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LGP Introduces Linux Game Copy Protection

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  • stan.distortion
    replied
    When you go to LGP's site, it's like the man is running a charity.
    Good point, the whole image could do with a going over. Take the startup of any game, all the companies involved have big, bold logo's flashing up that scream 'were great', then along comes LGP's ninja, kill-bill tux animation ending in 'LGP' burned on the screen in big, bold letters...
    LGP's games aren't top of the line but just looking like your worth a million dollars has a big affect.

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  • shiver
    replied
    Originally posted by miles View Post
    I don't really want to criticise option 2 any more than it has already been in this thread, especially since everybody and their mom here already agree it's sub par
    Yeah... my mom is pretty bent out of shape about it too

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  • miles
    replied
    Originally posted by shiver View Post
    Option 2... obviously!
    I don't really want to criticise option 2 any more than it has already been in this thread, especially since everybody and their mom here already agree it's sub par

    You've got to understand the man seems to be a developer (at least he's shown enough he's not a salesman), and as a developer it's the only solution he can imagine. Now, other people with diverse background (and salesmen, and publishers) also react like that, so even though we can see the problems with this solution, you can't really blame him for reacting the way he's been taught to think. And the solution can be effective to a certain extent, in that the first few weeks after a game is released are the most important for a game's success, and even a few days when a game's not been hacked can mean a (relative) lot more sales (what I don't agree with is the need to keep that protection ad eternitam).
    Last edited by miles; 06-26-2008, 04:36 PM.

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  • shiver
    replied
    Originally posted by miles View Post
    The man may have done a lot for Linux gaming, but wouldn't you expect him to try selling the goods he's sitting on?
    Completely agree.

    Which seems like a better idea:
    1) Making more people know you exist by advertising or word of mouth in some of the ways you suggest
    OR
    2) Scrounging out a few extra "possible?" sales by sticking DRM in your software (assuming the pirates even know you exist) and angering some of your already loyal fan base

    Option 2... obviously!

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  • miles
    replied
    Originally posted by Svartalf View Post
    Heh... Unfortunately, with the insane royalty schedules that the publishers often insist upon, unless you can assure a Linux porting publisher of at least something like 5-7k units sold, the price CAN'T come down. The royalties paid out to MAKE the installs everyone's buying has to be paid up-front and then is made up as part of the sale price. With smaller numbers, you have to make up bigger chunks of that money somehow.

    That's part of the problem. LGP isn't pricing this just to gouge money out of you
    (Let's change a bit the mood of the discussion - and yes, I share your views of piracy - and talk about the lack of sales without running into the age old apology of free loading like we've seen enough.)

    The problem is that you - and apparently LGP - are thinking this like developers. You're not salesmen. It's not your job, and you could have insane programming skills, but still you just can't sell the goods, because it's not the job you're good at.

    You're saying the price can't come down, and for you it ends the problem. If your job is to sell goods, that's never going to stop you, and I'll try to detail why :

    Imagine the game has to sell for 40? to make a profit (yeah, LGP doesn't advertise their goods in any other currency, and that just show how they want to make sure they sell the less amount as possible). Now you still want to drive the sales, not just sit idle on your chair hoping nobody notices you've got something to sell. So what do you do?

    First, you could make a special 1 month pre-release deal. For 5? in advance, you'll get the game 5? cheaper. Oh, but - thinking like a developer, it won't work because you need to sell the game for 40? to make a profit. n00b. You price the game 45? or even 50, and you still sell the game for the amount you wanted to sell it. More important, 5? is below any impulse level, so you'll get people signing up that would never have bought the game for a boring 40?. You get more customers, you realise you could sell the game for 30? and still break even, but for the time you could save up the 10? free profit to pay for the rights of a next game, a bigger one.

    Now, when a game has been on sale for 2 years and you notice only 5 people a year buy the title, are you going to stick there with your head in the sand keeping your game at the price you need to break even? n00b. Slash the price by at least 50%, sell it for 20? or less, or create a bundle with two games at 30? each. Then please, do ADVERTISE. Pus banners on your site. Make it a special offer for a limited time only. Send notice of this to all Linux web sites and publications - bargain sale at LGP, limited offer, get it before it runs out! Most, if not all linux magazines, and all Linux websites are run from fans, and they'd like Linux gaming to be successful as much as you do. If you're even half as skilled in human relationship as Torvalds is , you'd get them to inform their readers for free - it's their job, and they'll be helping their readers save money.

    Now, to go back about LGP's (lack of) advertising - the man couldn't sell whiskey to an alcoholic. I had to come back to Phoronics looking for reviews of the HD 4850 to remember that X3 was still being ported to Linux.

    Isn't it symptomatic of a problem? The game is supposed to be released in a few month, yet nobody's doing previews, nobody's sending daily screenshots to Linux sites, no one sent the beta to each Linux journalist and their mom (same for at lest one or two people in big distributions like Fedora, Ubuntu, Mandriva...), no one's running monthly interviews of the developers... What? Are they afraid people might think of buying the game? We're not talking about having to fork money to buy a few pages of advertising, we're talking about things that wouldn't cost LGP a dime.

    When you go to LGP's site, it's like the man is running a charity. Yeah, even if you don't plan to play the game, give us some money to support gaming in Linux. Sorry, but if I've got 40? to throw somewhere, I give them to real charities, people needing water, food, medication, teaching... (and before you ask, yes that's what I do), NOT to save Linux gaming, because yes, there's a sense of decency somehow, and a life is a tad more important than an agenda.

    So, except for a few person, people will only give money for games (or software, or anything else) when they know they're getting a value out of it. Yet what value do you get from someone that doesn't even behave like what he's selling is of any interest for the Linux community?

    I'm not saying putting DRM in the games are or aren't going to help him sell a few more games. It's his call, and that's his problem. However, I (and I'm not the only one) have got some gripes with the way the man is running his business.

    Look at X3: Reunion - Special Edition.

    X3 Special Edition comes in an old-style big game box, containing the regular X3 game, along with an X3 T-shirt, and a copy of the book, 'Farnhams Legend'. This is a limited edition run of 500 copies. Each copy is numbered and signed by the CEO of LGP.
    Yeah... Can't even be bothered to tell me WHO wrote the freaking book, or what's the story about, or if it's even remotely related to the game? For what we now, it could be the perfect book to help you start a career in gardening, or another illustrated story with Winnie the Pooh and his friends. The T-shirt? Could be any cheap quality fluo pink ultrathin polyester with a 5mm? logo in front, where you could only barely distinguish enough to be sure you're telling everybody you're into X meetings... and what, nothing about a manual or an irreplaceable map of the X3 universe?

    The man may have done a lot for Linux gaming, but wouldn't you expect him to try selling the goods he's sitting on?

    Edit :

    Now, to the man's defense, he's running his soceity like a developer would like his goods be sold. Don't ask people to sell a kidney to buy the goods, price it at an amount that pays for the development (+ the royalties) and no more, so you can keep doing the job you like.

    Fair and nice, but we don't live in such a world. And LGP is selling somebody's IP, an IP that has needed the efforts of dozens of developers and artists for a few years. Sorry, but a village's general store mentality isn't giving them any respect. Moreover, selling selling games for a premium after they've been on sale for years isn't really giving the consumers any respect either, however "fair and nice" one wants to be. Doing a better job selling the goods, making it desirable enough, selling it for more than what you'd say is fair at the beginning but giving people real value for this money (the value isn't in the box only, it's in the sale, the shop, the site, the buzz, the community, the interaction with the company and the devs, the informations you get bit by bit and the dreams you're allowed to have), then having covered your expenses enough to offer the games at bargain price for those that fancy retro gaming (after 2 years of LGP sales, and considering the games were released on Windows 2 years at least before LGP delivered the Linux port, yes, you're selling games to retro-gaming fans, not any gamers) - that's proving developers & clients alike due respect. If you're a salesman, then doing your job well is as important as for any other job.
    Last edited by miles; 06-26-2008, 04:26 PM.

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  • Svartalf
    replied
    Originally posted by movieman View Post
    I don't see any reason why the current DRM mania shouldn't go the same way.
    Ding, ding, ding! It won't go much differently this time than last.

    That sort of thing takes time, though...

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  • movieman
    replied
    Originally posted by shiver View Post
    The arguing is mostly pointless as those who think DRM is needed will not change their minds and vice-versa.
    Back in the early 80s, games came with some really annoying 'copy protection', such as silly prismatic lenses you had to hold in front of the TV screen in order to try to read some fuzzy-looking text to type in to start the game, which you usually got wrong at least one time in two. By around 1990, pretty much all that had gone, because companies eventually realised that it didn't work, it was a waste of their time and it did drive away customers.

    I don't see any reason why the current DRM mania shouldn't go the same way.

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  • Svartalf
    replied
    Originally posted by rettichschnidi View Post
    1.) release a "nodrm"-patch after maybe two years. I don't know how their salenumbers are over the time, but other game companies to it the same way and they are still alive. And as soon as this patch is released also the drm-haters will/can buy that game.
    Decent enough proposal. I wish I had a bit more pull than I do these days with him- it would be something I'd tell him he ought to do with this if I could because if it's a "necessary evil", it only needs to be in there for the viable commercial shelf life of the product at 2-4 years from initial release.

    2.) Cut down on the price. If they really think that they'll raise their sales with this DRM system, the should be able to cut down the price. If the sell their games for half or less of the current prices, maybe I'm willing to buy it, even if the games contain a (moderate) DRM system. It's the same reason why I bought ETQW. Yes, eventually the servers will be shutted down. Maybe id releases something to avoid problems, maybe not. I knew this and nevertheless I bought the game, because I got it for 10.- (swiss francs), and not for > 80.- (price for LGP game incl. shipping). For that price I can life with a "rented" product.
    Heh... Unfortunately, with the insane royalty schedules that the publishers often insist upon, unless you can assure a Linux porting publisher of at least something like 5-7k units sold, the price CAN'T come down. The royalties paid out to MAKE the installs everyone's buying has to be paid up-front and then is made up as part of the sale price. With smaller numbers, you have to make up bigger chunks of that money somehow.

    That's part of the problem. LGP isn't pricing this just to gouge money out of you- it's because they're predicating sales at being like about 2-4k MAX for a given title right at the moment. It's why Runesoft's wanting 200 up-front sales before they can even start offering the titles they're doing with Deck13- they've got to pay at least the rights holder their royalties, largely up-front, for a production run of even 1000 installs of the game.

    When you buy a Windows title or buy a Linux title from some of the forthright individuals that provide Linux games along with the Windows versions, you're buying directly from them. You don't have a rapacious middleman that holds the rights and expects to be paid first in the picture. It's why it's preferable to get them to make Linux versions themselves (Even Michael Simms says this in an interview with him in one of the UK Linux magazines...). The problem is, they don't see us as customers yet in most of the cases. So...you end up having a chicken and egg problem.

    Everyone wants the chicken because that's what they're used to from the Windows and to a lesser extent the Mac world these days. Unfortunately, you've got this egg that might become a chicken if you keep it warm, nurture it, and let it hatch- but you all can't wait. You don't want DRM (a seperate fight...). You want it right now. (Another fight...) You want it at the same pricing as the Windows versions (yet another fight...). All of which will fix itself in due time if you don't all go off on a rampage over all these different issues all at once.

    Everybody needs to come to the realization that you've got an egg here instead of the chicken- and if you don't act like it's an egg, all you'll get is an omelet, instead of what you REALLY wanted in the first place.
    Last edited by Svartalf; 06-26-2008, 10:49 AM.

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  • Svartalf
    replied
    Originally posted by Redeeman View Post
    while the people pirating these games are doing stuff wrong, with all do respect, they are not the ones calling ME a criminal, the people employing DRM are..

    what is the saying? two wrongs do not equal one right?
    Infringement is a CIVIL affair. They're not calling you a criminal.

    Going on about it in precisely this manner (instead of doing it the way the FSF is doing it) will endear you to NOBODY and it blunts the message you're trying to get across. You will flatly NOT have me telling you to buck it up or any crap like that. And you did provide a suggestion in the other thread (I'll get to looking into it here shortly- quite a few suggestions for something that MIGHT be doable at least as a FOSS answer or to get the indie to publish a Linux version... Impressive.)- keep thinking in THOSE lines and you're going to be in a better position to make your stand work. You CAN'T expect people to take you at all seriously when you go on like you do about all of this in precisely this manner. Honest.

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  • stan.distortion
    replied
    Sorry for going of topic with this post but I came across this while reading up on DRM issues and the business model of this music site is the best I have seen yet for promoting unknown artists:
    http://amiestreet.com/
    and a bit more about their business model:
    http://www.crunchbase.com/company/amiestreet
    again, sorry for going off topic. It does nothing to combat piracy but it does go a long way to promote good artist's help them profit by cuting out the middle man.
    cheers

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