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 KnightInfo, or they could have left it only for people in your friends list.05/26/2015 - 7:21am
Infophileas being "family friendly." A kid could easily flip an option and be hit with a torrent of abuse they weren't expecting.05/26/2015 - 5:30am
InfophileI think Nintendo was between a rock and a hard place with voice chat in Splatoon. Leave it in, and jerks will drive off younger players. Leave it out, and competitive players won't play. Even if it were in but disabled by default, they couldn't sell it...05/26/2015 - 5:29am
Matthew Wilsonthis is a nice video on P.T https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-85jO6nRNQ05/25/2015 - 11:57pm
Matthew Wilsonmaybe, but its still kinda sad even as a joke.05/25/2015 - 11:51pm
Goth_SkunkThe best commentary is delivered through humour.05/25/2015 - 11:36pm
Andrew EisenIt's not needed. It's a joke. Albeit one with quite a bit of commentary packed into it.05/25/2015 - 10:59pm
Matthew Wilsonmot game related, but still interesting. http://www.polygon.com/2015/5/25/8654983/jurassic-world-chris-pratt-apology the fact that this is even needed in modern culture is a embarrassment.05/25/2015 - 10:26pm
Matthew Wilsonyeah, but with no voice chat its doa.05/25/2015 - 9:48pm
TechnogeekYet, you're going to be hard-pressed to find anyone other than insecure 2EDGY4U teenagers seeing it as anything other than an extremely fun game.05/25/2015 - 8:36pm
TechnogeekSplatoon's probably the best example at this point. Gameplay-wise, it's a team-based third-person shooter with a significant online component. It's rated E10.05/25/2015 - 8:36pm
TechnogeekThe silliest thing about most of the Nintendo hatred is that they may be the last company that interprets "family-friendly" as meaning "fun for more than just the really young kids".05/25/2015 - 8:33pm
ZippyDSMleeWell it could be worse, like skyrim out of the box, a shame DAI dose not have that level of editing...05/25/2015 - 5:58pm
Zenpretty well without getting "nasty". Many people are disappointed in the decision and the about face on the status of the games development.05/25/2015 - 4:22pm
ZenEvery market has horrible people...but being like this towards all of them in a group is not a way to garner support and can make people more hostile towards you. Ironically his response was to someone that wanted to state a disagreement, but worded it05/25/2015 - 4:22pm
Goth_SkunkAs demonstrated by Ian's remarks, that 'market of possible fans' is apparently negligible.05/25/2015 - 4:18pm
Zeninformation while other versions had everything talked about openly.05/25/2015 - 4:15pm
ZenYeah, I've read through it and wanted to make sure I had it quoted correctly. I get there are issues, but this is horribly unprofessional and just burning a market of possible fans..many of which supported them and were waiting while getting little to no05/25/2015 - 4:15pm
Goth_SkunkOh wow. That's not even misquoted, he actually said that. Though for additional context in previous pages, he truly does not think highly of Nintendo console owners, and claims that in the industry, he's not alone.05/25/2015 - 4:12pm
ZenI also took a screenshot of the statement in case it is taken down (via my Twitter): https://twitter.com/zenspath/status/60293960536562483205/25/2015 - 4:05pm
 

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