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Topic: Why are digital games not considered ''property''?

Posts 41 to 54 of 54

ophone

I'm pretty sure it's to keep the brick and mortar retailers and the distributors (they get the games from) happy.
Selling games in physical stores is also a nice advertisement, especially in those that sell other stuff too.

Edited on by ophone

Since January 2021 owner of my first real Nintendo "home" console.
Currently on Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition.

Matt_Barber

@dmcc0 Apologies if I seemed overly dismissive there.

Indie games are certainly outliers though. You only need to take a quick trip around a bricks-and-mortar store to see that most of the new games are from big publishers and at the $60 price point; except for the $70 ones now, of course. I doubt I'd find many indie games at all in the ones near me and certainly not selling for $20; except maybe a few old ones that they're selling at a loss to get rid off.

Anyway, here's a source for the publisher cut on a $60 game:

https://unrealitymag.com/how-your-60-video-game-is-chopped-up/

It's from a few years back, but I doubt things have changed much since. It's typically a 60-40 split for physical versus a 70-30 one for digital.

The latter looks like a slightly better deal for the publisher but, as I said before, it's not totally a like-for-like comparison. If you see see a physical game discounted in a store, that'll be coming out of the retailer's cut. If it's on an online store though, the publisher will be taking less.

If you're like me, and buy most of your digital releases in sales, publishers are making a lot less from you buying downloads than physical releases. They won't care, of course, because the thing that matters most to them is total profit and sales drive volume.

As for the costs of running an online store, that's a trickier number to get a hold of but at least consider the sheer amount of money the Epic Store is known to be losing:

https://www.techspot.com/news/89276-epic-games-store-lost-454...

With the backing of Tencent they can afford those losses while they're trying to gain market share, but it should at least dispel rumours that selling downloads is just free money.

The Switch has an additional barrier to physical publishing in that it's a cartridge system and they've got a much longer lead time for production as well as a much higher physical cost. Nintendo subsidize the standard sized 8GB cartridges so that it's not much different to the cost of publishing on an a disc based platform.

However, larger cartridges will cost substantially more; I can't give an exact number as it's hidden behind an NDA, but we'd be looking at an additional cost of around $10 a game to the publisher for a 32GB cartridge. Selling downloads is a clear winner in those circumstances.

Matt_Barber

dmcc0

@Matt_Barber No apology needed, maybe calling it dismissive was a bit strong on my part.

To me, only seeing the big publishers in stores suggests they are the only ones that can afford to produce enough games physically (and know they are going to sell) for it to be viable. There's also the stores to consider here too - they'll only want to stock the stuff they can sell in big enough numbers to justify shelf space. They're not going to give up shelf space from the latest AAA game to make space for 3 copies of some niche £20/$20 game nobody heard of.

Interesting graphic regarding the split of game revenue - hadn't seen that before. I guess the packaging and distribution cost would come out of the marketing "slice" so might be reduced (very?) slightly for digital. Even then, we're not seeing a 10% difference in digital and physical MRSP like the figures would suggest. If you consider a case like a 1st party Nintendo game where the Publisher, Developer, Console owner and Store are the the same entity (Nintendo) then they are taking a substantial slice of that pie. Add to that the lack of packaging, distribution, physical media etc and I'd say there's a good case for digital costing less than physical.

I wasn't really commenting on how much they make during discount periods, more the difference in MRSP, but at least here in the UK, you don't really see discounts on physical or digital until the games have dropped out of the charts and the initial sales numbers have fallen. By the time you see digital discounts there are never usually masses of physical stock left on shelves and the copies that do remain, the developer would've got their 60% whenever the store got the game, not when the customer picks it up in store. So that digital game you pick up at heavy discount 6 months after release is actually an additional sale to them; maybe even pure profit at that point if all the costs are covered by initial unit sales - they already sold the physical copy to the store 6 months ago and got their cut.

Reading that Epic article it actually states that it's not the the store running costs that are causing the debt, but the fact that they are throwing money at publishers to get timed exclusives in order to build market share. It even states they could run it at 12% rather than the usual 30% and still turn a profit.

dmcc0

skywake

Tendo64 wrote:

I remember having similar discussions when music streaming/digital downloads first became prevalent and I was still buying CDs. I've now got a Spotify premium account and love it. My current car is too new and doesn't have a CD player - but I can play all the music I want through the sound system with Spotify premium. Less is more in this situation, as is convenience...

In relation to gaming, I currently feel the same as I did in my CD music era. Something to show for money spent (granted games are a lot more expensive, too), and likely a hangover born from growing up in the physical era when digital game downloads hadn't even been a wet dream yet. Creature of habit.

I'm kinda the same, kinda different. I'm still well and truly into physical media for music, a bit less so for movies and almost not at all for games.

For Movies.... I mean if it's something I'm really into or something I know I can't get on any streaming services I've subbed to? Yeah, I'll buy the BluRay or even the UHD BluRay. And like others have said for games yes, there's an advantage doing that because I can still watch it even if it's removed from said streaming services. But if I buy it on BluRay I'm also getting a higher bitrate copy and can put a library of content on a HDD and use that when I have limited internet. I haven't brought a BluRay in a good year or so but

With music, Spotify has pretty much everything so access isn't an issue and 320kbps is plenty so quality isn't an issue. But I still buy CDs if I can because CDs are still about the same price as a digital download. And you know what you can do with CDs? Rip them, make a 320kbps mp3. Is having a package also nice? Sure. Is it good to be able to support artists you like directly? Yep. But mostly, not relying on an internet connection is a huge win here. I also use last.fm and spotify has horrible tagging of tracks/albums

With games? Digital isn't streaming so you don't need a constant internet connection and the resolution of the game has nothing to do with what format you brought it on. Outside of possibly load times where digital usually has the edge the end experience is the same. So the trade off is purely a question of convenience vs resale. I don't resell my stuff so convenience wins. And despite the back and forward in this thread, digital is usually cheaper. Not so much on Nintendo but definitely elsewhere

Edited on by skywake

Some Aussie musics: Pond, TFS, Genesis Owusu
"Don't stir the pot" is a nice way of saying "they're too dumb to reason with"

Matt_Barber

@dmcc0 We'd only see a 10% difference in download prices if publishers were passing on all their savings to the consumers and they're not going to do that. Rather, they're businesses out to maximize profit and will price their games accordingly. If offering a 10% discount would drive sales to compensate, I'm pretty sure they'd do it. Rather, occasional discounts by greater amounts tend to work better so that's what they do.

So far as the EGS goes, they're only claiming that the 12% covers the "variable" costs, i.e. how much extra they'd have to pay to service an additional purchase, and I'm sure they will as those are indeed tiny. Rather, it's the fixed costs of setting up and maintaining the base infrastructure that are the barrier to setting up an online store and that requires a huge amount of volume, which is why they've burned hundreds of millions of dollars to get it.

Also, that's for a PC market that's likely to last for decades, not a console one that'll give maybe ten good years at best. The ground rules are going to be somewhat different for Sony and Nintendo.

Matt_Barber

dmcc0

Matt_Barber wrote:

We'd only see a 10% difference in download prices if publishers were passing on all their savings to the consumers and they're not going to do that.

You're actually agreeing with the initial point of the debate here - publishers are not passing on the savings made via digital sales and are keeping prices the same as physical for commercial reasons.

We don't know for sure whether the saving is 1%, 10%, 50% or something else, but I'm fairly certain there is some saving that they are not passing on.

Edited on by dmcc0

dmcc0

Matt_Barber

dmcc0 wrote:

Matt_Barber wrote:

We'd only see a 10% difference in download prices if publishers were passing on all their savings to the consumers and they're not going to do that.

You're actually agreeing with the initial point of the debate here - publishers are not passing on the savings made via digital sales and are keeping prices the same as physical for commercial reasons.

We don't know for sure whether the saving is 1%, 10%, 50% or something else, but I'm fairly certain there is some saving that they are not passing on.

I'm pretty sure it's around the 10% mark from the numbers that have been quoted.

As for whether you think they should be passing on the discount or not, I can only suggest that you vote with your wallet and only buy digital downloads when appropriately discounted. That's pretty much what I do for the most part, and it works for me.

Matt_Barber

Crow_Black

You only own a liscence to own it and after it expires its gone for good.

Crow_Black

Switch Friend Code: SW-7258-0873-7887 | My Nintendo: Blackrazor187 | Twitter:

Link-Hero

@Crow_Black
There isn't a license for digital games that "expires" and become unplayable, as it's very much illegal to do something like that. For example, I have a few games on Steam that are not purchasable anymore, but I can still download them. Once you buy it, you keep it forever and can download it as many times as you want.

The only legitimate problems with digital titles are whether the online store stays open, like what happened with the Wii eShop. I have all the games I bought from the eShop backed up on my Wii U and can still play them, but can't go and download those games anymore. That, I very much agree with, is a big problem and changes have to be made to prevent stuff like that from happening any more.

However, one amazing thing about the internet is many people who knew this would happen eventually have already archived the entire eShop channel. So if I want, can just use my homebrewed Wii U and access all those games again. The same can be said with other digital stores on consoles and PC. So until laws pass that prevents digital stores and the games from getting removed, fan archive websites will continue to stay.

Edited on by Link-Hero

Link-Hero

Switch Friend Code: SW-3097-0477-1999 | Nintendo Network ID: LinkHero25

SwitchForce

@Link-Hero unfortunately they control digital license and there no going back. Unless people only buy Physical options will they change their business model.

SwitchForce

alexwolf

SwitchForce wrote:

@Link-Hero unfortunately they control digital license and there no going back. Unless people only buy Physical options will they change their business model.

You keep repeating something that sounds important, but fail to give any actual reasons as to why digital games are not property, the same way that physical games are. You own the digital games in the same way that you own your physical ones, as long as you don't lose the physical medium. Of course there are downsides to the digital games, such as not being able to sell or lend your digital games, but due to piracy concerns I doubt that the digital industry will ever allow such a thing.

alexwolf

SwitchForce

@alexwolf here we go again talking to the wall. You own nothing in Digital purchase. You lease to use the game. Physical you own a actual product. Can you go home and grab your digital game? Piracy is their DMCA and EULA or TOS that we all agreed when we buy their games-Physical gives owner peace of mind they own the game not a license to use. You own nothing in Digital games or Steam games that is the ownership of the Steam developers or Digital content creators ownership. Physical only guarantees when Digital is removed from sites you have access to your own physical and plus you can use on different Switch. Digital is tied to the NIN account that bought the game. That's what people forget Digital is tied to the NIN account. And should your console take a dump your access to your Digital games is gone no "save load" anywhere. NIN account cloud save doesn't guarantee that either. You have to pay to have a NOS to do that and don't pay loose everything on there. Owning Physical and Digital isn't the same type of ownership. Physical medium can always be bought and sold on eBay/Amazon or Gamestop reseller location or sites. Digital where do you sell and buy them again? Only on NIN eShop if they still exists. As to those talking about HomeBew how do you know the creator is spying and taking your NIN account and payment information? You don't and any updates you do will wipe clean any HomeBrew or if you send it in with HomeBrew you will get charged to fix or they will refuse to fix. As to those sites that is what is called ROM site and those get closed down as well so don't think they will go after such sites. They have time and money to keep going after those sites and it's in their interested to stop such sites. So if you HomeBrew don't come asking for help NL isn't the place for it nor will any direct you to places for it since this will become a NL liability if they do that. And I doubt anyone on here wants Nintendo Corporation to send a Cease and Decease order to NL or get NL IP address pulled or banned. I posted a YT site clearly telling why Digital you have no ownership and only Lease to use that in the end if that is the only way they you don't have a choice but if there is a physical option you have more buying choices. But people keep harping Digital without thinking the ramification unless it's Only Digital option.

Edited on by SwitchForce

SwitchForce

alexwolf

@SwitchForce

The argument about losing your saved data if you get a new console is true for physical games too, as no save data is stored on the cartridges anymore.

You make some valid points though, which are definitely worth considering.

alexwolf

SKTTR

Everyone needs to experience it themselves by making the mistake, going digital only.
Only then they might one day realise how much they wasted.

But if you're rich or don't care much at all about the future of your games then by all means, go digital.

Edited on by SKTTR

Switch fc: 6705-1518-0990

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