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The Almighty Buck Games

Crytek Thinks Free Game Demos Will Soon Be Extinct 379

An anonymous reader writes with this quote from Develop: "The CEO of indie studio Crytek has defended EA's divisive 'premium downloadable content' strategy, while also predicting the extinction of free game demos. ... Crytek's co-founder Cevat Yerli said he wasn't sure that a demo of Crysis 2 was going to be released. He said: 'A free demo is a luxury we have in the game industry that we don't have in other industries such as film. Because we've had this free luxury for so long, now there are plans to change this people are complaining about it. The reality is that we might not see any free game demos in the long term. ... Yes it is quite unpopular, but this is a messaging issue. The problem with any new strategy like this is it initially may appear as a blood-hungry, money-grabbing strategy. But I think there is a genuine interest here to give gamers something more than a small demo released for free. Really, what this is, is an attempt to salvage a problem. The industry is still losing a lot of money to piracy as the market becomes more online-based. So it’s encouraging to see strategies outlined to combat this.'"
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Crytek Thinks Free Game Demos Will Soon Be Extinct

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  • really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by leachlife4 ( 638543 ) on Friday April 16, 2010 @05:49PM (#31877700) Journal
    "A free demo is a luxury we have in the game industry that we don't have in other industries such as film" what are trailers? they provide about the same relative amount of the product before paying for it
  • This will insure.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MatrixManiac ( 448609 ) on Friday April 16, 2010 @05:51PM (#31877714)

    So now you won't find out our game is crap till you buy it! :p

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 16, 2010 @05:54PM (#31877748)

    I love it!

    As an indie game developer, I love the fact that I can be agile while the other guys are big & dumb. I can take risks on my titles. Kill off your free game demos. It just gives me one more tool to be profitable.

    While you are at it, why don't you do any of these creative things. You can have this list for free

    a. Require micropayments to save single player games
    b. Require micropayments to save high scores
    c. Never release free content for your games
    d. Never give your community modding tools
    e. Lock down your artwork and other IP, so 3rd parties cannot make fan sites.

    It will make my job that much easier if you do.

  • Re:really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 16, 2010 @05:54PM (#31877752)

    Exactly. With a trailer you get to watch a bit of the movie, with a demo you get to play a bit of the game. By comparison, game trailers are sort of like a movie trailer where you only get to hear the audio. Demoes aren't a luxury, they're a courtesy.

  • by Kenja ( 541830 ) on Friday April 16, 2010 @05:58PM (#31877806)
    There are two games. One I know nothing about other then the developer telling me its worth 60$ and one I can actually try a bit of before shelling out the cash. Guess which one I'm going to be buying?
  • by Tepshen ( 851674 ) on Friday April 16, 2010 @06:01PM (#31877830)
    With film its previews and trailers, with music its promotional tracks and samples, with books its the synopsis or just reading the first page or so before you buy it, with TV its promos and commercials, hell with newspapers its headlines. The point being that EVERY major entertainment medium for at least a hundred years uses this model of giving a little bit away for free to create interest and to promote themselves. The problem with EA and now Crytek is they are looking at peoples interest in game demos not as curiosity as to if they will purchase but rather a lead in to a definite purchase and hope to sell the same product twice much the same way that companies are toying with selling downloadable content already in game and then "unlocking" it. I think they will find very quickly that it just doesn't work that way. the sad thing is that they still scream bloody murder about piracy because they are losing sales and never consider for a moment that they're aggressive and offensive sales model and draconian protection schemes may be a factor.
  • so ? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by artg ( 24127 ) on Friday April 16, 2010 @06:01PM (#31877836)
    It's a game. Who cares ? If the gaming industry gets as precious as the music industry, they'll go the same way. A product that will make money is one that's accessible, available and attractive. When an industry thinks IP is more important than keeping and attracting customers, it's dead in the water.
  • by brunes69 ( 86786 ) <slashdot&keirstead,org> on Friday April 16, 2010 @06:01PM (#31877838) Homepage

    If a game is a downloaded and bought online, how come I can't say, pay $5 for the first level, and if I like it, pay another $5 for the next level, etc?

  • Money down (Score:3, Insightful)

    by lyinhart ( 1352173 ) on Friday April 16, 2010 @06:01PM (#31877846)
    This wouldn't be so bad if your $10 or $15 was a credit towards the full version of the game. Plunk down $10 for 20% of the final product, pay the $50 or whatever amount is left from the MSRP if you want the whole thing. This works for the gamer in that they're getting a sizable portion of the game before it's released. And it works for the company in that people who wouldn't have bought the game otherwise will have coughed up $10 for an extended demo. This system would be a decent midway point between full retail releases and games released in episodes.
  • You can't kill the free demo.

    If you try, it turns out people will just obtain their demo any other way where they're not dishing out a single penny. Yes, I'm talking piracy. And they won't bother pirating the $5 demo, they'll pirate the full game, and use that to demo the game.

    And console-only won't save you. All it takes is one person to say "Game XXX sucks". Friends of that guy then say "I heard game XXX sucks". And it then spreads quickly - after all, who's going to pay $5 for a demo of a game that sucks, nevermind buy the full game.

    And all games suck - there is always someone unhappy with it.

  • Oh shut up (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Friday April 16, 2010 @06:03PM (#31877874)

    I really don't like Crytek, they are bitchy to the extreme. They are also the ones who whined that piracy was "killing" Crysis sales. They didn't seem to account for the fact that you needed, as Yhatzee put it, "A hypothetical future computer from space," to play it well. They didn't seem to consider that maybe sales reflect how many people can play the game well, if it doesn't work someone won't buy it. Oh, and it wasn't a very good game either.

    Never mind that it sold a million copies.

    So they can cram it. I think free demos will indeed continue in part because you can't know if a game will work and the publishers fight to keep retailers from taking returns. With movies, you've got a very high chance it works. All you have to do is make sure you buy the right kind of movie, not hard these days. If so, it'll work unless it is damaged, in which case just swap it for a new one.

    Not so with computer games, the media can be fine but there can be an incompatibility. In that case there is no reason someone should be stuck with a game that doesn't run.

    Also games are a much more substantial purchase. $40 is the minimum you tend to see a new title for and $50-60 is more common. As such it is reasonable to want to try out the product a bit more before committing to a purchase. The larger a purchase, the more most people want to examine it.

    But they can do whatever they like. I frankly don't care, they've shown themselves incapable of making games I give a shit about. They look very pretty, but only because they require insane amounts of hardware. In the two I've played (Far Cry and Crysis) the game starts off as a interesting semi-sneaky shooter with some very meh vehicles and then quickly turns in to a crappy monster game. As such I figure they'll keep doing that. If there's no demo, I'll simply give them a miss.

  • by Uncle Tractor ( 1736514 ) on Friday April 16, 2010 @06:04PM (#31877886)
    As others have already noted, movies *do* have free demos; they're known as "trailers." However, I never buy games unless I've played the demo first, and only if the demo runs well on my HW and it leaves me wanting more. No demo for me, no buy game from you. Sturgeon's Law applies to game just like anything else, and I'm not going to *pay* to find out whether a specific game is for me or not. The gaming bigwigs want to charge for demos? Fine. I'm sure the smaller developers will stay with the free demos, and I'll play their games instead. That's where the original stuff is anyway (yes, Sturgeon's Law still applies).
  • Wait what? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by koan ( 80826 ) on Friday April 16, 2010 @06:04PM (#31877898)

    "He said: 'A free demo is a luxury we have in the game industry that we don't have in other industries such as film. " isn't a demo of a movie called a trailer?

  • Re:really? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 0x537461746943 ( 781157 ) on Friday April 16, 2010 @06:05PM (#31877908)
    I agree. I see trailers for movies just like demos. If free demos started becoming paid for demos it would just cause me to buy less games... which would be a good thing for my finances. I discover new games that I like on PSN because of the demos. Not everyone has the time to read every preview and be up on the latest games coming out. I depend on PSN demos to see what games I like. Without that I know for a fact I would buy less games. At this point I would question the quality of a game that required a paid for demo. Are they so sure they will loose a sale that they need money for the demo?
  • Piracy? Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by VoiceInTheDesert ( 1613565 ) on Friday April 16, 2010 @06:12PM (#31877972)
    That's why you think you're losing money, EA? Not the fact that you make shitty games or the fact that you screw over your customers, you think it's pirates that are taking your business away? Reality check: The reason you want to stop offering Free Demos is because too many people are realizing the game is shit and aren't buying it as a result. Nothing to do with "luxury" or "giving the customer more." You don't "give" people more by charging them where there was no charge before. I would have way more respect if EA came out and said it was about money for themselves rather than trying to paint it like they're looking out for the players. The players are last on their mind.
  • by DdJ ( 10790 ) on Friday April 16, 2010 @06:13PM (#31877988) Homepage Journal

    Look at the XBox 360's indie game market. That's the hobbyist/indy storefront for games people write with the XNA tools.

    Every single game there gets a free demo, in that you can download every one of them for free. Even if the developer didn't code in any "demo" logic, if you don't pay, you get to run the game in a mode where it can't save any state and it auto-terminates after a short while.

    A demo like that is cheap to implement. It's also something that, while the developers may not want to provide it, the people you buy your games from directly need for it to be there. Especially with digital delivery.

    With digital delivery, there's no return policy, no trade-ins, no used game sales. This means if you shell out for an awful game, you're stuck with it. If I'm a digital delivery storefront, I'm going to want to entice people to buy games through me. The first time they buy an awful game and can't do anything about it, that's going to dramatically lower the odds that they'll buy any games in the future. The developer of that one game may not care -- they may be delighted, they got their cash -- but the storefront owner is going to care a lot, because they have an ongoing relationship with the customer.

    And so you'll see things like the mandatory free demo we get with XBLA and "indie games" (perhaps coupled with the low-cost demo implementation you get for the "indie games").

    (Honestly, I expect this mandatory demo policy to even make it to the iPhone app store at some point.)

  • by Attila Dimedici ( 1036002 ) on Friday April 16, 2010 @06:23PM (#31878110)
    I find it funny when gaming execs (or music, or movie) go on about how much money they are "losing" to piracy. I know a 100% sure fire way they could defeat the pirates. Make really cool games, advertise them massively, then just keep them in house and never release them. Think how much more money they would make if they never let the games out into the public so that the pirates couldn't copy them. Maybe if they worked really hard at their security, they could let people pay them to come into their facilities and play the games, but they would have to be careful, if they let just anybody in, someone might make a copy and sneak it out. /s
    These guys need to stop worrying about how many copies of their games are pirated and concentrate on getting more people to pay for their games. While it may be true that if they do absolutely nothing about people who pirate their games, more and more people will pirate the games rather than buy them, they are much more obsessed with stopping pirates than they are with getting paying customers.
  • by Pinhedd ( 1661735 ) on Friday April 16, 2010 @06:25PM (#31878134)
    and i will not buy it until I am sure it is not crap, not full of bugs and runs on my hardware. Game developers and publishers have been getting progressively worse at all of those over the past decade. Hence, piracy will continue to rise.
  • Re:really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by alan_dershowitz ( 586542 ) on Friday April 16, 2010 @06:33PM (#31878246)

    A few years ago, I don't remember what movie it was, but about five minutes from the movie was released onto the Internet as a promotion. I thought about how innovative this was, and wished other movies would do this too. This functions as a "demo" of a movie more than a preview does. I think it's comparable and good.

    Crytek is acting like interactivity isn't a major factor in games. I can't truly evaluate a game without playing it for a little while. In particular this is a big deal because, unlike other things, I can't seem to return a game because it sucked.

  • Great strategy (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 16, 2010 @06:33PM (#31878252)

    This guy is an imbecile.

    The fact of the matter is: Crytek games suck balls! They have sucked balls since the begining with poor stories, horrible gameplay, crappy derivative characters and boring overall experiences. What do they have? Graphics.

    So, if make a game trailer of a Crytek game it'll look awesome! But if you let people play a demo, they'll soon catch on that the game sucks. Hence: kill the demos.

    Meanwhile, peole who make good games won't be afraid to release demos to spike the interest of gamers and also to give us something to play for a few weeks while we save the horrid amounts of money they charge for games these days!

  • QQ (Score:3, Insightful)

    by negRo_slim ( 636783 ) <> on Friday April 16, 2010 @06:35PM (#31878282) Homepage
    Yeah if the movie trailers aren't doing it for you what about free product samples in a big box, test driving a car, a walk through of a house... No he wants to make game demos akin to wine tasting which is a little grandiose considering the lowest common denominator game design so in vogue these days.
  • Re:really? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Whyte Panther ( 868438 ) on Friday April 16, 2010 @06:47PM (#31878390)

    The releasing the first X minutes of a movie has become a more and more common tactic in movie promotions recently. I know it's happened for more than a few movies, but the only one I remember specifically was Borat.

    Otherwise, I totally agree with you. It's hard to put down $50-60 for a game basically sight unseen. Especially when so many developers do release demos, and XBox Live requires them, etc. Not only does a demo tell you if you would like the game, a demo will also give you an idea how well a game will run on your PC, which seems to pretty important to Crytek games.

    On the other hand, even demos aren't always representative of the full game. Take the Brutal Legend demo for example. What seems from the demo like God of War-esque with driving sequences, is actually a semi-RTS with a large mostly empty "sandbox" overworld.

  • by Bat Country ( 829565 ) on Friday April 16, 2010 @06:49PM (#31878418) Homepage

    If your company can't offer value added over or at least equal value to "homemade" levels, you're likely in the wrong business.

    Furthermore, you can just release high-quality mod tools above and beyond the quality that the public tends to provide and sell those as part of the pack.

    Player mods didn't sink Quake or Doom (both of which could play mods in their free shareware version.)

  • by the1337g33k ( 1268908 ) on Friday April 16, 2010 @06:53PM (#31878456)

    I use game demos to base my purchases off. I don't run the latest greatest hardware on my computer. Some games like Counter-Strike: Source, Call of Duty: MW and MW2 run really well on my computer while other games like Mass Effect do not. Without a demo I can't gauge whether or not the full game will run properly.

    I am not willing to take a $60 risk (not to mention money wasted on gas or shipping) only to find out that the game I just purchased runs at a poor FPS rate.

    I just won't buy games anymore, besides they waste quite a bit of my time anyways...

  • by gknoy ( 899301 ) <<moc.smetsysizasana> <ta> <yonkg>> on Friday April 16, 2010 @06:58PM (#31878506)

    This is why you plan for it, and work around that possibility.

    "Joe Developer's GAME OF AWESOME" sells well. EA buys out JD's company and rights to the game... he makes a new one, and markets "Joe Developer's SUPER SWEET SIDESCROLLER" (or something). People will realize it's not EA's game, and will recognize that it's from the same creator as something they liked -- witness Peter Molyneux's games, or Sid Meier's. We don't know them by their studio, but by the creator.

  • by the_fat_kid ( 1094399 ) on Friday April 16, 2010 @07:05PM (#31878576)

    So now you won't find out our game is crap till you download it from bit torrent

    There, fixed that for you.

    Hoist the jolly roger and start the rum songs, it's pirating time.

  • Re:really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Xeno man ( 1614779 ) on Friday April 16, 2010 @07:09PM (#31878620)
    No, they are not a courtesy, they are advertising. A free demo is no more than a luxury or a freebie than a movie trailer is for a movie. You get a sample and hopefully it will help you to decide if you want to buy something new.

    Do you need a demo for every game? Of course not but that's a choice of what advertising to invest in. No different than deciding if you want a billboard with your game on it by the side of the highway or on the side of a bus or an ad on TV. The type of advertising also differs on the name your selling. If you have something completely new, I'll need more convincing to buy it than a name I'm familiar with like the God of War series. Frankly they could have had a 10 second commercial with a guy saying, "God of War III is ready, come buy it." and that would have been good enough for me.
  • Re:really? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CottonThePirate ( 769463 ) on Friday April 16, 2010 @07:19PM (#31878700) Homepage
    I think this depends how informed the gamer is. Every month or so I troll thru the demo section on the PS3 and download a few that look interesting. More often than not the demo shows me the game sucks and I should save my money. But sometimes I find a gem. As a moderate gamer, I don't follow all the releases. Sure I know about the big ticket ones, but not the other 30 games that come out every month.
  • Re:really? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Somebody Is Using My ( 985418 ) on Friday April 16, 2010 @07:24PM (#31878752) Homepage

    I can. It's called the radio.

  • by DigiShaman ( 671371 ) on Friday April 16, 2010 @07:33PM (#31878826) Homepage

    Back in the 8-bit and 16-bit days, you got all your gaming info in several ways prior to purchase. Magazines, rental, and game swap with friends. Demos did not exists due to the cartridge format. Any retro-gamer will tell you just how many BAD games littered the shelves in that period. Things like Shaq Fu, and Jaws comes to mind. At the very least, if a game had the official Sega or Nintendo seal of approval, it hovered from moderate to awesome! Now that consoles have on-line connectivity to download demos and the ability to search Google, the gaming industry is now under a lot more scrutiny than in the past.

  • Re:really? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by FlyMysticalDJ ( 1660959 ) on Friday April 16, 2010 @07:38PM (#31878860)
    I agree with you here. In fact I see this as an admission that game companies rely on some people buying their games without knowing that they will not enjoy the game experience. If a game demo allows you to determine that, then in theory the perfect game that everyone would want to play would be stupid not to have a game demo, and a horrible game that no one would enjoy would be smarter to avoid it so that at least a few people buy it before they realize it is terrible. So what this really says to me is "Don't bother with a game that isn't confident enough about its gameplay to release some sort of demo".
  • Re:really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BuCKsWorld ( 579831 ) on Friday April 16, 2010 @07:49PM (#31878960)
    You're still utilizing the trailer to determine if the movie is worth your time. The main difference is that you're "forced" to experience them at a theater (unless you get there late). I (and many of my friends & colleagues) look up trailers for movies all the time, and we also download game demos from Xbox Live / PSN / Steam. The point of a game demo is (or was, or should be) to build the same type of hype for a game. It gives you a small taste, and hopefully entices you to pay for the entire thing. Some demos really do help a game and get the name out there. Other demos do more harm than good because the game itself isn't that great. This can happen with movies as well.

    I believe the big difference between game demos and movies is that games are both longer than movies and much more expensive for the consumer. If you lost $8 on a movie on a Friday night, it might not be as big of a deal as losing $60+ on a game. Even if the movie sucked, you could still have a decent time overall (making the movie a small part of a larger evening). It's a relatively quick experience. Many people buy games hoping they'll provide much more than 2 hours worth of entertainment. If the game is terrible, paying that larger price seems like even more of a loss.

    Sometimes I'll see a movie if the trailer is bad. I'll almost never buy a game if I didn't enjoy the demo. The more expensive the entertainment, the more critical people are about it and the more stingy they are with their money, at least in my experience.

  • by sa1lnr ( 669048 ) on Friday April 16, 2010 @07:53PM (#31878984)

    No no, now I will find out your game is crap after somebody else has bought it.

  • Re:QQ (Score:3, Insightful)

    by i.r.id10t ( 595143 ) on Friday April 16, 2010 @07:56PM (#31879010)

    Of course, the wine tasting example is the only one where there is a cost associated with letting someone have some.

    Cars can be test driven by many others or sold, houses can have multiple walk-throughs for essentially no extra cost (you can show 10 folks for the same price as showing 1 folk), making a downloadable copy of a game (ie putting it on a server) has no real extra cost (you'd be serving up website, updates, extra maps, etc anyway).

    Opening bottles of (good) wine, good scotch, etc. has a cost. Can't serve up a bottle and then sell that bottle to someone (well, maybe you could).

    Basically, I think it makes sense to pay for a tasting - esp. when it is top shelf stuff, for the fraction of the price of a bottle you can taste many of 'em.

  • Re:really? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jackal40 ( 1119853 ) on Friday April 16, 2010 @08:07PM (#31879088)
    For me it's an easy decision - no demo, no purchase. Since the game reviewers are all in the pocket of the game companies (personal opinion - but I've yet to see someone give a game I thought had serious flaws a bad review) a demo is the next reasonable method of determining if I like a game enough to purchase.

    A great example was R.U.S.E. - interesting game concept, decent single player AI, and ok multiplayer. But overall, it wasn't worth the money for me. Did the developer loose a sale because they released a demo - No, because I don't buy a game just on reviews or even word of mouth.

    Just my $0.02, YMMV
  • by Spatial ( 1235392 ) on Friday April 16, 2010 @08:07PM (#31879090)

    Now who downloads 2gb just to play 10 minutes of a game?

    Not to play, but to evaluate. Does it run on my hardware? Is it really fun?

    Let's face it, game reviewers are little more than an outsourced marketing department. I've got to look for myself to see what's what, or I'm not buying.

  • Re:really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thetoadwarrior ( 1268702 ) on Friday April 16, 2010 @08:09PM (#31879098) Homepage
    Not to mention game reviews are generally shit mainly because most reviewers are concerned about getting freebies and special treatment from publishers than helping consumers.
  • Re:really? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by thetoadwarrior ( 1268702 ) on Friday April 16, 2010 @08:13PM (#31879120) Homepage
    True but you can only see a movie. The trailer serves both purposes. Games aren't seen, they're played so a game trailer doesn't mean much. More so when game trailers often don't even use the same perspective as you use when you play and they're enhanced so they don't represent the game at all. They serve one purpose which is just to promotion the game's name.
  • by Spatial ( 1235392 ) on Friday April 16, 2010 @08:27PM (#31879236)

    video game reviews are generally of higher quality and more consistency than those for other products

    You cannot be serious.

  • Re:really? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ZachPruckowski ( 918562 ) <> on Friday April 16, 2010 @09:49PM (#31879720)

    No - there is a difference in it that I think most people would agree on. With a trailer, you are trying to build hype for the movie. Get its name out there and make it desirable to watch.

    ...I grab a demo which means I'm already interested in seeing what the game is like. I use the demo to determine whether or not I want to purchase it.

    The difference is that it's harder to juice up a demo than a movie trailer. You can just throw all the good bits into the trailer (funny lines, robots fighting, whatever) and make a good trailer out of all but the crappiest of movies, but not so for game demos. The game demo highlights the mechanics of the game, which you don't usually change between the demo and the final version. I mean, if I play the Call of Duty 7 demo, that's basically how the game is going to play out. There might be one or two mechanics missing from the demo, but it's unlikely that the game company's going to be able to put "only the good stuff" in the demo.

  • Re:QQ (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dripdry ( 1062282 ) on Friday April 16, 2010 @09:52PM (#31879736) Journal

    Maybe, but with good scotch or wine, one is fairly assured of a reasonably enjoyable experience.

    With the kind of crap some of these developers sneeze out it might just piss people off and generate a lot of bad PR. It might generate a little revenue, too, since you buy the demo *and* the full game.

    Now if they offered a discount on the full game if one purchases the demo, that might be easier to swallow.

  • Re:QQ (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday April 17, 2010 @09:08AM (#31881012) Journal

    I think everybody is missing the real point of making demos "for pay" which is this: The HUUUUGE amount of absolute turdfests the game companies are shitting out these days, especially on the PC market. Raise your hands if you have bought a game in the last year that turned out to be...shudder..."Multiplatform" which was just a codeword for a badly ported X360 app? Or have bought a game where the graphics were good, but the control scheme was written by Satan and/or had enemy AI that made Forest Gump seem like a fricking genius in comparison?

    So by charging for demos they can make some money on games that are real shitburgers by forcing the players to shell out just to find out their game is about as thrilling as your dog dropping a load on your carpet. It doesn't matter to them that game demos are the equivalent of movie trailers, because they know they have too many reviewers hooked on swag so they can get good reviews even on stinkbombs. This is all about "maximizing profit potential" and screwing the players as much as possible. As far as I'm concerned any company that doesn't trust the quality of their game enough to even let me play a single level to see whether it sucks balls or not without breaking out my CC will make their game just one more I won't touch until it hits the bargain bin, if at all.

    But I have to seriously wonder if all this horseshit isn't part of a wider agenda to kill PC gaming dead. Think about it: Since the days of codewheels game companies have been about control, but only now with the x360 being online 24x7 have they gotten a chance to have their fabled "black box" gaming. They can't just say "go fuck yourselves" to the PC gamers because the shareholders would have a fit at them throwing away millions of dollars in revenue, so instead they pile on the DRM, fuck them over with pay demos and nickel and dime them with DLC, all the while treating them like a criminal, and then when the numbers drop low enough they can say "See? Not enough people game on PCs anymore" and can kill their PC gaming division without the stock holders having a fit.

    With the x360 they can charge for even the crappiest mods...err DLC, kill multiplayer on game x when version y comes out, basically take total control of the players experience. Considering how bad the game companies like Ubisoft have been shitting all over their customers (which BTW AC2 is all over the P2P like Emule so the only ones they are screwing is their paying customers AGAIN) it is the only angle that makes sense to me. Name any other industry that goes so far out of their way to piss on the people buying their product?

"The pathology is to want control, not that you ever get it, because of course you never do." -- Gregory Bateson