There was what I think is a very accurate description of sales lost to piracy in the comments on the '20 sided' blog linked earlier:
(By Lee, comment 6) a link to the article again, well worth a read. Cheers to the original poster:I say it every time it comes up, but I’ll try again. There’s only one formula I find reasonable when calculating “lost sales” due to piracy.
Take the number of people who didn’t buy the game, who (in a world completely devoid of software piracy) would have bought the game.
Subtract the number of people who pirated the game and then bought it, who (in a world without piracy) would never have tried it, and thus never have bought it.
That’s your number. That’s really the only number software publishers should be contemplating. The remaining people, who played your game for free, but would simply not play it in a world without piracy? They’re not your customer.
In my mind the number of people who pirated the game, then bought it is a very important figure but the industry doesn't seem to be trying to find out what kind of a figure it is. It seems to be flipping between 2 sides of the DRM coin as a PR exercise when enough folks say 'take it away, we don't like it'. In my (humble, unworthy, etc.) opinion the overall winners will be the companies who take a stance against DRM and stick to it, investing in DRM then turning around and making a big deal about removing it when it appears to be affecting your public image is hypocrisy.
Still, if a game is good quality and enough folks get to see it then it will sell. It doesn't even need to be such good quality, Microsoft knows this and doesn't do a whole lot to protect windows because piracy promotes future sales but that's kind of a different market.
Last edited by stan.distortion; 06-24-2008 at 03:29 AM. Reason: EDIT more b*%$#y typo's
OK, that seals the deal for me concerning LGP games.
I've got X³ Collector's pre-ordered for - what? - close to a year by now, and never complained about the massive delays the release suffers from. I was also a customer of Loki Games, and bought several of their releases when the company still was operational. I'm not the kind of guy who "pirates" games for GNU/Linux, but I'm ferociously anti-copy-protection-bullshit, because in the end, it's ALWAYS me, the paying customer, who loses. I don't give a damn about ANY promise ANY company makes about patches and whatnot to be released if anything goes awry, I just want the software I pay for to work, and not harass me.
It's sad that this GNU/Linux gaming story ends for me before it's even seriously started.
Personally I really dislike this step since it won't really change anything. Though somehow I do understand the frustration for the devs caused by "unlicensed usage". But yeah, there is no real way to stop this with something like a copy protection. It is (IMO) more important to teach the users somehow about the value they get when buying the game. Especially for boxed products the best thing to achieve this is butting some extra material into the box that is *not* shipped on the disc. Like (what could eg be done for Sacred) a map of the world printed on fabric, a good, detailed and colored handbook, stuff like this. Basically all the stuff that most publishers only (if at all) put into collectors editions nowadays that several ages ago (eg with Baldurs Gate) were perfectly normal in the basic version. The best way to go is to provide something just those buying the game will get, that can not simply be copied by creating an ISO of the install disc. Yes, I think that it is sad that these days there is not even a real handbook shipped with most games, just a double sided A4 sheet and that's it... Anyone remembering times with the SNES where eg japano RPGs were sold with a real book including a complete walkthrough, looking nice on the shelf?
So in short:
Do not create extra burdens for those buying the games, provide extra content to make it special when you buy the product.
It has seriously started, we have big title games out for linux, admittedly not many but they exist. DRM is a big issue for companies, they are in it to make money after all and wouldn't be considering DRM without their very expensive business analysts telling them it's worth the investment. Maybe those very same analysts will turn around in a few years and say DRM is a bad idea but until that happens we are stuck with it, and if we want those big companies to even let us sniff the source code for their past titles then DRM will be right on top of the terms and agreements.It's sad that this GNU/Linux gaming story ends for me before it's even seriously started
It's a shame but we arekind of stuck with it, it would be nice to turn the business analysts upside down and bang their heads on the ground a bit but there are laws against that kind of thing and it probably wouldn't make a whole lot of difference anyway
It's not that all GNU/Linux gaming stories have come to and end for me with this decision, but LGP's definitely has.
Ummm there is a difference between DRM and copyprotection. They dropped the DRM, they did not remove the copyprotection.
What LGP is doing is incorporating DRM, not copyprotection.Digital rights management (DRM) is a generic term that refers to access control technologies used by publishers and copyright holders to limit usage of digital media or devices. It may also refer to restrictions associated with specific instances of digital works or devices. DRM overlaps with software copy protection to some extent, however the term "DRM" is usually applied to creative media (music, films, etc.) whereas the term "copy protection" tends to refer to copy protection mechanisms in computer software.
Last edited by deanjo; 06-24-2008 at 12:02 PM.
Unfortunately LGP doesn't want any feedback about this because they already know that or with the excuse that "it isn't that easy to do so" in this business.
I realized that when talking about opinions from the player base on the other thread.
Even when it's useless to talk about it, I will post at least two games which I really would like to see getting ported (yea, and even when it's unlikely they ever get there hands on those games): Deus Ex 1 and Hostile Waters (as already mentioned in this thread). I really like those titles.
I understand they would like to stop people copying the game but what do they care more about: How many people buy the game or how many people copy the game? You may reduce the number of casual copiers but at the same time you are chasing away potential buyers - I know I will not buy the game as I run into a problem with DRM more than once and I know that I will not pay for it.
And for the trick they used once with the broken version: It happened that I have downloaded a game, played it, liked it, bought it but DID NOT RE-INSTALL IT - there are always situations you hurt your potential buyers and in my opinion: rather spend the money you would invest in copy protection on the game itself and you likely attract more people and have a bigger sale.
I am just happy I did not pre-order Sacred.
Btw, I sometimes do buy Windows-only games without the opportunity to actually play them, just because I do like what's in the box. The last example for this would be Neverwinter Nights 2 Collector's Edition, which I'm looking forward to play in the years to come via WINE or whatnot.
I know numerous of my peers who also really really like added "value"(/"nonsense", whichever way you want to see it) in form of collectibles, soundtrack CDs, and all that kind of stuff like sturdy, printed handbooks.