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Free Games As a Solution To Game Piracy

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the please-suggest-concise-replacments dept.

PC Games (Games) 806

christ, jesus H writes "PC gaming may not be dying, but it is in a state of flux. We're seeing developers and publishers blaming piracy for all the ills of PC gaming, but attempts to rein in pirates with the help of DRM only annoys and mobilizes the legitimate customers of your games. The solution? According to David Perry of Shiny Games, PC games are going to be free." (And if anyone has a favorite replacement term for "piracy," in the context of electronic copyright violation, please suggest it below.)

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806 comments

A favorite term to replace 'piracy'? (5, Insightful)

Millennium (2451) | more than 5 years ago | (#24137555)

I prefer the term "stealing games" myself. It fits well, does away with the positive connotations that the term "piracy" has gained in some circles, and -perhaps most important- it really makes the pirates mad.

I prefer this idea: (5, Insightful)

DaedalusHKX (660194) | more than 5 years ago | (#24137779)

I would still be willing to BUY games (I don't pirate them, I just haven't found much to interest me, console OR desktop alike).

Again, I would still be willing to BUY games if they would stop rehashing half witted half finished games. So few companies really release good games, and everyone expects insane growth. Always "growth". Perhaps some retards somewhere forgot that you can only grow so much before your body either collapses under its own weight or you evolve into something else. Otherwise, no luck.

Blizzard always releases late. People understand them. Why? Because Blizzard, ID, Ravensoft and no others I can think of, have managed to release a bug free or complete product. Most of their fixes, in my memory, have been playbalancing, rare bugs on rare configs, etc. But their games WORK. Other people's games... often hit and run.

Why is it that so FEW companies actually put out workable, GOOD products? Perhaps if more of them did, and if shoddy products were to be refunded in FULL, then perhaps better products would "revitalize" the market.

Games don't need to be free. Shitty ones and incomplete ones should be. The "no return if opened" policy is bullshit. It just allows a company to sell a shitty game and get away with it. It allows a store to carry a non tested product and get away with it. But hell, if pharmaceutical companies and electronics and even car companies can get away with shoddy products, why not the software industry? If the customers keep waiting for governments to step in and save them, they ought to realize that it is MUCH easier to buy off bureaucrats and politicians than ten thousand pissed off freemen customers, some of whom might be willing and able to use their rights (from the vocal to the physical) when other means fail to extract remedy for shoddy product and vaporware sold as an actual, complete product. Fraud of this sort should be held accountable by the victims, the customers. Until the customers demand quality, and stand by that remark... and demand refunds on shitty products, until that occurs... well, nothing's gonna change.

Re:I prefer this idea: (4, Funny)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 5 years ago | (#24137945)

Other people's games... often hit and run.

Hit and run games are fun, too. Now hit and miss games I could understand not liking. ;)

Re:I prefer this idea: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24138031)

The "no return if opened" policy is bullshit.

it is if the disc can't be copied by "regular" means like the CD/DVD burner that comes pre-installed with your PC. but in other case, e.g. audio CD, there is no guarantee that the consumer has not made a copy. that really is immoral.

but I agree that in 99% of the cases it is bullshit.

Re:I prefer this idea: (1)

klashn (1323433) | more than 5 years ago | (#24138345)

I agree that the "no return if opened" policy is hurting consumers, but what I don't believe is people just go out to the store and buy games without trying them as they could with demos and even pirated games! I'm guessing that about 95% of /. geeks have high speed internet access of at least 2MB/s download. Use it!

Re:I prefer this idea: (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24138455)

The "no return if opened" policy is bullshit.

This is actually a very good point. I didn't pirate things anywhere near as much as I do not before that policy. Back when Egghead or wherever would accept returns, I bought a game and, if it was horribly buggy or just plain sucked, I returned it. When they changed that policy, that is when I started looking on pirate BBSes, etc.

The natural extension of that is the Internet and technologies like BitTorrent.

The same kind of thing applies for the ridiculous anti-piracy measures that publishers take (e.g., SecureROM). If you make it a pain in the fucking ass for me to use your product, don''t be surprised if I shoot you the finger and, in so doing, get the product from somewhere else.

The solution is to increase product quality, while reducing the negative impact on consumers such as "The correct CD is not in the drive."

Re:A favorite term to replace 'piracy'? (4, Funny)

Syrente (990349) | more than 5 years ago | (#24137793)

I always considered 'Eternal Borrower' or 'Stonking great Thief' as accurate ways of naming 'pirates.'

Re:A favorite term to replace 'piracy'? (5, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#24137813)

It's not stealing as copying does not deprive the original owner of anything. Copyright is an artificial monopoly provided by the government as an incentive to create and release creative works.

Am I stealing from you if I choose not to buy from you, but from someone else? No? Yet I am depriving you of revenue, isn't that stealing? No? Then depriving you of revenue by copying your product isn't stealing either.

It is copyright violation, which is wrong, but not stealing. It is wrong because it violates the social contract you agree to by continuing to live in our society.

That is important: you wouldn't even have a moral claim against a person who renounced society and all its benefits who then violated copyright. They would not be a party to the social contract, and would have no moral reason not to copy.

Re:A favorite term to replace 'piracy'? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24137933)

Kinda like when I screwed your wife while you were at work. You could still use her, so there is nothing wrong with it. Me and the twelve other guys all agree on this.

Re:A favorite term to replace 'piracy'? (4, Funny)

VoyagerRadio (669156) | more than 5 years ago | (#24137987)

Not a very good analogy. The wife would now have the herpes you gave her, which would make her less fun in that particular aspect of the relationship.

Re:A favorite term to replace 'piracy'? (1)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#24138057)

Bad analogy. We're polyamorous. Kinda like the open-source of sexuality. We have a cc-by-nc-sa marriage license. ;-)

Re:A favorite term to replace 'piracy'? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24138243)

That's odd. She said she slept around because of your needle dick.

Re:A favorite term to replace 'piracy'? (3, Funny)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 5 years ago | (#24138225)

Kinda like when I screwed your wife while you were at work. You could still use her, so it wasn't stealing

Fixed that for you.

Re:A favorite term to replace 'piracy'? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24138423)

You can still user her, so it's not *theft*. Maybe that's what we should call it - breach of copyright is "cheating".

Re:A favorite term to replace 'piracy'? (-1, Flamebait)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#24138039)

You're a thief.

Re:A favorite term to replace 'piracy'? (1)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#24138131)

I already said copyright violation was wrong. I don't personally do it. I don't copy software, or music, or anything that isn't fair use without permission. But it isn't stealing anyway. So how am I a thief?

Re:A favorite term to replace 'piracy'? (2, Interesting)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#24138093)

Am I stealing from you if I choose not to buy from you, but from someone else? No? Yet I am depriving you of revenue, isn't that stealing? No? Then depriving you of revenue by copying your product isn't stealing either.

That's quite a leap there. If I steal your product, that implies that I want it. Do I want it badly enough that I would pay for it if there was no possible way to steal it? Maybe, maybe not, but the product clearly has some value to me, since I was willing to go through the trouble and risk of stealing it.

However, if I'm buying someone else's product instead, that implies that your game has no value to me, since I believe your competitor's product to be superior enough to spend my time on it rather than on your game.

As for someone renouncing society and all its benefits, to truly do that they would need to be living in a cave somewhere completely off the grid (and certainly without access to the Internet), so they would be unlikely to be in the market for computer games anyway.

Re:A favorite term to replace 'piracy'? (0)

Millennium (2451) | more than 5 years ago | (#24138105)

It's not stealing as copying does not deprive the original owner of anything.

Actually, it does.

When you pirate a work, you must by definition make a new copy. That copy can only be legally produced by the copyright holder. It would make no sense to simply destroy it, and so ownership of it reverts to the one legally able to produce it in the first place. Most of the time illegally-produced copies get destroyed anyway, but that need not be the case.

In any case, you now have a copy of the software that belongs to the copyright holder. By not returning the copy to them or buying it outright, you are in fact depriving them of something: a copy to sell or otherwise do with as they will.

And so, piracy equals theft.

Copyright is an artificial monopoly provided by the government as an incentive to create and release creative works.

Yes. So what?

Am I stealing from you if I choose not to buy from you, but from someone else?

If that "someone else" has obtained its copies by lawful means, then no, you are not.

Yet I am depriving you of revenue, isn't that stealing? No? Then depriving you of revenue by copying your product isn't stealing either.

Actually, no, because the copy wasn't obtained by lawful means. You are depriving its rightful owner of a product it could sell or otherwise dispose of as it saw fit.

Re:A favorite term to replace 'piracy'? (4, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#24138417)

"Actually, no, because the copy wasn't obtained by lawful means. You are depriving its rightful owner of a product it could sell or otherwise dispose of as it saw fit."

Hate to break it to you, but no he isn't. You haven't in any way taken a physical item from them, or prevented them from making more. Your logic sucks.

Re:A favorite term to replace 'piracy'? (3, Insightful)

PrimalChrome (186162) | more than 5 years ago | (#24138177)

You are both depriving the producer of revenue AND making use of their product without paying for ownership. It's much like 'stealing' wifi access from your neighbor. The only physical aspect of the theft involves electrons/impulses/etc...

"the wrongful taking and carrying away of the personal goods or property of another; larceny."

Copyright (whether you approve or not) denotes ownership...making it intellectual property. The wrongful taking of makes it theft.

Funny how the slashdot crowd considers it theft if Microsoft includes GPL'ed code, but if it involves a person stealing music/movies/software, it is a right in the pursuit of happiness.

Re:A favorite term to replace 'piracy'? (3, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#24138287)

No, the slashdot crowd considers it copyright violation is Microsoft includes GPL'ed code, and we consider it copyright violation if someone copies music, movies or software. See how that works? It's a different word, denoting a different action, with different consequences, but it is still wrong.

Using someone else's wifi is stealing, as you are depriving them of a limited resource: their bandwidth. You can make unlimited copies of a digital work without depriving the owner of anything.

You can argue the point all you like, but the law sees it differently than you do. Jaywalking also isn't littering, in case you were confused about that, too.

Re:A favorite term to replace 'piracy'? (1)

Anonymous Cowpat (788193) | more than 5 years ago | (#24138387)

if you take GPLed code, modify it, and then release only binaries, you ARE depriving the rest of the world of something - the source code of your modifications. In that case, the word 'steal' is appropriate.

Re:A favorite term to replace 'piracy'? (1)

The Only Druid (587299) | more than 5 years ago | (#24138217)

It's stealing: you're depriving the intellectual property owner of one of their property rights, i.e. exclusivity. The same way I may choose who gets to stay in my realty (i.e. I control the exclusivity of the property), an intellectual property owner has the right to control who gets access to the intellectual property. By depriving me of that right without paying me agreed upon value, you're committing theft.

Re:A favorite term to replace 'piracy'? (3, Informative)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#24138449)

Not according to US law (yet). You can argue all you want about the way things should be, but the way things ARE, copyright violation is not stealing.

Re:A favorite term to replace 'piracy'? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24138315)

Assuming it were possible to "renounce society and all its benefits", someone doing so would by definition not infringe on a copyright because he would have renounced the benefit of the work.

Besides which, your idea gives "pirates" a free pass:

1. Renounce society and all its benefits.
2. Copy the work. (Morally acceptable, according to you.)
3. Change your mind about society.
4. Enjoy the work. (You're not infringing on the copyright - that was already done.)

Re:A favorite term to replace 'piracy'? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24138425)

Renounce 'our' society, not until I have got a bloody refund :)

Benefits, yeah right, taxes more like and enforced educational penal colonies.

No one agrees to a social contract, it is enforced by the powers that be. Veil of ignorance, heh.

First year philosophy students, oh doesn't it all look grand.

Welcome to the slave world, I hope your stay will be a pleasant one.

Re:A favorite term to replace 'piracy'? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24138337)

Congratulations on your well constructed troll post, we the Anonymous Coward trolls of /. commend you.

You isolated a very well known point of argument on /. and presented it in a seemingly innocent, and positive way, making yourself look like the good guy as you claim only bad guys would be sensitive to it.

I shall advise your EA/Sony/Safedisk/Securom/whoever overloards you are earning your pay well.

Also, cocks.

Re:A favorite term to replace 'piracy'? (1)

Slashidiot (1179447) | more than 5 years ago | (#24138461)

I prefer ninjacy to piracy, because, you know, ninjas are way cooler than pirates.

Re:A favorite term to replace 'piracy'? (1)

christ, jesus H (1317921) | more than 5 years ago | (#24138497)

I prefer the term "stealing games" myself. It fits well, does away with the positive connotations that the term "piracy" has gained in some circles, and -perhaps most important- it really makes the pirates mad.

I would prefer "avoiding game breaking DRM" as this is the most common motivator for the "pirates" I know personally. I understand that creators need to be compensated for thier work and I also understand that piracy does exist. However in my opinion these developers have allowed themselves to be "conned" by alot of statistics into believing a simple cough is full blown lung cancer, no surprise these statistics are usually supplied by the companies selling solutions (cures) to save teh developers from thier own fans. As a PC gamer I am tired of being treated as a suspect by publishers. I am tired of getting gimped games that are hampered or sometimes even broken by poor DRM implentations. Most of all though, I am tired of having to get "bootleg" copies of games just because I lost my original CD, or some registration code. PC gaming may be one of the first areas of modern commerce where the industry actually, simply scared itself to death.

Free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24137571)

Free as in that shitty urine soaked couch sitting on the curb with a "Free" sign on it.

"piracy" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24137583)

>> (And if anyone has a favorite replacment term for "piracy," in the context of electronic copyright violation, please suggest it below.)

"Rape of the creative class"?

make good games that run on reasonable hardware (3, Interesting)

WillAdams (45638) | more than 5 years ago | (#24137609)

Instead of mediocre games that require incredibly expensive stuff few people have.

Re:make good games that run on reasonable hardware (1)

VoyagerRadio (669156) | more than 5 years ago | (#24137769)

Exactly. In some sense, television has reached the point where much of the bad stuff can be filtered out: we no longer have just a few networks to choose from. Gaming is going to reach that point -- perhaps it already has -- and so we won't have to put up with the bad games put out as fast as possible just to cash in on the latest comic actionmovie. Indie devs -- or smaller indie devs, like Bungie once was -- will put out better-quality games that won't require the huge numbers of buyers in order to recoup the costs of distribution.

Re:make good games that run on reasonable hardware (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#24138065)

Ummm... Quantity != Quality. Just look at games for the Wii, sure there are some good ones, Super Smash Bros Brawl, and Super Mario Galaxy to name just two, but if you go into any major store you find that about 75% of Wii games are crappy mini-game collections with virtually no purpose that involve shaking around the Wii remote to try to do something.

Even if you look back to the NES where we only had a few major developers there was a lot of quality games made, games that pushed the hardware to the limit. In the SNES/Genesis era things stayed the same. But once we got to the PS1/N64 era, we got flooded with a ton of really crappy games. Think about it, once Disney games were good, at least decent, and worth playing, then midway into the '90s something started to go terribly, terribly wrong. Every movie had some lame video game tie-in, games started to all be the same, originality seemed to be confined to first-party developers. We are still there, you only need to take a look at the Wii.

Ok, great... (1)

Temtongkek (975742) | more than 5 years ago | (#24137615)

How the hell am I gonna demand my money back if it sucks? Doesn't matter. Anything after X-com: Ufo Defense sucks the farts outta used car seats anyway.

Re:Ok, great... (1)

Syrente (990349) | more than 5 years ago | (#24137707)

How the hell am I gonna demand my money back if it sucks?

Quite easily; they'll just fork over a nice handful of air.

There will be free games, just like television (1)

VoyagerRadio (669156) | more than 5 years ago | (#24137623)

Just like television and radio, games will find a way to make money, and offering them "free" (with advertising in-game/around the game to pay for the production and distribution) will be the forum for many (if not most games). That's how "shared games" will be counterbalanced.

Re:There will be free games, just like television (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#24138119)

Wrong.
Broadcasters are finding this model to SUCK in this new "digital era". DVRs and the intertrons let people skip ads, and advertisers don't like that.

Instead of NO-CD cracks you'll simply downloaded games with NO-AD cracks.

Re:There will be free games, just like television (1)

VoyagerRadio (669156) | more than 5 years ago | (#24138467)

True; but you can't skip in-show advertising, and we're just beginning to see more and more of that. It works: some shows are even based on advertising. (See the home improvement-type of shows, for example.)

New term for piracy, community service (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24137665)

Do one and you'll get the other!

Bootlegging (5, Insightful)

Geof (153857) | more than 5 years ago | (#24137673)

Bootlegging [merriam-webster.com] : to produce, reproduce, or distribute illicitly or without authorization

This helps to distinguish private copying from for-profit counterfeiting by organized crime.

Re:Bootlegging (-1, Troll)

samkass (174571) | more than 5 years ago | (#24138193)

Bootlegging works, but "steal" is just as accurate and descriptive.

Steal: [merriam-webster.com] 1 a: to take or appropriate without right or leave and with intent to keep or make use of wrongfully

Anonymous Coward. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24137681)

Warez was a personal favorite of mine.

Anonymous Coward (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24137685)

First!!!!!11!1!!ONEONEELEVEN

Re:Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24137863)

First!!!!!11!1!!ONEONEELEVEN

That would be even better if it was first

Graphics over gameplay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24137729)

"PC games are going to be free"

The only way this would ever work is if people stop considering graphics over gameplay.

I'm quite ready for that.

iPhone AppStore has only one free game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24137733)

Currently, the iPhone AppStore is only showing one free game. Frisbee Golf is $2.99 and they go on up from there.

Re:iPhone AppStore has only one free game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24138205)

Gratz on beinging up the iPhone in something completely unrelated.

Ass.

Problems... (5, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#24137753)

Sure, free games may solve game "piracy", but it doesn't address what is killing PC gaming. Which are A) Windows, B) Insane hardware requirements and C) Consoles. When all PC games become cross platform (Linux, Windows and Mac), require the average hardware and will run decently on low-end hardware (for example, now it would need to run on 512 MB of RAM and a cheap Intel graphics card), and be better than the games on consoles. Once they solve all those problems PC gaming may be mainstream, but right now they confine themselves to a small niche.

Re:Problems... (3, Interesting)

VoyagerRadio (669156) | more than 5 years ago | (#24137881)

On point A)Windows: Exactly. Halo 2 running only on Vista? What the...? That's plain wrong, considering most of us are still running XP.

Re:Problems... (2, Informative)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 5 years ago | (#24138123)

The worst thing about that was that it was nothing but a cynical move to get people to use Vista, not any technical limitation. I've completed the game in XP for god's sake.

Re:Problems... (5, Informative)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#24137995)

Holy crap can we stop with the "PC gaming is dead / dying" mantra? It's simply not true.
- US PC Gaming Revenues 2007 - $2.76 billion +12%
- US PC Gaming Revenues 2008 - $3.1 billion +14% (forecast)
- Worldwide PC Gaming 2007 - $8.3 billion +14%
- Worldwide PC Gaming 2008 - $9.6 billion +16% (forecast)

Those numbers are from the May MaximumPC. PC gaming is *not* dead, it's growing. Stop spreading the FUD.

Re:Problems... (1)

VoyagerRadio (669156) | more than 5 years ago | (#24138185)

Actually, there's no reason for your getting upset, since this article explicitly denies PC games dying. Read its first sentence, "PC gaming may not be dying..." Your evidence is appreciated, however. I'll add this one as further evidence: EGM, recognizing PC Gaming's continuing relevance, just added a new column/pages to exclusively cover PC Gaming.

Re:Problems... (1)

zerocommazero (837043) | more than 5 years ago | (#24138303)

But I think that's because their biggest competitor, GameInformer, covers both consoles and PC Games. Also, their sister mag just went under so there probably is a need to make sure some form of PC gaming is publiced/covered by the parent publishing company Ziff Davis especially when it comes to ad revenue, etc.

Re:Problems... (1)

zerocommazero (837043) | more than 5 years ago | (#24138235)

I'd like to see the breakdown for those numbers. How much of that money is just subscription earned. I understand your opinion but i thnk the point alot of people are making is in the amount of titles out per month, etc. That angle should be addressed as well.

Re:Problems... (2, Interesting)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 5 years ago | (#24138139)

Yes, someone please mod the parent post up!

PC Gaming is dying because people are tired of the "latest, greatest" games not only including a $50 price tag, but also another $250 price tag for a new video card to play them well!

People constantly complain that the Mac is "not a viable computer" for them because they don't have enough games out for them, not enough graphics card options, etc. But I can see the flip-side of that. Sometimes it's nice watching Apple "hold the line", saying "What?! These configurations REALLY aren't good enough for you? They're good enough for all the *real* applications we sell. They're good enough for Hollywood to edit movies on and create special f/x with. They're good enough for pro photographers and artists. They're even good enough for the people who DO bother to port the "best of breed" PC games over to our platform, here and there. If you'd rather play "musical video card swap" every few months, go get a regular Wintel PC instead!"

The low-end, ultra-small notebooks are a booming market-segment right now, too. Another sign that people realize their computers are just FINE for everything they do BUT the games with insane requirements. So sure, people just invest in the one-time cost of a console, and focus their gaming budget on titles for it, instead.

Re:Problems... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24138275)

Sure, free games may solve game "piracy", but it doesn't address what is killing PC gaming. Which are A) Windows, B) Insane hardware requirements and C) Consoles. When all PC games become cross platform (Linux, Windows and Mac), require the average hardware and will run decently on low-end hardware (for example, now it would need to run on 512 MB of RAM and a cheap Intel graphics card), and be better than the games on consoles. Once they solve all those problems PC gaming may be mainstream, but right now they confine themselves to a small niche.

So you want something to look more amazing than a console game but run with half the hardware requirements and still be multi-platform? The reason consoles get such nice stuff out of worse hardware is that they have a guarantee of which hardware is going to run and do not have to support potentially several billion different combination.

Re:Problems... (1)

Samuel_Gompers (1071856) | more than 5 years ago | (#24138291)

Nothing is "killing PC gaming". Blizzard, Funcom, Valve, Id, Maxis/EA, Bethesda, Creative Assembly, all have a great relationship with the PC. PCs have the biggest market and the best margins. Meanwhile, PS3 struggles to get a single quality family title on the shelves and xbox is a multi-billion sinkhole no matter how you slice it.

May I suggest a spell checker? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24137771)

Would make for much easier to read articles.

first post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24137807)

ARRRRRR

...what about making money? (1)

GreatRedShark (880833) | more than 5 years ago | (#24137887)

Ok, I can see that this MIGHT work for MMORPG companies, as they can make money off of subscriptions, or the ones that have tiered accounts (payed accounts have better weapons, etc than free accounts). What about games without much online component, like Bioshock? It was a good game and I didn't mind paying for it. What would such companies do to get money? Sell action figures and t-shirts? Charge for support, the way RedHat makes money supporting a free operating system? I could even see charging nominal amounts for "chapters" of a game (say $3.00 / chapter, and if you don't like the game you just stop buying chapters) - wasn't this how Quake was originally released? ...but FREE? i dunno...

As well they Should be (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24137897)

And so should music, and so should movies, and so should all information.

"oh boo hoo but no one will make a living from creating these things if they are free"

and cops would never make a living if not for criminals. and firefighters would never make a living if not for people's houses burning down. but do you hear firefighters say "i sure am glad people's houses burn down, because that means I have a job!!"

these days, "making money off information" is based on artificial scarcity and draconian intellectual property laws, which are Bad Things, like criminals and fires.

Call it what it is (5, Informative)

Mr.Ned (79679) | more than 5 years ago | (#24137941)

"And if anyone has a favorite replacement term for "piracy," in the context of electronic copyright violation, please suggest it below."

Umm, a copyright violation? Copyright infringement? Why not just call it what it is instead of bringing in some new word that's going to have a specific connotation?

Spore Creature Editor (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#24137981)

If the future of free games means installing DRM crap on our computers, such as SecuROM, then they can keep their "free games". It's only going to become an entry point for companies to install their malware on our computers.

Re:Spore Creature Editor (1)

anonymousbob22 (1320281) | more than 5 years ago | (#24138135)

If it's free, why would they bother with a DRM system? I think what you are actually referring to is the adware that would allow such games to be "free" (as in beer).

Re:Spore Creature Editor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24138327)

Actually, the Spore Creature Editor (the free version) installs some securom crap when you install it.

Besides, it's EA, since when have they done anything logical?

alternative to piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24137997)

liberation

/reagan

I prefer... (1)

madenglishbloke (829598) | more than 5 years ago | (#24138013)

"Copyright Restoration" - I have certain rights when I purchase a game, which the games companies try to artificially restrict using DRM and other technologies - circumventing those restrictions restore those rights.

Why do they need to be free? (3, Insightful)

Jellybob (597204) | more than 5 years ago | (#24138015)

Just make them good. I have no problem with paying for my games (I do so for every game I have a copy of), but I'm not going to go out and buy a crap game if I can help it.

Of course the industry needs to stop crying wolf as well. While sales from brick and morter stores are going down like a brick, a lot of that is being picked up by services like Steam, because Valve seems to have realised that attempting to screw your customers just doesn't work.

PC gaming's real enemy: (2, Interesting)

zerocommazero (837043) | more than 5 years ago | (#24138035)

I personally think it's the consoles that are the REAL reason. A decade ago, PCs were at the top of the hill for superior graphics and networking for team playing. Now they aren't because HDTVs, internet connectivity and multicore proccesor consoles. There's no niche anymore. At least worth spending on. Same thing happened to arcades.

Involuntary 100% discount (1)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 5 years ago | (#24138047)

A good replacement term for piracy is the involuntary 100% discount... which differs very little from the voluntary 100% discount suggested by making 'all computer games free'. That is 100% stupid. If you are charging for services related to the game, i.e. "color t-shirts" in the game or the online service or whatever, then guess what part people will pirate instead of the game?

Nexon games (1)

musikit (716987) | more than 5 years ago | (#24138091)

All Nexon games include the rootkit know as "Game Guard". you may not want to install these machines unless your willing to have a rootkit installed on your machine.

Open Source games (1)

xgr3gx (1068984) | more than 5 years ago | (#24138101)

I've said it before...open source games will improve this.
Sure, they might not have the latest engines, but many good, free, cross platform games have come from the open sourcing of the Quake3 engine (UrbanTerror)
It's a great game, and Windows, Mac, and Linux (32 and 64 bit Linux) users can all play it, for free. In my opinion its a commerical quality game, or damn close to it.
Manufacturers should opensource their old unloved game engines so they can live on as free games for all!
Even if they offered free (or cheap) API access to thier proprietary engines.
Of course this will bring up the money making point. How will vendors develop new game engines if they don't make any money.
That I can't answer

Free Games (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 5 years ago | (#24138137)

Free Games As a Solution To Game Piracy

It is really tough to pirate a free game... I've tried it a few times, I just don't feel as badass when I do it.

Piracy is not an excuse (3, Interesting)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 5 years ago | (#24138175)

People have been pirating games for almost 30 years, but companies have been profitable. Pirating games is a giant pain in the butt, so if you can purchase a game online and legally download it, you're probably going to do it. You can purchase almost any game via digital downloads these days.

Compare to consoles, I own an xbox 360 but do not own a single game. I don't pirate, but I have gamefly. I get 3-4 games per month, which I play beat and return in mere days. The amount of money being made there per game is miniscule, if I had more free time I would probably do the trade-in thing which I understand is all the rage.

I'm not convinced "free" (as in crack) games are a solution to a real problem. Windows is just not turnkey enough for the simple games that consoles do best. For the complicated games, lately people don't buy very many. Who has time for WoW AND Lotro AND MMOG++? PC games tend to be involved, for this reason we won't acquire every game that hits the shelves and will be selective. If a game sucks, we won't buy it, no time, forget money.

Console games...well gamefly will send me anything on my queue, and I'll keep the queue full even if the games on it suck and I just send it back barely touched. If you're EA, this is just fine, that means they're getting more share of my entertainment budget ($14.99/mo or whatever it is). From the standpoint of running a business based on increasing profits, they like it, no risk.

'ninjutsu' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24138195)

Its time they took their share of the blame.

Online games (1)

Drakin020 (980931) | more than 5 years ago | (#24138237)

Online games have it the best.

It's hard to pirate something that authenticates your key. I'm not just talking WoW or anythign like that, but more so BF2 or other games that rely the end users to play online to get the full experience.

I know this doesn't help the whole gaming market, but still....

Also they complain so much about how people getting the game for free (Piracy) is hurting them...yet they just go to offer it free for everyone? How does that make sense?

Not free. Digital downloads, easy updates. (4, Insightful)

Zarhan (415465) | more than 5 years ago | (#24138309)

Valve has a nice vision:

http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=160866 [eurogamer.net]

Have to say I agree with them.

I recently bought a new, up-to-date PC with dual cores and all the bells and whistles. After playing nothing but WoW, Civ and other less-powerhungry games on my trusty old 1,2 GHz Celeron and Win'98, I could finally check out all the games I missed.

So far: Half-Life 2, Orange Box (consisting of EP1&EP2 too, and Portal). Love it. Also love Steam. It works.
Another case: Galactic Civilizations 2. Stardock's Stardock Central (and the parallel, Impulse), rock.

NO Copy protection. No DVD in drive bullshit. No running through the hoops. Before, when I bought a game it was always running via gamecopyworld.com to get the crack. Another game that I got was Crysis. Fine, gamecopyworld has cracks - except there isn't one for the 64-bit 1.21 version. So I was stuck with the DVD in drive..

Then, as an old Baldur's Gate&Torment&Kotor fan, I heard that Bioware had done a new RPG - Mass Effect. To avoid hassle, I googled for what copy protection it's using - and read about the whole phone-home-schema. I can run Steam in offline mode. Stardock Central doesn't phone home. But these guys seriously thought that spyware in your PC is ok?!

I was already firing up my torrent client, but then I read http://games.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/05/09/2318229 [slashdot.org] about EA loosening the DRM and actually bought the game instead.

Gotta love Valve. And Blizzard.

MMORPG Model == New OS Model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24138335)

Most of the games are following the "Free" MMORPG model.

The game is "free", you just pay a subscription to play online.

Other MMORPG's are "free" with no online subscription, but certain permium items cost money. [Albatross 18 or 'Pangya Island'] is a common example. 100% free, but most of the worthwhile items cost real money.

I also see a similar micropayment system happening with applications.

The base application will be 'free'
                -spellcheck a document, $0.25/page
                -print a document, $0.10/page
                -voice recognition, $5.00/hr
                -scanning , $0.10/page
                -clip art, $1.00/image
                -data analysis, $1.00/chart

I picture the OS doing the same thing:
                  -file management, $0.001/file
                  -memory management, $0.001/Mb
                  -CD burning : 5.00/CD + RIAA royalty
                  -DVD Burning: 15.00/DVD + MPAA + RIAA Royalty
                  -CPU management 0.000001/CPU/TICK*APPLICATION
                  -Viewing Digital Pictures: 0.001/Picture
                  -Network Management : 0.005/Mb
                  -View a DVD : 0.50 + MPAA royalty
                  -Send Email 0.05/Email/Recipient + Network Management Fee
                  -Receive Email : 0.01/Message + Network Management Fee
                  -Games: [Fees set by game owner , does not include Network Management Fee, and CPU / Memory management Fee]

  I predict Microsoft or another OS maker will embrace this, by saying it benefits the consumer, as they only pay for the features they use, as they use them.

Heck, why not go back to renting CPU time, it's what Microsoft essentially wants, millions of dumb terminals, at the mercy of a centrally controlled Microsoft server.

Think it won't work? It already does. You pay the same 'as-you-go' fees for your cellphone, just at ridiculous [high] rates.

Ha ha ha (1)

Chemisor (97276) | more than 5 years ago | (#24138349)

Because, you know, free games are working out so well on Linux. We have thousands of games to play here! Oh, wait...

Expensive hardware kills PC gaming (3, Interesting)

ShadowWraith (1322747) | more than 5 years ago | (#24138353)

IMHO, the problem in PC gaming today is that obtaining hardware that is comparable to modern consoles, and capable of playing brand-new high-end games takes a HUGE dent in the wallet. Getting the graphical equivalent of a Wii on a PC would cost hundreds more than a PS3 (Which is considered a real money-eater). Why would anyone pay over a thousand dollars to play games equivalent to games they would play on a console for much less? Also, now that consoles offer online play, there is no advantage to gaming on a computer, except for complex rpgs where a keyboard is more comfortable than a controller (Which may explain the success of Warcraft and Co.). If PC game companies want to sell more, they must invent new ways to take advantage of the pc's unique qualities, or somehow drastically reduce the price of high-end hardware.

Gaming is going downhill because new games suck (1)

brainchill (611679) | more than 5 years ago | (#24138405)

Every fantastic new PC game that comes out is a new rendition of the same .. over and over and over again ... quake/unreal are still quake and unreal if you make the graphics better and better and add more maps ... almost every new game that comes out is just a new version of the same damn thing ... there is nothing new or revolutionary and that's why I virtually quit PC gaming and bought a wii

Really? (1)

madsheep (984404) | more than 5 years ago | (#24138415)

Can someone name a bunch of these games that are failing and not making money because of piracy? There's a difference between the majority of people playing a game pirated it and your game blows donkey balls and the only people that -tried- it (and subsequently immediately deleted it) pirated it. I haven't bought/played a new computer game since Doom 3 personally. Haven't been a big fan of computer games in years. However, I think most people just aren't playing them, not that they're all being pirated. Maybe I am wrong.

Anonymous Coward. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24138439)

The game itself should be free and easily downloaded and with on-line play capability. They will have other avenues of income once the game is on-line. Think Korea.

This is why MMOs have grown so much (1)

Amisinthe (1308593) | more than 5 years ago | (#24138441)

The cost of the CD is really irrelevant compared to the monthly fee, which isn't "piratable" in the sense that a CD is.

I like Demos.... (1)

Darkk (1296127) | more than 5 years ago | (#24138475)

This gives me a chance to see what the game is like and see if is worth buying. Sony does this all the time with the PS3 via downloads. Just wish their games weren't so friggin expensive. $59???

Try before you buy (1)

BigJClark (1226554) | more than 5 years ago | (#24138489)


Id software mastered this. I'm not embarrassed to say I download games that interest me, then buy them if they are good.

As I am in the software industry, I know building software from the ground up can be a considerable challenge, especially since the underlying hardware changes so goddamn fast, however, it is possible for good dev houses to build and deliver stable products.

Glad to be of service. (-1, Redundant)

sammy baby (14909) | more than 5 years ago | (#24138495)

(And if anyone has a favorite replacement term for "piracy," in the context of electronic copyright violation, please suggest it below.)

How about "theft"? That's a good one.

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