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Default EA - Riccitiello, CEO, sees DLC as a way to combat piracy

December 9th, 2009, 21:51
Kotaku spoke to Jon Riccitiello, CEO of EA about how EA future might be. Apparently, he spoke about DLC as a way to generate income from both the second hand market as well as from people who don't pay for their games - via DLC, that is.
Some of the people buying this DLC are not people who bought the game in a new shrink-wrapped box. That could be seen as a dark cloud, a mass of gamers who play a game without contributing a penny to EA. But around that cloud Riccitiello identified a silver lining: "There's a sizable pirate market and a sizable second sale market and we want to try to generate revenue in that marketplace," he said, pointing to DLC as a way to do it.
Do you agree with Riccitiello's statement? Is DLC a good way to get people to pay for games?
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December 9th, 2009, 22:19
About the pirates - okay, I can see this.

About the second-hand market - well, a new way to squeeze out the money from people who often don't have the money to buy the games in the first place ?

To formulate it heretically: Take it from the poor and give it to the rich ?

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December 9th, 2009, 22:36
Sorry, but I don't get how it's combating piracy. DLC has been getting uploaded to file sharing sites the same way normal games have.
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December 9th, 2009, 22:43
Hmmm…. Can we give it for free to registered customers and have the pirates pay for it?
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December 9th, 2009, 23:13
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
To formulate it heretically: Take it from the poor and give it to the rich ?
Then don't buy it! The DLC is all frippery around the edges and has little impact on the main game.

Provided the main game represents good value (which is a matter of individual opinion), I can't see the problem in trying to generate revenue from second-hand buyers and maybe a few pirates (probably unlikely, but who knows).

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December 9th, 2009, 23:57
Second hand market - maybe. But DLC a solution anti- piracy? Not likely. Not this century anyway.
I dislike the whole DLC crap completely, but what can you do? Everyone is trying to do something to squeeze more money from the players and blame it on piracy and rental shops. Pathetic…
Most bulletproof anti-piracy games: MMOs.
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December 10th, 2009, 00:21
NOTE: Several readers have commented that PC-based DLC is indeed pirated by some gamers. While this may be the case, I believe Riccitiello's statement that DLC can't be pirated may at least be accurate for console DLC (He hadn't specificed).
Interesting, that didn't occur to me.

But in the PC world, I was thinking that due to the DL in DLC, a company might get away with a more strict, online login kind of thing just for the DLC, something harsher than would be acceptable for the main release. Because obviously you should be online if you're getting DLC, and that means forcing activation checks or logins are less onerous. People would still complain incessantly, but with less basis.

Actual logins and/or unique CD-keys are indeed the only way to defeat piracy. I don't begrudge companies using them.
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December 10th, 2009, 00:25
If EA want money from me:

At first, the game itself must be good or suitable to my taste. If not, they won't get my money.

Second, yes EA can charges the DLC, but again the contents must be good or almost everyone (reviewers or users) vouched for it - only then, i will buy it.

DLC as a way to combat piracy? Ha ha no way, not to hardcore pirates.
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December 10th, 2009, 03:01
Seems to me that the headline is a little bit misleading. Riccitiello doesn't actually see DLC as a way to "combat piracy". He's just saying that they want a piece of the huge "free games market" (= pirated games). EA has identified that market as a possible source of revenue and they see DLC as a tool to generate some revenue from that source. He also says that he wouldn't mind if some pirates would convert to legitimate consumers in the process but in no way is he saying anywhere that DLC could or should be used to "combat piracy". It is clear that he regards DLC as an incentive to buy games, not as a countermeasure against piracy.
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December 10th, 2009, 08:47
DLC won't combat Piracy and actual logins can be removed by a crack and the only kind of serial that could combat piracy would be human generated serials which would require hiring a bunch of people to create serial numbers which would be really expensive to do. Maybe making an mmo single player rpg would work as long as most of the base code is streamed but that wouldn't entirely work since anything that is streamed can be captured by a user with the right knowledge or recreated based on the information that isn't being streamed but it would be more difficult.

There is one other way that may work and that would be entirely encrypting the game and the only way to get the data decrypted is by logging into the game online and then the code is sent encrypted to your computer to decrypt the game files. This would have to be sent periodically and still wouldn't prevent full access to the files since a person could make a program to get the currently decrypted files.
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December 10th, 2009, 09:44
combat piracy would be human generated serials which would require hiring a bunch of people to create serial numbers which would be really expensive to do.
That would not help at all.

. This would have to be sent periodically and still wouldn't prevent full access to the files since a person could make a program to get the currently decrypted files.
You can keep the game online and just send pictures to the screen, as seen on OLGA, I talked about it in another thread, that would prevent piracy.

Most bulletproof anti-piracy games: MMOs.
There is also a huge piracy scene for MMO's…. there are illegal servers for almost every MMO, and a lot of people playing on them.
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December 10th, 2009, 09:59
Take DAO as an example. They actually shipped every copy of that game with a free piece of DLC - Shale.

At first glance that seems silly. I mean, if you're giving it away with every copy of your game, then why call it a DLC - why not just include it in the game to begin with? Certainly some (probably many) people would say that.

I guess the intention was to make having a legal copy of the game slightly more attractive. You can pirate the game, and you can easily play a pirated version, but then you won't get this cool and useful character. It probably won't do that much to the final piracy rate for DAO - but it just *might* make the game sell a few extra copies.

Of course, that idea breaks down completely if it's actually possible (and just as easy) to download pirated versions of the game with the DLC included.
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December 10th, 2009, 10:19
The DLC's are always available on the filesharing sites just like regular titles. What instead DLC's have to offer, according to me, is a way for the developer to get more money from paying customers than they normally would, and I am fine with that, especially for a large scale RPG.

It's also a way to get a game "finished" even if they had to release it a bit early.
The best DLC's I know of is the third and fourth one for Fallout 3 and the one for Icewind Dale (Trials of the Luremaster).

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December 10th, 2009, 10:35
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
The best DLC's I know of is the third and fourth one for Fallout 3 and the one for Icewind Dale (Trials of the Luremaster).

Trials of the Luremaster was great, especially since it was free.
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December 10th, 2009, 10:42
Well, if you want to get the support of the audience for your greed - the best way to go about it is to talk about the potential benefits on the side.

I'm sure this will encourage a few pirates to spend some money, but it's plain as day that it's as far from the primary reason they do DLC as it can get.
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December 10th, 2009, 10:51
Jon Riccitiello has made some really unfortunate statements about piracy and DRM .

There is no way to battle piracy , he should have know it by now.
DLC is a way to make some money but not from the pirates .
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December 10th, 2009, 12:26
I can't fault them for trying different things myself. Might not work, pirates might still crack on like that utter wankers they are, but at least they're experimenting with different business models that might help.
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December 10th, 2009, 12:32
It's for certain it helps in terms of the real actual goal
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December 10th, 2009, 13:08
There's a sizable pirate market
In regards PC games there is no pirate market. A fact they can't seem to get through their ten inch thick skulls. There is a console games pirate market. Pirate console games are available in literal markets where cash is exchanged. This is not the case for PC games. 99.99999r%* of all PC pirate downloaders had no intention of paying for the game in any shape, form, or price, and, from the consumer perspective, no money is exchanged.

* Scientific survey from the University of Pulledoutamyass. However, the anecdotal evidence bears this out.
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December 10th, 2009, 13:17
Originally Posted by Cassius View Post
In regards PC games there is no pirate market. A fact they can't seem to get through their ten inch thick skulls. There is a console games pirate market. Pirate console games are available in literal markets where cash is exchanged. This is not the case for PC games. 99.99999r%* of all PC pirate downloaders had no intention of paying for the game in any shape, form, or price, and, from the consumer perspective, no money is exchanged.

* Scientific survey from the University of Pulledoutamyass. However, the anecdotal evidence bears this out.
Unsubstantiated bullshit.

If we ignore that we can't know - like you, I'd certainly argue that a LOT of current pirates would be paying for the games they obtain illegally if they had no other way of playing them.
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