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How the Pirate Bay Can Be an Asset To Game Developers

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the or-at-least-some-of-them dept.

Piracy 107

Underholdning writes "It's been five years since Radiohead brought the pay what you want model to the public with their successful sale of their 'In Rainbows' album. Now, here's a fresh example of how a game developer is making The Pirate Bay work for him by offering his game, McPixel, for free and letting people pay what they want. Currently TPB has more than 5000 applicants wanting to do the same. 'Sosowski isn't worried that promoting a game on a site known for piracy might be more effective at attracting more pirates than actual paying customers. "The game was already available on TPB beforehand, and I believe if someone didn't want to pay, he just didn't ... It is up to people to decide how much they would like to pay for the game, and I have no worries. I am happy that more people can enjoy my game. ... TPB is one of the most visited sites in the Internet, and simply having a game there is a form of advertisement and promotion."'"

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107 comments

Crappy game (0, Flamebait)

Mr. Franky (2725765) | about 2 years ago | (#41274579)

I just tried the game and quite frankly it's crap. Yeah yeah, indie and all, but I couldn't pay more than 5 mins and it made no sense. I wouldn't pay anything for it, and it's just flash applet anyway so why download it?

All the guy got from TPB is like $3000 dollars in sales, so not that much. Anyone who develops professionally, even a indie, would need much more for it to be sustainable. You really think this is going to bring EA, Ubisoft or Activision to let people pirate their games? No, they just add online components to their games, therefore making pirating impossible.

Re:Crappy game (2)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#41274679)

3K doesn't sound so bad for a dinky flash app that he probably knocked out in a couple of weeks.

Re:Crappy game (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41274721)

So what's your line of work? Oh really? Sounds easy, a total mug's game. I shit that stuff out.

Re:Crappy game (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 2 years ago | (#41274743)

Not $3000, $426. 300 x $1.42 average. Very slight difference-- goes from "maybe economically viable" to "OK as a hobby, not as a means of support".

Re:Crappy game (2, Informative)

Zocalo (252965) | about 2 years ago | (#41274831)

According to the article that $426 was made in less than one day (the first), and since you'll hopefully be getting donations seven days a week that makes it equivalent to an income just shy of $3,000 per week. Assuming that you can crank out equally successful games at a rate that out paces the inevitable waning interest in your previous works, while you are not certainly going to be making a fortune and will need to self fund all the benefits that an employer might provide as part of a package, it's still not a bad wage.

Re:Crappy game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41274987)

I can't help but wonder if the novelty of promoting through TPB contributed to a $3,000 first week.

Let's revisit this in a year and see how many folks are doing this, over HIB or traditional sales.

Re:Crappy game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41275055)

$3000 is a decent profit on an authors first published novel. Not unreasonable for a simple flash game.

Re:Crappy game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41275187)

Not at all. Let's see if the next 5 devs that do this make any money.

Re:Crappy game (3, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | about 2 years ago | (#41275001)

According to the article that $426 was made in less than one day (the first), and since you'll hopefully be getting donations seven days a week that makes it equivalent to an income just shy of $3,000 per week.

Uh, what? Opening day sales are usually way higher than your average day, usually people make up their opinion pretty quick if they want it or not. I'd be surprised if he breaks the $1000 barrier in a week and it's not like week two is going to be like week one either.

Re:Crappy game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41275073)

If this is week two its going to be much much higher. He's hit Slashdot's main page. I just dropped him $5 on principle and may not even play the game.

That said, $3000 is a decent wage for developing a flash game. That is in the ballpark of what most fantasy/sci fi authors get for their first published book. Why do people think you should have a livable income for life off a single work?

Re:Crappy game (2)

aztracker1 (702135) | about 2 years ago | (#41277657)

I've spent on the humble bundles just to support the model... I stopped playing most games when drm became rampant, and they started suing the homebrewers.. I've also backed a few kickstarter projects as well

Re:Crappy game (3)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 2 years ago | (#41275313)

and since you'll hopefully be getting donations seven days a week that makes it equivalent to an income just shy of $3,000 per week.

Thats not a safe bet at all; you cant simply extrapolate from one day's sales to one week's sales-- especially when every other industry recognizes far higher profits on day one than on subsequent days (check opening day sales on any major game or movie, vs the next several days, vs the next several weeks). Theres usually a pretty sharp drop-off.

Re:Crappy game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41277053)

The difference between small projects like this and AAA titles is that the release date for the latter is usually plastered all over the expensive marketing campaign, with pre-orders available and so on. That's what generates the day one sales effect. With small titles which do not rely on wide spread advertising campaigns it's usually more about whether the product is actually good enough for one person to recommend it to their friends, and those friends to recommend it to their friends and so on - this generates a much more steady income, than pre-launch hype-up campaign. That's how Minecraft went viral for example, with their sales figures still at 11 copies sold per minute (as for 9/9/2012, if we are to believe the statistics available on their website) - I wonder what the sales figures are for, lets say, Modern Wafer 3 at this point. Must be near the hard bottom by now, since Activision decided on releasing a new Call of Dooty game every year, with two studios working on them round the clock. Go figure.

Re:Crappy game (1)

iamhassi (659463) | about 2 years ago | (#41275277)

Not $3000, $426. 300 x $1.42 average. Very slight difference-- goes from "maybe economically viable" to "OK as a hobby, not as a means of support".

Some areas of the world $426 in a week is decent money, even for a programmer, especially if he was able to do this from home, so I wouldn't knock it. I'm sure there's people that even look at that $3,000 like it's nothing and wouldn't work a week for that let alone a few weeks.

Re:Crappy game (5, Interesting)

jiteo (964572) | about 2 years ago | (#41274805)

So much arrogance and bitterness.

Read the guy's story [arstechnica.com] (yes, I'm re-linking to TFA in a comment) on Ars and the guy's AmA [reddit.com] over on Reddit. You don't have to like the guy's game (which most certainly isn't a dinky flash app that he probably knocked out in a couple of weeks - it took him 10 months), but you have to admire his class, and if you inisist on letting the Internet know you don't like his game, you should definitely be more polite than "quite frankly it's crap."

Re:Crappy game (2)

McFadden (809368) | about 2 years ago | (#41283643)

but you have to admire his class

Why? That would suggest there's something almost altruistic about his decision, when it's pretty fucking obvious that he's doing this to make more money than his mediocre game would have otherwise. I suppose I grudgingly admire his PR savvy.

While these kinds of "gestures" by game developers remain a novelty, they will be treated as such, and garner more publicity (front page on reddit, slashdot and god knows how many other sites already) leading to considerably more sales than they would have achieved otherwise. The right-on crowd who still seem to think this is somehow a generous decision rather than a cunning marketing ploy will support it with their wallets and the developer gets more income for his distinctly "average" project than he could have hoped for if he'd tried to launch it at a fixed price.

Re:Crappy game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41277099)

3k for a couple weeks of work? That sounds pretty fucking *horrible* to me, especially when you factor in the cost of development and test hardware, and ongoing support costs.

Assume it only took 2 weeks (it probably took much longer than this, as anybody who's ever done any significant commercial development is well aware) - that's $78,000 gross revenues for your *business* over the course of a year. Factor in dev/test hardware, dev time, ancillary operating costs (office, lights, electricity, business insurance, etc. etc.), and you're looking at significantly less than $78k per year as "actual" income. Then, whack off another 25-30% for taxes (remember, you'll owe SS, Medicare, and Federal/State Income Tax when DBA "you, inc." - not just your marginal rate you pay as a W2 employee of some other company.)

No, 3000 for "a couple weeks of work" sounds pretty much like a recipe for being (and staying) poor. It's a hobby, not a business.

Re:Crappy game (2)

froggymana (1896008) | about 2 years ago | (#41278373)

3k for a couple weeks of work? That sounds pretty fucking *horrible* to me, especially when you factor in the cost of development and test hardware, and ongoing support costs.

Assume it only took 2 weeks (it probably took much longer than this, as anybody who's ever done any significant commercial development is well aware) - that's $78,000 gross revenues for your *business* over the course of a year. Factor in dev/test hardware, dev time, ancillary operating costs (office, lights, electricity, business insurance, etc. etc.), and you're looking at significantly less than $78k per year as "actual" income. Then, whack off another 25-30% for taxes (remember, you'll owe SS, Medicare, and Federal/State Income Tax when DBA "you, inc." - not just your marginal rate you pay as a W2 employee of some other company.)

No, 3000 for "a couple weeks of work" sounds pretty much like a recipe for being (and staying) poor. It's a hobby, not a business.

Lots of people enjoy programming in their free time. Getting paid $3,000 for doing something I love doing sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

Re:Crappy game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41274817)

You're thinking about it the wrong way.

People on TPB would have paid $0 if he didn't use this route. The McPixel author has just made $3,000 from these people. This $3,000 figure does NOT include legitimate channels!

Re:Crappy game (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 years ago | (#41276775)

If that extra $3,000 spelled the difference between a product that was unrewarding for its creator(s), and one that provided fair compensation for all of the time and work that went into making the product in the first place, then I'd completely agree with you. Is that the case?

Re:Crappy game (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 2 years ago | (#41275507)

$3000 is not a horrible salary for a third of a year. And if he can get that in 1 week, now that is nothing to scoff at.

Re:Crappy game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41275735)

>$3000 is not a horrible salary for a third of a year.

$9000 per annum is not a horrible salary? Do you live with your parents or something?

Re:Crappy game (4, Insightful)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about 2 years ago | (#41276271)

$3000 is not a horrible salary for a third of a year. And if he can get that in 1 week, now that is nothing to scoff at.

Then you will be excited to get a job at a local McDonald's where they pay at least $15,080.00/year because of minimum wage. I would describe $9000/year as a horrible salary. Won't keep a roof over your head, but you might be able to get high occasionally while living in a cardboard box.

Re:Crappy game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41277575)

Yes it is. My rent is $3000/month.

So he's made 300 bucks so far... (4, Insightful)

AmazingRuss (555076) | about 2 years ago | (#41274611)

...kind of puts the lie to "pirates will pay in their own good time" trope.

Re:So he's made 300 bucks so far... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41274815)

I'm pretty sure the humble bundle put that myth to rest

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2010/05/humble-bundle-gives-pirates-what-they-want-gets-ripped-off/

Not sure there is a more deserving cause of money in the software realm

Re:So he's made 300 bucks so far... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41274869)

What? the highest tipper gave over 130$ alone, with a average of 2.41$ per donation...

Fantastic Idea (0, Troll)

aez (2725227) | about 2 years ago | (#41274617)

I think a large part of pirates are willing to pay for the things they pirate when they really understand that their money is going to exactly who they want it to. I pirate movies all the time to watch on my own. I don't want to pay some corporation in Hollywood to watch a movie. Now, when Louis CK offered his standup DVD, I watched it, decided it was worth 15 bucks, and that's what I paid. The key is for people to know the exact route their money travels. The content has to be good as well, obviously.

Re:Fantastic Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41274667)

Who the fucks gonna pay for the staff and materials involved in the making smart ass...go see the movies at the theaters and pirate dvds...

Re:Fantastic Idea (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41275157)

For the prices theaters charge I should be able to stream the movie to my home theater opening day in 1080p from vudu AND I SHOULD OWN IT not rent it. In fact, at Vudu prices there should be no rentals, just ownership. It costs less than traditional distribution and physical blu rays so why am I charged more?

As long as the movie and music industry want to artificially enforce an inferior experience on me I'm not going to give them a dime.

Re:Fantastic Idea (0)

chilvence (1210312) | about 2 years ago | (#41275519)

What are you talking about? In the original example, obviously Louis CK is going to pay. With the money that he earns from his stand up. Whether the old fashioned ticket way, or via donations. Is this complicated somehow? Is there some kind of genetic predisposition to need a middle man? Are you the middle man by any chance?

Re:Fantastic Idea (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41276631)

go see the movies at the theaters and pirate dvds...

Hmmm. On the one hand, I do like the cinema experience, even though nowadays it's usually just some mall shoebox. But to me it's nice to enjoy a movie in the company of others. On the other hand, I do not like paying twice to see one movie, and that's what happens when I/we/you/one pays to see a film in a theatre: You buy a ticket, and then you sit through a shitload of commercials. I don't mean trailers for upcoming movies - I actually quite enjoy watching those - I mean commercials, just like the fucking shit on TV. Why should I have to watch commercials when I've bought a ticket? If they let me in free, I could understand having to endure a quarter hour or more of these things, but they didn't. So fuck them.

Then again, even though I could tell myself that the greed of everyone involved in/with the movie business justifies downloading movies and not wasting my cash at a theatre, I only ever download stuff for which I would never pay to see, such as old old old TV shows or fringe movies that usually aren't available to rent or buy. Sometimes I'll download a new movie, but then it's always some iffy title, to see if it's worth seeing on the big screen. Usually it isn't, and I'll stop watching part way through and delete the file. But I'm sure the MPAA would try to sue me, no matter what the facts or reality of the situation. YAAAARRRRRRR, MATIE!

Re:Fantastic Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41275121)

Yes and in general i don't care to pay for each individual piece of content. Stop trying to burn me for $2+ per episode of a show. Charge me $5 for access to the season as it comes out. Or better yet, charge me $5/mo for unlimited subscription access to your studio or band's entire catalog.

I like to be entertained. I want to be able to consume all the content you have to offer for a reasonable price not have to cherry pick and item or two with rich assholes being the only ones who can enjoy all the content they want.

Re:Fantastic Idea (2)

Pinhedd (1661735) | about 2 years ago | (#41275273)

It's not your right to decide that. You don't pay the artist, you pay the copyright owner. That "corporation in hollywood" probably spent millions of dollars on funding, casting, scripting, construction, production, post production, marketing, analysis, and unfortunately on IP protection. In exchange for that, they get to choose when and how to distribute the works that they own. If you don't like that, don't use the product at all because you're part of the problem and not the solution.

Re:Fantastic Idea (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41275643)

True. The solution would be to to exclude corporations from being able to own copyright, and making it non-transferable. That would solve the vast majority of issues with that entire industry, while still leaving them ample opportunities to keep operating - just in a more ethical way.

Re:Fantastic Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41276267)

It's not your right to decide that.

It's not your "right" to do anything. You just do whatever you feel is best, and in this case, it happens to be speaking an opinion. The law isn't always right.

because you're part of the problem

Actually, even if you use the product, you'll have no effect on anything.

Re:Fantastic Idea (2)

Elldallan (901501) | about 2 years ago | (#41277195)

As long as they keep lobbying to increase copyright duration I personally find that to be a deal breaker, the original 25 years was ok for it's time, these days everything produced is expected to show a profit within the year so copyright should be limited to 3-5 years after creation/publication.
Copyright was never made for the benefit of the creators, it was made for the benefit of the general public by giving the creators a monopoly on distribution for a limited time.
Personally I find these constant extensions whenever the copyright on mickey mouse etc risks running out is against the spirit of that "for a limited time" and as such in my opinion they have voided any right to protection under the law, hence I will choose not to respect their distribution monopoly. If that would eventually cause them to go bankrupt from that then so much better, then maybe what comes after will be a system that actually works to the benefit of all sides involved.

Re:Fantastic Idea (1)

aez (2725227) | about 2 years ago | (#41277653)

If I want to watch a movie, I'll watch it. That's how things work.

Re:Fantastic Idea (1)

ultranova (717540) | about 2 years ago | (#41278921)

That "corporation in hollywood" probably spent millions of dollars on lobbying and bribery. In exchange for that, they get treated exactly as they deserve.

Fixed that for you.

IP in general and copyright law in particular passed the point of having not the tiniest shred of moral authority long ago. There's no moral obligation whatsoever to obey them.

Laws are only respected as long as they're respectable. Copyright law is not: it's a harlot, a corporate crack whore, a fist that's been tightened till every last speck of stardust has slipped trough the fingers. Hollywood only has itself to blame, it's their own attempt to increase their rights without limit at the expense of everyone else that got theirs jury nullified at the court of public opinion.

benefit or harm reduction (1)

Khashishi (775369) | about 2 years ago | (#41274627)

I wonder if having the game on TPB is actually benefiting the developer or the pay what you want model is simply harm reduction. No doubt he benefited from having it posted on Slashdot.

Re:benefit or harm reduction (2)

Havenwar (867124) | about 2 years ago | (#41275661)

Seems like your question is fallacious. After all: even if it's harm reduction, it's beneficial. No matter what the cause, it's money he wasn't getting otherwise, and people who wouldn't have heard of it otherwise that's now hearing about the game. So in a way it's advertising he's actually getting paid for, which can't be seen as anything less than a win/win/win scenario.

Re:benefit or harm reduction (1)

Stirling Newberry (848268) | about 2 years ago | (#41276667)

Harm reduction isn't beneficial if the opp cost is too high.

For example, smoking less is harm reduction, but it isn't as good as stopping smoking.

Re:benefit or harm reduction (1)

Havenwar (867124) | about 2 years ago | (#41278391)

It might not be AS GOOD, but it still REDUCES HARM. Any reduction in harm is by definition beneficial, compared to not reducing harm.

The accurate comparison would be smoking less compared to smoking more, not compared to stopping completely.

It's called donationware. (3, Informative)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 2 years ago | (#41274647)

It's called donationware, a variant of shareware, and its an old way of getting paid for your work. I think I saw the first example of it back in the mid 80's on the BBS scene.

It's not new, and it's not news.

Re:It's called donationware. (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about 2 years ago | (#41274669)

I'm much happier with the model where you can play for free and either spend large amounts of time at the game or pay for advancements. No adverts, no depending on charity, a fair and equitable method to fund games, if its done right.

Re:It's called donationware. (4, Insightful)

Havenwar (867124) | about 2 years ago | (#41275677)

I'd agree, except in my experience most games with micropayments don't actually work like that - there tends to be plenty of things in most of them that you can't access at all unless you open your wallet. That's a dealbreaker to me when it comes to micropayments, because then it's suddenly a way to get more money out of people rather than a way to let you choose between putting time or money into it. If I want to put money into a game, I do it upfront, or I do it to unlock it once I've tried it - I am not willing to be nickle-and-dimed to death for little things I had no idea I'd have a reason to need when I started out, and have no other way of getting.

Re:It's called donationware. (5, Interesting)

joelsanda (619660) | about 2 years ago | (#41274711)

It's called donationware, a variant of shareware, and its an old way of getting paid for your work. I think I saw the first example of it back in the mid 80's on the BBS scene.

It's not new, and it's not news.

I really miss those days. Being able to download something and use it for a week or so before deciding to get the full deal or pay the shareware fee. A few game companies do this, like Spiderweb Software [spiderwebsoftware.com] - you can play a huge chunk of the game before it stops and requires payment. By the time the demo is over you're pretty sure it will run on your computer and there's no question about liking it or not.

Re:It's called donationware. (2)

Nationless (2123580) | about 2 years ago | (#41274851)

There may be prior art, but it is still a resurrection in a certain way of thinking which will provide hard numbers for larger companies to crunch and consider alternatives to expensive and restrictive DRM and lawsuits against pirates.

Re:It's called donationware. (2)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 2 years ago | (#41277075)

No, the larger companies don't need numbers to crunch - they know the facts perfectly well, as does anyone that doesn't wear admantium blinders or otherwise wilfully disconnect themselves from reality. Donationware is a fine way to go stone broke.

Re:It's called donationware. (1)

Nationless (2123580) | about 2 years ago | (#41280565)

If they don't have data to crunch the numbers they can't "know the facts perfectly well". They're just making assumptions based on their outdated business models and nobody can prove them otherwise without said data. Stop contradicting yourself.

Although you could be right because they're totally winning that war on piracy, right?

Re:It's called donationware. (2)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 2 years ago | (#41282069)

No, I'm not contradicting myself - because I *am* dealing with facts. It's a stone cold fact that this (donationware) model has been around nearly three decades, and always has the same result - the developer goes broke. Nothing fundamental has changed, and therefore there is no reason to believe this effort will be any different. (Especially since the early information confirms those decades of experience.)

There is no more need to collect more numbers than there is to put my hand in a fire to prove it will still burn.

The one dealing with assumptions and contradictions here is yourself - because your utter ignorance of experience, your disconnected from reality ideals, and your blinders to facts leads you to assume that somehow, some way, things will be different this time.

Re:It's called donationware. (2)

Nationless (2123580) | about 2 years ago | (#41282767)

I disagree with the idea that nothing fundamental has changed. The internet has changed. Things are easier to pirate than ever and peoples expectations have changed because of this. So has the simplicity of donating and there's a whole new generation of people with a whole new mindset growing up into this world where they have never experienced the old market model.

Radiohead/NIN would never have been able to hand out their albums for free on 14.4k modems or in physical form. These are experiments and we should take value in the results. Same with McPixel.

If you could please link me to the large amount of recent companies that have failed because of this then I would be happy to consider your viewpoint, but so far all I see is a big [citation needed] behind your arguments.

New numbers and information is ALWAYS relevant. We do not know everything and it would be ridiculous to assume that nothing ever changes. Just look at how scientists work, constantly disproving known theories as new tech becomes available to them.

We can, of course, agree to disagree and all you have to do is simply not reply to this post and we will leave it at that with differing opinions.

Always the same fucking bullshit... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41274661)

1. Famous douchebag X with a massive existing following does lame PR stunt Y to promote shitty retarded concept Z.
2. Everyone praises shitty retarded concept Z, ignoring lame PR stunt Y and giving famous douchebag X "credz" for opening our eyes to this magical new way that Changes Everything (TM).
3. Nobody grasps that shitty retarded concept Z only worked because famous douchebag X is famous douchebag X and that Mr. Nobody won't even get any freeloaders playing his game or listen to his song or whatever *for free*, much less pay/donate any money.

I hate you all.

Re:Always the same fucking bullshit... (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#41274705)

Sos Sosowski is famous?

Re:Always the same fucking bullshit... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41277153)

Nah, mostly we're omitting the "famous guy does lame pr stunt that leads to successful thing," part, and skipping right to the "lame pr stunt is praised by a bunch of retards, even though it's not remotely successful, and never will be" part.

HOW THE PIRATE BAY CAN BE AN ASSET TO ASSHATS !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41274665)

It lets them find shit for free !! as in beer !!

Radiohead (4, Informative)

morari (1080535) | about 2 years ago | (#41274689)

I seem to recall Nine Inch Nails playing with a very similar idea beforehand. Giving the multitrack files out for fans to make remixes, releasing digital versions of the album for free, etc.

Re:Radiohead (2)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about 2 years ago | (#41274735)

That NIN's albumt. You could even download flacs!

To bad it was off in a different direction from the traditional NIN "space".

Re:Radiohead (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about 2 years ago | (#41274759)

damit ...

That was NIN's album: Ghost

Re:Radiohead (1)

Nationless (2123580) | about 2 years ago | (#41274879)

However due to the success of "Ghosts", Trent Reznor released the next traditional album "The Slip" for free saying "this one's on me,".

There is usually a lot of context that goes missing when people mention Ghosts which is odd since it was a huge success for both artists and fans alike.

Re:Radiohead (3, Insightful)

zixxt (1547061) | about 2 years ago | (#41275213)

That NIN's albumt. You could even download flacs!

To bad it was off in a different direction from the traditional NIN "space".

When was there ever a traditional NIN sound?

Re:Radiohead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41277117)

Shitty techno, laughably self-important lyrics, popular with the teenagers...

that's pretty much the traditional NIN sound. See also: Skrillex.

Re:Radiohead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41279173)

In what world is nin even vaguely related to techno?

Re:Radiohead (1)

drkstr1 (2072368) | about 2 years ago | (#41282683)

In what world is nin even vaguely related to techno?

Industrial is a form of electronica, and electronica is usually referred to as "techno."

Re:Radiohead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41285521)

Industrial is a form of electronica, and electronica is usually referred to as "techno."

Not quite. Both Electronica and Techno are thrown around a little too readily by people who don't really understand either term.

Broadly speaking, Techno is characterised by four-four beats and loops, generally aimed at integration into DJ mixes. It difficult to say much more than that as the style is very varied. Compare (e.g.) Exium against DJ Ze Mig L, both Techno, both Spanish, both well respected, both incredibly different. Techno has it's roots in Detroit (see "The Belleville Three") and also owes a massive debt of thanks to Europe for the immense diversification. There is also a strong DIY aesthetic ever present. The vast majority of the Techno scene thrives on (comparitively) small club nights and illegal raves. Indeed, massive commercial success tends to be frowned upon by the rest of the movement, hence there are no huge Techno stars, really. Possibly Richie Hawtin, and even he gets some resent.

Electronica is, if anything, even harder to define. It refers to music with a heavy emphasis on use of electronics for composition and arrangement, but varies wildly in execution. It also varies geographically. My experience is that Americans use the term a little more widely to encapsulate "all electronic music", thus you might include Techno under the same banner. In Europe there's a bit more of a subtlety to it, in that we think more of music aimed at listening rather than dancing. This doesn't exclude danceable music, rather highlights a slightly different focus. Think Autechre, Ulrich Schnauss, Squarepusher, Ochre etc.

I would argue that NIN is closer to Techno than Electronica, both in terms of sound and ideology. But there are definite similarities to both, see, e.g., Aphex Twin's remix of Closer - not that you'd recognise it - "The Heart of the Matter", on "Further Down the Spiral".

Re:Radiohead (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41276625)

as has been pointed out time and time again, it will work if the person/band/etc is already famous, but will hardly work for up-n-comers. fanbase size will determine most anything of this kind of distribution. of course, it will also depend on how you quantify success. anything is better than nothing, but is it better than what you would have gotten in a traditional distribution model?

Re:Radiohead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41277439)

they also uploaded raw hd footage from the tour and allowed fans to mix the video for it and upload it back. and you could download in every fucking format known to man lol

Re:Radiohead (1)

helix2301 (1105613) | about 2 years ago | (#41279921)

I know quite a few early Linux distros like slackware use bittorrent for there distribution.

queue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41274693)

why on earth would they want to associate themselves with a miscreant brand?

Always the same fucking bullshit... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41274767)

1. Famous douchebag X with a massive existing following does lame PR stunt Y to promote shitty retarded concept Z.
2. Everyone praises shitty retarded concept Z, ignoring lame PR stunt Y and giving famous douchebag X "credz" for opening our eyes to this magical new way that Changes Everything (TM).
3. Nobody grasps that shitty retarded concept Z only worked because famous douchebag X is famous douchebag X and that Mr. Nobody won't even get any freeloaders playing his game or listen to his song or whatever *for free*, much less pay/donate any money.

Re:Always the same fucking bullshit... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41276423)

As stated above:
Sos Sosowski is famous?

Content Distribution (5, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#41274775)

The real reason the Pirate Bay is hated is because it is a content distribution network. The BitTorrent protocol doesn't care whether it's a linux iso or a copy of the latest popular bluray rip that it transfers; It simply distributes the load to all of its participants. The RIAA, MPAA, and organizations they represent only exist because they have controlled the distribution of content (not its creation).

To hear that an author is distributing content on the 'honor system', is not surprising. All he's doing is leveraging a (free) distribution network, and probably making more money due to reduced overhead than he would if he went with one of the commercial solutions. Not to mention that gaining access to one of those solutions would require he give them a cut of the profits and pay regular fees on top of that. For a small-margins production like this, that would probably leave him with next to nothing.

The free market at work, that's what this is: And that's exactly why he has to die, horribly, painfully, and with many legal injunctions and fees. We can't have people using the internet to create money directly for themselves without any middlemen -- most of the jobs in our economy are middlemen. Burn the heretic.

Re:Content Distribution (1)

kermidge (2221646) | about 2 years ago | (#41275065)

Bravo! (or is it brava?) No mods, so thanks. Last para is a keeper. [grin]

Re:Content Distribution (4, Insightful)

jfengel (409917) | about 2 years ago | (#41275251)

The **AAs are/were a promotion and marketing mechanism, as well as a content distribution mechanism. That was, for a long while, a pretty good plan: they ginned up interest via marketing, which was expensive, and then made up their expenses on the content distribution side.

Content distribution is no longer a viable model; there is revenue but nowhere near what's needed to match the promotion and marketing required to generate nation-scale interest. What they really object to is the fact that they have been spending money on the promotion and marketing anyway, while other content distributors undercut their revenue.

As you say, it's broken and it's not coming back. For the RIAA, it's easy to see how they should abandon the whole thing: content creation in music is cheap. We can live just fine without them serving as promoters; between Pandora and America's Got Too Much Free Time, promotion gets done.

It's a bit harder for the MPAA. Home-grown movies still don't match what can be done by a real studio, and there really are seven-figure up-front investments. Losing control of the content distribution is a loss not just to them but to everybody, since it means certain kinds of movies can't be made profitably. They're still profitable, but it seems pretty unlikely that they'd continue to be if the MPAA gave up trying to control distribution and went for a "pay what you want" model.

I'm still not crazy about using Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead as a model. Their studios had already spent big bucks promoting them. For the average Garage Band garage band, they have a hard time giving stuff away. A better example is, of all things, Fifty Shades Of Gray, which really took off for reasons nobody can figure out except that word of mouth really spread. Do not, however, expect that to happen often. The real model is eight zillion apps languishing in the iTunes and Android stores, one of which might be awesome if only somebody got all Fifty Shades on it. But you just can't do that for a movie.

Re:Content Distribution (3, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#41276827)

You're correct in that the business model does have a few advantages for funding. And if copyright lasted only a few years, perhaps it would be a reasonable tradeoff. But when something lasts 150 years plus the life of the author, then you no longer have a situation where cost and benefit are balanced -- it costs the consumer massively, for little to no benefit.

I personally think the aggressive enforcement of copyright and modification of copyright laws are what is causing the destruction of the industry, not piracy. It's just like what happened during the Prohibition in the United States -- they tried to cut off access to a common recreational activity by force of law, and drove its use underground, resulting in the creation of this country's first large-scale organized crime syndicates, which remain active to this day due to the War on Drugs. Had the Prohibition never happened, organized crime might not developed in this country, or at least not to the breadth and depth that is is today.

When I studied Macroeconomics, there was a man whose name I forget who proposed that beyond a certain point, increasing taxes would actually result in less tax being collected because the incentives to cheat the system would outweigh the risks. So a tax rate of 30% might earn the same amount of revenue that a tax rate of 70% would. I think the same situation has happened in the entertainment industry -- except the tax in this case is a amortized in the system -- there are hundreds of little fees and laws and procedures that all work together in a complex dance to create a similar framework at a macro level.

Or put more simply: The recording industry priced itself out of the market. Their attempts to raise prices to compensate for lost income (in the form of a distribution 'tax') passed the critical threshold where there were more incentives to evade the system than participate in it. And yes, we all lose because of it, in the form of less available income and lower quality material... but it is hardly the fault of the consumer (legal or illegal) -- it was, in the final analyis, caused by a lack of competition. Had the recording industry not been dominated by only a few players, the pricing couldn't have been manipulated enough to cause it to pass the critical threshold, as the price would have remained aligned with the market demands.

They did this to themselves, and they took us with them.

Re:Content Distribution (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41277467)

man whose name I forget who proposed that beyond a certain point, increasing taxes would actually result in less tax being collected

Arthur Laffer [wikipedia.org]

It's not just cheating. Another issue is that people simply have little incentive to increase their production if most of their income is going to someone else.

It's also worth noting that in regards to product pricing, this is basic microeconomics (not macro). Higher prices on a monopolized good tend to increase your profit per unit but can reduce your overall profit. There's a sweet point where the lost of sales just balances the profit increase per sale. That's the ideal price for a monopoly good.

Re:Content Distribution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41277501)

What I want to see for movies and television shows is something like the Kickstarter model. A bunch of people buy tickets before production. Some of them get access to the content or specials while others get access to revenues from post-production sales.

Of course, the reason that I want this may be that most of the content that I like tends to be described as "cult favorites" -- e.g. Firefly or Sarah Connor Chronicles. Getting Fox out of the funding process would be a big win from my perspective. My impression is that people would be more willing to pay extra money for these kinds of shows.

Re:Content Distribution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41276273)

The free market at work, that's what this is: And that's exactly why he has to die, horribly, painfully, and with many legal injunctions and fees. We can't have people using the internet to create money directly for themselves without any middlemen -- most of the jobs in our economy are middlemen. Burn the heretic.

I think you're onto something here. That must be what they are talking about when politicians say they will create jobs. More bureaucracy and middlemen. Also explains why despite increased automation everything seems to be getting less efficient and more expensive.

Re:Content Distribution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41285085)

The real reason the Pirate Bay is hated is because it is a content distribution network. The BitTorrent protocol doesn't care whether it's a linux iso or a copy of the latest popular bluray rip that it transfers; It simply distributes the load to all of its participants. The RIAA, MPAA, and organizations they represent only exist because they have controlled the distribution of content (not its creation).

the pirate bay is no such thing, it is mearlly the yellow pages of where to get DVDs and other material. Bittorrent is the bus that you take to get the material. Big brother just doesn't like the loss of control of the public transit system. Think of the mess our society would be in if someone invented a teleportation machine that anyone could build in their home... how would governments stop people for escaping their tyrant...you bet the same reaction would happen.

Coming from different places (2)

poity (465672) | about 2 years ago | (#41274975)

A nobody coming from the very bottom will undoubtedly benefit from the publicity of doing something like this, because the rush of publicity and the sympathy money will make up for the low sales to download ratio. AAA developers will receive no sympathy, nor will they benefit from additional publicity on their already famous franchises, which means it won't work for them except to lower their revenue.

So, Pirate Bay make sense for upstarts, and that's about it.

Financial Success (5, Interesting)

theArtificial (613980) | about 2 years ago | (#41275077)

From TFS:

"It's been five years since Radiohead brought the pay what you want model to the public with their successful sale of their 'In Rainbows' album.

A curious thing about the (arguable) success is it hasn't been tried again. Subsequent albums have not used a similar model. Think about that.

Re:Financial Success (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41275445)

It would perhaps be more useful to investigate why, instead of speculating.

Re:Financial Success (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41275725)

>It would perhaps be more useful to investigate why, instead of speculating.

How droll. One can reasonably assume it wasn't because they were making more money than they normally were.

Re:Financial Success (0, Troll)

shiftless (410350) | about 2 years ago | (#41277349)

Only if you're a moron. Those with business sense on the other hand would prefer to perform a proper analysis and weigh the possibilities before jumping to a conclusion.

Re:Financial Success (1)

rastoboy29 (807168) | about 2 years ago | (#41277773)

lol I think they just weren't content with the mere few millions they got.

I mean who can live on that?

Re:Financial Success (1)

theArtificial (613980) | about 2 years ago | (#41277837)

lol I think they just weren't content with the mere few millions they got. I mean who can live on that?

Depending on where you live, for the sake of argument let's assume the first world, someone in the 3rd world could say the same thing about you. About half of the world lives off of $2.50 a day or less [globalissues.org] .

Buyers can pay zero or whatever they please up to £99.99 (about $212) for the album in MP3 form...

...The band and its managers are not releasing the download’s sales figures or average price, and may never do so. “It’s our linen,” Mr. Hufford said. “We don’t want to wash it in public.” A statement from the band rejected estimates by the online survey company ComScore that during October about three-fifths of worldwide downloaders took the album free, while the rest paid an average of $6.

Factoring in free downloads, ComScore said the average price per download was $2.26. But it did not specify a total number of downloads, saying only that a “significant percentage” of the 1.2 million people who visited the Radiohead Web site, inrainbows.com, in October downloaded the album. Under a typical recording contract, a band receives royalties of about 15 percent of an album’s wholesale price after expenses are recovered. Without middlemen, and with zero material costs for a download, $2.26 per album would work out to Radiohead’s advantage — not to mention the worldwide publicity.

From the New York Times [nytimes.com] . Obviously there is some merit to this model otherwise we wouldn't see more indy bundles. Unless the band releases figures we can merely speculate as to how successful it really was.

Article not about rating game (1)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about 2 years ago | (#41275103)

If anything the poor reviews that people are giving this game is a justification of the article. Many of us developers take a while to figure out how to promote things. Companies like EA have the whole promotion thing tied up in knots so any venue for people with sub zillion dollar marketing budgets is a good thing. I suspect that this is one of the main reasons that the movie and music industries are so fearful of the new digital world and that is that their machine had become so good at promoting anything they lost all incentive to produce things that are good. Taking the marketing machine partially out of the loop (I suspect many illegal downloads are still driven by the marketing machine) must leave them feeling fairly naked.

So kudos to this guy and TPB.

"Pay what you want" (2)

Penurious Penguin (2687307) | about 2 years ago | (#41275441)

I have a lot of faith in the honor system. The guy behind the popular bakery chain Panera Bread made an interesting and surprisingly successful attempt [usatoday.com] to open one cafe with the honor principle in mind. Of course, I suspect demographics can have a significant effect on a physically located business, and it is a gambit, but my faith extends beyond the physical well into the realm of the digital where I think it can work just as well. There will surely be abuse, though I think if we are to even have a future, similar concepts will become much more common some day, however remote from today.

Would have been useful if he didn't use Adobe AIR (1)

rklrkl (554527) | about 2 years ago | (#41275495)

The game uses Adobe AIR, which is a bad cross-platform choice because Adobe discontinued it in June 2011 on the Linux platform. They also ludicrously never released a Linux 64-bit version of Adobe AIR, so trying to install a dead 32-bit package on a 64-bit clean Linux system is such a nightmare that I gave up and never got to see the game on Linux after all. Even the instructions [adobe.com] to do so mention Fedora Core 11, which is a 3-year-old distro 6 releases out of date, ho hum.

True commercial success story w/ TPB (1)

SendBot (29932) | about 2 years ago | (#41275569)

I literally just purchased $110 (minus $.02) of video games from steam yesterday after browsing titles on TPB to see what was popular. The first one was plastered with "BUY NOW" everywhere as though you could buy it and play it, and then I didn't realize until afterward it was just a preorder. (BF3). Then I bought the GTA collection and had to go through a mountain of arcane technical hassle with windows marketplace (after buying on steam) just to be able to save games in gta4.

Also the collection included two games I've already paid for in the past, but whatever.

Those artifical losses due to piracy numbers can suck it.

such a pity then... (1)

advocate_one (662832) | about 2 years ago | (#41276089)

that the bastards got TPB blocked in my country... a.holes...

Re:such a pity then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41276551)

What country?

Re:such a pity then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41278293)

TPB is blocked in the UK.

Re:such a pity then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41285419)

TPB is written in Swedish, but you can use Google Translate to view it in England.

Corrections (1, Interesting)

brit74 (831798) | about 2 years ago | (#41277011)

"It's been five years since Radiohead brought the pay what you want model to the public with their successful sale of their 'In Rainbows' album.

Yes, you mean that stunt that the Radiohead manager said they won't repeat again?
"Radiohead abandons ‘pay what you want’ for upcoming album release" - http://www.digitaltrends.com/music/radiohead-abandons-pay-what-you-want-for-upcoming-album-release/ [digitaltrends.com]
"But Radiohead's manager has also said that the band likely wouldn't try a similar promotion again." - http://news.cnet.com/8301-10784_3-9894376-7.html [cnet.com]

Sorry, I just had to mention that because I'm tired of people using Radiohead as an example of "pay what you want" which was wildly successful, when it really sounds like it wasn't.

"Now, here's a fresh example of how a game developer is making The Pirate Bay work for him by offering his game, McPixel, for free and letting people pay what they want."

Yeah, I saw the McPixel developer trying to get fans on Reddit too. I saw a YouTube video of the game and it isn't very good. It wasn't worth a free download. But, he seems to be doing a good job of getting out there and marketing, as well as trying to build some fame by telling pirates exactly what they want to hear.

No thanks, McPixel developer. What you're doing by validating the PirateBay is undermining the game development industry while trying to make a few extra bucks. It's fundamentally self-centered. If this ever became "the norm", then the McPixel developer wouldn't get squat as far as free-advertising from sites like Slashdot. (It actually reminds me a little bit of the stunt that S.E.Cupp (an atheist) pulled a few months ago when she went on a news show and told people she'd never vote for an atheist politician because atheists can't be trusted. She's throwing other people (other atheists) under the bus by making those kinds of arguments, but I'm sure it did a good job of getting her extra fame and sales because she's saying the opposite of what you'd expect someone to say - and playing into the hands of conservatives. I can already hear them crowing, "See, even atheists admit they can't be trusted. We need only God-fearing politicians.")

would you like to be paid like this guy? (1)

murdocj (543661) | about 2 years ago | (#41277081)

So for everyone who thinks this is a great idea: your employer says "work for us for a couple of months. We'll decide at the end whether we feel like paying your or not".

Sound like a good business model?

Aaarrr (2)

slick7 (1703596) | about 2 years ago | (#41277763)

What good is a game if it doesn't have pirates?
September 19, talk like a pirate day.

Pirate Bay is overwhelmed by Malware (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41278497)

I went to PB on saturady looking for a piece of content I couldn't find elsewhere. I found around a dozen instances, after downloading 8 version, all of which turned out to be infected .exe files I gave up.

No time to Explain (2)

Trax3001BBS (2368736) | about 2 years ago | (#41283551)

Used the same method of distribution (sept 2011) http://games.slashdot.org/story/11/09/14/0517245/indie-devs-upload-their-own-game-to-the-pirate-bay [slashdot.org]

It's a heck of a lot of fun, the louder it is the better I play :}
I have the PirateBay edition, it's different as my guy wears a pirate hat.

"No time to Explain" season 2 will cost you $3 (US) now and that's at 70% off http://tinybuildgames.com/ [tinybuildgames.com]
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