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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quiknkoldcalling for a #ceasefire. cause seriously, people on both sides need to just stop, step back to their corners, and relax for a little and just not deal with this. if something happens, fine, break out the bs again. But I will not stand idle by anymore.10/23/2014 - 3:18pm
james_fudgeQuiknkold: I was sad to see that happened.10/23/2014 - 3:13pm
quiknkoldthis arguement has become utter BS and I will not stand by when somebody who posts her own fears has those fears become true10/23/2014 - 3:10pm
quiknkoldWith Felicia Day's Doxxing, I am officially against Gamergate now. Calling for a #Ceasefire on twitter. This 'crap' needs to end now. Its BS that this happened.10/23/2014 - 3:09pm
Matthew Wilsoncrt's ran over 60 fps. its just publisher choosing graphics over gameplay10/23/2014 - 3:03pm
prh99MW: I'd tend to agree. When most tv's these days are 60Hz+ LCDs, a 30fps lock seems like a relic from the CRT TV days.10/23/2014 - 2:59pm
Matthew Wilsoncall me a pc elitist if you want, but I prefer 60 fps. that being said, Nintendo is one of the few developers that makes all their games at 60 fps. Platum does that too.10/23/2014 - 2:52pm
james_fudgeNeo_DrKefka agreed.10/23/2014 - 2:42pm
prh99Saddly Ubi has locked AC:Unity to 900p on consoles at least and 30fps for everything in the name of parity, and in the case of latter issue for a "more cinematic" feel.10/23/2014 - 2:36pm
PHX Corpa little PSA, Tonight is SSB4WiiU's turn at the nintendo direct at 6pm edt http://www.twitch.tv/nintendo I will be also hosting the Stream on my Twitch.tv page http://www.twitch.tv/trustygemtwitch10/23/2014 - 2:27pm
Andrew EisenBayonetta 2 allegedly banned in Saudi Arabi (but not Bayonetta 1). http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=91759010/23/2014 - 2:26pm
prh99Not surprising, it's their MO. I don't think there really much more to be said for GG's values at this point.10/23/2014 - 2:24pm
Neo_DrKefkaPlaces like TheRalphRetort are trash10/23/2014 - 2:02pm
Neo_DrKefkaBoogie who stood on the fence trying to find a neutral ground and peace was called out for the RalphRetort and called evil for doing so but when Boogie was doxxed and came into the folds of GamerGate all of a sudden he is forgiven.10/23/2014 - 2:02pm
Papa MidnightBut it's not about harrassment (http://thinkprogress.org/culture/2014/10/23/3583347/felicia-day-gamergate/).10/23/2014 - 1:58pm
Papa MidnightIn other GamerGate news, Felicia Day (gamer and actress (Eureka, Supernatural), posted her concerns about GamerGate. Doxxed within the hour.10/23/2014 - 1:58pm
Papa MidnightNot for nothing, but considering how Ubisoft titles tend to be horribly unoptimised ports, those requirements actually seem low - especially if you plan to consistently run at 60fps (I'm looking at you "Black Flag" and Splinter Cell).10/23/2014 - 1:55pm
Papa Midnighthttp://www.pcgamer.com/assassins-creed-unity-system-requirements-rumoured-to-be-steep/10/23/2014 - 1:54pm
Neo_DrKefkaI'm upset at all parties but a cue to replace one bad apple for another does not solve the problem. Perhaps I expect to much out of #GamerGate because the early streams were about progress & solutions now they are about a persons ego talking about drinkin10/23/2014 - 1:35pm
prh99Honestly I've never liked Gawker, and considering their own behavior the self righteous indignation in the wake of GG rings a bit hollow. If my email causes them to lose money I will not feel even a twinge of guilt.10/23/2014 - 1:00pm
 

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