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LGP Introduces Linux Game Copy Protection

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  • Originally posted by miles View Post
    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 :

    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,... 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.
    This sort of pricing is a fair and reasonable way to do business. Everyone buying the games will understand the need to build capital to invest in future titles. While you are still producing small numbers those purchasing will be more inclined to help support the present and the future of their gaming. It is when you start doubling your numbers and find the price still cannot come down that people will start wondering what is going on. The price does not have to be halved just because sales have doubled.

    Originally posted by miles View Post
    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.

    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?
    Miles, you might not donate ?'s but would you donate time to help this move in the right direction?

    Originally posted by miles View Post
    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.
    We do live in such a world however, part of the development cost is the funds to keep the whole thing viable. As you suggested above a bit more at the beginning to prop up future endeavours is needed.

    Originally posted by miles View Post
    And LGP is selling somebody's IP, an IP that has needed the efforts of dozens of developers and artists for a few years...(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)
    The future plans are sometimes worth more than the initial offerings. Don't give us a fish use the fish to make a meal for 3 and with the profit get us more fish.

    Originally posted by miles View Post
    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.
    This is a very good point. By looking at where your market is and where it is going to be when you have completed the development of the title it will be possible built up a better plan for pricing and distribution to maximise the benefits to LGP and the customers.

    Originally posted by Chris View Post
    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.
    The reason one does not exist is because it is not possible(except to make everything from media to hardware be non-standard and proprietary, including the display, which bears costs that usually result in the venture being unprofitable). It can be made difficult to have a digital copy but once the customer buys a copy the seller loses control of that copy. DRM tries to impose controls over the copy after it left the sellers hands but as the DRM is out of the hands of the seller the buyer can get around it.

    The way to control the code is to reduce the value of the code that is released. One way is to release part of the code and require an online connection to ?plug? into the remaining code with the two combining to form a full working piece of software. This gives control to the seller as they instead sell access to the online code and verify the purchase of that access each time.

    Importantly, there will continue to be sales direct to the customer as long as customers will buy the product. With that there will also continue to be those who copy the products in ways they are not entitled to.

    Originally posted by Svartalf View Post
    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.
    Sales = Money = Access to AAA titles. If you have the sales figures the companies will be open to what you are proposing. They want more money. They want the money going to them instead of their competition.

    Trying to grow a baby chick by putting a rubber band around it's neck is counter productive. Get the chick as much food as you can.

    The points you raise about business's not wanting to face the reality that they lose control of their product once it ships are valid. Getting into bed with them lowers one to their level. Throwing good money after bad is a waste.

    Even after LGP gets the AAA titles it will not be profitable, because the systems are not in place to sell them.


    • Originally posted by Svartalf View Post
      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.
      Originally posted by miles View Post
      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... 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.
      Miles is very right about the need to improve sales. Yes some things have value that you might not have the money to pay for atm however, as Miles pointed out you do not always need to pay money to get the value you want.

      Further, you can also offer money on condition of future revenue. This is not for everyone but there are enough people not being utilised that I am sure more than enough expertise can be gathered to push LGP to the top of the charts.

      So to put my time where my mouth is, I am offering my time for 7.5 hours a week to help develop the image, advertising and sales of LGP titles for 1 year. The cost will be a commitment by LGP to refrain from taking on titles which require DRM.

      I am 33, I have worked with my wife to develop her career. With the development of her career I able to choose if I want to work for financial gain or some other benefit. Also, with the level we have developed her career she can choose to only work for 5 months of the year(yes only 40 hours a week) and still bring in enough to support us comfortably. We aim to own our home 100% in 10 years time. Having discussed making this offer with my wife, she has offered to provide me assistance wherever she can.

      The qualities that a company uses to gain customers is the same as those used by executives to further their projects. I truly believe in linux gaming and LGP can be the place people think of when they want Linux games and Linux games marketshare.

      Let me know what you think.

      I have just spent 11 hours reading all the posts in this forum and constructing my response. I do not know if it will have been of benefit but I hope so. I have lots of quoting so hopefully I have not misquoted anyone.

      Yes I will go over to the LGP site and sign up to the mailing lists.

      ps I do not know why some of this series of posts was autoflagged for monderator review but I am guessing it might lead to some mixup of order. I will try to avoid creating moderator work in the future.


      • I'd be interested in helping out also with their image.


        • Originally posted by Vadi View Post
          I'd be interested in helping out also with their image.
          Thank you for also stepping forward.


          • Where is their mailing list? I couldn't find it.


            • Originally posted by Vadi View Post
              Where is their mailing list? I couldn't find it.
     is the only one I could find so far.


              • Originally posted by Michael View Post
                Linux Game Publishing has released some information @
                When I try to go to their website I get this:

                "Firefox can't find the server at"

                Anyone experiencing the same thing?


                • Originally posted by Alecz View Post
                  When I try to go to their website I get this:

                  "Firefox can't find the server at"

                  Anyone experiencing the same thing?
                  Yes. Not the first time...
                  BTW I wonder, if they ever upgrade their sites, so they don't look so 90s.


                  • Issues with the ISP as I understand it... not much they can do.


                    • Originally posted by SlackerTD View Post
                      Issues with the ISP as I understand it... not much they can do.
                      I would recommend changing the ISP if that's the case, as the site is still down.
                      BTW. I hope their copy-protection service will be hosted elsewhere
                      Last edited by krzta; 03 August 2008, 11:03 AM.