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Thread: What stopped the flow of big-name games?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Svartalf View Post
    What is interesting is the figures they quote in that article are somewhat at odds from what I was told from former Loki employees, including the former Lead Programmer for LGP.

    According to what I was told by those sources, the channel sold approximately 400 or so at full retail price. The remainder were discounted or sold via liquidators, causing Loki to lose quite a bit more than the quarter mil stated in that article. It cost them nearly that much in tins, disks, etc. They also ended up owing iD the same figure in royalties for the publication rights to the Linux version. If you want to know the precise reason iD doesn't do offical Linux versions of their titles right at the moment, you can look at that debacle.

    What most people haven't usually stated about it is that if people had've waited a couple of weeks for the official Linux version instead of buying the Windows SKU and "patching" it to work with Linux with the downloadable, conveniently provided by iD, then they would have at least sold break-even amounts of the title and while it would have left iD less than happy, they would have moved forward with more, knowing the story was still somewhat embryonic. But the community didn't do that- they wanted their damn game THEN, not realizing they were cutting their own throats.
    Well, there's a problem there. This is retail mass consumer sales we're talking about. People want their game right here right now. They're not going to wait for the linux version to come out later. And maybe since the publishers know that they should have made the linux version available at release date, at the same time the windows version was available. Ain't it true that retail games make most of their sales during the first two weeks of availability?

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by xav1r View Post
    Well, there's a problem there. This is retail mass consumer sales we're talking about. People want their game right here right now. They're not going to wait for the linux version to come out later. And maybe since the publishers know that they should have made the linux version available at release date, at the same time the windows version was available. Ain't it true that retail games make most of their sales during the first two weeks of availability?

    The Windows publisher wasn't the same as the Linux one, for starters- Loki did the Linux version, Activision did everything else. Activision had nothing to do with the Linux rollout which was delayed 2-3 weeks because of a last minute logistics snag. If you're trying to send a message, though, wouldn't you try your level best to resist the impulse there? Buying the Windows version and "patching" it sent a message- it told iD, Activision, and others that nobody really wanted Linux titles (they didn't put their money where their mouths are...). As far as they know, Windows is what we wanted because that's what we BOUGHT. It's not a hard concept to grasp, when you stop to think about it.

    Buy what you want to run against, if it is offered. The two weeks that it was not available didn't impact anyone that would have bought it for Linux because if it's going to be "dead" on the servers in that small a span of time, it wasn't worth having to begin with. We didn't buy the Linux version. We bought the Windows one. Doesn't matter how many downloads, etc. of the Linux binary sets have been made or how many Linux clients show up on the servers. What sold matters to the publisher and to a lesser extent the studio. In this case, what sold was WINDOWS. And Activision noticed that. So did iD. Obviously Loki didn't fail to notice it- it was one of the fatal turning points for the company.

    Now, if it's offered by the same publisher, it's a bit of a differing story- and it probably ought to be offered at the same time or close thereafter. IF it's from the same publisher and not a gift to us like iD and Epic did with their stuff. Only some special bundle packs of Doom from MacMillan and Q3:A were ever actual official, published FOR Linux SKUs from either of those two publishers.

    As for the bulk of the sales being in the first two weeks... That's the justification they use to put DRM crap on everything. It's NOT quite that way (If it were, why would retailers like WalMart stock some of the SKUs in question for MANY months? If it sold the bulk of it's sales in the first two weeks, then why keep it on the shelves when you could get something that WILL sell back on the shelves...)- it's a wives tale that people keep spouting from time to time.

  3. #13
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    Ok, one question, given the growth of digital downloads and given that most linux users tend to be fairly tech savvy, is there any reason that you even need a boxed copy for a linux release?

    Make it available as a digital download only and avoid all the costs associated with a box release (making the disks, making the boxes, distributing the boxes to stores and/or online store warehouses, fees charged by the retailers to put the product on the shelf etc)

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonwil View Post
    Ok, one question, given the growth of digital downloads and given that most linux users tend to be fairly tech savvy, is there any reason that you even need a boxed copy for a linux release?
    Not everyone has access to broadband. I think you'd survive a modem download of Caster or Cortex Command- but Myth2?? This is not to say one shouldn't do what you're proposing, but...

    Make it available as a digital download only and avoid all the costs associated with a box release (making the disks, making the boxes, distributing the boxes to stores and/or online store warehouses, fees charged by the retailers to put the product on the shelf etc)
    I'm hoping that we might start getting some traction via this route. It certainly takes some of the pressure off of publishers and studios to worry about "lost expenses" and allow someone like myself to do the work on a percentage of proceeds basis.

  5. #15
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    For the problem of "I cant download it", one solution is a "disk-on-demand" service where you pay a small fee on top of the purchase price and in return get a burned (and labeled) disk that's a direct copy of what you would download mailed to you.

    Copy protection (including serial numbers etc) if any would apply exactly the same to the file regardless of whether it was downloaded directly or burned to a CD/DVD.

    Make the fee for the burned copy enough to cover the cost of the blank disk and label, the cost of paying someone to spend some time burning the disk and the cost of the postage.

  6. #16
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    Svartalf said:
    Not everyone has access to broadband. I think you'd survive a modem download of Caster or Cortex Command- but Myth2?? This is not to say one shouldn't do what you're proposing, but...
    That's true.. but everybody doesn't live in the US either, which in turn makes it pricey or unconvinient to buy the boxed version and get it shiped to europe. LGP should make some kind of steamclient or a webstore where you can download games. How hard would it be to make something like that? I'm no programer so I really don't have a clue

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by GneXteR View Post
    Svartalf said:


    That's true.. but everybody doesn't live in the US either, which in turn makes it pricey or unconvinient to buy the boxed version and get it shiped to europe. LGP should make some kind of steamclient or a webstore where you can download games. How hard would it be to make something like that? I'm no programer so I really don't have a clue
    Actually LGP already does sale download versions via its retailers, e.g. TuxGames. And AFAIK they are located in Britain, so it shouldn't be a US to Europe shipment problem.

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