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LGP Introduces Linux Game Copy Protection

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  • Originally posted by Fixxer_Linux View Post
    so everyone is happy : the studios that are sure that their game can't be massively copied
    I don't believe anyone out there is fooling himself that HIS copy-protection scheme prevents people from downloading the cracked game through p2p. It may work to some extent with online games, but that's it.

    It's a lost battle, but they just don't want to admit it and prefer to pour millions of $ into new copy-protection schemes, that are later cracked in a matter of hours or days. They could make their products more attractive or cheaper with this money and get more clients, but no... Same thing is happening with other industries, like music etc.


    • Originally posted by Ex-Cyber View Post
      No. A huge part of the point of Free Software and Open Source is that it ensures that the software is not controlled by any single entity; the (technical) purpose of copy protection is precisely to give the publisher control over the software. You can't have it both ways.
      I'm thinking the copy protection system as a system that don't prevent copy himself, but a system that prevent to play on-line, as you can block the online playing without needing to control the user's computer.
      I agree that controling the user's computer is not tolerable, as it's privacy violation and is open-door to many abuses, beginning with viruses and other spywares.

      But why not a kind of an open-source Steam ?
      If the same software key is seeing over too many different IP at the same time, then the publisher can assume this version is pirated and then don't allow the user to connect for playing over the internet.
      This was the rule of the ?WON? server with counter-strike 1.x. Without the WON authenticafication, you couldn't play online. There was no control of the user's computer by this way.
      This also assumes that game editors tolerates copy of the single /offline player mode while the online gaming would be impossible with a pirated version.

      Originally posted by Chris View Post
      The big problem with that, for me, is the server connection. Online games are one thing (you're connecting to a server anyway, not hard to just check then), but offline single player games have no bussiness connecting to remote servers, IMO.

      While one-time *optional* connections are (barely) tolerable, they should not be trying to connect all the time (eg. every start, every few days, etc) and should not assume an illegit copy if it can't verify.

      Of course, by then, anyone trying to play an illegal copy can do so with little trouble (just go offline, or otherwise prevent connecting to the server). Only way to stop that is to not allow playing at all without an internet connection, but to me, that is intolerable for a game that can be played offline.

      Besides, I think it's more important to have a foolproof method for even detecting a legit copy from an illegit one, of which there isn't one AFAIK. Verifying a CD key doesn't work because they can be stolen without the legit owner's knowledge. As can passwords. Lost passwords and CD keys can, in turn, prevent a legit owner from using the product. IMHO, the foremost important part for any anti-piracy measure is to never disallow a legit owner from using the product, under any circumstance (sans losing the media and all legal backups).
      I 100% agree with the fact that the user shouldn't be suspected by default and moreover, shouldn't have to connect to prove himself as honnest to play a game. There is still people who can't have internet access and therefore must not be blocked by a copy-protection-system.
      However, if he loses his CD key, I guess we can ask him to buy again the product : after all, when you forgot the keys on your car and get it stolen, you have only to blame yourself when ordering a new one on your local car retailer, haven't you ?? ;-)


      • But why not a kind of an open-source Steam ?
        Because Steam sucks. Quite a few people, including myself, refuse to use it. The biggest problem for me is that Steam is required to be running when you want to play any of its apps, and it's a not-very-inconspicuous vehicle for all sorts of DRM (online checks, disabling play if it can't verify for new titles, etc). Plus I prefer to have physical media. Portage, and other various package managers, are close enough to what Steam needs to do.. manage patching, un/re-installation, etc. of games.

        However, if he loses his CD key, I guess we can ask him to buy again the product : after all, when you forgot the keys on your car and get it stolen, you have only to blame yourself when ordering a new one on your local car retailer, haven't you ?? ;-)
        I'm not quite sure I get the analogy. If the CD key is like the car keys, then when you lose the car keys, you don't need to buy the whole car over again.. you can just order a new set of keys for a fraction of the price. And you don't lose the physical CD if someone gets your key. It's more like the thief making their own copy of your car and making a duplicate set of keys, while leaving your stuff where it is.
        Last edited by Chris; 30 June 2008, 03:00 PM.


        • Originally posted by Svartalf View Post
          And you keep missing what I'm telling you- and while I can't openly go along with what you're claiming, I can't honestly all out deny that either. But things DO NOT work QUITE the way you're thinking.

          Inject $25k into the picture.
          Add a 3% per UNIT royalty on top of it.
          Pay 25% of your sales to your people.
          If you read the post, I was talking about games LGP has already ported to Linux (or is porting at the moment), not future titles. The games they already have, but try their best not to sell.

          Originally posted by Svartalf View Post
          How much money is that?

          Advertising costs LOTS of money.
          Doing MANY of the things everyone keeps coming up with costs LOTS of money.
          Please read the post - none of the things I'm taking about costs any money, unless you consider that selling the games costs money.

          Putting banners on his site, advertising the games more prominently on his own site doesn't cost anything. Putting the prices in $ and ? instead of the silly ? won't cost anything either. Informing the visitors about the games themselves (you call what's on LGP information?) doesn't cost anything. Telling us what the freaking book that comes with X3's Special Edition is about doesn't cost any money. Sending emails to Linux publications is free of charge. Sending them the games demos is free of charge. Giving them summaries about the development of the games doesn't cost any money. Sending them screenshots of the games everyday doesn't cost any money either. Sending them the betas or, at least, the final games doesn't cost anything if you're doing it digital, and the whole box sent by post is between 10 and 20$ at the most, not including the fact the journalist might buy the game if it's good. Advertising in the Linux world is free - articles, interviews, most journals would be happy having a subject to "fill" the pages (they're always asking their readers about ideas of subjects), and for websites it's even easier.

          Originally posted by Svartalf View Post
          Do YOU have it? If you do, step up to the plate- we need to use it to fix part of this mess. If not, come up with something else that's useful as a suggestion because you can't do a lot of the things you and others keep bringing up as a "problem" without LOTS of it.
          The things I was suggesting doesn't need ANY money, they're just common sense business decisions. Who in their right mind is going to step up to the plate by bringing money to a company that tries to make sure they don't get customers?


          • Putting the prices in $ and € instead of the silly ? won't cost anything
            Oooh, flamebait to an Englishman if ever I saw it, next thing you'll be saying kick out the queen and get a president
            not including the fact the journalist might buy the game if it's good
            Are you serious?? Most journo's got into the job for the free stuff.
            I'll agree with everything else you've posted though. After reading some (way too much) of penny arcade I had a read up on the history, this guy is their business manager:
            That is a guy who knows how to sell stuff in this day and age (and without screwing anyone. Big kudos), along with the pure genius qualities of the authors penny arcade will go a long way.


            • Originally posted by miles View Post
              If you read the post, I was talking about games LGP has already ported to Linux (or is porting at the moment), not future titles. The games they already have, but try their best not to sell.
              And you brought up things that were not being talked to.

              All the things you griped about are about him selling what he has- what I was talking to was why he didn't have those AAA titles that everyone was clamoring for. You won't have me disagreeing with you on he definitely needs to work on selling things better. But it's not at all the real problem with things; calling it as the main one is inaccurate and misses the other things I've been trying to tell everyone.

              I'm trying to get things changed- I don't care how. Some of the salesmanship you speak to DOES require cash- lots of it.
              Don't just focus on LGP website. Because, if you don't know about LGP, what makes you think anyone would go looking for it?

              You have to advertise to be "selling" the product- because gussying up the website and product placement will help a little, but not as much as you think it will.

              That DOES cost money and that was what I was talking to when I made that aside in the other thread.

              (And here you thought I wasn't going to respond to your comments... )
              Last edited by Svartalf; 30 June 2008, 04:45 PM.


              • Originally posted by Svartalf View Post
                You have to advertise to be "selling" the product- because gussying up the website and product placement will help a little, but not as much as you think it will.

                That DOES cost money and that was what I was talking to when I made that aside in the other thread.
                It does not necessarily cost money - it's not the same as getting the rights to port the games or paying the developers. You want to reach Linux users where they are - Linux websites, magazines (in electronic form or in paper form) and communities (distributions for example).

                Actually, most studios, big or small, already know how the free advertising works (and the small studios don't pay for any publicity at all, yet manage to get advertised for free on Windows centric games sites where competition is far bigger than on Linux sites). You get more by building good relationships with people in the field than by buying banners on those sites - because for costly publicity to have any effect you need a lot of money.

                All the suggestions I gave cost nothing (except sending the demo for review, but if you don't do that you're killing yourself in the foot to save only a few bucks). At all.

                You can dismiss these suggestions by saying they will only have a negligible effect, but on the contrary - that's how small studios manage to sell their games (and people buy the games when they know more about the developers, when they fell it's real persons behind the port and not an obscure website).

                You can also dismiss them because you can't do anything about it (actually you can, if you're developing one of LGP's games at the moment, by doing interviews regularly, and by pointing LGP to the same advices), which is partly true, but without a change in the way the business is conducted you'll keep having to hope people won't behave like what they are - just people, not the imaginary ideal customers that would understand your logic. I understand your logic, but I also don't think it's realistic to expect many people to support LGP the way it is right now.

                Edit : Oh, and he's got those AAA titles - talking about X2 and X3.

                People go to the site when they're linked to it by a review, by a Phoronix article or by someone else in any forum or mailing list. That's the ones you want buying your games. However, at the moment, only those that explicitly want to support an agenda will buy the games at LGP - that's not big enough that you'd want to keep discouraging other paying customers.

                I understand you're also trying to do something outside of LGP. However, the way you see LGP's business problem as anecdotal (the "will help a little, but not as much as you think it will" part) isn't foreboding well. I'm going to stop coming to these threads, because at the moment I don't think there's any more that can be said - not that I'm not happy with what you're trying, but to be successful you can't just care about licenses and code only. And because any more comments along the "Complaining about not selling isn't going to get you anywhere- because advertising, etc. costs lots of money" and I'll have to look for the vomit bag again.
                Last edited by miles; 30 June 2008, 06:23 PM.


                • I am behind on my /. so only found out about this today. I have read all the posts and I will respond concisely to as many as I can in as few posts as I can. (Yes this is a long post)

                  Here We Go...

                  Originally posted by miles View Post
                  I think they'd get even better response from the gamers community if they did what some game companies do, that is promise to release a no-key (or no de or whatever) patch after a while (after the game stops selling well, after 1 or 2 years, or even after they stop selling it).

                  Gamers would feel far more comfortable knowing they'd be allowed to play hassle-free the game they bought after a certain period has elapsed, and that shouldn't have any effect about piracy.

                  The ones that are on a crusade could of course wait for the protection removal tool to be released before they buy the game, instead of not buying anything at all.
                  This is sound reasoning. I buy the occasional windows game now but only old and 2nd hand. Spore was going to get me to change this but the copy protection they are proposing is not worth it. I have decided that Windows games are now mostly just not worth the bother.

                  Should this practice become the norm for LGP I will be able to gladly pickup games after their initial release. Unfortunately, I expect this would be counter productive to obtaining the sales needed in the early stages to get to the point of selling without the DRM.

                  Originally posted by Pickup View Post
                  I doubt people who simply can't pirate LGP games any more will buy them. Yes, maybe somebody will, buy a few ones. LGP will increase their sales by a mere... let's say, 5-10%. very far from the 400% we (they) may imagine 4 pirate copies every single one.
                  All the others, if they can't pirate any more, will play the demo only, or turn away from LGP and look for FOSS games, or seek (and hope) for a crack.
                  This is wishful thinking. Unfortunately, to the pirate the game is worth close to nothing. To those who sample and find it has worth they will possibly buy it. The pirate loses nothing and the sampler will not miss what they don't receive.

                  There is no study I am aware of that provides any co-relation to an increase in DRM leading to an increase in sales. There is also no reason to think that those who buy the game on the first day are the same type of enthusiast that downloads the game the moment the "cracked" copy becomes available.

                  Originally posted by Svartalf View Post
                  Heh... How, pray tell, do you propose doing this?

                  Most stores won't go with the volumes that we're talking about here. Windows stuff gets the time of day because you're talking anywhere from 10k blocks to 250k blocks of merchandise, which is worth the time and risk from the retailer.
                  Introduce game cards so that the kiddies can go and pay for credit to use for buying your games online. One package that offers a game card worth the cover price of the package and small booklet(or demo cd/DVD if you want to add a few more pounds worth of value for only a few pence). Now they can use their lunch money or their parents can give it as a gift.

                  Working on an invoice consignment basis. You ship a box of 10 with an invoice due in 180 days at the end of the period they either send the whole amount back, part of the amount back with part cash or the whole cash amount back and always with an option to get another batch with an up front payment of 5 units. This way they can sell some expect to sell more and have replacements on the way while you have received cash.

                  Only one spot is needed and you can start, small, with independents. You could even do a basic counter display. By presenting it attractively retail locations will honestly consider giving almost any product a shot. Especially if there is little or no risk to them. Yes that does mean that the risk get taken on by LGP however the cost for such an exercise would generate more than ample returns.

                  After there is interest bigger places will be easier to convince.

                  Originally posted by deanjo View Post
                  Svartalf, copy-protection has NEVER been successful in even thwarting piracy in the slightest.

                  Copyprotection only accomplishes this, Piss off honest people and gives the crackers entertainment for an hour.
                  I agree.

                  Pirates existed before the net did. Companies made money then and can continue to do so now.

                  The One Minute Manager series taught me several things, one being Reducing loses has finite potential but increasing sales as infinite potential. DRM does not ensure sales or increase sales. By allowing another company to lead you down the road of focusing on the wrong area one allows the driving of the company into the proverbial river.

                  Originally posted by muep View Post
                  I usually use free software, because it is the only kind of software that I can somewhat trust. It won't go away just because a company decides to stop supporting it, and I can often even change my operating system, and still keep using it. I can also be fairly sure that it won't try to do anything sneaky behind my back.

                  For games, I can accept proprietary software, since games hardly are part of an information infrastructure, like a word processor or a web browser would be. I could still do my school and work assingments, even if my favourite game stopped working. However, I find it a lot harder to trust closed source software. If the piece of software actively tries to monitor my use of it and reports it somewhere, the issue even worsens a magnitude or two.
                  Trust is important.

                  This is a factor that should be kept in mind when building a company. Google was great in the beginning and now that they are big enough they are happy to help people be killed China. They grew by leaps and bounds because they had good product and people felt they could trust them. Most people now do not see the bad they do, I expect due to these people no longer feeling they need to check on what Google does, they already trust Google.

                  Originally posted by Svartalf View Post
                  Then change the game, my friend. *I* do not like the idea one bit. I don't think this is a good thing. Never have, to be honest about it.
                  Pirating is a bad thing if it is given the power to be such. Just because a company has an advisor that says pirating hurts them does not mean that they should not be re-educated.

                  Originally posted by Svartalf View Post
                  In this thread, there have been at least 2-3 hinted at acts of infringement. One poster OPENLY stated that he played without paying on not one but two different titles- ostensibly because they "weren't worth buying". Well, that's the excuse MOST of the Windows pirates have...

                  Because of this sort of thing, people watch and see this. The people that have the control of the rights to even get a shot at porting games.

                  Do you for a moment think they're going to think they're going to see any money whatsoever from the community when they read all of this stuff and all the stuff in the other areas on the subject of ported titles?

                  If you do, you're sadly mistaken.
                  Pirating exists. It is a fact. Disrupting your own business to satisfy a misguided company is counter productive.

                  By accepting pirating exists and developing your sales base the companies which are squeamish now will be able to see the sales figures that you have in the future. Armed with good sales you will see a change in their demeanour and be able to negotiate more favourable terms.

                  Originally posted by Svartalf View Post
                  Everyone keeps screeching change the business model, not realizing that the model's pretty much doomed because of all the people mouthing off here and elsewhere- or that there may not be one for us for many years to come because of this crap.

                  They keep laboring under the illusion that people can just snap their fingers and make it happen. Or, that they're these other people's customers and that they HAVE to do anything to make it run on this other OS that they don't support, nor have any current intentions on supporting.
                  Changes take work. I am prepared to work to help make the needed changes. More on this later.

                  Originally posted by Svartalf View Post
                  If you don't agree with the DRM, just don't buy. Quickest way to send a message, really. Don't comment on playing without paying or buying and then breaking the DRM- either just contributes to the same crap you're claiming you're against. All you people are doing when you do this is fueling the fire. No different than the crap that RIAA and MPAA have been doing for some time now. And all the idiots kept doing is feeding the fire with flash naptha instead of just walking away. You're NOT entitled to anything. Not games. Not music. Not movies.
                  The reason people keep buying is because many countries have declared that the buyer is entitled to the product they have purchased. With that one needs to reasonably accept that when they sell something the buyer is able to do what they want with it short of anything illegal.


                  • Originally posted by Svartalf View Post
                    Mouthing off like this isn't feedback that you want, really. If you don't like it, fix the problem. Don't pirate the stuff, just don't buy. Pirating means it's desired, but you're obtaining it without paying for it. It's not stealing, no, but it's a bit worse than just not doing anything with regards to it. It sends a message that it's sought after, but nobody's willing to spend money on it. Heh... And what have I been trying to tell people we have as an image?
                    Pirating does not mean that it is desired in the same way that buying means it is desired. Pirating is theft as declared by many laws. Music files started going DRM free because people kept acquiring music that was orginally DRM encumbered from outside of the revenue stream. People continued to find ways to get around the protections so they could use what they purchased they way they want it and they want to use it the way the want to use it. The music industry is just catching up and should be used as an example to those of the video game industry. Only those selling DRM profit from DRM.

                    Originally posted by deanjo View Post
                    Seriously, as a whole, the biggest reason people do not buy your games in the numbers that you should have is not because of lack of copyprotection.
                    It IS distribution. While many people do everything online nowdays, a lot of people are not willing to wait 2-3 weeks for delivery and give financial information over the net.

                    The majority of sales on games is still done via retail outlets. Even larger companies have figured this out. When it comes to online services and ordering, a majority of customers would rather go out and buy a gift/credit card at their local 7-11 and then use that to purchase their items if they have to purchase online. Gift cards account for over 70% of the largest media distributor on the web (iTunes). Why? The answer is simple, parents don't want to give their kids credit cards for purchasing on-line. And this is with a major company that people have little fear of it going out of business.

                    One of the biggest reasons WoW took off is because little Johnny can take his $20 allowance and go buy a few more hours on it at the local store by getting a new card.

                    Every linux game out there I bought was because the binaries were available for it at no extra cost and I could buy it at the local store. If the game was not at my local store, I wouldn't of bought it. People want to buy tangible merchandise that they can put their hands on right away. How well do you think the games such as Guitar Hero, Final Fantasy, etc etc etc would have done if they made it mail order only? I bet they would have sold less then 1% of the volume that they have simply because they didn't have it ready to buy and in hand for the consumer. Or how well do you think steam would have taken off if you had to first pay for the game and then wait for a couple of weeks before actually playing it. Games are impulse buys. It's the reason why now you have retail gaming stores in malls nowdays. A complete industry now evolves around it.
                    This is all very good points and I was glad to see it while I was reading everything. I hope LGP is taking notes.

                    Originally posted by Redeeman View Post
                    Buying and breaking DRM is perfectly legal most places, i see nothing wrong with it, and neither does the LAW most places.

                    And btw, i do not pirate software.. I have however on atleast one occasion purchased a piece of software, and (LEGALLY, thats right, LEGALLY!) broken copy protection to be able to use it fairly.

                    if DRM really were able to stop piracy, then i could understand the wish from content producers to employ it, but as it stands now, it doesent help them one bit, in fact, ill bet good money, that DRM for the various things current, for instance dvd, bluray, hddvd, games, has COST more than it has gained them..
                    I know a few people who do this with pretty much every game they buy. They enjoy the games and pay good money for them but are not willing to waste any more time than needed on DRM. If a game has DRM that has no crack they don't buy it.

                    Originally posted by Licaon View Post
                    how many players liked the game enough to get it a second time for Linux? or liked it enough to buy it now on Linux?
                    I can only guess that LGP is checking with their customers before starting development on a game to make sure it is a good business decision. The games that are worth playing are commonly worth playing again.

                    Originally posted by Aradreth View Post
                    I have a huge respect for Stardock and their views on copy protection, I wish more developers/Publishers where like them.

                    An interview is one of the co-owners can be found at bit-tech this
                    That is one of the healthiest views on piracy that I have seen and I hope that Michael Simms has read it. If not please mention it to him.

                    Originally posted by Svartalf View Post
                    Some of it is that we've been seeing evidence of piracy for some time now. I've had discussions with Michael Simms on the subject and this rancor he saw in the beta list and we're seeing now is something I warned him about. Unfortunately, if they're not seeing as many sales as they're needing and seeing piracy (and this IS the case), either he folds up shop or does something like this.
                    There are more options that can be offered and I hope that this long discussion has helped to show that.

                    Originally posted by Svartalf View Post
                    Unfortunately, you don't get the luxury of picking and choosing who gives you access to what. Many of the studios are reasonable. The publishers, typically, are not.
                    However you do get the luxury of choosing to look elsewhere. There are even free games on windows that if ported should be able to earn some money. Castle Infinity for one.

                    Again, I am not saying that you can just snap your fingers and it all turns around. It will require work. The most difficult part will be letting go of the pirate issue.

                    Originally posted by Svartalf View Post
                    Got $50-75kUS? You probably could get Stardock to allow you access to the code for that. However, keep in mind, that doesn't buy you the right to PUBLISH that work- that's just the money to license the right to port the code. It's probably another $10-15k for a 3k unit run- at the very least. Got a $100k burning in your pocket? You too can publish a game.
                    Is that how much they quoted? It is worth finding out. By having the base information a good discussion about price and customer commitment to a title can be had. This will help ensure that the project is going to be profitable.

                    Originally posted by stan.distortion View Post
                    True, money talks in this day and age but a lot of money-man are a bit to set in their ways to listen.

                    They only thing that makes sense for the money men behind the games industry is to focus on the consoles and just work on on-line games for PC's. Shame as it will mean more 'disengage brain before playing' ported titles. Means more focus on easily ported games though so it's not all bad.
                    It does seem this way however Video Games for pc consumption will continue to sell if they continue to be available.

                    Originally posted by zeb_ View Post
                    I was genuinely going to pre-order Sacred and participate to the beta testing, but now strongly reconsider. I will send my opinion by email to LGP, and hope I will not be the only one, so that they can reconsider and at least relax the rule (I'd like the single-player campaign does not require any connection).
                    News of being able to pre-order Sacred is exciting and the additional clarification about single player being able to be run without connecting to the net is good to hear. Now if time was not being wasted on DRM it could be used for other games.

                    Originally posted by deanjo View Post
                    2K drops DRM on Bioshock
                    This might not be exactly true but when customers think of DRM they think of the ?features? that get in the way of them using what they have purchased in the way they want. Whether or not there is a bit of spyware that phones home when it can is another issue. I am very glad to see them lightening up on this.

                    Originally posted by stan.distortion View Post
                    Maybe those very same analysts will turn around in a few years and say DRM is a bad idea but until that happens we are stuck with it, and if we want those big companies to even let us sniff the source code for their past titles then DRM will be right on top of the terms and agreements. It's a shame but we arekind of stuck with it,
                    That is the kind of thinking that will drag DRM out instead of getting it killed off as quickly as possible. Every facet of something that is sold to you has a value, a business's job it to find those facets and exploit them in some way to the benefit of the shareholders. By continuing to show the lack of viability for DRM the shareholders will eventually start questioning why money is being wasted on it. They have in the music industry.


                    • Originally posted by Aradreth View Post
                      The peak number of downloads for a game is just after release so every day the DRM stops people from pirating increases the number of sales as a lot of people are impatient and so will just go out and buy it.
                      This is being hopeful at best. I could see maybe someone who wants a copy but found the shop sold out downloading a copy to play until they can buy it if they are being impatient. Not the other way around.

                      Does a cracked copy of Sacred 2 exist for windows and will it run under Wine? If there is and it does then obviously Sacred 2 will already run on Linux without DRM. What does that say about the executives that want the time wasted for a second time on the DRM code?

                      Originally posted by Aradreth View Post
                      Actually the developers can see if a game is being pirated heavy or not they just need to see the number of people that download patches or play on line. Sure it's not that accurate because some people don't download and patch and other download it several times but the trend can be seen.
                      Also you might want to look at the number of people downloading console games against PC games. Console games you'll notice get downloaded a lot less and yet they sell more (just go the tpb and search GTA sort by leeches and you'll notice the previous game for the PC is at the top of the list instead of the new game for the 360/PS3)? How could this be? Oh right consoles have to be modded to get pirated games to work. (hardware DRM)
                      Are all the consoles doing well financially? Have they broken even yet on underselling the hardware?

                      Originally posted by Aradreth View Post
                      I agree there are a lot of assumptions but consider, if only the pirated copies had been the ones of that day and that site (ha!) it would still have cost ubisoft over $1.25 million (25000 people leeching * $50 a game) I don't care how you look at it that's an awful lot of money.
                      Originally posted by deanjo View Post
                      That's a pretty big assumption that all those pirates would have bought the game otherwise. Pirates are like packrats. They download alot of stuff just for the sake of downloading it. If I stand outside and hand beer out for free it doesn't mean that everybody that grabbed a beer would have bought one.
                      Good point. I would take a beer and I don't drink.

                      Originally posted by Chris View Post
                      It's also a big assumption that those that pirated it would have bought it if they couldn't download it. Also, there's no statistics to say how many of those downloads completed, or how long they took, or how many are duplicated.
                      or how many after failing to install properly resulted in the downloader going out and buying a copy.

                      Originally posted by stan.distortion View Post
                      I'm sorry LGP are keeping track of the figures and can only see the 'doom and gloom' side of them, I don't think many of the DL's equate to lost sales but each and every one that gets played equates to promotion of the name 'LGP' and if LGP can survive the poor sales today they go into tomorrow as a well known company (and if they have made a good impression impression) with a good reputation.
                      If LGP wanted to really set themselves up for the future (god, I'm gona get toasted for this bit) they would cut there loses on their past titles and give them out for free. Pirating has already ruined any profits so there isn't a whole lot to loose but linux gaming will double overnight and LGP will be right at the top of it and the name on everyones lips.
                      (off to get the asbestos underware )
                      A bit mixed, on one hand you say that the DL's do not equate to lost sales and on the other say that pirating has already ruined any profit which could be easily read as pirating led to lost sales.

                      Selling game bundles would go further than just giving the games away. Micro purchases add up to lots of money. Mobile phone games is a huge market money wise but it is almost all micro transactions.

                      I suggest doing a taster pack of a few demos and 1 or two full games for ?5 and hit the malls or high streets to sell them direct. It will need to have a clean interface and should Just Work to have the greatest impact.

                      Originally posted by FUesir View Post
                      What, though, is your single biggest cost?

                      What, exactly, does (for example) Starduck stand to lose from a Linux port? Why not set a more reasonable price? Hell, if they simply give out the code, fanatics would write them a port for free, and they can build a Linux fan base that might pay off big later on a sequel.
                      Some games like quake have released the code but not the graphics and you can buy the full game to port the graphics over. Sure some might never choose to buy your graphics but if they are good then chances are people will. This is an option that might be able to be used to help lower the cost of the Rights as the companies can look forward to additional sales of their original title(some games are one big binary but a lot that I have seen put the graphics in separately).

                      Originally posted by Svartalf View Post
                      Well, you wouldn't have had Michael Simms doing this if they weren't doing it the way it's described- I'd already convinced the man to shelve the whole idea back THREE YEARS AGO. Quite a few people have seen to it that the titles are, at best, breaking even right at the moment- from the looks of things, it's not "at best" by any stretch of the imagination.

                      No, I don't believe that a download is a "lost sale"- it's a bit different in my view. Each one of those downloads is akin to violating the terms of the GPL. Willfully.

                      I find it highly shameful that Linux users could do anything of the sort in light of how we all are supposed to view IP rights, etc. You want to lash out at somoene, go find those freeloaders that are downloading the stuff and yell at them as much as LGP for putting DRM into things- they're as much to blame as Michael Simms. You want to fight the good fight? Fight that as well if you're not going to pick your fights. Honest. That's not meant to be an attack on you- merely to point out you're missing a key part of the big-picture problem and you're not really fighting the fight the way it needs to be done if you're going that route.
                      Again you are fighting the wrong people. The users are saying they do not want to pay for such features to be developed. It is the reaction to the pirates, that are tempting companies to ignore the customers, that is the big problem. The decision is to either build it to make customers happy or build it to make pirates unhappy. Yes making customers happy will make the pirates happy however happy customers leads to a happy bank account.

                      Originally posted by borgus View Post
                      While I don't think it can all be attributed to piracy, I don't think even those who decide on DRM are that inane. I think a more likely case is akin to the movie and music industries: when sales are naturally down anyway, attribute it to piracy rather than people cutting down on luxuries (as games also are) in a soft economy. I do not believe they cackle in smoke-filled rooms deciding how to make gamers' lives more miserable, they just desperately want to believe that it's something at least somewhat in their power to control (piracy) rather than factors completely out of their control (like the economy).
                      This is very insightful. I agree that this is likely a partial cause for executive silliness.

                      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.
                      This is good to know however with DRM being added are LGP able to predict higher sales and therefore a lower per unit price. If not then additional work might be being taken on that results in a net loss. No one wants that to happen.

                      Originally posted by Svartalf View Post
             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.
                      That's a very good analogy however, I would suggest that Linux Gaming is more of a baby chick. Linux Gaming has come out of it's shell and needs taking care of. Feed it the wrong food and it's growth will be stunted. Feed it the right food and it will grow big.