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RPGCast - Episode 216: "No Class Kickstart"

sabin1001sabin1001 Man vs. Slime, the fourth type of conflictMadison, WIAdministrators
edited April 2012 in Latest Updates
RPGCast - Episode 216: "No Class Kickstart"

Mists are born, locks are grimmed, and blades are unchained on this week's RPG Cast. We also review the latest reports and break down the tuition to get into the new Class of Heroes.

You can find the links to all our stories on delicious: http://delicious.com/rpgamer/216

RPGCast streams live, sometimes on Friday at 10 PM Eastern / 7 PM Pacific, usually on Saturday at Noon Eastern / 9 AM Pacific.

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Comments

  • DravDrav A Serious Man Full Members
    edited April 2012
    I think it might be time to make Wizardry an honorary JRPG. Japan has owned the license for 10 years, and it resembles modern JRPGs far more than it does modern WRPGs. Do people also consider games like Nocturne and Strange Journey to be WRPGs? Serious, non-rhetorical question.
  • LegendaryZoltanLegendaryZoltan Releaser of Heavy Metal Full Members
    edited April 2012
    I have the EXACT same opinion of Brutal Legend as you guys. The demo made it look some much cooler than the game as a whole actually was. I REALLY wanted to love it because I love Jack Black and I, too, am a heavy metal musician. Aside from that, I have a MAJOR bone to pick with that game. I was trying to platinum that game, as I try to do every game. After you beat the game and save, the next time you load the file it will do one of those classic endless loading screen glitches on you. The internet said that you can bypass the glitch by getting the progress percentage of your game past a certain number before you power it down. So, I played through the entire game AGAIN and got it up to 99% before beating the final boss and saving. Guess what happened the next time I loaded the game. GLITCHED! The official statement from Double Fine was basically, "we're not gonna fix it." I hope so badly that it's because they CAN'T figure out how to fix it and not that they just won't. I gave the game away to someone after that. I wasn't about to keep a game like that in my house.
  • MasterChiefMasterChief I didn't learn anything! Full Members
    edited April 2012
    The issue with Victor Ireland coming to fans with his hands out isn't the game, or the way the kickstarter is written, or anything else... It's that it's Victor Ireland. This is a man who burned bridges with every publisher he ever worked with, who tried to pin the blame on Sony when Working Designs fell, who prevented XSEED from being able to use the original Lunar voice actors for Silver Star Harmony, who railed against Jennifer Stigile and XSEED over the changes in their translation (including the songs), who argues like a petulant child on forums when someone dares say that XSEED did an OK job... And now that bastard has the nerve to ask people for donations?

    **** off, Vic. You had your chance, and you blew it.

    As for the Orbis rumors, it's not going to force people to register online. For one, there are too many people who don't have reliable broadband, or broadband at all. Most people in high-traffic urban areas think that everyone is in the same situation, but the reality is that our broadband penetration is worse than Romania, and it continues to slip between monopolistic ISPs and the realities of America's geography.

    Secondly, there's the issue of trust and ease of use. The only reason people buy consoles is because they're easy to use. You plug them in and they go. You start putting more and more parts into it, and the people who still give a crap about games and people who ARE privileged enough to have super internet are going to look at the PC. If they're both as complicated, why not go to the platform with better performance and easier piracy? As for trust, let's not forget that Sony had a month-long network outage last year. People were angry when they couldn't play Bionic Commando Rearmed 2 or Final Fight Double Impact for an entire month. You think they're going to stand by and just be OK when they can't use their system at all?

    Lastly, we have history. If this was going to be Sony's MO, why wouldn't they do it with the Vita, which only came last year? The PSP Go was Sony's market experiment with digital only, and the Vita would have been a fine test bed for mandatory online connections.

    So yeah, Kotaku's just being Kotaku, again.

    And yeah, Chris, the only people who need a new console are graphics whores and the media. Most gamers are fine.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    "What the f--- is a Shakespeare?"
    -Rico Valasquez, showing off why no one likes him.
  • JCServantJCServant Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited April 2012
    I know we don't know for a fact that the PS4 will not allowed used games...but its obviously within the realm of the possible if we're so eager to talk about it.

    I agree a lot with Manny. Sometimes I think we are long lost brothers. I just finished Bioshock 2 as well!! I pretty much agree with teh assessment. I am glad I played through it (though I haven't done that den thing.... I don't feel like struggling with Windows Marketplace to get it. It's evil!) And, like him, I tend to wait for games to buy them at a lower price. What can I say? The game industry has trianed me well :)

    Anyway, I don't have a console to deal with all this copy-protection, account binding stuff. If they force everything to an online pass or account, and manage to eliminate the used game market, prices for people like me who wait will be much higher. Don't believe me? Check out the prices for PSN only games. They go down very, very slowly.

    Conversely, Steam constantly has significant sales on the latest games. Also, I just trust Steam a lot more (don't ask me why). One reason is that I'm not tied to their hardware like I am a PS. Another reason I just prefer Windows games to PS is that they will work on my laptops for years to come, because Windows stays BC for the most part (I play games 10-14 years old in Win 7...anything Win 98 and before is pushing it...though DOS works fine with DosBox). And, today, it's SUPER easy to hook my gaming laptop up to my TV via HDMI, play using an xbox controller, and enjoy better graphics and such.

    As far as Chris' concern about missing JRPGs... Well, my observation has been that there haven't been as many of those coming out on the consoles lately (especially compared to the past). In fact, I would say I've bought more JRPGs for my PSP in the last year than I have for my PS3. I'm sure if I don't get a PS4 I may miss out on one here and there (just like I missed out on a few XBox exclusives), but it's not worth owning a console over. (And some of those, like The Last Remnant, even came to the PC later on.)

    I've always had both (Computer and console), so I can have the best of both worlds...but that was only a draw for me as long as the console was so easy to set up and play and it offered me unique experiences. If these rumors pan out to be true, I can scratch the first one off the list. I am also of the opinion that, on the consoles, homogenization of genres (and middle sized developers/publishers being absorbed / disappearing) will drastically reduce the second draw for me.
  • AzilisAzilis Member Full Members
    edited April 2012
    I'm in the same position as Chris on the Disgaea 3 Vita release, but I've pretty much decided to hold off on playing through the rest of the PS3 version (I've only gone through about 1/3 of the story) and just getting the Vita version. Disgaea just feels better to me on the portable systems for some reason. It sounds like the bulk of the extra content is the Raspberyl story mode which I assume is similar to Etna mode from the first Disgaea PSP version: an alternate take on the story from a secondary character's perspective. Well worth it if you enjoy Disgaea's storytelling.

    But wait until you actually know you're going to play it. No reason to have 2 versions of a game you may never get around to playing.
  • MasterChiefMasterChief I didn't learn anything! Full Members
    edited April 2012
    jcservant said:
    Anyway, I don't have a console to deal with all this copy-protection, account binding stuff. If they force everything to an online pass or account, and manage to eliminate the used game market, prices for people like me who wait will be much higher. Don't believe me? Check out the prices for PSN only games. They go down very, very slowly.

    Conversely, Steam constantly has significant sales on the latest games. Also, I just trust Steam a lot more (don't ask me why). One reason is that I'm not tied to their hardware like I am a PS. Another reason I just prefer Windows games to PS is that they will work on my laptops for years to come, because Windows stays BC for the most part (I play games 10-14 years old in Win 7...anything Win 98 and before is pushing it...though DOS works fine with DosBox). And, today, it's SUPER easy to hook my gaming laptop up to my TV via HDMI, play using an xbox controller, and enjoy better graphics and such.
    Honestly, I actually trust Steam less than Sony, if you can believe it (though I trust neither enough to pay more than $10-$15 for something that can be taken on a whim from me). The problem with Steam is that they've become a monopoly, or are fast on that path. Eventually, the absolute power they enjoy WILL get to Valve's heads. It's happened to every company that has a monopoly for a product of service. This is, of course, assuming publishers don't get tired of their games constantly being devalued by being offered for $5 on Steam (Something EA seems to have had enough of already), splitting the market into publisher-specific portals, which is its own disaster waiting to happen.

    In the end, though, it's so bleedingly obvious that these systems aren't going to require constant connections on boot. That would alienate anyone not in a high-density urban area and/or willing to pay upwards of $60/month for internet. The PC market has already made that transition into niche, there's no way Sony and MS are going to shoot the golden goose.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    "What the f--- is a Shakespeare?"
    -Rico Valasquez, showing off why no one likes him.
  • JCServantJCServant Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited April 2012
    Well, first, I would point out that Steam allows users to play their games w/o the connection. You can install the games from the service, pick offline mode, and it won't ask to login again. I've played games for months on my laptop with that. And, I wouldn't say they're a monopoly. Stardock's Impulse was bought out by EBGames, juggernaut EA has their Origin serivce and Windows has Windows LIVE. Granted, none of them come close to Steam's size, but to say they are on the fast path to being a monopoly is an exaggeration at best (It's like saying WoW is an MMO-opoly! LOL). I don't know about the other implications you mention about the portals and such...but as a consumer, I just know I get good games and good prices (If I wait) :)
  • QuinQuin ne cede malis RPGamer Staff
    edited April 2012
    MasterChief said:
    This is, of course, assuming publishers don't get tired of their games constantly being devalued by being offered for $5 on Steam
    The Steam mini-sales cause such large sales spikes that most publishers don't care.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    befriend (v.): to use mecha-class beam weaponry to inflict grievous bodily harm on a target in the process of proving the validity of your belief system.
  • JCServantJCServant Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited April 2012
    Does anyone know...is it Steam/Valve that dictates when something goes on sale? Or is it a joint decision between them and the publisher?
    In the end, though, it's so bleedingly obvious that these systems aren't going to require constant connections on boot.
    Yeah...but what about just requiring them to "Validate" the game...tying it to the console which effectively gets rid of used game sales? That's something that is distinct possibility IMHO.

    Now, I know that's pretty much what happens with PC games nowadays...so while I don't super like it, I'm used to it. (And, one of the reasons I'm a huge supporter of GoG! I can actually see them growing into more of a competitor with steam. They are now selling indy and small studio games as well as older titles). As a consumer who has used both Sony's and Valve's electronic distribution systems for years (PSN store vs Steam), I can tell you, I hate how stuff almost always costs more on PSN. Furthermore, Sony drops prices very slowly, and their 'sales' are very pale in comparison to what I get on Steam.

    I don't mind buying PC games new (never used anymore because of Steam/Origin/etc) because the prices. you say Steam is a monopoly, but it isn't. EA's Origin runs aggressive sales because of Steam's sales. And because huge companies like MS, EA, etc always trying to position close to Valve's service, Valve HAS to be continue to work hard.

    But, when if I own a PS3, and the model changes to one similar on the computer, I'm screwed...because, when it comes to electronic games, I'm only buying games via PSN. One marketplace. THere's a reason they don't drop those prices too often. Now, we can, for now, still buy games from stores. And the 'used' game market on Ebay, EBGames, etc, does help put pressure on keeping prices down. Get rid of that, and I assure you, console games will go down a lot more slowly...since demand for new copies will obviously go up (Granted, publishers can always raise 'supply,' but they won't do so to the point of causing the ideal price point to drop.)

    I'm all for companies doing whatever they need to in order to be profitable. I'm all about capitalism. But, I'm also a gamer and a consumer...and as such...I don't like what I see as the next 'logical, profitable' step that these guys will probably need to take in order to make share makers happy.
  • EmeraldSuzakuEmeraldSuzaku Member Full Members
    edited April 2012
    For me the big upside to the used market is that it grants an extended--almost indefinite, even--window in which I can acquire a game. Sure, I might need to pay out the butt *cough*Radiant Silvergun*cough* but the option is there. Killing that market and locking gamers into a new market only system means that there will come a time when older games are simply unavailable.

    This is especially true for games that only see limited release. Remember how fast Radiant Historia flew off the shelves? What if that had been the only chance to buy it, with no possibility of getting it after the fact?
  • MasterChiefMasterChief I didn't learn anything! Full Members
    edited April 2012
    Well, first off, I have my doubts as to whether bind on equip via PSN would even work. You're not going to force more casual gamers to connect their consoles, and there are still lots of places where that's not possible, unless they want to put a dialup adapter on the thing.

    Also, killing the used games market, while sounding wonderful to EA and that one miserable hack Dennis Dyack, would in effect kill the specialty game market, and in effect, anyone but the biggest companies for any game past a gigabyte or two. People hate GameStop for making money on used games, but remember that new games' margins are pathetic compared to other items. So you now lose GameStop and a whole slew of independant specialty stores because they can no longer function, and if you think Wal-Mart's going to consistently stock NIS or Atlus games, I'd love a share of the stuff you're smoking. That is, of course, assuming GameStop and the like don't simply tell MS and/or Sony to screw themselves and effectively hand the next generation over to Nintendo. Honestly, the only way this is going to work is if Sony mandates a $10-$20 price scale, and publishers won't stand for that either. There's no magic wand here, short of convincing people not to wait until games are dirt-cheap to buy them on Steam.

    And yeah, I also love GoG to bits, but their anti-DRM policy basically locks them out of major titles until they are effectively out of the market's collective mind. Even the music industry took ages to cave on ditching DRM before finally realizing that it was the only way to make their product more appealing than free.

    There's just too many issues in place for any responsible company to go down the "let's make a massive piece of hardware for a niche" path that the PC industry already has locked down anyway.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    "What the f--- is a Shakespeare?"
    -Rico Valasquez, showing off why no one likes him.
  • OcelotOcelot is not declawed RPGamer Staff
    edited April 2012
    Yeah, Steam doesn't make unilateral sale decisions, the sales are done with the permission/co-operation of the publisher. And indeed, Steam sales have repeatedly proven to be great money-makers for game publishers. It's not like brand new AAA titles go up on Steam for $5, the big sales happen later in a game's life when the publisher is seeing low sales volume for the title. They in effect greatly lengthen the game's sales tail, giving the game attention and sales revenue it would not otherwise have received. (in fact, the sales bump goes on after the actual sale, garnering extra full-price sales.)

    I also seriously doubt that either the NextBox or the PS4 will actually block used game sales. I think the big publishers are currently engaged in an elaborate game of chicken with GameStop, seeing if they can get the company to back off a bit on its aggressive promotion of used game sales while at the same time knowing that currently the console market is highly dependent on GameStop in North America. They may be experimenting with anti used game technology, word of which has gotten out via leakers, but that doesn't mean it'll make it into the final product. To do so in the current environment would be a sales disaster. Sony can't afford to take that risk, and I doubt Microsoft wants to, especially since Microsoft isn't exactly flush with first-party game offerings these days.

    Also also, JCS is an accountant and a smart man, and I think he's on the spot with his comments here. :)
    Becky Cunningham, Staff-at-Large
    Twitter: BeckyCFreelance
  • JCServantJCServant Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited April 2012
    MC - I would point out that we already have an anti - used game market effectively in place for the PC...and it doesn't require a huge broadband connection at all. As you probably know... you can buy a PC game on disc in the store, install it from the disk, and then validate the code that the game came with to your Steamworks account. The bandwidth used is very minimal. I don't know of anyone on dial up anymore. I do have plenty of relatives outside of metro areas. They all use cell phone hotspots or satellite internet hook ups. I'm willing to bet that the percentage of people still on dial up is so minimal at this point and that, while a consideration, isn't really high up on the list of 'cons' for Sony/MS. Trust me when I say that they 'lose' more money in used game sales (at least in their perceptoin) then they would by shunning the small percentage of console players who still don't have decent internet connection.

    With that being said, ticking off Gamestop is sure to be their largest "con column" consideration. Along those lines, I have a few thoughts on your comments.

    I don't believe GS would completely collapse. They make about 20% off of every new game sale (give or take depending on the promotion). Now, that's a lot less than the 50% (or more) profit margin on used game sales. However, if used games went away, they could keep a number of stores open on new game sales, consoles, peripherals, etc alone. In the Salt Lake area, we have about 6-8 Gamespots. Chances are, at least half of them would close, and we'd have to drive a little frurther to get our new game.

    To put it in perspective, I do accounting for a local coffee shop that does around $30k or so gross receipts. The profit margin on the coffee/food/etc is higher than new games (about 35%), so they net around $12k/mo to pay for the mortgage, utilities, etc, but they stay open. I'm willing to bet a pair of dirty socks that each Gamespot here does three times as much new game sales (And therefore nets twice almost twice as much). So, yeah, I'm sure that a number of Gamestops with new game sales only would stay open (especially given the markup on their accessories. Youza) and net considerably more than what keeps that similarly sized coffee shop open. (They just wouldn't be netting billions in profit for their shareholders anymore).

    I'm not totally discreding your notion that they MS/Sony will reject the idea of blocking used games...I'm simply pointing out that it is very much in the realm of possibility. While I agree it isn't super likely, I think if you study the facts a little more closely, it might scare ya, just a little, to realize how close the possibility may really be. The PC Market has pretty much phased out used game sales altogether. You don't see those publishers worried about the fact that their losing out on sales due to reduced (or non existant) shelf space at Gamestop or lost sales from people with crummy internet connections. And when the PC industry has done something that's proven to work, has the console market ever been that far behind?

    PS...I love you too, Becky! :)
  • XanaxeXanaxe New Member Full Members
    edited April 2012
    I think it would be far more likely to see something along the lines of a mandatory online pass for every game on the system than a complete block of used games. When I first heard the rumors about the new systems and used games, I wondered if perhaps they were considering something along those lines, just lost in translation or not enough information yet.
  • JCServantJCServant Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited April 2012
    Perhaps. Everything is speculation at this point. I'd love to see numbers showing how successful the online pass has been in deterring used game sales and/or bringing incremental revenue to those companies which have employed it for their games.

    Since I pretty much only play single player, offline games, regardless of whether they do a Steam like account DRM deal to completely eliminate used game sales...or a compromise like a $10 pass... it sounds like more hassle than I would be willing to put up with. Then again, I get cranky just putting in my credit card number with the Wiimote every time I needed money for my Nintendo account. Grrrrr.
  • OcelotOcelot is not declawed RPGamer Staff
    edited April 2012
    I don't think online passes have been around long enough to get good data on them yet. I also suspect that it would be very difficult to measure used sale deterrance (incremental revenue, though, sure).
    Becky Cunningham, Staff-at-Large
    Twitter: BeckyCFreelance
  • JCServantJCServant Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited April 2012
    Indeed.

    Speaking of Steam seemingly having a monopoly.....

    I've had Impulse for a very long time. I used to like Stardock games (I still love their older ones), so I have it on my PC. A while back, as an answer to Steam's weekend sales, they started 24 hour promotions. Unfortunately their sale prices and timing were very weak, IMHO, compared to Steam. It was only once or twice / year that I felt compelled to buy something on Impulse over Steam.

    Gamespot now runs it...and I have to admit, they're not going to let Steam get lazy. They're much more aggressive about becoming a digital distribution presence. Today I saw a 2 month old game for $20 off on there, which I don't recall seeing on Steam Sale before. They got 500 copies of Anno 2070 going on 66% off sale on Friday. If Gamestop can leverage strong discounts in short bursts before Steam gets those deals, they're going to definitely capture a larger piece of the pie than Stardock ever did and give Valve a run for their moola.
  • MasterChiefMasterChief I didn't learn anything! Full Members
    edited April 2012
    JC, I think there's a huge problem with using the PC market to determine what will work with all of gaming. First off, I think we can all agree that the PC gaming market is decidedly more niche than console. The PC is considered by most outside of the enthusiast crowd to be a work device. With the rise of set-top boxes, multi-function consoles and iOS/android devices, I expect this to become more and more of a mainstream viewpoint. Secondly, the PC is the easiest platform to secure one's purchase on. Buy a game only to have the DRM lock you out? A quick trip to a torrent site will fix that problem. As much as I detest the terms, console gaming is just more mainstream and accessible to most people, and there's clearly more money to be made on consoles, so making it less accessible with more asinine requirements will do more harm than good. Again, I still hold that if it was something that could easily be done without alienating significant numbers of customers, Hollywood firms would have done it ages ago and squeezed out Redbox and Netflix, to say nothing of Blockbuster during its prime.

    But hey, if console game companies want to push me away like gaming on PC has done, I've got enough games in my backlog to last until I die. *Laughs*
    Ocelot said:
    I don't think online passes have been around long enough to get good data on them yet. I also suspect that it would be very difficult to measure used sale deterrance (incremental revenue, though, sure).
    The problem with online passes is that, in order for them to work for anything without an online multiplayer component, you have to do something truly despicable, like cutting core parts of a game out, and at that point you're no longer offering incentives, you're releasing incomplete products. And considering some months ago, EA said that they only made $15 million off all their online pass games, it suggests there's not much deterrant effect (At least if all the used EA games on shelves is any indication). The fact they didn't ship one for Syndicate also has me wondering how effective the practice is.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    "What the f--- is a Shakespeare?"
    -Rico Valasquez, showing off why no one likes him.
  • Severin MiraSeverin Mira News Director/Reviewer RPGamer Staff
    edited April 2012
    AFAIK that's $15 million in sales from just the Online Passes themselves rather than $15 million from the games that contain Online Passes (considering the list of games with online passes, only making $15m would seem insanely low).
    "Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so."
    Twitter: severinmira | Xbox Live: Severin Mira | PSN: severinmira (EU) | NNID: severinmira
    Final Fantasy XIV: Sevvi Taubemira (Leviathan)
  • OcelotOcelot is not declawed RPGamer Staff
    edited April 2012
    The idea that PCs aren't considered gaming machines by most people is increasingly outdated. Thirty-five million active Steam users, a record of over 5 million concurrent users, and the huge number of MMO players and gaming website users says a major crap-ton of people game (both casually and seriously) on their PCs.

    I agree that the PC and console markets work differently, though, and that strict DRM was a major contributor to the PC gaming depression of the early 2000s. Do companies understand that blocking used PC sales --> GameStop stops stocking PC games --> PC gaming hits a huge slump until digital distribution and Valve revive it? It's hard to tell.
    Becky Cunningham, Staff-at-Large
    Twitter: BeckyCFreelance
  • JCServantJCServant Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited April 2012
    MC, those are good points, but they are mostly from a consumer point of view. From the point of view of a money makin' company like Sony, those are interesting bullet ponts, but they're going to fall quickly to the bottom of the "cons" list if they believe for a southern minute that locking out used game sales will make them significantly more moola. It doesn't help that publishers are pressuring them to do so.

    And, hey, it's not like we haven't seen these guys do some really stupid things to alienate their consumer base. Heck, I can't go one week without hearing a story like Capcom charging people for characters already on the disc (That's pretty bad) and then totally screwing up how they answer the fans when questioned about it. Why would they do something that's in such poor taste? Oh, I know...because in their infiinte wisdom, they felt that this would earn them even more money :P

    And then I read that Azura's Wrath is getting a "True" ending as DLC. Coupled with what's going on with Mass Effect (Are you really going to tell me that this reaction is a shock to them? Please) and Bioware annoucing that they are working on DLC to explain that ending or something...and I start to see a disturbing trend...buying a game, but later paying for the 'true' ending. It's a TERRIBLE thing to do! But they do stuff like this because 1) It's free press...even negative press is free advertising and 2) it makes them more money.

    Again, I'm not saying it's going to happen, I'm simply pointing out that the potential profit involved in eliminating used game sales may be tempting enough for them to move forward in that directions. There are a lot of reasons against them for doing it, but when there's dollar signs in executive's eyes, sometimes reason goes out the window. We've seen a lot of bad executive decisions in the video game history. And, who knows...they might be right (about it being more profitable for them in the long run). Anyway, probably not going to happen, I just think that we, as gamers, shouldn't be quick to think that it's completely outside the realm of possibility.
    "I've got enough games in my backlog to last until I die. *Laughs*"
    This is something we can both agree on, MC, hahahahahahah
  • The DoomhammerThe Doomhammer Prod with the Prod Full Members
    edited April 2012
    Coupled with what's going on with Mass Effect (Are you really going to tell me that this reaction is a shock to them? Please) and Bioware annoucing that they are working on DLC to explain that ending or something...and I start to see a disturbing trend...buying a game, but later paying for the 'true' ending.
    Funnily enough, they just announced their ending DLC officially, and it will apparently be free. So at least they're not being too idiotic about it. image
  • JCServantJCServant Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited April 2012
    That's good. So, they only got a lot of free press for it. At least they weren't rewarded TOO much for doing something that the community felt was pretty wrong. LOL.

    I like your speculation button. Yeah, we are definately speculating...but I am expressing concern based on trends we've been seeing over the last five or so years. So, it's not totally pie in the sky going on here.
  • MasterChiefMasterChief I didn't learn anything! Full Members
    edited April 2012
    Ocelot said:
    The idea that PCs aren't considered gaming machines by most people is increasingly outdated. Thirty-five million active Steam users, a record of over 5 million concurrent users, and the huge number of MMO players and gaming website users says a major crap-ton of people game (both casually and seriously) on their PCs.

    I agree that the PC and console markets work differently, though, and that strict DRM was a major contributor to the PC gaming depression of the early 2000s. Do companies understand that blocking used PC sales --> GameStop stops stocking PC games --> PC gaming hits a huge slump until digital distribution and Valve revive it? It's hard to tell.
    Well, the question becomes what they're playing on the system? 35 million people isn't exactly the same as the 128.3 million people with Xbox 360s and/or PS3s, and without solid empirical data of any sort, it's hard to tell how the casual/hardcore split is with them, or how many people are only buying when there's massive sales, or what they're buying. Given Steam's expansion to offering F2P games on the service, I wonder how many people will go there just for easier F2P updating.

    And thank you for saying something I've been saying for years. GameStop didn't stop stocking PC games because of Steam, Steam happened because GameStop stopped stocking PC games. I can't help but wonder if the PC market would be larger if not for oppressive DRM models.

    [QUOTE="jcservant"]And then I read that Azura's Wrath is getting a "True" ending as DLC. Coupled with what's going on with Mass Effect (Are you really going to tell me that this reaction is a shock to them? Please) and Bioware annoucing that they are working on DLC to explain that ending or something...and I start to see a disturbing trend...buying a game, but later paying for the 'true' ending. It's a TERRIBLE thing to do! But they do stuff like this because 1) It's free press...even negative press is free advertising and 2) it makes them more money.

    You know, I'm going to assume that Asura's Wrath isn't big enough to matter. It's kinda one of those things like those train simulators where the market is very limited, especially in the US. I'm gonna save the rage until they do that with RE. And the ME3 Ending extension being free lends more credence to the idea of BioWarEA caving than anything else.

    Also... I remember reading somewhere, maybe it was here, that online passes were a norm... Yet only four companies - EA, THQ, WB, and Sony, do them with any regularity (Ubi tried once and ran from it after the Driver: San Fransisco fiasco), so I'm not sure we can call it a norm, considering the games industry is not yet QUITE as consolidated as the film and music industries.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    "What the f--- is a Shakespeare?"
    -Rico Valasquez, showing off why no one likes him.
  • JCServantJCServant Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited April 2012
    Perhaps, but it is coming back, and in some force. And that kind of DRM control (tying your games into an account) is generally a lot more acceptable because of what Steam has done...and not just steam. After all, DLC, PSN games, etc, are all tied to the account too. And let's not forget phone games/apps. It's just one step away to do the same to larger games on consoles. And, its one that consumers are accepting more and more. Granted, it's a big step given how they do rely on physical copies to be sold much more so than any of the others (They would lose out if they only did DL games). Which, in turn means, they benefit greatly from not ticking off GameStop... but, I think they also LOVE the idea of making money off of every transaction involving their IPs...which they don't get at all with used games. I think if don't see it with the PS4, we will with the next gen.
  • MasterChiefMasterChief I didn't learn anything! Full Members
    edited April 2012
    Well, acceptable for a niche audience and acceptable for the mainstream are different things. The industry makes too damned much money on the consoles for the golden goose to get shot.

    The speculation is just way too rampant, and "respectable" game sites posting any rumor they hear on NeoGAF or Kotaku isn't helping.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    "What the f--- is a Shakespeare?"
    -Rico Valasquez, showing off why no one likes him.
  • OcelotOcelot is not declawed RPGamer Staff
    edited April 2012
    Yeah, my guess is there might be some intermediate stuff in the coming generation, leading to a more permanant shutdown on used games in the next gen.
    Becky Cunningham, Staff-at-Large
    Twitter: BeckyCFreelance
  • JCServantJCServant Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited April 2012
    Well, acceptable for a niche audience and acceptable for the mainstream are different things.
    If you want to call iOS users niche, go ahead. They embraced DRM/ DL only apps a long time ago. Granted, we're not exactly comparing apples to apples since iOS apps are a gig or two at most, and they are different audiances.... BUT, they average iOS user spends $100's / year on software and in app purchases, and doesn't pause for a second in thinking about how he will never be able to see those apps 'used' to other users. It isn't just the "Niche" PC consumer that's gotten used to this idea...it's spreading to other, much more mainstream markets as well (And, to be honest, consoles are niche compred to iOS users).
    The industry makes too damned much money on the consoles for the golden goose to get shot.
    Do they? I remember reading that Sony didn't even make money on the PS3 until 2010ish...some 4-5 years after they started pumping them out. Nintendo's policy has always been to make money on their consoles from the get go, but that approach got them into trouble with the 3DS. Certainly there are consoles that are pretty darn profitable (Wii FTW), but honestly, the gaming divisions of MS and Sony struggle in many of those years. And if they can't make a decent profit, there's no reason for them to develop and produce a next gen system.

    Eurogamer reported a few months ago, "Sony's Consumer Products and Services division, of which PlayStation is a part, also made a loss ($1.09 billion) for the quarter. It made a significant profit during the third quarter of its previous financial year. Sony blamed reduced sales (down 24 per cent) on the PlayStation 3 price cut and marketing costs that were above expectations. The division is also home to Sony's LCD TVs, sales of which were hit by the Thailand floods. "

    These types of stories go on an on...long story short....the gaming divisions of these guys really looks more like an ugly duckling than a golden goose. It may even be enough taking a risky shot by banning used games than to follow to course of insanity (If you do the same thing expecting different results....) As one who works a lot in the decision making process in business, these facts concern me the most. If I was in charge, and the gaming division was losing money hand over first, I'd either shut it down or do something dramatically different. Anything is better than doing the same old thing that didn't work.
  • MasterChiefMasterChief I didn't learn anything! Full Members
    edited April 2012
    Well the niche remark was more about the PC than iOS, but I'll bite. The iOS market has proven to be a hilarious race to the bottom that has frequently been discussed both on RPGCast and in many websites across the net, with top-selling games being far less than even what a PlayStation Mini would sell for. That anyone would call it a serious gaming platform makes me lol. Most iOS devs are still lucky to break even, with analysts clouded by the uncanny success of Angry Birds.

    As to the PS3 not making money, that may have more to do with it being a hilariously overpriced, over-designed behemoth at $599 US Dollars. MS, by contrast, reached profitability sooner with the 360 and has maintained it through most of the generation.

    As to Sony's Consumer Products and Services losses, how much of those losses can be directly attributed to Computer Entertainment? It's been well-known for a while that Sony's other consumer products have been lagging in sales, especially TVs, where Vizio is rocking. Considering Kaz Hirai parlayed his work saving the ship that Krazy Ken nearly sunk into the CEO position of the whole company, I'm guessing the PlayStation division isn't as problematic as the rest of CPS. The Vita, which I will remind you doesn't use any anti-preowned technologies, is also doing pretty OK in most places that aren't Japan.

    But if you think Sony's going to risk the one part of their portfolio that consumers haven't rejected for better, cheaper alternatives, well... I'm not sure what to say.

    THIS is what gimped the PlayStation brand for much of the latter oughts, not used games.

    [video=youtube;IH2w2l1JTs4]
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    "What the f--- is a Shakespeare?"
    -Rico Valasquez, showing off why no one likes him.
  • JCServantJCServant Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited April 2012
    Yeah, I understand the iOS pricing model. Furthermore, Steam games often sell for a lot less than retail counterparts when they go on super sale. But, you know, the thing is, those companies make money off of every sale ...where as Sony doesn't see one red dime of used PS game sales. Something is better than nothing. Sony would rather eliminate used game sales, even if it meant doing fire sales like Steam does from time to time, or even dropping the overall price point of new games (I'm not implying that it would have to take those steps if it did eliminate used games sales, however).

    And, hey, I don't disagree Sony took a number of missteps that cause PS to be a lot less profitable than it could be. Certainly. Whether or not Sony will address those issues as well with next gen is anyone's guess. But, when it comes to the issue of used games, the only thing that will matter to Sony is "Can we make more money eliminating the used game business model than if we allow it to continue." Even if they knew for a fact that the PS4 will be profitable out of the gate, no matter what, they still have to make a decision about used games. And they only thing Sony (and just about any company) will care about is whether or not they think they will make more money. Again, not saying that's the direction they're going to go this generation...but, trust me...its on their minds. And they still have time to make a decision either way.
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