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Anger With Game Content Lock Spurs Reaction From Studio Head Curt Shilling

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the oh-the-huge-manatee dept.

Businesses 908

MojoKid writes "Studios and publishers are fighting back hard against the used game market, with the upcoming title Kingdoms of Amular the latest to declare it will use a content lock. In this case, KoA ups the ante by locking out part of the game that's normally available in single-player mode. Gamers exploded, with many angry that game content that had shipped on the physical disc was locked away and missing, as well as being angry at the fact that content was withheld from used game players. One forum thread asking if the studio fought back against allowing EA to lock the content went on for 49 pages before Curt Shilling, the head of 38 Studios, took to the forums himself. His commentary on the situation is blunt and to the point. 'This is not 38 trying to take more of your money, or EA in this case, this is us rewarding people for helping us! If you disagree due to methodology, ok, but that is our intent... companies are still trying to figure out how to receive dollars spent on games they make, when they are bought. Is that wrong? if so please tell me how.'"

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Not on the disc (4, Informative)

aaron552 (1621603) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861787)

From what Curt Shilling has said, the content is not on the game disc and was intended to be released as (day-one) DLC, but instead, those who buy the game get it for free. I really don't see the problem, myself.

Re:Not on the disc (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38861823)

I don't give a shit what an executive figurehead says out of the corner of his mouth. The outcome is all the matters and game developers are trying to charge the same price for a single use, non-transferable license as they used to charge for transferable media.

Yes that is wrong, because I as a customer have no desire to pay the same or higher price for a reduced value. I will download pirated copies or go without before I willfully entrap myself in this DRM/license pay-per-use dystopia being advanced by IP Rights Holders.

There's nothing wrong with making a profit, but don't complain to congress if you find that your scheme isn't viable in a free market. You'll lose money in your attempt to re-write the social contract.

Re:Not on the disc (2, Interesting)

erick99 (743982) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861891)

It doesn't help that, outside of Boston, Shilling is a very unlikable guy. I wouldn't expect him to throw a rope to a drowning person in a river if it would make him 15 seconds late for lunch.

Re:Not on the disc (4, Funny)

Elbereth (58257) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861957)

Does he know the mayor of Boston?

Re:Not on the disc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38862003)

Boston? That's understandable, then. By the time you find a rope that won't dissolve in the Charles, any drownee would be dead.

Re:Not on the disc (4, Insightful)

Elbereth (58257) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861943)

So, you get the content for free, if you're the original owner, but you need to buy it, if you're a second-hand owner? That's frustrating, but it's not as bad as it could be.

Anyway, my suggestion to them would be to have a market on their own website, where you can auction/sell activation codes to the games that you own. That way, they can track the second hand market, make it easier for people, and also perhaps make a tiny profit off of each sale (say, 5% or 10%). Also, this would make it very easy to trade/sell DLC. In fact, I should probably set up a third party website like this.

Re:Not on the disc (1)

Genda (560240) | more than 2 years ago | (#38862099)

Your making a false assumption on the presumption that they don't intend to force second hand owners to pay 100% of the full price of the product on the premise that whether you're the first or twenty first person to be holding the disc, you will pay 100% for the privilege to play their game. Its there game, they have every right to make certain everyone pays the full price to play it. That said, they're going to have to deal with a world where players have expectations from other game producers, and unless their games are the most amazing, wonderful, enjoyable games ever made, there is a very real chance that players will simply tell them to shove it.

Its a for profit business. These are not bad people, they are there to make a profit, the more the better, and if they have to slap you around a little or mess with your perceived entitlements to squeeze a little more profit out, you're simply buggered. This is not evil, its the way our economy is geared and the answer is to sit the man down and let him know that at some point, aggressive profit making to the detriment of your customers will predictably reach a point of diminishing returns. Businessmen need to be able to make a reasonable profit on their product. They also need to treat their customers with respect and dignity and their customers need to do the same. There is common ground, and its up to both parties to find it. Or you can just declare war on one another and everyone loses, particularly the innocent bystanders who end up being subjected to legislation on behalf of business which fundamentally undermines human rights.

Re:Not on the disc (2)

Squiddie (1942230) | more than 2 years ago | (#38862109)

The problem with that is that when I want to play my game some years from now, I will have a reduced experience. How long until the whole game is locked out like this? They're just trying to see how much crap people that play games will take.

Re:Not on the disc (4, Interesting)

Zemran (3101) | more than 2 years ago | (#38862047)

Why should I have to go and get something that I have already bought, paid for and had delivered? Will they recompense me for my time and inconvenience? I doubt that but even if they did, unless they refunded the whole some by way of apology, I would still be pissed. This has all gone to far and I, as someone who had always been happy to buy lots of games in the past, download the cracked copy every time now because I do not want to put up with this BS. If I cannot play the game, when I want (i.e. no need for internet etc.) I would rather have a copy. If I am going to have to go online (to download half the game) I may as well download an entire game. I am not even prepared to put the CD into the drive every time I want to play (why should I? My CD drive is not internal!), I just want to play.

I have got about a cubic metre of games that I have bought in my room but now I download. I do not mind paying but I do mind having to put up with all the shit. If they provide good extras (manual maps etc.) I will buy it and download the crack. For me it is not about the money, it is about being able to play it when I want.

Re:Not on the disc (5, Insightful)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 2 years ago | (#38862049)

Meh, If you don't like it, don't buy it. Instead play something else; vote with your wallet. It's not like there's a shortage of games.

Re:Not on the disc (2)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 2 years ago | (#38862077)

And what happens when there is nothing else?

Re:Not on the disc (1)

trevelyon (892253) | more than 2 years ago | (#38862107)

Wow, I wonder if you would be as happy if that was your car. You can buy the car from us AND get replacement parts BUT if you sell it the new owner can't get any after market parts for it. Sorry but this is raw greed. They want money from each step of each sale just like a mafia, they have to get their cut. Anyone want to put money that this new reduced functionality is not clearly stated before purchase? I'd wager it's hidden in 4+ pages of EULA and the customer will find out when they go to sell it down the line.

Re:Not on the disc (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 2 years ago | (#38862151)

If you buy the game you get it, no problem there. But if you have gotten it then it should not be taken away from you later. So you should be all rights be able to give the game away to someone and it should include everything, including "free" DLCs.

This should be exactly like a paper book. You give it away and it is still readable by whoever you give it to without it magically becoming encrypted. Publishers have had to deal with second hand sales forever.

Note that I said "give away" not "sell to some lowlife second hand dealer that charges full price minus $1". But either case it is my right to give away or sell the game as I see fit if I own it. I don't care if some CEO is whining that he doesn't get a share of the pie. Make the game good enough and it won't be given away.

If I do sell it and get some money, then the game maker needs to suck it up because I have a right to resell and the game maker has zero rights to that money.

Now if I RENTED a game it would be different. That's what's wrong with DRM is that you effectively are only allowed to rent the games but the games are marketed and promoted as if you own them outright. I don't mind with MMOs because it's obvious there that you only rent those games.

Why yes it is. (4, Insightful)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861793)

Is that wrong? if so please tell me how

There's nothing wrong with wanting to make a profit. There's everything wrong about withholding product and lying about it.

Re:Why yes it is. (3, Insightful)

Telvin_3d (855514) | more than 2 years ago | (#38862131)

I don't think they are lying about anything. They are being very clear in what they are doing and why they are doing. People are not happy with what they are doing, but I don't think deception is involved.

Don't buy (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38861801)

Well, the way to get back at the game company is to simply DON'T buy the game.

Re:Don't buy (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 2 years ago | (#38862017)

Sure, but this problem is only affecting the second hand market. For the games company it is as if they didn't make that second sale anyhow. How is withholding that second purchase going to make any difference?

I am not sure I can offer a good alternative to the current situation, but trying to play the game in five years will be a problem, unless they offer a solution to unlock after a certain date. I don't know whether price point could be changed or something else could be done to make things more appealing to the first hand market?

"Is that wrong? if so please tell me how" (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38861803)

First sale doctrine. QED.

Re:"Is that wrong? if so please tell me how" (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861903)

First sale doctrine. QED.

It's been done in such a way that you can still sell the original product, you just can't sell the non-transferable license to the day 1 DLC. Certainly a dodgy way of doing it.

Re:"Is that wrong? if so please tell me how" (5, Insightful)

MachDelta (704883) | more than 2 years ago | (#38862141)

If Ford started selling the key to your car as a "free" app for your smartphone, but anyone buying that same car second hand had to shell out $1500 for a new "key," how long do you think it would take for before either a) congress enacts a law outlawing the practice, or b) FoMoCo's HQ is burnt to the ground?
Or c), GM, Chrysler, VAG, Toyota, Honda, Subaru, BMW, Mercedes, etc all start doing it too and everyone just accepts it as the new norm. Because, sadly, "c" is where the video game world is headed.

I'm never missing gears... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38861805)

I see their point however the methods are still misplaced. If I buy a used car, It's not like I can't use Gears 4 and up.

Re:I'm never missing gears... (2)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861999)

I see their point however the methods are still misplaced. If I buy a used car, It's not like I can't use Gears 4 and up.

Maybe you can't if you don't renew your OnStar service. Did you read your contract?

Yes, it's wrong (4, Insightful)

BLKMGK (34057) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861807)

They are preventing someone from having anything of value to sell after they are done with it. Perhaps if the game didn't cost so much in the first place it would have less value used and more would buy it new - what a concept. I don't buy too many games these days but I play many older ones and some online games. It's stunts like this that would prevent me from buying this game new OR used. $50 and $60 dollars per game is crazy and has greatly curtailed my desire to buy. Between crappy DRM that makes my life hell and is now starting to limit even hardware changes to publishers pulling crap like this to ensure I cannot resell any game I buy I simply have no stomach to purchase their crap. Let them go bankrupt and someone who values their customers more take their place so far as I'm concerned....

Re:Yes, it's wrong (-1, Troll)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861837)

This has been going on forever right in front of your face everyday, and you don't even know it. Tomorrow there is one less ravioli in your can, or your block of cheese is 20g less, however, you pay the same price. This is how they increase the cost of things. Games offer so much more content than your random games of yesteryear, and they have to pay the folks to keep cranking out this DLC stuff. This is how they increase the cost.

Re:Yes, it's wrong (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861867)

Bad editing on my behalf. Hate accordingly.

Re:Yes, it's wrong (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38862113)

Go look at your Soda, Candy and Chip aisle in the grocery store.

Perhaps you've seen these new "110cal" cans that are 230ml instead of 355. Perhaps you've noticed Coke is only putting 10 cans in the Fanta fridge boxes, but 12 cans in the Coke and Sprite fridge boxes. Yet they are the same price. 25% less, same price.

As far as games go, music, movies and books all have the same general problem. They sell content that has limited reuse, and much of this is because they are producing mediocre games (good god half these game companies should merge and produce better games, instead of producing two different games that only differ how buggy they are.)

Music is the most reuseable. People will listen to the same music, or even the same song repeatedly until they are tired of it. If the music companies had their way, they would get paid every single time it's played. People balk at renting music, and are only willing to pay for all-you-can-eat music if everything is available. This is not, and has never been the case. I'll never pay for a music service unless I can get english, japanese and german music from the same service.

Movies and books are the least reuseable, since they don't change between playback. This results in the perfect environment for renting or all-you-can eat services like netflix, because nobody is going to watch everything. But these kind of renting services again have the regional locking problem. I can't buy German or Japanese shows with a US iTunes account, so therefor I don't buy anything on iTunes. Piracy it is. That's the only way I can watch it on my devices. I'm more than willing to buy the original language version and then download a fansub "subtitle" file for it. The market for this unfortunately doesn't exist because there is no way to create third-party subtitles for DRM-encumbered media. Besides as far as the movie, television and eBook industry is concerned a translation is another copy to be purchased. So yes, you'd have to purchase download the original language version, and then pay the same amount again just for a different translation. The fansubbers have been ahead of the game since 1996.

So where do games fit?

Games are highly-reuseable. That means that games designed with more than 16 hours of gameplay are not rentable. Multiplayer games can't be rented either since it reduces the player base. Dingdingding I think we have an answer. Stop producing single-player offline games. However this incurs support costs that most of these game companies are not willing to bear. The solution? Just stop treating the customers like thieves. If people are really going to be playing the game, then they should have no complaints in downloading patches and free DLC. But this is not always the case. What do you do when the game company no longer exists in 10 years, which has been the case for every company out there. I dare you to try and find patches to Origin's Ultima and Wing Commander games on EA's website. Try and find the patches for the Sierra games after they were merged with Vivendi, and then Activision.

Oh hell try and even find drivers for any piece of hardware made before PCIe.

You see where I'm going. It's the not the game's fault that technology changes. Unlike Music, Movies, and eBooks, which change very little with media shifting. Games copyright protection schemes that are tied to hardware ALWAYS fail. Gamers have a reason to be skeptical. Many old games are only available in pirated/cracked versions because the original source code has been lost (see both Sierra and Origin) however copy protection that involve the game's manual still works... because copying the manual is easy (see the exception of "color code wheels" used in Binary Systems Starflight game, the map in Starflight 2, and the code wheel used in "Out of this World")

Ultimately what game companies should be doing is releasing games, complete, as a patchable "image", that self-check that they have not been modified before engaging multiplayer. Game "mods" should be additional images that the game patches into the game at runtime, but still self-checks. Contact the game company if it still exists to patch-to-stock. This is what game companies should be doing, is regularly keeping all their games up to date, by keeping source code and assets available. If the game is no longer supported, the games source code should be released so that it can be recompiled for new computers and consoles.

But until that time comes around, stop treating customers as thieves and just patch the game before playing. Of all the games I mentioned above, only "Out of this World" (now known as "Another World") has been recoded for modern systems... but I'd still have to buy it again which I'm not willing to do. The game was good on the hardware it was on, but it can be completed in less than an hour, so I don't feel it's worth buying again except on the iPad (4.99.)

Re:Yes, it's wrong (5, Interesting)

erick99 (743982) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861873)

I am single dad with a single income but I have two teenage sons who like to play games. When something hot comes out like Gears of whatever, I buy a new copy. But for other games they wait until it's available used. I can't afford a new version of everything. I think that what they are doing is, at the least, mean-spirited.

Re:Yes, it's wrong (5, Insightful)

jythie (914043) | more than 2 years ago | (#38862073)

Not just mean spirited, but bad buisness. I am trying to figure out what box of cracker jacks these CEOs got their MBAs out of... various industries have encountered this for centuries, each has tried to wipe out the 'used' market because it felt they were not getting a good deal out of it, and they each tend to rediscover the same basic problem, the used market puts money into their industry and ads value to their products

Stop used sales, and your product becomes worth less... one might get more of each sale, but the total number of sales tends to go down resulting in a net decrease of income. Sadly, new industries keep forgetting that there is more to a market then the immediate first order effects.. learning how things interconnect is important. grrr.

Re:Yes, it's wrong (1)

Koby77 (992785) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861887)

These types of products with content lock and DRM should come with some sort of big warning label for consumers that you are not really buying the game. Essentially you're renting the software with an up-front one-time payment under the terms and conditions of the license. For the publishers to claim otherwise seems like false advertising to me.

GREED is not good. Do they even notice? (2)

bussdriver (620565) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861931)

As with music and everything else, the big USED product market didn't prevent various massive industries from being born... which are now using their power to warp reality and politics.

Infinite stock price growth is what fuels this war with their customers. Share holders are all that matters today nobody thinks of customers. The past is not enough, they must wring every cent from you in every way conceivable or the board picks a new CEO. Many newspapers that died were still profitable but not as high as desired (or they were just less profitable but still profitable) so they were gutted and the owners made away on the entrails.

OK then. (5, Insightful)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861811)

companies are still trying to figure out how to receive dollars spent on games they make, when they are bought. Is that wrong? if so please tell me how.

In my case they need to figure out a better way to receive my dollars. There's absolutely nothing wrong with what they are doing. It simply means that I will refuse to support their business by purchasing their products. If enough people feel the same way, then they will either find a way to stop treating people like shit and make money or go out of business.

Re:OK then. (5, Insightful)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861879)

Well said. The problem here is, like Garth Brooks, some companies believe that used games are somehow the bane of their existence. I've seen games sell upwards of a million or more copies in a week, and how again is used killing them? Oh, it's out of their control. Something I don't care about.

I know people use it all the time, but damnit, the First Sale doctrine is alive and well. If they want to "license" us a copy of the game, then we should be able to exchange media when ours is scratched by our kids playing frisbee. We should also be able to get a replacement if we break the disc. Currently, you're mostly shit outta luck with respect to the latter (and the former, but it varies by publisher.) But if they want this sort of licensing model (effectively killing used game sales), then they should be prepared for the consequences of their new model.

Trouble is, they want (like the music and movie industry) to have it both ways. No need for them to uphold any sort of content licensing agreement, but if they want to squeeze you, the customer, about something like used games or DLC, then they want that power. Funny how companies are like that. :)

And no, I am not interested in their game. They (and EA) have decided to make it difficult for me, so I will make it difficult for them to continue with this business model by NOT buying their games. Quite simply, if it's not "evil pirates" it's those goddamned "evil used buyers." I'm tired of fucking hearing it. Clamping down on your paying customers is NOT going to solve the infringement problem... nor is it going to garner you any goodwill, which once you lose, takes YEARS to get back.

Re:OK then. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38861881)

companies are still trying to figure out how to receive dollars spent on games they make, when they are bought. Is that wrong? if so please tell me how.

In my case they need to figure out a better way to receive my dollars. There's absolutely nothing wrong with what they are doing. It simply means that I will refuse to support their business by purchasing their products. If enough people feel the same way, then they will either find a way to stop treating people like shit and make money or go out of business.

Voting with your dollars would only works if a huge number of people decided that enough is enough, but history tells people like being fucked by every single company out there.
This company's crime is not trying to curb the used market, but getting caught.

Re:OK then. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38862087)

Voting with your dollars would only works if a huge number of people decided that enough is enough, but history tells people like being fucked by every single company out there.

This is why it's important to have consumer protection. Caveat emptor works in the favor of the few (the sellers), not the many (the buyers).
If it were up to personal choice Ron Paul style, and not laws, We The People would gladly sign up for indentured labor if it would put food on our table and entertain us. Bread and circus means more to the plebs than right and wrong, and this hasn't changed over the last 2000 years.
This is why we have laws like the first sale doctrine - the people are perfectly happy with being screwed, over and over again, with a blunt spruce.

Re:OK then. (5, Insightful)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861937)

There's absolutely nothing wrong with what they are doing

There is absolutely everything wrong with they are doing.

I understand that digital delivery and games that can be played online has confused the issue, along with the persistent confusion over what copyright is.

However, it is really this fucking simple:

Customer purchased product from store.
Customer owns product from store.
Customer after some period of time sells product used to somebody else.
Store already got paid, so they have no legal interest, much less moral or ethical interest, in the second sale.

First Sale Doctrine covers this. Everywhere else in the physical world you cannot pull this fucking shit for two seconds without being called crazy greedy retarded sons of bitches.

I have said before, and some of disagreed with me (they are wrong), but when you pay for copyrighted content you are granted rights in return for the consideration you paid. Part of that, is quite obviously, the ability to sell your copy. Traditionally in the past this was very easy to wrap your mind around with when it came to art and books, since they were physical items you could touch and pick up. Every single time a piece of artwork or book is sold the legal entitlements that came from copyright are transferred. It is completely legal, moral, and ethical to be able to do so. You own it, the physical medium and those rights.

They can try all the EULA crap that they want. That does not make it right, or legally defensible in a court of law. Shilling is a greedy fucking dumbass who cannot understand why he cannot get a part of each and every resale in perpetuity. Quite simply, he is not satisfied with being legally compensated one time, but has major entitlement issues to believe (erroneously) that he has every right to be compensated when his customer sells the game to another gamer used.

The fundamental problem being that Shilling does not want to understand copyright as it currently is, or what it was designed to be. Shilling, and other shitheads like him, only want to be part of a world where they have absolute control over every copy everywhere and that it always remains their direct property under their direct control at all times.

Well fuck him, and fuck Microsoft with their 720. When I purchase physical mediums, or directly download copies of copyrighted content I will absolutely protect, by force if required, my right to transfer those rights to anyone I please for any amount of consideration I please.

There is everything wrong with they are doing from every perspective you can think of.

Re:OK then. (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 2 years ago | (#38862129)

Its just another game I won't be buying. I don't need their game to thrive in this world.

...if so please tell me how... (5, Insightful)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861813)

Make games I don't want to sell 2 weeks after I buy them?

I still got my original copies of Chrono Cross & Star Ocean 2 from launch day. Just sayin'...

Re:...if so please tell me how... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38862085)

I would love original straight from square enix hard copies of every final fantasy ever made; is it going to happen? No, so I have to settle for the fact square enix is doing a dam fine job of porting their games to most platforms in existence.

And they aren't being jerks about it either, at $5-$10 a game (PSP) (converting my game saves is the hardest part).

meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38861819)

Fuck EA. Fuck 38 Studios. boycott.

By buying this product you only receive a desktop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38861821)

By buying this product you only receive a desktop shortcut.
The full game is a day one DLC provided for free when you buy!

Just wait until the auto industry starts using similar methods to curb that damn used car market.

Rewarding people for helping us (3, Insightful)

macraig (621737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861831)

... this is us rewarding people for helping us!

Where did this jackass study economics? This ain't the way it works: I give you money, you give me something of equal value in return, period. His former dean and professors should fail him retroactively.

What a spin doctor.

Re:Rewarding people for helping us (1)

penguinstorm (575341) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861863)

Sure, dummy. The issue is a debate over what constitutes "equal value." He certainly doesn't have an obligation to give you a product that you can resell. Video games aren't generally purchased with resale value in mind.

In the case of a car the situation is a bit different: there's an expectation that a car should have a certain residual value at the end of its first owner's period of use. It's the norm.

If you think the game is overpriced, don't buy it. He's entitled to charge what he wants and structure pricing how he wants. If it puts him out of business, it's the circle of life.

Re:Rewarding people for helping us (1)

BLKMGK (34057) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861973)

Actually I'd argue that people who buy games ALSO have some expectation of value at the end of their game play else stores like GameStop that sell used games wouldn't exist. Would you also argue that buyers of paperback books don't expect some value to remain after it's been read? What about lending the game to a friend like you would a book? These jackasses are even starting to do hardware locks - won't it just suck when kids can't take games to a friend's house to play them together?

The game companies are becoming as greedy as the other "content providers" and I will treat them much the same way - by not buying (oh wait, licensing) their crap. They will then whine about how pirates have "ruined" their business when in fact it's been their own fault all along for pulling stunts like this. Hell IF I buy a game you can bet I'll be cracking the damn thing just to get around the stupid DRM. These publishers are idiots and they sound like spoiled children when they speak like this fool did.

Re:Rewarding people for helping us (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#38862081)

These jackasses are even starting to do hardware locks - won't it just suck when kids can't take games to a friend's house to play them together?

Not that i agree with this, but the new equivalent to that - on the xbox anyway (my ps3 is pretty much just for bluray so it may have a similar feature i just haven't checked) - is downloadable profiles. Go to another console, download your profile and you're set. I don't see why you couldn't do the same thing with Steam.

Of course this doesn't address the used game market or lending games or anything like that.

Re:Rewarding people for helping us (3, Informative)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38862033)

physical products that come in a box are quite often bought with the notion that you could resell them like books.

note: book publishers don't like used book sales either, but have to live with it.

book publishers would probably use disappearing ink too if they thought they could get all publishers onboard.

Re:Rewarding people for helping us (1)

Rennt (582550) | more than 2 years ago | (#38862051)

Video games aren't generally purchased with resale value in mind.

Oh Buddy, you couldn't be more wrong. Why do you think publishers have this twist in their panties about second-hand sales in the first place? For millions of gamers pawning off old games to by new ones is standard practice, and it's why GameStop and friends make more money on sales then the publishers do.

Re:Rewarding people for helping us (3, Funny)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861885)

>study economics

Curt Schilling was never an economist.

He was pitcher for the Red Sox, however. Bloody ankle and all.

This is called "learning your second career by the seat of your pants."

--
BMO

It's simple (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38861835)

Game with resale value > Game without resale value. If you make a game that's as good as another game, and I can sell that other game for more, I am more likely to buy that if I have any interest in possibly selling or even giving away that other game.

By blocking content to secondary users, you have lowered the value of your game. If you don't lower the price in a corresponding fashion, you will have fewer sales.

Re:It's simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38861929)

This is precisely why I bought MW3 instead of Battlefield 3 for the PS3: Battlefield requires the purchaser of the used disc also buy an additional code to play online (while CoD does not). I will be certain to ask about this before I get any new game from this point forward, and I steadfastly refuse to buy any crippled games. I only hope that enough people are of similar mind that this noticeably impacts game sales and discourages this sort of despicable behaviour by the game producers in the future.

I find myself bewildered that the First Sale Doctrine has not yet been invoked in a court case surrounding this.

My take on it. (2)

michaelahess (2287594) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861851)

So I buy a used ford and I no longer get to use the radio without paying an activation fee? Same concept, a stupid, naive, greedy one. I have only bought a few games at gamestop as I know their markup practices, but I don't disagree with a used game market. I use Steam almost exclusively as I can get most games at incredible savings, then I don't feel the need to sell them to recoup on a crappy game. If game makers are so concerned about this, maybe they should actually make games worth playing for any length of time. Like Skyrim. Then this wouldn't be an issue to the degree it seems to be to the publishers. People play their copy longer, won't put it on the used market for a while, probably sometime after the initial profitable margin of the games release, then used games are available for those that can't afford the ridiculous price of todays games. Seems pretty simple to me.

Re:My take on it. (2)

LucienChase (2545836) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861909)

I think in this situation, it's more like you buy a new car and you get a tank of petrol thrown in. You buy a used car, and you have to look after the petrol yourself. From what I've read, it's more like that analogy. They're apparently giving away for free something that they were going to charge for to people who buy the game. Like the DLC with Dead Island. Having no interest in the game, and then having played the demo, I think this would be a game worth investing in.

Re:My take on it. (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861939)

. Like Skyrim....

Gabe @ Penny Arcade says the game is *better* than Skyrim.

http://penny-arcade.com/2012/01/27 [penny-arcade.com]

Personally, I don't care if every disc sold comes with a free blowjob, I won't be buying it.

Re:My take on it. (1)

michaelahess (2287594) | more than 2 years ago | (#38862065)

It's the principle at stake here, I agree, if this is a bonus for first time buyers, cool. I bought Duke Nukem Forever, the $90 pack, if I were to sell the game, I wouldn't get rid of the extra's, that's why I bought it. The problem is, the industry thinks this way with the BASE game in most cases, that's wrong. DLC bonus? Fine.

Baseball (-1, Offtopic)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861855)

Does ANYONE on Slashdot know that this guy is an ex-pro baseball player? I suspect not, judging from the whiff of mom's basement coming from the early posts.

Re:Baseball (1)

Hartree (191324) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861941)

"Does ANYONE on Slashdot know that this guy is an ex-pro baseball player?"

Yeah, I do.

What does that have to do with this?

Re:Baseball (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38861965)

No, because I aint Merican and I hate Baseball.

Re:Baseball (1)

BLKMGK (34057) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861985)

Should I care? Why would I? His whining is crap no matter what his previous career might have been and lends no substance to his views.

Re:Baseball (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38862053)

Baseball? Is that the simplified cricket played in the colonies?

You already got your dollars (1)

pgward (2086802) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861859)

When I buy your game, you get money and I get the game for the remainder of my life and the remainder of its life (whichever is shorter). When I decide I don't want the game for the rest of my life, I can sell the rest of the games life to someone else. This is how it has always been, and how it always should be. This is a perfect example of destroying customer value, for no gain to the customer, in an effort to make more money for yourself. Imagine if real estate developers did this, and forced one room of your apartment to close each time a new owner purchased it.

I hope EA's sales plummet and a rival company who RESPECTS and VALUES their customer take EA's market share. I for one will not be purchasing any more games from EA whilst such practices are in place.

Doublespeak (3, Insightful)

SoftwareArtist (1472499) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861865)

"We're not trying to take more of your money, we're rewarding you! By generously allowing you to access content that you've already bought from us and that already belongs to you. But we don't allow you to resell that content that you bought, even though you're legally entitled to. We don't want to reward you as much as that."

DLC (3, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861869)

[rant]Game companies are already forking us over on DLC. When you buy a game, figure on 2x the list price in order to get a *complete* game.[/rant]

I never buy new games anymore. I wait until you can buy the game, all the expansions, and all the DLC on Steam for $20 before I buy it.

49 pages of comments and that's the best he's got? (2)

gstrickler (920733) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861871)

How clueless can you get. This guy clearly didn't bother to read any of the comments or he wouldn't have made such an ignorant statement that completely ignores his customers. How's that shoe leather tasting, Mr Shilling?

The Fight Against Ownership (3, Insightful)

paleo2002 (1079697) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861875)

Game companies, like more and more content and service providers, seem to be contesting the concept of ownership. They want to charge just as much (or more) for their products as they've done in the past but with fewer associated rights. Or they want you to pay perpetual subscription and licensing fees. Secondary markets for games (and books, music, clothes, cars, etc.) aren't some new phenomenon created by interweb hackers and sexting teenagers. Its been a fact of life for commerce for quite a long time. Why suddenly begin treating it like a threat to your business now?

The market. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38861877)

I've bought more legitimate games for my PS3 than any other system. Want to know the secret? I pay $25.00-$50 per game. They ship from the UK, from OZGameShop.com There's no DRM, there's no bullshit. I put them in my PS3, they install, and they play. I don't have to be online to use them. I own 26 Playstation 3 games, I even preordered 2 of them and paid full price $70-100. That's more than every other console I own combined. If you try to force me to pay $60-120/game. I will stop buying games again. You will have priced me out of the market. I will prefer to spend my $500 on PC hardware, and crack your software. Because I can't justify YOUR prices. There's a point where buying a game is a good honest deal and I will buy many games. But then there's the point where you're ripping me off blind, and I will stop buying your products. It's your choice really. I pay well above average for the humble bundles as well. My first payment was $35 because I saw the value of what they wanted to sell. I wouldn't own any PS3 games or even a PS3 if I couldn't get the games I want for $25 each. You wouldn't have 29 sales of games, hardware, and controllers without that available. That's about $1200 Sony and it's publishers would be missing. Don't screw over gamers, and we won't screw you over. Stop acting like entitled children. You don't own our money and we don't owe you anything.

Curt said... (0)

landofcleve (1959610) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861893)

"companies are still trying to figure out how to receive dollars spent on games they make" Did they not make money off the game when they sold it? Now the person who bought it wishes to make money off his possession, Curt is supposed to make money off that too? The definition of Socialism is being allowed to own personal property, but not being allowed to profit from it. i.e. I own a boat, somebody wants me to take them across a lake to the other side. I may do this, but if I get paid for it, I must hand over the profit to {insert socialist authority}.

Bitches. (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861897)

The 'content' creation industries need a major bitchslap.

So, people can sell cars and other people can reuse them. Cars - stuff that are MUCH more harder to make. even making a new model of an existing model that is out in the market, requires immense design, engineering, planning, logistics and after that, standards verification and permission-acquisition. after that, there is distribution, sales, after-sale care, maintenance and many more.

So, car industry cannot ban used car sales, but, 'content industries' can ? and that is .......... just because they can ?

Fuck off. you dont have a right to produce one-two singular products and make money over them over and over and over again throughout your life at ease - especially not by restricting the freedoms of the customers to whom you SELL your product.

the keyword, is SALE. and no - you can not 'redefine' sale to fit your own purposes. once you sell something, you GIVE IT AWAY.

such bastards really deserve piracy.

Re:Bitches. (1)

Elbereth (58257) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861997)

Fuck off.

It's just a video game. I count six all-caps words in your rant. I think you need to learn to relax. Take up meditation or something.

such bastards really deserve piracy.

...or you could just not buy it.

Re:Bitches. (1)

Rennt (582550) | more than 2 years ago | (#38862119)

It's just a video game.

You might want to think about re-aligning those priorities of yours. The precedent being established here is a big step backwards for consumer rights. It's cut from the same all-information-is-profit-and-all-your-information-belongs-to-us cloth as SOPA and ACTA.

fool. (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38862133)

When this thing starts to fly in software and content, do you think that the other industries will just let it slip to have ONLY those industries have their way ?

within a year you would start to see all cars becoming sold per 'license basis' with endless number of conditions attached. actually everything else.

the proposition here is whether someone who sells you something can have right to control you after the sale.

DLC.....so what?? (1)

metalmaster (1005171) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861905)

There was an article here a while back about a Nintendo DS(?) game that wouldnt allow a complete restart after the first playthrough. Things like THAT impede second hand sales and replay value. Bonus DLC content, on the other hand, is fair prize for first-sale consumers. I believe developers should have the right to hold it back. An extra character skin or a special item doesnt impact gameplay all that much.

Re:DLC.....so what?? (1)

hackwrench (573697) | more than 2 years ago | (#38862061)

I don't get it... How is lowering the resale value a "prize", again?

The Market (1)

DMJC (682799) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861923)

I've bought more legitimate games for my PS3 than any other system. Want to know the secret? I pay $25.00-$50 per game. They ship from the UK, from OZGameShop.com There's no DRM, there's no bullshit. I put them in my PS3, they install, and they play. I don't have to be online to use them. I own 26 Playstation 3 games, I even preordered 2 of them and paid full price $70-100. That's more than every other console I own combined. If you try to force me to pay $60-120/game. I will stop buying games again. You will have priced me out of the market. I will prefer to spend my $500 on PC hardware, and crack your software. Because I can't justify YOUR prices. There's a point where buying a game is a good honest deal and I will buy many games. But then there's the point where you're ripping me off blind, and I will stop buying your products. It's your choice really. I pay well above average for the humble bundles as well. My first payment was $35 because I saw the value of what they wanted to sell. I wouldn't own any PS3 games or even a PS3 if I couldn't get the games I want for $25 each. You wouldn't have 29 sales of games, hardware, and controllers without that available. That's about $1200 Sony and it's publishers would be missing. Don't screw over gamers, and we won't screw you over. Stop acting like entitled children. You don't own our money and we don't owe you anything.

Re:The Market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38861981)

Fable 2 and 3 did this with there games with there more expensive versions The initial purchaser gets a one time code in the box to unlock the rest of the game and person who buys the game Second Hand will not have access to that content.Unfortunately its becoming increasingly common.

Dear Curt Shilling (5, Insightful)

bpkiwi (1190575) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861955)

Curt

I can see that you might struggle to understand why you shouldn't get a cut every time something you once produced is re-sold. After all, when you buy a used book you send some money to the original publisher right?. And every time you sell your used car, you are happy to make sure a percentage makes its way to the original manufacturer don't you?.

Just think, that beautiful antique Ming vase you brought, the original effort and creativity that went into the painting. It's unique, some Chinese artisan spent months, or even years, of their life making it. They would never do that if they didn't know that hundreds of years later when you bought it at an auction in New York, they were not going to get a cut of that.

Yes, I see your problem. Your problem is that an item's value consists of it's useful value (the value of actually using it), plus the residual value. The residual value is the amount the owner can get by selling the item once they have no further use for it. You are attempting to reduce the residual value artificially. Your problem is that reduces the actual value of the game over all. So guess what? people won't pay you as much for it.

Your other problem is that you really don't understand the above.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't (4, Interesting)

mentil (1748130) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861959)

It seems developers can't win with day-1 DLC. If they release it normally, it's content that should've been released on the disc (even if it was gold or content locked before the DLC was finished). In this case, they're including a one-time-use code to get the DLC for free; isn't that better than asking ALL players to buy the DLC?

I don't see how this is worse than the other "project 10-dollar" schemes of having players of used games pay for a DLC that unlocks multiplayer or something, especially if the content isn't already on the disc (as the game developers claim).

Perhaps if they provided an online code generator that anyone could use to redeem for a free copy of the DLC, that'd suffice? It's worth noting that the PC version comes with this DLC already included, no code required, although there isn't much market for used PC games.

traditional model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38861963)

Real physical objects can be resold at no additional cost to the manufacturer... same deal for digital media. What is the problem?

Easy solution to this problem (1)

Faulkner39 (955290) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861977)

I got really excited for a very cool-looking game called Spore that came out a few years ago. But then I read about it's DRM policy, which only let you install it a limited number of times before the key became invalid.

So I didn't buy it. And I've never played it.

Give the game developers a break (2)

Karmashock (2415832) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861979)

They are doing their best in a very tough industry.

It's very easy to work really hard, put your heart into a project, and then have it die with NOTHING to show for it.

Even the guy flipping burgers knows he's going to get paid even though not very much. These game devs will sometimes work on projects for years spending profits from old projects or savings on the hope that the new project will be worth the effort.

Great game studios go out of business all the time for lack of sales, poor marketing, or just bad luck.

I'm not commenting on this specific technology they're trying here... I'm just saying... give them a break. They're trying really hard to stay in a business they love and we the gamers enjoy.

One thing which I wish the game companies would try more of is serialized game development. There have been some experiments with this but I really feel this is the solution to a lot of problems. Rather then making the game all in one shot, focus on sorting out the engine, netcode, etc out and then release the game in little packets good for an hour or so of gameplay.

Then the investment isn't as large. If people aren't buying the game then stop development after a couple episodes rather then completing a full season which should be roughly equivalent to a large full release game.

Further, if the game is a success and sales are good you can just keep releasing episodes ultimately making a much larger game then you'd otherwise release. And the game dev gets rewarded for making larger games.

Right now in the current game market you can charge maybe 50-60 dollars for a AAA game title. If you release a game that is twice as big as most games on the market you can't charge 120 dollars even if its' well worth it. Gamers just won't pay it.

However, if you packaged the game into episodes then you could charge 2-5 dollars per episode, release a new episode every month or so, and then keep making them for as long as people bought them.

That gives you all the long lasting profits of an MMO with all the great single player goodness we've been missing from MMO titles.

My only experience with this model so far has been the games from TellTale Games. I preordered the whole Monkey's Island series and was very happy with the process. I think I paid 40 dollars or something for the whole series and they released a new title every two months over the course of a year. I can't speak for everyone but I was very happy with the arrangement and if anything would have been very happy to buy a second season.

In any case... that's my suggestion. Break the games up into bits small enough that you can afford to fail and expandable enough that if you have a hit you can milk it for all it's worth. That's why some TV shows only have two episodes and others go on for 10 years. If it's a flop you're out the cost of a pilot. If people like it you can just keep making them until people get tired of them or you decide to retire you private island.

Re:Give the game developers a break (1)

slippyblade (962288) | more than 2 years ago | (#38862135)

Episodic game development would be fine. The problem here is that this ass-monkey is flat out saying that, as the publisher, they should be allowed... No, we should be required... to make sure they earn a profit on every single change of hands.

That is nonsense.

Re:Give the game developers a break (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38862147)

wtf dude? I can assure you that all people working on this kingdom of crapalur designfest have been on salary already. except for the guy who went "OMG MMORPGSSSS EQUAL MONEYYY!!!" and had the imagination to hire mcfarlane and salvatore.

it's the _investors_ who want/need this crap. the same investors who paid for this kingdom to be designed with big money and big names, so the design is what you'd expect.. "Kingdoms of Amalur will feature "5 distinct regions, 4 playable races, and 3 class trees with 22 abilities per tree." is really everything you need to know about it. fuck ability trees. the races in the world are just as imaginative as you'd expect from a noted fantasy author too(read: you'll get bored of the list after dark elves). why the fuck you'd write a professional writer and then just lift the player classes out of other games, assassin? nightblade? really? the graphics are just as silly as you'd expect if you'd hire someone to draw "stupid fantasy shit that teens like", it's not that mcfarlane couldn't draw but you'd have to instruct a hired artist to stick to somewhat realistic look so that it wouldn't look like alternative reality scenes from marvel.

oh and you can't really build something like ultima 6 or oblivion in episodes, it just doesn't work that way to build a virtual world..(yes, I did check that kingdoms of crapalur has the lead designer from oblivion, or at least the guy who held the title in credits apparently).

it's not just the price increase for not being able to sell the used game - which wouldn't matter if it was a really good game anyways - it's the added hassle of having to later get _cracks_ to access all of the content once the investors think there's no longer roi on keeping the activation and dlc servers online(which pretty much makes only the pc version of this game playable in 5 years - and 5 years isn't much!).

some more excerpts from the wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdoms_of_Amalur:_Reckoning [wikipedia.org] reveal the whole fucking game as just a silly money grab.

Development

38 Studios, owned by former baseball pitcher Curt Schilling, originally began developing the Amalur universe for use in an MMO, codenamed 'Copernicus'. After acquiring Big Huge Games in 2009, the studio decided to transform the project into a single-player RPG, as Ken Rolston and his team had already been working on an RPG while Big Huge Games was part of THQ.[4] Currently, there are still plans to expand the Amalur universe into an MMO after the release of Reckoning.[8]
[edit]Demo
A playable demo was released on January 17, 2012 for Windows (Steam and Origin only), Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.[9] It quickly garnered attention for "way more buggy than anything anyone should ever release", with a wide-ranging glitches affecting even the simplest gameplay[10][11].

thing here is that curt's an ex pro sports player looking to make money with video games.. with apparently very little imagination, so he just lifts the dlc trick out of other publishers book and runs with it. doesn't even bother to delay the dlc like the more experienced publishers do to justify things.

It's a simple price increase. (2)

infosinger (769408) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861983)

Under the old model I could buy the game for $59 and sell it for $19. Net cost is $40. Also, I could share the game on all the consoles or PC's in my household (Family plan). Now the game is $59 and the family plan is over $118 or higher. Now add the inconvenience of the DRM and the effective playability (i.e. value has been decreased). Take all this together and ask: Is this game still worth buying? Some people will still buy at this "higher price" some won't. If they made the right choice they will have higher profits, if the didn't the result will be lower profits. Getting all upset because they "screwed up" the product is like getting all pissed off because the new Ford Mustang only has a 100HP engine and they are charging the same price for it. You probably won't like it, won't buy it, and Ford will have lower earnings.

By his logic... (2)

VJmes (2449518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861993)

Car companies should limit features in their cars when sold as used. Say GM can disable the GPS or in-dash entertainment when their car is on-sold to someone else and then offers an upgrade to the new owner, all because the new owner isn't rewarding the thousands of engineers and designers who put so much work into that car.

No, bullshit and that reasoning would not be accepted by consumers in any other industry. So why do publishers constantly treat their customers like a piece of shit and why does the average consumer accept it?

Re:By his logic... (1)

RPGillespie (2478442) | more than 2 years ago | (#38862149)

So why do publishers constantly treat their customers like a piece of shit and why does the average consumer accept it? Publishers treat consumers like crap because they really only care about the consumer's wallet, not the consumer. They will push the consumer's pocketbook until the consumer starts complaining, then back off ever so slightly. The average consumer accepts it because it requires (in their mind) too much effort to attempt to change the way things are going. It's easier to just shell out $50 and play the game you want to play, even if it uses DRM.

what if authors did this with their books (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38862001)

Maybe authors can find a way to keep you from reading the ending of their books unless you buy the new hardback!

Greedy bastards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38862009)

I don't see auto companies trying to make an extra buck by locking out the radio or air conditioning when I buy my car used and forcing me to pay an additional fee to unlock it. So why do these game companies think they can? If they would actually price their games more reasonable then maybe more people would actually buy them new instead of used or even pirating them. Ever think of that option there ya jackasses?

The game sucks... (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 2 years ago | (#38862021)

Several ex-SOE execs/developers on staff and you're surprised it turned out this way? Not only that but the game is just shit. Don't give them your money, then you have nothing to complain about.

"rewarding people for helping us!" (1)

hackwrench (573697) | more than 2 years ago | (#38862029)

Right, so lowering the resale value of the disk is "rewarding people for helping us!" Does that make sense to anyone?

Anger (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38862031)

Anger With Game Content Lock Spurs Reaction From Studio Head Curt Shilling

Can we get an English translation please?

I have a question (0)

winmine (934311) | more than 2 years ago | (#38862039)

Why do people always have names that predict their behavior. -?

This guy is named Curt Schilling and he is shilling his game in a very curt way.

Alan Greenspan controls a large span of green money.

Joe Paterno is a paternal figure, or was.

Are parents really that good at vocational guidance? I'm trying to think of others.

When is a sale not a sale? (1)

zzatz (965857) | more than 2 years ago | (#38862045)

Game companies do get paid when the company sells the game. Now that copy belongs to someone else. That's what 'sell' means. No company deserves to be paid when someone else's property is sold. But that's what they want. They want to be paid for selling it once, and then get paid again when the original purchaser sells his own property. It ain't your property any more after you sold it. What's hard to understand about that?

There are other business models that would keep money flowing to the game company. They could lease or rent games. They could sell under a contract that governs resale. But if they want to make a simple retail sale under state laws following the Uniform Commercial Code, then the terms are simple: once you accept value in exchange, what you sold no longer belongs to you and you have no say in its resale.

Game companies, if you don't like the terms and conditions of retail sales under the UCC, then don't sell your games that way. If you like the simplicity of sales under the UCC, then suck it up accept that purchasers have the right to resell when they no longer want your game. Maybe you should figure out why purchasers don't want to keep your games. Maybe you should stop worrying that someone else made money from reselling something that you already got paid for once.

Making used copies worth less just proves that you're control-freak assholes. Sales of used copies does NOT lower the initial sales; people will pay more when they know they have the option to sell their copy later. Anything you can do to reduce the value of a used copy reduces the value of the first sale. Car companies advertise the high resale value of their brands as a good reason to buy. Why do you guys have this backwards?

38 Studios might be b/w a rock and a hard place (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38862055)

Curt Schilling, the CEO, is an ex-Major League Baseball pitcher who is likely headed for the Hall of Fame (he lead three different teams to 4 World Series). He turned his video game hobby, marketable name and tens of millions in the bank into a post-baseball career as game studio head. In parallel, he has flirted with the idea of entering politics as a conservative Tea Party-type candidate, and wrote occasional political as well as baseball commentary on his 38 pitches blog [wordpress.com] .

To nobody's surprise, 38 Studios (38 was Schilling's uniform number with the Red Sox) soon fell well behind schedule on their AAA game, and was hemorrhaging cash. They tried to get Massachusetts (their original home base) to guarantee a loan, but Mass said no. However, a business development board for Rhode Island (a notoriously poorly run state with a longtime corruption problem) agreed to co-sign a $75 million (!) loan, on the conditions that 1) 38 Studios relocate to RI; 2) RI gets a substantial equity stake in the company; and 3) 38 Studios agrees to meet an aggressive schedule of hiring hundreds of RI citizens to good-paying staff positions. The board is hoping that Schilling's company will help spark the emergence of a tech industry in RI. That's a big reason why they have so many employees, and why they have little or no wiggle room in cutting consumers a break. They need the revenues, now!

You may have noticed that they missed the 2011 Christmas season (as well as 2010, etc). Lots of Democrats pointed out that by accepting the government-guaranteed loan, Schilling violated all the "small government, free market" principles he'd been espousing in his blog. I've noticed that since the move, Schilling hasn't blogged about politics, and was amusingly silent when Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas refused to join his teammates for the Stanley Cup victory dinner at Obama's White House (just the kind of news item Schilling used to delight in blogging about).

Good luck, Curt.

The golden rule... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38862059)

Summers like the music and movie industries already provided a good example of this... It's not exactly hard to figure out, but no creative. Industry seems to have gotten it yet... Treat your customers like pirates, and that is what they will become. Treat them like reasonable people, and that is what they will be.

Who writes these story titles? (1)

wizrd_nml (661928) | more than 2 years ago | (#38862069)

This has got to be one of the most convoluted story titles ever. I had to read it 3 times before it started making sense.

Very simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38862075)

Explain this to Curt in the only way he seems to understand: Don't buy the game until it gets fixed.

I think I have the answer he's looking for (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | more than 2 years ago | (#38862091)

"companies are still trying to figure out how to receive dollars spent on games they make, when they are bought. Is that wrong? if so please tell me how"
Because whenever I buy any other product on the freaking planet, I can do whatever the hell I want with it and resell it to anyone. Autodesk (the autocad people) and gucci (the fancy purse and whatever else people) already lost lawsuits trying to control secondary sales of their products. Get ready for a lawsuit, greedy assholes!

Minecraft (1)

steelfood (895457) | more than 2 years ago | (#38862093)

They made loads of money with a game that didn't even require some kind of per-copy authentication code. You technically only need the jar file to play it. Even the initial log in is completely unnecessary for single player, and even occasionally for multiplayer. And yet, they somehow can continue to release updates and new content, and make tons while doing so.

MBAs like to talk about maximizing profit, but what they don't realize is that maximizing profit simultaneously means minimizing customers. Nowadays, people can smell this kind of stuff; they know when they're being treated like crap. And I'm pretty sure they've just about had enough of it.

Game studio screws customers? (1)

jwijnands (2313022) | more than 2 years ago | (#38862101)

Since when is this news people? The last few years the games industry is looking up to the motion picture industry for lessons in how to screw your customer, sorry, how to optimize your revenue model. Next up, a law prohibiting the resale of any used software product.

Solutions exist, they ignore them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38862105)

The article talks about how Gamespot has a monolopy on used game sales. They sell the original for $59.99 and the used right next to it for $54.99. The developer's solution to this is to use DLC and one-time use codes, both of which gamers hate.

What they should be do is competing with Gamespot instead of trying to restrict use. "The more you tighten your grasp..." They could open their own stores and buy back used games then resell them. Then they'd get money from the new sales and money from the second-hand sales. In fact, if the publishers got together with their own chain of stores, they could simply stop shipping new games to Gamespot. If physical stores are too much to setup, then include a free shipping insert in the box to send the game back to the publisher. The gamers just put the game back in the box, stick the label on the outside, and drop it in the mail. A credit shows up on your account 4-8 weeks later. Not perfect, but not too bad either. Instead, they shove DRM down their users throats. FU developers/publishers, FU. (coming from an aspiring AI developer, but I'll only be working at small shops or on freeware).

This is nothing new, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38862117)

My only confusion here is that I'm pretty sure almost every game I've bought this year has had something like this to encourage people to buy games new instead of used (or discourage used game sales period).

Batman, Assassin's Creed and Dragon Age all came with codes to unlock levels, armor or characters that otherwise had to be paid for as DLC.

So why is everyone so up in arms about this game in particular? I expect most will say it's content that's "on the disc" but that term is ridiculous with our current tech. This just seems like an overreaction from people who are mad about an industry wide issue and decided to make this game their battleground for some arbitrary reason.

Let's take a car example. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38862145)

Let's take a car example. When you buy a car, you paid tax 100%. So when you sell it to the next person, he/she won't have to pay the same tax again.

Oh wait, I forgot that I don't live in an imaginary world. Never mind. Move on.

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