More thoughts on Piracy and digital product distribution.

I subscribe to a daily new story newsletter put out by gi.biz and today their weekly editorial piece reates to Macrovision bying Trymedia.

Unfortunately GI’s editors seem to have bought into the myth perptrated by the music industry that “the decline of the music business [is] thanks to massive piracy”. Eh? Sure people swap songs online and it is piracy. But from my perspective the major failing of the main stream music industry, and much more likely the reason why revenues might be falling (something in of itself that is debatable) is that the MSMI’s products are overpriced shite.

$25 to $30 AUD for a CD of some wannabe Nu Metal band or popsicle band? No thanks.

iTunes has proven that people want cheap ($10 to $15 an album) good music and they want it online. 500 million legally downloadedsongs proves it. All the music industry did when Napster was all the rage was completely drop the ball. The market demanded a product and they failed to provided it. Instead they attacked their consumer base with laughable anti-piracy advertising and law suits.

I can only hope that there are more enlightened individuals in the games industry who realise that systems like Steam and Direct-2-Drive are the way of the future for games distribution. PC games at least. If people are willing to download shoddy ripped warez they they are also willing to download legit versions, especially if it is:
* Easier to find and more convenient.
* Cheaper than traditional retail and has more benefits.

Getting Half-Life 2 direct from Valve via Steam has many attractive qualities. They include:

* More features and add-ons bundled for a better price than traditional retail “collectors editions”.
* Instant delivery on release day (via pre-loading)
* Automated patching.
* New and improved content over the life time of the title.

There are many other benefits and likewise many benefits to Valve the developer. One is that they know *exactly* how big their customer base is and can commuicate with and sell directly to them without middle-men. This is the future of game delivery on the PC and perhaps even the console world once broadband is more ubiquitous.

Do not fear it, embrace it.

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