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Valve: Video Game Pirates Are Just Underserved Customers

200°
314w ago - In an interesting take on video game pirates, Valve's Jason Holtman sees them as 'tons of undiscovered customers'.

Obviously they think pirates can be turned into legitimate consumers and this was linked to an argument that they have been under-served in some way, hence turning to piracy.

To quote: The final sacred cow that Holtman took a stab at was the issue of piracy. "There's a big business feeling that there's piracy," he says. But the truth is: "Pirates are underserved customers."

"When you think about it that way, you think, 'Oh my gosh, I can do some interesting things and make some interesting money off of it.'"

"We take all of our games day-and-date to Russia," Holtman says of Valve. "The reason people pirated things in Russia," he explains, "is because Russians are reading magazines and watching television -- they say 'Man, I want to play that game so bad,' but the publishers respond 'you can play that game in six months...maybe.' "

"We found that our piracy rates dropped off significantly," Holtman says, explaining that Valve makes sure their games are on the shelves in Moscow and St. Petersberg, in Russian, when they release it to North America and Western Europe.
 

GameStop Exec Defends Used Game Sales & Somewhat Succeeds

250°
315w ago - In a recent interview with [Register or Login to view links], GameStop Chief Marketing Officer Mike Hogan tried to defend his company's stance on the used game market by comparing it to the used car market.

He argued that without trade money from used cars, the owners wouldn't be able to afford a new car. Although some people will try to flaw his argument by noting that games aren't that expensive in relation to people's disposable income.

To quote: Starting his argument, he compared the games industry to the car industry saying: "If you couldn't sell your old car - would the industry sell more cars?" He argues that without the trade-in money From The used car, owners wouldn't be able to afford a new car.

He then claimed that 90% of trade-ins take place over 90 days after the release of a game. He said, "We track this fairly closely. We believe we're extending the life-cycles of users."

He continued, "I realize there are other perspectives, but ours is: trades and used fuel growth in the category."
 

Buy Before You Try: Why Videogame Demos Refuse to Evolve

50°
315w ago - With the recent news that Killzone 2's demo would be an exclusive bonus when one preordered the full game through Gamestop, there has been much talk about the wisdom of such a move, and whether or not it's the correct way to use a demo.

We're seeing demos being used more and more as incentives and treats in lieu of real bonuses and giveaways, which not only ensures that customers don't really get anything cool and worthwhile for their money, but seems to completely negate the point of a demo.

The first videogame "demos" came about in the early nineties, with the rise of something called "shareware." Shareware games acted pretty much like the demos we know of today, although they tended to be a little more substantial and could be upgraded to full versions, making them technically different to what demos would become.

For instance, the shareware version of id Software's Doom was the entire first chapter of the game. It was pretty common practice at the time.

Shareware games were basically free, although there was often a minimal fee just for the distribution and packaging. Rows of absurdly cheap floppy discs were a common sight back in "them days," and they also found their ways into the boxes of full games by the same publisher, or flogged off for a quid by some arsehole car...
 

Videos: New UFC 2009 Undisputed Gameplay Now Available

100°
315w ago - Below are two new UFC 2009 Undisputed videos, courtesy of GameTrailers.

The first is titled Rich -Ace- Franklin Fight and it's caption reads:

"The former UFC Middleweight Champion is fighting his way back to the top."

The second is titled Dan -Hendo- Henderson which states:

"Former PRIDE Fighting Championship Welterweight and Middleweight Champion, "Hendo" is making waves in the UFC."

Check them both out below!








 

Calling LittleBigPlanet Creators: Winter X Games 13 is Coming!

50°
315w ago - SCEA Marketing Manager Mark Valledor is calling upon LBP creators who live in or around Aspen, Colorado for the LittleBigPlanet Winter X Games 13. To quote:

We are looking for up to 3 talented LittleBigPlanet creators to join us next week for the X-GAMES (1/22-1/25) in Aspen, Colorado to create one of a kind levels side by side with real Winter X Games athletes (Not a bad way to kick off 2009!).

So if you can build some great LBP levels and have a way to meet us in Colorado, this might be up your alley. All you will need to do is meet us in Aspen next Tuesday and dedicate a few hours of your time and LBP creative juices and you will be rewarded.

Selected creators will score the following:

- Upgraded experience at Winter X Games
- A chance to meet and work with a Winter X Games athlete to help them design a LBP level for posting
- Signed Merchandise
- PS prize pack which includes PS backpack, hoodie and more!

Ok, the requirements (see below for official contest rules):

1) You need to be 18 Years or older
2) You will need your own transportation and accommodations
3) You need to be a skilled LittleBigPlanet creator to help make levels with Winter X Games athletes
4) You will need to meet us in Aspen the morning...
 
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