Valve: Pirates Are Underserved Customers

This remark from Valve's Jason Holtman is the analysis of game piracy that I've been waiting to hear someone utter for years: the idea that copyright infringement needs to be analyzed from economic rather than purely legal or moral standpoints. It is, essentially, the market telling producers that something is wrong, and that smart producers should respond in a more productive way, rather than seeking legal redress or technological methods of copy protection.

When people infringe on your product because it is not officially available, as most games are not in Russia, make it available. When people infringe on your product because it is too expensive... well, you figure it out.

So far in this recession gaming in general, and the Xbox 360 in particular, has been an oasis of growth and stability. Don't expect that to continue. Don't expect people to just knuckle under and fork over $60 because that's what next-gen games cost now. Myself, I'm taking a hard look at Halo Wars, coming out soon, and wondering if it's worth $60-- $80 for the limited edition with the early release of new Halo 3 maps.

category: 
game: 
platform: 
topic: 

Comments

Very true. And in these tough economic times the more I think about Halo Wars, the more likely that $60 bucks I've budgeted are going to go instead to Aliens: Colonial Marines: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aliens_(Gearbox_Software)

Yeah that one looks interesting to me, too. Wonder if it'll be as good as the old C64 game.


Rampant for over se7en years.

Well you can always re-live it to find out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wWRSMCYAyI

It sure as hell looks better to me: http://www.ocforums.com/showpost.php?p=5933926&postcount=1

Looking better and being better are two very different things, though.

Doom 3 looks better than Doom 1 or Marathon 1, for instance.


Rampant for over se7en years.

Oh, the same way EVE Online looks interesting when in fact it's like playing an online chat-room version of Microsoft Excel. And while you may argue Doom III sucks (which it does) it isn't due to the game play not being as good as the original; which is just a step above graph paper cutouts. There is also a difference between being better and thinking it's better due to an overflow of nostalgia. Which can be explained graphically here: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/zero-punctuation/222-XBLA-Do...

[quote=blackstar]Which can be explained graphically here: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/zero-punctuation/222-XBLA-Do...
That was a wonderful graphical explanation. Also, Aliens: Colonial Marines does look like it will be better than Halo Wars. I lost all faith in Ensemble Studios once AOE3 came out.

[quote=SG]That was a wonderful graphical explanation. Also, Aliens: Colonial Marines does look like it will be better than Halo Wars. I lost all faith in Ensemble Studios once AOE3 came out.
[/quote]

Thanks. ZP does have it's moments. Being very different games (and not really a player of Starcraft types) the interest in seeing an incarnation of what Halo was originally, has a certain appeal but I think would rapidly diminish and not have the re-playability. Where as not only the original Alien(s) stories and FPS/Squad shooters in general are bigger attraction points to me, it would definitely peak and maintain my interest for far, far longer. Halo Wars will most likely be a rental/borrow/demo for me. Where as Aliens: Colonial Marines I'll either pre-order or be the first one online at the closest store.

[quote=narcogen]There's a finer point to be made here. It's not that Doom 3 sucked but in a different way than Doom. Doom has its failings, as does Doom 3. Saying one is better than the other is not merely nostalgia, and it's unrevealing just to say both suck. Doom has a certain kind of gameplay that was appropriate for the level of rendering technology available at the time. Games like Serious Sam kept that kind of gameplay; large numbers of relatively unintelligent enemies that overwhelm the player with sheer numbers.

D3's focus on quality rendering (as Quake 1's did before it) eliminates that kind of gameplay, but offers nothing to replace it. That's why it is inferior as a game while being superior as a technology.


Rampant for over se7en years.[/quote]

Well the argument that many games have focused more on the tech than the gameplay is a common one and in many cases very correct. But you have to ask is it a result of focus shifting, lack of development, or a catering to the potential audience that have evolved in the types of games that do in fact appeal to them? Is it simply those types of Space Invaders and infinite re-spawning targets are no longer attractive? Have more moody and more detail oriented games simply become more popular as the pendulum has swung from quantity to quality?

I think you have to look more at what titles came out at what time and any comparison between games from vastly different technical eras are... uh, well doomed to fail because of the gaps not only in the tech, but in the gamer and audience perceptions. Games are as much a reflection of their time as anything else, so to come up with a level critique of the different Doom's (or any other game series') own suck-a-tude, something somewhere is inevitably going to be lost in the equation.

And how the concept you mention before relates to Aliens for the C64 vs. Aliens: Colonial Marines I'm not sure, since both are so beyond each other having only the base story as a common thread any comparison I think would be tainted by nostalgia before you can say; "Game Over man, it's Game Over!"

Not to mention, it's not even out yet. :P

[quote=blackstar]Oh, the same way EVE Online looks interesting when in fact it's like playing an online chat-room version of Microsoft Excel. And while you may argue Doom III sucks (which it does) it isn't due to the game play not being as good as the original; which is just a step above graph paper cutouts. There is also a difference between being better and thinking it's better due to an overflow of nostalgia. Which can be explained graphically here: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/zero-punctuation/222-XBLA-Do...

There's a finer point to be made here. It's not that Doom 3 sucked but in a different way than Doom. Doom has its failings, as does Doom 3. Saying one is better than the other is not merely nostalgia, and it's unrevealing just to say both suck. Doom has a certain kind of gameplay that was appropriate for the level of rendering technology available at the time. Games like Serious Sam kept that kind of gameplay; large numbers of relatively unintelligent enemies that overwhelm the player with sheer numbers.

D3's focus on quality rendering (as Quake 1's did before it) eliminates that kind of gameplay, but offers nothing to replace it. That's why it is inferior as a game while being superior as a technology.


Rampant for over se7en years.