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[TechnoBuffalo] Digital Distribution is Scary for Gamers

post #1 of 64
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Thought this was an interesting article.

Source

Quote:
Digital distribution is a scary future for the gaming industry. Not for publishers and marketplaces, but for consumers. While companies operating under the model of digital distribution may show it off as the land of sunshine, rainbows and roses, it’s a grim and unfortunate place for gamers.
post #2 of 64
I didn't read the article, but its pretty true. I enjoy Steam, but its entirely dependent on my ability to have internet, and assuming steam doesn't ever shut down, servers die, or my account get compromised.

But then again, I have like 108 games in steam, imagine that in hard copy...
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post #3 of 64
I know people will pretty much say something along the lines of "get with the times dude", but I would never buy a digital copy of anything as long as there are retail boxed versions available. I actually feel like I own something. I can hold it in my hand. I can sell it, or let a friend borrow it, etc. I can easily install most of them on the computers in my home that lack an internet connection. I enjoy the box art and reading the game manuals for many games. I can back up my hard copy to an ISO so I have it forever, regardless if the developer or anything has went under. I can't get my entire games library revoked from me over a screw up or misunderstanding (STEAM horror stories). I don't know if all the backing up lending is legal, but I'd rather not get into a piracy discussion in any way. Short version - I will never support digital distribution. I will accept it once it is forced upon me, but never by choice.
     
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post #4 of 64
Most games on stream CAN be played in offline mode you know...
And you can back then up as easily as you can back up a dvd.
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post #5 of 64
Thank you Jebus! Steam was forced down our throats, and to play the newest games there's no way to avoid it. Bring back one disc, one key, bought in a store or downloaded.
    
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post #6 of 64
Personally, I like having a disk. I like having the box and instruction manual.

I don't like having to read the manual on a screen, I don't like having to print the manual so that I can refer to it when I'm playing the game. I don't want to have to go online just to get the manual.

I also don't like credit cards which you need to have to buy it online. I don't have credit cards, don't want to have to purchase a pre-paid one just to get a game when I can go to the store and get what I want using cash.

That said, too many stores are not stocking computer games because they have a misconception that computer games are dying so I can't always find what I want. Usually though, I'll find something else just as fun in the style of game that I was wanting to play.

I did buy a game that had to be downloaded through Steam and I didn't like how the process worked. It was Empire:Total War. I actually bought the game at a store so I had a disk but it wasn't the actual game. It installed something but not the game, it was the Steam download setup. It ended up downloading the game from Steam and it took longer to download it than it would have to set it up if it was on the disk to begin with. It just took too long and I have a fast connection.

Then, I wonder what happens when the game is no longer carried. I don't know if you can back up the games to a disk, I kind of figure that you can but with how the companies try to combat piracy, I also don't think that you will be able to either. Not sure since I don't typically buy a game that has to be downloaded. I paid for that game and if at a later time that I want to stroll down memory lane, I want to be able to do just that.

Finally, not everyone cares to have a net connection. I didn't have one for the longest time. I had cable TV and that was my entertainment. I had a computer that could play games so I bought a game that I wanted and played it and I didn't have to download it. I didn't like how Empire: Total War was a download game instead of being on the disk that I bought. If I didn't have a net connection, I would have been pissed because NO WHERE on that box did it say that I HAD to have a net connection to get the game. Really, I don't understand why they bothered with that disk if you were going to have to download that game anyway. I like the Total War games but if that is how they are going to do things, I'll be skipping Shogun 2.
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post #7 of 64
I don't really agree with this article. Few reasons, the pricing 'issue' will be around due to developers wanting too much for their games, however the huge amount of sales that not only Steam, but D2D and GamersGate along with all the others have means that you can pick basically anything up for a very low price.

No used game market isn't something I could care about either. I've probably bought 1 used game, if any at all. I'd rather get a new game and with digital distribution you're always going to get that. Considering I've bought a lot of my games when they've been on offer they've probably cost less than a second hand copy would have cost.

DLC being restricted isn't totally true either, some games allow you to get the DLC from anywhere. That said, if its on Steam you'll probably have to get the Steam DLC, although that's not an issue as its probably the same price and will inevitably end up on offer at some point.

I do enjoy having a physical copy of a game, but I will get a game on Steam if its the same price or cheaper just because I can download it whenever I want, its always just sitting on my account if its not installed, taking up no space at all. Collectors/special editions of games are a different story though, I'd only want a physical copy of a special edition.
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post #8 of 64
Eh, any non-steam game is simply installed as if you had it from a CD.
If you were hard pressed to need a no-CD crack you could easily play the game (of which you obtained legally and paid for through Steam).
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post #9 of 64
His point on the lack of a used game market is true. There's a couple games I wish I could re-sell because I simply don't play them any more. Though with some of the DRM schemes in use today does that even matter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Creative Anarchy View Post
That said, too many stores are not stocking computer games because they have a misconception that computer games are dying so I can't always find what I want.
I think it has less to do with the perception of PC gaming and more to do with the brick and mortar stores not being able to keep up with the generally more attractive pricing on many digital stores.
Edited by d0gr0ck - 2/20/11 at 7:09pm
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post #10 of 64
I used to not like the idea of Digital Distribution/Steam type deals. I just didn't like the idea of not having a hard copy and something to show for the money I spent. I installed steam only due to the free Portal promotion they had a while back, to try out the game. It was free, so why not huh? I have since purchased 15+ games through steam and plan on never looking back. I love the convenience of it all and it turns out not having a hard copy was welcomed and now preferred.

I should also note that I moved shortly after getting Portal through steam. I was on a 1.5/512K connection before and that was another huge reason why I wouldn't use steam like services. Am now on a 20/5 connection.
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