7.25.2011

Kenholic Weekly #8: Digital Distribution is the Failing so hard

The Sasuke Manifesto: Rage [against clueless digital shopping outlets]

My theory is that Sasuke isn't mad because his entire family was killed, he's mad because digital distribution is pretty crappy right now.

With the exception of Steam, almost everything else I've run into sucks for major content releases. I'll give PSN and XBox Live a break because they are console based and serve their purposes well for digital versions of out-of-print games, avatars, costume packs, DLC expansions, and other knick-knacks; but all the big PC outlets just plain stink. I think I have different accounts for Mass Effect/Dragon Age, despite them being from the same studio, and another account for Sims 2, even those all three are under the same publisher. What's worse is I got them all from Steam, so I don't even know what login is what password is what anymore. But that's not even what Sasuke is angry about.

He's angry about having to pay full retail packaged price (often times more expensive than the physical copy because stores can have sales but digital services often don't? [minus steam again]), despite getting no paper manuals, no plastic boxes, no fancy smancy print out covers to do with as I please, *THE ABILITY TO RESELL A PHYSICAL COPY*, and/or the pride of owning something collectible. But this also isn't limited to video games - books are also targets of our hatred. I was browsing around the Kindle store and saw books for 7.99 which I could obtain at a Barnes and Nobles for pretty much the same price. Then I saw Pride and Prejudice and Zombies for 99 cents on sale and I bought it for my ipad, even though I have no intention to read it whatsoever. Then I felt sad because the Kindle reader is nothing like the iBook reader, but if I buy stuff on the iBook reader, I can't read it on non-apple devices. Then I realized PP&Z isn't even on the Apple store so there ... Going back to Steam, that's what makes it so successful, they are selling you something digital for super cheap, and you probably won't ever get around to playing/reading it. It's like you're just giving them monies. Isn't that every company's dream? Virtually unlimited supply via digital cloning (minus bandwidth costs), all they need to work on is demand. If they really wanted to up demand, they would price digital wares lower. I think?

*bleh bleh bleh* They are under pressure from retail stores not to undersell them. I don't believe that for a second. If companies have good products, then the customers will come. Why be so chicken at the mercy of the MAN/SYSTEM. Apple got it right kinda by introducing 99 cent singles despite the record companies, and look, everyone is doing it now. Also in the case of Steam, super cheap products means customers will come. I bet a 5 dollar 30 day rental model for triple A titles would rock the socks off of everyone. These same large companies hate rentals and re-sells, but they fail to do anything about it because they are either out of touch or arrogant or ignorant of the power of the internet. Indie games and little mobile apps priced at 99 cents are selling like french fries (cheaper even) and enabling a new 'let's sell a lot of crap' model that actually makes money. Economists who get paid more than they should to shovel out whatever 1970's line of thought they learned from school will obviously find some holes in this rant. My counter is sucks to be them, they obviously don't enjoy the same type of consumerist lifestyle that drives the rest of us (and Sasuke to delicious vengeance).

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