Tag Archives: drm

What Mid-2000’s Blockbuster Games Might Come To GOG Next?

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This post has been updated.
Bethesda Softworks just let Fallout 3Fallout New Vegas, and Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion onto GoodOldGames to be bought and played without any DRM. This is a surprising addition to a trend Electronic Arts evoked last year — that of blockbuster games from the previous console generation becoming old enough to be considered “Good Old.” What could be next? Continue reading

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How Often Are Games Actually Lost To DRM?

Since the last time I talked about DRM here we’ve had more time to see the effects of Denuvo. Instead of going through all the usual DRM talking points like sales or quality of services for paying customers versus pirates, I’m gonna focus on one thing: the perceived affect of DRM on the future preservation of games. The whole thing begs the question: do important games actually often become “lost to time” because of DRM making them inaccessible? Continue reading

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What Might Come To GOG Connect Next?

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So the guys over at Good Old Games seem to have come up with something everybody likes — linking accounts between Steam and GOG to bring select game licenses from the former to the latter. People are already wondering what games might be added to the service later and I wanted to do a bit of speculation on that front, looking at some of the factors probably affecting availability. Continue reading

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I Wish More Publishers Let You Buy DRM-Free ROMs.

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This week SNK Playmore just launched what some might consider the greatest Humble Bundle of all time: around 20 DRM-free NeoGeo games, but what’s underneath that nearly touches on a kind of digital distribution I’ve wanted to see someone attempt for a while. I think we’re a long way from actually seeing a publisher deliberately do it, but there are places where we can already effectively make it happen. Continue reading

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Booting Up Modern Games “Naked”

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Things happening in my life have kept me from starting The Witcher 3 despite having acquired it last week, and I probably won’t be able to start it until around a week from now. The process of getting, installing, and booting up the game however has become somewhat nostalgic. I bought a GoodOldGames key, download it (and all the relevant supplementary material) through a browser, installed it, and just booted the game up. In today’s world of perpetually connected games it’s a novel experience to simply install a game and play it, by itself, straight from the Windows desktop without any service or community intruding on the experience. Continue reading

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The iPhone 6 Plus As A Comic Reader

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In the weeks since the iPhone 6 Plus came around one discussion I’ve seen very little of is the device’s viability as a comic book reader. It’s one of the main reasons I got one.

The phablet’s viability for reading in general has probably been extensively talked about. The iPad’s main original purpose was digital reading. The purpose of the phablet is to be a tablet that fits in your pocket. Reading eBooks on the 6 Plus isn’t a hassle at all with text size adjustment in apps like iBooks, but reading what are basically image files with static words on them is a bit more delicate. Continue reading

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Do We Have To Have The DRM Talk Again?!

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Basically every argument I could give on DRM for PC games has already been repeated many times, and this crap persists. Admittedly we’re probably a long way from big corporations getting past this, but I think it’s still worth lamenting. Continue reading

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Where DRM Is And Isn’t annoying (IMO)

There wasn’t much to bring up this subject recently other than the redesign over at GoodOldGames, but I just realized I never talked extensively about DRM here. Thinking about how I consume media ,and moves companies have recently made, is making me realize when and where I’ll tolerate it. Continue reading

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Replayability And Used Games

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The controversy with Microsoft’s Xbox One DRM that will never see the light of day has revealed that, above all else, developers are still wrestling with used games. I think Nintendo provided the best response on this issue, but what the company proposes is better said than done.

Reggie basically said “make better games.” More importantly, he emphasized replayability in making games that consumers won’t want to trade in. “The consumer wants to keep playing Mario Kart. The consumer wants to keep playing New Super Mario Bros. They want to keep playing Pikmin. So we see that the trade-in frequency on Nintendo content is much less than the industry average – much, much less.”

Looking at the going prices on Nintendo’s games over the last several years reveals how absurdly good the company has gotten at avoiding the whole used game problem, and really the whole problem of video game value altogether. Most games plummet in prices and sales after the first month. The original 2006 New Super Mario bros. for the DS is still $35 — just $5 cheaper than the 3DS sequel that came out six years later. A used copy of the former is still $30. Nintendo can say stuff like this, why can’t anyone else (except maybe Call of Duty)?

Replayability and overall value is probably the whole rationale behind why so many games tack on multiplayer. It’s probably why big AAA games have been tacking on so many RPG elements too. Games like Tomb Raider seem like they’ll do anything — XP, skill unlocks, loot, crafting, challenges, and multiplayer, to turn a five-hour game into a 30-hour game so the consumer won’t trade it in so soon… and it doesn’t seem to be working.

Most of the time I’ll go through all that crap, ignore the multiplayer, and still feel like I’m totally done with a game after finishing it once. Attempts at extending playtime and encouraging replay mostly seem to be just making games feel bloated.

Here’s the weird part: the games that I do replay the most are the ones that don’t have any of those game-extending features.

Super Mario Bros. is literally just its singleplayer mode — you go through the linear levels once and that’s it. Some of the games have a second difficulty mode but that’s it, after that you’ve seen all the content. The same goes for Zelda and Metroid, and yet I keep replaying those games. Non-Nintendo games that fall under the same category include Half-Life, Portal, Mirror’s Edge, God of War, Resident Evil 4, or the first and third Modern Warfare games.

For these games the only thing I can say is that their singleplayer modes are so well-polished that I want to experience them repeatedly. It’s like a really good roller coaster that you end up riding 10 times, a book you like to read once a year, or a movie you see at the theater multiple times. Basically, you just have to make a really good game. That’s probably a hard way to break it to producers though.

BULLETS:

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