Digital Distribution vs Old Fashioned Purchase

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MrDudeMan's picture
User offline. Last seen 4 years 23 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: Aug 17 2010

Just wondering what people think about digital distribution in comparison to the current style of purchasing games. I used to be in favour of it, but thinking about it recently I think its a very poor system. My main reason for this is that it gives the game companies too much power. For example when you purchase things on steam, you don't really purchase them, you essentially rent them for the duration of your steam account. You could have purchased ~$1000 worth of  games, but if your account gets banned you will never get to play any of them again. Personally, I find this a little disturbing, as once I pay for something I feel I should have full control over it. It also hinders away any chance of sharing the games you purchase. I would make a blog post about this, but I'm too lazy and I am more interested in reading the opinions of others then I am sharing my opinions.

RPGeesus's picture
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Joined: Sep 6 2010

I can easily see two sides to this.

In terms of digital distribution: It'd be great for the developers, since they can easily distribute their games to many different audiences at once, and because digital distribution typically can't be refunded, it would mean less or no trade-ins and used sales. It'd also be great for consumers, since games would be cheaper without the cost of the physical media, and it would allow them to get their games much more quickly than they would otherwise. The problem is that it's not a completely stable platform yet, there's no definitive distribution scheme (Steam is great, but EA disagrees) and it is currently not feasible for consoles yet.

In terms of physical media: Developers like it because it gets them more money than digital sales would. Consumers like it because there is the chance to get money back from it, as well as carry around the games with them instead of download it everywhere. It's a slippery slope, since developers don't want piracy, or used sales, but either method may result in either of these outcomes. Also, there is the problem of memory capacity on DVDs and whatnot. However, with the constant fall in the price of memory storage devices, it's possible that the next generation of consoles could be loaded with storage space, and that you get your game by either downloading it or shoving an SSD into a slot.

With the banning of accounts problem, the way to get around that is to not be a pirate or a fucking troll. I bet game developers would love to see people suffer for abusing their products.

Also, don't be afraid of sharing opinions. 1. You may bring to light some facts people haven't thought about. 2. The Internet is basically faceless anyway, at some point, so don't worry.

MarioDragon's picture
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Joined: Aug 2 2010

If the game requires Steam, like most new Bethesda games and any game by Valve, then I'm all for it. Only when it's on Steam though, since it seems the lest DRMish of the whole lot (origin, games for windows live, whatever else there is almost always requires constant internet connection....)

If I was allowed to download a game and then NOT require an internet connection to play it, I'd probably never buy a disk again.

Buuut relying on some internet servers to host all my games forever is kind of a gamble... Not saying something like this is going to happen anytime soon, but what if some strange disaster happened and caused the servers holding all my game data to fail? Meaning I can't download it or anything, and probably never would be able to since there'd be no way to tell if I really bought it or not at that point. Of course, that would have to be something incredibly major, but that's something you don't have to worry about with disks.

Razzler's picture
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Joined: Sep 27 2010

The thing I don't like about digital distribution is how everything is perma-bound to your account and you have no control over removing it. If I was for example really hyped for a title, bought it and turned out that I didn't like it all that much (Bayonetta and RE5, I'm looking at you!), I can't simply trade it in a few days later and buy another title that I have my eye on. So if I bought the game over digital distribution, I'm effectively stuck with it's contemptable little arse embedded firmly in my account for the rest of my life.

I can't get a refund either, since the games industry has eroded our consumer rights for years and I can't get my money back even if the game turns out to be a buggy, unplayable piece of crap. I can only exchange my copy for another copy of the same game, which as far as I know doesn't fix developer fuck ups.

Trade-ins are pretty much our only form of protest against shitty games, so long live hard copies and fuck the likes of EA and Ubisoft who have the fucking cheek to further exploit their consumer bases.

PigheadedBobobo's picture
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Joined: Aug 4 2010

I am the only one of my friend who still buys cds instead of downloading it from iTunes. For some reason I just love having all my media in a case on a shelf

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