Okay Video Game Companies, itís time we had a little heart-to-heart.
DRM isnít working. AT ALL. You keep putting DRM in your games to try and prevent people from pirating, but people can almost immediately bypass it! In the end, all you really do is hurt paying customers and give pirates more reasons to download your games. Diablo III and SimCity 5 are perfect recent examples of how ineffective DRM is.
So what can we do about this? You obviously want money from these sales, and I know youíve been struggling with getting money off of used sales by adding Online Passes. Well, Iíll tell you what. Since Iím such a nice guy, Iím going to give you the perfect solution: DIGITAL RENTALS.
Yep! You heard me. This is an almost completely untapped area for video games and Iím absolutely baffled that itís still this way. How is it that film has a thriving On-Demand service, but video games donít?
So far, the only thing we have is Gamefly (and MAYBE Playstation Plus). Theyíve included a PC rental service for subscribers, but the games are all old. If someone wants a new game, they have to either rent a physical copy, or buy physical or digital. And you sure do love those digital sales, donít you, VGC? All those profits, low expenses, and no room for used sales! But then, of course, we get back to the issue of piracyÖ
This is why digital rentals could work. Hook up with a service like Steam and charge people around $5 to $7 for a day rental. Donít restrict any content (like Online Passes), and allow them to buy and keep any DLC. If your game takes them longer to complete, theyíll have to pay for another day. And why donít we sweeten the pot for them? Every rental fee counts towards payment for the full game. So letís say someone rents a game at $7 a day for a week. You just made $49! And most PC games run around $50, so theyíve pretty much PAID for that game.
If they finish it within a day or two and have no desire to continue? Well, you still made $7-$14 more than you would have if they pirated it, bought it used, or rented elsewhere. Letís face it, VGC. Youíre struggling to make ends meet. You need every dime you can getóespecially when people can so easily get these games cheaper elsewhere. The people that usually buy instead of renting will still buy; the people who rent before buying will be more inclined by the hassle-free digital service; and the people who pirate may also be willing to throw $7 your way because of the convenience. Will this kill piracy? No. But it WILL greatly weaken its allure.
The year is 2013, video game companies. Itís time you fully embraced the digital marketplace and the PC audience. Stop alienating your customers and make playing video games a convenience rather than a hassle.
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