Jimquisition: Welcoming A Digital Future

Jimothy Sterling

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Apr 18, 2011
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Welcoming A Digital Future

The idea of a "digital era" is something that gets major publishers wet between the legs, and whatever dampens their pants should turn ours brown. However, the future might not be as scary as it sounds on paper, and an age of digital distribution might not be quite so publisher-led as the companies in charge think it'll be. It might be the best thing to have happened to gamers and game makers. It might destroy the middle man entirely.

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Roserari

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Sorry, Jim, but it isn't quite that simple. A fully digital future is a dire one indeed, because I doubt that even in fifty years, the entire world will have access to an internet that allows them to download gigabytes upon gigabytes. Or to hardware that will store that amount. Cloud gaming? Again, requires a good internet and constant internet connection. As it stands, gaming will have to go the way of music where the market is half hard copy and half digital. That is a good future.
 

esperandote

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I don't understand something. Why developers can develope games on their own to be published digitally but cant develope a game on their own to be distributed physically by a publisher, pay them for that and keep the IP?
 

Jimothy Sterling

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RoseArch said:
Sorry, Jim, but it isn't quite that simple. A fully digital future is a dire one indeed, because I doubt that even in fifty years, the entire world will have access to an internet that allows them to download gigabytes upon gigabytes. Or to hardware that will store that amount. Cloud gaming? Again, requires a good internet and constant internet connection. As it stands, gaming will have to go the way of music where the market is half hard copy and half digital. That is a good future.
If you don't think that we will have that kind of computer science in 50 years you obviously have no idea how much advancement we have made in the last 50.

as an example this is what we had 50 years ago


you want to know what can out compute that?


We have come a long way, in 50 years we would likely not even recognize what the fuck was going on if we were able to look at it today.
 

The White Hunter

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Oct 19, 2011
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Issue: What about console sources? If the major hardware companies go digital only we will pretty much have prices dictated to you. Frankly, who the fuck wants to pay £55 for Bodycount because the publisher said so and SCEE don't give a fuck about us?

EDIT: Before I'm told to get a PC instead, I simply can't afford to get my PC up to snuff and won't be able to for a good 3 or 4 years. So yeah.
 

RaikuFA

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We need this to prevent assholes from making 50 copies of the game, then 3rd party sellers can sell it for double or triple what they payed for.

I'm looking at you, Nintendo, pre-PS2 Square, pre-Disgaea Atlus and Capcom.
 

J-meMalone

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Anyone else starting to worry that, if thing go 100% digital, publishers are going to start blaming indie games/gamers for loss of sales rather than game stores? I wouldn't put such a leap in logic past some of them...
 

vxicepickxv

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esperandote said:
I don't understand something. Why developers can develope games on their own to be published digitally but cant develope a game on their own to be distributed physically by a publisher, pay them for that and keep the IP?
Publishers don't care about what you've done, unless it can guarantee them money. The only people who can keep rights to their own games are real big shots. Names like Sid Meier, Richard Garriott, John Romero. Those guys can keep their rights. The publishers want the IPs so they can have you by the balls.

Jim did an episode on this a few weeks ago. http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/jimquisition/5268-Piracy-Episode-One-Copyright
 

Aircross

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Dungeon Keeper's developer is not the only developer EA has ruined or is ruining at this moment.
 

vxicepickxv

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J-meMalone said:
Anyone else starting to worry that, if thing go 100% digital, publishers are going to start blaming indie games/gamers for loss of sales rather than game stores? I wouldn't put such a leap in logic past some of them...
They'll blame anything that isn't themselves for why their sales numbers drop. See also, the music industry.

The music industry puts out worse and worse music every year, and they still can't say "we put out nothing but shit and wonder why nobody buys our music".
 

Ickabod

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This gave me a dark feeling why EA, Sony, and the big boys really want SOPA to pass. Indie games thrive on the viral nature of the internet, just look at all of the Let's Play series out there. Now if that fan based promotional tool was taken away by something like SOPA it could crush the viral exposure that an indie developer needs to get noticed. And then presto the major developer becomes an indie developers only option if they want their game to see the light of day.

But indie developers don't have to stop letting fans make movies of their games if they don't want to. YES they do, just look at the lawsuit between Bethseda and Mojang over the name Scrolls. Bethseda had to defend their IP in court or else it could lose all future claims to in the future, even if the two were not related in the slightest, besides both being games. What that could mean under SOPA is that if an indie developer doesn't order a sight to stop playing LP videos of their game, then that could legally mean that they are abandoning their copyright of the game.

I'm not a legal expert by any means, Jim's video this week highlights the fears and power of the major developer and they are unlikely to give up that power without a fight. It's not just about piracy it's about control of distribution.
 

vxicepickxv

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Aircross said:
Dungeon Keeper's developer is not the only developer EA has ruined or is ruining at this moment.
I'm trying to figure out how many developers they're currently in the process of all but destroying.

Origin - Known for both the Wing Commander and Ultima series
EA Black Box(Formerly Black Box games) - Some Skate and Need for Speed games. This is very recent
Bullfrog - This is where Dungeon Keeper came from. They also unleashed Peter Molyneaux because of this.
Kesmai - Pretty much nothing anyone will remember, because they were owned and basically buried by AOL, then sold to EA, then closed off.
Pandemic - Destroy All Humans, Mercenaries, and a few other titles.


I'm sure with enough digging, we could probably find about 100 or so basically dead IPs for EA, and as many, if not more for Activision.
 

Jimothy Sterling

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esperandote said:
I don't understand something. Why developers can develope games on their own to be published digitally but cant develope a game on their own to be distributed physically by a publisher, pay them for that and keep the IP?
Hiring a CD and box-making factory costs money.
Shipping your product costs money.
Paying the retail stores their cut costs money.

None of this is cheap, and most indies simply don't have the resources to get it done. Which means they need to trade what they have (ownership of their IP) to get the publishing company to risk using these resources without it getting paid back.

But even if the retail companies could pay for all of that, there's still one more reason. Retail stores have limited shelf space. They need to see stock move. If stock doesn't move, that makes it less likely that the retail store will bother purchasing the next offering from that publisher. Developing the relationship with the retail stores so that they'll devote some of that limited shelf space to your products in particular costs money and time.

So when a publisher takes on an unknown developer it's a risk. If the game doesn't sell well it hurts their chances of getting their next product picked up. For a big enough publisher, a single bad seller isn't going to make a lot of difference, but a string of them will. So to compensate for that risk, they ask for something extra.. your IP.. that way if you have a big hit, they know they'll get to sell the next one as well. For that kind of payoff they're willing to take the risk of a little damage to their retail relationships.
 
Apr 28, 2008
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vxicepickxv said:
Aircross said:
Dungeon Keeper's developer is not the only developer EA has ruined or is ruining at this moment.
I'm trying to figure out how many developers they're currently in the process of all but destroying.

Origin - Known for both the Wing Commander and Ultima series
EA Black Box(Formerly Black Box games) - Some Skate and Need for Speed games. This is very recent
Bullfrog - This is where Dungeon Keeper came from. They also unleashed Peter Molyneaux because of this.
Kesmai - Pretty much nothing anyone will remember, because they were owned and basically buried by AOL, then sold to EA, then closed off.
Pandemic - Destroy All Humans, Mercenaries, and a few other titles.


I'm sure with enough digging, we could probably find about 100 or so basically dead IPs for EA, and as many, if not more for Activision.
There's also Westwood. Makers of Command and Conquer. EA bought them, gutted them, kept their IP to profit off with shit like...


And if you want to go the Activision route... well there's this little number.

 

beetrain

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J-meMalone said:
Anyone else starting to worry that, if thing go 100% digital, publishers are going to start blaming indie games/gamers for loss of sales rather than game stores? I wouldn't put such a leap in logic past some of them...
Well if they did, why would it be something to worry about? It's not like they'll be able to stop indies.