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BioWare on Ports, Pron and Piracy

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Rebourne 18th March 2008, 09:11 Quote
I am very excited for this, I don't own a 360.
Mentai 18th March 2008, 09:20 Quote
Great interview :D
oasked 18th March 2008, 09:42 Quote
Nicely done, great questions! :)
Cthippo 18th March 2008, 10:31 Quote
Good interview, Joe, thanks for asking the questions we want answers to! ;)

Couple thoughts...

Talking to PR guys is like looking into a dark mirror, if you squint hard enough you can see whatever you want to see. You can see this guy going out of hiw way to not say anything that will piss anyone off, which tends to get in the way of actual communication.
Quote:
They deserve to have consumers pay for the title

This bugs me about game developers. I know he means "instead of pirating it", but the attitude that comes across is "We made something great and therefore you have to buy it". The sense of, well, entitlement, always bugs me. The bottom line is that I'm sure they're going to make a great game, but I'm not going to buy it because it's not the sort of game I'm into. If the game fails because not enough people buy it the developer is going to be screaming about piracy, not the fact that they made a product that not a lot of people wanted.

The whole first page feels like corporate ass-kissing, unfortunatly. Again, he sounds like a PR flack trying to sell EA stock.

Finally, the description of Dragon age and the fact that it too will be a cross-platform game seems to argue for a future without PC exclusive games. They're too much work for the relatively small market.
lewchenko 18th March 2008, 10:31 Quote
Good questions, good answers.
I bought Mass Effect for the 360, but after playing it for say 4hrs I got bored. Thats not to say the game has a problem... its more the fact that RPG games I tend to find a bit boring in the first place. The story was interesting though.. to a point.

It was always a risky purchase given the history of RPG games, but I thought it probably deserved the awards/ratings it got.

One thing to note though.. on the 360 the graphics (in HD) were terrible until you turned off 'FILM GRAIN' in the options. Then it looked superb. I have no idea why it shipped like that... so damn grainy!

Anyways.. good interview. Wont be buying it for the PC or Mass 2 for anything either, but honest answers, so well done.

PS - you are so right about the piracy.. linking it to the last 5yrs of people's effort is so true. But as pirates do not have a moral issue with stealing, nor do they believe the law applies to them (they are only trying it out remember.. and may even buy it. [cough] BULLS***[cough]) , then Piracy is something we are going to have to find a way around.

Digital Lockdown with online activation and ongoing 'piracy' checks periodically are the way to go (not that the free speakers of the world agree with this).
steveo_mcg 18th March 2008, 10:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by lewchenko


Digital Lockdown with online activation and ongoing 'piracy' checks periodically are the way to go (not that the free speakers of the world agree with this).

Not that there very effective...
Paradigm Shifter 18th March 2008, 10:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by lewchenko
Digital Lockdown with online activation and ongoing 'piracy' checks periodically are the way to go (not that the free speakers of the world agree with this).

I don't mind a system like Steam... but to be online all the time just to play a single player game is not something I want to do. Locking down something isn't going to stop the really determined pirates - although it will probably decrease casual piracy - but the degree of extra inconvenience to those who buy the game legitimately will be rather large.

Single player = offline.

Multiplayer = online.

...

Good read... one point: "eleven month year old" - which is it? ;)
Cthippo 18th March 2008, 10:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveo_mcg
Not that there very effective...

And when they do work they are interpreted as bugs, and so your product gets a reputation as a buggy POS, and then you tell people that it's only buggy if you pirate and so they think you're a lying POS who sells POS games (ala Titan Quest).

Piracy is part of the landscape, adapt or die.
Paradigm Shifter 18th March 2008, 11:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cthippo
And when they do work they are interpreted as bugs, and so your product gets a reputation as a buggy POS, and then you tell people that it's only buggy if you pirate and so they think you're a lying POS who sells POS games (ala Titan Quest).

Titan Quest is a sore spot with me. I still have my completely legitimate copy sitting on a shelf gathering dust as I just don't have the courage to try installing it again to watch it hose another system... at least, Titan Quest is all I can pin it down to, as before I popped in that DVD and played the game for five minutes, that system hadn't ever given me any trouble at all, even in (theoretically) much more demanding games/programs. And yet, that graphics card didn't like Titan Quest and died horribly. So, yeah, in my opinion, Titan Quest is a buggy POS, and as my copy is legit, the devs pulling the 'it's a pirate copy' card doesn't work. So they got £30 out of me, and all I got was an RMA and nearly five months of running on a backup card, as Sapphire's RMA process is about as quick-flowing as glass.

On the other hand, Dawn of War: Soulstorm has been a blast. :D
Jordan Wise 18th March 2008, 14:00 Quote
I like this Matt! Idea: stop giving mark rein the attention that would be better spent on this guy
Necaradan666 18th March 2008, 14:32 Quote
Why even ask about the EA stuff, everyone knows that the answers are going to be nothing more than corporate BS.

Agree with lewchenko, I got bored playing Mass Effect. When I started the game it looked great and I had planned to go through the story twice back-to-back playing as rogue and then hero. By the time I got to the end the first time I couldn't bring myself to ever play it again.
Zurechial 18th March 2008, 14:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jordan Wise
I like this Matt! Idea: stop giving mark rein the attention that would be better spent on this guy

QFT.

Great interview, Joe :)
DXR_13KE 18th March 2008, 15:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by lewchenko
Digital Lockdown with online activation and ongoing 'piracy' checks periodically are the way to go

a crack can do anything ;) especially if it is a challenge....

and i agree with Cthippo, its adapt or die.
lewchenko 18th March 2008, 16:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DXR_13KE
Quote:
Originally Posted by lewchenko
Digital Lockdown with online activation and ongoing 'piracy' checks periodically are the way to go

a crack can do anything ;) especially if it is a challenge....

and i agree with Cthippo, its adapt or die.

I understand what you are saying... but quantify by what you mean by 'adapt' ...
Making the game harder to crack is a way to adapt surely..
steveo_mcg 18th March 2008, 16:08 Quote
All the lockdown in the world won't help as has been proved time and again. Adapting could be lowered prices, improved business models or wost case moving to consoles, which simply delays the inevitable.
DXR_13KE 18th March 2008, 16:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by lewchenko
Making the game harder to crack is a way to adapt surely..

a fish evolving a steel armour is also evolution.... but the better way should be to grow legs and enter a domain with less predators.... thanks to that you are what you are today.

edit: if you cant beat them, join them.....
cyrilthefish 18th March 2008, 18:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by lewchenko
Digital Lockdown with online activation and ongoing 'piracy' checks periodically are the way to go (not that the free speakers of the world agree with this).
You have to be extremely careful here...
lockdown too much and you just drive them to piracy to get the better product, see what happened due to music DRM ;)
Kipman725 18th March 2008, 18:52 Quote
even steam has been cracked. I have a steam client that can play all my steam games offline but it requires the archives that steam downloads to play the games. (although in theory these could be posted to torrent sites - but would identify you as the original uploader). This is good for lans where most people have not got the money to buy css for two days or so. IN the past companies used the let the same serial be used upto 4 or so times in the same game to allow lan games :(
Sandwich 18th March 2008, 18:56 Quote
ultimately, making games cheaper is what sells them. Especially for the PC market where I was use to paying maximum $30 MSRP for a game.

Because of price cuts I bought these games on their first week:
Transformers the Movie $20 <-for a brand new game how could i resist!
Orange Box $30
COD4 $40 <-i went above my limit
Audiosurf $10
and a bunch more
The last game I bought at full price on the opening week was Half-Life 2 for $60!
The long time PC gamers I know would never swallow $60. That is so absurd, yeah I understand inflation but after spending a whole lot of money on our rig, it'd help developers to sell their product at discount for PC gamers. In fact, I hope Mass Effect comes out for the PC at around $30 because it is ported from 360, otherwise I'll just forget about the game. I think that will stop a good deal of piracy for it. Pricing for all things PC are just so absurd; $800 minimum to play a game at its full value, $60 a game, $100-200 in upgrades every two or three years just to play a couple games. Not to mention, compatibility! Not only do I have to maintain my computer to play a game, I have to make sure I don't have any driver errors or memory problems. It's just a hassle to play REALLY good games on the PC, in fact I see more people playing WoW than any other game combined. If it isn't WoW, they are playing some really old game (like me and Ghost Recon). The one game we can all play with our shitty laptops for sure without trouble is... Peggle.
DXR_13KE 18th March 2008, 20:56 Quote
60$? try 60€ around here.... as in 94$...... and then they ask why their games are not selling.....
Mentai 19th March 2008, 05:18 Quote
$100NZ here, which is about $80USD. That's why I get all of my games off steam for about $50USD. It was $45US to preorder orange box, which meant I got the TF2 beta and the game for nearly half the price 2 months earlier than when it came out in my country.
I got Cod4 at a christmas sale for $80NZ since on steam it's $88.50US (WTF?), but otherwise online distro is definitely the way to go.
Ninja_182 22nd March 2008, 17:38 Quote
Steam games at US rates in my opinion encourage legal purchases. I was more than happy to hand over about £25 for something that individually would cost a fortune. I didn't quite take the same liking to the Orange Box retail in the stores which while still good value was about twice the cost.

As for the ports thing, I know they usually add extras to games ported at a later date to the PC, so long as the downloadable content is the same Im not too bothered, Oblivion is a good example of this (not at a later date mind). Most of the official downloads were synchronised between PC and 360. If they go and publish on two platforms and one gets some content and another gets different content (say PC Oblivion got Knights of the Nine and 360 got Shivering Isles) I would in effect need to get both copies to play both story add-ons. It get a little annoying when you invest in one then lose out because the additional content favors another platform.

For completeness... I agree with Pron in games, its in films, games are verging on being interactive films anyway. It just adds a little twist which keeps the game interesting and less linear.
Hamish 22nd March 2008, 19:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paradigm Shifter
I don't mind a system like Steam... but to be online all the time just to play a single player game is not something I want to do.
....
you do not have to be online to play games on steam
Ninja_182 23rd March 2008, 01:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamish
....
you do not have to be online to play games on steam

HL2 requires you to be connected to the internet or it will not load. Some other games do not, Portal for instance does not require an active connection. It's a bit annoying as the router at my student hole has borked, thus I can no longer play HL2 which I have just started.
completemadness 23rd March 2008, 03:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninja_182
HL2 requires you to be connected to the internet or it will not load. Some other games do not, Portal for instance does not require an active connection. It's a bit annoying as the router at my student hole has borked, thus I can no longer play HL2 which I have just started.
You only have to connect to start the game, and i think you only need to conenct like once a week if you want (offline mode?)
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