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(Gamers have a right to be treated fairly. If they buy a lower quality item they should pay a lower price.)

I read a very interesting article on the BBC’s site about how humans are born fair and how the idea of fairness is really unique to humans.

Now we know the world isn’t fair and we’ve come across a lot of things that shouldn’t be, but that doesn’t mean we give up and allow rampant murder throughout the streets of the world.

We do our best to try to get as much justice for people as possible, so that we can live as fairly as possible. What does all of this have to do with gaming? The game industry is charging us the same price for a digital game as it would for the physical copy. That’s like a slap in the face to the regular gamer. Literally, we’re all being slapped and have been for years now, and no one seems to be speaking up about it.

 
Physical Distribution

 

It takes months to prepare to mass release millions of physical copies of games and hundreds of hours just to make the discs, print the instruction manuals, get the plastic cases, and make sure it’s all working and it’s all transported across the entire globe!

It’s frustrating, time consuming, and frankly it’s why publishing companies exist. Besides putting up the cost of marketing a game, a publishers job usually includes paying for the manufacturing costs. These costs are significant and include managing things like logistics which is simply the art and science of moving things across the world efficiently and in a timely manner.

Game companies earn every penny when they sell us that physical copy and they get it to us whether we’re in Europe, Japan, America, or Korea. They work hard and long hours and put in lots of quality control mechanisms to make sure their game launch goes off perfectly.

Digital Future

 Digital games require NONE of this. There is much less planning needed about launch day besides making sure all the servers can cope with the downloads.

Literally, all you do is upload the game to all the servers, make sure they stay up, and allow everyone to download it. No DVDs that cost time and money to produce; no covers; no instruction manuals; no painstaking hours of logistics because the whole world is already connected by the internet.

Yet for getting rid of the game publishers headache, customers willing to buy the digital copies of a game pay the SAME exact price as if they bought the physical one. Not a penny less. 

What’s worse is EA, one of the largest gaming companies, and the only gaming company currently listed on the S&P 500 says gamers are trending towards buying more digital games then physical ones. They’re saying this is the future. This decade is simply the end of the long headache that game publishers have had for the past few decades.

“EA Labels President Frank Gibeau has told GamesIndustry.Biz that he believes EA will be a “100% digital” company in the future.
“It’s inevitable,” says Gibeau. “It’s in the near future. It’s coming. We have a clear line of sight on it and we’re excited about it.””

The game industry is definitely thrilled to see this transition. Everyone wants to live as easy a life as possible and the stress that goes with launching a game is exhausting enough without having to worry about juggling physical copies around the world to your millions of fans.


 

 

 Punishing Gamers

But while the game industry celebrates the common gamer is left only to be punished. For sacrificing our cherished physical copies of games we’re giving up a lot.

Here’s a small list of what gamers give up when they go digital:


  1. Right to re-sell game as used. Sacrifices 20-40% returns on initial costs if consumer had resold game.
  2. Shrinks the supply of used games – making gaming more expensive as it gets harder to find cheaper used games.
  3. Loss of instruction guide and artwork.
  4. Right to play your game without internet. Hard to travel with your game:
    1. Overseas: You can take an Xbox with games and play it anywhere. But that can’t be said by installing Steam overseas without the ability to validate it in counties without internet. Even if you got a signal, you still have to download every game you want to play. Most games are very large and take hours to download on a fast connection. On a slow one or medium one it can take the whole day.
    2. Hotel: You go on a road trip and you’re at a hotel room. You want to play your games but you can’t since internet there costs extra. Had you brought an PS3 with games, you’d have been set. Or even if the hotel has internet, it may be slow, and it may take you hours to re-download the games you want to play.

These are just a few problems associated with digital games and just the fact that you can’t resell your game is reason enough to be wary of it.

 So understandably, if the consumers are willing to make a large sacrifice and actually buy the digital download of a game, the game should come with a huge price drop. But the fact remains that it doesn’t.

The whole digital gaming industry is in on this and has made it standard practice. From Gamefly to Steam to Amazon, all retailers sell brand new games at physical copy prices. There isn’t enough competition to force one of them to turn against the others and it has been this way for years.

 
Gamers Choice

Gamers have a choice to make about their future. If they want to be treated fairly and pay fair prices for the games they love they need to start speaking up and letting the game companies know that this business practice is simply wrong, unfair, and unjust.

It’s no wonder people are rushing to consoles when there are so many issues with PC downloads. The other added bonus of Consoles is that they also don’t have the same nagging D.R.M issues that P.C’s have when downloading digital games.

If we are willing to make the lives of the gaming industry significantly easier, we should get a reward as well, and that means significant price reductions on digital downloads from their physical siblings.

You can’t sell a stripped down version of a product for the same price as the full version. Sometimes this is followed up by tacking on DRM, making the whole experience even more stressful.

If this situation doesn’t change boycotts may come into effect, especially as the issue gets more traction and gamers realize exactly how much they are being punished.

This information will spread and game companies will eventually be called to account for what they’ve done. If not now then eventually one day. To gain back a loyal customer is much harder than to keep them in the first place. It makes financial sense to be fair from the beginning with your customers. Game companies simply need to do what’s right, not what’s most profitable in the short term.

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www.ImmortalPhoenix.net

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  • Sean
    October 27, 2012 at 12:30 am

    *Sigh* Just once I’d like to see an editorial on this site that didn’t have significant logical issues.

    Hello downvote button, how are you today?

    First off, your list of issues with DD is only partially true. 1, 2, and 3 are all technically true AT THIS MOMENT. I’ll come back to that but first, the idea that you’d be downloading games overseas.

    If you decided to take your Xbox with you over to Europe you’d encounter two big problems. First, the outlets aren’t the same in Europe as they are in the US. You’d need a converter just to get it to work. Same goes for PC, but it’s worth mentioning.

    Second, PAL. Any and all games you buy in the US are NTSC format. Same goes for your Xbox. That means that in order to play your games in Europe on your Xbox with its adapter, you would necessarily need a TV capable of receiving and displaying NTSC format video.

    Which basically means you’d need an HDTV. Not exactly common in rural areas should you be trying to visit castles in the countryside.

    An offshoot problem of this PAL vs NTSC debate is the fact that your Xbox cannot play PAL titles, which are in most cases the only ones available in brick and mortar European stores. So you would be stuck with just the games you brought along.

    With PC gaming and especially Steam, this isn’t an issue. If you buy the UK release of the game it will work just as well as the US release on your PC. But of course, you never mentioned PAL or NTSC. You specifically mentioned download speed.

    But they’re relevant to understand what you can actually expect should you decide to take your Xbox to Europe with you. You would have your list of games that you brought with you and that’s all.

    Now Steam, unlike Onlive, doesn’t require an internet connection to function 100% of the time. You can set it to offline mode and simply play your installed titles without the need to download anything. It’s the same situation as you have with Xbox; a preexisting library of games that you are limited to.

    But Steam goes one step further, as mentioned earlier. You can download a UK version of a game pretty readily, assuming you have the connection speed.

    Which you should considering that Europe has a much higher average down/up speed than the US.

    In terms of Point Number 1, that’s actually set to change in the near future. The EU, or European Union, recently ruled that digital goods must be resaleable. The US will likely follow, assuming we don’t collapse horribly like the Roman Empire. So that point’s poised to go away, as is point Number 2.

    Which, coincidentally, didn’t account for the reality of digital distrobution’s sales strategy. Specifically, the Sales.

    I just bought Left 4 Dead 1 for $5, bought both STALKER Shadow of Chernobyl and Call of Pripyat for the same price, and can regularly buy indie games for pennies. For the most part these pricing schemes are being limited by publishers unwilling to be truly competitive and these sales are the distributors answer to that.

    Yeah, I don’t own a single game in my library. How you feel about that is up to each person to decide but it’s a reality that may in fact change soon.

    I’m taking bets on the number of downvotes I receive for this.


    • bleachorange
      October 27, 2012 at 2:28 am

      I agree with just about everything Sean said on this one.

      I didn’t think of the outlets or formatting (though I know of the issue) immediately. However, if you go outside the US, odds are they don’t sell console games that are region compatible with your console, as many games are region-locked. Not only that, with all the regular sales on Steam and other platforms you can grab a title that came out less than 60 days ago for more than 50% off in some cases. So it’s not like they keep the price as high as retail copies for the same length of time.

      I’ll also agree that the $60 price point should not apply here, but should be a more reasonable $40 or so. Your numbered points 1,2,3 are also valid. As far as active internet connections go, there are only two companies I know of that do this: Blizzard (Diablo 3 active requirement/SC2’s periodic one is much better)
      and Ubisoft (I can never play a Ubisoft game without starting it while connected, though I can continue unconnected). Even EA does not require this, at least not since the fiasco of C&C4.

      In short, this article hit some correct points, but misapplied others.


  • October 27, 2012 at 10:56 am

    Thanks for the awesome comments btw from both Sean and Bleachorange.

    I actually upvoted your article Sean, so take that Mr. Reverse Psychology 😀 🙂

    I’d just like to point out All PS3 games are universal as far as region and are not region locked. Hopefully Xbox with their new consoles coming out next year, will follow in that tradition.

    Also sean I’m surprised you didn’t comment on my main point, like bleach did. Basically, do you feel we should have to play 60 dollars for a digital game, without getting the benefits of a hardcopy?

    Just curious on response. Keep up the great analysis everyone! 🙂


    • Sean
      October 27, 2012 at 9:58 pm

      I actually did mention it, but I basically agree with you. That savings should be passed down to the consumer. What’s limiting that is the fact that publishers are split between physical and digital distribution methods. They HAVE to price games at 60 to make a profit when selling physical copies (unless we’ve all been duped and they are actually making a killing) and so pricing digital games differently would undercut themselves.

      To ensure uniform sales across methods, prices have to be basically the same. Because they HAVE to price physical games at 60, they in turn have to price digital games at 60. If they didn’t they’d be screwing with the market value of the product as a whole.

      If you could buy a digital game for 40 and a physical game for 60 and they were the same game, there would be market pressure to lower the price of the physical game to match that of the digital one. But you can’t do that because then you’d be selling games at a loss.

      So until such time as distribution becomes entirely digital, you’re going to see this.


      • October 27, 2012 at 10:16 pm

        This only assumes that both products are equal.

        As mentioned, they are not.

        Therefore selling a superior product that can be sold back, such as a physical copy, warrants the higher price.

        The inferior digital copy warrants the lower price.

        Assuming they are one in the same is why gamers haven’t gotten upset. But they soon will as this movement gains traction.


        • Sean
          October 28, 2012 at 9:47 pm

          They are ultimately the same product. What’s different about them are things not related to the product but to the method of delivery.

          No, you aren’t allowed to resell digital games, this is true. However the product itself is the same. Features haven’t been removed from the game itself. The only difference is that limitations have been imposed on what you can do with the game.

          To a consumer it’s a factor that absolutely must be considered in the overall purchasing decision but there’s a distinction between a game that lacks a multiplayer mode or a character and a game that can’t be resold.

          I’m struggling to convey what I mean. You wouldn’t argue that the ability to sell a car was a feature of that car. It’s assumed to be possible and is applicable across the industry. That ability has nothing to do with the car and you’re not going to charge extra for it. It’s not something the maker of the car specifically built into it to give it value.

          Likewise the ability to sell a video game is not something the developer built into the product. It’s not a feature specifically added to the game by the developers.

          Likewise the inability to sell it isn’t something the developers specifically added as a feature. That’s something imposed by the distributor, in this case Steam, for valid, logistical reasons as well as less valid monetary reasons. Developers and publishers may agree with the practice, but it isn’t something they specifically added to the game themselves.

          Therefore you cannot factor that in to the price of the product. It isn’t a feature of a con imposed by the creators, it’s a fact of the distribution method. Yes, it makes games worth less to gamers but it doesn’t mean you are getting an incomplete product.

          And I may or may not get an account. I have misgivings about this site, as you may have noticed.


          • Daniel Flatt
            October 29, 2012 at 10:51 am

            I think the main thing on price for me is the fact you don’t receive a physical product, no instruction book and no case. So companies should technically pass those savings along to the consumer.

            Thing is there is no way if they are making the same amount and keeping those savings that they would ever do that.

            Also, I don’t know what the savings would be per game, but I believe they would be pretty low. You may save like 2-5 bucks buying digital when it’s all figured out. That’s not an official number, but I certainly don’t think it would be more than that.

            Currently, and for quite a while longer, you will always have a choice on either digital or physical (unless of course it’s a net only game like PSN or XBLA). Really one could even argue that not having to drive to the store, spend your gas (which is outrageously priced) and be privy to the convenience of never leaving your living room that it’s a bonus of it’s own.

            You pay more for bread at a convenience store for the exact same product. Why? Because you don’t have to go into Wal-Mart, fight crowds and pluck it from the shelf.


          • Sean
            October 29, 2012 at 5:35 pm

            You do receive a manual, it’s typically a PDF file located in the game files somewhere. On steam games there’s a link when you right click the game to view the manual.

            Some games come with pretty extensive digital features. My copy of The Witcher 2 came with a full PDF Map of the fictional world, a digital soundtrack, and a bunch of other stuff.

            Though The Witcher 2 is an exception.


          • Daniel Flatt
            October 30, 2012 at 5:19 pm

            Good point, though for me (and I may just be old fashioned this way) I still like the feel of a real honest to goodness physical manual in my hand. Seeing those turn into tiny scraps of paper in our newest console games with links to help menu in the game is disheartening to me.

            It may not be very green or forward thinking, but I used to love opening up a game and reading about the charcters and the story and maybe even some helpful moves and stuff I didn’t know about before firing up the game. Alas those days are gone.


          • October 30, 2012 at 11:38 pm

            If I told you I’d sell you a car for 15,000 dollars that you couldn’t ever resell, that car would be inferior to another you could resell.

            Also the reason why publishers exist is to mass distribute games across the world from Japan, Australia, EU, NA, and Asia.

            They get the game in your hands all during the same week, often the same day. That’s VERY difficult without the proper logistics.

            If you read the article Sean, I list a NUMBER of reasons why a Digital product is INFERIOR to a Physical copy.

            I quote:

            1, Right to re-sell game as used. Sacrifices 20-40% returns on initial costs if consumer had resold game.
            2. Shrinks the supply of used games – making gaming more expensive as it gets harder to find cheaper used games.
            3. Loss of instruction guide and artwork.
            4. Right to play your game without internet. Hard to travel with your game:
            5. Publishers save THOUSANDS of hours of time by not doing logistics.

            These savings are substantial when added as a total and you could sell a digital game for 45 instead of 60 given, no logistics, no 2nd hand market for games, no reselling, no physical copies to make or ship, etc etc.

            Just imagine you’re a big publisher. Digital is your dream come true.

            The savings are extraordinary. Currently though gamers don’t see a penny of savings and every dime goes in the pockets of publishers.

            That’s simply not fair to sell an inferior product, for the reasons mentioned above, and pocket the savings without a penny for the gamer.

            It’s blatantly unfair and unjust.


          • Craig Reynolds
            October 31, 2012 at 3:18 am

            Sean, I have to disagree with you about physical and digital games being the same. Permit me to explain why.

            On Monday, I pre-ordered Need for Speed: Most Wanted for £37.99 from Amazon. After today’s PlayStation Store update, the title will be available on the PSN for £59.99 (http://www.officialplaystationmagazine.co.uk/2012/10/31/on-the-psn-store-this-week/) – £22 more! The physical version of NFS:MW will give me a disc (which I can take to a friends, or sell on when I’m done with it), a paper manual (true, I may never read it, but I’m talking value for money here), and branded packaging that will protect it. Plus, I will own it, no one else.

            The digital version would be forever stored on my PS3 HDD, would have a digital manual (if it has one at all) which I will only be able to reference when the game’s playing, and I would need to download it (and re-download it if my HDD/data corrupts). Moreover, Sony’s PS Store would own it; if my PSN account one day dies/gets locked for whatever reason, I will not be able to re-download it, and thus my £59.99 is effectively lost.

            So, why would I pay more for a digital product that, to borrow your words, has limitations imposed upon it, when I can buy a physical product that is:
            a) £22 cheaper
            b) MINE to own
            c) can be shared with/lent to friends
            d) can be resold at my discretion (which incidentally is practice that has been going on for longer than I can recall. The second-hand videogames market is not a new thing, and videogames devs/publishers haven’t been kicking up a fuss for the last three decades (at least publicly, anyway))

            ?

            The only advantages of digital distribution (for the consumer) are immediacy and convenience, i.e. I can be playing the game within minutes of clicking ‘buy’, but to be honest I don’t mind waiting a day or two for delivery. I do have a life to lead, after all. Yes, there are significant environmental and cost-related benefits to be reaped from digital distribution models, and you’re right, a digital product is not incomplete. However, as you say, “limitations [are] imposed on what you can do with [it]” – limitations that 1) inconvenience the consumer, and 2) publishers think they can charge a higher price for, oddly.

            As for having misgivings about this site, we appreciate that not everyone will agree with our views, nor do we expect them to. Please understand that our editorials are written to encourage debate and opinion, not to provoke or aggravate – as is my comment in response to your evaluation of ImmortalPhoenix’s article.

            Thanks again for commenting, and we do hope you’ll continue to pay visits to TPG.


          • Sean
            November 1, 2012 at 12:55 am

            I’m being perpetually misunderstood. Vexing.

            What typically drives the price of a product? Costs, correct? Let’s assume that publishers are being honest and they actually need to charge $60 to profit where profit means recoup invested funds spent during the course of development.

            Because publishers are split between digital and physical, with a significant reliance on physical, the cost of the game at retail needs to reflect the cost to produce and distribute the most signficant medium, in this case physical media.

            Publishers know that if they charge less for digital versions of their games by a significant margin, it will shift consumers to digital media and will drive down what they can charge for games.

            That’s called market pressure. Logistically, they aren’t prepared to do that. Steam is great and all but it services a fraction of the gaming population because most of it is actually on consoles.

            Financially, they aren’t prepared to do it either. Because what that would mean is charging less for titles, which would require a rebalance between distributors, who currently take a cut of profits, and publishers, who view digital distribution as a way to make pure, 100% profits.

            Look at Origin, EA’s attempt to cut out the middleman. Largely unsuccessful from what I know of it, but it’s an attempt by publishers to make every cent of the purchase price.

            Again, logistically they aren’t prepared to shift their production to 100% digital.

            But they would need to the moment they started charging significantly less for digital games.

            Now this all boils down to another misunderstanding. I don’t disagree that games should be cheaper for a variety of reasons. I buy console games in specific instances where I know I will want to share it and I pay more for them to have that privilege. I see the problems inherent in digital distribution because I experience them every day; I’m primarily a PC gamer now.

            However I can see why that is impossible at this time.

            @Immortal, I’ve covered why I think the majority of your points don’t apply, but I’ll reiterate for your convenience.

            1) Agree, but this situation is subject to change in the future.

            2) True, but with a caveat. Games on Steam for the frugal consumer are cheaper than the cost of a full game minus resell value. As I said, I’ve purchased big name, new games for half or more off the full price. I purchase Skyrim during the Summer sale for $29, the Dawnguard DLC for $13, and The Witcher 2 for $26 in 2011.

            On the surface your argument is sound but the situation is more complex than you realize. Either through lack of experience or some other factor you didn’t factor in the realworld pricing structure of the digital distribution system. Perhaps you were viewing it only on consoles in which case you were looking at a subindustry that is significantly less mature than what’s out there.

            3) Again, real world price situations unique to digital distribution render this complaint irrelevant. The existence of cheap used games only matters when there isn’t a cheap option available on the market. With Steam sales, which drive and inspire sales across the PC digital distribution network (Amazon, Good Ol Games, Indie Bundle, etc) there is always a cheap option available. Steam has semi-regular sales. There are periodic sales for specific days of the week, seasonal sales for Summer, Halloween, and especially Christmas, and free weekends that allow gamers to play the game in its entirety for a full weekend to entice them to buy.

            There are even deals on packs of multiplayer games.

            Your mistake was in attempting to directly compare the two systems without full understading of how each system addresses the differences in the target demographic.

            Instead of analyzing each system on its own merits you tried to compare two systems that simply don’t function the same and have never tried to function the same.

            4) This one is just patently false and any gamer with a dozen or more titles on their Steam account can tell you that.

            I addressed some specifics about the challenges of taking a console with you to Europe but let me address the biggest problem: You have to physically carry your console with you as well as your library of games.

            On a PC reliant on digital distribution, all your games are installed to your hard drive. All you have to do is double click the short cut on your desktop like any other installed program and you are off playing absolutely whatever game you have. I want to play Mass Effect 2? Double click the shortcut and bam, I’m playing. I want to play Metro 2033? Double click the shortcut and bam, I’m playing.

            There’s absolutely no reliance on the internet whatsoever and it is absolutely objectively more convenient from a travel perspective. You have a screen, a control interface, and your games all built into a single self-contained, easy to transport package.

            This point is factually inaccurate.

            5) Yeah, publishers save thousands. They also lose 30-40% off the top on every sale. Steam, Amazon, and most other vendors take a significant percentage of a sale right off the top. I don’t have access to their books but it’s entirely possible that it’s just as expensive to a publisher to sell a game on a digital platform as it is to sell it on a physical one (however the opposite is also possible).

            Does it theoretically translate to greater savings? Sure, but if I were Valve and trying to devise the pricing structure for providing the distribution service you can be damn sure I’d factor in how much it costs publishers the way they’re doing it already.

            You’re post attempts to base its conclusion on 5 points that range from debatable to downright false.

            This is why I have misgivings about this site. Because sometimes I question the writer’s ability to come to a logical conclusion.

            Considering there’s absolutely no reputable site that I can find, I’m stuck with you because at least I know you’re not likely to fall into the advertising trap any time soon.


          • Craig Reynolds
            November 1, 2012 at 10:00 am

            tl;dr.

            I did, however, take the time to process your final comment – that you’re “stuck with us” because we’re “not likely to fall into the advertising trap” – and I have one thing to say which reflects only my view, and is not representative of anyone else on the site:

            You’re not stuck with us at all. You’re free to stop visiting whenever you like. Frankly, if all you have the time to do is be derogatory, I for one won’t miss you. I deliberately responded to one part of your overall argument – from the consumer perspective, as a PS3 owner – because I simply did not have sufficient bandwidth to digest everything you’ve said prior at the time. Moreover, I did so without being disrespectful, confrontational or condescending – a courtesy I assumed would be mutual. I even thanked you for contributing to the debate.

            IMO, you’re being perpetually obnoxious.


          • Sean
            November 1, 2012 at 3:01 pm

            Obnoxious? I’m not the one that didn’t read the arguments being presented and selectively focused on a line that is a fraction of the overall post.

            If I were being obnoxious, it would have been a heck of a lot more obvious. I stated the situation as I saw it, I didn’t point out individuals, I didn’t sling insults. I stated that I have misgivings about this site because sometimes it seems like the writers can’t come to a logical conclusion. That’s a pretty flat, emotionless statement of opinion.

            You may disagree with that opinion, but I wasn’t being obnoxious. I could have easily said any number of more unquestionably rude things but I didn’t.

            If I let my extreme, boiling distaste for the entire industry’s media bleed through in my post I apologize as it wasn’t something I intended to do, it just permeates my opinion like water in a sponge.

            I never once targeted a specific author and kept my post general, logically breaking down Immortal’s post in as sterile a way as I could manage. If statements of logical criticism are what you consider condescending than I would hate to find out what you consider rude.


          • Craig Reynolds
            November 1, 2012 at 4:36 pm

            I’m pretty confident anyone reading this can see that your tone throughout this thread has not been flat or emotionless, Sean…


          • Steve123
            November 1, 2012 at 4:40 pm

            Feed a Troll and the Troll gets bigger.


          • Daniel Flatt
            November 1, 2012 at 5:46 pm

            Out of curiousity, where is the boiling distaste coming from? Is it just an overall way games are reviewed or the way news is presented? The only thing I can think is how people are reviewing games that were given to them free and you’ve voiced before you think that this taints their honesty in their review to continue to receive free games.

            If you were to approach a gaming website how would you do so?

            I’m slightly disheartened and confused by an overall tone that pervades some writers and commenters tones on this site which is an overwhelming message of fighting the man and shaking their fists at the sky. On a normal basis inflamatory posts or posts talking about the corruption of our industry have 30 views, but when someone gives people the chance to talk about their love of gaming there are no comments. It’s kind of mind boggling.

            If everyone hates this past time this much what the crap are we all doing writing for and reading a mostly gaming related website? Sure I’m not a big fan of some things done this generation, but I still love playing games, writing about games, and sharing my passion about gaming with others. What I don’t enjoy? Being constantly bombarded by an overwhelming sense of negativity.

            Why can’t we all just get along? *sniff*


          • Sean
            November 1, 2012 at 9:34 pm

            @Daniel, I could go into it, but ultimately it would end up with me criticizing this website, which is apparently not allowed.

            Suffice it to say that even sites like yours in my estimation fail to avoid a very critical flaw that were I to state it would be construed as an insult.

            @Craig, you don’t know the first thing about me. I’ve already stated that my distaste for the media for this industry runs deep. I just got done spending about $100 getting legal advice in an effort to learn whether the media is legally culpable based on their practices. I just filed an FTC complaint about them.

            I plan to contact my local news stations and radios in an effort to force this industry to wake up. I’m on the verge of starting my own personal crusade against it. That should tell you how much I care about the way things are.

            So your first mistake was in assuming that any and all negative wording that I used was directed at you and your site. Sure I may disagree with certain significant things about your site, but as I said you’ve done a good job so far avoiding the serious ethical issue of advertising revenue and exclusive access. I consider that a point in your favor.

            If I said something in such a way as to offend, it comes from a deep hatred of the way things are and the way in which this site is falling into similar traps. I don’t have anything against any of you personally, it’s an underlying anger filtering into what I write.

            So from that context, from the idea that I HATE this industry’s media to the point where I am actively looking for ways to take it down legally, reread my posts and tell me whether I was emotionless.


          • Daniel Flatt
            November 1, 2012 at 5:38 pm

            As far as these comments go I’ve only seen a couple instances where he was derisive or arrogant sounding. That was when he said that he was stuck with us and essentially our site sucks and his opening volley when he said:

            *Sigh* Just once I’d like to see an editorial on this site that didn’t have significant logical issues.
            Hello downvote button, how are you today?

            Other then that I think his responses are well thought out, and while they don’t mesh with some of our views, I for one welcome them on the site. That’s coming from someone who has often been the center of distaste from Sean, but I really don’t think he is a troll as someone else stated. Trolls typically don’t have such well thought out responses.


          • November 1, 2012 at 10:10 pm

            Trust me Sean, a lot of us are burnt out on the current happenings in the gaming industry. I work at a studio, I know how this stuff works.

            This site will always be on the side of the gamer. It’s what I did over at PS3Vault, and it’s the same here.

            I’d be happy to go over how we operate as a site over the podcast, so you and our readers can get an better idea of us as an organization. That being said, some (not all) of your comments have been inflammatory whether intentional or not. I want to keep the comment section as transparent as possible. Let me be clear though, person attacks (constructive criticism is good) towards the site or staff will not be tolerated.


          • November 1, 2012 at 10:15 pm

            On another note. Feel free to reach out through the contact us section so we can talk directly about any issues you see with this site.

            Thanks!


          • Craig Reynolds
            November 2, 2012 at 1:34 am

            This.

            True, there have been only a couple of instances where Sean has been derisive. That said, this “boiling distaste” he has for the entire industry’s media bleeds into his overall attitude towards Immortal’s work, and admittedly did affect my interpretation of his critique.

            I don’t think Sean is a Troll either, as his responses are considerably well informed. However, I object to comments like the ones you reference above Daniel. That’s what got my back up. They simply aren’t necessary.

            I value disagreement as much as agreement – it’s what provokes discussion, after all – but I would like to think inflammatory remarks could be left out of it.


      • October 28, 2012 at 11:40 am

        Just FYI, you should register so you can earn points for all these comments :D.


      • October 28, 2012 at 2:10 pm

        Agreed, you should definitely register. It’s simple and other people can’t steal your name or act like they are you.

        It’s best for everyone 🙂


  • Kyle Robison
    November 1, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    Regarding the article, I both agree and disagree with it’s author. I do think that it’s unfair for me to pay an equal price for a digital copy, when a physical copy is available. I relish the idea of owning a physical copy of my media. And the option to resell my game later is something I, in my youth, had taken for granted. However, I love the convenience of being able to shop, purchase, and play all from comfort of my couch or computer chair.

    Now, as an adult with an elementary understanding of economics, I understand the reality that content providers, and by proxy their publishers cannot reasonably lower the price of the digital copy of the same game, as they would choke out their own physical media sales if they do so. On the flip side, should this occur, the “hell” that the author describes in the world of digital only copies would become a reality much faster than anyone would want. As more and more people purchase the cheaper digital copy, physical media would face a rapid extinction.

    I wholeheartedly agree with Sean regarding his comments in the matter of his views on physical media vs digital. However, the tone in which he presented it could use some polish.

    Now, onto that topic. I find myself increasingly disappointed at the amount of sheer vitriol that’s poured out in the comments section of articles such as this. Readers, AND staff have both been slinging barbs back and forth and I certainly hope it doesn’t come to a head here. I chose to write for this website because I saw an opportunity for open, frank discussion without pretense about the hobbies that brought us here. However, when intelligent egos clash, there is bound to be sparks. And I hope you read this as if I were addressing to you, the reader, or you, the writer directly. You are smart. You are smart because you are here, you are smart because you are reading this, and you are smart because you’ll understand what I write next.

    The internet allows for a certain amount of anonymity, and that in turn tends to bring out the worst in humans, in regards to societal norms. But being intelligent people, can we not realize when we are speaking out of hate, and reel back that emotion for a moment? I have a rule when it comes to responding to angry/troll/critical/distasteful comments. I read it twice, and walk away for ten minutes to let my initial reaction settle. Many of you here I know are very quick with comments due to sharp wits and even sharper tongues. But let’s not stab each other. We’re a community, first and foremost. We’re here for one another. It’s a symbiotic relationship that I’ve come to love. Without readers, I’d have nobody to write for. But without writers, we have no forum for discussion at all.

    That being said, Let’s let our love of what we do tie us together stronger, not rip us apart. With every arrow of spite you loose, you are injuring yourself as well.

    TL;DR

    If you can’t be bothered to read my entire post, you don’t deserve my cliffnotes.


    • Sean
      November 2, 2012 at 3:46 pm

      You spelled ‘lose’ wrong you dolt.

      I jest.

      Honestly I agree with you and I want to go on record here in saying that the way I presented my position was wrong. I apologize to ImmortalPhoenix (who I’m acquainted with from the BSN forums) and to the site at large for my misconduct.

      Because I do agree with Kyle and have since I started out on the internet and even before. I believe wholeheartedly that the fastest way to lose an argument is to sling insults. I KNOW this: http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/323/index/9344391 .

      I can explain my motivations and thought process till the cows come home but it doesn’t change the fact that what I did was wrong. If I don’t present my position to the best of my abilities then I can’t complain when people ignore me. I brought it on myself.


  • November 2, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    I just want to say I really appreciate everyone’s points and I thank Craig specifically for his well written calmly phrased comments. As you can see they’ve generated a massive positive response of up votes and seem to address the issue as most feel it.

    I like what Kyle said as well but I strongly disagree with his point that:

    “publishers cannot reasonably lower the price of the digital copy of the same game, as they would choke out their own physical media sales if they do so”

    Steam’s sales, GOG, and a number of other sites with sales often show large profits for everyone involved when prices are fair for the content they are providing. Also I really think my local Best Buy would still be able to sell physical copies even if Steam offered it for 10 dollars less, if only for the fact that Physical copies are portable and allow arbitrage, an economic phrase for selling on the second hand market.

    ~~~~~

    On a side note for Sean, I have no account on GSN so the ImmortalPhoenix you know on that forum is another person. Sorry it is a common nickname i guess 😀 🙂 I wasn’t able to buy immortalphoenix.com for that very reason but I do own immortalphoenix.net

    And sean i really hope you come back here because I do look forward to your comments and I think you genuinely mean well, regardless of what you write.

    For both those reasons I’m glad to see you on the site and I hope you comment on my future articles.

    Thanks again to everyone for the lively discussion. I really do love writing to start discussions in the gaming community and speak about more than just game reviews. I love these deep conversations where possibly many people can all be right at once in their own way.


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