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The next generation of consoles will require Internet connections. No preowned sales allowed.


Video Games

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Sebastian wrote:
Caineach wrote:
Actually, my arguement is that intellectual property is no different from physical property and should be governed by the same rules. You cannot copy physical object design, and it is protected by copyright laws. That does not mean that you cannot loan physical property, and should not mean that you cannot loan intellectual property.
Great. Too bad that the laws of physics provide limitations on tangible property that are not so kindly provided in the case of intellectual property. For example, if I loan you my car, I can't still drive it, nor can I allow an additional 100,000 people to drive it. There is no way that intellectual property can be governed by the same rules as tangible property, if, for no other reason, because intellectual property doesn't even exist without a legal framework that defines what it is, how it operates, who has rights over it, and what those rights are. Governing tangible property and intellectual property using the same rules is about as logical and practical as using the rules of the road/highway on commercial airlines.

The ease of copying has no bearing on the legality of copying. Laws exist to protect the IP holder in the case of a car, and those same laws will protect the IP holder in the case of a video game. Scale and easy come into play, but copy infringement is such a trivial loss of sales that it is fairly pathetic from what I can tell. Sure, games get coppied, but DRM free games have historically done better than expected sales and have had no negligible increase in infringement, while strict controlls have been shown to reduce sales.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Scott Betts wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

I've posted my thoughts on this before and they were deleted, because Paizo decided I was promoting illegal behavior, so unfortunately I'm not actually allowed to debate you with the information that supports my argument.

I consider this antithetical to a free and open society.

Without the security that intellectual property law provides content creators, we would not see digital content of the quality that we see today. You can have your "free and open" society, but in the process you make the prospect of going into business producing digital creative works completely unattractive.

I dont really have a big bone to pick in this fight, I am happy to abandon video games for the most part in favor of media and forms of entertainment I have control over and are more to my liking. But I have a real problem with someone on these boards making a statement like that.

I direct you to the paizo prd and d20pfsrd, where a metric ton of IP is available for free online at the behest of the creators. And I then ask you to have a look at the current position of paizo in terms of rpg sales. Ask paizo staff how their pdf sales are. Ask them how many times they expected to have to reprint their books and how many times they have.

Then ask wizards how well their heavy handed tactics have worked in the same medium. Ask hasbro if they are happy in their current position. There is a place for top shelf IP and creative works that are available digitally within the 'free and open' society. In fact people will flock to that free society if given the chance, and it will thrive. People respond positively to being treated like human beings and not sales numbers. And eventually there is backlash for that treatment when it is sustained.

That free distrubution of ideas information and yes, product LEADS to sales instead of reducing them. My sharing of books (IP) with my group lead to them buying their own, not because they needed to but because they wanted to, and the fair and open attitude of paizo has lead to people wanting to buy even more.

Game companies that dont treat their customers like criminals will find that those customers will keep coming back over and buying their products. And that yes, some people will do unethical things, but that it isn't good practice to punish those who dont, to make up for those who do. Because the criminals and unethicals will find a way regardless. The people who get hurt are normal users who just want to enjoy a product.

Shadow Lodge

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Plus there's the fact that, at least for my preferences and in my not-so-humble opinion, the video games coming from smaller / indie developers are far FAR more interesting than the output from the big name developers. So I'm not so sure that quality in the video game industry is as directly proportional to the amount of capital invested as Scott Betts wants us to believe.


Scott Betts wrote:
I don't think that's a supportable stance at all. We're already seeing the impact that cloud hosting can have on mods through the Steam Workshop, and I don't seen any reason to believe that a streaming service will be unable to incorporate the mods of your choice.

Actually, you are correct. It's better to say that modding as it is done now will die. 'Cloud-modding' could become a possible replacement. The Steam Workshop thing is different, because you still download the full game and the mod tools to your hard drive, create mods there and then upload the mod to a central location. The actual modding itself is done locally on your computer.

However, if we assume that games will move 100% onto the cloud (and OnLive has shown, even at this incredibly early stage, this is fully viable), then local modding will no longer be possible. There's no reason cloud-modding shouldn't work, though some will likely complain about restrictions (adult-content mods for games will likely no longer be possible because cloud-modding would likely have to adhere to strict terms of contract and you wouldn't be allowed to save anything on the cloud that breaks those terms). The cloud-modding system would force you to adhere to the original company's terms and restrictions.


mdt wrote:
Saying that a developer deserves part of the used sales is about like saying that the engineer that developed a Ford Focus deserves a cut of the used car sales,

No, it's not.

Quote:
or that the movie studio who put out a DVD deserves a cut of the used DVD sales,

Yes, it is.

Quote:
or that the designer of my polo shirt deserves a cut of the sales proceeds if I buy it used from Goodwill.

No, it's not.

Quote:
There is no difference between 'IP' involved in the creativity of designing a car, creating a movie, writing a game, or designing clothes.

Car, no. Movie, yes. Game, yes. Clothes, no.

Quote:
People tend to get this mixed up. They think that creativity of one type is somehow better than creativity of another type. It's not, it's all creativity.

It's not a matter of which one is creative. It's a matter of which one is a physical commodity with an expected lifetime for which price points are adjusted, and which one is simply a freely-replicable creative work.

Quote:
Now, let's look at what would happen if the used game stores decided to give say, 30%, back to the developers on a sale of a used game. Would the programmers who worked on the game get a cut? No, they're salaried. They'd get nothing. Would the art director get a bonus? No, he's salaried, he'd get nothing. Would the script writer get a bonus? No, he's salaried, he'd get nothing. Who would get this windfall? The corporation would. They would not spend it on the people who developed the game, worked on it, generated the precious 'IP'. They'd reinvest it or pay it out to shareholders. If they reinvested it, that might be a good use for it, but, don't make the mistake of thinking it's 'going to the artists' anymore than money won from pirating lawsuits by record labels went to 'the artists' they theoretically represent. Any money that was given over would go into the corporate pot and be used either for shareholder profit sharing, or it would be plowed back into re-investment.

Is this really how you think business works?

You understand that some game companies actually have bonuses built into their payroll in the event that a studio's game receives positive reviews, right?

Would the profits from used sales go directly back to the game's individual developers? No.

Would the profits from used sales eventually find their way back to the game's individual developers in the form of renewed funding, increased salaries, improved benefits, and bigger bonuses? Yes.

I'm not sure why you're taking such a simplistic (and quite cynical) view of the process, here.


Caineach wrote:
Actually, my arguement is that intellectual property is no different from physical property and should be governed by the same rules. You cannot copy physical object design, and it is protected by copyright laws.

I would like you to consider the ease with which one might produce an identical copy of a movie on DVD.

I would like you to consider the ease with which one might produce an identical copy of a sport utility vehicle.

I would like you to consider the difference between those two levels of ease.

Stop acting like intellectual property is just like physical property. That's a really terrible position to take.


Caineach wrote:
The ease of copying has no bearing on the legality of copying. Laws exist to protect the IP holder in the case of a car, and those same laws will protect the IP holder in the case of a video game. Scale and easy come into play, but copy infringement is such a trivial loss of sales that it is fairly pathetic from what I can tell. Sure, games get coppied, but DRM free games have historically done better than expected sales and have had no negligible increase in infringement, while strict controlls have been shown to reduce sales.

This isn't a matter of legality. Legally, IP is already treated differently than physical commodities, so you're dead in the water. This is a matter of ethical consideration.


Kolokotroni wrote:

I dont really have a big bone to pick in this fight, I am happy to abandon video games for the most part in favor of media and forms of entertainment I have control over and are more to my liking. But I have a real problem with someone on these boards making a statement like that.

I direct you to the paizo prd and d20pfsrd, where a metric ton of IP is available for free online at the behest of the creators.

Actually, there really isn't that much intellectual property published to the SRD. Most of it is rules text, and rules are not protected by copyright.

I'd like you to note what is and is not available for free. Notice how Paizo's adventure material is not available freely. Notice how most of their flavor material is not available freely. That's because that property is valuable to them, and they would like to protect it.

Quote:

And I then ask you to have a look at the current position of paizo in terms of rpg sales. Ask paizo staff how their pdf sales are. Ask them how many times they expected to have to reprint their books and how many times they have.

Then ask wizards how well their heavy handed tactics have worked in the same medium. Ask hasbro if they are happy in their current position. There is a place for top shelf IP and creative works that are available digitally within the 'free and open' society. In fact people will flock to that free society if given the chance, and it will thrive. People respond positively to being treated like human beings and not sales numbers. And eventually there is backlash for that treatment when it is sustained.

If you believe that the difference between ranking of Pathfinder and D&D is due primarily to the fact that Paizo makes more of its rules text available to the public than WotC does, you are mistaken.

Quote:
That free distrubution of ideas information and yes, product LEADS to sales instead of reducing them.

It only leads to sales when the company in question is actually selling other things that are not freely distributed. Which is my whole point. If you allow free distribution of all your creative works, and if your business is built entirely on creative works, you are not a good businessperson.

Quote:
My sharing of books (IP) with my group lead to them buying their own, not because they needed to but because they wanted to, and the fair and open attitude of paizo has lead to people wanting to buy even more.

That's lovely for your group. But what you didn't do was magically reproduce your book for each individual in your group, obviating any reason whatsoever for them to get their own.

Quote:
Game companies that dont treat their customers like criminals will find that those customers will keep coming back over and buying their products. And that yes, some people will do unethical things, but that it isn't good practice to punish those who dont, to make up for those who do. Because the criminals and unethicals will find a way regardless. The people who get hurt are normal users who just want to enjoy a product.

I don't know that this is true. With computer gaming, it is, arguably. With console gaming, where the entire business of pre-owned sales lies? Not so much. The number of gamers willing to go through the hoops required to pirate fully-functional versions of modern console games isn't very large. For many gamers, it's a prohibitively complicated process, and that disincentive means more retail sales.


Kthulhu wrote:
Plus there's the fact that, at least for my preferences and in my not-so-humble opinion, the video games coming from smaller / indie developers are far FAR more interesting than the output from the big name developers. So I'm not so sure that quality in the video game industry is as directly proportional to the amount of capital invested as Scott Betts wants us to believe.

You like personal opinion.

I like sales figures and aggregate review scores.

But hey, both of those are totally equally valid ways of sizing up the industry as objectively as possible, right?


You mean like Neil Gaiman's sales figures?

I referenced another game earlier in the thread. Stardock published a game that was developed by Ironclad. The game included zero DRM, except that you had to register your copy if you wanted to use their free online multiplayer server and download update patches. The game was released in 2008. Since then, it's been successful enough for them develop and release two micro-expansions and are currently developing a full expansion right now.

I personally have purchased 3 copies of that game. One for myself and two as gifts. I didn't have to buy the gifts, I could have just lent them my copy and they could have installed and played all they wanted (I don't need the DVD in the drive to play... because that would be DRM). I did this because I really like the game and wanted to share it with people.

A new study shows that removing DRM reduces piracy.

It's in the clip from Neil Gaiman, but if you don't want to watch it, he has a question he poses in lectures.

"Raise your hand if you have a favorite author."

"Keep your hand up if someone lent you the first book you read from that author."

He doesn't claim that everyone's hand stays up, but that a very significant number do. Word of mouth increases sales for artists. DRM reduces word of mouth.


Irontruth wrote:
He doesn't claim that everyone's hand stays up, but that a very significant number do. Word of mouth increases sales for artists. DRM reduces word of mouth.

That may be the case for artists/developers/authors with significant lines of books, or the sales confidence to continue high-profile publishing, but it's not necessarily true for the rest.

And, either way, shouldn't it be the publishers' mistake to make, if DRM does indeed reduce sales? These are very profit motivated businesses, and I guarantee you they are closely watching the impact of DRM on their profits. If it turns out that DRM is bad for business, they will stop. You don't need to make their business decisions for them.

Shadow Lodge

Scott Betts wrote:


You like personal opinion.

I like sales figures and aggregate review scores.

But hey, both of those are totally equally valid ways of sizing up the industry as objectively as possible, right?

Journey, by thatgamecompany: developed by a grand total of 14 people.

Sales figures: It is the fastest selling PSN game ever, breaking the record previously held by inFamous: Festival of Blood.
Aggregate Review Scores: It has a rating of 92 on Metacritic, based on 66 reviews.

And it's not like that's the only similar success story for smaller or indie game companies. Within the past few years, there's been dozens upon dozens similar success stories with games like Cave Story, Minecraft, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Super Meat Boy, and the like.


Scott Betts wrote:
And, either way, shouldn't it be the publishers' mistake to make, if DRM does indeed reduce sales? These are very profit motivated businesses, and I guarantee you they are closely watching the impact of DRM on their profits. If it turns out that DRM is bad for business, they will stop. You don't need to make their business decisions for them.

This is the Chicago school of economics. The problem is that we're learning new things about human behavior that might prove that school of thought wrong.

I can't remember the specific study, but I'll see if I can't dig it up. Basically a neurologist was studying something else, but somehow happened across data that showed when people thought about money it activated an area of the brain very close to the brain stem. Generally, the closer something is to the brain stem the "older" it is, evolutionary speaking. It's the same part of the brain that gets activated when people think about food and shelter.

Several studies are beginning to show that when it comes to money, people don't act rationally. Your hypothesis about businesses and money depend on people acting rationally. Anecdotally you can just look at every economic bubble to see that people don't act rationally when it comes to money.

The data already shows that DRM reduces sales. They are spending extra money, to sell less product. Does that sound rational at all?

Which store are you more likely to shop at?

Store A: Sells all products at 100% cost.
Store B: Sells all products at 50% cost, but require you to submit to a strip search when entering and exiting the store?

People don't like being treated like criminals. Irrationally, when someone treats them like a criminal, they act like it.

Marketing and sales research will already tell you that people don't make "rational" choices when buy stuff. Retail stores already know this and it informs how they organize their shelves. They put more expensive products at eye-level, because they know you're more likely to buy it. If the general populace is irrational with their money, why do we assume that business people, who are also members of the general populace, are?


Minecraft is pretty awesome. The game can be played for free (some limitations). It can even be pirated. But still, over 5 million people have paid for the game. A year before the game was released, it had 1 million sales and it could be played for free.

People could get the game for free, legally, but still, many paid for it.


Kthulhu wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:


You like personal opinion.

I like sales figures and aggregate review scores.

But hey, both of those are totally equally valid ways of sizing up the industry as objectively as possible, right?

Journey, by thatgamecompany: developed by a grand total of 14 people.

Sales figures: It is the fastest selling PSN game ever, breaking the record previously held by inFamous: Festival of Blood.
Aggregate Review Scores: It has a rating of 92 on Metacritic, based on 66 reviews.

And it's not like that's the only similar success story for smaller or indie game companies. Within the past few years, there's been dozens upon dozens similar success stories with games like Cave Story, Minecraft, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Super Meat Boy, and the like.

I never said indie or small-house games don't sell. I'm saying they don't sell like big name games do. And for every amazing indie title that sells millions of copies, there are hundreds of crappy titles that no one plays because of how terrible they are. What you're seeing are the truly exceptional cases, the ones with incredible execution or a brilliant vision - Minecraft, Super Meat Boy, and the like. Contrast this with big-name houses like Blizzard, Bethesda, Bioware, and Rockstar, who deliver consistently well-reviewed and lightning-selling games.


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Irontruth wrote:
This is the Chicago school of economics. The problem is that we're learning new things about human behavior that might prove that school of thought wrong.

Reread my post. I'm not talking about consumer rationality. I'm talking about businesses making rational decisions based on financial return information.

Taldor

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

You folks can use the word studies all you want. It is preposterous that a company as big as Sony or Microsoft have not done their homework. They are not treating people like criminals they are trying to kill the middle man and take his cash. It is understandable if you disagree with this but the companies are betting on the fact most people will get over it.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Radiohead - started releasing their songs for free on the internet, or with limmitted DRM and cheap downloads. They have turned significantly more proffit from them than their other albums, despite lower sales numbers.

Studies have proven that the ease of getting past copy protection does not change the level of illegal copying. Games that have easier/no copy protection have the same number or fewer estimated downloads than those with hard copy protection/DRM when comparing comprable games (genre, sales figures).

And I will point out things like Banner Saga, being made by 3 lead developers from Bioware, being released DRM free. In fact, DRM free is one of the most requested features on indie games, and developers who have done it do it again.

I argue that placing restrictions on consumers that inhibits their fair use of a product you sell them is the unethical behavior, not actively utalizing your rights to fair use.

Shadow Lodge

Scott Betts wrote:


And for every amazing indie title that sells millions of copies, there are hundreds of crappy titles that no one plays because of how terrible they are.

Agreed. What you don't seem to realize is this is true for the titles from the big names in the business as well.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kthulhu wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:


And for every amazing indie title that sells millions of copies, there are hundreds of crappy titles that no one plays because of how terrible they are.
Agreed. What you don't seem to realize is this is true for the titles from the big names in the business as well.

I would bet that indie titles have a better chance of being break out hits in the current game climate than established companies not known for AAA titles.

Cheliax Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

Caineach wrote:
I would bet that indie titles have a better chance of being break out hits in the current game climate than established companies not known for AAA titles.

What does that even mean? I don't know what a "break out hit" is. By what metric? Are you saying that the average indie title has a better chance of being a break out hit than a AAA title? Unless "break out hit" means "unexpected success from a small company", I have no idea how that statement could be true. And, if that's your definition, it automatically excludes AAA titles because they are not produced by a small company. But, even if the definition is based on net revenues or gross sales or something else which can be compared with AAA titles on an apples to apples basis, this can't possibly be true. Do you have any data to back up this assertion? I'm struggling to think of an indie game which became a blockbuster of the caliber of, say, Skyrim, or Gears of War or Call of Duty or any of the other massive blockbuster AAA titles. Sure, you'll see an occasional Minecraft in the mix, and the lower cost structure for such a game will certainly make it more profitable than a AAA title, but by and large, the top game lists are dominated by AAA titles.

It's the same as any other field, including in movies and in investing in companies. Sure, there are indie movies that occassionally break through the hollywood machine and rake in the cash (Blair With, Big Fat Greek Wedding, etc) and there are some small companies that hit big bank fairly quickly (Zynga, Facebook, etc), but to say that the average indie movie or small company has a better chance of massive success than a hollywood studio or Apple is plain wrong. If that were the case, you'd see a market structured around identifying and financing the small players rather than dumping dollars in the big guys. Don't get me wrong, there are players in those spaces, but they are operating under the hopes that one of the smaller movies/companies will hit a huge homerun (which are so difficult to replicate that the next step is usually to sell the business or move the talent to a bigger player), not that the average small movie/company will do better than the average large movie/company.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Sebastian wrote:
Caineach wrote:
I would bet that indie titles have a better chance of being break out hits in the current game climate than established companies not known for AAA titles.

What does that even mean? I don't know what a "break out hit" is. By what metric? Are you saying that the average indie title has a better chance of being a break out hit than a AAA title? Unless "break out hit" means "unexpected success from a small company", I have no idea how that statement could be true. And, if that's your definition, it automatically excludes AAA titles because they are not produced by a small company. But, even if the definition is based on net revenues or gross sales or something else which can be compared with AAA titles on an apples to apples basis, this can't possibly be true. Do you have any data to back up this assertion? I'm struggling to think of an indie game which became a blockbuster of the caliber of, say, Skyrim, or Gears of War or Call of Duty or any of the other massive blockbuster AAA titles. Sure, you'll see an occasional Minecraft in the mix, and the lower cost structure for such a game will certainly make it more profitable than a AAA title, but by and large, the top game lists are dominated by AAA titles.

It's the same as any other field, including in movies and in investing in companies. Sure, there are indie movies that occassionally break through the hollywood machine and rake in the cash (Blair With, Big Fat Greek Wedding, etc) and there are some small companies that hit big bank fairly quickly (Zynga, Facebook, etc), but to say that the average indie movie or small company has a better chance of massive success than a hollywood studio or Apple is plain wrong. If that were the case, you'd see a market structured around identifying and financing the small players rather than dumping dollars in the big guys. Don't get me wrong, there are players in those spaces, but they are operating under the hopes that one of the smaller movies/companies will hit a huge homerun...

No, I am saying I think Indie titles have a better chance of being a hit and selling millions of coppies than small companies that consistently produce a few games each year. I say this because of the current marketing structure at stores like Steam, where indie games have their own section and it is in the seller's interest to market them.

Cheliax Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

Caineach wrote:
No, I am saying I think Indie titles have a better chance of being a hit and selling millions of coppies than small companies that consistently produce a few games each year. I say this because of the current marketing structure at stores like Steam, where indie games have their own section and it is in the seller's interest to market them.

Duh. I missed the critical "not" in your original post. Never mind.


Scott Betts wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
This is the Chicago school of economics. The problem is that we're learning new things about human behavior that might prove that school of thought wrong.
Reread my post. I'm not talking about consumer rationality. I'm talking about businesses making rational decisions based on financial return information.

And that's the Chicago school of economics.

Quote:
Chicago macroeconomic theory rejected Keynesianism in favor of monetarism until the mid-1970s, when it turned to new classical macroeconomics heavily based on the concept of rational expectations. Chicago economists applied rational expectations to other areas in economics like finance, which produced the influential efficient market hypothesis.

Rational expectations is the assumption that all actors in economics will on average use all available information to make the correct decision (emphasis on 'on average').

I would recommend watching this episode of Nova. There are a lot of experiments of how people do not behave rationally with their money. Businesses are run by people, if people are irrational, then businesses will also be irrational.


Kthulhu wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:


And for every amazing indie title that sells millions of copies, there are hundreds of crappy titles that no one plays because of how terrible they are.
Agreed. What you don't seem to realize is this is true for the titles from the big names in the business as well.

No, it isn't.

Go out there, and make a list of all the indie/small-house games made in the last year. ALL OF THEM. Once you've done that, make a list of every AAA title (determined by size of development budget, not review scores) that's come out in the last year. Compare the average sales figures and Metacritic aggregate scores of each group.


Irontruth wrote:
Businesses are run by people, if people are irrational, then businesses will also be irrational.

What an absurdly reductionist position to take.

The fact of the matter is that businesses in a capitalistic free market succeed or die based on their business acumen, and that acumen is a direct function of their ability to make rational, well-considered decisions. Consumers make non-rational decisions all the time, and it's no big deal because they don't answer to anyone but themselves. Businesses must make consistently good decisions in order to hold their place at the front of the pack - EA, for instance is very much the front of the pack, and it's because EA has managed to make very good business decisions. It is absurd to believe that they will suddenly stop making rational decisions, or suddenly stop paying attention to their financial figures.


Are you saying that business people are the only people who never act irrationally?

Would you consider the housing bubble to be a rational event? If you do, I have a book you should read. It's extremely well documented and an awesome read if you're into the subject, even if you aren't an expert (which I'm not).

All the Devils Are Here is cowritten by one of the authors of The Smartest Guys in the Room and the other is a business columnist for the NYT and spent 10 years at Fortune as a writer, editor at large and executive editor.

Business people are still people. People are capable of irrational choices. Therefore business people are capable of irrational choices.

There's an experiment. Have people write the last two digits of their SSN on a piece of paper, these numbers are pretty random. Then, take an object and have them bid on it, secretly writing their bid on the piece of paper.

People who had a higher SSN will average higher bids.

They talk about this experiment in the video, if you want to see more.


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Irontruth wrote:
Are you saying that business people are the only people who never act irrationally?

Nope. I'm saying that the dynamics of business help to preserve rational thought in decision-making agents.

Quote:
Would you consider the housing bubble to be a rational event?

The housing bubble and its subsequent collapse is an incredibly complex web of events. Neither of us is equipped to analyze it with anything resembling credibility, so let's not.

Thousands of businesses make consistently rational decisions, and businesses are less likely to have their decisions controlled by the sorts of non-rational motivators that control the decisions of individuals.

Quote:
Business people are still people. People are capable of irrational choices. Therefore business people are capable of irrational choices.

Absolutely. However, as I've pointed out (and as you continue to ignore), businesses operate on a number of different decision-making levels, each of them designed in turn to maximize rational decision-making and minimize irrational decision-making.


Scott Betts wrote:
Absolutely. However, as I've pointed out (and as you continue to ignore), businesses operate on a number of different decision-making levels, each of them designed in turn to maximize rational decision-making and minimize irrational decision-making.

I'm not disagreeing you with that there are certain mechanisms that people try to implement to reduce bad decisions. My point is that bad decisions are still made. They're made on a huge scale, vis-a-vis the housing bubble. That is my point. I'm not saying all decisions are irrational, but there are far more than you want to admit. I'm pointing to academic studies that show that human beings sometimes behave irrationally when it comes to money. So far, all you're responding to me with is "because".

Businesses are also susceptible to groupthink. Groupthink is highly irrational, so just because there are more people "looking over your shoulder" doesn't mean they are going to find your errors. The chances increase, unless your group suffers from groupthink, in which case the chance of someone else catching your bad ideas is essentially null.

Just because businesses tend to make a certain decision does not explicitly mean that is the correct decision. It doesn't mean it's the wrong decision either.

Also, I cannot recommend All the Devils are Here enough. It's incredibly well written, very well researched with lots of first hand accounts. It isn't an opinion piece, it's a piece of journalism that was too long to fit in anything else but a book.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Scott, I would like to point you to The Hunger Games. Obviously, since intelligent nonsexualized female action hero protagonists work so well at the box office they should be everywhere... Oh wait, people have only been telling Hollywood there is an audience there for decades and been ignored.

Buisnesses don't always know what is best for their bottom line, especially when they have inertia behind their decision. In fact, I find it more common for large buisnesses to make bad decisions than good ones.

To look at your example of EA - look at how they botched the latest Mass Effect game. They are losing tons of sales because they are trying to use it to launch Origin, which many people find detestable. They rushed it, causing people to remove Bioware from the list of companies to buy games from at launch because they feel betrayed by the ending (DA2 did this too, only not just the ending). EA is successfull because they had the capitol to invest in high proffit licenses early and been able to produce consistent games in the genres, and then use those proffits to buy other companies. They became a giant through their sports licenses and a few breakout hits like the Sims. Sports games survive because of trade ins, with last year's titles being the most frequently traded in games for the new title, so unless they plan on reworking their entire buisness model there they have a huge risk with a flagship product.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Caineach wrote:

Scott, I find your ethical arguement does not hold water.

The creators were compensated for the game on first sale. The person they sold it to could have done anything he wanted with it. He could have loaned it to people, and would you argue that loaning a game to a friend is unethical? Those friends are not paying the original creator for the right to that game, but I doubt you will find anyone who will ever agree with you that playing a loaned game it is unethical. Or a sibling/spouse/child/roommate could have played the game too. Should they charge more if you plan on having 2 different people playing the game instead of 1? How about 10? My copy of Zelda, Occarina of Time was played by at least 15 people, and more enjoyed watching people play. Should I have payed more because all of those extra people played without paying the content creator?

It's one of those grey areas. Compare the same situation to a print novel. You go to a convention where the author of your favorite novel is appearing and you go in the line and get his autograph. Do you think that he's going to be happy to hear that you bought all his books used? That you shared your book with 15 other people who liked it but did not bother buying it? Reverse the position and put yourself in the author/creator's shoes. Would YOU be happy about it?

It's one of those subtle ethical questions that you have to decide at what point is something owed to the creator for further support.


Caineach wrote:
Scott, I would like to point you to The Hunger Games. Obviously, since intelligent nonsexualized female action hero protagonists work so well at the box office they should be everywhere... Oh wait, people have only been telling Hollywood there is an audience there for decades and been ignored.

As a huge fan of The Hunger Games myself, its success in Hollywood was only made possible by the truly gigantic following it had from its book publishing. The Hunger Games succeeded because it had tons of fans, and those fans went to see it and formed a critical mass of positive word of mouth, which, combined with a movie of generally high quality, has given The Hunger Games a significant post-debut tail in addition to an astonishingly huge opening weekend.

It's interesting to note, however, that almost no one in the industry was reluctant to produce The Hunger Games because of its female protagonist. Rather, many studios passed on it because they felt there was too much risk in producing a movie that was fairly centrally about kids killing other kids.

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Buisnesses don't always know what is best for their bottom line, especially when they have inertia behind their decision. In fact, I find it more common for large buisnesses to make bad decisions than good ones.

If that were true, large businesses wouldn't stay large for long. See, with individuals, you can make as many bad decisions as you want, and at the end of the day you'll still be a person (as long as you don't accidentally get killed). Make enough bad decisions as a business, and you'll no longer be a business.

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To look at your example of EA - look at how they botched the latest Mass Effect game.

You and I have very different definitions of "botched". I don't see millions upon millions of sales combined with scores of perfect reviews as a botch. Maybe you do, but that's sort of weird.

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They are losing tons of sales because they are trying to use it to launch Origin, which many people find detestable.

Origin's already launched. It's been launched for months. Battlefield 3 was its big hello to the world, and Star Wars: The Old Republic is on there too.

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They rushed it, causing people to remove Bioware from the list of companies to buy games from at launch because they feel betrayed by the ending (DA2 did this too, only not just the ending). EA is successfull because they had the capitol to invest in high proffit licenses early and been able to produce consistent games in the genres, and then use those proffits to buy other companies.

"High-profit licenses"? EA is responsible for both Mass Effect and Dragon Age almost in their entirety. They've been involved since the first game of each series. These aren't licensed IPs that they've thrown their lot in with. These are wholly-owned properties that they've shepherded for years. EA publishes good games, because they're a smart business.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Scott Betts wrote:
Caineach wrote:
Scott, I would like to point you to The Hunger Games. Obviously, since intelligent nonsexualized female action hero protagonists work so well at the box office they should be everywhere... Oh wait, people have only been telling Hollywood there is an audience there for decades and been ignored.

As a huge fan of The Hunger Games myself, its success in Hollywood was only made possible by the truly gigantic following it had from its book publishing. The Hunger Games succeeded because it had tons of fans, and those fans went to see it and formed a critical mass of positive word of mouth, which, combined with a movie of generally high quality, has given The Hunger Games a significant post-debut tail in addition to an astonishingly huge opening weekend.

It's interesting to note, however, that almost no one in the industry was reluctant to produce The Hunger Games because of its female protagonist. Rather, many studios passed on it because they felt there was too much risk in producing a movie that was fairly centrally about kids killing other kids.

Tha may be what Hollywood is saying, but name annother strong female lead in an action movie that female audiences actually sympathise with. Hollywood avoids them like the plague because they think they will turn off the male demographic.

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Buisnesses don't always know what is best for their bottom line, especially when they have inertia behind their decision. In fact, I find it more common for large buisnesses to make bad decisions than good ones.
If that were true, large businesses wouldn't stay large for long. See, with individuals, you can make as many bad decisions as you want, and at the end of the day you'll still be a person (as long as you don't accidentally get killed). Make enough bad decisions as a business, and you'll no longer be a business.

You have obviously never worked for a large corporation. The only reason they stay afloat is because they have critical mass giving them massive market share. Its my life, and the reason I have so much time to spend on these boards.

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To look at your example of EA - look at how they botched the latest Mass Effect game.

You and I have very different definitions of "botched". I don't see millions upon millions of sales combined with scores of perfect reviews as a botch. Maybe you do, but that's sort of weird.

Every review I have seen has attacked the game for its terrible ending, and there are pettitions and protests to have them redo it. EA shortened the timetables on the game, and it shows.

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They are losing tons of sales because they are trying to use it to launch Origin, which many

Origin's already launched. It's been launched for months. Battlefield 3 was its big hello to the world, and Star Wars: The Old Republic is on there too.

Yes, Origin already existed. Most people didn't use it. ME3 was a huge boost to Origin's user numbers, and my argument is that if they did not require the terrible bloatware they would have more sales. Most of those users will never use Origin for annother product.

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They rushed it, causing people to remove Bioware from the list of companies to buy games from at launch because they feel betrayed by the ending (DA2 did this too, only not just the ending). EA is successfull because they had the capitol to invest in high proffit licenses early and been able to produce consistent games in the genres, and then use those proffits to buy other companies.
"High-profit licenses"? EA is responsible for both Mass Effect and Dragon Age almost in their entirety. They've been involved since the first game of each series. These aren't licensed IPs that they've thrown their lot in with. These are wholly-owned properties that they've shepherded for years. EA publishes good games, because they're a smart business.

EA bought Bioware because they had invested in high proffit licenses, giving them the capitol to buy an already successful buisness. It does not mean they are responcible for the content that already successful buisness then produces. They just told the group that they weren't being licensed already existing IP anymore, like the Starwars and D&D ones Bioware grew from.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
LazarX wrote:
Caineach wrote:

Scott, I find your ethical arguement does not hold water.

The creators were compensated for the game on first sale. The person they sold it to could have done anything he wanted with it. He could have loaned it to people, and would you argue that loaning a game to a friend is unethical? Those friends are not paying the original creator for the right to that game, but I doubt you will find anyone who will ever agree with you that playing a loaned game it is unethical. Or a sibling/spouse/child/roommate could have played the game too. Should they charge more if you plan on having 2 different people playing the game instead of 1? How about 10? My copy of Zelda, Occarina of Time was played by at least 15 people, and more enjoyed watching people play. Should I have payed more because all of those extra people played without paying the content creator?

It's one of those grey areas. Compare the same situation to a print novel. You go to a convention where the author of your favorite novel is appearing and you go in the line and get his autograph. Do you think that he's going to be happy to hear that you bought all his books used? That you shared your book with 15 other people who liked it but did not bother buying it? Reverse the position and put yourself in the author/creator's shoes. Would YOU be happy about it?

It's one of those subtle ethical questions that you have to decide at what point is something owed to the creator for further support.

Yes.

You see, used sales still drive the value of a product up, and loaning material is free advertisements for future products. See the Niel Gaiman video posted upthread for an actual author promoting sharing books because it increases his sales.


Scott Betts wrote:
If that were true, large businesses wouldn't stay large for long. See, with individuals, you can make as many bad decisions as you want, and at the end of the day you'll still be a person (as long as you don't accidentally get killed). Make enough bad decisions as a business, and you'll no longer be a business.

Do you have proof of this?

Like a study that shows X decisions costing a business Y% of it's business makes them all fail? Or some sort of actual evidence, or is this an answer that you feel is true, because it makes sense? It sounds logical and true, but I haven't seen anyone actually produce any evidence of this. To me it sounds like an Appeal to Authority, which is a logical fallacy.


An interesting article on the subject:

http://uk.gamespot.com/features/why-always-online-isnt-consumer-friendly-63 70099/?tag=Topslot;WhyAlwaysonlineIsn039tConsumerfriendly;WhyAlwaysonlineIs n03


I like how that article referenced this article. Where a developer says they did a dual PC release of their game. The original version, with DRM, and a GOG version, with no DRM. The version that was pirated more was the version with DRM and the first cracked copies showed up within 2 hours of release.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
DeathQuaker wrote:

An interesting article on the subject:

http://uk.gamespot.com/features/why-always-online-isnt-consumer-friendly-63 70099/?tag=Topslot;WhyAlwaysonlineIsn039tConsumerfriendly;WhyAlwaysonlineIs n03

A good article

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Caineach wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Caineach wrote:

Scott, I find your ethical arguement does not hold water.

The creators were compensated for the game on first sale. The person they sold it to could have done anything he wanted with it. He could have loaned it to people, and would you argue that loaning a game to a friend is unethical? Those friends are not paying the original creator for the right to that game, but I doubt you will find anyone who will ever agree with you that playing a loaned game it is unethical. Or a sibling/spouse/child/roommate could have played the game too. Should they charge more if you plan on having 2 different people playing the game instead of 1? How about 10? My copy of Zelda, Occarina of Time was played by at least 15 people, and more enjoyed watching people play. Should I have payed more because all of those extra people played without paying the content creator?

It's one of those grey areas. Compare the same situation to a print novel. You go to a convention where the author of your favorite novel is appearing and you go in the line and get his autograph. Do you think that he's going to be happy to hear that you bought all his books used? That you shared your book with 15 other people who liked it but did not bother buying it? Reverse the position and put yourself in the author/creator's shoes. Would YOU be happy about it?

It's one of those subtle ethical questions that you have to decide at what point is something owed to the creator for further support.

Yes.

You see, used sales still drive the value of a product up, and loaning material is free advertisements for future products. See the Niel Gaiman video posted upthread for an actual author promoting sharing books because it increases his sales.

I'm not sure how you're reaching that conclusion when none of your 15 friends buy the product.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
LazarX wrote:
Caineach wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Caineach wrote:

Scott, I find your ethical arguement does not hold water.

The creators were compensated for the game on first sale. The person they sold it to could have done anything he wanted with it. He could have loaned it to people, and would you argue that loaning a game to a friend is unethical? Those friends are not paying the original creator for the right to that game, but I doubt you will find anyone who will ever agree with you that playing a loaned game it is unethical. Or a sibling/spouse/child/roommate could have played the game too. Should they charge more if you plan on having 2 different people playing the game instead of 1? How about 10? My copy of Zelda, Occarina of Time was played by at least 15 people, and more enjoyed watching people play. Should I have payed more because all of those extra people played without paying the content creator?

It's one of those grey areas. Compare the same situation to a print novel. You go to a convention where the author of your favorite novel is appearing and you go in the line and get his autograph. Do you think that he's going to be happy to hear that you bought all his books used? That you shared your book with 15 other people who liked it but did not bother buying it? Reverse the position and put yourself in the author/creator's shoes. Would YOU be happy about it?

It's one of those subtle ethical questions that you have to decide at what point is something owed to the creator for further support.

Yes.

You see, used sales still drive the value of a product up, and loaning material is free advertisements for future products. See the Niel Gaiman video posted upthread for an actual author promoting sharing books because it increases his sales.

I'm not sure how you're reaching that conclusion when none of your 15 friends buy the product.

1. Just because I loaned it to my friends does not mean they did not buy the product. I own 2 coppies of Game of Thrones, but never read either. I read my friends copy. I own American Gods, but I read a roomate's copy in college. I have bought every one of Niel Gaiman's books because my friend loaned me American Gods and I was able to get Sandman from my SF club's library. I wasn't the only one to buy Anansi Boys because of my 1 friend's loaning of American God's.

For video games: I bought a copy of Chrono Trigger despite having full completed it on my friends loaned copy. My friend loaning me Mario Kart convinced me that I needed to go out and buy it. I mentioned upthread that 15 people played my copy of Occarina of Time, and I know that at least 5 of them bought it when it was rereleased, and at least 2 bought other Zeldas solely because of it.

Most of my friend's buying habits are extremely similar to mine. Just because I read a book that was loaned does not mean I wont want to buy my own copy. Reading a book that I like is advertisement for an author, and in the book market most people stick to authors they are familiar with. So by someone loaning a book, they just introduced a new person into my potential target audience that I can now receptively advertise to that probably would have ignored my advertisements before.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

LazarX wrote:
Caineach wrote:

Yes.

You see, used sales still drive the value of a product up, and loaning material is free advertisements for future products. See the Niel Gaiman video posted upthread for an actual author promoting sharing books because it increases his sales.

I'm not sure how you're reaching that conclusion when none of your 15 friends buy the product.

They didn't buy that product, but they're more likely to buy future products.

This has been my real world experience as well. Most of the books I buy (whether for myself or as gifts for other people) are from authors I was introduced to through loaned or otherwise free books.


In this thread, we learn that libaries are anti-capitalistic bastions of moral depravity.

More seriously, pretty much every single author who's books I have purchased (and I do own about 6 bookshelves full) I first read a copy lent to me by a friend or from the public library. Off-hand, I can't think of a single book I own that I did not read first at a library or a loaner copy, or because I had read another book by the same author that I borrowed from a library or a friend.

Regarding video games, pretty much every game I own, I purchased because I tried it out at a friend's house, played a loaner copy, or I'd played a game from the same authors/developers. I've purchased a few based on recommendations from people who have similar tastes to me, but they aren't the majority by any means. I've also turned around and recommended a number of those titles/games by developers I've liked to my friends.


Caineach wrote:
Tha may be what Hollywood is saying, but name annother strong female lead in an action movie that female audiences actually sympathise with. Hollywood avoids them like the plague because they think they will turn off the male demographic.

Okay, first, "Hollywood" is not an individual. Hollywood is an abstract we use to describe a massive industry filled with competing businesses each eager to one-up the other. "Hollywood" isn't saying anything. This is based on reports from various studios and the guys who shopped the script on how many studios reacted to them.

Second, Kill Bill? Terminator 2? Aliens? Those are just off the top of my head, and those are non-sexualized - certainly by action movie standards. Bear in mind that male leads in action movies are often sexualized as well, so while there are certainly more male action leads than female, I don't think the disparity is as stark as you want to believe. Action films with strong, identifiable female leads have been made. They're not safe bets (as though making a movie normally is), but they're not the cinematic equivalent of poison ivy, either.

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You have obviously never worked for a large corporation. The only reason they stay afloat is because they have critical mass giving them massive market share. Its my life, and the reason I have so much time to spend on these boards.

Is that really the sort of statement you're comfortable making about some guy on the internet?

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Every review I have seen has attacked the game for its terrible ending, and there are pettitions and protests to have them redo it. EA shortened the timetables on the game, and it shows.

And yet the reviews and sales remain stellar. Many other large studios would trade body parts to "botch" that well.

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Yes, Origin already existed. Most people didn't use it. ME3 was a huge boost to Origin's user numbers,

Most people still don't use it - more than 5 billion of them, in fact! Then again, most people don't use Steam, either. Or play AAA titles on their computers.

Battlefield 3 requires Origin, and it's shipped well over 10 million copies. ME3 might have been a boost, but it probably wasn't huge compared to its current base.

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and my argument is that if they did not require the terrible bloatware they would have more sales. Most of those users will never use Origin for annother product.

That's pretty wild speculation based on what I have to imagine is zero evidence. In fact, I'm almost certain you will be proven wrong.

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EA bought Bioware because they had invested in high proffit licenses, giving them the capitol to buy an already successful buisness. It does not mean they are responcible for the content that already successful buisness then produces. They just told the group that they weren't being licensed already existing IP anymore, like the Starwars and D&D ones Bioware grew from.

You do know that Bioware is responsible for Star Wars: The Old Republic, right?

Regardless, publishers are responsible for the content that their affiliated development houses produce, in the same way that a supervisor is responsible for the work his direct reports put out. It's silly to argue otherwise.

I mean, really, you can take one of two positions:

a) Publishers are responsible for the quality of the content that their dev houses produce - in which case they deserve both some amount of praise for its successes, and some amount of blame for its failures.

b) Publishers are not responsible for the quality of the content that their dev houses produce - in which case they deserve neither praise nor blame for the games they publish.

Ignoring for the moment that position a) is the only reasonable one, even if you were to take position b), it would effectively mean that you can't blame EA for anything having to do with games like Dragon Age 2 and Mass Effect 3 - that would all be solely the responsibility of Bioware, with EA having zero influence! Does that sound like how you've found yourself thinking? I'd wager not.


Caineach wrote:
You see, used sales still drive the value of a product up, and loaning material is free advertisements for future products. See the Niel Gaiman video posted upthread for an actual author promoting sharing books because it increases his sales.

This really just comes across as, "I'm sure this thing that these businesses hate is actually good for them, and I know this because I'm a typical consumer and they're dumb because they only do this for a living!" The fact that you're trying to justify your position with, "Trust me, it's what's best for you!" only reinforces my point that this is an ethical snag that a lot of people don't want to be forced to confront.


Caedwyr wrote:
In this thread, we learn that libaries are anti-capitalistic bastions of moral depravity.

I think you mean, "In a thread I only pretended to read..."

Unless I missed something, no one has attacked libraries in this thread.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

Scott Betts wrote:
Caineach wrote:
You see, used sales still drive the value of a product up, and loaning material is free advertisements for future products. See the Niel Gaiman video posted upthread for an actual author promoting sharing books because it increases his sales.
This really just comes across as, "I'm sure this thing that these businesses hate is actually good for them, and I know this because I'm a typical consumer and they're dumb because they only do this for a living!" The fact that you're trying to justify your position with, "Trust me, it's what's best for you!" only reinforces my point that this is an ethical snag that a lot of people don't want to be forced to confront.

And your response really just comes across as throwing words into his mouth for you to disagree with. He quoted an actual working (and successful) author to support his position. Now, maybe Neil Gaiman is an outlier, and maybe most authors and publishers do hate people lending books to each other, but I'd expect you to show some support for that claim, otherwise you're doing exactly what you accuse him of doing.

And, perhaps you're right, maybe we are avoiding discussing the ethical snags involved in loaning books. Book-lending has a lot of cultural momentum--it's been going on for centuries. Maybe it's time we reexamine the issue. So, Scot, what do you think. Is it OK to loan books? Is borrowing a book from a library or a friend unethical? Why, or why not? What do you make of Neil Gaiman's claim that book-lending expands his fanbase and improves his sales figures?

Scott Betts wrote:
Caedwyr wrote:
In this thread, we learn that libaries are anti-capitalistic bastions of moral depravity.

I think you mean, "In a thread I only pretended to read..."

Unless I missed something, no one has attacked libraries in this thread.

Not directly, but people (such as yourself) have claimed that reading a book without paying the author for the content (such as by checking it out from a library) presents an "ethical snag". I think it's a big jump to go from "ethical snag" to "anticapitalistic and immoral", but I think Caedwyr knows that, and was employing some hyperbole for emphasis (but I could be wrong. Caedwyr?).


The more seriously part in the following paragraph was used to show that the preceding sentence was a joke using hyperbole to highlight the logical extreme conclusion of some of the arguments made in this thread [ethical snags related to lending an item]. I'm surprised that the first paragraph appears to have been taken at face value, since I was attempting to be fairly clear that the initial sentence was mostly a joke.

So yes, a joke, but one with a point as well.

In the future I will be sure to precede any use of humor or hyperbole with large WARNING JOKE or WARNING HYPERBOLE text to ensure there is no confusion.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Scott Betts wrote:
Caineach wrote:
You see, used sales still drive the value of a product up, and loaning material is free advertisements for future products. See the Niel Gaiman video posted upthread for an actual author promoting sharing books because it increases his sales.
This really just comes across as, "I'm sure this thing that these businesses hate is actually good for them, and I know this because I'm a typical consumer and they're dumb because they only do this for a living!" The fact that you're trying to justify your position with, "Trust me, it's what's best for you!" only reinforces my point that this is an ethical snag that a lot of people don't want to be forced to confront.

So actual author's commentaries based off of their experiences in the industry as well as multiple studies posted upthread that verify the assertions I make based off of my personal evidence don't count?

The movie industry protested and tried to sue VCRs out of existence. The music industry has admitted that strong DRM significantly reduced sales and reduced copy protections they initially had in place from iTunes. No, I don't trust they know what is best for them, and do trust the people not making up ficticious numbers about lost proffits and coming out with actual proof.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Scott Betts wrote:
Caedwyr wrote:
In this thread, we learn that libaries are anti-capitalistic bastions of moral depravity.

I think you mean, "In a thread I only pretended to read..."

Unless I missed something, no one has attacked libraries in this thread.

Actually, he makes a very good point.

My local library has video games, movies, and music. They buy the same product that I do. They can loan out the product as much as they want. You are making the argument that that is unethical.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Scott Betts wrote:
Caineach wrote:
Tha may be what Hollywood is saying, but name annother strong female lead in an action movie that female audiences actually sympathise with. Hollywood avoids them like the plague because they think they will turn off the male demographic.

Okay, first, "Hollywood" is not an individual. Hollywood is an abstract we use to describe a massive industry filled with competing businesses each eager to one-up the other. "Hollywood" isn't saying anything. This is based on reports from various studios and the guys who shopped the script on how many studios reacted to them.

Second, Kill Bill? Terminator 2? Aliens? Those are just off the top of my head, and those are non-sexualized - certainly by action movie standards. Bear in mind that male leads in action movies are often sexualized as well, so while there are certainly more male action leads than female, I don't think the disparity is as stark as you want to believe. Action films with strong, identifiable female leads have been made. They're not safe bets (as though making a movie normally is), but they're not the cinematic equivalent of poison ivy, either.

You take 1 of the most intentionally over the top sexualized fem fatales (Kill Bill) I can think of and 1 character who is cliche, unsympathetic, damsel in distress (Terminator 2) and claim they are empowering images of women? Riddley I will give you, but Sarah Connor is in no way a strong female role.
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You have obviously never worked for a large corporation. The only reason they stay afloat is because they have critical mass giving them massive market share. Its my life, and the reason I have so much time to spend on these boards.

Is that really the sort of statement you're comfortable making about some guy on the internet?

The point, yes, but the personal comment no. In fact, from your other posts I pretty much know it is wrong. But my point I stand by. Many large corporations stick arround because they have crittical mass and can survive in death throes for decades.

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Yes, Origin already existed. Most people didn't use it. ME3 was a huge boost to Origin's user numbers,
Most people still don't use it - more than 5 billion of them, in fact! Then again, most people don't use Steam, either. Or play AAA titles on their computers.

Battlefield 3 requires Origin, and it's shipped well over 10 million copies. ME3 might have been a boost, but it probably wasn't huge compared to its current base

Since we can't get access to user data, we will just need to agree to disagree here.I would be willing to bet that a significant number of the couple million people who have bought ME3 needed to set up an Origin acount.

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and my argument is that if they did not require the terrible bloatware they would have more sales. Most of those users will never use Origin for annother product.
That's pretty wild speculation based on what I have to imagine is zero evidence. In fact, I'm almost certain you will be proven wrong.

Considering I know at least 5 people who have not purchased the game because of Origin and are waiting for EA to back down or are playing other people's copies, and barriers of entry have proven to decrease sales, yes I suspect a significant number of sales were lost. Personally I am not going to buy any Bioware games anymore so long as they are only available on Origin.

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EA bought Bioware because they had invested in high proffit licenses, giving them the capitol to buy an already successful buisness. It does not mean they are responcible for the content that already successful buisness then produces. They just told the group that they weren't being licensed already existing IP anymore, like the Starwars and D&D ones Bioware grew from.
You do know that Bioware is responsible for Star Wars: The Old Republic, right?

Regardless, publishers are responsible for the content that their affiliated development houses produce, in the same way that a supervisor is responsible for the work his direct reports put out. It's silly to argue otherwise.

I mean, really, you can take one of two positions:

a) Publishers are responsible for the quality of the content that their dev houses produce - in which case they deserve both some amount of praise for its successes, and some amount of blame for its failures.

b) Publishers are not responsible for the quality of the content that their dev houses produce - in which case they deserve neither praise nor blame for the games they publish.

Ignoring for the moment that position a) is the only reasonable one, even if you were to take position b), it would effectively mean that you can't blame EA for anything having to do with games like Dragon Age 2 and Mass Effect 3 - that would all be solely the responsibility of Bioware, with EA having zero influence! Does that sound like how you've found yourself thinking? I'd wager not.

Yes, I agree with A. They also get credit for things like changing the release dates and moving them in (ME3 was originally expected later), truncating production cycles and reducing the appeal of games that would have been greater. Or transfering team members to other projects so they can't finish on time (poor poor Xenogears. I wish FF7 was never born.) There is a reason groups that could get funding traditionally are moving to kickstarter.

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