During my many years of Taekwondo training (no, really) I've seen a fair share of faux-martial artists come and go. Not all of them were masters of the ol' chop-socky, but that doesn't mean they weren't good company. One of those long-since retired combatants was big into games, so naturally, we hit it off. In between feasting on one another's punches and kicks, we talked about all of the latest releases -- mostly on the PC. But, in one major way, we were different: I purchased; he pirated.
Of course, he had a reason. PC games can sometimes be buggy and unreliable -- even going so far as to not run on certain PCs. He raked in torrents as "extended demos," and presumably purchased the games he liked. Even so, I'm not sure if I agreed with his methods. After all, isn't that what regular demos are for? Plus, I never really got the impression that he actually followed through with step two of his little plan.
So, question of the day: Do you pirate games? If so, what's your justification? Do you even call it "pirating"? Don't worry, I'm merely asking as a discussion question -- not to judge anyone.
Today's Roundup contains a few possible methods of diverting cash back into the pockets of those who create games, though I'd wager none of the wannabe saviors really have a concrete idea of how they're going to end the Yarr-ing menace once and for all. On one had, Microsoft sees downloads usurping retail's throne in the near future, which could create an iTunes-like situation for the gaming industry. On the other hand, Turner has decided to toss GameTap to the curb like a box of unwanted kittens (an $18 million box of kittens), so obviously not all is well in the realm of downloadable games. Read about all of that and more after the break.
That choice quote sprang from the mouth of David Gosen, Xbox Europe's VP of strategic marketing. He sees convergence, such as sales of movies and music, as a driving force behind the move to digital content delivery, and the success of premium DLC, like Rock Band's weekly tunes, as proof of concept.
Of course, Gosen aims to position Xbox Live and GFW Live as the harbingers of DLC's rise to dominance, but we'll see. Something tells me Valve may be the nameless inventor behind the theory of relativity to Microsoft's Einstein. Hopefully this time, the truth will prevail.
"There is considerable marketplace interest in the GameTap business and brand," said a Turner spokesperson of the pending sale. "We are considering various strategic options, but have reached no final agreement as yet. When there is a resolution, we will announce it."
In other words: "We don't want GameTap anymore. It hurts our pocketbooks." With any luck, GameTap's next owner will put the service on a less rocky path to success, because it's brimming with potential. Also, I just invested $50 in a subscription to the service, and I'm beating Baldur's Gate II, damn it.
"Microsoft's Games for Windows head Kevin Unangst tells Gamasutra that the GFW Live shift was due to the necessity of making multiplayer functionality available for PC gamers -- who, he says, now essentially expect it in any title they play on PC," reads the article.
But, elementary statistics say that 2/3 of gaming consoles also offer free online play, so shouldn't console faithful expect it as well? Logic: hyperbole's greatest enemy.
Call me pretentious, but I dream of the day when gaming is no longer afraid to plunge headfirst into serious issues. Think about it; interactivity -- experiencing something -- is the quickest avenue to understanding it. Hopefully Medal of Honor can do justice to its new subject matter.