Okay Video Game Companies, it�s time we had a little heart-to-heart.
DRM isn�t 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 you�ve been struggling with getting money off of used sales by adding Online Passes. Well, I�ll tell you what. Since I�m such a nice guy, I�m going to give you the perfect solution: DIGITAL RENTALS.
Yep! You heard me. This is an almost completely untapped area for video games and I�m absolutely baffled that it�s still this way. How is it that film has a thriving On-Demand service, but video games don�t?
So far, the only thing we have is Gamefly (and MAYBE Playstation Plus). They�ve 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, don�t you, VGC? All those profits, low expenses, and no room for used sales! But then, of course, we get back to the issue of piracy�
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. Don�t restrict any content (like Online Passes), and allow them to buy and keep any DLC. If your game takes them longer to complete, they�ll have to pay for another day. And why don�t we sweeten the pot for them? Every rental fee counts towards payment for the full game. So let�s say someone rents a game at $7 a day for a week. You just made $49! And most PC games run around $50, so they�ve 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. Let�s face it, VGC. You�re struggling to make ends meet. You need every dime you can get�especially 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. It�s 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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