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News Epic: "PC piracy drove us to consoles"

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by CardJoe, 19 May 2010.

  1. Boogle

    Boogle What's a Dremel?

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    The Steam sales charts are done be revenue rather than sales. Any time a game makes it into the top 10 you can guarantee it's making a crap load of money.

    NuTech, you keep bringing up this '120' updates figure over and over. That means nothing, it could mean 120 bug fixes, 120 new maps, 120 tweaks to the existing codebase. Quite frankly your lack of any detail and inability to think outside of an extremely small number of business practices (just 1 - loss leading) isn't helping. If you've actually got any argument outside of heresay then I'd be glad to hear it. But saying the same thing in every post isn't helping.

    However I do have a few games that have support for years and years, including big map updates:

    Battlefield 1942
    Battlefield 2
    Battlefield 2142
    Unreal Tournament
    Quake 3
    Painkiller
    Left 4 Dead
    CounterStrike
    Numerous Indie titals
    Many iphone apps
    Tribes
    Unreal 2 (game was a flop - but still had the money to make a very large free MP expansion)

    Of course the many free-to-play MMOs have numerous free updates too.

    I'm almost postive TF2 and Portal aren't loss-leaders. Portal was in the charts for an extremely long time, coming back in all of the sales. These charts are ranked by revenue remember, the number of sales is irrelevent as is the price per item. TF2 is in a similar position. Now, due to Valve owning steam, this latest Portal promotion will ensure the platform gets a quick uptake for the Mac - this IS for the platform. However the loss isn't there since the profit has been made, and the cost for streaming the game will be (relatively) low - certainly not enough to really dent the bottom line.

    Your argument is that continuing updates is impossible because a game ceases to sell - therefore putting the developer/publisher in a tricky position of making no money, but spending to do the updates. The argument other people are making is that these games are still selling - at least enought to cover the costs.

    Without any figures you simply cannot say one way or the other. I'm inclinded to side with the dev not being too expensive, regardless of the quantity of updates - each update seems to be a relatively minor thing, which is very cheap. You can pull off a dev or two to quickly do a few bug fixes or add some functionality. Given the ongoing sales of TF2 it's most likely covered. This is backed up by numerous other developers / publishers releasing sizeable updates for games years after release. I don't think TF2 will have any sizeable impact on Steam sales - it's only one game among hundreds. If you're saying it's a heavyweight, then you would have to admit that with that it would have made an absolute fortune and a few updates after release will not even be noticed, financially. With or without TF2, Steam will still be adding and selling games at a largely similar rate - unless it's the heavyweight of course.

    Still I seriously doubt you'll change your view - and that's OK too. Either of us could easily be wrong. However, unless you can prove it one way or the other - there's no point getting all bent out of shape. I mean, it would suck for the world to be flat or spherical when you thought it was the other and argued tooth and nail.
     
  2. leslie

    leslie Just me!

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    I'm sorry, but it sure seems a little too easy to just sit back and claim piracy caused the problem. It's been shown many times over that companies still make plenty of money even with piracy and that a pirated game or software isn't necessarily lost revenue.

    Piracy is a problem, but if it makes you sink you were already borderline. These people act like piracy doesn't exist on consoles, which is a load of rubbish.

    Execs need to stop using piracy as a scapegoat for poor numbers.
    If piracy was having a significant impact, we would not be seeing new records on games, movies and music sales.
     
  3. Boogle

    Boogle What's a Dremel?

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    Sorry, promised myself I wouldn't post anymore - but this is just too juicy to ignore since you seem to post this in every post.

    If Google can make so much money providing a simple Internet search, why isn't everyone doing it?
    If Facebook is making so much money providing social networking, why isn't everyone doing it?
    If MS can make so much money selling an OS and Office suite, why isn't everyone doing it?
    If Tesco can make so much money selling food, why isn't everyone doing it?
    If Intel can make so much money making CPUs, why isn't everyond doing it?
    If Sony can make so much money making consoles (PSX - made a fortune, PS2 - made a fortune, PS3 - whoops), why isn't everyone doing it?

    There's plenty of examples where a company makes an absolute fortune doing something - but no one else can quite capture the magic or essence and replicate it. Sometimes you'll get a few select companies able to provide the service, while everyone else fails.

    I do wish the world was that simple though :(
     
  4. ZERO <ibis>

    ZERO <ibis> Minimodder

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    Basically they could not make games that were good enough to compete on the pc and turned to other systems with lower standards.
     
  5. Sloth

    Sloth #yolo #swag

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    That is my argument, yes. I'm quite confident that it sells, just thinking about various Steam friends mentioning purchases of it during the class pack releases, along with other Valve games such as L4D when The Passing came out. Free Portal got me hooked since I'd never played it over the last three years and will now likely buy Portal 2.

    I would assume that publishers are the reasons why other developers aren't doing this. Tell Activision you'd rather spend time perfecting your game and making updates and getting new players as you go, you'll probably get fired without your royalties!

    Your [true] mention that neither of us knows how many copies are sold makes me wonder, though, just how much they make off of each sale on Steam. Their own games surely make more since there's no extra publisher cut, but I wonder what they get from outside games. A game in a brick and mortar store going for $60 gives some to the retailer, so when Steam sells the same game for $50 who loses that profit? Developer, publisher, retailer?
     
  6. Grimloon

    Grimloon What's a Dremel?

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    "BOOM! Headshot!" :D

    I'd semi promised myself not to get involved in this one but I definitely agree with your comments. I really wasn't fussed by Portal when it was released (I don't get to shoot someone? No knives or clubs? Meh!) but since I've played it I can appreciate the appeal. Portal 2 is definitely on the list.

    I don't know what the markup is for games stores but in my part of the retail industry 50% is the absolute, bare minimum after taking overheads in to account. IIRC 52% was quoted as the standard supermarket markup many moons ago, I don't know how true it is nowadays. If we assume this to be true for other areas of retail then the Steam percentage is about the same but they have fewer overheads so more of the gross profit goes in to their pockets. Yes, servers and bandwidth aren't exactly cheap but cost significantly less than bricks and mortar stores spread across whichever country you happen to be in.

    NuTech has a very valid point in saying that you can't really compare Valve's business model to anyone else. They developed games for the PC, created a central update source as well as the gamer equivalent of social networking and then added a digital distribution network - I can't think of anyone else who's done the same or that even comes close to the same scope. It's certainly an unfair comparison.

    However, saying that, there are odd occasions of a company providing something for nothing on the PC. I used to extensively play RTCW: Enemy Territory and don't recall Splash Damage asking me for any money. They realeased the game for the massive price of free and supported it for some time. The free to play MMO line doesn't count though - "micro transactions". They make more off this than many pay to play MMOs.

    Totally random thought - why is it always pirates that get the blame? Surely ninjas should bear some responsibility too? :p
     
    Last edited: 19 May 2010
  7. Saivert

    Saivert Minimodder

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    nice to finally be able to update my shitlist:

    * Epic
    * Infinity Ward
    * Rockstar

    I never cared much for any of Epic Games' games anyways. Boring!
     
  8. kylew

    kylew What's a Dremel?

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    They will see how many copies have been "pirated" and then multiply it by the highest price the game goes for, then claim that's how much money they've "lost".

    They will never accept that there are download hoarders who download but never get around to playing, or that there are people who buy the game, but download it as well and run a cracked version, or the people that wouldn't ever, under any circumstances, buy that game, then the people who treat downloads as demos, felt the game was rubbish and or didn't warrant the asking price, and never touched it again.
     
  9. Grimloon

    Grimloon What's a Dremel?

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    Don't you just love figures direct from the coloured pencil office?

    (CPOM = Coloured Pencil Office Muppet, EE = Everyone Else)

    CPOM: We're down on predicted revenue.
    EE: We're up 3% on last year and we just happen to be in a recession! What the mucky 'eck are you complaining about?!
    CPOM: It doesn't matter, my stats don't lie. We're not making enough money - it must be the pirates. Or the ninjas! Sneaky gits! Winged mokeys! It's all their fault! Crayons! I need more crayons dagnabbit! How can I be expected to produce pretty pictures without crayons?!
    EE: *whispers to colleague* Make sure that they're non-toxic, OK?

    (No excessive disrespect intended towards marketing bods - you sell it, some of us poor saps just have to make what you promised actually work).

    Joking aside, the most true quote ever is "There are lies, damn lies and statistics". You can make stats say anything you want to. Piracy is the current target, the raison d'etre for poor sales. "We didn't buy it because it's crap" is not an acceptable answer.
     
    Last edited: 19 May 2010
  10. Lockon Stratos

    Lockon Stratos I Will Snipe You!

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    I totally agree. there is so much compeition in the games market. & they probably didnt have what it took to make great games the way they use to. UT03-UT3 were plausable at most, not that great tbh, but I dont think the games really truely took off compared to how big CoD4, BF2 & BC2 was. so its a real poor excuse on their part.

    piracy exists on consoles too, but maybe not half as much compared to the PC platform.

    the drummer in our band had an old hacked Xbox with all these old games n sh*t loaded on. Piracy exists on consoles too. you can avoid it.

    Im an honest guy, if im unsure about a game & theres no demo out for a game, I dowload it, test it out then buy the game if i like it. I mainly play online multiplayer games so I have to have legit games otherwise I'l be forever stuck on cracked server with no punkbuster thats crawling with aimbots,


    the UT franchise has been milked & milked & milked maybe they should spend less time whining & more time developing new games that dont reuse elements of their previous games.

    if people like the game they will buy a legit copy to play online - thats how it works. but if your game sucks then why would people want to buy it?


    Piracy or not. if they want to spend the rest of the time doing mundane hacks n tweaks for consoles then good for them. but i thought it would be a lot more exciting & challenging making games for the pc due to the advanced hardware it has compared to consoles. if they want to turn their back on the people who skyrocketed them to popularity more power to them. i dont feel any sympathy for them if they lose even more sales & go bust.
     
  11. Yslen

    Yslen Lord of the Twenty-Seventh Circle

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    <sheepishly raises hand>

    That would be me. Well, I don't do any downloading, but my friends turn up with a ton of pirated games which we play for a bit to see how good they are. 85% of them get deleted, but the ones that last get purchased. I can name a couple of dozen titles I'd never have bought off the shelf or based on reviews or gameplay videos that I now own and love - there's no comparison to playing the full game to see whether you want to buy it or not.

    When the game in question is one to be played over LAN (Resident Evil 5 - fairly dreadful in SP but enormous fun in coop, especially when you deliberately try to get the other player eaten by a giant crocodile) it costs 2x the retail price to try the game out the legal way. That's a VERY expensive mistake if it turns out to be a bad game that you play for an hour then never come back to.

    Granted, this method of decision making is a) technically illegal and b) potentially hurting game developer profits because they don't get all the cash from the various "expensive mistakes" I would undoubtedly make buying things the other way (I spent £30 on prince of persia last year, based on a rave review on IGN - it looks great, but the gameplay is terrible; designed for someone with only two fingers, a very short attention span and poor hand-eye coordination). I will argue that these "extended demos" mean I only ever buy genuinely good games. This means people who make bad games don't make much money, and inevitably shift over to consoles, where the average gamer will have no idea how much they're going to enjoy a title before they buy it.

    It's a bit like the music industry. Chart shows (ToTP etc) pre-internet always struck me as daft, especially the album charts. Every time a new over-hyped album by a famous name hit the streets, tom, dick, harry, simon, george, sebastian and the rest of the UK went out and bought it. Chances are, most of them listened to it a few times and then largely ignored it, as was the way with CDs, tapes and albums - only the favourites got lots of use. This meant the charts showed "best marketed product this week" not "best-loved musical creation this week". With the advent of the 'pod, and digital download charts, everything has suddenly become a bit more accurate. What I'd really like to see is some feedback (optional via itunes or something) that combines the "top 25 most played" autoplaylists from every ipod in the world to produce a "top 25 best songs ever according to people who own an ipod". I'm getting a bit off the point here, I know, but bear with me.

    Game sales do not equal a good game where nobody knows what they're really buying. If a developer wants to make as much money as possible, it is in their interests to sell to a market where it's really difficult for the user to work out if what they're buying is right for them before handing over their cash. In this scenario (consoles) the developers and publishers are laughing all the way to the jars under their beds (due to bad experiences with icelandic banks).

    For games on the PC, anyone wanting to know where they should spend their money can try a game out (albeit illegally) before they buy it. This means none of these people will ever buy a bad game (unless they're drunk). In a wonderful Darwinian fashion, this means all the underachieving developers should eventually leave PC game development for good, leaving only the best of the best, because nobody else can make any money.

    Of course, this scenario depends on a) no shoddy console ports and b) PC gamers as a whole being an honest bunch and actually buying the titles they've been trying out through piracy if they like them.

    Like I said earlier, I doubt most of the people who pirate and never buy the title would EVER have bought it if they didn't have the piracy option - and if they had it would have been a "mistake purchase". Conning a customer into buying something they don't want by cunning use of misinformation is arguably less moral than piracy in the first place, and on that basis I feel I can in good conscience continue to try games out through piracy then choose not to buy if I don't like them.

    Wow, long post. This happens when I have revision to do. Hmph.
     
  12. sarah_t_s

    sarah_t_s What's a Dremel?

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    What utter rubbish. Money drove them to consoles pure and simple. That's fine and frankly ever since the steaming turd that was Unreal 2 landed on my door step I've never, knowingly, touched one of their products.

    Seriously, you take the game Unreal, which was fantastic in its time and release a follow up, excellent. Except you lift all of the good bits from the original (Skaarj appearing from the dark, although in U2 it drops down an elevator shaft rather than a hidden door in a corridor) including the singularly unique ending (you die, alone, in a life pod). Then get upset when people figure out you've just charged them £40 for the same damn thing they already had and start to bitch at you about it.

    Screw em. Hope they go bust.

    Although I'm a fine one to talk about PC gaming. Considering I got fed up of Windows and went Mac.
     
    Last edited: 20 May 2010
  13. Warrior24_7

    Warrior24_7 What's a Dremel?

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    What has been quietly whispered, widely rumored, publically denied, and totally downplayed by the PC gaming community at large, has been finally admitted! Piracy is affecting PC gaming. Piracy drove them off. Epic, Crytek, Infinity Ward, id Software and others have all said as much in the past, but it was ignored or downplayed. Nobody (PC gamers most notably) wants to look this ugly fact in the face. It's like looking in the mirror and not being happy with what you see. They jumped ship, or were pushed overboard by pirates! Don't blame this on just "money", ALL companies are in it for the money. Nobody does anything for free. Hell, pirates are in it for the money, as they don't want to spend any! Now the sour grapes set in. They suck, the games suck, they aren't worth it, blah, blah, blah. Now Epic is the latest company to be so called banished from PC lore because... they admitted the truth!

    They told a dirty little family secret, that said something that everybody thought, but wouldn't say it out loud! Well, they said it out loud! Honestly, whats the big deal about this? They're still making games for the PC, they're just multi-platform now. So is Crytek, so where is the outrage towards them? Why the outrage at all? Just be glad that games are coming. Console games are getting better and better, while the PC has stagnated. Nobody wants to take a financial risk by developing big budget, exclusive, AAA games on the PC platform. We all know why, piracy is a problem on the PC. The game has changed, and it's NOT going back in the forseeable future. It is what it is, get over it.
     
  14. Gunsmith

    Gunsmith Maximum Win

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    for those of you unaware this "troll" likes to be povoke prople, kindly ignore him.
     
  15. Warrior24_7

    Warrior24_7 What's a Dremel?

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    Put it in your mouth
     
  16. CowBlazed

    CowBlazed What's a Dremel?

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    Wow I just read this whole thing and have to say, Nutech read this article here so that you can also come to the same conclusion as me.

    http://www.bit-tech.net/news/gaming/2009/02/20/valve-steam-is-making-us-rich/1

    That conclusion is, you are an utter moron. I'm thinking you had 1 too many drinks with those devs and took permanent damage, its OK though: sane logical people are here to help. Really wish kylew kept posting because you were spot on with every single point, maybe nutech could've stopped spewing a bit earlier.

    The one biggest thing I'd like to make fun of Nutech for is this:

    Team Fortress 2 and Portal were practically FREE to begin with! All you had to do was buy Orange Box.

    This is where he'd spew well it was only to get Steam subscribers which is only wrong because of the word only. Every person who buys a Valve game on PC is thus a Steam user. Valve made their millions off these games and can never lose that no matter how many updates they release.

    What else are you going to claim is a loss leader... maybe Counter Strike: Source cause it was FREE too when you bought HL2? Please say you think that because its been in the top selling list on Steam for years now. Maybe HL2 itself was a loss leader, after all they REALLY wanted Steam subscribers back then right? lol.
     
  17. Aracos

    Aracos What's a Dremel?

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    I agree with devdevil, but unfortunately there isn't a true way to gauge console piracy just like there isn't a good way to gauge PC piracy, torrents aren't the be all and end all, for instance look at sites like ESPALWii and Wiisos, just about every game released on there comes with MU/RS/other DD provider links and personally if I was gonna pirate a Wii game then I definately would go for DD over torrents since I would get consistantly better speeds using the likes jDownloader, I wouldn't even need to manually start the downloads, if I was to pirate a game then I'd definately go for the DD, but who is going to manually check the downloads of each link to get an idea of how many times they've been downloaded? I'd be willing to bet there are even PC orientated sites like wiisos, etc. It's just so much easier to say PC piracy is much bigger because it's much easier to pirate PC games but at the end of the day if you know how to pirate PC games it doesn't take long to find out how to pirate console games, even making multi game DVD's for a wii is a walk in the park after a couple of times! The only hurdle imo of pirating on consoles is the modding stage but there is more than enough information on the internet that will baby step you through the process(es).

    And yes I'm talking from experience, I've personally hard/soft modded my own Wii and in the past I've pirated PC games (but happy to say I haven't pirated a PC game in at least a year and most games I've pirated are now owned on my steam account :)). In summary there isn't any way you can truely say PC piracy is bigger or smaller than console piracy because there's no true way to count how much something has been pirated.

    Also if there's anything in my post I'm not allowed to mention feel free to edit my post mods but I can't see anything I'm not allowed to mention since I'm posting in a Piracy related news post.
     
  18. perplekks45

    perplekks45 LIKE AN ANIMAL!

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    I wonder if they heard of this small company... Blizzard I think they're called.
     
  19. GiantStickMan

    GiantStickMan What's a Dremel?

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    Yslen raises an interesting point, whilst I cannot condone any form of piracy, using his example if he was to purchase every game that looked good instead of the old 'try before you buy' approach, that means he'd buy less good games and probably end up buying a lot of stuff that wasn't worth it. With the approach he has he can work out the wheat from the chaff and only good games worth their full retail are getting his money.

    Again, I'm not condoning piracy, just want to point out that the 'every pirated copy is a lost sale' theory is wrong. Sure, there would be people who, unable to pirate games would buy them, but if that were the case wouldn't you think that sales for multiplatform games would be higher on PS3, being that it is the only system that cannot yet be pirated? The lack of any real figures though means that all of this is purely speculation.
     
    Last edited: 20 May 2010
  20. 2bdetermine

    2bdetermine What's a Dremel?

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    Anything came after UT2K4 was an EPIC failure and that included GoW which port over to PC ran like sh*t.
     
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