Is pre-owned something to be feared for indies/small studios? Discuss.
Please log in or register to post a reply.
I definitely don’t think it is something the indie/small studios should
fear. In my opinion large companies should fear a lot more (as they lose
lots of money in this process, and I personally don’t think whether it
is fully legal in our country).
That just calls into question the whole definition of software
ownership. What is it? I don’t really know. In the end, companies are
going to try to maximize profits. If that means allowing some piracy,
they will do it. If it means not allowing any piracy, if that’s actually
possible, they will do it. We’re kind of in a new business model right
now and haven’t really established rules that work very well. I think
it’s heading toward a Steam type deal, myself. You sort of own it in the
cloud, but you can’t lend it or resell. I think we’re coming to the end
of boxed games. I would say 5 years from now, they will start to be
to fireside, bill gates was saying that after the first xbox came out.
hard copies wont be around much longer. really the only problem with
used is the people who make the game. dont get a portion of the resell.
if the creators recieved any portion, even a small percent. it wouldnt
be an issue.
its reasonable to say the cost of the game may not be as high also. if
resell was bringing in income. until that happens, creators should
consider renting thier games out. and not just selling them
but you can look at it like this. if you came out with an electric car
that could drive for a year off a 1 day charge. its bought and someone
decides to rent it out to the general public. the person that made the
car wont see any portion of that money.
if you want to keep explicit ownership over something you cant sell it.
you can rent it out but not sell
The problem with the car analogy is that the object is very physical
versus the ephemeral nature of digital things. I
Also, if the game should be treated like a car, then theft is back on
the table for the “piracy is infringement, not theft” camp.
I don’t think indies and small studios have any need to fear about
preowned or not. Most of the successful indies I know distribute on the
Steam network, which already enforces a 1:1 ownership of the purchase.
People complained at first, but with Steam’s success and ability to
offer games at unbelievably low prices have pretty much put an end to
that argument. Indies also have one significant advantage larger studios
don’t, and that’s budget costs. A two man team fresh out of university
can build a million dollar product and it only costs them time. A large
game studio on the other hand has a lot of mouths to feed. An indie
developer would be more accepting of piracy or second hand gaming since
they still walk out in the black. Large population + $1 each = profit
(remember the penny scam?).
Ultimately everyone will have to embrace a digital distribution system
which comes with strict ownership rules. The Black Friday videos that
surfaced from last year clearly show why it’s a bad thing to continue
alphadog I dont know how you drew the line from used game to theft. but
letting the user rent or lease the game. tells the user you dont own it.
your only borrowing it. once you have that established, people tend to
think a little differently about what they can and cant do
and its true no one is making large studios hire 20+ people and spend 2+
years making a game. but its the risk many want to take. it really is
only a problem for large studios that relase hard copies. some have said
because of the size of games. that may be a reason for hard copies to
stick around. for large companies that may be the reality. but smaller
companies its not an issue
Preventing piracy is impossible. I worked for a company called
Freeloader who bought publishing rites for games that were about 1 year
I was given a copy of the game (usually from HMV) and had to remove the
anti-piracy code, split the game into downloadable modules, insert our
own code, then upload it to the website.
It took me between 5 minutes and 5 days to remove the copy protection
depending on how seriously the coders took the problem.
Interestingly the companies that went for a commercial anti-piracy
system were the easiest to hack. Once you had worked out how the system
worked on one game, you could use the same principles on the next.
On the resale issue, I think if developers wrote better games, there
wouldn’t be an issue with resale. If the game was good enough, you would
want to hold onto your disk, not part exchange it on the next game.