So with a certain huge rage going down due to the comments of a certain ex Microsoft employee, depending on when youíre reading this. I thought Iíd throw my thoughts into the inferno oh nice warm hate generated by the anti consumer nature of the comments.
I put it to you that next generation consumers donít have to deal with shit. Gaming is growing and its gone beyond the big few consoles now: Mobile gaming is growing, the Ouya is now out as another console, Laptops are becoming near gaming rigs themselves and its three console market even now. So Microshaft expecting consumer blind loyalty are in for a huge shock. I previously wrote about how Microsoft designed the Xbox in such a way to create loyal customers and people unwilling to leave.
The problem is that illusion has been breaking down. Microsoft have failed to realise that they donít have a captive consumer audience. When it comes to consumers keeping your old ones happy is far more cost effective than seeking new ones with advertisements, yet Microsoft donít seemingly get this.
We're not missing this attempt to blindfold us we know you want to cut deeper and hope somehow blindfolding us will stop us feeling it
Now Microsoft have hinted that about possible IPTV and original programming on Xbox as such. Which makes me ask the question ďWhy did you then close down your studio ?Ē If Microsoft were serious about original programming then it makes very little sense that they shut down the studios behind some of their original video content and sacked the staff. Microsoft previously had people making content such an inside Xbox for them and yet they shut down a studio that had been doing just that ?
Now the claim seemingly is or at least was that no-one would be hit by always online. Sure Iíve lived without technology for times in my life as I chose to spend time away in the middle of a forest with no even Mobile phone signal. So everyones saying ďOh whatís the problem youíve done that before if you lose connection you can do it again right ? ď Hereís the thing, I decided to do that, it was my personal choice. I didnít however have some big company screwing up and telling me ďOh you canít use this nowĒ. When Iíve paid for something and legally under EU law I own the thing now why should someone else be telling me I canít use it now ? Why should I be reliant upon another company to provide a service when previously I could happily independently do the same thing.
ďOh but Cloud saves.Ē
Donít care and Iíve never used them. I have maybe 3 Terabytes of accessible storage thatís very portable to hand if I wanted cloud saving, then the option is nice, being told Iím having it is not something I want.
ďBut what if youíre a Pirate ?Ē
So you really think Pirates are going to care and be stopped by this ? Please. Pirates crack most DRM within at most a month of launch, claiming its stopping pirates is nonsense. If you want to do DRM do non copyable code DRM, what this does is mean certain features donít work on the copied version. Other games have done this and the best thing is, it annoys pirates far more than standard DRM. If at certain points in the game a pirate version glitches out, messes up or breaks 2 hours in. Itís annoying the pirates by having the DRM later in its been used a lot in different games: Batman Arkham Asylum
had the cape glide not work and a part of the game requiring you to glide; Serious Sam 3
had unkillable scorpion enemies in the game and prevent you progressing and The Witcher
originally replaced all the women you could sleep with, with different models of less attractive women warts and all. This kind of DRM is the way to stop pirates as they have to play into the game, then stop and break the immersion themselves to fix the next broken thing to continue, again and again. Heck setting it to suggest they buy the game now theyíve played a good bit could generate sales as you promote to the pirate that it would be so much easier to continue playing if they supported you the developer.
Super Pirate don't care about that DRM you tried to put on he eats DRM for Breakfast
DRM as it is with always online and invasive DRM doesnít stop pirates and in reality mainly impacts the legitimate consumers more. The bottom line also is pirates will still pirate, if they are that determined you arenít gaining sales from them, all youíre doing is having one less person playing or talking about the game. If you really consider pirates copies as lost sales the question shouldnít be ďhow do we stop themĒ but ďwhy didnít they want to support it ?Ē If customers feel theyíre getting value for money and will do theyíll buy it and if youíre marketing is doing its job people would be buying it. Yes some people will always pirate games as they are just that determined however thatís not a sale youíd have got anyway, theyíd simply have pirated a different game and not even talked about yours.
It should always be the job of the developer to prove to me why I should buy the game, not my job to prove to the developer I did buy their game.
ďBut social featuresĒ
If Iím playing a single player game, I am making the choice to not be social, do not try and force this on me, I want the option there sure but if Iím playing single player, chances are Iíve made my choice already.
So why am I mad about the idea of always online ?
Itís the removal of that age old thing of choice, Iíve talked about it before and hinted to it related to pre-owned games. Always online is giving the choice to someone else a choice that impacts me, itís a control measure. I can only play when the servers are working and I donít get to choose the value I get from the game, if a developer decides they want you to get the next version of the game, they can. Heck I saw Tribes 2 shut down 10 years on and you know what the developers did ? they released the source code to modders and let them create a way to keep the game going, they even offered a full refund to anyone who felt they didnít get their moneysí worth yet.
Damn it publishers, console sales are going down and you guys arenít helping this by making it more awkward for customers, youíre not making these sales targets and if you want to keep making consumers jump through fucking hoops some will just give up and say thereís too many hoops. The truth is customers donít have to deal with shit. Thereís three consoles on the market at present and with the Ouya itís another way to go along with the huge sales of tablet and mobile gaming. This with the steam box on the horizon which may well be you know the giant bogey man the console market should be seriously afraid of. What will happen not next gen but the generation after if always online is a thing ? Sure it sounds good now ďOh customers will be forced to move on to the next console as their games no longer work, or will be forced to pay you moreĒ However that completely forgets consumers have the choice to you know, not do that. They could stop. Publishers donít seemingly realise gamer good will is not infinite towards them, if they burn gamers, gamers will shy away from purchases next time. Hell with the growing retro scene and large amount s of home brewed and alternative games often still coming out for older consoles, people could at any point just decide they are happy and stop moving on , play through the huge selection of games people have an that many people have no doubt built up as back logs or simply overlooked for other titles.
Customers arenít guaranteed and as is being shown with companies such as Square Enix and their predicted sales figures, you canít guarantee sales. Customers arenít a certainty and taking them for granted will cause the next gaming crash. So before complaining about anything about your customers remember, you need us, we donít need you and if you donít like that, maybe you should #DEALWITHIT