today it's free-to-play, and I'm convinced that that one is going to continue to flourish and expand into other genres and other categories, but there may be something else completely and entirely different that comes out that again changes the industry.' He cautioned, 'If your mind is just set on keeping the current model of buy a game for $60, play for 40 hours, buy another game for $60, play for 40 hours, that model I think is eventually going to change. It's going to have to change.'"
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Can $60 Games Survive?

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  • HotS (Score:2, Insightful)

    by lawpoop (604919) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @10:03PM (#39347413) Homepage Journal
    I don't care, I'm still buying Heart of the Swarm when it comes out...!
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @10:09PM (#39347483)

    Here's your game, for just 10 bucks. Plus 5 bucks for the equipment that you need in level 2. Plus 7.99 for the multiplayer addon (i.e. what you actually bought the game for). For just 3 bucks a pop you get new maps. Not happy with our controller layout? For just 5 bucks you can now create your own AND store it online on our server for just 3 bucks a month. Oh, talking about it, to play online of course you have to pay 10 bucks a month to play on our secure and dedicated servers... for as long as we run them only, of course. Which will be about a year, when the 2013 edition comes out. But hey, it's only going to cost 10 bucks!

  • by decora (1710862) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @10:10PM (#39347491) Journal

    predicting the end of the $40 computer game.

    people say we are logical, and we have science, and we no longer rely on witch doctors and shamanism and we dont believe in magic.

    but pundits are our shamans, and we throw bones trying to predict these things that are not only unpredictable, but dont really matter that much, but we love to do it.

    something about the mysticism is there in all of us , and which part of it is good, and which is bad?

    the really interesting moments when you realize you were wrong, and you were wrong for wrong reasons.

  • Biased Parties (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rsmith-mac (639075) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @10:15PM (#39347561)

    This just in: Free 2 Play Publisher Says $60 Games Doomed.

    Meanwhile In other news this evening, RJ Reynolds has a new study out proving that smoking is good for you and makes you look cooler.

  • by flagg9483 (940242) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @10:16PM (#39347571)
    Are you kidding? There are men out there who will pay $200 if a woman will just get naked and call him daddy for an hour. Anyone who thinks gamers won't pay $1.50/hour for a game is crazy. Hell, I pumped more than 6 quarters an hour into arcade games once a week when I was a kid, and that's back when you'd actually pick up a quarter in the street if you found one.
  • by Osgeld (1900440) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @10:21PM (#39347631)

    when 4 hour games cost 50 bucks?

  • Zero Day DLC (Score:5, Insightful)

    by OutLawSuit (1107987) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @10:23PM (#39347655)

    I have no problem with $60 games or even DLC. The problem I have is $60 games with zero day DLC (like Mass Effect 3). It's obvious that many developers are starting to use it to discreetly jack up the price of the core game. Then to add insult to injury, they claim it was never intended to be part of the core game despite the files already being physically on the disk.

    If developers were just honest, I wouldn't have much of a problem with the practice. Instead, they're trying to play us for idiots.

  • by msobkow (48369) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @10:26PM (#39347675) Homepage Journal

    When I stopped buying video games, the average game took me about 60-80 hours to finish.

    My friends now regularly finish games in as little 12-15 hours.

    So where I paid $40 for my games, about $0.50/hour play time at best, my friends are now paying about $2-4/hour, and that's not even ten years later.

    What's unsustainable is the presumption that gamers have infinitely deep pockets, or that people don't give damn about the value for their dollar if the game is "good enough." Sooner or later, things are going to crash. And the popularity of used and "old" games in the $20 bins is starting to prove that point, as are the number of $10-20 internet games.

    Remember, the industry is now competing with "App" games that sell for $1-5 each. Sure "Angry Birds" doesn't have the visceral glory of the console games, but it's fun to the people who play it and it's not costing them an arm and a leg. Expect more of the same, or a major crash in the whole gaming industry.

  • by viperidaenz (2515578) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @10:34PM (#39347747)
    Wasn't it the BFG-9000? a BFG-2000 sounds whimpy in comparison.
  • by fiziko (97143) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @10:44PM (#39347855) Homepage

    The same thing happened in Canada. Why don't they lower the prices? Because we're used to paying them, so they don't have to. If we stop paying artificially inflated prices for all of our media, it'll change. NOTE: I'm not advocating piracy. That won't change their minds; they'll just say we are ripping them off for the heck of it. I'm advocating that individuals do not spend money on media with prices that seem artificially inflated, and that those doing so tell the media providers that this is happening and why.

  • wrong question (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @10:49PM (#39347887) Homepage Journal

    I think the question ought to be, "Should $60 games survive?"

  • Re:HotS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @10:54PM (#39347941)

    Jesus, between the two of you...

    "I think this should cost less cuz the game corporashuns make TEH HUGE PROFITZ" is not a valid reason to just take what you want. You're just a cheap asshole with busted-ass, tired old excuses. You are not entitled to anything, and this attitude isn't going to help you elsewhere (unless you're going into banking).

    And companies don't make the prices what they are because they're really, really angry. They charge what they think they can on an estimated curve, using well-considered data about what the market will bear for similar games, on that platform.

    Get your heads out of your asses.

  • by firefrei (2569069) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @10:54PM (#39347961)

    When I stopped buying video games, the average game took me about 60-80 hours to finish.

    My friends now regularly finish games in as little 12-15 hours.

    So where I paid $40 for my games, about $0.50/hour play time at best, my friends are now paying about $2-4/hour, and that's not even ten years later.

    Three things:

    (1) Good games are generally replayable. I don't like buying games that I play only once and then shit on the shelf. A good game for me is one that has enough depth and variety that I can replay it in a number of different ways and get different outcomes. For recent titles, Deus Ex: Human Revolution is one that comes to mind. I can play stealth only, or entirely non-lethal, rambo style, undetected by anyone, and so on. Or I can just take more time at exploring the world and finding hidden entrances/praxis kits. Whatever works, so long as I can keep playing the same game until I'm bored. It certainly saves me money and extends the time I can enjoy the one game.

    (2) I generally don't want to take 60-80 hours to finish one game. Make a game too long and you run the risk of the player becoming a bit bored and wanting to move onto something different. This is where (1) comes in handy - a shorter game with greater replayability means you won't have to wait too long for the game to reach its conclusion, then you can replay with different tactics/a new character build. If the game was crazy long, you might end up restarting with a new build before it even ends (or worse, abandon it for something fresh).

    (3) $2-4/hour, not taking into account (1) and (2) is still a lot better value than most hobbies.

  • by blahplusplus (757119) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @11:06PM (#39348061)

    "Don't forget inflation when complaining about game prices."

    Let's not forget wage stagnation. Everyone forgets about the most important thing - stagnation of wages. What matters is purchasing power and that is more complicated to calculate.

  • by MindPhlux (304416) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @11:10PM (#39348089) Homepage

    I'm sort of surprised by the comments on here. I'm approaching 30, so I grew up buying games in the 'good old days' when they were ~$20-35. But if you account for inflation, is $60 really that unreasonable? I mean, I'm not mindblowingly rich, and I am pretty stingy with my money as far as just going out and dropping a 50 bill on something - but $60 for a really good game seems pretty ok. Most of the time, the $59.95 titles will have preorder sales or whatever for $45-50, and if you can wait a couple months, you can usually score top tier games for $39.95.

    I'm pretty OK with paying that amount of money for good games - they usually last more than 4-6 movies lengths of entertainment, so that seems par for course as far as entertainment goes. Of course, I never spend my money on bad games - I usually find a way to errr, preview them before committing - so maybe my game buying experience is different than that of the average consumer.

  • by BitZtream (692029) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @11:19PM (#39348145)

    Well, it kind of makes you look silly if you ever took anyone predicts the end of any of these major companies happening over night. Everyone knows its just grandstanding and the more incorrect statement you can make up and the backup with 'facts' the more attention you get.

    Nothing has changed that would make the price of games go down, the author just discovered a new type of game that was already there.

    Tetris came before Angry Birds and in another 20 years, they'll be some other tiny, cheap game that will be a fad for a year or two, nothing changes, you're just becoming more aware of the way the world around you works. Dvorak will then be predicting the end of the $240 game and I'll still be having conversations with my wife about how that $240 game is actually cost effective if you consider that I'll literally end up paying less than $1 an hour of play that I'll get out of the game.

    Mass Effect 3 for instance is $60 now. Thats 7 or 8 times the cost of a movie ticket on average. To make things easy, lets say that movies cost $4/hour. My latest Mass Effect 2 play through has roughly 60 hours on it of me screwing around. This is at least my 3rd time I've completed it, first on easy, then a couple play throughs on hard.

    Thats roughly $0.33 cents an hour.

    In 1970, 33 cents an hour for entertainment would have been GOOD. The price won't drop when there is that much value in the content compared to other forms of entertainment. Cheap fads come and go in every industry/sport/entertainment option and theres always someone shouting about the demise of something else, even though pretty much the same thing has happened before.

  • by Nursie (632944) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @11:39PM (#39348329)

    Direct Import. Gerry Harvey is right, it is killing local stores, but that's because they either can't or won't compete.

    10% GST is irrelevant when games often cost 100% more here.

  • by mjwx (966435) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @11:49PM (#39348379)

    Why is that? Taxes? or what?

    Media is only subject to the Australian Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 10%. So that's A$72 per game Ex GST (no tax). All prices in Australia are Inc GST unless explicitly stated otherwise.

    The problem is local publishers having a stranglehold on the market. They set the price at an artificially high price point based on an exchange rate that hasn't been seen for a decade (not even the GFC got that low and we're pretty much consistently above US$0.70 since 2004).

    A while back the Australian government made it legal to parallel import many products including games, movies, digital media, clothing and electronics from overseas. Shipments of A$1000 or less are GST exempt (but other duties like alcohol tax still apply). So I just import from the UK or Hong Kong for half the price of buying it locally, the OP pointed out Mass Effect which is A$88 for the PC, I can order it from Zavvi.co.uk for GBP 28 which is around A$45.

    This year alone I've bought a laptop and 2 SSD's from the US saving nearly A$1000 in the process (Asus U46SV in Oz A$1400, in the US US$850, tax is still only 10% but seeing as it was under A$1000, I didn't have to pay it).

  • Re:HotS (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @11:53PM (#39348411)

    I think you're missing what JoeMerchant meant. He is spending lots of time /using/ the game. Not single player, not digging through expanded bloat of 'lets add more to make it longer'. No, he's probably playing multi-player, or replaying the campaign on harder difficulties, or using the map editor to create his own content. That is the value, continued use, not 'more time spent'. There is a difference.

  • Re:HotS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @12:12AM (#39348555)

    Just as you believe pirates aren't entitled to anything, pirates don't feel developers are entitled to anything, either. Or at least they're not entitled to that much money, or money from themselves.

    Think about that stalemate for a second and make a rational decision based on the fact that despite incredibly ridiculous attempts to curtail piracy that have gone beyond the point of alienating regular customers, piracy still exists, and will exist forever. Rational decisions include no longer selling anything/quitting the industry, lowering prices, ignoring the issue, or offering a cut down product for free (or a lower price). Rational decisions don't include "PIRATES ARE ASSHOLES, SO I WILL POST ABOUT THEM AND FIX THE PROBLEM".

    Get your head out of your ass and you might just realize that emotional reactions are the problem and since the pirates don't give a damn one way or the other (hell, some of them are laughing at you right now, and will continue to laugh at you when you reply with "GO FUCK YOURSELF YOU SELFISH BASTARD"), the emotion isn't going to affect them. And clearly, neither are fines (considering it still happens after individuals are fined multiple times the GDP of many countries) nor jail time (considering 5 years of jail time is what VHS tapes always threatened).

    You may keep fighting it tooth and nail, but you will mostly lose. Yes, you'll win a case against a 12 year old here, and an 80 year old grandma there, but in the end those people are broke, you won't get any money from them, and if they end up in jail, YOU'RE going to look like the bad guy.

  • Re:HotS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @01:37AM (#39349159)

    Yes, it's the developers who are acting entitled, because they're always taking money from people's bank accounts without consent and then shipping them a game regardless of whether or not the person actually wanted the game.

    Your argument that each side has a valid claim against the other for feeling "entitled" is completely asinine. On one side, you have a party offering a product for exchange. If the second party doesn't agree with the terms of the exchange (either it's too expensive, or the game sucks, or whatever), then fine, you don't have to purchase it. There is no sense of entitlement there; they're making an offer, but you don't have to take it. The developer isn't entitled to anything because you don't have to buy the game. But on the other side, you have a party who just takes the product, regardless of whether or not they fulfilled the terms of the exchange. They just take it, as if they're entitled.

    I honestly don't care about piracy, it doesn't bother me one bit... but what does bother me is when people try to rationalize their behavior by turning it around and making the developer/publisher/owner out to be the bad guy, and justify their behavior as if they're some sort of digital Robin Hood instead of just a greedy asshole who wants shit without paying for it. If a person wants to pirate any kind of intellectual property, fine... whatever... but at least fess up to it; don't rationalize it or try to justify it. If you don't give a shit about the people who make a living by creating the content you enjoy, or the companies who employ those people, or the industry that supports those companies... okay, that's your choice. Go ahead and keep on doing what you're doing. But don't expect me to have any sympathy for your position. Don't spin it around and try to portray yourself as the hero (I'm not directing this last comment at you specifically, just people in general who try to justify or rationalize piracy).

  • Re:HotS (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Benaiah (851593) on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @01:40AM (#39349179)

    $60 games? Lol maybe back in 1988 we had $60 games. I live in Australia where new release games cost $110 on the shelf, and at the moment our Dollar is worth more then yours so.... Imagine paying about $120 for new release games and you will know how we feel..
    I would definitely pay $60 for a game. And i do have HOTS on pre order.

  • Re:HotS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @02:45AM (#39349519) Journal

    Oh please! Has everyone including you forgotten that when valve as an experiment lowered the price of L4D to $2 their PROFITS on that game went up by 1700%? Geez someone need to wrap old Henry Ford in wire as the revolutions he is turning in his grave could power half the country!

    Sadly the only ones that seem to get old style capitalism anymore is Valve and just look at 'em, old gabe can jump in a swimming pool full of money like Scrooge mcDuck, why? because the way you make money in a TRUE capitalist sense, instead of using the government to be your pitbull (as with all the nasty laws and DRM) is to sell it cheap and crank the things out like hotcakes. Well thanks to digital distribution and DVDs your cost per unit is so teeny tiny its practically non existent, so what do they do? do they lower the prices and then make MASSIVE profits when they are able to create franchises and tie ins and DLC and a bazillion other ways to make even MORE profits off those new customers? nope they go "Gee, how badly can we assrape our customers before they squeal like a piggy? charge 10% above that" and you have what you have now.

    Piracy is the TRUE free markets answer to assraping prices and screwing over the consumer. You lower those prices and guess what? Not only can you practically wipe out piracy but you can then monetize those new customers even more with cool DLC, t-shirts and memorabilia, upselling them other products in your line, a smart businessman instead of a greedy one would know this, but sadly it isn't even limited to gaming this stupidity. Did you know in the late summer of 09 I saw Windows piracy practically disappear overnight? Did MSFT come up with some new DRM? Nope they were selling Win 7 HP for $50 which caused guys that had probably never bought a copy of Windows in their life to buy. Almost to the minute that MSFT removed the $50 win 7 HP and $100 triple packs suddenly the local Craigslist was filled with $100 PCs with $300 copies of Windows Ultimate.

    In the end you can be a smart business like Valve, realize that while you can't stop piracy that doesn't mean you can't convert large numbers of them into paying customers. Hell I've probably blown $300 myself on steam in the last 6 months, even though I could pirate those games easily, because valve offers me games that are cheap, easy as "push button to get game" and convenient with autopatching and matchmaking, and now when i get done playing a Steam game they get to pop up a little window telling me what's on sale and you know what? they've made a shitload of sales to me that way. its called being SMART and knowing you'll make a hell of a lot more on 10 million customers than on half a million when the costs per unit is so incredibly cheap. DVDs are what? less than a dollar including packaging? And of course digital deliver is a pittance, so its really only stupid shortsighted greed that is keeping these companies from making a shitload more money. In a way it reminds me of the MPAA who screamed that VCRs would be the "Boston Strangler" of the movie industry...right up until their first check from videotape sales came in.

    When you charge assraping prices you are simply leaving tons of money on the table, both from those that will pirate as well as from those that will simply walk away. its business 101 folks and charging the absolute limit the market will bear is almost never the way to maximize profits.

  • Re:HotS (Score:4, Insightful)

    by icebraining (1313345) on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @04:27AM (#39349963) Homepage

    Actually, it's the other way around. Buyers, not pirates, are keeping the prices high.

    Companies don't set prices by theur "feelings", that's ridiculous. They set prices based on what people are willing to pay. Therefore, it's the buyers fault, by being willing to pay $60/game, that prices are this high.

  • Re:HotS (Score:2, Insightful)

    by icebraining (1313345) on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @04:29AM (#39349981) Homepage

    "Pirates" don't have to be entitled to anything. People are voluntarily sharing copies of the stuff with them - you don't need to be entitled to accept a gift.

    The question is, why the fuck do some people feel entitled to tell others what they can or cannot do with their legally bought CDs/DVDs, computers and internet connections.

  • Re:HotS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by artor3 (1344997) on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @04:39AM (#39350009)

    The fact that the industry is screwing themselves over by overcharging and using onerous DRM does NOT entitle you to take a copy of their work for free.

    You've spilled a lot of proverbial ink about all the things industry does wrong, but none of those things make it okay for you to just take whatever you want for free. It's a complete non-sequitur, and I see it all the time. The argument seems to boil down to, "I want it, so I should be able to have it at whatever price I'm willing to pay. If they won't give it to me at that price, that's their problem, not mine." That's not a sustainable attitude. It ends with people deciding that they really shouldn't have to pay at all (look around Slashdot, the attitude's already common here), at which point the top quality, expensive-to-produce content just ...stops.

    If you don't think a particular good is worth the price, then don't buy it. But don't try to rationalize pirating it.

  • Re:HotS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @08:01AM (#39350903) Journal

    Preaching changes NOTHING friend, you might as well be pissing in the wind. i will happily explain why your argument is worthless, ready? PPT math. You see it frankly doesn't matter whether you pirate it or not, as regardless of what you do the companies are gonna bring a PPT into congress and say "If you'll look at slide 4 you'll see we made X on this game with the consoles and since there are Y numbers of gamers we should have had X+Y in profits but we didn't get it so it must be teh ebil pirates argh! Give us more laws and extended copyrights" and you know what? they'll get it.

    You see we are talking about capitalism and the market and whether that person takes the game or simply walks away doesn't matter in that sense because the end results are the same, money left on the table. I know many pirates that were converted into paying customers simply by Valve offering cheap games with easy ordering yet you still have companies like Ubisoft that do everything but shit on the game boxes before handing them to the customers, why? Can they not see all the money they are leaving on the table? Can they not see how many won't buy their products because frankly the pirated version is the better product thanks to its lack of DRM?

    Its simple really, you give the people what they want or they go elsewhere, your morality means nothing to the market. If you magically destroyed piracy tomorrow i bet my last buck the sales wouldn't go up even 5%, because they simply would walk away, the end results would be no different than they are now. These assclown MBA, master of bullshitting assholes, simply have no ability to think beyond the quarter. Why should they? they'll have moved on long before any damage they do can be blamed on them anyway so why care? In the end when you try to introduce artificial scarcity with a product with infinite supply at little to no cost and then try to assrape the customers on top of that the market WILL route around the stupidity, be it with knockoff DVDs in China or Internet piracy. thinking that somehow THIS time, with THIS DRM you might get all those millions to actually pay you a bazillion dollars a product is just delusional. Either you take the amount they are willing to pay or watch as they walk away, your choice.

  • Re:HotS (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Canazza (1428553) on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @08:40AM (#39351157)

    Lower the price AND make distribution easier.

    One of the things I currently hate about the games industry is the difference between release dates across the world. Okay, it's about 5 days between US and UK, but it can be months until somewhere like Australia can get it. and it even happens on STEAM and other Digital Distributers, which is frankly *insane*.

    I don't pirate, (not for about 6 years), and I buy very few AAA titles (most don't interest me) and cheap Indie games or F2P games are much more fun imo. Something like Tribes Ascend, or Minecraft have given me alot more enjoyment, and alot more TIME put into it, than something like Call of Duty or Halo could ever give.

    I bought Deus Ex:Human Revolution and enjoyed that alot, but I didn't buy the DLC until it was in the 66% off sale on Steam. I'm not upset that I didn't get the main game for that, since I'm more than happy to pay a bit extra for Day-1 play.

  • Re:HotS (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wild_quinine (998562) on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @08:50AM (#39351227) Homepage

    The fact that the industry is screwing themselves over by overcharging and using onerous DRM does NOT entitle you to take a copy of their work for free...If you don't think a particular good is worth the price, then don't buy it. But don't try to rationalize pirating it.

    You're missing the point completely. Piracy *happens*, and the argument put forwards is that there's a price threshold below which piracy dramatically reduces, and profits may well also increase. This is a good argument and likely to be true.

    It doesn't MATTER that piracy is wrong. Did the OP say that he was a pirate? He talked simply about the fact that at high prices, piracy is more prevalent than at low prices.

    That, my friend, is called a fact. If you want to continue selling at those high prices because piracy is wrong , even if it bankrupts your company then that's your prerogative. You're an idealist, but you're not a businessman.

    No good businessman ever looked at the facts of the market and said 'Well sir, I don't care much for the way the world actually is, I think I'll base my pricing strategy on a number that I personally like.'

  • Re:HotS (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AJH16 (940784) <aj AT gccafe DOT com> on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @09:29AM (#39351569) Homepage

    I would hazard that as long as you either a) stop playing it after deciding not to purchase or b) buy the game after deciding to purchase, then the above poster likely would have no issue with your justification. I think it is more just a rant against the prevalence of individuals who take a "holier than thou" attitude to piracy for piracy's sake to "stick it to the man" without actually abstaining from the content (which would be the truly praise worthy behavior). For people like me, who do at least occasionally actually refrain from buying content because of the company that makes it or because we feel the price is unreasonable, it is very frustrating to see someone be the jackass that is used to keep the companies in denial and harm the very cause they claim to support.

    It's easy for a company to not change their behavior when they see people are still consuming their product and simply not paying for it. Clearly this shows people want what they are making, but they are simply taking it because they can. The (apparent) solution to this is to simply make it more difficult to do so, which hurts everyone. When nobody consumes it at all, it shows that something is wrong with the model all together and demonstrates that something needs to fundamentally change for the company to be successful. The problem is, my choice to suffer through not consuming something is rendered useless by some selfish, deluded individual who lacks the self control to not consume and the default assumption becomes that all "lost sales" are a result of piracy, not an active purchasing decision.

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