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


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2009 @ 7:26pm

    private WoW servers

    I've played a bit on these and they're really not worth it. the connections are often too laggy (so pvp is out), they don't have proper scripts written for boss behavior (those are stored server side) so raiding is usually undoable, some servers don't have various skills working, and some try to actually sell tiered gear for RL money. since there is also little attachment (you can get a max level char anywhere between instantly and within a few rl hours ptime), guilds have ridiculous turnover.

    while they are useful for learning new classes (many start your char at the max level for that server), that's about it. besides, with the adjusted exp curve now on official servers, there's much less meaningless grinding, so your play is more towards learning the class rather than run-hear-kill-shit-rinse-repeat. long story short, just pay for the blizzard server play.

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