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Used games

EA on used games photo
EA on used games

EA: 'Used games are an important part of the industry'


E-80
Nov 20
// Steven Hansen
EA is acknowledging that, "there will be a physical business [for games] probably for a long period of time." Finally. This comes from EA CFO Blake Jorgensen, speaking at the UBS Global Technology Conference. "I also think th...
PlayStation 4 photo
PlayStation 4

Sony had 'no intention' of changing its used games policy


'We need to be fair and to think of the consumer experience first,' says SCE CEO
Jul 04
// Jordan Devore
Speaking to the Guardian about Sony's same-old used games policy for the PlayStation 4, Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Andrew House says that feedback from gamers demanding the current system remain in place was "not just, i...
Xbox Reversal photo
We answer The Question
Now that Microsoft has reversed their stance on initiatives restricting used game sales and more potent digital rights management for the Xbox One, has your bloodlust been sated? Does Microsoft still have work to do in convincing you of the value of their console, or has the vice grip been loosened on your wallet? Answer The Question for yourself in the comments!

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Jimquisition happens every Monday!
The Xbox One no longer enforces restrictions on used games, but the debate over console DRM is not over. One lingering question is this -- why are consoles criticized, but PC gets away with it? One would assume the plentiful...

An industry that needs Xbox One DRM is a failed industry

Jun 20 // Jim Sterling
One need only look at the PC and its dominant digital market to see how far major publishers can be trusted. Steam is its own DRM. When you buy a game from Steam, it's about as protected from piracy as it can get. That didn't stop companies like Electronic Arts and Ubisoft from sticking their own DRM in on top of Steam's protection. Be it SecuROM or constant Internet connections, these publishers were so paranoid and desperate for a sense of control they crammed extra restrictions on top of existing ones.  And to linger further on Electronic Arts, this is the same company that said, five years ago, games need to stop all coming out at $60. CEO John Riccitiello said companies need to explore cheaper games and flexible pricing. Did EA lead the charge? Did it fuck! Instead, it produced Origin, its own digital service where it could handle distribution and do away with physical production ... and still charges $60 per game.  People could argue that EA still relies on retail and can't afford to tread on its toes. What, exactly, was Xbox One doing to change that? Retail was still a massive part of Microsoft's plans. GameStop, the pretend villain of the game industry, was going to be looked after, because the game industry is in league with it.  Some suggest we'll see an increase in pre-order bonuses, but again, such things are still all over the fucking PC market. Going all-digital doesn't change that. Companies will still use these things to try and desperately entice gamers, with exclusive pre-order DLC on various online store fronts, and "digital deluxe" editions that allow a company to charge $80 for a bunch of virtual goods. This is shit already happening in the increasingly digital PC market, and the idea that companies would suddenly stop a gravy train in full motion is almost child-like. That we all could believe in faeries! And let's take a whimsical trip to the world of mobile gaming. No retail to worry about there, right? It's all digital distribution by default, so surely our beloved major publishers are being reasonable. Oh ... but what's this I see? Is that Square Enix charging $30 for iOS games, and releasing one of the most vile money-grabbing non-games of all time? Is that Electronic Arts turning Theme Park into a gigantic free-to-play scam?  Why ... it's almost as if major publishers aren't looking for ways to make games cheaper for us, and instead will squeeze as much money out of us as they can get away with, simply because they can. But how could that be? Surely Square Enix and Electronic Arts are misrepresented heroes, who only want to break free from GameStop's shackles and look after us. No. Only in the picture books. In the real world, they've demonstrated a consistent willingness to turn any freedom they have into new methods of pulling egregious bullshit. Above all, this glittering ideal of digital distribution as a cure-all magic potion for the industry's problems is the product of remedial fantasy. A digital market won't free publishers from their obligations to clueless investors who demand all of the money at all times. It won't stop companies focus testing the shit out of their games as more and more products appeal to audiences spread thin by such saturation. It won't stop ludicrously excessive development and marketing budgets. I'm a big believer in digital distribution, but I don't believe in sorcery, and as such I don't think digital's going to solve everything rotten in the game industry. The big budget market is too far gone for that.  Xbox One tried to leap to step five without doing steps one, two, three, and four. It wanted to rush us from physical media to digital media, without clearly communicating its goals, or producing a console that gave direct and tangible benefits to the consumer, or proving it could withstand the demands of a product so reliant on the Internet, or without even ensuring there was a big enough audience for it. You can ask Sony how well that worked with the PSPgo (it didn't work very well). The PC proved it was ready for digital distribution, but it took years to do so. You can't just get up and start running when you're not even crawling properly, and in the years since Steam and GOG rose to become justifiable alternatives to physical media, home consoles languished with slow interfaces, clunky storefronts, and expensive games without any of the benefits we've come to expect from PC games. No mods. No quick option for patching content. No user fixes. None of that. Consoles need to work to earn their digital future. They can't just wake up one day and have it presented to them on a velvet pillow.  And if that's what consoles need, if they so require magic and wishes to avoid drowning in their own mess, then what good are they? Why should they survive? My God, do these companies love the fuck out of capitalism, but it seems that when capitalism comes to collect, when the flip-side of the system's benefits come to bite them on the ass, they try their best to run away from it. Even if the very worst of dooms befalls the so-called "AAA" console industry, I'm not worried. If this past E3 of buzz words and brown games taught me anything, it's that old companies and shriveled executives need to be cut down to make way for new blood. We need a new generation of game producers, not game consoles, and when the big trees fall, the smaller ones can finally get some sunlight. Good games will always be around, they just won't need the Old Guard to tell them what to do, to buy them up and spit them out. The death of a convoluted and broken market doesn't sound like a bad thing to me. Not if, according to some, the only way for them to survive is to directly fuck with their own audience.  What is it people like Cliff Bleszinski always say to gamers? Oh right, it's a business! Yeah, it's a business alright. You know what businesses are very good at doing? Failing. And if companies fail because they needed a console that inconvenienced consumers and imposed restrictions on other markets, well ... that's business for you.  Prove you deserve to survive. It's a business ... and that means you're not fucking entitled to your existence.
Xbox DRM controversy photo
Some things deserve to die
It looks like we're going to do this dance again. So soon. In the wake of Microsoft reversing its Xbox One DRM policies, brave corporate warrior Cliff Bleszinski wasted little time in telling us how this would be a bad thing ...

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Xbox One got dat no DRM!
Xbox One Eighty more like HA HA HA HA HA! Jimquisition rushes to bring a half-baked opinion in the afterfall of Microsoft reversing its DRM policy on Xbox One.

Used games photo
Used games

Avalanche founder on trade-ins: Games are too short


Mad Max and Just Cause developer sounds off
Jun 17
// Jordan Devore
There are multiple good reasons for trading in a game once you have had enough, but in the eyes of Avalanche Studios founder Christofer Sundberg, length is the determining factor -- titles "have been too short,...
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Jimquisition happens every Monday!
Sony created a magic moment this past week at E3, declaring for the world that PS4 would not restrict used games or utilize DRM. Power to the people! Of course, it can be said Sony didn't actually do anything, yet is being l...

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EA says Online Passes weren't worth the PR damage


'Worst company of 2012/2013' reverses used game policies
Jun 13
// Jim Sterling
Shortly before the reveal of Xbox One, Electronic Arts finally announced it was scrapping its dreadful Online Pass system, due to "listening to the public." While the Xbox One's DRM-fueled strategy renders the Online Pass obs...
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Did Sony confirm DRM on PS4 after all? Not quite!


PS4 retains all the policies PS3 had, basically
Jun 11
// Jim Sterling
[Update: Sony has outright confirmed my initial interpretation. As reported by GameFront, Sony has stated that Tretton's use of the term "DRM" referred only to playing used games online. Essentially, they're talking about let...
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Sony details EXACTLY how to share games on PS4


Also, nails Microsoft's ass to three separate walls
Jun 10
// Jim Sterling
Riding high off its announcement that the PlayStation 4 will have no DRM, no anti-used game policy, and will support game ownership, Sony has released a video detailing its incredibly deep and nuanced system for sharing physical copies of games.  This, right here, is the great video of E3 so far. Bar none.  Oh my GOD, is this stuff glorious.  Xbox Owned. 
PS4 supports used games photo
Sony calls out the Xbox's bullshit
Sony confirmed that they won't be putting any restrictions on used games. They stated that they believe people have the right to do what they want with the games they buy. Gamers will be able to sell, trade, lend, and rent vi...

Xbox One photo
Xbox One

Microsoft's Mattrick tries to ease Xbox One concerns


"Those business models exist today and they'll exist in the future"
Jun 10
// Tony Ponce
Following this morning's eventful Microsoft conference, Microsoft president of interactive entertainment, Don Mattrick, stepped to the side to speak with BBC News on all things Xbox One. He tried to calm our nerves regarding ...
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Jimquisition happens every Monday!
Well, Microsoft went and did it. It took the step publishers have fantasized over for years, and destroyed the concept of videogame ownership. The Xbox One will sell you games, but it keeps what it sells, while controlling a...

Xbox One kills game ownership, here's what Xbox fans say

Jun 07 // Jim Sterling
"So essentially if my internet goes out for more than 24 hours I've got a $400+ shiny brick." - Matthew. "Pretty much! A shiny liquid black blu-ray player that won't be able to play games once they turn off the servers. I can still play my Playstation, 3DO Saturn, Dreamcast, Xbox, and older consoles no problem, but retro Xbox One is not going to happen. Essentially, they sell you a expensive box that allows you to play the games you "licensed" but not own, a box that needs MS to run or do anything, Forces you to use their service for a yearly or monthly fee, to get the most features out of the box, without the sales or prices of Steam on PC, and unlike steam, wont allow you to play offline for longer than 24 hours."It's essentially a very corporate hardware version of Steam, without the benefits Steam offers, or the sales. It's a corporate publisher dream come true, and its a consumer nightmare." - Fear Monkey. "This is a great day for corporate America and a terrible day for consumers. Guess we know who Microsoft's "real" customers are. "Microsoft... You. Never. Learn." - BrandonL. "One thing I'm confused about, is why Major Nelson and Microsoft acted like what Phil Harrison said in the interviews on May 21st were incorrect and all the rumors were misrepresenting the truth. In reality, it was all true and accurate. Why even bother lying just to admit it two weeks later?" - UNSCleric. "If you rent games, XBOX one is not for you.If you trade games with your friends , XBOX one is not for you.If you don't have a good connection, XBOX one is not for you.And if you don't want to support these kind of policies and restrictions because you love games and you know the impact that this will have to the future of gaming, then XBOX one is definitely not for you" - Costas. "Would have been so easy to fix with a small alteration: online check not needed if the user inserts the disk. "As it stands, no way. I have suffered with SimCity enough to know that this is a terrible platform." - arrow22. "There will be a lot of lost business from those in the military. When you are forward deployed, either boots on ground or on a ship, one of the most common things to do with your free time is play video games. You can't expect soldiers and sailors to buy this system if they aren't even going to be able to play it. There is no way for them to be able to connect it to a network." - Seth Simmons. "So absolutely no benefits to me as a consumer, a chart just to know when and how I can play, destruction of personal sale, tear down of physical media preservation, AND a requirement to authenticate. Good job." - Matt Paprocki. "The more I read about the Xbox One, the less I want one." - CyberSkull. "1. Thank you for compiling this overview of the points that were woefully unclear during the Reveal Conference, it is greatly appreciated. "2. I no longer see myself purchasing your console in the future "To those making cute excuses about the 24hr. sign in requirement: It is not only a matter of solidarity with those who don't have a stable connection, just imagine that Microsoft has just informed |every hacker group out there| that to piss off |all| of their customers all they need to do is hit MS's servers for 48hrs. "If the powers that be at Microsoft can't understand how bad an idea this is then words cannot describe how myopic they are." - R Moss.  "What truly blows my mind is MS willingness to shift the balance of power so completely from themselves to these major publishers. Publishers that have already more than proven their disdain for their own customers." - Adam Stamos. "So MS is saying if my internet is broken for longer the 24 hrs than my XBox One just becomes a fking TV remote ?! WHAT THE FK!!" - h2h. "Hey, thanks for making this decision much easier for me, Major. Since I'm going to be screwed by anti-consumerism and the destruction of the First Sale Doctrine either way, I'll be leaving the Xbox Brand behind in favor of PC. "At least on PC I can get games on mega sale, deploy developer sanctioned game extending mods, and have better graphics and data management. I've been an Xbox owner since day one of the first console (ah, memories of Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee) but no longer." - Captiosus. "I can't believe there are people brainwashed enough by Microsoft to be fine with this news lmao. This is one of the shadiest and most money-hungry / power-hungry things I've ever seen a corporation try and do in this industry...this is absolutely pathetic and disgusting." - Johnathan. "What I hate the most is this constant pushing of Kinect that none of us really want. They say we can turn of all of the features and not be required to use it, great! So why the hell do I have to have it plugged in then? It makes NO sense. I don't want it, I don't like it and I never will. And I really don't trust MS to not sell my data, so their word means nothing to me. I feel this is being overlooked and it shouldn't be, it's a disgrace." - LittleSaintGopher. "You know what will be hilarious? When this console gets hacked and its your paying customers that are inconvenienced." - Hein. "Why do you allow used blu rays Microsoft?! Please think of the movie industry families living in dirt houses! Fix this!!" - NoBullet. "I thought I would never say this, but I'm sony playstation." - Some guy called Sony PlayStation, I think.
Fans on Xbox One policy photo
Gamers react to Microsoft's robbery of consumer rights
Microsoft finally clarified much of its policy on used games and online restrictions with the Xbox One, and the news is grim for those who actually believe in consumer rights. With its new system, Microsoft will take the fina...

Xbox One games require online verification every 24 hours

Jun 06 // Jordan Devore
Continuing with the "Ugh, really?" news, to the surprise of no one: "In our role as a game publisher, Microsoft Studios will enable you to give your games to friends or trade in your Xbox One games at participating retailers. Third party publishers may opt in or out of supporting game resale and may set up business terms or transfer fees with retailers. Microsoft does not receive any compensation as part of this. In addition, third party publishers can enable you to give games to friends. Loaning or renting games won’t be available at launch, but we are exploring the possibilities with our partners." This is, sadly, right in line with what many of us were expecting from Microsoft. Now I have to wonder how Xbox Live Gold subscriptions will play into all of this. Not liking where this is headed. Lastly, for Kinect, "The system will navigate you through key privacy options, like automatic or manual sign in, privacy settings, and clear notifications about how data is used," according to Microsoft. "When Xbox One is on and you’re simply having a conversation in your living room, your conversation is not being recorded or uploaded." "If you don’t want the Kinect sensor on while playing games or enjoying your entertainment, you can pause Kinect. To turn off your Xbox One, just say 'Xbox Off.' When the system is off, it’s only listening for the single voice command -- 'Xbox On,' and you can even turn that feature off too. Some apps and games may require Kinect functionality to operate, so you’ll need to turn it back on for these experiences."
Xbox One answers photo
'Every Xbox One owner has a broadband connection'
Spread across multiple blog posts, Microsoft has finally clarified some of its policies regarding online connection requirements and trading in used games. Describing the system as being "designed from the ground up to be rea...

Used games photo
By eliminating the used market AND dropping prices, publishers could profit
With all this hubbub over used games and whether eliminating them would be good or bad for the overall industry, it was only a matter of time before SCIENCE was brought in to drop some truth bombs. Professors Masakazu Ishihar...

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Take-Two: 'Tablets are going to be as good as PCs'


Release their core games on tablets right alonside consoles and PC
May 31
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Take-Two's CEO Strauss Zelnick is a man that sees the same future I do. A future where tablets will be on par with next-generation consoles. Strauss gave a talk at the Cowen and Company Technology, Media and Telecom Conferenc...
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MMOs don't work in the US, Take-Two CEO says


But they do work in Asia
May 31
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Did you know Take-Two was investing in the MMO genre? They sure are, but don't be surprised by your lack of knowledge on their projects as these MMOs are targeted just for Asia. "We're actively investing in online MMOs, we're...
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Take-Two: Delight consumers, don't punish them


CEO Strauss Zelnick talks used games
May 31
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick gave a talk at the Cowen Technology, Media, and Telecom Conference, where he had a number of things to say about his company and the industry as a whole. Strauss brought up the used games fee that...
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Jimquisition happens every Monday!
The Xbox One will kill used games and control second-hand sales, and some people think that's great. Jim Sterling is not among them. While members of the gaming media attempt to see the positive side of murdering the used ga...

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Gamers make it clear to Sony they want a DRM-free PS4


#PS4noDRM
May 27
// Jim Sterling
While Microsoft continues to flop around following the revelation of its Xbox One user restrictions, gamers have sensed an opportunity to suggest Sony steal some free PR points, campaigning for a DRM-free PlayStation 4. ...
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Microsoft: Xbox One reports 'inaccurate and incomplete'


Vague Microsoft doesn't know why we misunderstand its vague statements
May 25
// Jim Sterling
Microsoft, by way of mouthpiece Major Nelson, has criticized reports on its Xbox One used game policy as "inaccurate and incomplete," seeming to miss the fact they're based entirely on Microsoft's own statements -- which have...
GameStop photo
GameStop

GameStop stock drops following Xbox One reveal


Everything is upsy-daisy!
May 25
// Tony Ponce
As if the fallout from the Xbox One reveal on Tuesday couldn't get any weirder, along comes news that GameStop stock ended the trading week down 19%. The company's share price had been dropping steadily throughout the week, a...
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Destiny, Ryse, Mirror's Edge 2 & Jonathan Blow


The Destructoid Show takes a long nap
May 24
// Max Scoville
Hey boys and girls, here's today's energetic and stupid Destructoid Show. It's the Friday of a very busy week, so excuse us if our brains are visibly leaking out of our ears. I'm really excited about Destiny, based on this t...
Xbox One used games photo
Xbox One used games

Report: Microsoft and publishers get a cut of used sales


Retailers will have to agree to Microsoft's terms
May 24
// Chris Carter
The unveiling of the Xbox One left us with more questions than answers. Specifically, gamers huddled around the issue of used games, wondering if they'll still be able to pick up titles at a cheaper rate, like they've done si...
Microsoft and Steam photo
Microsoft and Steam

PC gamers don't have used games, and we're just fine


Of course, Microsoft needs to be more like Steam
May 23
// Joshua Derocher
With the recent lack of clarification of the used game market for the new Xbox One, some gamers are complaining about the possible death of physical used games, and the need to tie all of our games to an account. Microsoft wi...

EA will be killing off the Online Pass

May 15 // Jim Sterling
That said, old habits die hard, and EA remains committed to its other content plans, including buckets of downloadable extras and the packaging of games as services. "We’re still committed to creating content and services that enhance the game experience well beyond the day you first start playing." Baby steps, I suppose! In any case, this is quite glorious. Quite glorious indeed. May the online pass die a most ignoble death across the vastness of the industry, may it be burned utterly, and may its ashes be scattered with contempt and scorn across the most arid of this harsh Earth's deserts.  Now ... let's prepare ourselves for the replacement microtransaction future! EA kills its controversial Online Pass program [GamesBeat]
EA kills OnlinePass photo
The sound you're hearing? My triumphant roar
Electronic Arts has today declared that it will be discontinuing use of its controversial (read: shitty) online pass system, no longer requiring an access code to unlock features. The scheme, put in place to make money off us...

Pre-owned consoles photo
Pre-owned consoles

Want a used console? Buy directly from the manufacturer


You could score a better deal with refurbished units straight from the source
Apr 30
// Tony Ponce
The biggest argument against pre-owned game and hardware sales is that the publisher or manufacturer doesn't see a single cent of that revenue. One solution is for the original companies to start selling used goods themselves...

Bethesda versus freemium multiplayer sequels

Apr 15 // Jim Sterling
"I’m not sure I know the answer to that," confessed vice president Pete Hines in conversation. "It might be that we were simply set up as a different type of company. Our origins were as a boutique-type developer, not a massive publisher with huge overhead and thousands and thousands of employees. We come at things from a different perspective, having gotten into this as a developer that published its own games." Though it may have started small, Bethesda's projects these days are large in scale, and as risky as any release from the likes of Electronic Arts or Ubisoft. Despite this, the company has enjoyed major success with games that other companies are too afraid to touch. Dishonored, if we believe the words of Bethesda's peers, should have failed. It's a brand new IP, a single-player game, without an online pass to protect it from the scourge of GameStop. What's more, it's a linear experience, with a running time some would call too short to maintain player interest. And yet, the game sold quite well, with Bethesda going so far as to call it the beginning of a new series.  Hines admits there is some truth to the belief that it's difficult to sell a game like Dishonored this late in the generation. There is a gamble at play, but ultimately, it can be even less of a risk to just let passionate developers work on the projects they want to work on, rather than force them to do something else.  "There is certainly some truth to the premise. It is more difficult to establish a new IP than it is to go with something people know. It adds risk. And when you're talking about development budgets as big as they are now for these releases -- plus all the support that goes along with that -- from QA, Sales, Marketing, Legal, Finance -- a lot of people are gonna spend a lot of time working to make that game a success. "In listening to the kinds of comments you're talking about, what I really hear is people talking about the risk. You're taking a bigger chance that all that work by all those people is going to pay off. And going with an established IP helps reduce that risk and better ensures success. "With a game like Dishonored, you're talking about a talented, experienced developer like Arkane, with two industry vets -- Raf and Harvey -- leading the project, and they're making the kind of game they know and love; a game they'd always wanted to make, but never had the chance," Hines continues. "From my perspective, it's less risky to let them do that and put that passion in to something they believe in, even if it's new IP, than to tell them to go make a game based on some IP we own that they don't have that same passion for. Or if we made them include some kind of multiplayer because that's what market research says we need. But that wasn't the game they wanted to make. Talented people making something they love and believe in is where, I think, success happens." But surely, single-player gaming is dead, no matter how passionate a developer is. Why is Dishonored surviving in the face of that stark reality? The Bethesda camp believes it's not so much reality as it is people skewing the narrative based on their own interests.  "It's important to note that quite a few people who tend to say those kinds of things do so because it's not what they're doing," explains the VP. "No publisher or developer making single-player games ever comes out and says single-player games won't work. Guys that do mobile games predict that console gaming as we know it is dying. People that do console-only games proclaim that PC is dead. Funny how people don't predict failure for the thing it is they're making or doing. They make those statements to build up or defend what they're doing and tear down what they aren't doing. "Or, they just don't know what the hell they're talking about." Hines remains adamant that solo experiences still have plenty of life left.  "Single-player games aren't going anywhere. Bethesda Softworks has been making single-player games for all of our 25+ years in the industry. We're still here, we're still making them, and people are still buying them. Dishonored was single-player and people really loved it, and it sold well. Skyrim was a complete success. A single-player RPG. There's practically a cottage industry dedicated to talking about how that isn't possible or why that won't succeed. Console fans won't get a game like that. Has to have multiplayer of some kind. PC gaming is dead. It's gotta be a shooter. RPGs are a niche. Etc. "People like fun games. They have games they like to play by themselves, they have games they like to play with others. Every game doesn't have to be all things to all people. And so the Skyrims and Fallout 3s and Bioshock Infinites and Walking Deads of the world aren't going anywhere. Just stop already." A quality solo experience can be achieved with dedication and resources, but often the narrative campaign has to share space with a multiplayer mode, often suggested to be crucial to any game's success these days. That in mind, I was curious as to whether or not Bethesda felt Skyrim could have benefited from an online mode, whether it indeed could have led to the game selling better.  "Given how well it did I'm not sure that's possible," Hines informed me. "Actually, I'm pretty positive the opposite is true. The time and energy we would have put into adding online/co-op/whatever functionality to Skyrim would have taken away from the single-player experience. I don't think the game would have been as good. We'd spend a lot more time working on how it all works when one person is playing versus two people, and the end result would have been a lesser game. "Todd Howard has explicitly said this in the past, so I'm gonna go with what he thinks. I think multiplayer really helps when multiplayer is important to the game experience the developer wants to create. If it's not important, leave it out." Some publishers seem to have an ulterior motive for sidelining solo experiences, with some of them quite open about their fear of single-player games being beaten and traded in. The used game market is a long-running boogieman of the industry, replacing rental services like Blockbuster after the nineties. Again, Bethesda concedes that secondhand games are a concern, and may not have an answer, but companies can try to combat them by offering quality products.  "Absolutely it's a concern," said Hines. "We have tried to mitigate it by creating games that offer replayability, by supporting them with DLC that's worth hanging onto the game for, or offering tools that let them take things further. "There's no doubt that being a videogamer is expensive. Games are not cheap to buy because they're expensive to make, and people are looking for ways to keep it affordable. I'm not sure anyone has figured out a solution that works for everyone, and there simply may not be one until someone figures out how to include developers and publishers in the loop on used games sales instead of keeping it all for themselves." Bethesda is not a dyed-in-the-wool customer hero, it has to be said. The company has had its fair share of difficulties with the game buying public, one of the earliest being the notorious Horse Armor DLC -- a useless downloadable purchase for Oblivion that, well, added armor to a horse. It's funny, however, that what was once such a controversy has become a norm. Many games ship with silly cosmetic content that can be downloaded at launch, for a price. Sometimes, the content's even on the disc itself, demanding cash for an unlock.  These days, Bethesda's DLC plans aren't quite so obnoxious, and have certainly taken a step back from the kind of practices seen in games like Dead Space 3.  "Horse Armor was really the first time anyone had tried any real DLC, and was us taking a shot in the dark as far as what DLC might look like or include. We obviously evolved from there both in terms of what we offered, and more importantly what we charged for it. So I think it was partly what the very first one happened to be and how everyone reacted to the very idea of any DLC. If the first DLC had been "Fighter's Stronghold," we probably still would have seen a reaction, but I don't know if it would have been the same kind of reaction. "As you said, we do like to try to make DLC a bit more substantial and haven't done the things a lot of other folks have tried that you mentioned. There are a lot of ways to do DLC, we've tried to stick with what feels right, what fits the game, and what can be successful. Every game is different and the size of the DLC and timing is always going to change based on what the team wants to do, how long that will take, what other project(s) they need to move onto, etc. I can't say what will or won't work for anyone else, just that we're very pleased with the reaction to the DLC we've done over the years and we're going to continue to try to do things that fans want and enjoy." In the mainstream market space, Bethesda remains something of an anomaly. In a way, its recent library of lengthy solo role-playing games and linear, narrative-driven first-person shooters may look old fashioned, even archaic. Its bread and butter is a stable of games rooted in the past of the industry -- its established franchises are venerable, its new ones informed by the design of past generations. In a world where every other publisher is grasping at the new in total uniformity, however, Bethesda's seasoned approach comes off as positively fresh.  Bethesda isn't perfect. Its history with the PlayStation 3 could certainly have been better, and its games regularly pay for their huge size with many documented flaws. When it comes to the business of making and selling games, however, it's one of the few large publishers left I can respect. Even as The Elder Scrolls experiments with an MMO spin-off, and the company prepares to announce a free-to-play title by way of Battlecry Studios, I am consistently pleased by Bethesda's desire to demonstrate success with games other companies are terrified of failing with.  You did good, Bethesda. Keep doing that. 
Bethesda photo
How Dishonored, Skyrim and Fallout find success where none should be
The game industry tells us many things in order to justify its various activities. Multiplayer is added to so many games because solo experiences are dying. Online passes are needed because used games are killing creativity. ...


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