GOG Survey Uncovers the Complex Desires of Gamers

Andy Chalk

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Nov 12, 2002
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GOG Survey Uncovers the Complex Desires of Gamers


A new GOG survey has found that gamers like DLC and early access but have little interest in games with "persistent online features."

There's a tendency to view the term "gamer" as a narrow and well-defined demographic, when in reality it's about as descriptive as "televisioner." Yet despite that lack of precision, there are some consistencies to this latest GOG gamer survey, and not very many surprises at all.

Downloadable content remains "controversial," according to the findings, yet 70 percent of respondents are in favor of GOG carrying it so that it can offer newer games on the site. Enthusiasm for season passes is far weaker, however, with just over 52 percent expressing support for them.

A similar pattern emerges for "episodic content for uncompleted 'seasons' of games," which found favor with 64 percent of respondents, while season passes for that type of content are supported by only 56 percent. A majority of GOG customers also expressed an interest in, and willingness to pay for, early access to games in development

Things get really interesting when the question of online requirements comes into play. Respondents were split virtually 50/50 over whether GOG should sell games that are "primarily multiplayer focused (not MMOs) but which require unique serial keys to play online," while 70 percent rejected the idea of offering games - again, not MMOs - with "persistent online features... and which require third-party accounts." Yet when asked about adding a specific game with "many modern gaming features" - Planetary Annihilation, which will use client-server networking architecture to support large-scale battles - the numbers reversed, with 78 percent in favor.

So what's it all mean? The concept of "always on" remains a no-go for most gamers, but give them something specific to embrace and you'll find them far more receptive to the idea. As for GOG, it promised to be "very careful that any game that we bring you guys with persistent multiplayer features will be at least as offline-friendly as Planetary Annihilation," and that while we can likely expect some games with online requirements to appear in the future, its "no DRM" policy will remain intact.

Source: GOG [http://www.gog.com/news/new_gaming_options_survey_results]


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Andy Chalk

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I look forward to the next generation being always online season pass only "open world" first person shooters.
 

geizr

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DVS BSTrD said:
I look forward to the next generation being always online season pass only "open world" first person shooters.
If that's the direction the game industry goes, I will look forward to just reading a book instead.

OT: I never really felt people were against DLC or online multi-player. What they seemed to be against are the shady ways DLC would be leveraged, not to add value to the existing game, but to simply weasel more money out of gamers. Online multi-player is clearly not a major issue for most, but outside an MMO, which requires always-online by its very nature, most people don't like the idea of the game they purchased being rendered completely inaccessible or unplayable if they do not have an Internet connection to some arbitrary server somewhere. Basically, gamers aren't staunchly against these things, if such truly make sense for the game and actually enhances the enjoyment of the game; what they are against is these things being used in a manner that has no obvious purpose or rationale other than to dick gamers over for more money.
 

Jaeger_CDN

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geizr said:
Basically, gamers aren't staunchly against these things, if such truly make sense for the game and actually enhances the enjoyment of the game; what they are against is these things being used in a manner that has no obvious purpose or rationale other than to dick gamers over for more money.
or the use of arbitrary "online services" as a long winded way of saying DRM
 

Clovus

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I don't think most gamers mind the concept of "always on" when it is clear that being "always on" is inherently part of the game like MMOs or F2P. It's only a problem when the "always on" aspect is clearly there mostly as DRM. There's no reason you can't play Diablo III or SimCity in offline single player mode. It's not a big deal that I can't play WoW or EVE without being always on though.
 

Zombie_Moogle

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I'm reminded of the statement the Ubisoft CEO made a couple days ago, where he basically said gamers wouldn't mind Always-On if it didn't suck; this seems to fall in line with that, to a degree

GOG patrons don't really seem to mind having to connect to some sort of game server, so long as it serves some kind of purpose to the game's benefit, doesn't interfere with their game, & doesn't inconvenience them in general.

These aren't exactly unreasonable requests
 

Dr.Awkward

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There's just one way to justify when a DLC is worth getting - How much and what kind of content you get for the price. And, most people are going to expect 30+ hours of content for something that costs $20, and prefer it over buying content that's got half as much for half the price.
 

Parakeettheprawn

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That certainly makes sense. That said, to add on to the discussion started above -- Yeah, I only get DLC if it's going to provide a wealth of replayable, enjoyable content, like the Dark Void challenge mode or The Missing Link expansion pack. I do actually like multiplayer experiments with franchises though, such as the cases with Bioshock, Dead Space, and almost with Metro 2033.
 

Something Amyss

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Jaeger_CDN said:
geizr said:
Basically, gamers aren't staunchly against these things, if such truly make sense for the game and actually enhances the enjoyment of the game; what they are against is these things being used in a manner that has no obvious purpose or rationale other than to dick gamers over for more money.
or the use of arbitrary "online services" as a long winded way of saying DRM
Clearly, super Mario was always intended to be an MMO.
 

Kevlar Eater

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DVS BSTrD said:
I look forward to the next generation being always online season pass only "open world" first person shooters.
We already have something like that this generation. It's called Defiance, although it's a more of a third-person shooter.
 

Entitled

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Andy Chalk said:
There's a tendency to view the term "gamer" as a narrow and well-defined demographic, when in reality it's about as descriptive as "televisioner."
At least television is a single medium, presented in a single format, while gaming is already executed in so many formats on so many tools, devices and business models, that it's effectively a whole bunch of mediums, with the technical connection of all of them being interactive and electronic.
 

Something Amyss

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Zombie_Moogle said:
I'm reminded of the statement the Ubisoft CEO made a couple days ago, where he basically said gamers wouldn't mind Always-On if it didn't suck; this seems to fall in line with that, to a degree

GOG patrons don't really seem to mind having to connect to some sort of game server, so long as it serves some kind of purpose to the game's benefit, doesn't interfere with their game, & doesn't inconvenience them in general.

These aren't exactly unreasonable requests
Of course, first publishers need to come up with a service that's to our benefit.
 

Atmos Duality

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Good to see mass stupidity hasn't quite taken hold yet.
Always-Online is an additional cost to the player, and offers no benefit except to the publisher.

Zachary Amaranth said:
Clearly, super Mario was always intended to be an MMO.
Sounds like a good recipe for a whole server of hopping mad gamers.

Zombie_Moogle said:
I'm reminded of the statement the Ubisoft CEO made a couple days ago, where he basically said gamers wouldn't mind Always-On if it didn't suck; this seems to fall in line with that, to a degree
The key difference is that GoG is leaving the choice in the player's hands to play online or offline, whereas Ubisoft wants to take that choice away for their own purposes.

Knowing that, yes, it is an unreasonable request.
 

Jaeger_CDN

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PrototypeC said:
This is very much a "how you phrase the question" kind of thing.
That pretty much sums up any and every questionnaire/survey ever done. Very few if any surveys are truely unbiased one way or another.

It's like asking someone "do you still beat your spouse?", any answer you give is still tainted by the question.
 

Something Amyss

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PrototypeC said:
This is very much a "how you phrase the question" kind of thing.
Well, it's also a "how the service will actually work" thing.

Nobody really cares that Call of Duty's primary multiplayer is online. People do care that SimCity's online. The difference?
 

Albino Boo

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GoG isn't representative of the average gamer. GoG's main selling point is no DRM and it's not surprise that users of GoG don't like DRM anymore than survey by Fox news watchers coming out saying Obama is bad.
 

Adam Jensen_v1legacy

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Sep 8, 2011
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We also want somebody to love us, feed us and never leave us.

GoG is only relevant for PC gamers, unfortunately. This doesn't prove anything on a larger scale.
 

devotedsniper

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Oh look one of the only companies I still have faith in showing they actually care what we think, maybe this survey will show Ubisoft and lately EA that no one wants god damn always online crap. I doubt it will make a difference but it's nice to know someone still takes into account what we want.
 

viranimus

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Nov 20, 2009
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I participated, but if you think about it, the findings really are not all that surprising.

But really is the NO DRM thing surprising at all? It is a fundamental core value that is one of the dominant reasons people buy with GOG in the first place. People stay with it, even in the face of not having access to the newest/coolest/biggest named releases BECAUSE of that value and having an entire industry infected with all the illnesses DRM brings and lead to.

Yes GOG members largely would not be adverse to "legit" DLC that adds actual content but not so much for trivial "gun pack/Horse armor" type DLC. Simply by being ON GOG illustrates that that player base is not inherently opposed to digital distribution as a platform. They do have reservations against how far down the slippery slope we know digital downloads will go. Plus that is typically another fundamental of GOG. Wherever possible when releasing a game with DLC/Expansions, they do all they can to release ALL the content. So they have shown their community they understand HOW to do it right, so the community is willing to trust them in that respect.

Season passes I found a tad surprising. When I think of season passes I think of The Walking Dead, but perhaps others were thinking of different games with season passes I am not familiar with. (Correct me if I am wrong, but do COD , Borderlands games have their own incarnation of season passes?)

For better or worse Online Multiplayer is a big factor on a lot of what is wrong with the industry today. While it "Can" be done properly and respectfully it is all too easy and more often than not isnt. So that too makes me wonder what people were thinking.

There is so much wrong with the industry right now. If they are purposely trying to save the industry or not they are quickly becoming the solution to many of these problems. Their model atm is a perfect example of how Digital distribution should be done and they represent the type of organization that DESERVES to be rewarded with profitability.
 

viranimus

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Edit: Apologies for the dupe

BAD CAPTCHA BAD!.

Yeah I would much rather have reCaptcha back. Sometimes these can be eerie fun, but at least reCaptcha served a purpose.
 

rapidoud

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Zombie_Moogle said:
I'm reminded of the statement the Ubisoft CEO made a couple days ago, where he basically said gamers wouldn't mind Always-On if it didn't suck; this seems to fall in line with that, to a degree

GOG patrons don't really seem to mind having to connect to some sort of game server, so long as it serves some kind of purpose to the game's benefit, doesn't interfere with their game, & doesn't inconvenience them in general.

These aren't exactly unreasonable requests
Seems more to fall in line with 'gamers' are stupid creatures, and just use whatever buzzwords their idols are using. "Always online" is bad yet PA requiring online connectivity is liked, so people are just inherently biased and emotionally driven rather than logical.
 

Zombie_Moogle

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rapidoud said:
Zombie_Moogle said:
I'm reminded of the statement the Ubisoft CEO made a couple days ago, where he basically said gamers wouldn't mind Always-On if it didn't suck; this seems to fall in line with that, to a degree

GOG patrons don't really seem to mind having to connect to some sort of game server, so long as it serves some kind of purpose to the game's benefit, doesn't interfere with their game, & doesn't inconvenience them in general.

These aren't exactly unreasonable requests
Seems more to fall in line with 'gamers' are stupid creatures, and just use whatever buzzwords their idols are using. "Always online" is bad yet PA requiring online connectivity is liked, so people are just inherently biased and emotionally driven rather than logical.
Planetary Annihilation, as is my understanding, uses temporary connectivity to allow the players access large-scale multiplayer environments that they couldn't likely process themselves, whereas Always-Online DRM adds nothing & takes away from a game if it can't connect.

Is it illogical to expect offline functions to function offline?