PSN Game Sharing -My Thoughts-
Ok I’m really getting sick of the huge game sharing debate and the constant attempts from game companies to quash it. Primary example would be Final Fight: Double Impact. There is a pretty serious DRM lockout on this game. You are only allowed to play it if you are online and no one else is playing your copy (shared). This is true even if you just want to play through the game solo. If the game doesn’t sense an internet connection, it won’t load. That’s total BS! What happens if my internet goes out for a day? I’m not allowed to play my own game? Now I’ll be honest. I was really looking forward to downloading this game. I especially love Magic Sword and would have loved to be able to co-op with my buddies. Fortunately I found out before I bought it that it had this ridiculous DRM lockout on it. Because of that I won’t ever purchase it. Capcom just lost a sale.
I guess before I start arguing my stance on game sharing I should probably look at their side.
• They are losing sales on their product.
• They don’t get money for the shared games aside from the initial purchase.
• They are making less money.
• They can’t line their pockets with more money.
• Less money
• Not more money
Yes these are all the same but worded differently.
Here’s my stance on it:
• I bought it. I should be able to share it. You know, kinda like back in the good ol days of cartridges? I finished a game and would loan it to a buddy. He in turn would finish it and return it to me so I could loan it to someone else. Is there any wrong in that? Oh and a physical copy doesn’t magically destruct after the 4th loan out.
• 80% of the PSN games I have purchased would not have been purchased if I couldn’t share it. I have 2 PS3’s and being able to play my games on either console is a must!
• Downloadable games cost the same (if not more) than its identical physical retail product. Where is my incentive to buy it online? I actually get less because I have no physical copy. Sharing – that’s the only incentive I have. Even so, if I bought a retail copy I could loan it out to as many friends as I have. I wouldn’t be limited to only 4 friends.
Come to think of it… what IS the benefit of downloading games and content? There almost isn’t a benefit.
• Obviously if the content is not available elsewhere, you have no choice.
• If it is available as a physical copy, the cost of the DLC and downloadable games use the same “retail cost” as a physical copy. On top of that you don’t get a physical copy if you download a game. Also you can’t “shop around” for the best price because there is only one store to buy the content in. That would be the PSN store and sales are few and far between.
• There typically is no preorder bonus for digital copies of games (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World would be an exception but the bonus is pretty weak sauce). I mean why would you preorder a digital game anyway? It’s not like they will run out of digital versions of the game.
I dunno, I just get frustrated with the debate. People argue that it’s in the publishers rights to limit the sharing. I say what makes digital ownership different that physical ownership. I have been able to share my cartridge and disc based games for as long as I can remember. Now people think it’s ok for the game companies to limit my sharing to 4 just because formats have changed? F*&# that! I say if you want to stop game sharing, take that feature away from PSN and only charge 20% of the retail disc cost of the download version of the game. If that’s done then I’ll call it even.
So what do you kids think?