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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Gaming industry facing troubles

    BBC NEWS | Technology | Alarm sounded over game futures

    So, the Chinese companies rely on digital downloads - good on them, that is my preferred way of getting new games too. However, the western companies don't seem to understand that they need to make these services attractive for people to use them.

    I just bought GTA IV for PC on DVD for £14.99. It was either that or buy it via Steam for £26.99. That is nearly double the price, and I'd be the one doing the hard work of downloading the thing.

    Ok, EA games seems to have cottoned on to this fact a little - the C&C range of games does change in price as time goes by, but that's just one developer.

    Another issue I've had with digital downloads is the reliability of the 'authentication' servers. There was a period of time when the Battlefield 2142 server, which tells the game whether we actually paid for it, was down for roughly 2 weeks...

    Any thoughts? Which method of buying games do you prefer?

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    Michael's Avatar
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    I still prefer buying games on a physical media rather than downloading. Music however I am more happy about downloading as the prices are more realistic as well as the file sizes.

    There are many games you can download on the PS3 network now, but really, some of them should just be made free or extremely cheap. I seem to remember you can download Street Fighter 2 Turbo, but at £14.99 no chance. I went and bought Street Fighter 4 for £27.99.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    I still prefer buying games on a physical media rather than downloading. Music however I am more happy about downloading as the prices are more realistic as well as the file sizes.

    There are many games you can download on the PS3 network now, but really, some of them should just be made free or extremely cheap. I seem to remember you can download Street Fighter 2 Turbo, but at £14.99 no chance. I went and bought Street Fighter 4 for £27.99.
    Why do you prefer buying physical media? One of my main thoughts about downloading was, to use my GTA IV purchase as an example, the size of it; 16GB download. Even on my 8MB connection, that is 36 hours of non-stop downloading.

    Regarding the street fighter items - if the Street Fighter 2 Turbo had been £4.99 would that have been a purchase you would have made?

    Do you think that maybe the pricing is being done on purpose, to encourage people to purchase the new games at higher prices, as they appear to be better value?

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    Even on my 8MB connection, that is 36 hours of non-stop downloading.
    Exactly.

    if the Street Fighter 2 Turbo had been £4.99
    Yes maybe, but still that is quite expensive for a game which is quite old now.

    Do you think that maybe the pricing is being done on purpose
    No I just think some companies are incredibly greedy. I'm pretty sure if I looked hard enough I could buy the original CD/DVD PS2 version for a couple of pounds.

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    Another issue would be if they did something similar to what Apple do with their itunes content.

    You can download it once but if you lose it then you will need to re-purchase the files even though they have an entire record of your previous purchases.

    It only takes a couple of manufacturers to do this an then it becomes standard.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HodgeHi View Post
    Another issue would be if they did something similar to what Apple do with their itunes content.

    You can download it once but if you lose it then you will need to re-purchase the files even though they have an entire record of your previous purchases.

    It only takes a couple of manufacturers to do this an then it becomes standard.
    That's only the same as if you scratch your DVD or lose it or something though...

    Except with downloads, you can usually pay something like an extra £2.50 for long term download protection.

    What do people think of the idea of 'pay as you play' gaming?

    ie. You pay a subscription to a game each month. Much like how WoW and Eve work. I currently pay roughly £20 a month for Eve, for example.

    Or how about micro-payments. So you buy a few levels of a game for £3, and keep buying levels as they become available?

    Is the current 'spend a fortune' on a new game when it comes out business practices old hat?

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    That's more or less what is happening now through the likes of Xbox live and PS3 store. The biggest examples are the first person shooters. Admittedly it is only for the online multiplayer action but it is still happening. If they expanded it to the actual games then it could potentially be good but only if the creators/publishers price them reasonably.

    For example Gran Turismo 5 was rumored to be a bolt-on type of game with the initial purchase only carrying around 5 tracks and about 12 cars. It was estimated that to play the entire game it was going to cost around £1200.

    I haven't heard if this is indeed still going to happen this way.

    So IMO it can work but only depending on how it is implemented for each type of game. I'm not really willing to pay that sort of money to play a game.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HodgeHi View Post
    For example Gran Turismo 5 was rumored to be a bolt-on type of game with the initial purchase only carrying around 5 tracks and about 12 cars. It was estimated that to play the entire game it was going to cost around £1200.

    I haven't heard if this is indeed still going to happen this way.

    So IMO it can work but only depending on how it is implemented for each type of game. I'm not really willing to pay that sort of money to play a game.
    I suppose that depends on the game. I've already paid roughly £250 playing Eve online for example, but that game has new features released roughly every 6 months. I fully expect to be playing it still in 3 or 4 years time, so will likely have handed over about £1500 by then.

    For a game like Gran Tourismo, it isn't exactly a game that will keep you 'hooked' for more than a few weeks, so £1200 for it would be ridiculous. If people paid something like 50p for a new car, and £4 for a new track or something, that seems like it would be reasonable - and there is no reason why they couldn't continue rolling out new cars and tracks.

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