Senator Wyden, thank you for all your efforts in fighting censorship on the internet. Your actions this past year were a big part of raising awareness on these issues. It's been shown that the people do still have power to enact change, but without spokesmen like you and Senator Issa, who knows if it would have been possible.
Well, I'm not really going to recommend watching anything with the Ultraviolet DRM, but I watched Under the Red Hood on Netflix Instant and it was pretty decent. Don't know if it's still on there, though.
"While I personally hate online passes and find a lot of DLC to be a deplorable money grab I feel its become the norm to hate on any DLC despite the tremendous extra value this can provide to gamers if it is done right and with respect. Thank you for allowing me to start vocalizing that train of thought."
Well, that is a separate discussion and you may very well have a point there. I've already articulated why I don't think the anger over this game is an overreaction, but there are certainly games that do DLC right.
"But that leads back to my original point. Why do we assume all devs/publisher did this maliciously and ripped out code originally planned to be part of the main game in order to make an extra dollar. Why is it never assumed that this was designed this way from the start and the only reason they let the devs make this was because it was planned to be DLC."
Total straw man. We're not assuming all devs/publishers took out what was supposed to be in the main game, we're assuming this particular dev/publisher did it. And the reason we're assuming it was meant to be in the main game is because they told us from the beginning that it was going to be in the main game. We've been over this before. It wasn't until a week before release that they changed it up and let people know that playable Catwoman was "DLC."
Now sure, it might very well be that they had planned this all along and were counting on it being just an extra. But if that's the case then it was definitely intentionally misleading advertising, and that might be even worse. I see no reason to let them off the hook if that's the case anyway.
It's not like game devs haven't talked about their post-release DLC plans before the games launch before. Just about everybody does these days. And that's fine. If we know that such and such map pack for CoD or so and so extra mission for Borderlands is going to be extra and not included in the main game, that's fine. We can make our decision on whether or not we want to buy that content. The way Arkham City is doing it just makes it seem like they're trying to pull one over on us.
"it is nice to see a company actually be proactive about capturing used games revenue rather than just complain and punish players. Why can't more companies act this way?"
No! Don't encourage them! If you don't want people to sell your stuff used, don't sell a physical product. That's all there is to it. If you sell an object that can be passed around, once you sell it, it's not yours anymore and you don't get any say in what happens to it.
It's certainly possible to create enough value in a non-physical product that people will give up the ability to resell what they buy. Just look at Steam. I can't sell any of the games I buy there, and can't buy any used games, either, but the ability to have access to my games on any computer I want, coupled with the great community features and awesome sales means that I now buy almost all my games through Steam. Taking value away from your products to try to extract rents may be a business strategy, but it's not one that will endear you to your customers. However, adding value will get you the best of both worlds.
On the other hand, I can kind of understand why the game industry is the most vehement in opposition to the used market, because I don't know any other industry where the used reseller is as powerful or heavy-handed as Gamestop. Buying used games for $20-30 and then turning around and selling them for $50+ certainly seems like a rip-off to me. Add to that their constant upselling and badgering you to preorder crap makes it a hassle to even be a Gamestop customer (that's why I'm not anymore). But at the end of the day, it's the consumer they're ripping off, not the publisher. And it's the consumer who has the power to change things. If gamers want to keep getting ripped off by Gamestop, then that's their business. They must be getting some value out of the place, even if I don't see it. That's the free market, though.
How do you know this was made on a budget specifically for DLC? All of the evidence points to the opposite conclusion, actually. First off, the Catwoman content isn't even DLC in the way we traditionally think of it. There's no option to buy a (new) copy of the game for $50 that doesn't have Catwoman, and then you can go buy that if you want it. It's a part of the full game, only if you buy the game used or don't have an internet connection, your copy of the game is gimped.
Then there's the fact that Catwoman was used heavily in the marketing for this game almost from the beginning. There was no mention of the fact that not everybody would have access to her until a week before the game released! It's a total bait and switch, and not at all consumer friendly. It's just a scheme to extort money out of Gamestop, but gamers are the ones who get hurt.
I don't have any problem with Microsoft being investigated for antitrust issues, but why in the world is this case still going? Does Novell even exist anymore? And if they do win, what then? I guess Microsoft will have to pay some money to the company that's already been destroyed, for whatever good that'll do.
Of course, the reason it's gone on so long is probably due to Microsoft dragging it out anyway (just a guess), but the whole thing is ridiculous.
I don't care what other people call trolls, my observation came from my personal definition of a troll, ie, someone who posts something inflammatory with little to no evidence to back it up.
And it has nothing to do with not wanting to read things I don't agree with. I came to this site from a link on Ars Technica. Comparing these comments to the ones there, you find just as much dissension, but not as much evidence. I often learn things from people I disagree with there, not so much here.
But maybe I just haven't been around long enough. I'm certainly willing to stick around to be proven wrong.
I agree that this site seems to have more trolls than most. I know Mike will defend the ability to post anonymously to the death, but looking at these threads, so many posts include name-calling and no reasoning. And almost all of them come from Anonymous Cowards. Not saying that no good posts can come from anonymous sources, but it's hard to avoid the conclusion that it does seem to lead to an increase in troll posts.
It doesn't matter if 99% of them actually did do it, in the US you are presumed innocent until proven guilty, so if that 1% never gets a chance to defend themselves in court because the ruling applies to the entire group, the system has failed. That's why so many of these cases are being thrown out, it doesn't make sense to try them all together for acts which they did individually, regardless of the fact that they used a technology that requires other people to participate in order to work.
You're right that the social stuff is not being fully utilizes by anybody for video, but the rest of what you mentioned is being done by Amazon with their Instant Video (Apple, too, although I'm not as familiar with the way iTunes does video). The main problem with Amazon is the pricing. For people who are used to paying a fixed subscription to get access to large amounts of content, either with cable or stuff like Netflix, paying $3.00 per episode of a TV show is pretty steep.
And with movies, the fact that it's still more expensive to rent a movie online than it is to go out and get an actual disc from Redbox or Blockbuster is ludicrous. I'm sure they think it's adding value for convenience, but for me that doesn't come close to making up for the fact that it costs them almost nothing for the distribution of the content when.
Steam has been wildly successful for a number of reasons, the social aspect of that is certainly a huge part, but no less important is the pricing. While the default pricing for games on Steam is in line with retail for the most part, they have sales going on all the time that give ridiculously good deals. And these sales are obviously working for the publishers of the games, I've hear plenty of devs talk about how their revenue (revenue, not units sold) spikes when they participate in one of those sales, and even when the sale is over they still have increased revenue compared to before.
This is from Mike's paragraph: "A new academic study has backed us up with empirical evidence that DRM hurts sales, and removing DRM actually tends to decrease infringement, because the product is more valuable to buy." So, yes, he does say it's empirical evidence, which it's not, but that doesn't mean it's worthless, just that more research is needed.
I appreciate you bringing this study to our attention, but unfortunately, there's actually no "empirical evidence" of any kind in this study. Ars Technica did a much more in depth analysis of the study the other day, and it explains that this is actually just a model the researchers are using to predict likely behavior in the market. They didn't actually gather any data.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not bashing the study, we just need to realize the limitations on what conclusions we can draw from it. Models are important, but they're only really useful to the extent that they help us explain the real world (ie, data). I hope someone does take this model and compares it to actual data, that will be the next step.
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