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News CD Projekt to fine Witcher 2 pirates

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by CardJoe, 23 Nov 2010.

  1. Coldon

    Coldon New Member

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    Modern Warfare 2 Pirate Stats (and they wonder why it sold so poorly on PC) - http://news.cnet.com/8301-13506_3-10422892-17.html

    Demigo - 85% piracy rate - http://www.techspot.com/news/34329-stardock-roughly-85-of-demigod-players-are-pirates.html

    I'm not going to provide proof of the long hours game devs works, it easy to find...

    You cant blame the publishers, its like that in every industry, they put up a lot of cash upfront and hope they make the money back, when they dont then its an issue. Activision right now is the wrost of the lots and ironically, EA lately has become the PC gaming savior, as its releasing almost all its titles out on the PC.

    Well I'm guessing on the figure for the pirates, but i'm also assuming that most of the guys pirating the game HAVE a PC or console that they can play it on.. Secondly an internet connection to download it with... Assuming the person downloading it has both, then you're telling me that they can afford to pay for high speed internet and a games PC and not afford the game?! Most piracy occurs on PC which is a more expensive platform than console so that further illustrates the point.

    Honestly now, out of all the people you know that pirate how many of them cant actually afford it, all my friends pirates cause they would rather spent the money partying or buying other crap, not cause they are broke.

    Like goodbytes pointed out, people will pay a ton of money for the hardware but then when they have to pay a fraction of that for the game then its an issue.

    I used to pirate when I was a kid (even then I bought whenever I could, i remember saving up for months to buy fallout2 and BG2) but once I got a job I started buying all my games, i obviously cant afford everything I want so I just read a few reviews and pick the ones that seem the best. Later on I might buy the game on a steam sale or something.

    Back to the point, the witcher was one of the best RPGs ever!!! And from what i can see the witcher 2 looks more impressive than any upcoming RPG! I will honestly throw money at them for it! These days with the high piracy rate, i'm doing my best to try and send as much of my money back to the devs as possible, even though most of it gets collected by the publishers, at the end of the day the publishers are the ones paying the salaries and entirely funding the studios!
     
  2. gnutonian

    gnutonian New Member

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    @Coldon: I completely agree. If "piracy" (not the Gulf of Aden kind) really hurts business as much as the industry likes to claim (which seems to be ********, to be honest - the industry's percentages are less credible than politicians; however I'm sure there are at least several lost sales), then undoubtedly the developers get hurt. But, as one can read twixt my brackets, I doubt it.

    The developers get hurt because the big bosses choose to pay them shitty wages at the start. Then "piracy" comes along, and they use that excuse to lower the wages even more. The same way the "recession" was used to sack people and make others work twice as hard, saying "at least you still have a job" - and nearly everyone always falls for that ********.

    I'm with the developers. You (you're a developer, right?) should get the money. But, as with the music industry (where publishers take the cash rather than the artists), the system needs to change if this is going to happen.

    And I'm supporting a non-violent revolution against this crappy system we have now until it changes. Especially as - see my stabbed/beaten paragraph in an earlier post - politicians put way too much focus on copyright infringement nowadays. France's HADOPI agency (they'll accuse you then make you pay, because they're the government) has a 12 million euro budget for 2011 - but France has so little money for cops, they have to send several on early retirement without hiring new ones.

    This ******** happens because the industry bosses are good pals with the politicians (the rich are hardly going to socialise with the unwashed masses, are they?). Our hypothetical smelly binman can't go outside safely to the pub because there's no cops to protect him. But he can't play a game indoors because he has no money to waste on it, despite the fact it could be delivered to him at near-zero cost? That's ********.

    This world pisses me off. Anger makes me even shittier at trying to explain my point of view (but good at pretend-punching politicians!).
     
  3. DarkFear

    DarkFear New Member

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    Just thought I'd point out that Demigod and COD:MW2 isn't exactly games that can be used in a "it's not just crappy games that get pirated" argument... :worried: *puts on flame retardant pants* :p
     
  4. Coldon

    Coldon New Member

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    Yeh man, totally get where you're coming from, its just its not really as simple as that, piracy isnt as much of an issue on consoles as on PC and i'm also seeing it from the PC gaming viewpoint that the platform while attractive for developers isnt attractive to publishers since they end up being hard hit by piracy...

    Look at Dragon Age, a great success of a game, targeted primarily at PC gamers, but now since the game sales were massively higher on consoles, the sequeul is getting consolized. its why most games are multiplatform these days with the PC coming in last every time. Crysis was played by pretty much every gamer out there and yet had abysmal sales. Its the PC performance benchmark FFS, hyped into oblivion and yet barely sold any copies even tho everyone I knew was playing it as soon as it launch, no one i know bought it... Now crysis 2 is multiplatform? I wonder why?

    i really wish there was DRM scheme that actually worked, since piracy isnt going away. CDprojekt aren't going to lose any sales by removing DRM but they arent going to gain any either so its the safe choice. I hope their legal battle works out and most of all that they sell many millions of copies...
     
  5. AstralWanderer

    AstralWanderer New Member

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    Thanks for the vote of confidence. ;)
    What, pointing out the truth (albeit one you seem uncomfortable with) somehow makes me a bad person? Unauthorised copying is not a black-and-white good-or-evil issue as you seem to believe - there have been many past cases of content creators benefitting from it (as cost-free advertising) ranging from musicians who grew from bootleg records to some of the indie developers I noted above.
    No, I neither realise nor accept it. People who want something that is non-free should pay for it - that is my view. However if someone makes a copy to try out prior to purchase (and is honourable enough to delete it quickly if they decide against it) or if someone genuinely cannot buy (not enough money, no access to a credit card or - in this crazy world of geographical licensing - lives somewhere where the product is not sold at any price) then their copying does no harm.

    As for the comments made by others here regarding people's ability to afford $1,000+ PCs, for young users it will be their parents who purchased the PC (for "education", right?) who may then be reluctant to shell out more than a token for games.
    Fine - then I can, with no guilty conscience, lump your posts together with the attention-starved trolls, pro-corporate shills and I-always-follow-the-law-except-when-I-choose-not-to hypocrites that discussions of this ilk seem to attract.
    Because it is a different offense pure and simple. Confusing unauthorised copying and theft is akin to confusing rape and assault - they have different effects and I could argue that you are trivialising the victims of theft by equating it with copying, just as you are arguing that I am trivialising copying by distinguishing it from theft.

    Secondly there are cases where a copy may be unauthorised *in the eyes of the law* yet still morally legitimate - for example someone making a backup copy of games they have purchased. Section 50A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 does address this (an addition made by The Copyright (Computer Programs) Regulations 1992), but the wording (specifically the "which it is necessary" provision) seems to make this far from an absolute right.
    Illegally yes. Dishonesty however involves deceit or deception, neither of which plays a role here (unless the person copying tried to sell on those copies as legitimate).
    "Possession is nine-tenths of the law...". More specifically, consider counterfeit goods - if you make a facsimile Gucci handbag, no-one is going to argue that it isn't yours to start with. However since it breaches Gucci's copyrights, they could apply for it to be seized from you.
    If he didn't own it legally, then there would be no need for the seizure provision in Section 100 of the act. That this section exists at all shows your argument to be incorrect as far as UK law is concerned.
    I would sympathise completely with developers who sink so much time and effort in only to feel that they get an insufficient return. But I would also point out that there are many other reasons for them getting shafted aside from the copying angle:
    • The ruthless discounting of any game at retail after a couple of months (as an example, I was able to purchase the deluxe edition of TitanQuest for just £7 seven months after release). This creates the almost impossible hurdle that games have to recoup their development costs within just a couple of months before they hit the bargain bin.
    • Competition - not only does the PC have the largest software base with dozens of new games coming out every month (and many classic oldies available from sites like GOG), but it also has an unrivaled collection of freeware and modifications for older games. Since even the most dedicated here has limits on the time they can spend gaming, it should be clear that new game purchases are very much an option, not a necessity.
    • Bugs, bugs, bugs! It has become a mantra for many that games aren't playable until after the first (or even second) patch - since waiting can get you a cheaper price as well as a better gaming experience, what sense does it make to buy at release?
    • DRM - If a game is tied to the publisher's ability to maintain verification servers or issue new keys for every installation onto a new PC, then the prudent user will either boycott it or buy-and-download to get a "legal" DRM-free version.
    DRM-free digital distribution can ease many of these problems, allowing prices to be maintained for longer (case in point, the fantasy wargame Dominions 3 is still being sold for US$54.95 (with a November discount) despite being a 4-year old game.
    Sadly, it's because so many feel that way that lends to easy exploitation.
    I did mention above the example of a teenager able to persuade their parents to fork out for a PC (for education, honest!) who faces a much harder time asking them to pay anything like a similar amount for games. How great a portion of unauthorised downloads would this account for? Given the maturity of the comments made on torrent review threads I would suggest 30-50%. Now this may represent a loss now - but many of those too young to buy currently will mature and become more responsible consumers when they start earning their own income - that was the case for me (when I started university I was able to purchase games and have done so ever since).
    Look at it this way - if they're such morons, would you really want them as customers? They'd then be entitled to eat up what profits you make with dumb support calls, trolling posts in official forums or abusive behaviour in online play. As long as you can identify them as illegitimate, you can instead enjoy telling them to go forth and multiply...
    According to that article, it sold 6 million (an incredibly high number, considering the original Witcher sold 1 million) while being downloaded 4 million times. That's a 40% unauthorised copying rate, which given that most games seem to have 80-90% levels, seems astoundingly good. And a lot better than what that douche deserves in my view...
    Hmm...I thought the original was consolized to some extent given the UI compromises compared to the likes of Neverwinter Nights. However I'll probably skip on the sequel (and for the record, I boycotted the DLC due to its online activation requirement).
    Well I bought Crysis (boycotted Warhead due to, sigh, DRM), though a couple of years after its release. It was a rare example of a game that wasn't deeply discounted, which suggests strong sales performance - while they started poorly, Crytek did reach the million sale mark (to be expected, considering the pre-release publicity was about how you would need to buy a new PC to run it). Since that means Crysis sold at the same level as The Witcher, maybe it's Crytek's expectations that should be criticised?
     
  6. Coldon

    Coldon New Member

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    All valid points just a few comments...

    That's a misconception, bargain bin prices only help the developer in the long run. For example Batman: Arkum asylum, i was never really interested in the game, so i never bought it when it was released but there was a steam sale on a few weekends ago when the GOTY edition was available for $15, thats $15 that the developer wouldnt have gotten from me without the bargain price. Publishers want to recoup their initial investments, lets say they spent $5 million on a game (production and advertising), they end up selling 100 000 copies in the first 2 weeks (poor sales), they've recouped their investment, now any income coming in from the game is pure profit, so dropping the price in a month or two makes financial sense since a lot of people wait for prices to drop and so buy the games then. It makes especially good sense for poorly selling games since a lot of people will pick them up out of a bargain for the hell of it, since its cheap (like me with batman, which i still havent played).

    For example titan quest may not have sold a lot of copies initially, but now it continues to provide income for the game company even at the reduced prices. Rather have a guy buy your game for $10 than pirate it... Thats pretty much the point of the steam sales as well. Steam is a platform that is almost pure profit for the publisher and in turn the developer...

    cant argue with that, but i often dont have time to muck about with mods and so on, nor do i spend a lot of time multiplayer, so for me its all about the single player experience! Games often last me two to three evenings or an entire weekend (dragon age)...

    i have no real issue with such DRM schemes since its often highly unlikely I'll end up replaying an old game, and most old games have had DRM removal patches any ways. As for the bugs, people dont realize the complexity of modern games, its not as easy to get games polished when devs are under stringent publisher deadlines. Even so I dont think its necessary to be extremist and avoid the game till the second patch, often i'll buy a game and not have time to play it, so by the time i do get around to it the second patch would have been released. For example that exactly what happened with me and fallout new vegas.

    Well that was what happened with me, but the problem is that most people don't become responsible adults nevermind responsible consumers. They get used to getting what they want for free when they want it and anything else is just not cool.

    COD 4 sold a crap load, but the bulk was on consoles, the PC sales accounted for less than 10% of that (http://www.shacknews.com/onearticle.x/50951), whereas the witcher sold over a million on PC alone. If only 25% of those 4 million downloads were bought by PC gamers maybe we wouldnt have had dedicated servers removed.

    Obviously there was some compromise made interface wise but the game was primarily a node to the good old PC RPGS like baldurs gate, high iso camera, etc... all of which is now being removed from the sequel. I personally had no issue with the DLC, as i said I have no issue with online activations.

    I'm very curious to see the overall sales figures for the witcher with both re-releases compared to crysis...
     
  7. tron

    tron New Member

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    Thanks for making my work easier. I appreciate it. :)

    That piece of legislation you kindly posted actually proves my point and not yours.

    Right to seize infringing copies and other articles.

    An infringing copy of a work which is found exposed or otherwise immediately available for sale or hire, and in respect of which the copyright owner would be entitled to apply for an order under section 99, may be seized and detained by him or a person authorised by him.


    Actually that proves both of my two previous main arguments:

    1) That if (only for arguments sake) nobody legally owned that pirate copy when it was first created into existence by the pirate, then the game company can indeed come forward at any time and claim ownership. On top of that they can make a legal application to physically seize their property from the pirate.

    2) That under the current facts of reality that the pirate copy did automatically belong to the game company as soon as that copy was made, the game company can apply to seize its property.

    You are wrongly interpreting the fact that the copyright owner is required to make an official application to seize their property as meaning they don't legally own the pirate copy until they make an application. That is clearly a wrong way to look at it.

    The correct way to view the application process is to think of say a similarity with a Police Search Warrant. There is a huge difference between legally owning something and just being in possession of it. If you had your coat stolen and you knew where that thief lived, you wouldn't break into his home in order to get your property back would you? If you did, then you would also be breaking the law. If you are smart, then you would apply to the courts to set a legal procedure in motion to take back possession of your 'legally' owned property. Now, the game company's application works in a similar way. The game company would be breaking all kinds of law if they attempted to enter and search the pirate suspects property, including the searching through of his PC and backup hard drives, without a legal notice to do so.

    The legal notice does not mean to suggest that the copyright owner did not legally own the pirate copy until the notice was given. That would be nonsense. The notice is to gain the legal right to take action to physically retrieve their property without breaking the law in the process.

    When the game company puts forward an application, the court, once hearing the facts regarding who owns the copyright, will automatically view the pirate copy as legally belonging to the game company as soon as that pirate copy came into existence.

    Why? Because, with the exception of the fair rights usage clause or similar rights, this blatant piracy involves the pirate making unauthorized copies. Those unauthorized copies, even with the DRM, copyright notice, and the End-user Licence Agreement removed, still belong to the game company, and the court is not stupid and will not be fooled just because the licence agreement and copyright notice are removed by the pirate for that particular copy. They will take the view that the pirate copy must be treated as if it physically contained the copyright notice as well as the End-user Licence Agreement. The pirate cannot legally own that copy, even if it was possible for him to legally own it, because he is not respecting that particular pirate copy's copyright notice or licence agreement.

    That pirate copy legally belongs only to the game company, which legally owns all copies of its games, and those games are normally 'licensed' to the end user. The pirate broke the agreement as soon as he created that copy. So that particular copy legally only belongs to the copyright owner, who can then apply to gain access and seize it.
     
  8. AstralWanderer

    AstralWanderer New Member

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    Sorry about the delay - missed the updates on this thread.
    Perhaps I should have clarified that my case was a physical copy, not digital, so out of that £7 you'd have to account for manufacturing and distribution/postage along with the distributor/retailer markups. I couldn't see more than £1-2 of that price making its way to the developer.

    Digital distribution does change the picture a lot since the only cost is the distributor's markup, which would be 20-30% compared to the 90% taken by retail (once the return, write down and consignment costs are factored in as noted here).
    Dragon Age in a weekend? Yeesh, I was able to stretch it out for 3 weeks! Maybe "slothful players" who drag out their gaming experience should be added as a threat to the gaming industry. ;)
    I take the opposite view, treating any game as a long term investment that I'll want to revisit 5-10 years from now (if it's a good game, that is). I've recently been replaying Homeworld (2000), Settlers II (1997) and HoMM V (2006) along with a real oldie, Wizard's Crown (1986). The majority of the games I own would not be playable if they had required online activation due to the publishers/developers vanishing.
    It would be interesting to see hard figures on this - but I suspect that many who do "go responsible" then acquire other time/moneysinks (families, houses, etc) while a good portion of those who don't, download a disproportionately large number of games while possibly playing only a few. So a small portion of the gaming public captures a large slice of download figures, and everyone else suffers. :(
    Those figures were retail only though (no indication of whether mail order was included but I suspect not) and anyone who's been in a store recently will likely have struggled to even find PC games. The prevalence of "casual" titles like the Sims in the 2007 "PC Top Ten" suggests to me that they're getting a skewed sample - likely those who haven't noticed how much cheaper mail-order has been for the last 10 years.
    Apparently (as of March 2009) the Witcher sold 1.2 million units (physical and digital) while Crysis was close to the million mark by the third quarter of 2008. Given the hype that Crysis enjoyed, the Witcher would be doing very well to outsell it - on the other hand there were very few RPGs to compete with the Witcher when released, while the PC platform is full to bursting with FPSs.
    Right on. So you think that a penalty that has to be requested by a plaintiff and decided upon by a court then becomes automagical and a fundamental right? Well, good luck with your legal career - though "career" in your case seems more likely to be a verb than a noun.
     
  9. Coldon

    Coldon New Member

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    all valid points but to cut the argument short in my opinion in the current state of things DRM is necessary, now DRM like ubisoft's always on BS can go DIE! but EA's DRM hasn't been instrusive at all... whatever they used on dragon age and BFBC2/MOHAA was perfectly fine but i would prefer it most if all games were steam based...

    i honestly think the steamworks model for games is best, since then the game is tied to your account, and even if i lose all my game discs i can just just redownload them, automatic patching etc etc...
     
  10. eddtox

    eddtox Homo Interneticus

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    I'm fairly OK with steam, although I do wonder what will happen if/when they go out of business or if/when they decide to do a "spring clean" and remove a load of old games. Of course it might never happen, but it's worth being aware of it.
     
  11. AstralWanderer

    AstralWanderer New Member

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    GOG seem to manage without DRM (and I've been happy to throw a couple of hundred pounds their way as a result) as do publishers like Shrapnel Games, Basilisk Games and Spiderweb software (on their CDs - their downloads have hardware-tied serial keys). In fact, most of the shareware industry could be described as being DRM-free in that you only need register once and can then use your personal key indefinitely (the smartest developers display registration details on the program's main window giving those with unauthorised copies an incentive to purchase their own). Introversion's Chris has a thoughtful article on the downsides of DRM. Finally we have the Witcher 2 itself being released DRM-free.

    It really comes down to what customers are prepared to tolerate. Those willing to overlook the problems caused by online activation or hardware-tied serial keys will very likely harden their stance once they incur financial loss (most likely in cases where the developer/publisher goes out of business).
    What if Steam decides that one of your imported games was pirated? What if your credit card provider reverses a Steam transaction? Valve have a life-or-death power over your game account and aside from the privacy implications (their ability to monitor what and when you play, data which could be sold to marketers and employers) they could also gouge more money out of customers by imposing a subscription fee (discussed elsewhere, just to avoid taking this thread off-topic too much).
     
  12. tron

    tron New Member

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    That cleverly or strategically worded "penalty" you are referring to is not just a legal punishment given to the pirate for committing an offence. Those copies do not belong to the pirate, and the game company wants to seize them.

    Most people will share the view that if your coat was acquired by somebody without your permission, then that 'acquiring' person is simply in possession of your belongings. Most people would not consider your coat to 'legally' belong to that person during the period where you did not bring the matter to a court's attention.

    Regarding the game pirate, I can assure you that the court will not share the view that the pirate was the first rightful and legal owner of his pirate copy since the time of its creation and up until the time when the game company filed an application with the court for its seizure.

    It is simply impossible for the pirate, in this blatant piracy scenario, to legally own that pirate copy. As soon as he created that particular copy, he is never considered to be the rightful owner, regardless of whether or not an application for seizure is made by the copyright owner. That copy legally belongs to the game company. The pirate may only 'own' the copy in the sense that he just happens to be in possession of it. However, it never 'legally' belongs to him.

    If you are determined to think differently, then good luck with your delusion. :)
     
  13. Coldon

    Coldon New Member

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    What if, what if, what if... That is bordering on paranoia. Imported games are technically a moot point since games have specific regions of sale, there have been issues where guys have moved countries only to find that games wont activated but all such issues were quickly resolved with steam support. The credit card issue is a PAYPAL issue and not a credit card issue, and no offense but I've dealt with paypal service and all disputes are easily dealt with. I jsut think he had no idea how to find a dispute and resolve it or there was a deeper issue.
    The other issues also look suspect, valve have said on numerous occasions that if steam shuts down offline patches for all the games will be released. Steam is probably the one of the biggest things keeping PC gaming going...

    I've dealt with steam support as well, i activated a game on the wrong account and they reversed the activation in less than a day and let me reactivate on a different account. Some people will just never be happy and will bitch no matter what... Steam is a huge benefit and if you cant see that then I just dont know...
     
  14. AstralWanderer

    AstralWanderer New Member

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    It's a non-issue with "normal" software that you purchase, install and can expect to "just work". Systems like Steam however require buyers to maintain an ongoing relationship so checking what can go wrong is prudence, not paranoia.
    Count yourself fortunate - I had two transactions reversed by Paypal on their own initiative (after having carried out about 40 previous ones successfully) and they refused to do anything without having my bank details (which would have meant giving them Direct Debit access). Needless to say, I refused and had to make alternate arrangements to pay the merchants involved.

    And that isn't limited to Paypal issues either - as a consumer you have the right under UK law to seek redress from the credit card company should a merchant fail their obligation to refund you for a faulty product or service. Try that with Steam for a failed service and bye-bye account.
    There's no mention of Valve providing offline patches in the Steam Subscriber Agreement and that's the only source that matters. Even if they did offer a legally-binding guarantee, odds are that they would not be able to fulfil it for reasons detailed by Shamus Young in his Authorization Servers article.
    Again, count yourself fortunate. There are plenty of examples posted online showing the opposite.
    For a developer - yes. They get a greater share of the sale price (and receive it sooner) than with retail. However for consumers that are charged full price (despite there being no physical costs), have no guarantee of continued access to their purchases, no privacy (Steam knows what, when, and to some extent where, you play a Steam product) and a real possibility being blackmailed into paying maintenance fees in future, the dangers have to be considered at least as great as the benefits, though not as obvious.
     
  15. Coldon

    Coldon New Member

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    NO physical costs?! are you kidding me? so who is that pays for all of valves servers and bandwidth costs? There are numerous private steam content mirrors but valve still runs the large majority of the content servers (over 60) with peak bandwidth usages of over 300Gbit. Obviously there are NO physical costs involved that must mean there are no costs in running steam (cause like magical unicorns provide free bandwidth or something). The extra money spent on packaging and transport is now spent on servers and bandwidth.

    Gabe newel has spoken out numerous times about the worst case scenario of steam shutting down and how valve will remove the steam authentication check. Allowing you to play your games in offline mode. I cant find the link to the interview now but its out there.

    Steam allows me to buy games that are no longer available in RETAIL stores. It is also a huge benefit to indie developers as they have a now safe and secure method of distributing their games without having to pay massive licensing fees for credit card services, DRM licensing, for distribution servers and bandwidth, etc... all that is covered by the percentage valve gets.

    If you wanna be paranoid and fear the system then it's your prerogative, but don't undervalue it just cause some guy added a pirated game to his steam account and had his account suspended for it. Every service to date has had a few bad service report but if steam was such a bad service why are close to 3 million gamers using it?

    As for the privacy issue?! OH NOEZ steam can see my hardware and what games I like to play?! What a horrible invasion of privacy, i need to go take a 3 hours shower cause i feel so violated. Seriously?

    back on topic, i honestly think that the Witcher should be released as a steamworks game but thats unlikely to happen, the no DRM route is a good choice but i really really hope it doesnt back fire on them :sigh::sigh::sigh:
     
  16. AstralWanderer

    AstralWanderer New Member

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    By "physical costs" I meant those involved with a physical product, which for a game would include the cost of manufacture (CD/DVD, manuals, packaging), transport, storage, inventory management (dealing with returns/damaged goods and arranging for new batches to be produced). Most significant in this would be the distributor/retailer markup (retailer margins typically taking 50% of the sticker price).
    From previous calculations, the bandwidth cost of a "typical" game would be less than £0.08 compared to a "physical" cost of £3.00. No way are the two equal.
    Mail order, eBay and DRM-free download services like GOG do that too.
    The benefit offered to developers does not excuse the risk to customers.
    Valve claim 30 million rather than 3 and my answer is the downsides are not obvious (except to a minority it seems). A similar situation existed with music DRM-download services until many got their fingers burnt with the closure of Virgin Digital and Yahoo Music. Now we have stores offering DRM-free MP3 tracks because most music consumers won't touch DRM with a barge pole.
    If you don't work for an employer and don't deal with online vendors then no, you don't need to care. However the information Valve can collect would be of value to employers who could use it to check employee behaviour (especially if sick leave happens to coincide with a major game release) and to examine prospective new hires.
    CD-Projekt have little to lose from this in my view - they're not wasting money on ineffective DRM and are building customer goodwill. Most importantly though, they've been running the GOG service for over 2 years so they clearly can judge better than anyone else in the industry how much business there is in DRM-free releases.

    Where I think they are slipping up is in making the downloadable version only DRM-free. Many buyers will value having the physical items (which, in the "original extended" version included 3 booklets, a map, a DVD and 2 music CDs) and face having to buy twice to get the best of both worlds - and the download is priced higher than the physical copy to boot. A "DRM-free pack" adding the GOG goodies to a retail release (at a lower cost) would seem a better option.
     
  17. Coldon

    Coldon New Member

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    Well in the ass end of the world i can get a full color 6 page booklet, CD pressed and album art done for around $0.75 per disc for a run of 6000. The price drops even more with larger quantities. You cannot base the your server costs from what is commercially available, try to host a steam content mirror on one of their packages and see how much it costs you (I'm pretty sure the 10+ TB hard-drive space may be a potential issue never mind the routing & user connection issues). Also basing your retailer profit margins off of a random forum thread isn't exactly proof.

    Yeh, cause getting stuff shipped to africa or using ebay is risk-free. I cant believe you just listed EBAY as less risky than steam. GOG has wait for it good OLD games, what if i want a 10 month old game that isn't available at retail anymore?

    really dumb analogy... sick leave = medical certificate at pretty much any major company. Don't see how seeing that a potential employee plays a lot of video games has anything to do with hiring practices. Pretty sure past references and qualifications are a little more important. I spend a fair amount of time gaming and yet can still juggle two jobs and a social life.
     
  18. AstralWanderer

    AstralWanderer New Member

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    Thanks for the info - care to post a link to the company concerned?
    I wasn't talking about hosting a copy of the full Steam service but the bandwidth costs involved with a single (9GB) game. Disk space should be a non-issue there. As for routing and user connection, neither should be a problem for a provider linked to 3 of Europe's main Internet exchanges but at the same time I don't doubt that a US-based service would work out cheaper, and likely better (I couldn't find any firm quotes for one at the time).

    Of course, when you're talking about a 30-million user service with 10+TB of data, then major economies of scale kick in - I'll bet Steam pay a good deal less for their bandwidth than the figures I supplied.
    Then how about 1C's publishing director's article on this? According to him, retail margins account for 50% of the sticker price.
    Well, I can only speak from personal experience here but I purchased over a dozen games through eBay before Paypal started giving me grief. Since then, I've been able to get a similar service (with the same vendors in some cases) via Amazon Marketplace. Of course, with eBay there are steps you can take to protect yourself from being bilked - which aren't available to a Steam subscriber.
    GOG do include releases from 2007-2008 but if you're looking for something more recent then eBay, Amazon MarketPlace, Play.com are all options for UK buyers. I can't speak authoritatively for the mail order business in South Africa but a Google search seemed to turn up a few other possible avenues.
    In the UK, you don't need a doctor's certificate unless you've been ill for seven days or more.
    ...because employers want to be able to identify those people who can't juggle jobs/social lives with their gaming...
     
  19. Coldon

    Coldon New Member

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    http://www.cdt.co.za/index.php?page=cd
    I don't think you understand the complexities with hosting such a service but meh... keep thinking it's just bandwidth costs.

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2010/02/anatomy-of-a-60-dollar-video-game.html

    a slightly different breakdown here, no publisher would give retail 40% of the game cost, that sounds a little ridiculous, i can understand around 15% but 40%?!

    none of which ship to SA, the online stores locally stock what the local suppliers have, stock runs out quickly locally and suppliers don't bring in more. So for old games you're restricted to GOG or steam...

    also gog's collection of pseudo-modern games is lacking, for example these games arent available on GOG even tho they are reasonably old.

    frontlines: fuel of war
    deus ex 1, 2
    vampire: bloodlines

    Here you need a doctors certificate immediately otherwise time off counts as leave. Only given 2 weeks paid sick leave a year and around 2 weeks leave. Employer can identify those people by... wait for it... REFERENCES... thats what they are there for. If someone cant juggle their lives then it will reflect in their past work experience.
     
  20. eddtox

    eddtox Homo Interneticus

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    It sounds to me like this is degenerating into a discussion about conditions in various countries. Some things might be much cheaper in South Africa, and some much harder to get, but in the UK **** is expensive and you can find games in bargain baskets for years after release.

    So yes, your points may apply in SA, I do not know, but as far as the UK is concerned, Astral has the right of it.
     
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