Zeroes Into Ones (your e-mail)More interesting e-mail this week about the "Zeroes to Ones" post, so let's take a look.
First off, from Matt Solomon, an intriguing idea:
Allow Gamers to trade in digitally bound games for a partial store credit. That keeps everything running through the companies that produce the games - there aren't used copies getting moved around the marketplace offsetting new sales - but you still get the boost to new purchases from the extra cash that gets freed up.
If used sales are as dominant as publishers claim, it seems like it would also be cheaper for publishers to accept physical copies of games as trade-ins toward new games (from the same publisher, obviously). It would take copies out of circulation and increase customer loyalty toward a publisher.
Here's another e-mail, this time anonymous:
My history with piracy is almost exactly the same as yours. As my income increased I saw a definite decline in what I pirated, but the ability to try out different video games when I was younger helped fuel my life long game hobby. Without that my interests would have gone to other mediums and the game industry would have lost a 30 year-supporter.
I find now that pricing, content, and DRM are the big drivers in what I buy. In the past 12 months I probably only bought two full priced games, Skyrim and SW: The Old Republic, for a total of $120 spent. The reasoning is that with the new $50-$60 price point of most games, I need to know that I am going to get my money's worth which means that a) the game needs to be a home run, and b) I need to know up front that I will spend a lot of time with the game. Since I know that over the next 3 years I will probably spend a few hundred hours on each game, a $60 price point is reasonable. Now DRM also factors into the purchase, because if it has a persistent connection like Ubisoft is using now, then I no longer have control over when I get to play my game. It also means that I might not get 3 years out of my game, they might shut off the server (or go bankrupt) in 12 months, so my $60 has a lot more risk. Games with that type of protection are ones I generally won't play now, or will still go the pirate route until the DRM is removed.
...The problem is the game industry has the same mentality as the rest of the entertainment industry. They feel that they will tell us exactly how, where, and why we will use their content instead of stepping back and listening to their customers. Your customers will tell you how they want to obtain and use your goods and they will give you a lot of money to provide it in the requested forms.