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  1. #1
    Lesser Hivemind Node Bhazor's Avatar
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    Who is really to blame for always on DRM?



    THIS FUCKER

    OK, probably a bit of explaining needed.

    I want you to imagine you are John Riccitiello chairman of EA. Waking up to your usual tray of dry toast with cocaine you idly browse through the mornings summation of yesterday and you read this

    "Now, all of the sudden, as a result of how modern society works, I managed to somehow earn a shit-ton of money."
    What's the part that shocks you the most. The sales? The amount of money? No. Those numbers are the norm in your world. What causes you to weep uncontrollably on the floor is the fact you have never heard of him. This is an absolute outsider who has made billions. Without you. Without your rivals. Without any publishers. Without anyone but his customers.

    So trembling you hurry to work without even taking the time to spit on a tramp today. You arrive in your soundproofed panic room and turn on your hidden security cameras. Sure enough everyone is talking about him. Grudging respect or bitter resentment to you it sounds the same. "Why didn't I do that?" "I had that idea years ago, I showed you right?" "[sound of muffled weeping in woman's bathroom cubicle]" "Maybe I should give my pet project a go?". Betrayl all around you, you see one option. Crisis meeting.

    Marketing's there, accounts are there, legal are there, the HR people are there, the Azenberg representatives are there, the husk of John Madden is there. Everyone that matters in your game company basically. Together you thrash out the obvious solution.

    Simple, you kill the Notch. But not only that you need to kill all possible future Notches and you need to destroy the possibility for these people to cut you out of the loop. You need to find a way to ensure every single game anyone buys is passing through your hands. So you build a wall, and stick a digital storefront in it backed with always on internet requirement.

    You call it a service. It isn't.
    Your customers call it DRM. It isn't.

    It isn't about DRM, it isn't about preventing piracy, it isn't about controlling access to someones game. It isn't the customers game you want to control. Its the developer's game and all future games they make.
    People are thinking about walls from the wrong side. It isn't about enticing customers and walling them in. Its about keeping the developers in. If and when streaming goes mainstream the neo-indies will perish. At that point the only way for someone to sell their game is to get bricked in with your stable as the only company able to afford the servers. At which point you cum.


    Thanks a lot Notch.




    I may or not be entirely serious. I can't quite tell.


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    Last edited by Bhazor; 17-03-2013 at 09:16 PM.
    “People will kill you over time, and how they’ll kill you is with tiny, harmless phrases, like “be realistic”
    Dylan Moran

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    10/10 would read again.

    This got a good laugh out of me, but I'm not sure what the point is.
    "Halo is designed to make the player think "I look like that, I am macho sitting in my undies with my xbox""

    Steam ID

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus coldvvvave's Avatar
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    Nothing will change anyway.
    Quote Originally Posted by Drake Sigar View Post
    You are an enemy of gaming.

  4. #4
    Lesser Hivemind Node NecroKnight's Avatar
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    Dude, what have you been smoking? Because I want some of that too.
    But where did he come from, this fleck of spite in an abandoned paradise?

  5. #5
    Lesser Hivemind Node TillEulenspiegel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bhazor View Post
    So trembling you hurry to work without even taking the time to spit on a tramp today.
    game industry execs irl:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0x10QK0ND6A

  6. #6
    Lesser Hivemind Node Bhazor's Avatar
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    @ Jesus phish

    I think its that always on DRM isn't about Piracy, or controlling players, or data mining. Instead it's about ensuring that the old dinosaurs of publishing stay relevant by controlling the increasingly powerful and lucrative indie scene. In particular it's about stopping their own studios or chief talent from jumping ship.

    Imagine if Infinity Ward or Treyarch or Maxis jumped ship en mass and went to Kickstarter. In my feverish mind I believe EA believes they can force them to stay by ensuring they are the only ones who can get them to market. Similar to my feelings about big publishers (Sony in particular) supporting streaming. Want to get to our x million customers? Better sign on the dotted line. It's not protecting yourself from piracy. It's about turning the computer into a console.
    “People will kill you over time, and how they’ll kill you is with tiny, harmless phrases, like “be realistic”
    Dylan Moran

  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    So are you blaming Notch (jokingly or not) because he didn't go through EA or Activision to get his game published?
    "Halo is designed to make the player think "I look like that, I am macho sitting in my undies with my xbox""

    Steam ID

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    If a "AAA Studio" jumped to Kickstarter, they would either need an obscenely high target (quick google says Modern Warfare 2 cost 40 million BEFORE marketing) or to just make an "indie" game.

    Like it or not, the big publishing houses ARE the only ones who can make AAA games. That isn't to say they are the only ones who can make games period (I have played many recent "indie" games I prefer to AAA games), but they are the only ones who can fund games with production qualities out the whazoo.

    Think of it like a science fiction movie. A couple of film students can make a great movie for under a thousand dollars and it might very well have better writing and a better plot than anything Hollywood or Canada can ever make. But if you want epic space battles and special effects out the arse (a staple of the science fiction genre), you need a "proper" producer.
    Steam: Gundato
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  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rauten's Avatar
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    More than EA, it's Steam that's managing to do this, though.

    Also, Sony's support of streaming isn't for walled garden of any kind, it's because that's the only possible alternative they have to offer some sort of backwards compatibility PS4>PS3; well, that, or make the PS4 cost 1599 US Dollars, Snake about to blow his brains included.

  10. #10
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    I don't think always online DRM changes how relevant they are. At all. And I don't think they think it does. I think they think it gives them more control over their specific products. Some of that's about piracy, some of that's about providing relevant and contemporary services inspired by Facebook, some of that's about providing consistency of experience by eliminating random factors like cheating and mods and some of it's about convenience and updating.

    But I don't think any of it's about keeping control of the market or the indie scene by being always-online. That ... doesn't make any sense to me what-so-ever. I don't see the connection. They know they aren't the only company doing it and that doing it doesn't stop indie publishers from putting out their own stuff on PC. You can't make a walled garden by building a fortress on some small plot on the outside edge of said garden and I think EA and Ubisoft and all the other companies have figured that out.

    Also, what Gundato said. :)
    Last edited by gwathdring; 17-03-2013 at 09:34 PM.
    I think of [the Internet] as a grisly raw steak laid out on a porcelain benchtop in the sun, covered in chocolate hazelnut sauce. In the background plays Stardust’s Music Sounds Better With You. There’s lots of fog. --tomeoftom

    You ruined his point by putting it in context that’s cheating -bull0

  11. #11
    I think you're on the right track but wrong game ending in -CRAFT . I think if you're that douche you look over at World of Warcraft and think about how you've spent hundreds of millions trying to get what it has: Millions of customers who will pay a subscription every month for nothing more than the privilege of playing. Of course ,you tried to launch your own actual MMOs to compete but they've all failed financially. But if you turn all your games into mini MMOs, maybe you couldn't charge sub fees exactly but you could make up for that with enough DLC and BS 'social' features to keep people invested and you could have 20 of these things going at once, in theory. It kind of make sense in an evil genius sort of way.
    So glad it seems to be blowing up in their faces though.

  12. #12
    Network Hub Spacewalk's Avatar
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    Now I haven't been reading up on this and I might have a few beers in me so this is going to make a lot of sense but I reckon the whole point of always on DRM is to demonstrate the futility of individualism. So in actual fact it is Rollerball is what's responsible for always on DRM.

    *belch*

  13. #13
    Lesser Hivemind Node Bhazor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iridescence View Post
    I think you're on the right track but wrong game ending in -CRAFT . I think if you're that douche you look over at World of Warcraft and think about how you've spent hundreds of millions trying to get what it has: Millions of customers who will pay a subscription every month for nothing more than the privilege of playing. Of course ,you tried to launch your own actual MMOs to compete but they've all failed financially. But if you turn all your games into mini MMOs, maybe you couldn't charge sub fees exactly but you could make up for that with enough DLC and BS 'social' features to keep people invested and you could have 20 of these things going at once, in theory. It kind of make sense in an evil genius sort of way.
    So glad it seems to be blowing up in their faces though.
    But Warcraft was still made by traditional paths and it can be competed with on the same footing. To EA Acti-blizzard is just the honorable opposition. What's so scary about Notch is he's a complete free radical, no affiliations, no ties, no party. It's like the GOP and Democrats going to congress and finding an independant politician no one had ever heard of has won the senate.

    But yeah, MMO-lites is probably the more likely reason. Thankfully those servers aren't cheap and while their clapping their arses in celebration at making $2million in DLC they're forgetting that all those servers cost $3million to run.
    “People will kill you over time, and how they’ll kill you is with tiny, harmless phrases, like “be realistic”
    Dylan Moran

  14. #14
    Moderator QuantaCat's Avatar
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    but lets compare it to great films with big budgets: memento was pretty neat. it had low production costs, great story and a wonderful story gimmick.
    however, inception was pretty great too. good cast, interesting/good plot and a wonderful graphical gimmick.

    you wouldnt be able to make inception for mementos budget.

    hence AAA films are something that I think should always get made. people enjoy them, theyre great for people making them as they get money, etc.

    just as well: smaller independant films should be made too. note: I work in the film industry.

    but the real question is: why dvds? why not just directly sell the films online? (that still isnt done in europe btw)
    - Tom De Roeck.

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  15. #15
    Lesser Hivemind Node Oshada's Avatar
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    Best caption ever.

  16. #16
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Xercies's Avatar
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    but the real question is: why dvds? why not just directly sell the films online? (that still isnt done in europe btw)


    I agree with this, I really have no idea why independent movies are not going the Seam route and trying to sell themselves online they would be so much better for it because as it is they aren't really earning much money from being in an obscure place that you have to travel 100 miles to see.

  17. #17
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    I hope your not serious. Because the real reason in the case of EA is probably 2 fold.
    1) To allow a closed market for in game purchases. Either through DLC or closed market places (Diablo 3 etc). While Valve is happy to try it with TF2 (game market place and player mods), most are to afraid they will get eaten by competition, have to work hard, or loose profits.

    2) Actual DRM. But mainly to support the first, not in and of it's self. While preventing hacking of your game improves profits in general, I doubt the recent changes to MMO style play "service" is purely to stop piracy. The return on the effort would not be enough if there were not additional economic incentives such as being able to charge for "xp packs" etc.

    PS, DVD include royalties to the people who invented DVDs. Those people have a vested interest to keep DVDs selling. They may also be "cheaper", in that they don't need to change the factory, change employers etc. It's not cheaper per product, it's just less expensive than changing.

    Also adds to the "1 DVD 1 customer" view point.

  18. #18
    Activated Node
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    Funny, but it doesn't make any sense :P

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bhazor View Post
    But Warcraft was still made by traditional paths and it can be competed with on the same footing. To EA Acti-blizzard is just the honorable opposition. What's so scary about Notch is he's a complete free radical, no affiliations, no ties, no party.
    But this makes no sense. Always-on doesn't stop Notch. If anything, Notch demonstrated that an indie can make an always-on game, so the publisher's servers aren't needed.

    But yeah, MMO-lites is probably the more likely reason. Thankfully those servers aren't cheap and while their clapping their arses in celebration at making $2million in DLC they're forgetting that all those servers cost $3million to run.
    Now you're actually getting closer to the truth, except that your costs are way off. And we all know what EA do once they deem the servers too expensive to maintain...

  20. #20
    Lesser Hivemind Node ado's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rauten View Post
    More than EA, it's Steam that's managing to do this, though.
    I agree with this statement.

    Sure, Steam has almost single-handedly reinvigorated the PC gaming market, but it came at a price - it robed us of some of our freedoms as customers in exchange for a little bit of publisher security. I do think that Steam is a very acceptable compromise however.
    steam

    http://dailycelluloid.blogspot.com/- where I write about movies.

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