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Monday, June 19, 2006

Comments

Patrick Grote

Scott ... You said:

"No chance of resells, an after-market that is killing publishers and developers alike."

Resell in this case means a person who bought the game, plays it then resells it? Or do you mean another type of resell?

If it's the former ... how is that killing publishers and developers?

yossa

The publishers and developers get no revenue from the reselled copies.

Tom Schaffer

Well, we solved the "problem" of to long downloading times by developing technology that allows extremely small data size. Digital distribution sure is an opportunity if you really WANT to use it.

Scott Miller

Patrick, the resell market is one of the most profitable revenue sources now for chains like Gamestop, and it doesn't generate any revenue for developers or publishers. Resells, for us, has largely the same effect as pirated copies, because the gamer plays the game, but we see no revenue benefit.

Legally, there's no problem with resells, but the end effect is that it does hurt pubs and devs. It's not a legal issue, but it's a reality issue that digital distribution can go a long way to fixing. (Not that gamers will see this as something that needs to be "corrected," of course! And as a gamer, I would think the same way -- cheap games is cheap games!)

Kristian Joensen

Scott, some people have complained of beeing forced to update HL2 via steam and therby forced to install a update that breaks the game for them. Will that be an issue with Prey and Triton ?

Ernest Adams

Right on, Scott. When you think about it, keeping a bitstream frozen in a piece of plastic and sitting around in a shopping mall is a pretty damn stupid way to get it from your computer to mine.

The day will come when bricks-and-mortar software stores will be as scarce as professional phrenologists.

Colm Mac

Right the reason the resale market exists is because games are too expensive. If I play 60 euro (forty/fifty dollars) for a game I need to be pretty sure its bloody great. Now if digital distribution is so cost saving will the cost to gamers come down?

The Boxed Copy of Half-Life 2 Episode 1 costs $19.99 (List Price, Amazon charges $16.95) and the Steam version costs $19.95. I know you said Steam isn't the future but something is wrong there.

The cost of goods for the boxed copy has to cost more than Steams one. The boxed copy gives revenue to Retailer, a Wholesaler/Distributer, publisher EA and Value. The Steam copy one all the revenue goes to Value (minus taxes and credit card charges). So since all those middle men have been cut out why can't some of that saving go to the gamers?

Freakhead

A couple comments.

I think Steam is a good example of the future actually. And I really don't see much stopping a service like Steam from distributing full games a part at a time. I think their episodic take on gaming is quite indicative of the future as is pre-downloading. The bigger issue amongst these types of services is will they dedicate enough bandwidth/server power to initial demand on the day of release.

Second, publishers do see money from resells albeit indirectly. Of course I don't know the numbers, but I think everyone can agree that a ton of folks trade in old games to finance new games. And as such publishers do see money from used game sales. And I think if this 'safety-net' wasn't there then many folks then would think twice about buying a game.

I suppose a way around this for digital delivery would be to trade account names/passwords between friends. I mean I can tell my bro on the other side of the country my Steam login/password so he can play too. I guess they could limit this type of action fairly easily tho.

Still the point is Joe Schmoe is going to think twice about taking a chance on a game if they are stuck with the $50+ pricetag no matter what. And that's leads back to STeam's Episodic content. It's alot easier to take a chance on $20 than $50.

Val Vanderschaegen

Valve did offer a ~$2 discount for preorders I believe, even at full price I'd rather give more money to the developer.

I have a feeling it'll be a long time before we see publishers going for digital distribution, they really don't want anger walmart by offering another channel.

One reason we haven't seen lower prices with Steam is because I believe there are certain agreements between publisher and retailer that the publisher can't undercut the retail outlets. And until publishers are in the position to ignore retai loutlets they can't offer lower prices via digital download. Of course folks will be less likely to go the digital distribution route if they can't save money especially when with retail you can trade in the game when you're done and you get a physical disc, case and manual. It's a bit of a catch-22.

gman

Though I agree with the idea, I tried Triton. Doesn't work through a proxy. So much for anyone in the game industry or any reviewer ever seeing a game. WTF are they thinking?

I also agree with the comment above about price. If normal wholesale price is 50% of retail then if you are cutting out the wholesale -> retail markup, pass that savings on to the consumer and you'll stand a chance of helping accelerate the switch to online distro.

gekido

what i'm waiting for is a download system that truly acknowledges that i have bought a game and have lost or otherwise destroyed the cd's that came with the original legit game purchase.

steam is the closest thing to this that i've seen so far that actually protects (values) the developer, but it does so in such a way as to be such an invasive hastle to the customer that the value outweighs the benefits.

for example: i purchased bf2 AND the special forces add-on...the original cd's (all 3 of them) don't function properly anymore for me to reload the game...so i'm basically screwed with that game.

same thing with far cry...say i want to reinstall the game...so i am forced to go through the original 5 cd installation PLUS tracking down and finding the 3 patches (which all must be installed in order due to the lack of a cumulative patch) before i have a functional game...

and they think that the gaming customer isn't excited about digital distribution? nonsense...

steam at least remembers that i bought the game if i choose to go back and play again. totalgaming.net's download system is also a step in the right direction, but i think it might be too big of a step in the right direction - i just bought galciv2 and the serial number was an optional part of the installation and the game never did ask me for a serial number before i played it...as a developer this is a BIT much - i at least want the annoyance factor in place for serial numbers before people pirate my games / products, but some developers may not i guess.

haven't tried the other offerings, but I feel that steam is close, but not quite what the industry needs and the gaming population wants...

gekido

>>If normal wholesale price is 50% of retail then if you are cutting out the wholesale -> retail markup,
>>pass that savings on to the consumer and you'll stand a chance of helping accelerate the switch to
>>online distro.

depending on how they are doing their online billing, even with online sales, you have a significant markup just from the ecommerce charges. particularly as a smaller indie developer, the markup for a $20 title can equal almost 40% or so of the overall cost of sale.

For a full price game, the overhead is very similar to printing an actual CD / box when it comes down to it, even though it is theoretically a 'zero cost' sale...the banks always take their cut and the credit card companies aren't any better...

let alone the risk that the developer takes in handling fraud / charge backs etc - the risk for doing online digital distribution is pretty high, but even so I feel it's more than worth it in the long run for the opportunity to avoid the traditional publisher / retail market...

Hexx

I think you're and most peoples ideas of getting rid of the resale market is completely absurd. There are many games that you either 1) have to buy on ebay or gamestop (I'm about to get a DS lite and want to play Castlevania DS, Trauma Center, and Phoenix Wright all of which are in the top 5 ds games for most people and all of which are no longer sold via retail channels) and 2) resale on the internet (not gamestop/electronics boutique) allows you to try at a cheaper price a game that you probably wouldn't have bought otherwise (an example of this is Chronicles of Riddick for the Xbox good game but I wouldn't have played it had it not been for the resale market due to the fact that it was a licensed game).

Sadly, I think the best role model of how the resale market should go is something that the RIAA has started. On some resale websites like the one where you trade CDs with others on the internet (I forgot it's name) actually pay royalties to the RIAA. I think the game industry should unite and do something along these lines. If you look at a place like gamestop or eb they make ~$30 off of most of the used games that they sell. If developers try to cut into this they could in my opinion generate revenue that they would have otherwise not had.

Scott Miller

Hexx, you're right, a revenue sharing program on resells would be terrific, and satisfy pubs and devs. However, the retail stores currently have no inventive to share these juicy profits, and until they do, they likely won't.

Hexx

Maybe digital downloading services are the key to having enough leverage to get retail outlets to go about and do this.

nico

Is it possible to buy and download Prey on the Xbox 360 ?

Short discussion: No

Scott Miller

Nico, I would love to make Prey a buy and download game on the Xbox 360. Our publisher will not allow this, though. Everyone is scared to upset the retailers right now, but that will eventually change.

nico

... but you're publisher is ok to release the PC game via Triton. I'd like to know why.

And do you really think that it's possible to release AAA games like Prey on a console which have a 20Gb HD ? Quake 4 take 3Gb on my PC. How many games is it possible to download before a 20Gb HD is full : five, six ? Is it acceptable for an average player ? I don't think so.

Mike Edwards

nico,

If your XBOX Live account is flagged as having paid for Prey, I assume you'd always be able to download it again in the future if you had to delete it to make room for something else. Combined with the delivery method Scott mentioned (20% download before you can start playing) this is a pretty slick solution. If they made you re-purchase it, well, that's entirely different.

No game is ever perfect, and patches are a reality when it comes to software in general. You'd always have the latest and greatest version of the game. Unfortunately, it would likely lead to a rise in publishers rushing console games out the door without the requirement of needing to get it right the first time. I wonder if console gamers would have as much patience with this practice as PC gamers who are accustomed to it?

Jose

While I'm a big supporter of the online distribution channel, I don't think Triton is the answer. While the technology sounds interesting, the main benefit (no development cost to the game studio) does not really translate into something the player would appreciate or understand. Actually, a game specifically developed with content streaming on mind would greatly outperform Triton in many areas, including user interface and waiting time.

I downloaded the Wolfenstein demo with Triton (a old game, not that big in resource size) and tried to play as soon as it was available. The net result was a hanged computer in a loading screen while Triton was streaming in the background, without any indication on screen of the remaining time (and that was many minutes). It also forces me to connect me to their server each time I want to play any game, so I don't see here a big improvement over Steam's much-maligned intrusiveness. Add to this a very amateurish and unpolished user interface in their web page and their client application (flickering, bad design, lack of features), and I really can't even begin to understand how this can become a success of any kind.

Steam used a similar technique at some point (game levels streaming from the Net) altough probably it required specific development resources for each game. However, they are now using the preloading scheme instead, requiring you to download the whole game (altough you can have most of the data downloaded before the release date). While in technology terms it may look like an inferior solution, it is the difference between confusing the user with insane loading times and simply having to wait more, with the additional benefit of giving hardcore players the game they want at the minute of release.

While Steam does some things very wrong (insanely high prices, making it uncompetitive, as the worst of them in my opinion), there is also a lot to learn about it.

Scott Miller

Jose, any previous experience with Triton will likely not compare with the new version of the service, which has undergone dramatic recent improvement, and will continue to do so.

Also, with an older game like Wolf, it's likely related to the game itself having problems rather than Triton. We've extensively tested Triton and it has been almost 100% problem free, a remarkable achievement.

Michael Dragojlovic

I'm gonna miss the retail shops where you can go in and browse at all the boxes, and sometimes buy something on instinct. And then when you do buy something you have that anticipation of going home and installing it on your machine. But with digital distribution there won't be that magic. People are probably less likely to buy something on gut instinct. They are most likely to check out the developer's site (which is a good thing though, if the developer has good marketing knowledge that is) and then check out reviews, which can make or break the sale. And if they do buy it they can start playing immediately. There is none of the anticipation of getting something out of the box, which can make the experience so much more exciting. So, like everything, there a pros and cons, and one of the cons of digital distribution taking over is that old codgers like us are gonna miss our days of walking to the computer shop on a nice sunny day and having a browse amongst real people, instead of just sitting on our ass giving a sum of digits to a server.

Art Sharma

Hello Scott,

Is Triton going to go through another major UI haul because quite frankly I think it is awful right now. It is better than it was when I first tried it out but it still looks very rough and unprofessional. It can have all the greatest streaming technology ever but if the interface sucks I don't want to use it. I hope Triton really takes off because I think it has a lot of potential. I have been a huge fan of digital distribution and I think Steam is pretty damn good and hope they improve on that too.

Patrick Grote

Scott ... thanks for the answer.

As for resales, if the publisher were involved and received a cut would that work for digital distribution? For instance, I am finished with HL2 and HL2 Ep1. I should be able to sell that due to the first sale doctrine, but I cannot. Will I be able to do that with your service?

Thanks again!

nico

Is it possible to release a game like Prey on the Xbox 360 ?

Longer discussion: it's saturday, you and three friends want to spend the night playing with your Xbox 360. You're lucky, you have a HD on your console ! 8GB of this HD is dedicated to the retro compatibility. Two days before the evening, you erase all your patches and saves (?!) to be able to download 3 games : 3x3GB your HD is full ! With your 1Mb line, it only took 25h to download the games.

Ok, now it's time to play ! After three hours, you have tried all your 3 games and want to try something else. No problemo : you only have to download 20% of the new game before you can start playing ! 20% of 3GB = 600MB. With your 1Mb line, it's only a matter of 1h30.

...

Richard Stephens

Scott:
Dell or HP don't make anything from the second hand computer market, ATI or NVidia don't make anything from the second hand graphics card market, Sony or Nintendo don't make anything from the second hand console market, JK Rowling doesn't make anything from the second hand book market, ikea doesn't make anything from the second hand furniture market..

I could go on

Why should game developers or publishers expect anything else? If I want the latest computer, I need to buy it new, I can't get it second hand until something bigger and better comes out, and those who must have the latest and greatest sell their current systems. If I want the latest JK Rowling book, I need to buy it new, or at least wait till someone's finished it and sells it second hand

If I want the latest game, I need to either buy it new or wait...

If you can give me one good reason why people shouldn't be able to sell games they have purchased second hand, I'd like to hear it.

On a related note, in a digital distribution system, I should be able to right-click on a game and choose "send to user", and type in a username f another user, and click Send. I (obviously) shouldn't be allowed to play the game anymore once i've sent it to someone else.

nico

"Dell or HP don't make anything from the second hand computer market, ATI or NVidia don't make anything from the second hand graphics card market, [...]"

Why ? Because they can not do anything.

Scott Miller

Richard, I understand your arguments, but the game software market is definitely being hurt by resells -- it's a real problem that is hurting the industry. The difference between reselling books and games is that games costs so much more to make, very often $8 million or more. Imagine how many games need to be sold to recover this investment, not to mention all of the marketing money ($1 to $4 million) that needs to be recovered, too. In the book market, generally, only a few 1000 books need to be sold before break-even. In the game software market, often 600,000+ copies need to be sold for break-even. It's even higher for Prey.

The problem is that games can be bought and completed in a matter of days, or a week, and then sold back to stores. People don't do this with most products that are often resold -- they hang on to them a lot longer, like computer systems or cars, usually long enough for the model being resold to be somewhat out-of-date and past its prime.

I wouldn't care about the resell market, except that it seriously hurts developers by taking significant revenues from us that could then be used to make ambitious games. Piracy and resells and rentals, all three, are part of the reason the game industry takes fewer risks, and relies on licensed games as much as we do. It behooves us all to have a more profitable system for developers/publishers, because only then will we see bigger chances taken, and more ambitious projects.

So, while I agree that legally and morally resells are fine, the health of the industry is being seriously hurt. Could anyone make money in selling software in China a few years ago, with that country's rampant piracy? Well, likewise, resells have hurt our industry to a degree that is having a real impact -- an impact that, in the end, hurts gamers as much as anyone.

Todd Smith

Will games get cheaper as a result of digital distribution? Or will it simply offset the escalading cost of game development? Will games like Prey debut at a lower cost on Triton?

Mike

Resells is a great way for people to get a few dollars back of the ridiculous amount of money they did spend when they bought the game. Digital distribution should be cheaper (I think) for the customer, but I guess it won't be. I hope I'm wrong.

Scott Miller

Todd, the industry is really struggling under money pressure, so I doubt DD will make games cheaper -- instead is will help relieve the industry from some of the financial pressure, and free up more money for more ambitious, riskier projects.

Robert Howarth

I've heard literally nothing about Prey and digital distribution. You guys need to put the message out or 99.9999% of the people will buy boxed copies.

Michael Dragojlovic

Maybe there should be an option with digital distribution where once you buy a game you can sell it back to the developer if you want. This way people are more likely to have the incentive to buy something on gut instinct because if they end up not liking the game, or get sick of it, they can at least get some money back (even if it's just 10%), so sales may increase. Of course, the developer gets nothing in return though for the money spent buying stuff back, because the copies returned are essentially deleted. But if it means more sales then they will get something back won't they?

Also, there has to be competition with the retail market, because if getting something digitally is much the same price as retail, tons of people are going to stick with retail because of it's resale value. So, only if digital distribution is significantly cheaper or there is the selling back to the developer option as I mentioned above; digital distribution won't ease off the pressure on the industry very much in my opinion. Or, more accurately, it won't ease off pressure to it's full potential.

Well there's nothing stopping 3dRealms from offering it's own buyback program. Buy back your games for $25 and resell 'em for $45 like Gamestop does.

Or how about letting folks play thru Prey one time for $20 via digital download? That's the same thing as buying back your games.

Or how about offering games for $20 instead of $60?

It's not the resale market that's hurting the industry. It's the industry. Obviously their product is priced too high which is why consumers turn heavily to the used game market.

So the industry needs to rethink its pricepoints and business models.

The worst thing to do to combat the resale market is to raise game prices to $60. You're just giving Gamestop more room to make money off used games. You're making used copies relatively even cheaper for consumers who are more likely to go used the higher the price of a game is.

I think the point the industry might need to face is that it can't sustain making more and more expensive games.

cliffski

so there are two problems here. The games are too big to download (over a gig) and too expensive. Call me old fashioned, but lets make smaller, cheaper games. I certainly dont need to have the whole tutorial spoken to me using bulky wav files, or need to see ANY FMV at all, or need to see spinyn publisher logos and other padding. How much of these 1 gig games is just inefficient bloat caused by a DVD mindset on the part of developers.
The last two games I bought were $20-25 and under 50 meg each, and they were great fun. Small games can still use modern tech, the exe is never over 50MB, its the acres of textures and sound that does it. In most cases, the average player doesnt get to see it all anyway. Ive played games since they were invented and only ever finished 3. Maybe I'm just not hardcore enough :D
Anyway, Im glad activision are ignoring digital distribution. it leaves more customers for my company :D

Jare

Scott, I can't believe you are equating resales to piracy, even if indirectly.

Resales hurt the industry because people buy used games instead of new games. But resales help the industry because people are more willing to buy a game if they can recoup some of it should the need arise. Resales of games are worse than other industries because they happen in a short time. But game resales are better than other industries because the window of opportunity to resell a game is relatively small. Many other similar dualities follow.

"It behooves us all to have a more profitable system for developers/publishers, because only then will we see bigger chances taken, and more ambitious projects."

I might argue that the desire for bigger, more ambitious projects is in fact the main trouble afflicting the industry. Akin to how a marathon runner may destroy his hopes of winning if he tries to go too fast. We may very well ruining our best chances to produce GREAT games by trying to find the "next big thing" even before we have got a firm grasp on "today's big thing". Many games are disappointing. A potentially large sector of our market is losing confidence in games because buying a game means a significant risk of wasting a good chunk of change in a piece of crap.

People pay for entertainment products because they want to have a good time at a reasonable price. Let's forget about finding scapegoats and concentrate on delivering games they will be happy to have bought.

GreatBritishProducer

I don't know how US law stacks up, but this is a decent article for the European perspective - http://www.gamesindustry.biz/content_page.php?aid=17599

I'm a developer and a gamer; my opinion is that resale should stay. I'm afraid your comments sound like the familar script, Scott. Its a script that doesn't quite stand up to scrutiny.

Take the pricepoint issue: Xbox360 games sell at £49.99 ... thats $92 dollars at current exchange rates. Consider than on average Xbox360 games are being developed for £5 million to £10 million; now consider that key titles for Sega Dreamcast, Playstation 2 and Xbox were developed for between £2 million and £8 million but sold at £35.99. How can the industry justify costing £15.00 more for a 360 game created with the same team size and in the same development time? Something is awry.

What about the book anology? Well, books are a fixed format ... paper and ink. Videogames however have no such plateu in sight. The five year console cycle is what hurts the industry. The five year cycle is what stunts creativity as we attempt to grasp the technology and what it can offer; and when we do, it moves. Game Design has failed to mature becuase of the agressive attitude toward new hardware that a consumer neither demands or needs. While PC's delivered beautifully realised environments, the PS2, with its inferior graphics laid waste to the PC market. The PS2 was also one of the most innovative carriers of content.

Lost revenue: Look at the facts of the story and its the publishers who rallied the cry. Its their bottom line that is hurt. Developers already suffer at the hands of the publisher. The resell market is a scapegoat for a lack of strategic planning and greed. The publisher continues to establish ridiculous recoupment clauses in contract which sees them turn profit long before the developer. The publisher has consistently fails to do its homework and invests in market saturation, why? Greed. They want a slice and will invest in inferior product which fails to establish an IP. An IP they own, why? Greed. The publishers consent to release products in two key windows > November through December and March through to May. Products get lost; marketing spend gets contralised and tens of games fail to make a profit. What digital distribution allows is a developer to become a quasi publisher. You also lose brand presence with Digital Distribution is among one of the highest consumers of video games ... parents.

And to messsage to gamers that they are the 'real' losers is wh nothing more than patronising. Consumers are aware; they want quality product at a reasonable price. They want flexibility at retail; hence the download market co-existing with the retail market and hence the demand for pre-owned games.
As developers, our core responsibility is to deliver an experience a consumer would not want to relinquish ; like the books you move house with, the films you re-buy on DVD. We clearly need to make better games more consistently than we are now.



gf

"It behooves us all to have a more profitable system for developers/publishers, because only then will we see bigger chances taken, and more ambitious projects."

With an occasional exception, of the very rare financially independent dev, I don't buy that (w.r.t. resales).

The whole greedy stockmarket philosophy is to make more money than the previous quarter/year, that is the single biggest factor against taking mentionable chances (at least for any company with public shares, ie. publishers). Any additional profit for publishers from "banned" resales would just be gulped up into the system, meaning the next financial period they want to make more money than the previous, which again means no more risks than before.

The real chances will be taken from those who are in it for the love of the game, shareholders are obviously not of that persuasion, the name of their game is increasing $$$.


my cynical $0.02

Michael Labbe

On a more immediate note, what's up with the Distream guys? Their website leads to nowhere at the moment.

http://www.distream.com/menus/news/news_pr_12_15_05.html

Two other examples of content streaming:
Steam:
Half-life streams quite well over 256kbit/s. Using 1mbit the initial load takes at least 6 minutes (36mb) and will continue to keep up if you progress linearly. If you load a saved game or start multiplayer it does hickup with no visible prompt showing the download progress.

Arena.net:
Guild Wars, starting from scratch you can play within 20 min using 1mbit. while the game keeps streaming in the background the nonlinear nature as well as the need to keep the multiplayer game responsive usually means that there are some files that still needs to be downloaded during loading screens. Has a good loading bar to show the download progress.

I see why it's harder to stream newer games as the bandwidth requirement is definitelly higher, I'd say 1-2 mbit. Just as failing to stream breaks the experience with streaming video failure to stream the game will break the immersion.

If triton works as advertised for the vast majority of customers I believe it is a winning concept where it can be applied. Steam might not have been first but was at least very early (2002).


Todd Smith

Is Triton built into the 450mb Prey demo? Or is it a bit to soon for that?

After reading the article, it doesn't seem like Kotick is completely clueless. He acknoleges downloadable content that's available today. Perhaps he just thinks fully downloadable games, especially on consoles, is still a ways away. They've been available on the PC for a while now.

Tanget related to the article: I wonder what affect games like WoW have on the industry. I know people who haven't bought any new games in years because of their preference for mmo's.

Royal O'Brien

Now that I'm digging myself out of a nasty server crash at the absolute worst time possible, and transferring life over. I figured I would stop in and talk about the UI and a couple little items...

First... A Picture says a thousand words, so here are a couple Gs.

http://64.31.138.98/UI_1.jpg
http://64.31.138.98/UI_2.jpg

The MCE interface is more designed for the 10 foot experience, and really isnt as advanced per say as the FPS gamer looks for. However, Multitasking while in and out of gameplay, Queueing, throttling, DX/OGL notification of streaming, Offline mode, Desktop icon play for games, hot weblinking, and a few more things I'll keep to my vest for now. These are only 2 of the screens, and there are quite a few more (In game descrip, shots, video and more)

Oh, and this UI... It is 100% unicode, and can be skinned by anyone with a notepad and some jpegs or PNGs.

As for Prey, bandwidth, and the release. We have 32GBit of bandwidth for streamers, and 48 Tera CDN assist for preload and launch worldwide. So when release day comes, for those that have preloaded. Your playtime will really depend on how fast your hard drive is, not your internet connect.

Back to work for me.

--Royal O'Brien, Founder
obrienr@playtriton.com

Scott Miller

Good stuff, Royal.

Art Sharma

Hi Royal,

Now that interface is a hell of a lot better. Nice work.

Kristian Joensen

Congradulations with Prey going gold, Scott.

AdamW

"The problem is that games can be bought and completed in a matter of days, or a week, and then sold back to stores. People don't do this with most products that are often resold -- they hang on to them a lot longer, like computer systems or cars, usually long enough for the model being resold to be somewhat out-of-date and past its prime."

I can read a book in a day. I keep most of the books I buy because I'd like to read them again in the future. Ditto music: albums last about an hour.

It's your job to make a game that I will want to play again in future, and thus will not resell. If the games industry is going to make games which can be "completed" in a short time, and which have no more attraction to the player once "completed", they have only themselves to blame if the gamers rent or resell them.

Yosemite

Hey, as long as in 4 years for example, via triton, i can still download my Prey game, i don't see probleme to it.

KoolAidMan

http://www.shacknews.com/ja.zz?id=12468997

Fix this. All I have to say. Steam is a great system, imo. I got the game at launch and have had absolutely zero problems. Apparently Triton is being very problematic.

Again, fix it.

Alan Dennis

While probably not a worthwhile addition to the conversation, I'd like to add that I'm sick of having to buy my intangible electronic goods from a store. I bought Oblivion through ESD, despite the HUGE download. Streaming content is even better, but without it, it still beats going to the store. I can understand the need for a disc for console games, but for PCs, it's ridiculous.

The answer is yes, to the question of my laziness.

One bit of feedback for Triton, though: Needs some QA and some UI love. For instance, the "saved password" function remembers the first instance of a password and not the newly updated password. As for the UI, it looks kinda amatuerish and was a big turn off for me. If it weren't for the fact that I trusted the 3D Realms brand, I wouldn't have used Triton, purely because of the website and UI graphics. Maybe that's shallow of me, but... I'm positive I'm not the only one. People are attracted to pretty things, after all.

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    Mostly inconsequential book that doesn't really explain HOW to make a successful game brand. Instead, it focuses on marketing for game brands. (***)

  • : Cleopatra's Nose: Essays on the Unexpected

    Cleopatra's Nose: Essays on the Unexpected
    Truly wonderful book, mostly dealing with history, by one of my all-time favorite writers. The final chapters, written in 1995, give a clear reason why America should not be in Iraq, if you read the underlying message. (*****)

  • : Myth & the Movies

    Myth & the Movies
    Great study of a wide range of hit movies, using The Hero's Journey as a measuring stick. Very useful for game developers. (****)

  • : Kitchen Confidential

    Kitchen Confidential
    This chef is clearly in love with his writing, but the fact that he's a non-innovative, hack chef makes this book less insightful than I was hoping. Still, a fun read. (***)

  • : See No Evil

    See No Evil
    I do not list 2-star or lower books here, and this book almost didn't make the cut. A somewhat unexciting behind-the-scenes look at the life of a CIA field agent working against terrorism. The book's title is spot on. (***)

  • : The Discoverers

    The Discoverers
    Love books like this, that offer deep insights into the growth of science throughout history, and giving a foundation of context that makes it all the more incredible that certain people were able to rise above their time. (*****)

  • : Disney War

    Disney War
    I started reading this and simply could not stop. A brilliant behind-the-scenes account of the mistakes even renowned CEOs make, and the steps they'll take to control their empire, even against the good of shareholders. (*****)

  • : The Hundred-Year Lie: How Food and Medicine Are Destroying Your Health

    The Hundred-Year Lie: How Food and Medicine Are Destroying Your Health
    Do not read this book if you prefer to believe that the government actually gives a poop about your well being. (*****)

  • : From Reel to Deal

    From Reel to Deal
    Subtitled, "Everything You Need to Create a Successful Independent Film." And much of it applied to the game industry. A revealing look at the true machinery of movie making. (****)

  • : The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge

    The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge
    The building of world's most technological structure for its time, against pitfalls, deaths and political intrigue. An amazing tale, told amazingly well. (*****)

  • Richard Feynman: What Do You Care What Other People Think?

    Richard Feynman: What Do You Care What Other People Think?
    My first book by Feymann will not be my last. A champion of common sense and insightful thought, Feymann's story-telling about life's events is riveting. (*****)

  • : Marketing Warfare

    Marketing Warfare
    A revised re-release of one of the all-time best marketing books. Only bother reading this is you care about running a successful company. (*****)

  • : YOU: The Owner's Manual

    YOU: The Owner's Manual
    Another good overview of way to protect your health in the long run. It's all about prevention, rather than hoping medicine can fix us when we're broken (i.e. heart disease or cancer). (****)

  • : The Universe in a Single Atom

    The Universe in a Single Atom
    Perfectly subtitled, "The Convergence of Science and Spirituality." Buddhism meets relativity, and believe it or not, there's a lot of common ground. (****)

  • : See Spot Live Longer

    See Spot Live Longer
    Feeding your dog at least 65% protein? Most likely not, as all dry dog foods (and most canned, too) absolutely suck and have less than 30% protein. And that is seriously hurting your dog's health in the long run. (****)

  • : 17 Lies That Are Holding You Back and the Truth That Will Set You Free

    17 Lies That Are Holding You Back and the Truth That Will Set You Free
    Anyone who needs motivation to make something of their life -- we only get one chance, after all! -- MUST read this book. (*****)

  • : Ultrametabolism

    Ultrametabolism
    Perfect follow up to Ultraprevention. Health is at least 80% diet related--nearly all of us have the potential to live to at least 90, if we just eat better. (****)

  • : How to Tell a Story

    How to Tell a Story
    Great overview of story creation, especially from the point of view of making a compelling stories, with essential hooks. (****)

All-Time Best