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Overhype

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
business models, demigod, piracy, video games

Companies:
stardock



Demigod, Piracy And Good Business Models...

from the let's-walk-this-through... dept

Lots of folks have been submitting variations on the story about how Stardock's new game, Demigod, has been widely pirated, and that's resulted in server troubles for the company, as many of these unauthorized users try to connect to Stardock servers. Many are claiming that this shows that Stardock's customer friendly approach to video games fails. But, that's not true or accurate at all. It's just an issue of properly lining up the incentives and the infinite goods vs. the scarcities. In this case, one of the key scarcities was server access -- but Stardock set things up such that unauthorized copies could drag that down. The good thing, though, is that the company quickly got on top of the problem and has been implementing a technological fix rather than screaming and complaining about pirates. Meanwhile, some others have sent in links to the Demigod forums, where people recognize that many of the unauthorized users got the game to test it out, and are encouraging people to buy it to support Stardock and its fan-friendly attitude.

In the end, though, it does seem like Stardock has set this up a bit as a "give it away and pray" setup, which we tend not to agree with as a good business model. Since a big part of the game is the mutliplayer aspect, where you have to connect to a server and play against other players, why not give away the software itself (many people are getting it this way already) and charge a nominal fee for access to the server. That access is a scarcity -- and then you can scale based on users, since more users means more money. It seems like that's a reasonable business model that aligns everything much more nicely.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Apr 2009 @ 9:51am

    genuinely unclear on how it all works

    I am uneducated - can someone please explain?

    1) 100k attempts on a server system. Street date broken by GameStop well before authentication servers are up and ready. Is there any correlation at all?

    2) Are those 100k attempts all from different IPs or whatever, or can at least some be repeated attempts from the same place? If so, then the numbers are a bit disingenuous. If not, then that's a whole lot of people interested in playing this game (if not so interested in paying for it).

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