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How much would you pay for a new Sierra Adventure?
0-$10 6%  6%  [ 4 ]
$10-$20 20%  20%  [ 14 ]
$20-$30 19%  19%  [ 13 ]
$30-$40 23%  23%  [ 16 ]
$40-$50 32%  32%  [ 22 ]
Total votes : 69
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 6:41 pm 
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Naw, I don't think people who download commercial games see it as a robin-hood like steal-from-the-rich-give-to-the-poor kind of thing. It's more like doing something to save money for things you can't duplicate digitally. If a family member gets killed we're shocked. If 100 people on the other side of the world get killed, we don't react in the same way, since we don't know them. And since you're stealing from an "entity somewhere" rather than a person right next door, you don't feel like you're hurting someone directly, just like committing tax fraud or using the public transport without buying a ticket...it adds further to the dissociation factor.

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to me, you can never own something that can be freely copied, so the thief metaphor just falls apart because you and I think on completely different levels when it comes to intellectual "property" (you probably wouldn't include the quotes).


And to be honest, I don't think you would either if you knew the ramifications of what you're really saying. You say you write software for a bank. The code, since you wrote it, is initially your intellectual property. Your employer buys it from you and in return gets the right to use it in his business. Your code can be copied, but if it wasn't your intellectual property, there would be no reason for your employer to pay you a salary. Likewise, you'd have no reason to be offended if someone took your code and claimed it as his own, getting a promotion in the process, since the code was never your property to begin with. Taking things a bit further with your statements about how we should be thankful to people pirating the game for being "fans" and giving us exposure...imagine if your boss stopped paying your salary and instead just went around the entire bank telling every employee what a great guy you were in addition to telling you every hour how glad he is you're doing such good work here. Would you embrace him for promoting your popularity and taking an interest in you or would you be pissed? I don't think you'd see him as a friend and a great guy, no matter what he says, 'cause his actions cause you harm.

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But everyone who downloaded it is someone who was interested in your work, even if they had never heard of you. If that's not a fan, I don't know who is.


Someone who downloads and distributes the demo instead of the full game is what I call a fan since he goes out of his way to support us, rather than giving a little while taking a lot.

You say it's impossible to prove piracy hurts sales. Maybe it is, but it's hard to deny that if one person downloaded the game and enjoyed it, and another person merely downloaded the demo and enjoyed it, the former one is far less likely to buy the game since there's no longer any benefits in it for him...he'll see himself as making a donation, rather than paying for something he got something for. I'd say that if even a fraction of the people who downloaded the game also enjoyed it but didn't pay for it, it cost us money and gave us nothing.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 7:46 pm 
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I'm actually torn on this argument. The only reason why I enter this discussion is because there seems to be more to it than the usual forum chatter. I'm not trying to make friends or enemies.

As far as piracy goes, we've all done it. AGC2 you even admitted that you played pirated games back in the day and that was how you got started on adventure games. Me, too. Even if you bought the games later there is still the fact that you played it earlier than when you bought it. There is always a bit of a price difference as the game ages. It's like sneaking to a movie and then buying the movie years later from the bargain bin. I'm not trying to single you out AGC2, as I said I started with Sierra games the same way as you.

I figure that the main reason that you are so strong in your conviction against piracy is that you moved from game player to game maker, and that so many people pirating your game is a spit in the face to your dreams. There is nothing wrong with taking offence or defending your work. In some ways you could saythat people pirating your work is sort of a validation that your game is good, but that in no way should make you feel better about it.

I wonder if there would be less piracy if after a certain amount of time that games entered the realm of public domain. Maybe 2 years? Being a poor gamer myself, I have a hard time buying all the games I want to play. I usually have to wait years until the price comes down to my range or download them, which is something I very rarely do. I wish there was something like a public game library. A lot of good games are on track story wise with a good book, and seeing as both are entertainment, why should one be denied by price while another is offered for checkout? By the way, my library does offer DVD movies for checkout including new releases. That is something I take full advantage of.

If a player has the money buy the game, don't download it. Simple enough. Before I had kids I used to spend $120 a week on games. Now I'm lucky if I spend that in a year. For the record I haven't downloaded Al Emmo, I don't plan to. To be honest I might have if I'd thought about it, but now, out of respect, I won't.

There has to be a solution that makes both the developers and players happy. Maybe a tax deductable Red Cross for poor gamers?

That joke sort of gives me an idea though... good or bad.

What if you linked up with a large corporation (or many) in need of a tax write off? When your next game comes out ask the Red Cross if they will accept a donation of a game for people giving blood. When people donate blood they are given a code to download a copy of your game. With how many games are downloaded you send the large corporation a bill with a bulk rate discount as per the agreement. You get money for your game plus a nice bit of publicity, the Red Cross gets blood, and the large corporation gets a nice tax write off at a discount. Wins all around... if it works. That would get your game out there in a way the pirates couldn't touch.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:36 pm 
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my perspective:  i'd like to play Al Emmo--but i simply haven't had the extra few bucks it'd take to buy it...  i haven't downloaded it, because i have too much respect for the team who made it..

so, count me as one more potential (but broke) fan..


i think in-game advertising should be considered..  the software industry should give up the war against piracy and just make every game free..   games could come pre-packaged with specific in-game advertising---and, in the case of lesser-known franchises (where advertising would initially be hard to come by), new ads could be implemented with updates..  (this would encourage developers to perfect their product and create additional content as an incentive to ensure that customers would download the updates)..  the other way to make in-game advertising work is simply requiring a constant network connection in order to play..  that way, new advertisers could be picked up as the fanbase for the game grows and the new ads could be streamed in periodically..


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 11:53 pm 
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Now that I have an actual job, I've often considered writing checks to any companies that are still around whose games I've pirated years past, but I'm not sure how to address the check and letter, and also I'm just kind of lazy and passive about things like that.  Maybe I should start emailing right now to find out if I can send donations to companies like that.  Like some of you have mentioned, buying some of these games now isn't exactly helping the companies out, as they can be long out of the bargain bins, and also I'm sure the members of the development staffs have changed.

The cruel thing is, now that I actually make a living and even WANT to spend money on games, there really aren't many/any new games out there that keep my interest anymore!  To attribute that to current game development trends or to growing up is another can of worms.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 12:09 am 
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While I have played pirated games in the past, in the 1980's I was too young to understand the ramifications of piracy and was simply happy to get some new games from friends on my C-64.

In the 1990's, I knew that it was wrong but I never tried to justify my actions in the way EZ is. I played them simply because my friends copied them across to my system. The games were "there" so I played them.  Eventually, as I played more Sierra titles I ended up buying them. Often the 5.25" floppies had CRC errors on them, which prevented me from getting past a certain point and I was forced to go out and buy the original game anyway because I was intrigued to know what happened next in the story. So I have the benefit of knowing the mindset of someone who has pirated software and also the mindset of someone who's the victim of it.

Like Haradan mentioned, those were the days when piracy acted more like shareware and helped increase brand awareness and sales. The main way people could download games en mass in those days was via BBS and the general public didn't have access to it in the same way they have access to bit-torrent and the Internet today.  Bit-torrent, it makes it both fast and easy to get a complete digital replica of the game, and these days, even if people pirate it with the intention to buy later, I think the odds of them actually following through and purchasing are significantly diminished unless the player is driven purely by wanting to support the developer.  And let's be perfectly logical about it... why else would they pay for it? They already have a working version of the game and times are tough money wise. They could use the $20 for something else rather than spending it on something they already have, obtaining only an additional CD and box cover.

Downloading is a selfish action, not a selfless one. People download primarily because they want to play the game for themselves, not because they're trying to support a company. They might claim they are helping to spread the word, but the developer alone should have the right to say how they want their products to be marketed and distributed. The developer hasn't asked people to take the initiative of spreading it across bit-torrent on their behalf. Downloaders also justify their actions by saying "Oh, it won't hurt if one little person -- me -- downloads it." Yet if the entire world had such a lax view on bit-torrent and piracy, then no software developer would ever make any money. Hence the reason why I think it's awfully naive to pirate material from bit-torrent, trying to justify it without admitting that it has financial ramifications on the company/individuals involved.

If you want to steal, go right ahead, just don't pretend you're not doing anything wrong or depriving someone of their earnings. It may help you sleep better if you don't consider yourself a thief, but if you're downloading things from bit-torrent and you don't end up compensating the creator for it then that's exactly what you are.

njspannaus: That's actually a good idea.  Some huge companies like MySpace are entirely funded by using an advertising business model, and there's big money in product placement. I'm just not sure if advertisers would consider funding a game that way, though.  Also, it has some downfalls. Can you imagine a King's Quest game with Pepsi ads splashed across every second background?


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 12:51 am 
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Anonymous Game Creator 2 wrote:
njspannaus: That's actually a good idea.  Some huge companies like MySpace are entirely funded by using an advertising business model, and there's big money in product placement. I'm just not sure if advertisers would consider funding a game that way, though.  Also, it has some downfalls. Can you imagine a King's Quest game with Pepsi ads splashed across every second background?



that's when they have to get creative..  broadcast tv has been doing it for longer than any of us have been alive..  we all consider television commercials a given, but a lot of in-show advertising goes on as well..  it's easier for a show like, say, Sex and the City to have its characters nonchalantly drinking Coke, walking by mcdonalds billboards, and talking about designer brands..   it'd probably be more of a challenge to squeeze that type of thing into a fantasy or sci-fi oriented show.. but it's possible--and it's been done..

anyhow, classic adventure games (especially of the Sierra / Lucasfilm variety) were full of tongue-in-cheek humor and constant anachronisms..  remember the batmobile in king's quest 2?  i think in-game advertising could've worked just fine (assuming it was approached with respect to the audience and the game itself)..


hell, even this didn't ruin the game for anyone:

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Last edited by njspannaus on Fri Jul 04, 2008 4:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 3:07 am 
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Hmm.... I don't think Moby Games likes direct linking to its images.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 3:59 am 
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jpnuar1 wrote:
Hmm.... I don't think Moby Games likes direct linking to its images.


i don't know if the traffic on page 4 of some random thread on the AGD message board is gonna run Moby's servers into the ground..  but thanks for stepping in on their behalf!


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 4:26 am 
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I don't think it's so much stepping in on their behalf as it is an observation that they've taken measures to prevent hotlinking.  The image doesn't show up for people who haven't already seen it on the Moby Games site.

(And that ad did leave a bad taste in my mouth when playing the game.)


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 5:02 am 
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remedied.

anyway, point being, the Sprint ad didn't RUIN space quest..  it could've been handled better--but if that one little grievance meant a cheaper game for the consumer, i don't think there would've been much of an uproar..

(obviously we didn't really see the benefits of that particular product placement over here on the consumer end......  pretty sure SQ5 was one of the most expensive games i've EVER bought)


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 5:09 am 
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I think that's a good point.  If the advertisements are tastefully done, don't involve any unsolicited network traffic, and produce a significant decrease in the cost of the product, that might be justified.  If, however, the advertisement doesn't decrease the game price, that means it's all-drawback for the consumer.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 6:38 am 
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Anonymous Game Creator 2 wrote:
If you want to steal, go right ahead, just don't pretend you're not doing anything wrong or depriving someone of their earnings. It may help you sleep better if you don't consider yourself a thief, but if you're downloading things from bit-torrent and you don't end up compensating the creator for it then that's exactly what you are.


Exactly. That's the point I was trying to make. When I say it's "wrong" I'm not trying to preach, I'm just saying "Don't cheat yourself".

I speed, of course I do, but that's not reason to claim it's OK to speed and everybody should do it. I take full responsability about it. If a policeman stops me, I don't argue, I take my ticket and pay it. If you want to download things, go ahead, but take the responsability, don't play the innocent victim if one day someone knock at your door (not that I'm wishing that to you EZ or anyone, BTW).

And yes, I know the difference between what is right and what is legal, it's just that that difference doesn't apply in this case. Do you want a better example? We SHOULD be able to give money to AGDI for KQ1, KQ2 and QFG2. They have worked very hard on these games, it's all their work, not Vivendi's, BUT it's not legal to give them money, so we can't. If we were all Paladins, we would pay anyway, since we would prefer justice over legality. ;)  

Hey, that gives me an idea! If you hate the law so much, go ahead and be a full ofender! Download Al Emmo for free and pay AGDI , say, 90 bucks for both KQs and QFG2! Man, that would REALLY piss Vivendi off!  :lol

About the ad-created games, it's not a bad idea, but the same crackers that today take 2 days to pass the copy protection systems, would create patches to bypass the ads or something, so... :rolleyes

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 8:38 am 
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I really like njspannaus's ad idea. In the game install screens would be a great place for advertising. You could even have funny little movie skits playing. In the case of Al Emmo he could be trying to shoot a Pepsi can off of a fence post, missing of course, and playing havoc in the background. Or right at the height of a dramatic moment, say a damsel in distress tied to a log being pulled into a saw mill blade, yeah that gag, the camera cuts to Al's face and back to the damsel, then back to Al, each time the camera has a tighter frame. Then it cuts to commercial. When we come back to the action the damsel is saved and Al says "What! You missed it? It was awesome!" Then he starts swearing and kicking the dirt. As he starts to pitch a tantrum, the damsel starts to inch of screen. That could be funny.

If your ads are placed in clever ways I see no reason that they couldn't actually enhance a game. It's funny but you use ads in your next game then people pirating your game could actually make you money. With each download you could prove to a potential advertiser that their message would be seen by more and more people. I like it!  :smokin

*Not suggesting anyone pirate the game though.*


Last edited by malekdarshin on Mon Jul 07, 2008 8:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 12:34 pm 
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Ads in games always pissed me off. It makes the the software companies seem like they'll do what ever they can for more money.

I never understood the "people are pirating the game, so let's raise the price of it". Yes there's a chance you could cover your losses, but you could also steer people away from it cause it's more money than people are willing to spend on a game. If companies raise the price of games due to piracy and people stop copying them I have trouble believing they'll lower the price right  away or ever.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 7:40 pm 
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Ads in games?  Depends on the context.  I mean, there's ads in the real world.  If the game takes place in times, such as ours, I don't see why there SHOULDN'T be ads.  However, if I see Robin Hood drinking a Coke, I'm going to go HMMMM.

I mean, look at the clasic film BLADE RUNNER.  Ads all over it.  Kind of humourous now, as it's supposed to be "the future" and there's ATARI logos all over.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 9:14 pm 
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Last week my brother Dave bought "Turning Point : Fall of Liberty". Paid pretty good money for it because it looked excellent and we played it in store and it seemed pretty awesome (for a FPS, but that's what he's into). So after reading the box and being impressed by the plot outline on the back of the box, and playing the game for a few minutes and thinking that it looked awesome, he went and forked over some cash. Less than 24 hours later, after not a hell of a lot of playing time, I walk into the room and the end credits are rolling up. He estimates about 6 hours of play time. So we scratched the DVD and took it back to the store for a refund.

Is that fair on the fan?

I'm not justifying piracy, but just throwing this story out there to try and help people realise that piracy isn't just a selfish, money saving motive. Sometimes it's a motive (illegal and morally wrong I agree) of just not wanting to risk your money on something that could be crap. This little story is a prime example of why I don't care about demo's. How do I know that the Al Emmo demo wasn't 2/3 of the entire bought game?

Personally, the only games I'm willing to purchase these days without doing a lot of checking out are Blizzard games, because I know they'll be awesome (Diablo 3 or Starcraft 2 anyone???). I did purchase Al Emmo, but it was to support AGDI / Himalaya, not really for the game itself which I didn't find awesome. It was good and I enjoyed it, but if I didn't know the developers I wouldn't have purchased it.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 10:05 pm 
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Have you tried renting?

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 10:18 pm 
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I think that during the many times we purchase something in life, we'll be doing it with a varying degree of satisfaction. This isn't just true for video games and movies, but also for stuff like shoes, visits to a restaurant or cars.

If your satisfaction-rating is like between 95 and 100%, you'll dig what you've bought and if you got it for free you might have donated the price to the owners, just to support them. If it's below 55% or so, you'll return to the shop for a refund. If it's around 65%, you'll be thinking you could have spent your money on something better, but it's not bad enough to try and get your money back. If it's around 75%, you enjoyed parts of it but didn't find it awesome just yet. If it's around 85%, you just liked it.

I'd say that for you, Turning Point was about 50% or so and Al Emmo was between 65% and 70% in your book.

I think that assuming an article can't get pirated (obviously this isn't possible with shoes or ordered pizza's), the seller will be receiving money from the people in the 65% to 100% zone. If something does get pirated a lot, than the seller only receives money from the people in the 95% to 100% zone. I really wonder if anything could turn a profit if they only got money from the fanboyz and nobody else.

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I'm not justifying piracy, but just throwing this story out there to try and help people realise that piracy isn't just a selfish, money saving motive. Sometimes it's a motive (illegal and morally wrong I agree) of just not wanting to risk your money on something that could be crap.


I know what you're saying, but I think we nevertheless do this all the time. Sometimes we drop by at a restaurant and order food which we don't really enjoy all that much. Sometimes we buy a piece of clothing we end up hardly ever wearing. Sometimes we go to a movie and we end up sleeping through the last 30%. And for most of those things, we accept it as something that just happens sometimes. Only for games do a lot of people demand to be in the 90-100% satisfaction zone before they're willing to fork over even a penny. You don't know if a demo represents the full game well, but the same can be said for a lot of stuff we buy everyday too.

I think most people feel that piracy is something that's just there, but isn't something that would or should be promoted or encouraged. I don't think we would even be having this discussion if one member hadn't told us we had to embrace people pirating our game as dedicated fans.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 1:38 am 
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Also, this in the Internet age. It only takes seconds to jump online and start reading the general consensus of other players/purchasers who have played any given game and commented on its length.  That's also why game reviews exist, to help purchasers make an informed decision about what they're getting for their money. Games are a 'buyer beware' kind of market, so you have to look before you leap or buy on impulse because of all the marketing and eye candy.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 11:38 am 
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Just ordered the collection edition for Al Emmo. Decided to give the game a chance :)

Look forward to the extra's and hope it will be as good as the kq remakes.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 12:41 pm 
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Erpy wrote:
I'd say that for you, Turning Point was about 50% or so and Al Emmo was between 65% and 70% in your book.


I didn't hate Al Emmo, I didn't love it like my first born child either. I'd say more along the lines of 75 - 80%.

Although I agree with the general principles of what you're saying Erpy, I think the difference between a rubbish meal or a bad choice of the movies is about $60+.

I purchase a lot of DVD movies and tv shows and yeah, sometimes they're crap and I've wasted my money. But buying a new game costs anywhere from $70 to $110 for the new PS3 games. Complete DVD box sets range from the low $20 mark. It's simply the scale of it, I can't afford to waste close to a hundred dollars on anything.

Maybe we should bring back the old Apogee sales system. The first game is free, buy the sequels. Good old Commander Keen.

Erpy wrote:
I don't think we would even be having this discussion if one member hadn't told us we had to embrace people pirating our game as dedicated fans.


I'm having this conversation because I was really bored and read the entire thread in one sitting last night.  :D If I was to be completely honest, I'd have to say that if I was VU, or LucasArts or any other software publisher, I'd protect my copyrights to the Nth degree. I'd employ people to scour the internet and shut down every site that violated my copyrights, every torrent site that has my software uploaded, every fan site that decompiles my engines. In short, I'm a total hypocrite.  :eek

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 2:34 pm 
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Klytos wrote:
I purchase a lot of DVD movies and tv shows and yeah, sometimes they're crap and I've wasted my money. But buying a new game costs anywhere from $70 to $110 for the new PS3 games. Complete DVD box sets range from the low $20 mark. It's simply the scale of it, I can't afford to waste close to a hundred dollars on anything.


Same boat here.  Games are getting progressively more and more expensive.  I'm guessing it's due to all the work involved in coding it and whatnot.  People's salaries have to be paid.

Are your figures in US dollars or Australian dollars?

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 8:21 am 
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Australian.

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 Post subject: Re: How much would you pay for a Sierra Adventure Game Nowadays?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 12:56 am 
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And to be honest, I don't think you would either if you knew the ramifications of what you're really saying. You say you write software for a bank. The code, since you wrote it, is initially your intellectual property. Your employer buys it from you and in return gets the right to use it in his business. Your code can be copied, but if it wasn't your intellectual property, there would be no reason for your employer to pay you a salary.


I guess then it all comes down to defenitions. I'll agree that what you say is correct: in the sense you mean it, yes, the code I write is my property and my employer buys it from me. You make a good point and I will be careful how I use the word property in the future... in any case, it's not important to my point.

I fully understand the ramifications of what I'm saying. I made that clear in my post: I work for a bank writing proprietary software because following what I believe to the letter, and working on only free, open source software just doesn't pull in money. It makes me a hypocrite, and I know that. I wish I had enough willpower to take the high road, and that's my fault, but the real problem that I was trying to point out is that our legal system and the way commerce works today doesn't acknowledge the ability to copy information.

To answer your question, if my boss stopped paying my salary, and started paying me in kudos, that would be fine with me. If he was the only one doing that, then I guess I'd have to find another job, which, again, if fine by me. But the best solution for both my employer and for myself is to somehow work out a deal. Even if my employer is not paying me, but says great things about me, that doesn't mean I'll report him to the police. Ironically, I've been in this situation in my life and I did not go to the police even though I was within the law. Why? Because I knew my employer really liked my work and wasn't paying me for other reasons. So we worked something out. We tried several different schemes, including me getting paid in my employer's end-product (licenses) which I could then resell if I wanted to, as well as things like royalty schemes and so on. Our relationship continues to this day, but ONLY because instead of assuming the worst (non-paying employers deserve the hard end of the stick/pirates deserve to have their IP tracked and aren't fans) I assumed the best and tried to adjust.

Of course, that's a localized example. Piracy is MUCH bigger than non-paying employers. If developers of intellectual property got creative, I think there is hope for the industry as a whole, not just individual developers. Something where those with my opnion and those with your opinion can co-exist without hate. I still think that despite your opinion of whether piracy is wrong or right, the pirates themselves don't deserve your ire. People pirate for many different reasons, as some people in this thread point out, and for the reasons above, I think it's wrong to assume those people deserve to be punished.


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 Post subject: Re: How much would you pay for a Sierra Adventure Game Nowadays?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 7:01 am 
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But in the end, it still comes down to whether one is okay with people using their commercial services without paying for it. If your boss stopped paying you while prior to that point you were still receiving a weekly or monthly salary, yes, you could simply find another job. If you, however, spent the last couple of years working on a project that you yourself invested in and financed and your boss then took it without paying you for it, nor even showing any intentions of seeing to it that you are compensated, I still think that you'd go to a lawyer.

Obviously, your boss still believed that you were entitled to financial compensation for your commercial services and was open to other means of seeing to it that you got paid. If someone were to contact us, stating he wanted to play our game, but had no credit card or paypal account, something could be worked out. If someone doesn't want to pay for the CD-version, he could buy the cheaper downloadable version. It's not like we're not willing to look into alternative ways to make a deal, assuming deal remains defined by us being compensated fairly.

However, if someone simply wants to play the game and takes it without any intention of providing financial compensation, then there's no way a deal can be made...since the two parties can't agree on whether the customer should compensate the developer in a way that makes the latter's efforts viable.

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