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Gamespot Goes to Subscription Model

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the ask-not-for-whom-the-paypal-tolls dept.

Games 223

-PS-Sangloth writes "Gamespot, arguably the best video gaming website will expand in July to a pay service(Gamespot Complete). It seems that while review scores will be free, the actual reviews for new PC games will cease to be available to non-payers 7 days after the review was written. This is a real pity, I suspect many PC Gamers, like me, don't have credit cards(or cash), and Gamespot has good, hard, objective reviews. Read what they said at Gamespot Complete."

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fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3420390)

fp

Test Pls. Mod Down (-1, Offtopic)

Things To Do Today (576443) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420464)

fp
fp (Score:-1)
by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 27, @06:01AM (#3420390)
fp
[ Reply to This | Parent ]

Test: Pls. Mod Down (-1, Offtopic)

Things To Do Today (576443) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420467)

~1234567890-+
qwertyuiop[]\
asdfghjkl;'
zxcvbnm<>?

Um (5, Insightful)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420391)

If you can't afford a couple bucks a month, how can you afford spending $40/50 a month on new PC games?

Re:Um (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3420424)

Dude, you're a college student. Don't play dumb. There are ways to get PC games besides buying them at the store.

Re:Um (-1)

Rock 'N' Troll (566273) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420430)

This is what makes Linur so great. Instead of rewarding the developers, who have strived hard to create a good product, you can choose to "open-sores" (get illegal copies of) the game and get it for free!

Hrm... (2)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420437)

True, but you could just share passwords...

Of course, there are ways to get around that too. (there are also ways to stop people from pirating internet-only games effectively, I shelled out cash for quake3 when it came out, and recently purchaced a 'real' copy of starcraft for the first time)

I wonder how long it's going to be before someone comes out with a nice p2p web content pirater, for reading all these new for-pay sites (total fark, salon premium, gamespot, the economist, etc)

Re:Hrm... (2)

AtomicBomb (173897) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420557)

p2p web content pirater is really not that difficult to write, maybe a modified proxy server can work reasonably well for a fairly large group of user.

However, there are catches. The p2p pirater need to remove personal info from the pages. Otherwise, the publisher can nail the subscriber fairly hard. Basic info (eg subscriber name, ID etc) are easy to mask, but trackerID is not.

My friend, who is a keen boy racer, subscribes to one of the pay-sites. I discover all the htm/pdf he downloaded are doped with unique trackerID- like numbers.

Re:Um (5, Insightful)

56ker (566853) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420447)

Yes but people are reluctant to part with any money at all for content on the web that can be found elsewhere for free. After all you can find other reviews for nothing - but you can't get the games for nothing. However what's to stop people just viewing the google cached page to get around this?

Re:Um (1)

fishmonkey (301785) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420492)

Somehow I doubt google will have a login and password to the members only area to cache the pagesm, so that isn't a problem.

Re:Um (2)

Surak (18578) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420508)

The reviews will be available for 7 days for free. Google's cache lasts longer than that.

Re:Um (1)

fishmonkey (301785) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420514)

sorry my mistake, thought it was working the other way around - only available to members for 7 days then available to the public.

Re:Um (2, Informative)

plone (140417) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420605)

Gamespot can easily prevent google from caching their pages. All they have to do is follow these instructions [google.com]

Re:Um (2)

ErikZ (55491) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420632)

Robots.txt can be used to block out Google. Or the can just block Google's range of IPs.

The survival of Gamespy depends on bringing in some cash. I think they're going to put a little effort into it.

Re:Um (2)

Surak (18578) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420677)

Either of those methods will cause Gamespot's entire Website to not be listed in a Google search at all...that has both positive and negative effects for Gamespot.

Without being indexed by a search engine, they will certainly have less new visitors. This may actually be what they want, but it may actually NOT be what they want.

Re:Um no.... (2)

AmigaAvenger (210519) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420694)

ever used robots.txt? apparently not, you can block parts of the site. Enough said....

Re:Um (1, Flamebait)

byran lei (517143) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420529)

>Yes but people are reluctant to part with any money at all for content
>on the web that can be found elsewhere for free. After all you can
>
Do you blame them? The "content" on sites like Gamespot *IS* pretty much worthless. Would *YOU* buy a game recomended by the very people who run around saying XBox and it's crap games was/are going to rule the console gaming market? If you would, I've got a nice lake in the middle of the SaHell I'ld like to sell you. The only really useful feature of a site like Gamespot is the message bases when people who actually buy and play these games comment on them. If they start charging to acess those bases they can kiss their site bye-bye.

Re:Um (1)

LafinJack (9054) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420544)

I read Gamespot for the reader reviews; the average of all those scores generally settles on the true value of a game, much like the IMDb ratings.

Then there's also all the extra information contained in the gamespace page for each game, very handy stuff.

Re:Um (1)

Drassk (178718) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420572)

After all you can find other reviews for nothing - but you can't get the games for nothing.

I think I'll let this quote flame itself.

Re:Um (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3420692)

>> After all you can find other reviews for
>> nothing - but you can't get the games for nothing.

You're clearly misinformed, sir.

LOL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3420461)

"I suspect many PC Gamers, like me, don't have credit cards(or cash)..."

What abject lusers... Not even a debit card??

get the fuck out...

Re:Um (1)

or_smth (473159) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420474)

Hmm... I see a flaw in your logic. People read gamespot in order to figure out what games are worth spending their money on.

When you have to pay to figure out what you are going to pay for it feels kind of stupid. Not to mention the fact that people *still* don't trust online transactions.

Re:Um (1)

jackb_guppy (204733) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420486)

That is may not be the issue.

If you do not have a method of paying for the service, then you will lose access.

Salgons like: "We take PayPal!", make my not want to user that vendor or site. Also forcing only one method of payment, make it so people can not join.

Example: I am 14. I do not have a Credit Card. I am legally not allowed to enter into a contract. Can not signup for service. But I can still buy a game CD from allounce.

Example: I do not have a credit card. I have lost the ability to download mail from yahoo because I have to no credit card to place in Yahoo! Wallet. Yahoo! Wallet is the only form of payment Yahoo! will accept.

Example: I had a credit card stolen via NETCOM many years ago. NETCOM keep access to credit card database accessable via the Internet. I today do not trust ANY internet based payment systems that allow for ANY kind of display or passing of Credit Card after the fact. Yahoo! Wallet, MS Passport.

Re:Um (1)

whoever_you_are (552445) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420639)

It's not a question of whether I can afford it. I don't feel that paying to read about video games is worth any money. Occasionally I use to visit these sites and see a cool game, then go buy the games. Now I will not visit these sites, will not see games, and will not buy them. I will buy only games my friends say are good, which will mean spending much less on games. This could hurt the game industry as a whole, unless other people are not like me about their game buying habits. The game industry was way up this last year, and I really believe these sites had a hand in that, but they are throwing that away. I think if game companies would advertise more on these sites, it would be worth their while, but oh well. I'll save some money by no longer buying more games than I have time to play, which could be spent on something else. I really don't care if they block me out of their site though because their site doesn't mean that much to me. I'll be glad to have more money for other things.

Pico-Pay may be the answer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3420661)

Check this out for a possible solution to this type of problem: www.pico-pay.com [pico-pay.com]

What a shame (2, Interesting)

skrew (111096) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420393)

Gamespot has been one of the best gaming sites for a long time. It seems to an inevitable switch, since the (deserved) decline of advertising based websites. Isn't there any non ad based revenue that can work without subscription fees? I for one don't have money to waste just to read a website.

Re:What a shame (2, Insightful)

jayant_techguy (441933) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420434)

Hey people don't even pay for services they use, forget about paying for reading content on a website.
Tell me how many people actually paid Yahoo! to keep POP and SMTP access of their mail, the figure is less than 1.5%. infact figures show many people shifted to other free mail services such as hotmail which can be downloaded using Outlook Express.
We will have to look for some other revenue model. Paying to get content will not work. Internet is here for providing information not sheilding information unless you pay. We are going away from the basic idea behind the internet: freely available information.

Re:What a shame (1)

byran lei (517143) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420541)

>Tell me how many people actually paid Yahoo! to keep POP and SMTP
>access of their mail, the figure is less than 1.5%. infact figures
>show many people shifted to other free mail services such as hotmail
>which can be downloaded using Outlook Express.
>
>
Who in the right mind would pay Yahoo *ONE DAMN CENT* after they had given their "partners" your contact information after *YOU HAD TOLD THEM NOT TO*?!? You sir, are a major fool.

Re:What a shame (4, Interesting)

The Cat (19816) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420618)

The Internet is not free. There has always been a cost to get access to the Internet, and there has always been a cost to run a server on the Internet. These costs can only be donated up to a point (and usually are, and then some).

If people won't click and then buy from ads, then the sites go subscription. That's the way it is. It *cannot* work any other way, because the site operators and ISPs can't afford it.

It's amazing. All of these free sites have been giving away millions of dollars worth of bandwidth and information for years, and nobody ever said "hey, thanks." Now that they want to pay their own bills, it's "WE'LL NEVER PAY!! NYAAAAHHH!!!!"

sigh...

Re:What a shame (4, Interesting)

Surak (18578) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420621)

The way I see it, there are only 3 viable Internet business models. They are:

1. Advertising. Advertising works only if there are enough advertisers paying you to advertise on your site vs. what your costs are in bandwidth, colocs, etc. With a decline in advertising spending across the board for ALL media, Internet advertising has taken a hit, especially with the dot.com bust.

2. Subscriptions. Obviously, charge your users for the use of the bandwidth and server storage. You have to charge enough to cover your costs plus profit, but not too much that the market won't bear it. A year or two ago, the answer to what the market would bear would have been close to zero. It's starting to change now... people are realizing that yes, you have to pay for certain kinds of content, or it simply won't be available at all...

3. Sell stuff on your site. You basically use the info on your site as a means to entice your users to buy your products. For a site like Gamespot or Slashdot, it would be very hard to maintain objectivity and credibility in their journalism, since they'd basically be representing a product.

And really...that's it... in the end, I'd rather PAY for a service rather than have the site sell a product and hurt the integrity of their information.

Re:What a shame (5, Interesting)

edp (171151) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420670)

I think there is a fourth viable business model. I click on a page with content, and a dialog box comes up: "The charge for this page is $.10. Choose an option: Pay via PayPal. Pay via Amazon. Add a new payment service. Do not view this page."

The third option connects to some (possible user selectable) directory of payment services, where the user can communicate with various services and register, thus adding the service to the dialog box in the future. That's how the first two options would have gotten there, or they would have been installed by the PC or system seller.

Clicking on the dialog box is all that is necessary to authorize payment. All other details have been dealt with previously in registration with the payment service, so web surfing is still fast.

Small payments would be economical once the infrastructure is there. Software should give the user additional control and convenience. For example, the user could authorize payment of the next 100 charges of $.10 or less at GameSpot, so their software wouldn't bother them with a dialog box for a while, but spending wouldn't get out of control without them being reminded.

Content providers would need to give the user some indication of what they would be receiving, to entice users to pay. E.g., GameSpot could show the first few paragraphs of a review, with a for-fee link to the whole review.

Re:What a shame (2)

Surak (18578) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420689)

Sure...this is basically a form of subscriptions, except that it would allow users who wanted to view one page of a site without having to shell out money for a whole month, or whatever... kinda like Slashdot's model, but not really.

Unfortunately, the infrastructure you speak of doesn't exist yet...I was referring to what is viable TODAY. :)

Re: Gamespot Goes to Subscription Model (1)

rmohr02 (208447) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420395)

Can't they just go to the /. subscription model? Many of the sites I've used for years because they were free are now charging: BrainBench [brainbench.com] , Mind-It [mind-it.com] , and others. At least I know /. won't stoop that low.

Opensores for everyone (-1)

bunungs (536665) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420396)

#!/bin/bash
# --
# Slashdot Opensores Firewall Script
# --
# Distributed under the superior BSD license
#
# Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without
# modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions
# are met:
#
# 1.Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright
# notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.
# 2.Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above
# copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following
# disclaimer in the documentation and/or other materials provided
# with the distribution.
# 3.The name of the author may not be used to endorse or promote
# products derived from this software without specific prior
# written permission.
#
# THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE AUTHOR ``AS IS'' AND ANY EXPRESS OR
# IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED
# WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE
# ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHOR BE LIABLE FOR ANY
# DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL
# DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE
# GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS
# INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER
# IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR
# OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN
# IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE
#
# -- Start Here
#
IPTABLES="/sbin/iptables"

# Being gang raped by sinos is not fun
echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/tcp_syncookies

${IPTABLES} -t filter -F INPUT
${IPTABLES} -t filter -F OUTPUT
${IPTABLES} -t filter -P INPUT DROP
${IPTABLES} -t filter -P OUTPUT ACCEPT

# The rulz
${IPTABLES} -t filter -A INPUT -p unprotected -s male/16 --sport penis --dport mouth -j ACCEPT
${IPTABLES} -t filter -A INPUT -p unprotected -s male/16 --sport fist --dport anus -j ACCEPT
${IPTABLES} -t filter -A INPUT -p unprotected -s male/16 --sport finger --dport anus -j ACCEPT
${IPTABLES} -t filter -A INPUT -p protected -s male/16 --sport fist --dport anus -j ACCEPT
${IPTABLES} -t filter -A INPUT -p protected -s male/16 --sport penis -j ACCEPT

# I know this may seem controversial but it feels good
${IPTABLES) -t filter -A INPUT -p unprotected -s female/16 --sport fist --dport anus -j ACCEPT
${IPTABLES) -t filter -A INPUT -p unprotected -s female/16 --sport finger --dport anus -j ACCEPT

${IPTABLES} -t filter -A OUTPUT -d female/16 -j DROP

# TODO: IMPLEMENT NAT AND DMZ
# -- Finish

Pretty good features (2, Flamebait)

forged (206127) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420400)

  • GameSpot Complete, our no-compromise, no-holds-barred gaming service, will feature:
    • 1. Complete access to all of our content
      2. Unlimited high-speed downloads
      3. Unlimited streaming video
      4. A version of the site with no invasive ads--no banners, pop-ups, pop-unders, superstitials, prestitials, or interstitials

Hey, these are nifty features.

Let's hope they will offer more than just PayPal [slashdot.org] as their subscription service :->

Re:Pretty good features (2)

cdrudge (68377) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420676)

Let's hope they will offer more than just PayPal [slashdot.org] as their subscription service

And if you look at your own link, you would see that /. takes credit cards directly now. They have for the past week or so. It's bad enough that people don't follow the links to the articles, now they are posting links in messages that they don't read. Shesh.

I can understand (2, Insightful)

taffyd (316451) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420402)

...why they had to do this, as a business trying to stay alive in the "new economy".

I don't read GameSpot often, but I've enjoyed many of the reviews and walkthroughs that they've offered in the past.

The subscription costs ($4.95 a month) aren't unreasonable. I pay that without blinking various computing and gaming magazines whenever I'm in the newsagency browsing for some literature on the train.

I hope that they can offer enough subscription only services to make it worthwhile for subscribers, or they surely fade away.

Taffyd.

Re:I can understand (1)

Hyperfrog (575345) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420432)

.. and I stopped buying said magazines because of their cost vs their content (I couldn't justify it).

Yes, I agree that they are 'staying alive' .. but more importantly: Perhaps they are collecting this cash to remain objective in their game reviews (AKA the recent magazine article about how game reviewers spend most of their time at one 'conference' or another (APC or PC User)).

The mazagine article made a good points about bribery, the influence reviews have on consumers and how much pressure game developers have on them (hence that game developers will do anything to get a good review) and Gamespot seems to be addressing that here.

Re:I can understand (2)

cygnusx (193092) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420454)

>hope that they can offer enough subscription only services to make it worthwhile for subscribers

But will they? From the article:
GameSpot Basic, our free service, will offer critical content for free for every one of the thousands of games on our site, including screenshots, hints, pricing info, GameSpot review scores, reader reviews, and more.

So old content is still as accessible as before.
we will continue to offer free access to our
new content for seven days after its publication

Dunno.. if the content is good enough, those seven days are enough for that content to be duplicated across Gnutella/Freenet. The best articles almost *will* be copied, if by no one else then by /. article-pasters :).

The issue here is when a website goes pay, it becomes an electronic magazine. Sure, magazines are cheap, but how many of them could you subscribe to? And when one actually pays for each sub, my guess is one won't like to lightly skim over it the way one surf websites today.

Re:I can understand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3420483)

yeah it would be nice to pay a fee per month and be allowed to view x # of articles or even multimedia across a wide selection of media, which of course would have short previews so you can decide before you pay (like browsing through a magazine in the store). I do think $5 here and there per month would add up, especially for people who are so used to reading most everything online (like me). But $5-10 per month for full articles that I pick out of various types of magazines, are easily printed out or saved to a PDA, and hell maybe even an online storage system so you could access the content from any web browser (but that's a REAL stretch) would be more than reasonable.

Failure (1)

CmdrTaco (editor) (564483) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420406)

I suspect that this will be a complete failure. Many news sites attempted to do this when they realized that it was impossible to be profitable from banner ads alone. The San Jose Mercury News, for instance, offered free access to articles for 7 days, then required a per-article payment of around $2.00 for viewing material from the archives.

But, there will always be sites like the New York Times that provide unlimited free access to all the material. As long as this happens, sites that offer limited material will have a tough time. In order to stay competitive, the SJ Mercury has extended the free viewing period to 30 days, which is a much more reasonable amount of time. If Gamespy wants any chance of remaining in the picture, they should either charge a minimal rate for subscriptions, like Slashdot, or extend the length articles are freely available to at least 30 days.

Re:Failure (1)

CmdrTaco (editor) (564483) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420414)

"Gamespy" should be "gamespot"

Re:Failure (1)

Alpha Wing (576047) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420416)

Ahem, GameSpot, not GameSpy. AFAIK, GameSpy is still remaining free (and remains my choice).

*idles for a minute so that this ridiculous two-minute delay thing passes*

Re:Failure (1)

rmohr02 (208447) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420426)

That's why I'm glad you guys did what you did with the subscription model. You (hopefully) will make a profit, and you won't restrict access of people who don't pay.

Re:Failure (1)

LafinJack (9054) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420556)

The New York Times also has a HUGE physical subscriber/advertisor base, or have you forgotten?

All the money they make from that makes it easy for them to provide the extra service of all their content being free on the web. Also, a pay-per-article system like the San Jose Mercury seems ridiculous to me, as opposed to a flat fee model.

CmdrTaco (editor) is a troll. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3420695)

You do [slashdot.org] realize that [slashdot.org] , don't you?

The authentic CmdrTaco's user ID is 1. He doesn't appear with any "editor" designation. This troll has cleverly appended "(Editor)" to CmdrTaco in order to convincingly masquerade as him.

GameSpot's lost it. (1)

Alpha Wing (576047) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420407)

Just as Napster, Delphi, KaZaA, and the rest of these so-called "desperate" companies have shown, when it comes time to pay up, it's always easier on the consumer to just switch to another provider.

<a href="http://www.gamespy.com">GameSpy</a> anyone?

Broadband? (5, Interesting)

Mark4ST (249650) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420408)

It seems that everything on the internet is becoming a pay service. I miss the days when a simple banner ads could cover the bills.

If this progresses, I can see broadband sales suffer. The only reason I got broadband in the first place was because of bandwidth intesive sites (like Gamespot's streaming video, massive MP3 downloads). If all the big-bandwidth things go "pay" then there'll be little reason to pay thru the nose for a breadband connection.

I'm already paying enough for broadband service; I can't justify the expense of paying for content.

Re:Broadband? (1)

Alpha Wing (576047) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420423)

On the flip side, everytime a good service commits suicide by requiring their users to pay up, there's either other clone services already in existence or someone will create a new one to "further the cause", essentially. As long as users remain informed of the free alternatives, broadband sales won't be hard hit.

The trend of making users pay for viewing sites (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3420410)

It started about the same time that Linux got popular. Perhaps because users refused to buy the sites' actual commercial products, in order to stay 'open-source'? In the end, it always comes back on you.

Re:The trend of making users pay for viewing sites (-1)

Rock 'N' Troll (566273) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420425)

Word to that.

And the folks who legally paid for their software instead of warezing like the Linur community does, have to take a hit too, because of the open sores mass stupidity!

Seriously, who will buy? (5, Insightful)

Beowulf_Boy (239340) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420411)

Alot of gamers are in college or below, and have no money. I make 6$ an hour, there is no way I would even spend 2$ a month on this subscription service. And I am sure that 99.99% of others agree with me on that. Is that .01% of people who actually pay going to make them more money than the 100% of people that would otherwise just deal with the ads?
If gamespot charges, now I will just go somewhere else. Until it is a proprietary service, and gamespot only offers it, will I pay. And I still probably won't pay either! This is just like fileplanet. Either pay 50$ a year, or wait in line for an hour. I just run an internet search on the file and get it elsewhere, its not like they are the only ones with it.

Re:Seriously, who will buy? (-1, Flamebait)

mrfiddlehead (129279) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420436)

Oh shut your fucking cake hole and go start a gaming site for cheap fucking assholes and see how long and how good your goddamn site turns out to be. Fuck what a bunch of simpering fucking idiots this fucking place has turned into. Why do I even bother reading the replies to the articles, because you're all a bunch of fucking wankers.

Mod me to hell, ya little wankstain cocksucker.

Re:Seriously, who will buy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3420494)

i love it when you talk to me like that

*yanking*

Re:Seriously, who will buy? (2, Interesting)

Tranvisor (250175) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420477)

I don't mind waiting for an hour to get stuff from fileplanet. Hey if it saves money for them and lets them stay mostly banner-oriented, I say go for it. I just wish more web-companies would try to cut down on their costs more and try to up there profits less. I don't have the money to pay 5 bucks a month to every website I like. Cut a few workers if you have to, but in times like these thats what you have to do. A company must remain flexible in tough times so that its still there when times get better and they can then rehire the people they want. Too many execs just look at the bottom line and ask "How can we increase revenues?" when they should be asking themselves "How can we cut bloat?".

Re:Seriously, who will buy? (1)

Darren Winsper (136155) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420553)

A couple of days ago, when Counterstrike 1.4 came out, the wait time was more like 6 hours. Luckily I found a mirror of the file on Jolt.

Then you are the wrong target market (2)

Glorat (414139) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420495)

I make 6$ an hour, there is no way I would even spend 2$ a month on this subscription service

That's $24 a year you are not willing to spend on the subscription. That's less than the price of one computer game and if you aren't willing to part with a fraction of a game's worth then IMO you don't buy enough games to make the valuable gamespot worthwhile to yourself. You may as well get the information elsewhere.

But if you are willing to pay a fraction of a game's worth a year to get a valuable service then that is what Gamespot is looking for.

Re:Then you are the wrong target market (2)

The Cat (19816) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420600)

And the best part is it isn't even $24 a year, it's $19.95.

Less than $2 a month. Better than a one year subscription to a lot of paper game magazines, and with more downloads.

Re:Then you are the wrong target market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3420672)

The funny part is the downfall of the Internet is finally starting to snowball. Gamespot going subscription, Slashdot going subscription (or else you get to view those big fucking flash animations in the middle of the page), everyone wants a piece of the pie now that banner ads are worthless. That's fine though, it's just the end of the free Internet. Things like AOL will start to become even more popular though since they offer a single point of payment for the experience and access to multiple sites. It's bad enough I have to keep track of all my utilities and house payment but add in a dozen different subscription web sites and I'm confused as hell not knowing where my money is going.

Re:Seriously, who will buy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3420567)

Actually, people are willing to pay for this. IGN Insider now has over 45 thousand members [yahoo.com] . Oh, and good luck finding free gaming sites on the level of IGN and Gamespot. Daily Radar is dead, Cloudchaser merged and now has horrid coverage, and Gamepro has always been terrible. Gamespot is asking you to pay about a nickel a day. Is that so much to ask? Maybe it is for someone that doesn't use the site very much, but for hardcore gamers it's nothing. Especially when Gamespot is the only site that offers live streams of the pre-E3 press conferences; that alone is worth my $20.

Re:Seriously, who will buy? (1)

md_doc (8431) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420582)

Serioiusly they don't want you on their site then. In all honesty you have done nothing for gamspot.com. If you are not willing to part with 24 dollars a year (actually 19 at the introductory rate) but are willing to go leach off their site because it means you never clicked on an ad on their site and never purchased something from an advertiser on their site.

While I am not sure if you are an active reader of gamespot.com, I would be willing to say they probably wont miss you but down the road when you are looking for a new game and need a review you will miss them and you will wonder why you never clicked on an ad before which probably would have made it so they would not have needed to charge money right now!

Re:Seriously, who will buy? (2)

SomeOtherGuy (179082) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420624)

I make 6$ an hour, there is no way I would even spend 2$ a month on this subscription service. And I am sure that 99.99% of others agree with me on that.

how do you pay for your games?

Re:Seriously, who will buy? (5, Interesting)

xigxag (167441) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420685)

I make 6$ an hour, there is no way I would even spend 2$ a month on this subscription service. And I am sure that 99.99% of others agree with me on that.

The thing you have to realize is that, for people like you, Gamespot wants you to go away. Right now every time you log onto their site, you are costing them money. So they will be happy to see the back of you. However, they are willing to let you stick around and look at their crippled site, provided you will submit to those ultra-intrusive popups which will actually make money for them. Because despite what people may want to believe, content might be free -- sometimes -- but bandwidth sure as hell ain't.

The decline of free/true entertaiment websites. (-1)

AnonymousCowheard (239159) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420413)

They are all drying up!
First they are free to browse and download, with the occasional advertisement you must read and walk through, and now just to see a picture of a dead zombie-man taking a piss you must register!

I have too many passwords to remember as it is! remembered when planetquake moved its network from cdrom.com to fileplanet.com. I'm interested in gaming, but I'm not that interested to where I must have an account and remember a password for each and ever website that has gaming content I might download. FilePlanet is an example of a big turn-off. And they know it.

How does it feel to read an awesome review of a Quake modification, movie, or new game, and just when you think you are going to download it they throw you onto a fileplanet.com server and you already convinced yourself "NO MORE ACCOUNTS I USE ONLY ONCE" ??

so... (0, Redundant)

david_g (24196) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420421)

This is a real pity, I suspect many PC Gamers, like me, don't have credit cards(or cash)

So you don't have cash for $24.95 (the yearly subscription) but you have for $40+ games?

Re:so... (2, Insightful)

Alpha Wing (576047) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420428)

Part of the issue is what the money is used for. Buy a game you intend on keeping, that's a good $40+ spent. Subscribe to a service you're not completely addicted to, that's a waste of $25.

I still have Doom on my computer and I don't have to pay yearly subscription fees everytime I feel like digging it up to play through it again.

Atleast we know.... (1, Interesting)

galaga79 (307346) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420429)

The fact that they are losing money atleast means one good thing and is they aren't accepting money from publishers for good reviews.

The pricing and what you get for it looks pretty decent in my opinion. Lets face it $4.95 a month is how much a computer magazine would cost at a newstands, except this magazine is online and updated daily instead of montly. Sure you don't get something you can hold in your hands and read while comuting, but you do get something ad-free and that's something printed magazines can't boast. Plus let's not forget ads often bias publications to write good things about their products to keep that advertiser. So in all I can see Gamespots model as a good thing, now I just hope it works in a medium where people expect things for free.

Re:Atleast we know.... (2, Informative)

aszurom (248421) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420540)

"The fact that they are losing money atleast means one good thing and is they aren't accepting money from publishers for good reviews."

Let me educate you about something...

I'm a game reviewer. While I haven't written for Gamespot, I know Greg Kasavin moderately well and know many of the people who write for him. Personally, I have experience with one magazine and two other websites. So, let me clue everybody in on how this works:

The subject of gaming publications getting funny money for knocking review scores up just isn't true. It's pure speculatory myth. Game magazines make money by selling space for those big glossy advertisements in their magazine... that's it. Also, most reputable ones don't even allow game companies to fly their writers out to the office to see game previews... usually this is done at the magazine's expense - to avoid looking like they're accepting favors and obliged to give preferential treatment.

So, they sell advertising space. In my personal experience, the one time that a company was very displeased with what I had to say in a review they did try to threaten the magazine about it - because they claimed that my accusations of the unfinished state of the game were unjust. However, my editor told them essientially "No, he's correct and we're running it as it stands." Their only means of sabre rattling was to threaten to pull advertising money out and not run their ads... well, who does that hurt worse? Them. Ok, so at that point the argument is over, the ads stayed and the review kept its score.

Occasionally there *is* a situation where an editor will adjust the score you turn in with your review. That is usually going to happen when they've read your submitted text and feel that it doesn't jive with the rating you attach to it. It's like saying "This game sucked... I give it 5 stars!" You're going to get a phone call asking what you're smoking and to please reconsider the score. If it's real close to publication date, the editor may have to make the adjustment himself. The only time I've ever seen a review score adjusted in what I call an "unjust" manner was when a certain editor (who I won't mention because I've never written for him) changed a score because he thought it was WAY out of line with what OTHER magazines were giving the game... a 2 when everyone else gave the game a 4.5 or better. Well, the writer got quite pissed and told him he couldn't change it, and the story was published INTACT at another site - with the 2 rating.

So, there's everybody's clue about what's "real" in the freelance game review writing arena.

Now, if you want to actually hang out in a forum with the majority of the magazine editors and the game writers, I'd suggest a trip over to http://www.quartertothree.com and head straight to the forums. You'll find everybody from the industry there.

Re:Atleast we know.... (1)

LafinJack (9054) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420574)

Lets face it $4.95 a month is how much a computer magazine would cost at a newstands, except this magazine is online and updated daily instead of montly. Sure you don't get something you can hold in your hands and read while comuting...

I dunno about you, but I can read a website while computing, too...

Re:Atleast we know.... (1)

galaga79 (307346) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420608)

I dunno about you, but I can read a website while computing, too...

I was meant to say commuting but inadvertantly wrote it out as 'comuting', quite different from 'computing' though my grammar and spelling certainly does need some improvement.

Horrible! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3420435)

Oh geez! I have to wait seven days! Now now now I want to know if I should dish out the money for that game now. Never mind that the game costs $50 and needs a $150 graphics card, along with other beefy hardware to run well. Never mind that I could just wait a few days or read reviews somewhere else...

Some things are not newsworthy.

Actually, I could be a paying customer... (2)

Kjella (173770) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420449)

...if they manage to do something so ugly with ads that I can't make junkbuster filter it out. No reading old reviews? Sorry, but I can't say that bothers me. Many review sites suck bigtime. But read 3-4 reviews and the scores from the rest (well worth for the cash the game costs) and you'll have a good idea about what's good, what's bad, and if it's a game for you (not to mention who got the better lunch invitation). Now ads... I'm glad I'm a geek and block them out, surfing nekkid is hell, I do that at times at the university and things keep popping up and down and dance around the pages and whatnot. Not to mention the [BLINK]blinking ads[/BLINK]. How strange that it's disabled here ;)

Kjella

well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3420453)

well they're pretty cocky. For that price you could subscribe to a real dead tree magazine of much better quality with access to all past reviews on their website. Sorry but you can't charge more than a real magazine...

Old news? (1)

Tranvisor (250175) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420466)

Is it me or did I hear about this like 2 days ago?

Fine mod me down as off-topic :(

Solution... (3, Informative)

Shadow99_1 (86250) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420470)

Easy start going to gamespy & their affiliates. The reviews are normally a little more in depth even, it's doubtful they'll ever want to charge you for reviews, & their is more than reviews you can access.

So why use gamespot if they want to charge you?

Anymore I just use Gamepsy & Gamefaqs for all my gaming needs...

Game Spot objective? (1)

setite (562970) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420472)

Bah, who cares. It was obvious that they were eventually going to charge for that crap the shovel to us.

Game Spot is far from objective. I find that GS is ONE of many review sites that can't be trusted to give a non corporate influenced reveiw.

How many of you were tired of them trying to shove they're stupid GameSpy Arcade down our throats?

Follower of Set

Re:Game Spot objective? (1)

Shadow99_1 (86250) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420482)

Um Gamespot is & has been owned by the same people that own several retail chains for console & PC games. So they've been biased for awhile...

But Game Spot doesn't have anything to do with Gamespy's Arcade. Gamespy (which is a site & it's afffiliates itself) deals in the Gamespy arcade.

Alternatives (1)

yem (170316) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420476)

FWIW I preferred Gamecenter. The thing I hate most about Gamespot (after the annoying CPU hogging flash ads) is the large fonts and beige-on-black colour scheme. How bout a stripped down version or configurable display options via a dynamic stylesheet driven by user prefs.

Anyway - what are some good alternatives for gamespot? I mostly use gamespot to check for news on the latest games for PS2 and to read reviews of older games that I'm looking to buy. What other sites are frequently updated and provide similar depth of content?

Sounds a bit weird..... (1)

AtomicBomb (173897) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420479)

This is a real pity, I suspect many PC Gamers, like me, don't have credit cards(or cash),
Unlike poor slashdot reader like me, aren't keen gamers are supposed to have some cash to spare?

You can read the latest slashdot news in a snail speed 386... Probably, you can't play the latest game with my Celeron...

Still cheaper than printed magazines (1, Flamebait)

codexus (538087) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420485)

I'm sure many of the people complaining about the price are already buying real, printed on dead trees, game magazines.

And as someone already pointed out if you can't afford $5 a month for a game magazine (either online or print) you're unlikely to be able to buy games.

I also would like to point out that gamespot is providing real content unlike Slashdot which is made by its users. ;P

Slashdot Goes to Subscription Model (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3420497)

I write "Slashdot, arguably not the best technology news website will expand in March to a pay service (Slashdot Ad-Free). It seems that while ad-supported pages will be free, the actual content for news will cease to be easily accessible to non-payers 7 days after the review was written. This is a real pity, I suspect many Linux users, like me, don't have credit cards(or cash), and Slashdot has good, hard, objective reviews."

Re:Slashdot Goes to Subscription Model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3420507)

Slashdot has good, hard, objective reviews
That's possibly the funniest thing I've read all week. Mod parent up!

Come on guys... (4, Insightful)

Tranvisor (250175) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420501)

Use all have to recognise the difference between buying a subscription and a tangible product. With the subscription you have fun for that year or whatever and then thats it, games over. Buying a game for $40 gives you the pleasure of playing that game ... forever. And don't give me crap about once you beat the game the fun's over, if you are selective the fun never stops. Good examples of old games still very playable would be Starcraft, Baldur's Gate, Diablo2, and others.

Heck, Diablo 1 is still a great game to pop on a zip disc to play on a Uni computer when all you have is a spare second, just install it on the zip, crack it and truck it around :). As a final point I just reinstalled X-Wing after like a year of not playing it. (This time I will beat it!)

Paying $40-$50 on a great game is not a problem when you know you will be enjoying it for years to come. Paying $24 to read reviews that you can read elsewhere? Unless you have a great income, and personally love Gamespot, I would say the answer is a hearty NO.

Re:Come on guys... (2)

rtaylor (70602) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420584)

Well.. You COULD say you buy X number of reviews which all happen to come out in the same year. Once you've read them they can't take that knowledge back.

In fact, you're allowed to loan that knowledge to a friend (interpreted in your own words) much as you could loan the game you bought.

And, like you said, if you're picky about the games then you'll enjoy them longer. Well guess who is helping you be picky?

The money saved from buying crap games is well worth the subscription price. Especially when you consider they're one of the few impartial reviewers left, print, TV or internet.

Don't fret... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3420532)

Gamespot is one of the most well-rounded review sites on the net. It always has been. I've relied on screenshots, reviews, and short movie clips of games to see what I may or may not purchase. Still, the definitive source of what is good/bad are the reader reviews. It would be hard to accumulate reader reviews if readers had to pay access to them. Another example is Slashdot. Each article posted is so much more fun to read with all of the replies by readers. It's what makes the site good. I always go directly from a Gamespot review to CJAYC's site, www.gamefaqs.com. The boards and rankings are hard to ignore.

Well, at least... (1)

aszurom (248421) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420555)

Well, at least they don't cram a worthless cdrom down your throat and charge $9.00 instead of the normal $3.95 cover price. Every now and then I get the urge to pick up a magazine that I'm not subscribed to. That means searching the newstand for a non-cd edition of that magazine so I don't have to feel like I almost could have bought a game for the price of 30 minutes worth of reading. However, as time has passed it has become increasingly impossible to find a gaming magazine that doesn't try to justify doubling their marked cover price by giving me a cdrom full of stuff I could have downloaded for free if I'd had any interest in it.

I look at it this way... if I do want to download something at least the only people competing for bandwidth with me on gamespot are other paying subscribers. And, I'm not getting stiffed $4 for a cd I don't want :-)

playola and where the good reviews are (1)

TriggerHappy (84538) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420564)

The subject of gaming publications getting funny money for knocking review scores up just isn't true. It's pure speculatory myth.

You are clearly very lucky, having only ever been involved with honest people in the industry. It is a fact, at least in the UK, that magazines grant high review scores to games in return for "exclusive" coverage.

The real question is who cares what happens to Gamespot? They give any old crap an 8 or above. Look hard and you can find some good reviews online: at joystick101 [joystick101.org] , gamecritics [gamecritics.com] , or eurogamer [eurogamer.net] . And they're all free.

Re:playola and where the good reviews are (1)

aszurom (248421) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420593)

Oh no, I admit that the companies sometimes make the attempt to threaten with advertising money when they don't like a review score. However, I'm just saying that in my experience that doesn't work too often.

As far as the "OMG EXCLUSIVE ++HOT!!" articles go... well, the cover article is *never* a review. It's always a preview, and always something that the magazine thinks will provide incentive to make an impulse purchase based on desire to have information about that "featured preview" product.

Sales and circulation figures are what is presented in the attempt to attract further advertising money... that's the lifeblood of the industry.

I do, however, feel weird when by "coincidence" a big glossy two-page ad for a game shows up right before its review in the magazine. However, sometimes that review is BAD, so while the company might pay for placement they're certainly not paying for an elevated score.

I don't think I've ever heard (and believe me, we're a chatty bunch) from another writer about being instructed to give something anything other than a fair objective score based on the merits of the software. So, if there's anything going on that's unjust then rest assured it's happening at the editorial level and NOT with the individual writers themselves.

Re:playola and where the good reviews are (1)

TriggerHappy (84538) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420604)

As far as the "OMG EXCLUSIVE ++HOT!!" articles go... well, the cover article is *never* a review. It's always a preview

I beg to differ. It is often a review.

So, if there's anything going on that's unjust then rest assured it's happening at the editorial level and NOT with the individual writers themselves.

That is largely the case, but it doesn't make it any less dishonest. And there are a few "individual writers" around my neck of the woods whose actions are rather suspicious when seen close-up. Oh, and I write about games myself, btw.

Older articles on some sites... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3420576)

are cached on google.

Gamespot!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3420580)

Now they suck as bad as /. !!
Those evil bastards are trying to make money! Don't they know everything should be free!?!?

Only $19.95 a year (1)

Richard5mith (209559) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420581)

Never mind the $4.95 a month, its only $19.95 a YEAR. That's the much better deal.

I've been subscribed to their fast download service (which was also $19.95 a year) and it's been great. Two clicks to download all the latest files and more importantly their excellent video reviews and previews as fast as my modem can carry them. Those are something you can't get anywhere else and are more than worth 20 bucks a year.

Re:Only $19.95 a year (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3420675)

SHilL!

Almost there (5, Insightful)

The Cat (19816) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420588)

sigh... It's almost to the point where the comments can be written with only the headline.

Myths:

1. Nobody will pay for content
2. People don't trust on-line transactions
3. "I'll never pay for anything on-line"
4. I don't have a credit card therefore I can't buy anything on-line

Colloquialisms for "pay" that ALWAYS replace the word "pay" when describing an actual transaction of less than $100:

1. Plunk down
2. Shell out
3. Fork over

Example: "Before I [colloquialism] [$amount] I want [impossible amount of value]"

The reality is that the economy of the Internet will include many billions of dollars of purchases, and that these purchases not only will happen but are happening already. If people want to have any influence on this, then they HAVE TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS ECONOMY. "Vote with your dollars" appears in almost every group of comments. Fine. Everyone should not abstain when it comes to electronic commerce.

The Internet costs money. It always has, and it always will. It was never, is not and will never be free as in soda. :)

These articles are almost always on the same page with "Quake|Everquest|Neverwinter LXVII Almost Here!" and "Will E-books work?" articles, both of which routinely contain at least 200 comments with something along the lines of "Ooooh GIMME! GIMME! GIMME!" and the electronic equivalent of waving a handful of cash in the air.

The truth:

1. Free on-line content is only free if your time is worth nothing.

2. Even on the Internet, you get what you pay for.

Re:Almost there (1)

TriggerHappy (84538) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420657)

1. Free on-line content is only free if your time is worth nothing.

Uh, hello? That's like saying free beer isn't really free because it costs you time to drink it.

If I have an unmetered connection, and I find something online that I want to read, and I don't have to pay for it, then it is free. If I did have to pay for it, it wouldn't be free. Do you see?

Re:Almost there (2)

The Cat (19816) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420682)

If I have an unmetered connection

That costs $0. Someone is paying for it, and if they want to keep offering connections, then they have to pass those costs on.

and I find something

That's the point. How long will this take? An hour? Three? A day? Why go through all that if you can just go to Gamespot *right now* and find what you're looking for.

Convenience is the value.

One of the best subscription models yet? (4, Insightful)

skunkeh (410004) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420643)

Having read through the information on their site, I think that's probably the best subscription model I've seen launched so far. The balance between "what you'll get for free" and "what you'll have to pay for" seems pretty much spot on, and by keeping ALL of their new content (with the exception of downloads and video streams) free to view for seven days there will still be plenty of reasons to visit their site without a subscription (and for new subscribers to see why they should sign up).

The price is right too - $25 a year or $5 a month allows dedicated fans to make a big saving but still lets new users try things out for a month or two before making a bigger commitment.

Provided they get their payment model right (there need to be alternatives to paying my credit card) I reckon they could be on to a winner. That said, I probably won't be signing up but that's because I hardly ever visit gamespot as it is. Hopefully GameSpot fans will react differently.

Gamespot only good for Download & ConsoleGames (0)

MrJones (4691) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420648)

I started not to look at GS for PC Games reviews after reading the review for RTCW.
Seems to me that GS is more focused on Console Games. And the people that review PCGames and VideoGames does not have the same criteria when isuing the final Score for a game.

I can't imagine why GS does not talk about the kick and the 'hand' in RTCW. No other modern(2001-2002) game has this very usefull features.

Anyway, I only GS now for downloading demos with wget. I that point of view is really usefull.

For news a Reviews there is always bluesnews and GameSpy(with all that Casino ad)

Probably won't work (2)

acoustix (123925) | more than 12 years ago | (#3420669)

This type of model won't work. I have my own thoughts on the process. So lets say that we have decided to pay for GameSpot. Then we find that CNet has gone to subscriptions. Then New York Times. and on and on...

How many subscriptions are we going to pay for? It may only be a few here and there, but in the future (when more sites go the subscription route) its going to be tough to figure out which sites are worthy of subscribing to.

Thank God that MaximumPC is only a buck a month!

Gamespot's reviewers kiss too much ass (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3420687)

Gamespot's reviews are crap. They always give top scores to games from their sponsors, no matter how bad they are. Try to find an Electronic Arts game that's under 60% - you can't. In fact, there are almost no games under 50% (which should be the _average_ score). The only good reviews (and honest scores) are the ones written by the readers.

If Gamesdomain had a section for reader reviews I wouldn't bother to read Gamespot at all.
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