June 10, 2013

On the Used Games side of things

As a dev I get the wanting my fair cut of used game sales I really do, but I've got to say everyone is going about it all wrong because they don't know what else to do. They're enforcing all this BS DRM and relying more on dlc than actual disc content in the hopes of making up these sales. The end result is everyone suffers so I can get what I deserve and that's just not right because then I feel guilty about it.  As a consumer I'm more than enraged at the manner in which console developers think they can treat us hence why I plan on sticking with pc for at least this entire next generation and assuming I ever break down and get a console this next gen it would be ps4 as I wouldn't consider touching the X1 unless my life depended on it.

I'm all for tightening the screws on gamestop to get what I want but not at the cost of the consumer as a direct result. If as a byproduct gamestop were to do something to the consumer I'd probably be fine with it. All the more reason I probably won't even launch for consoles at this point.

I can't even comprehend how some of you are actually defending the consoles already it's beyond insane, how much are you willing to take for the sake of a sub par gaming experience marred by an endless stream of practices they remind you of how much they hate you every time you look at them.

The question then comes "well what would you do". To me the answer is simple, reward not punishment. Offer incentives to those that chose to validate and activate their game with some kind of registry service. Have a built in system for game loans, trades, and sales between friends or on an open market. Taking the steam market as a somewhat partial existing example when I no longer want a game I can look at the market and see the average buy/sell prices and list my game with an automatic portion of the sale being sent to me the developer or if it's between friends then possibly forgo my cut, ignoring potential profits from game trades or gifts in favor of moral dignity and happy customers. Offering rewards to repeat customers or bulk buyers.

The game loaning system might work like blizzards spawn where you can both play as long as one of you has the game lasting until someone in the party leaves and nobody has it anymore. Possibly having full on loans that just keep you from playing while it's on loan allowing you to recover it at any time and start playing, with the person it's being loaned to simply having their access removed next time they connect. Rental fees could be applied towards purchases. There are a lot of options out there and most of them are just as easy to implement as any DRM and make people like me infinitely happier.

Realistically gamestop should be absorbing the fees on used game sales with this next gen. If you buy a used game from them then they should be obligated to provide you access to play it which means covering that nasty fee publishers want to charge us for buying it used. I don't know how else to articulate my feelings on the slap to the face this DRM setup is and what needs to be done to fix it. I hope someone gets the message soon that this won't stand, I'm sure I'm not the only one that's just not going to be buying into the BS anymore, I'll be sticking with less hassles and forgoing exclusives for the sake of less stress by sticking with PC till things change.

On the note of piracy provided we're somehow still using game boxes with discs and manuals I would say that probably your most effective tool would be including something physical the players must rely on to some degree to play the game. Looking at the Metal Gear franchise in various games they had it where you needed to consult the manual or look at the back of the cd case to continue playing the game. Perhaps in a future game they might include a cypher in the manual you need to decrypt messages to continue, randomly generated text with a key code so you can't just look up a guide online to bypass it. There are a number of ways you can go about handling piracy other than aggravating the consumers with intrusive and unnecessary forms of DRM. 

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