THQ's Ian Curran on DRM, the Future of the $60 Game

July 22, 2010 -

In an interview with Computer and Video Games, THQ's Global publishing executive VP, Ian Curran, gave his opinions on DRM and the possible future of the $60 retail game.

Speaking about the cost of retail games, Curran said that the industry may move towards a micro-transactional market where the whole game isn't necessarily in the retail box. Citing the free-to-play MMO market as an example, users play the game and then buy additional content they want.

The problem with such an example is that most free-to-play MMO games can be played without ever buying extra content, whereas big publishers will probably charge for features that players consider essential like multiplayer. Of course, with a lower price, consumers might find paying extra for multiplayer more acceptable. Here's a bit from the interview:

"Rather than giving everything in a $60 game, the entry into that product is going to be cheaper through the digital route, and then we're going to say to people: 'If you want more, it's going to cost you a little bit more - but you can choose what content you want down the line.'

If you look at the Asian markets, where it's free-to-play, but then you see a microtransaction model, things are going to change. I do see a time where games aren't going to be $60 any more - you just won't get as much content in the box. How quickly that will come, I don't know."

On DRM, Curran says that he understands consumers' frustrations with DRM but the methods they have currently are "all they've got."

"At the moment, the DRM methods we have are all we have got. I know it frustrates consumers, but we've got to protect our IP from those people who don't want to pay for games. If people don't want to pay for games then we don't get any money to make games. Where does it go from there?

To the genuine purchaser of the game, I don't think it's too much of a problem. But to the people who want content for nothing, it hurts them and we don't make any apologies for that.

Comments

Re: THQ's Ian Curran on DRM, the Future of the $60 Game

"To the genuine purchaser of the game, I don't think it's too much of a problem."

What the f*?!

Being thrown out of a single-player game, without saving, because the lackingly written
UBI-soft protection misses a single verification?

Having to purchase a new DVD & reinstall windows, because StarForce has corrupted the
installation and toasted the player?

The list of how customers are being dragged through the gutter goes on-and-on-and-on,
while those who "want content for nothing", can keep playing the game as if nothing happened.

 

Imagine cars doing a non-theft validation via mobile-phone? What would happen if the car
shut down whenever the connection failed?  I argue that had it been any other market,
the companies would have been sued at the blink of an eye. But since the law-makers are
completely computer illiterate, draconian companies get away with the most amazing stunts.

Don't think for a second, that customers aren't suffering over the draconian DRMs.
 

Re: THQ's Ian Curran on DRM, the Future of the $60 Game

""At the moment, the DRM methods we have are all we have got. I know it frustrates consumers, but we've got to protect our IP from those people who don't want to pay for games. If people don't want to pay for games then we don't get any money to make games. Where does it go from there?

To the genuine purchaser of the game, I don't think it's too much of a problem. But to the people who want content for nothing, it hurts them and we don't make any apologies for that."

When DRM doesn't work and is more frustrating to the consumer then the pirates, all you got is failure anyways.

As for it not being much of a problem...yeah no.  Particularly if the DRM is as nasty as that Ubisoft DRM.

Re: THQ's Ian Curran on DRM, the Future of the $60 Game

DRM dose not work stop wasteing money on it or at least the silly crap you are useing all you need is disc check or random key checks no mandatory online crap.

 

60$ games are not that bad no with it being half the price used on ebay/amazon after a few months so new game price dose not effect so much anymore. :P

 

But if you want to change that 60$ price tag do this single player disc is 30$, MP disc 40$ that way you make up the diffrence in lost sales,ect

 

Or you can DLC the part you don't have for the same price.


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Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

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Re: THQ's Ian Curran on DRM, the Future of the $60 Game

"big publishers will probably charge for features that players consider essential like multiplayer"

I personally couldn't care less about multiplayer in most games (Blur being the exception right now). After I played the campaign in Gears of War 2 I sold it, never fired up multiplayer once. I would welcome a model where you only paid for the features you want.

Re: THQ's Ian Curran on DRM, the Future of the $60 Game

I don't play multiplayer most of the time anyway, so if I could get the portion of the game that I actually want to pay, for less money, score?  This idea, like so many others, could work really well, or could be a disaster.  It's all in how they handle it, things like being up front and honest about what is and is not included in the base package, and reasonable prices for meaningful extra content (I hate to beat a dead horse armor, but...).

Re: THQ's Ian Curran on DRM, the Future of the $60 Game

Does this guy honestly think publishers will start charging people less for games?

Last I checked, Kotick was looking for a way to charge even more for the same content you are getting now by claiming paying for it will magically make it better.

You know, like Xbox Live.

"

Re: THQ's Ian Curran on DRM, the Future of the $60 Game

 Actually, it's already happened... :)

Rise of Flight was a steal to buy, but you only get a few basic aircrafts.
If you want more planes, you have to buy them individually.

Re: THQ's Ian Curran on DRM, the Future of the $60 Game

Here's the thing, even if they do make people pay extra for multiplayer, we'll still have to pay 60 dollars to get the game. publishers like money too much

Re: THQ's Ian Curran on DRM, the Future of the $60 Game

"I know it frustrates consumers, but we've got to protect our IP from those people who don't want to pay for games."

DRM DOESN'T DO THAT.

"If people don't want to pay for games then we don't get any money to make games."

And if you put DRM in your games, people aren't going to want to pay for them.  You following this syllogism, Ian?

Re: THQ's Ian Curran on DRM, the Future of the $60 Game

Nobody had any complaints about pirates having a hard time with DRM.  The problem is when it hurts your legitimate customers and they end up having to use cracks just to play the game they bought.  Call me when you figure that one out.

Re: THQ's Ian Curran on DRM, the Future of the $60 Game

Very much this.  I have to use a crack on my retail copy of C&C 3 because SecuROM doesn't see the disc that came in the box a legit disc.

Re: THQ's Ian Curran on DRM, the Future of the $60 Game

Had exactly the same problem on my old computer, my DVD drive was a few years old, and none of my Securom games would be recognised as legit. It wasn't till I got my new computer that I was able to stop using No-CD patches.

I'd say the only company that uses Securom in a sensible way is Egosoft, who tend to include it whilst the game is new, and then release a patch to disable CD requirement once a year or so has passed.

Re: THQ's Ian Curran on DRM, the Future of the $60 Game

But... but... but... DRM DON'T work 99.99% of the time. So WHY? It can't be the only thing you have since you DON'T have it... ARGH! Like talking to monkeys.

Re: THQ's Ian Curran on DRM, the Future of the $60 Game

In Canada during the early/mid-90's I remember games were $80 back in the days of the SNES. Hell I remember paying over $100 for Secret of Mana when that first came out.

 "No law means no law" - Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black on the First Amendment

"No law means no law" - Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black on the First Amendment

Re: THQ's Ian Curran on DRM, the Future of the $60 Game

$60 USD games. I miss those days. Now games are at $100 USD here in Mexico. I had to buy a used copy Super Street Fighter IV at $70 USD. Now I´m sad.

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PHX Corp@Adam802 We'll break out the popcorn in June12/19/2014 - 9:23pm
ZippyDSMleeMaskedPixelante: I'm itching to start it too but I will wait till the patch goes live. >>12/19/2014 - 7:52pm
Adam802Leland Yee and Jackson get trial date: http://sfbay.ca/2014/12/18/leland-yee-keith-jackson-get-trial-date/12/19/2014 - 5:24pm
MaskedPixelanteNevermind. Turns out when they said "the patch is now live", they meant "it's still in beta".12/19/2014 - 5:07pm
MaskedPixelanteSo I bought Dark Souls PC, and it's forcing me to log into GFWL. Did I miss something?12/19/2014 - 5:00pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/12/republicans-may-have-plan-to-save-internet-providers-from-utility-rules/ this is intreasting. congress may put net nutrality in to law to avoid title 2 classification12/19/2014 - 2:45pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.polygon.com/2014/12/19/7421953/bullshit-cards-against-humanity-donated-250k-sunlight-foundation I have to admit I like the choice o organization. congrats to CAH.12/19/2014 - 1:51pm
E. Zachary KnightIf you are downloading a copy in order to bypass the DRM, then you are legally in the wrong. Ethically, if you bought the game, it doesn't matter where you download it in the future.12/19/2014 - 12:06pm
InfophileEZK: Certainly better that way, though not foolproof. Makes me think though: does it count as piracy if you download a game you already paid for, just not from the place you paid for it at? Ethically, I'd say no, but legally, probably yes.12/19/2014 - 11:20am
ZippyDSMleeAnd I still spent 200$ in the last month on steam/GOG stuff sales get me nearly every time ><12/19/2014 - 10:55am
ZippyDSMleeMaskedPixelante:And this is why I'm a one legged bandit.12/19/2014 - 10:51am
ZippyDSMleeE. Zachary Knight: I buy what I can as long as I can get cracks for it...then again it I could have gotton Lords of the Fallen for 30 with DLC I would have ><12/19/2014 - 10:50am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/12/19/marvel-vs-capcom-origins-leaving-online-storefronts-soon/ Speaking of "last chance to buy", Marvel vs. Capcom Origins is getting delisted from all major storefronts. Behold the wonders of the all digital future.12/19/2014 - 9:59am
MaskedPixelanteSeriously, the so-called "Last Chance" sale was up to 80% off, while this one time only return sale goes for a flat 85% off with a 90% off upgrade if you buy the whole catalogue.12/19/2014 - 9:37am
E. Zachary KnightInfophile, Tha is why I buy only DRM-free games.12/19/2014 - 9:37am
MaskedPixelanteNordic is back on GOG for one weekend only. And at 85% off no less, which is kind of a slap in the face to people who paid more during the "NORDIC IS LEAVING FOREVER BUY NOW OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE" sale, but whatever...12/19/2014 - 9:28am
InfophileRe PHX's link: This is one of the reasons the digital revolution isn't all it's cracked up to be. There's also the flip side where Sony can block access to games you've bought if they ban your account for unrelated reasons. All power is theirs.12/19/2014 - 8:52am
MaskedPixelantehttp://uplay.ubi.com/#!/en-US/events/uplay-15-days You can win FREE GAMES FOR A YEAR! Unfortunately, they're Ubisoft games.12/18/2014 - 6:29pm
Papa MidnightAh, so it was downtime. I've been seeing post appear in my RSS feed, but I was unable to access GamePolitics today across several ISPs.12/18/2014 - 6:06pm
james_fudgeSorry for the downtime today, folks.12/18/2014 - 5:54pm
 

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