Vindicia CEO: CA SCOTUS Win Could Kill Freemium Market

September 28, 2010 -

Earlier this month we mentioned the amicus brief filed by online billing solution provider Vindicia, which backed the videogame industry in the looming Schwarzenegger vs. EMA Supreme Court showdown.

Vindicia CEO Gene Hoffman, Jr. has since penned an article for Xconomy on the case and how a ruling for California could kill the freemium model (a la Electronic Arts' Battlefield Heroes or id Software's Quake Live) of distributing videogames to the masses:

…the freemium model requires unfettered initial access to the game by millions. The only sure way to prevent minors from accessing forbidden games online is to require a credit card validation up front. But that’s also a big deterrent for many adults: virtually no one who uses the Internet believes that giving a card number to a game maker would not eventually result in a charge to that card.

Destroying the frictionless access that adults have to free-to-play games that might be considered violent would drastically decrease innovation in the online games world, as the base of potential users would no longer be large enough to convince developers to take the risk on new games.

In its amicus brief, Vindicia expressed concern over how the California law would impact online videogame sales, noting that, “… the Act makes no mention of how this regulation would be applied to varying digital platforms and distribution, e.g., video game home consoles, smartphone applications and Internet gaming sites.”

Comments

Re: Vindicia CEO: CA SCOTUS Win Could Kill Freemium Market

At a time when proponents of Sharia law are exercising a heckler's violent veto over the “Everyone draw Mohammed” meme, we can not stand idly by while legislators and lobbyists make value judgments about content that create significant unintended consequences.

Can anyone explain to me why Mr. Hoffman felt the need to throw in a reference to "proponents of Sharia law" and draw an analogy to an issue of, at best, marginal relevance to the issue he discusses? He's not a member of the "Muslims Want to Take Over America" school of thought, is he?

Re: Vindicia CEO: CA SCOTUS Win Could Kill Freemium Market

Unlikely.  The Supreme Court's been pretty clear on credit card authentication as a means to prove age.  Even if CA wins on this one and violent games are put in the same category as pornography, SCOTUS has already established that the government can't require a credit card check to view pornography.

Re: Vindicia CEO: CA SCOTUS Win Could Kill Freemium Market

Not so fast! According to a certain ex-lawyer and "First Amendment Expert", credit card authentication is not a legal means to prove age.  This is how he put Take Two out of business...oh wait.

 
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E. Zachary KnightLet's put this a different way. My local library allows any group to reserve and use multipurpose rooms. That does not mean that the Library endorses all events that take place in those rooms.12/17/2014 - 12:54pm
E. Zachary KnightValve's editorial control comes from removing problem games and accepting games to Steam. They make no claim over any games otherwise.12/17/2014 - 12:52pm
E. Zachary KnightNeeneko, It is not at all a form of endorsement. Grenlight is an open forum for game developers to pitch their game to Valve/Steam and Steam users. Does Valve have some editorial control? Yes, but not to the point that they preapprove games.12/17/2014 - 12:51pm
Neeneko@EZK - I disagree. Greenlight is built off Valve's brand. While not an explicit endorsement, it is a form of it, otherwise Greenlight would have no value over other platforms.12/17/2014 - 12:05pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.latino-review.com/news/exclusive-viola-davis-bags-amanda-waller-role-in-suicide-squad Latino Review says Viola Davis will be Amanda Waller. History of Latino Review says "wait for a REAL news site to confirm".12/17/2014 - 10:48am
PHX Corphttp://www.polygon.com/2014/12/17/7407869/assassins-creed-unity-glitch-broken-problems-xbox-one-patch -Facepalm- Screwup means Assassin's Creed Unity's patch is the 40GB full game on Xbox One12/17/2014 - 10:17am
PHX Corphttp://www.theverge.com/2014/12/16/7401769/the-mpaa-wants-to-strike-at-dns-records-piracy-sopa-leaked-documents Sony leaks reveal Hollywood is trying to break DNS, the backbone of the internet12/17/2014 - 10:05am
E. Zachary KnightA Game being on Greenlight is not an endorsement of said game by Valve, Steam or anyone related to Valve or Steam. Greenlight is a combined sales pitch to Steam and its users.12/17/2014 - 9:51am
E. Zachary KnightThe Life cycle of a Greenlight game: A game gets made->Developer puts it on Greenlight->Gamers vote for it->Valve decides it is worthy of a Steam release->Game is sold on Steam. While the game is merely on greenlight, it is not available for sale on Steam12/17/2014 - 9:50am
InfophileGreenlight games may in the future be sold through Steam. A game there may be "greenlit" and then sold on Steam proper, or it may not, and never actually be sold on steam. That quote refers to them selecting some games from Greenlight which they will sell12/17/2014 - 9:39am
MechaTama31"Today we’ve Greenlit another batch of 50 titles to advance through Steam Greenlight, and be offered worldwide distribution via Steam." Am I missing something here? Because it sounds like Greenlight games are sold through Steam.12/17/2014 - 9:00am
MechaTama31From the Greenlight page: "Browse through the entries here and rate up the games you want to see made available via Steam"12/17/2014 - 8:59am
MechaTama31Greenlight games aren't sold through Steam? Then what exactly *is* Greenlight?12/17/2014 - 8:58am
prh99I just wish if they are going to curate (as selective and rare as that is) for content, they'd do little for quality (like does this game actually function at all). Personally, I avoid GreenLight and Early Access like the plague because of lax standards.12/17/2014 - 1:34am
prh99EZK: My point wasn't that they are responsible for people's purchase decisions, but that their policies and criteria for approval needs some work. As far as refunds go, you know it's bad when EA has a better policy. EA, former worst company in America.12/17/2014 - 1:21am
Andrew EisenAnd 'Hatred' is back on Steam Greenlight. No comment from Valve so far as I've seen.12/17/2014 - 12:14am
Consterjames: I know what the question says.12/16/2014 - 10:26pm
E. Zachary Knightprh, considering Greenlight games are not sold through Steam, unless accepted by valve, there is no reason to blame Valve for you or someone else buying a game listed in it.12/16/2014 - 9:44pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/apple/2014/12/apple-ceases-online-sales-in-russia-due-to-extreme-ruble-fluctuations/ apple stops itunes sales in Russia.12/16/2014 - 6:43pm
prh99Where the former might offend some, the latter is just fraud.12/16/2014 - 6:33pm
 

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