Last Time, Honest.

Last time I’ll mention the piracy thing (for the forseable future.)

EA, of all people, has absolutely no excuse for not having their own digital delivery system up and running. Shit, that medium-sized developers aren’t doing this themselves is a fucking travesty as far as I’m concerned. Valve’s given everyone the ability to make their own Steam, if you’ll recall. It’d just take an extra guy to get it up and running, I’d imagine.

Often retailers (and even renters,) will break street dates. When this happens, retailers who haven’t broken the date contact the publisher, and say “So and so broke the date. Check it, because we’re going to as well. We can’t afford to lose all of our sales to them, because their math says they’ll come out ahead by breaking the rules.” The distributer/publisher then checks to confirm the story, and if this is true, they give the okay for everyone else to break the date as well (and often punish the initial violator.)

I just can’t be convinced that EA can’t publish games online. They’re a publisher. It’s what they’re supposed to do. What am I missing here? Hell, Microsoft and Sony should be doing this. The moment the ‘download date’ was proven broken, EA should have had Spore online on their EA Shop for everyone everywhere to download. That headline would’ve dwarfed the news about the cracked version available online. “Why bother pirating it,” gamers would ask “when I’ll probably end up buying it anyway? Go ahead and save the re-download time by buying it the first time, and have my friends already in my gamer list for auto-downloadig of their creatures.” Besides, I’m betting Valve games have a much lower rate of piracy than most PC games, and gamers are (by far and large) okay with Steam, now that the kinks have been worked out for a few years. And I’ve heared nothing but good things about Direct2Drive. Though, honestly, developers should be doing this for themselves.

I just can’t feel overly sorry for a developer getting hurt by a publisher forcing them to put anti-piracy tools in their game. It’s the bed of their own making, really. Last post I mentioned gamers downloading shareware off of BBS’; the original digital distribution. Well, it’s 2008 and developer distribution has never been easier (now bedroom coders don’t even have to physically mail disks to users.) Refusal to make self-publishing a priority, or even demanding the power in the developer-publisher relationship, gets developers treated like the lesser in the relationship, and that’s just a lessong they need to learn. I mean, Valve? They get it. If another developer can’t prioritize their publishing deals, then let them falter, and let them fail.

Though, the first person to use Steamworks to create an online publisher? That person will make some serious money.

Okay, done with that topic for the foreseeable future, enough armchair-CEOing over Riccitelo. Next up? MMO payment plans! Yay!