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Pirates as a Marketplace

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the marrrrrrrket-share dept.

Games 214

John Riccitiello, the CEO of Electronic Arts, made some revealing comments in an interview with Kotaku about how the company's attitudes are shifting with regard to software piracy. Quoting: "Some of the people buying this DLC are not people who bought the game in a new shrink-wrapped box. That could be seen as a dark cloud, a mass of gamers who play a game without contributing a penny to EA. But around that cloud Riccitiello identified a silver lining: 'There's a sizable pirate market and a sizable second sale market and we want to try to generate revenue in that marketplace,' he said, pointing to DLC as a way to do it. The EA boss would prefer people bought their games, of course. 'I don't think anybody should pirate anything,' he said. 'I believe in the artistry of the people who build [the games industry.] I profoundly believe that. And when you steal from us, you steal from them. Having said that, there's a lot of people who do.' So encourage those pirates to pay for something, he figures. Riccitiello explained that EA's download services aren't perfect at distinguishing between used copies of games and pirated copies. As a result, he suggested, EA sells DLC to both communities of gamers. And that's how a pirate can turn into a paying customer."

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Half a game? (4, Insightful)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375780)

As a result, he suggested, EA sells DLC to both communities of gamers. And that's how a pirate can turn into a paying customer.

So what you're saying is that we should only sell half the game in the shops and make the customer download the rest of it as DLC?

Re:Half a game? (3, Insightful)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375848)

Or simply release a skeleton of the game, and then demand payment for the rest.

And you could even release that starting representative little part of the game for free. After all, it's going to be pirated you'll be getting most of your revenue with the DLC, right?

And you could even call that representative little part "demo", and then say that the first DLC is the "full game".

Brilliant! ...

If they start releasing a significative part of the game as DLC, DLC will be cracked as full games are now, anyway.

This is just one more way to use "OMGPIRATES!" as an excuse to get more money for the same game from the paying customers.

Re:Half a game? (1, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376306)

What's a DLC?

Re:Half a game? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30376384)

What's a DLC?

Take your pick... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DLC

Hint: it's related to Computing and technology ;-)

Re:Half a game? (2, Funny)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376464)

Anon. Coward wrote:
Take your pick... en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DLC - Hint: it's related to Computing and technology ;-)

Oh the Desktop Linux Consortium. Well then, that makes what EA is doing a-okay. I. Heart. Linux.

Re:Half a game? (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376508)

You're wrong.

It's the Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airport. Not bad, they missed two letters and simply removed the fourth.

By that algorithm, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration could be the NLC.

Re:Half a game? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30376550)

You didn't seem to have a problem with acronym soup related to DLC in the articles:
http://games.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/03/21/021244 [slashdot.org]
http://games.slashdot.org/story/09/09/29/0448213/The-Nickel-amp-Dime-Generation [slashdot.org]

Weird. Hey, waitasecond, are you trolling!? Oh you crazy trolls! You got me! Oh man, I feel duped!

Re:Half a game? (1)

Sebilrazen (870600) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376608)

You didn't seem to have a problem with acronym soup related to DLC in the articles: http://games.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/03/21/021244 [slashdot.org] http://games.slashdot.org/story/09/09/29/0448213/The-Nickel-amp-Dime-Generation [slashdot.org]

Weird. Hey, waitasecond, are you trolling!? Oh you crazy trolls! You got me! Oh man, I feel duped!

Now you are duped.

Re:Half a game? (2, Informative)

Captain Hook (923766) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376652)

Downloadable Content

You want a new map in you FPS, you buy it and download it. At least thats how it started, as add-on content smaller than an expansion pack would be.

These days it can be really small trivial stuff, like a new hair style for your characters, or a better weapon. Personaly I have no problem with it when dealing with non-competitive add-ons such as image tweaks. I have a much bigger problem with it for items which offer a competitive advantage over other players - especially in player vs player games such as FPS.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Downloadable_content

Re:Half a game? (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376934)

If I want new maps in my FPS, I head to FPSBanana [fpsbanana.com] and download it. Or just find a server that's already got it and see if I can download it from there.

Oh wait, you meant DLC for consoles (and for the PC version of Modern Warfare 2)?

Re:Half a game? (3, Interesting)

morari (1080535) | more than 4 years ago | (#30377128)

FPS for consoles? That's a good one! XD

Re:Half a game? (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376994)

"Downloadable Content"

Thank you, I too was wondering what the hell "DLC" was...the article didn't give anything telling what the TLA (Three Letter Acronym) was...

Actually..."Downloadable Content" is only two words, shouldn't the acronym be DC?

Re:Half a game? (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30377086)

Too many obvious things that DC already stands for... direct current, District of Columbia, direct connect...

Re:Half a game? (3, Interesting)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375866)

And that's how a pirate can turn into a paying customer.

And that's how a paying customer can turn into a "pirate".
I would buy the game in the shop and torrent all the cracked and nicely packaged DLC. Winrar!

Re:Half a game? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30375926)

I would buy the game in the shop and torrent all the cracked and nicely packaged DLC. Winrar!

This is EXACTLY what happened to me.

Re:Half a game? (5, Funny)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376356)

You mean: Winrarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Re:Half a game? (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376646)

Nicely done both of you.

Re:Half a game? (1)

Thansal (999464) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376718)

I wonder if they actually think of this as deriving revenue from pirates. I mean, any decent release will include cracked copies of what ever DLC there was. However some one who prefers to buy used games of piracy will NOT get the DLC that the original purchaser or the pirate gets, so I suspect that the people behind this know they are really only targeting the 2nd hand market with this.

There was an article a while back about DLC packaged with games, and some one (iirc, it was a high up in EA) said that it was aimed directly at the 2nd hand market, and made no mention of piracy.

Re:Half a game? (2, Insightful)

dave1791 (315728) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375960)

They learned this from the MMO model. Piracy is a non-issue for online games. So be prepared for a future with microtranscations in your single player FPS.

Re:Half a game? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376296)

And that will be the end of my modern gaming career. Rather than be nickle-and-dimed to death, I'll just dust-off the old PS2, Nintendo64, Genesis, Amiga, and Atari systems and play them instead. I want to OWN the things I buy, not rent them.

Re:Half a game? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30377458)

Piracy is a non-issue for online games.

But having to pay $720 per year for a mobile data plan for your handheld video game system is an issue.

Re:Half a game? (1)

your_neighbor (1193249) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376010)

Finally they found the right answer: Join the worse of both worlds!

Retail will not work, but you must have it! Download will not work, just if you bought the retail! Very clever answer. Nobody will want to download a simple .torrent with all that you need anymore!

Re:Half a game? (4, Insightful)

Grygus (1143095) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376054)

I think the opposite is true; you need a quality game for this to work. There is a class of pirate who isn't going to buy anything, no matter what. He can be ignored for the purposes of this conversation. There is another class of pirate who regards torrents as a sort of extended demo program. These guys either buy games that turn out to be good, or at least they wouldn't object to that behavior even if they often never seem to get around to buying the game. That's the target here.

If you put out a game that is good enough right out of the box (or the original torrent in this case), and then issue compelling DLC they might well go ahead and purchase the DLC if that's easier than (or just as easy as) getting a torrent. A lot of these people aren't stealing for financial reasons; they're stealing because the pirated version of most games is actually superior in some way(s) to the retail version. DRM is removed, you don't need the CD in the drive, and it's convenient to acquire. If the DLC doesn't introduce any of those inconveniences, and if the button to buy it is right there on the launcher or even in-game (like in Dragon Age,) I bet there are in fact some pirates who are stealing the game but then buying DLC.

I don't think it's a solution; there is no solution to piracy unless your game was free of charge to begin with. However, I think it's a healthy attitude and I think it's a step in the right direction; instead of seeing piracy as this holy war to fight, approach it as a sales problem.

Re:Half a game? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30376174)

I think the opposite is true; you need a quality game for this to work. There is a class of pirate who isn't going to buy anything, no matter what. He can be ignored for the purposes of this conversation. There is another class of pirate who regards torrents as a sort of extended demo program. These guys either buy games that turn out to be good, or at least they wouldn't object to that behavior even if they often never seem to get around to buying the game. That's the target here.

That is me, I think that 99.9% of mainstream PC games are total garbage and not worth my money. The latest games tend to be ports of some console game with the same shitty console controls on my PC. On top of that I can not return a game if it sucks.

Look at Assassins Creed for example, good reviews but I it was one boring, repetitive game.... typical console shit. I stopped playing it after the second city or so.
I also downloaded Dragon Age Origins and liked it so much that I went to the store yesterday to purchase it.

I would consider purchasing DLC but would never do it because I would never allow a pirated game to connect to the Internet. Grant me amnesty when purchasing DLC and I may go for it :)

Re:Half a game? (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 4 years ago | (#30377346)

Assassins Creed is a multiplatform game, it's not specifically any platform's shit, just like Dragon Age, which is also multiplatform. Perhaps instead of blaming the console, you should blame the game itself or simply decide that some games aren't to your taste but others are.

Console game with console controls (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30377510)

Assassins Creed is a multiplatform game, it's not specifically any platform's shit, just like Dragon Age, which is also multiplatform.

I think Anonymous Coward was trying to say that the developers of the PC version of Assassin's Creed did not take advantage of features unique to the PC platform that would have added depth to the PC experience. It'd be like an Xbox 360 fan complaining that the Xbox 360 version of a PS3/Xbox 360 cross-platform game has only bare-minimum Live features.

But sometimes you want arcade-style or console-style controls, such as when you have more people than gaming PCs in your home.

Re:Half a game? (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#30377472)

tell me about it. Right now, the only games I am playing are Lords of Magic special edition from the win95 era and dwarf fortress (a modern independent game with ASCII graphics).

Re:Half a game? (4, Funny)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376322)

>>>There is a class of pirate who isn't going to buy anything, no matter what. He can be ignored for the purposes of this conversation.

Awww.

(walks off)

Re:Half a game? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30376566)

instead of seeing piracy as this holy war to fight, approach it as a sales problem.

This is nearly correct. However, ~80% of what I torrent I do so because the industry execs decide to show Program X in the US on date Y and in the UK on date Z where Y is upwards of months before Z. (Like Heroes, Lost, True Blood, 24, etc). Thus because of their desire to screw me over just for living in the UK, I torrent the shows to watch as soon as they hit the trackers a few hours after airing in the US. Thus I have little, if any, incentive to buy the boxsets as I've got the whole season on my machine (or in the case of Lost, they sold the 1st season across TWO boxsets charging ~£25 for *each*).

Games are a different matter. If the studios would put out more demos they'd see more sales.C&C3 sold me on the demo, and I purchased it at full price. However, Mirrors Edge had no PC demo (Thanks EA!) and I've only just picked it up last week because it was on the steam sale for £3.25. EA could've had the asking price for the game if they'd provided a decent PC demo. Thus EA have lost at least £16.75 from me, and I've not even pirated their game!

Re:Half a game? (4, Insightful)

Kamokazi (1080091) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376288)

It's that kind of stupid thinking that made me pirate the DLC for Dragon Age. I paid the full $50 and change for the game, then I pirated all the DLC, even the free DLC (Which, IMO, was much better than paid...Soldier's Peak kinda sucked), because to hell if I am going to phone home to EA every time I play the game.

I do this because I think DLC has turned into nothing but greed. I was always a big fan of expansion packs....$20-30 for a nice lump of additional story or content. Then a few DLC-ish things started popping up here and there, which wasn't bad either. A nice string of extra content, priced reasonably. Apparently it was quite popular, as it evolved into the monster system we have now, where DLC is oftentimes content that should have been present from launch.

Also I think DLC is targeted at used much more than pirated...this is just smoke and mirrors to hide their true ambition, in that they want to get paid for every person who uses a copy...and not paid for a single copy that changes hands a few times. Otherwise they wouldn't give out 'free' DLC with every copy of the game...a pirate will just pirate it, but a used buyer may not.

Re:Half a game? (4, Insightful)

Bakkster (1529253) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376320)

As a result, he suggested, EA sells DLC to both communities of gamers. And that's how a pirate can turn into a paying customer.

So what you're saying is that we should only sell half the game in the shops and make the customer download the rest of it as DLC?

As long as the game in stores costs half as much, or gives credit to download the other half of the game, that seems acceptable to me.

Some genres of game might even be better because of it. For example racing, sports, and music games.
Racing: a core group of cars from all the classes, then download packs for american muscle, touring cars, exotics, supercars, japanese late-models, etc. You only pay for the cars you want.
Sports: soccer (football) game where you only buy the leagues you want to play. MLS, premier, and national teams, for example.
Music: same idea, buy the disc and get $X to spend on downloadable songs. Never have to play that song you hate, just don't buy them.

Of course, this is predicated on the idea that the initial game would be cheaper (har har), and the DLC of course necessitates DRM (otherwise it all gets pirated, and it's a bunch of extra work for no pay). This would work great in theory, but in practice I imagine nothing good.

Re:Half a game? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30377542)

As long as the game in stores costs half as much, or gives credit to download the other half of the game, that seems acceptable to me.

So the publisher tries to put a $60 basic edition and a $120 "all DLC included" edition on store shelves. Guess which edition stores are going to carry.

Re:Half a game? (1)

icsx (1107185) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376512)

Seems to me that EA tries to justificate DLC with comments like this and easy money for them. A new game costs atleast 50 bucks, sometimes even 60 on the PC. Naturally the same game is 10 bucks or more expensive on console (whatever is reason for that anyway??). This means that DLC can be 10-30 bucks each so there's around 80 bucks or more spent on _one_ game, that was poorly and too fast made in the first place, thus lacked the content that should have been in the game at the first place. That content is now sold as DLC, but the price is over half higher than it should have been.

What used to be 1 game in the past, is now over a half of 1 game, 1-2 DLC content make it full game and players do the testing for it upon release of the original. Keep the game alive for few years with DLC while making the sequel and then milk out the money again. Nice business model. I wish i had a game company.

Re:Half a game? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30376624)

It still doesn't make sense. The legit customers will buy half a game, the pirates will steal the whole game. It sounds like a weak justification to me.

Re:Half a game? (3, Insightful)

eonlabs (921625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30377244)

So anyone that doesn't buy the game in the original shrink wrapped packaging is now a pirate? Man, EB Games and Game Stop make half their profits off used games. How about Play and Trade?

Am I missing something here? Is it no longer legal to sell the original copy of something you purchased?

In the same breath, the DLC model still works in this situation as well and, provided the original game is worth playing, can potentially keep a game fresh for a while.

Thanks buddy (5, Informative)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375790)

And that's how a pirate can turn into a paying customer.

And why I, a legitimate customer, can't play Dragon Age if my net connection is down, because the game checks if I'm really entitled to start that savegame with DLC content in it.

In other news, the amount of legitimate Dragon Age + DLC owners planning on getting a pirate copy of Mass Effect just increased by 1.

Re:Thanks buddy (-1)

Grygus (1143095) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376120)

Dragon Age is only supposed to require a connection once, right after you bought the DLC. Once it has that confirmation you're supposed to able to play offline all you want. If that's not happening then you have a problem, it's not intended behavior. This FAQ [bioware.com] might help.

Re:Thanks buddy (2, Insightful)

Grygus (1143095) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376132)

Disregard above post. I am out of date. Sorry.

Re:Thanks buddy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30376346)

I had the same problem with this. I had to delete all the dlc, then re download it. After that I got an error message about a specific piece of DLC, I then deleted that and downloaded it again and did not have a problem playing offline. Mind you this was on the xbox 360, but it *should* work for the pc version as well :).

Did they ask why? (2, Interesting)

Kman_xth (529883) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375810)

Is there any research as to why DLC's are bought more then the actual game? Is it because DLC's are harder to pirate, is it's delivery system preferred above physical discs or is it the low price that drives pirates to a buy? Or perhaps the lack of a decent demo-version?

Re:Did they ask why? (2, Insightful)

FictionPimp (712802) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376228)

Maybe it's people borrowing the game. Fake example: I beat Dragon Age, my friend wanted to play it. I gave him my copy to use. I can not play while he has my copy, but he made a EA account and got the DLC so he could play. Now we have 2 times DLC for 1 copy.

I don't think anybody should pirate anything (5, Interesting)

Ynot_82 (1023749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375816)

'I don't think anybody should pirate anything,' he said. 'I believe in the artistry of the people who build [the games industry.] I profoundly believe that

Really? Funny old world, isn't it
I distinctly remember EA being sued a while ago for copyright infringement.
They used a piece of music in their games without permission from the composer
Anyway...

Re:I don't think anybody should pirate anything (1)

lxs (131946) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375916)

EA management pretending to believe in the artistry of their creative staff is the funniest thing I've read in months.

Re:I don't think anybody should pirate anything (1)

runyonave (1482739) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376092)

Ea having a moral business standard is funnier.

Re:I don't think anybody should pirate anything (1)

gabereiser (1662967) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376616)

EA actually caring about their developers and artists... That's even funnier!

Re:I don't think anybody should pirate anything (3, Interesting)

testadicazzo (567430) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376150)

And when you steal from us, you steal from them. Having said that, there's a lot of people who do.'

I'm sure the EA lawyers didn't go into court calling their copyright infringement theft either. I would really like to see the press (at least the technical press) conditioned to call the PR assholes on their use of "theft" as a synonym for copyright infringement. The two things are legally and conceptually different. We live in an age where copyright laws, distribution models and our attitudes towards "intellectual property" desperately need to evolve and be rethought. Changes in technology have drastically transformed the cost function for distribution of idea and information distribution, and the old ways of doing things are, simply, harmful and holding us back. When I think that people's lives are being ruined (financially and through prison and social condemnation) i an attempt to keep oligarchs in power and wealth, well, it breaks my heart. At the very least we need to fight against this newspeak conditioning by the PR asshats.

Of course "and when you violate our copyrights, you steal from them..." doesn't carry the same punch does it?

Re:I don't think anybody should pirate anything (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30376256)

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh, when I take something that doesn't belong to me they call me a thief. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaah, I'm not thief. I'm an infringer.

Re:I don't think anybody should pirate anything (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30376338)

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaah, I'm not thief. I'm an infringer.

You got that wrong. You are just a moron.

Re:I don't think anybody should pirate anything (1)

Apatharch (796324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376830)

Sure, if you take something which doesn't belong to you (and without permission of course) you are a thief.

However, making a perfect duplicate of something without diminishing the original is not the same as taking it.

Re:I don't think anybody should pirate anything (1)

Urkki (668283) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376956)

Sure, if you take something which doesn't belong to you (and without permission of course) you are a thief.

However, making a perfect duplicate of something without diminishing the original is not the same as taking it.

Do you mean, taking a copy is not taking a copy, it's just taking a copy? :-)

Re:I don't think anybody should pirate anything (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30377160)

No, he means making a copy is not taking a copy.

Re:I don't think anybody should pirate anything (1)

kz45 (175825) | more than 4 years ago | (#30377300)

"However, making a perfect duplicate of something without diminishing the original is not the same as taking it."

Tell that to the lawyers at the FSF going after people for violating the GNU. Under this same argument, the original author loses nothing when a company decides to use GPLd code in their proprietary app.

Re:I don't think anybody should pirate anything (2, Insightful)

jcnnghm (538570) | more than 4 years ago | (#30377002)

So what is your solution to this problem? You still want these same "oligarch's" to fund the creation of the content you want, right? Why would they do so if there was no possibility of a return on their investment? You are aware that a large percentage of projects fail, right? What would inspire people to take the risk if there was no reward? More government? Magic fairy dust? Bullshit fantasy land?

Link? (1)

giostickninja (1141347) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375818)

Is it just me, or does this summary not link to the actual article?

Re:Link? (5, Funny)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375838)

It only links to part of the article, you have to purchase the rest as DLC

:)

Re:Link? (1, Funny)

kaizokuace (1082079) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376088)

I wish you could mod with +1 Zing!

Re:Link? (0, Offtopic)

fran6gagne (1467469) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376548)

We recognized you, Mr Murdoch. Now please leave...

Re:Link? (3, Funny)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375920)

So that's how you turn a /.er to a RTFA type.

Way too smart for EA (1)

YouDoNotWantToKnow (1516235) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375852)

They will reverse that policy as soon as they miss the next quarterly results or something.

Re:Way too smart for EA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30377314)

Either that or they will blame piracy of DLC and push yet more intrusive DRM.

Article (3, Informative)

Mr_Silver (213637) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375918)

The link to the article might be useful: http://kotaku.com/5421466/ea-ceo-i-think-of-pirates-as-a-marketplace [kotaku.com]

Re:Article (1, Troll)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376418)

Hmmm.

Still doesn't tell me what a DLC is. People, especially reporters, shouldn't use acronyms without explaining what they mean. I mean, like OMG, WTF? LOL. (shrug). IAAL. TTFN. L8r

Re:Article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30376976)

Your signature confuses me. Could you explain the acronyms you used?

Re:Article (3, Insightful)

Sebilrazen (870600) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376998)

Honestly? Are you still trolling? This isn't a general population website that has the story it's an informed audience website, a gamer knows what DLC is, a gamer visits Kotaku. The rules for acronym usage clearly state that if the acronym is commonly known it can be used as a word and needs no explanation, however if your audience isn't expected to know the word you must spell out the words first then parenthesize the acronym that will represent the words and then use the acronym.from then on. That is why we can write IQ, FBI, CIA, Washington, D.C. without issue.

Read the Saboteur article a few threads back? (3, Interesting)

RenHoek (101570) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375944)

Seeing as EA still treats their customers like crap. (See the Saboteur article even just a few posts back.) I'm _still_ not being anything from EA, so no DLC for me either.

Les'see Last thing I bought was 6 copies of the Zero Hour expansion for me and my friends (Command and Conquer 3). Which turned out to be a fucking piece of crap. Thing was full of bugs. You used to play with your friends, building up your forces for 3 hours, and when you wanted to start moving in for the kill the fucking thing would de-sync and crash.

And EA did _nothing_ to fix the bugs. And this trend continued, and results will be the same for stuff like the Saboteur game.

So fuck you EA. Fuck you.

EA is a pirate! (5, Insightful)

CmpEng (1123811) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375982)

I used to heavily play BF2142 and then decided to take a break. Upon finding the game stashed away in my closest I wanted to try playing it again with some old university friends on my new computer. Needless to say, after contacting EA they would not validate my account ( their server said my account had already been activated )and the game would simply not work for online play anymore ( the vast majority of game and only way to unlock upgrades is online ). So regardless of the that I was the original purchaser, with box and serial in hand, I was out my purchase of BF2142. I have otherwise always purchased my games and respected copyright but this experience has been a turning point for me with EA. If you're going to lock honest people out of their own products you can't be upset that your products get pirated; because you're pirating the funds they paid you.

Re:EA is a pirate! (0)

Turzyx (1462339) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376138)

EA uses a store/download app akin to iTunes and Steam.

It is called EA Download Manager [ea.com] , formerly known as EA Link, formerly known as EA Downloader [wikipedia.org]

The activation key included with your BF2142 purchase has most likely been attached to your EA account. I would suggest downloading EA Download Manger and attempting to recover your log in details. Another benefit of this service is that you can also download any purchased games digitally, again, like iTunes and Steam. Good luck.

Re:EA is a pirate! (-1, Troll)

srothroc (733160) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376192)

Someone pirated the game and stole your serial; you're not angry at the pirates who created the situation to begin with, but you're angry at the company that doesn't really have a way of verifying that you are indeed the owner of said game? I'm assuming you didn't register or otherwise tie your serial to you personally here. I realize EA isn't the best of companies, but still, it seems like you're getting mad at the wrong person.

Re:EA is a pirate! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30376486)

Imagine Walmart, or some such, implementing cavity searches at checkouts. Imagine they said it was necessary because of the shoplifters. Would you really blame the shoplifters with a fist up your ass?

Re:EA is a pirate! (1)

tonycheese (921278) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376600)

I don't think he meant that someone stole his serial, I think he meant that a while ago he installed it on a computer, but in trying to reinstall it, possibly on a different computer, EA denied his installation/validation.

Re:EA is a pirate! (1)

1001011010110101 (305349) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376650)

Hes mad at the right person. EAs authentication scheme locked him out. Its EAs fault if someone else could "keygen" his serial. As a paying customer, he shouldn't be affected by the pirates. As usual, only paying customers are affected by DRM and copy protection. The pirates just crack the thing and forget about it.

Re:EA is a pirate! (1)

Sage Gaspar (688563) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376966)

I had the same problem with BF2142, or at least a very similar one. Their stupid EA downloader thing kept fucking up until I just threw up my hands and stopped playing eventually, then a year later when I went to try it again I couldn't get my account working right. One of the reasons I only buy games through Steam now.

Wow, Diamon-like carbon can make me rich! (2, Insightful)

davidwr (791652) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376012)

'There's a sizable pirate market and a sizable second sale market and we want to try to generate revenue in that marketplace,' he said, pointing to DLC as a way to do it.

I had no idea diamond-like carbon [wikipedia.org] could make money in the video game industry!

Or maybe they meant Data Link Control. Anything with the word "control" in it has to be a moneymaker for someone.

stealing their future (2, Insightful)

gringer (252588) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376048)

And when you steal from us, you steal from [the people who build]

Really? Do the people who build the games get paid royalties for games that they help create?

If so, I suppose we can get into the 'making a copy of a piece of software' vs 'removing cargo from ships without permission' debate. If not, those builders got their money for the game before anyone was able to take it from them.

Re:stealing their future (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30376266)

While it is true that the pay of most people working on a game is not tied to it's performance, their job security is very strongly tied to it. What if nobody bought the game and everybody pirated it? The people who worked on it still would have gotten paid for their work, but it's also pretty likely their studio will get shut down and they'll be out of a job. Even if only 10% of the users pirated the game, the company might not have hit their revenue goals and might lay off some of the people who worked on the game.

So yes, by pirating a game, you are hurting the people who worked on it. Just because the money doesn't come directly out of their pockets doesn't mean they are unaffected by piracy; it can still affect them indirectly.

Re:stealing their future (1)

Taibhsear (1286214) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376748)

You know what else affects them indirectly? Working for a douchebag company that treats their customer base like criminals, which leads the customers into being "criminals," which makes the customers "pirates," which leads to their game not being bought, which leads to the studio closing (heresay), which leads to them losing their jobs.

That was fun. I like this game. It's certainly more fun than a lot of the crap EA has been putting out.

Re:stealing their future (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376852)

...something else that affects them indirectly is whether or not the product they have worked on is SO LAME that it won't sell more than a few thousand copies.

A crap game is much more of a threat to the artist or programmer than any pirates. A good game will still sell well and a bad game will "just bomb".

Given that this is EA, it will probably not make one bit of difference to the coder or artist either way. The idea that it would us just nonsense used to prop up someone's agenda. Just like with any other "creative industry", there is a huge disconnect between those doing the actual work and those being rewarded. Creative accounting or works for hire ensure the talent gets stolen from either way.

Re:stealing their future (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30377084)

I'm by no means defending EA, I'm not particularly fond of them or many of the games they put out. My intent was merely to point out the fallacy in the statement that pirating a game doesn't affect the people who worked on it. Whether or not they deserve it for working where they do is a completely different question.

Re:stealing their future (1)

kz45 (175825) | more than 4 years ago | (#30377376)

"You know what else affects them indirectly? Working for a douchebag company that treats their customer base like criminals"

With all of the download sites on the Internet, is it any wonder that companies "treat customers like criminals"? If they just allowed it to happen, with no protection, I can almost guarantee they would lose a large percentage of the profits, even on a good game.

The more people on the Internet share pirated software, the more protection companies will build into their product.

"which makes the customers "pirates," which leads to their game not being bought, which leads to the studio closing (heresay), which leads to them losing their jobs."

Right. The reason people pirate is because the licensing scheme on software is too difficult. Can you show me an example of a great application with no copyright protection that hasn't been pirated all over the Internet?

"That was fun. I like this game. It's certainly more fun than a lot of the crap EA has been putting out."

EA has trials/demos of most of their games. If it really was "crap" as you say, they wouldn't have a problem with piracy.

Re:stealing their future (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30376724)

They're not going to keep paying people to make games, if you keep stealing (yes, stealing) them. Getting paid up front doesn't matter.

Re:stealing their future (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30376940)

In a related story, the release of the latest EA blockbuster was cancelled after an unidentified individual broke in to the development studio and made off with the game concealed in his jacket...

what about the customer? (1)

runyonave (1482739) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376060)

I profoundly believe that. And when you steal from us, you steal from them.

Big words coming from the same people that made people pay for a DLC that SHOULD have been in the game. Seriuosly, when have you heard of an RPG game that requires you to pay extra for a storage system

Winrar for the win, screw EA

DLC??? Don't use acronyms (-1, Redundant)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376272)

Please don't use acronyms unless you've first identified what they mean. I have no idea what a DLC is, and I did not see a link to an article so I couldn't look it up.

Otherwise I'll TOT a TLAM and some SM2s on your TDC from my VLS using my FCU. ;-)

So you want the paying customers to pay more? (2, Insightful)

Drethon (1445051) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376430)

Seems to be saying that now the paying customer will buy half a game for full price then pay to complete the game whereas the pirate will only pay for the complete game. Now if they were to make the paying customer pay half first and then the other half for the DLC it would cost the paying customer no more but then again someone will figure out a way to pirate the DLC so why are we discussing this again?

Unbelieveable! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30376438)

"Some of the people buying this DLC are not people who bought the game in a new shrink-wrapped box. That could be seen as a dark cloud, a mass of gamers who play a game without contributing a penny to EA."

"Some of the people buying this DLC..."
"play a game without contributing a penny..."

You STUPID idiot. If they bought DLC then they contributed to EA! (much more than a penny- I've heard about EA's DLC pricing.) EA actually seems to hate its customers- and it shows.

It's sad to say, but whenever I hear about a new game, the FIRST thing I find out is "Did EA publish it"?
Avoid EA games like the plague they are.

Common courtesy... (0, Redundant)

thickdiick (1663057) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376440)

It's standard procedure to first define an acronym (like DLC) before using it throughout one's text.

Re:Common courtesy... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30376676)

If I see this same fag bitching about a commonly-used acronym one more time...

Re:Common courtesy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30376732)

Down Loadable Content.

I hate DLC (-1, Redundant)

gabereiser (1662967) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376626)

I'm tired of paying $60 for an incomplete game, then have to fork over another $20 for DLC to make it complete. I'm tired of spending $8/mo just so I can play with others online. I'm tired of game companies "not getting it" when it comes to pirates. Want to stop the pirates? Make games cheaper and feature complete, assholes.

Re:I hate DLC (1)

0ld_d0g (923931) | more than 4 years ago | (#30377370)

I'm tired of game companies "not getting it" when it comes to pirates. Want to stop the pirates? Make games cheaper and feature complete, assholes.

I think the only thing they can do, is stop investing 10 million per game and hire all those people to make them. If wanting games cheaper was the predicating factor for pirates, I'd love to see pirates pool in and pay game developers and sound engineers and artists to write games for them. I wonder if that would ever happen.

Regardless of your own position on piracy, my experience has been that pirates just want content for free no matter what. Sadly, I only see this ending badly for legitimate consumers. Only when RIAA/MPAA successfully convince (i.e. pay) congress to pass laws requiring DRM on every damn thing, will it be over.

Notice how they try to cast second sale as pirates (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30376856)

See the grouping they're doing with pirates and second-sale customers? In their minds, they're the same, but they aren't. Second sale are legitimate customers, buying used games from previous game owners. They want to stamp this out, because they don't get a second cut, and spinning it into piracy in people's minds is the first step.

I say.... (1)

HideyoshiJP (1392619) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376978)

Give him the sack! He's being soft on piracy! ...wait... he's not an elected official, so it's okay. He can be soft on things. :D

Cost of a game today? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30377020)

What is the true cost to develop and support the average retail game today?

What is the cost of a game at retail?

Why has the cost of games stagnated in spite of inflation?

Expansions (1)

emkyooess (1551693) | more than 4 years ago | (#30377058)

I prefer Expansions over DLC. Mostly because I enjoy actually owning (and not downloading/DRMing/activating/etc) what I buy. I can list *many* games for which I pirated the base game and bought all the expansion packs. I did later buy the base game when the price came down, too. Without pirating, I would never have bought any of the related product.

!Piracy (0, Redundant)

AP31R0N (723649) | more than 4 years ago | (#30377074)

For the 87th Time:

Piracy is ship to ship armed robbery. Calling copyright infringement piracy makes light of murderous thugs, and makes infringement sound worse than it is. It doesn't even work as a metaphor. When we use their misnomer, they win. Then one of two things will happen. Either infringers will be demonized people sharing 1s and 0s or the word piracy will lose its gravity.

Cue the "langwijiz morf, get/it" crowd.

And yeah, get off my lawn, or whatever other dismissiveness you want to conjure. Disagree all you want, but try to do it without dismissing me as pedantic or a grammar nazi. Try some substance.

Language matters; word choice matters. All actions start as thoughts, thoughts happen in words. By calling a government a regime, we can make overthrowing it more palatable. By calling a person a kike, nigger, rag head, witch etc, we can make them not human, so killing them won't be murder. Hacker was a positive term. The "man" (media, law, etc) has corrupted the word hacker to refer to criminals. It's like calling Nazis German over and over until the word German means Nazi. When we blur the distinction between words we lose expressiveness and have to invent awkward ways to regain specificity that we threw away out of laziness and ignorance. Yeah languages change over time, but there is evolution and there is devolution and corruption. Change is not inherently good.

And stand up for yourselves.

Re:!Piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30377162)

Sorry, dude, but you're too late [google.com] .

This begs the question: are you going to whine about my use of "begs the question"?

Re:!Piracy (1)

kz45 (175825) | more than 4 years ago | (#30377418)

"Piracy is ship to ship armed robbery. Calling copyright infringement piracy makes light of murderous thugs, and makes infringement sound worse than it is. It doesn't even work as a metaphor. When we use their misnomer, they win. Then one of two things will happen. Either infringers will be demonized people sharing 1s and 0s or the word piracy will lose its gravity."

you can kick and scream about a word changing over time, but it probably won't work. Words evolve over time and right now, the work pirate has to do with copyright infringement.

30k (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30377232)

As a former EA Developer, please do steal from us. We don't get any bonus, raise, or anything if our games sell well. They work us long hours in every office and pay us slave wages. I switched to business development and earned 5x the salary. I love making games, but I'm sticking to indie titles with former colleagues for now until we get paid more than call center employees and don't get worked 90+ hours / week on titles that are rushed because we need to raise quarter profits so this guy can collect a bonus.

He can preach all he wants about how he thinks of the devs, but in reality at EA and most other companies you see nothing for your hard work. Rewards for creating a ground breaking title with huge sales is the treat of retaining your job and perhaps a longer title.

Re:30k (2, Insightful)

kz45 (175825) | more than 4 years ago | (#30377528)

"As a former EA Developer, please do steal from us. We don't get any bonus, raise, or anything if our games sell well. They work us long hours in every office and pay us slave wages. I switched to business development and earned 5x the salary. I love making games, but I'm sticking to indie titles with former colleagues for now until we get paid more than call center employees and don't get worked 90+ hours / week on titles that are rushed because we need to raise quarter profits so this guy can collect a bonus."

In this crowd, your pleas will fall on dead ears. Most people here don't even see copyright infringement as stealing or wrong.

I find it a little ironic. When GPL infringement comes up, many open source zealots and slashdotters see this as stealing. When in reality, it's just as wrong or right as piracy.

The original author of the GPLd app loses nothing (the rights to the original code are there

He uis correct on this issue (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#30377526)

Ignoring the logical fallacies in his statement, he is correct.

However you can't sell half a game and them charge for the rest as DLC. You must have a complete game you can finish without DLC.
Otherwise the whole package will be wrapped up and pirated.

As a add on, it will generate revenue from whoever is playing.

It also needs to be added in a manner that isn't too jarring to the story, and the DLC you pay for should never walk off. I'm looking at you, Dragon Age.

Piracy isn;t stealing, and I wish more people would call out the idiots to keep trying to make it the same thing.
As a by product of DLC, you could start to get better numbers on how many copies are pirated.

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