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Microsoft pulls a 180 (heh) on Xbone DRM

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#21 of 185 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted June 20 2013 - 09:06 AM

The flip side to this though is it's money the developers weren't going to see anyway. The developers got there money when it was purchased the first time. People buying the used game are the people who might not of been as committed to the game as to want to drop the $59. I'd also argue that there a lot of people buying used games are also the collector types buying lots of new games, similar to the torrenting movie/music stuff that the industry doesn't want people to know about.

 

The steam model proves the folly of that tho and that there is a vastly greater market for this content past its day one sales.  If you can linearly reduce the price of a digital product after launch you can increase your sales exponentially, and ALL of that money goes to the devs (minus the platform cut) vice the vast majority going into the vampire's pocket, regardless of what Aaron believes.  Devs have consistently stated that pawn shop style used sales are the enemy.  I can't post the link from here but Google Blezinsky's "AAA and used cannot continue to co-exist". 


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#22 of 185 OFFLINE   Type A

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Posted June 20 2013 - 09:24 AM

You can't look at it as one big sum.  You have to look at it from all sides.  Gamers have been conditioned to expect that they can get used games almost immediately from a game's launch.  They can wait as little as 3 days and buy a AAA title and none of that money goes to the dev.  They can then trade that game in any time and the used title can be sold to another buyer, none of that money goes to a dev.  You have a shadow market where only initial sales go to the makers and then the vast long tail they never get a cent from it.

 

It's leeching out money from Devs hands from the start. 

 

 

By your logic any consumer who has ever purchased or sold a used item is leeching or promoting leeching.  Im in some serious trouble!  When it comes to the used market the gaming industry is not special. 


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#23 of 185 OFFLINE   Aaron Silverman

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Posted June 20 2013 - 10:11 AM

Blezinsky is not exactly a disinterested observer.

 

For a laugh, read the comments on any of the articles about his recent tweets. The general consensus is that he's a crank.


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#24 of 185 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted June 20 2013 - 10:37 AM

Clearly we've had decades of physical media which have thriving industries that survive despite secondary used markets, that's not up for debate.  Artists in those realms aren't generally fans of the secondary market but it's been the status quo and for the most part they do not dominate the industries involved the way that Gamestop does in gaming.  Let's not forget that the movie industry fought the VCR tooth and nail when it was first introduced as well.  We've crossed a lot of bridges already, but there are more to ford.

 

It's not really an apples to apples comparison either, games are unique in that they are a lot more expensive at retail, have a lot shorter shelf life, are, generally, a lot bigger in bytes than the other media, etc which has stymied the adoption of pure digital versions in ways that books, music and movies have already surpassed.  Games are also sold as software licenses to use, not as their physical manifestations on the media that carries them, which introduces incompatibilities with the First Sale Doctrine, something that the courts have wrestled with for some time.

 

Bottom line:  It's complicated =)


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#25 of 185 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted June 20 2013 - 10:43 AM

Noted Aaron, there are a great many things I disagree with Cliffy about.  Google "Used games bad for developers" and you will see a sharply divided discussion.  It's not clear just what the total good/bad overall effect is. 

 

What I can say with some certainty is that the move to pure digital has worked out in consumers best interests on at least one platform: Steam.  Taking the middleman out, taking the physical media out, allowing flexible pricing, aggressively sloping the price down after launch are all good for consumers and developers alike.  We see similar but not exactly comparable results on the various App stores as well.

 

The sooner we get past shiny discs forever the happier I will be.  I think (yeah yeah, Zen master!!!!) =)


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#26 of 185 OFFLINE   Hanson

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Posted June 20 2013 - 11:47 AM

Microsoft just gave you a faster horse instead of an automobile...

 

 

 

WORD.

https://medium.com/a...gy/a849a9d4d530

 

This was not a reaction to internet whining, this was a reaction to people not wanting to buying the new console for good reasons. The idea was harebrained from the start because they wanted to stand in the digital and physical disk worlds and give you the worst of both -- you pay physical disk prices for digital game restrictions. They wouldn't talk about how much they would charge for activating used games. They bungled every step of the process and deserved to eat crow. 

 

Now if they only put the Start button back into Windows 8 before launch...

 

The all seeing, all hearing Kinect issue is still there. The $100 difference still exists. XBOne still isn't out of the woods yet.



#27 of 185 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted June 20 2013 - 02:36 PM

You can't look at it as one big sum.  You have to look at it from all sides.  Gamers have been conditioned to expect that they can get used games almost immediately from a game's launch.  They can wait as little as 3 days and buy a AAA title and none of that money goes to the dev.  They can then trade that game in any time and the used title can be sold to another buyer, none of that money goes to a dev.  You have a shadow market where only initial sales go to the makers and then the vast long tail they never get a cent from it.

 

It's leeching out money from Devs hands from the start. 

 

Well, let's be honest about this.. it isn't leaching a dime from devs, because devs aren't paid based on sales of a game and many don't receive any share of the revenue.  Publishers get that.   The publishing company makes a deal.  Now, it may impact the next deal the publisher makes with the dev, and that's true.. but once the game is on the shelf, for the most part, the Dev has basically already been paid 99% of what they are going to get UNLESS they are both a dev and a publisher.. IE, if Activision produces it's own title, etc.

 

As a follow up to that: so what.   This is a bit like arguing the used car market rips off the new car market.   It's balderdash.   The market is large, and part of what keeps the market going at the price that it is at is based upon perceived value.   If you were to buy anything else and be told you could never resell it (ie, perishable) you'd be OK with it.. as long as the price was lowered.   But as long as the price stays relatively high - and $60 for a perishable item is fairly high - then you generally want some perceived value out of it beyond what you get now.

 

Microsoft's strategy failed in large part because it offered a perishable item at non-perishable prices.   The developers not only didn't benefit, developers got completely screwed in this deal in that they were told they could not self-publish, they'd have to find a publisher, and small developers were denied the development kits altogether.   So the case that "it's good for the developer" seems to point to Sony which let everyone+dog get a copy of the developer kit.

 

I think it's well known here I normally defend Microsoft.. I know too many people there, and quite a few of their products I really like.. but this was a disaster in planning from the get go, and even though this change is a step in the right direction, their move against small developers is still the wrong idea that is anti-developer, and in the end, will hurt their game marketplace from finding the next big thing.


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#28 of 185 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted June 20 2013 - 06:15 PM

Did MS also kill play-from-harddrive, and again are requiring the disc to be in the drive?

 

Used games: I think used games are necessary to prop up $60 new games. Or would it be better if gamers were like me, and simply wait four years to buy "new" games at retail for 30% the original MSRP?

 

I buy few enough games that either way, it doesn't affect my budget much. But I've sold used games and systems in recent years. Doing so only helps me buy what new games I do. Even when "new" is five years old.



#29 of 185 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted June 20 2013 - 06:32 PM

Yes physical copies must be in the whiiiiiiirrrrrrrrrr system tray


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#30 of 185 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted June 21 2013 - 02:31 AM

Ugh. I thought that was going away. Changing discs is the bane of my first-world existence.

#31 of 185 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted June 21 2013 - 04:37 AM

That's something I can't understand the point of them doing.   They basically said "fine, if you don't like X, you can't have Y either!".   If they said a one time activation check, most people would be OK.

 

Who knows; it's going to be difficult for a lot of consumers on this because the water stays muddy, and as a result, the Xbox-one-80 will have a hard time really cutting through FUD now.


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#32 of 185 OFFLINE   Hanson

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Posted June 21 2013 - 05:24 AM

Yes, it's very much a, "I'm taking my ball and going home" reaction. If they wanted to do this right in the first place, they should have had two price tiers, one for traditional media and a lower price for digital downloads. That's one way to move to the future while letting people have their Start button. It's like they're sore at their audience for the mistakes they made.



#33 of 185 OFFLINE   Dave Upton

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Posted June 21 2013 - 05:36 AM

Well, let's be honest about this.. it isn't leaching a dime from devs, because devs aren't paid based on sales of a game and many don't receive any share of the revenue.  Publishers get that.   The publishing company makes a deal.  Now, it may impact the next deal the publisher makes with the dev, and that's true.. but once the game is on the shelf, for the most part, the Dev has basically already been paid 99% of what they are going to get UNLESS they are both a dev and a publisher.. IE, if Activision produces it's own title, etc.

 

As a follow up to that: so what.   This is a bit like arguing the used car market rips off the new car market.   It's balderdash.   The market is large, and part of what keeps the market going at the price that it is at is based upon perceived value.   If you were to buy anything else and be told you could never resell it (ie, perishable) you'd be OK with it.. as long as the price was lowered.   But as long as the price stays relatively high - and $60 for a perishable item is fairly high - then you generally want some perceived value out of it beyond what you get now.

 

Microsoft's strategy failed in large part because it offered a perishable item at non-perishable prices.   The developers not only didn't benefit, developers got completely screwed in this deal in that they were told they could not self-publish, they'd have to find a publisher, and small developers were denied the development kits altogether.   So the case that "it's good for the developer" seems to point to Sony which let everyone+dog get a copy of the developer kit.

 

I think it's well known here I normally defend Microsoft.. I know too many people there, and quite a few of their products I really like.. but this was a disaster in planning from the get go, and even though this change is a step in the right direction, their move against small developers is still the wrong idea that is anti-developer, and in the end, will hurt their game marketplace from finding the next big thing.

 

This x1000. I work in the automotive industry. Used sales are accepted as a part of the industry because they have value in terms of downstream repair costs, and brand growth/loyalty. 

 

Game companies need to learn how to monetize the used market without invasive DRM. Surely paying a small fee to license multiplayer, or having content/improvements to the game worth a small incremental cost is a workable model.

 

Charging 60 dollars for a digital only title, is just greedy.



#34 of 185 OFFLINE   Russell G

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Posted June 21 2013 - 06:49 AM

Yes, it's very much a, "I'm taking my ball and going home" reaction. If they wanted to do this right in the first place, they should have had two price tiers, one for traditional media and a lower price for digital downloads. That's one way to move to the future while letting people have their Start button. It's like they're sore at their audience for the mistakes they made.

 

Agree completely. Microsoft might want to have a look at their marketing department. It's pretty simple, buy a disc based version of the game for $59 that you can freely share or sell used, or a digital version for $49 with all the DRM stuff that previously held. Let the market decide which way the industry is going to go.



#35 of 185 OFFLINE   Hanson

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Posted June 21 2013 - 09:27 AM

It's baffling to me why this wasn't the model in the first place. Just baffling.



#36 of 185 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted June 21 2013 - 11:12 AM

Good round up pro and con on used games hurtful or not:

http://www.wired.com...ed-games-again/


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#37 of 185 OFFLINE   Aaron Silverman

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Posted June 21 2013 - 11:14 AM

Would MS have that kind of control over pricing? And that aside, can't publishers do exactly that right now? There do seem to be some discounts for digital versions over disc versions, but nothing significant that I've noticed.


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#38 of 185 OFFLINE   Russell G

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Posted June 21 2013 - 11:17 AM

I can't speak for Xbox, but I never see day one discounts on day one digital releases that are also sold on disc in box stores on the PS3.



#39 of 185 OFFLINE   Aaron Silverman

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Posted June 21 2013 - 11:21 AM

Good link, Sam.

 

As I said, there is a hard truth here that some people will have to face. It is this: Increasingly, there are not enough people buying triple-A games, and they do not spend enough money, to make the production of triple-A games as it is undertaken today a financially viable endeavor.

If you are a maker of such games, it is much, much easier to believe that GameStop is the source of all the industry’s ills than to believe that there is something fundamentally wrong with the business.


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#40 of 185 OFFLINE   Aaron Silverman

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Posted June 21 2013 - 11:22 AM

I can't speak for Xbox, but I never see day one discounts on day one digital releases that are also sold on disc in box stores on the PS3.

 

I can't speak for Xbox or day one prices, 'cause I don't own an XBox and I never buy on day one. :)


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