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June 4th, 2013, 03:53
Zork? Hmmm, I get his point but he should have used an old Ultima game instead. Zork was originally a mainframe game - in other words, it was completely cloud based much like OnLive or one of those Flash web games.

His point is a good one. If I suddenly find that I have grown to like Diablo games ten years from now and I want to get Diablo 3, it isn't going to happen. The servers will be long gone. Blizzard (or whoever owns the rights at the time) isn't going to get a sale and I miss out on a game.

There are also lots of folks for whom partial-online games just aren't feasible because their internet connection is weak. That's more lost sales. Having little/no resale value will reduce the value to the customer so you'll lose some sales to that factor, too. Keeping those servers up and running isn't free, either, especially in the first weeks of release.

But the publisher has to weigh those costs against the sales gained by forcing people to pay them instead of Gamestop or not paying at all. If they don't add up (and the sales for Diablo 3 and various MMOs indicate that they won't) then they are going to go for the online option.

The numbers are all squishy to say the least so the publishers will need to invest in some good tea leaves. The genre could be a big factor, too. Some genres may get pirated less than others.
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