Microsoft and Sony will continue to push a “slow and subtle” transition towards digital distribution, believes Gears of War creator Cliff Bleszinski.
Cliff Bleszinski, since his departure from Epic Games, has taken to the internet to air his opinions on a lot of the gaming industry’s big matters. Recently he took to his blog to tackle another big one, the issue of used games, DRM and Microsoft’s recent u-turn on its Xbox One policies, as well as how the ambition of a digital future will develop
Bleszinski went into detail, outlining his thoughts on the coming generation of consoles and how he believes Microsoft’s U-turn on its DRM policies will shape the future and how developers deal with pushing download only systems.
“So here’s what’s going to happen now that Microsoft has largely matched Sony’s (well played) move at E3, the shift to digital is still going to happen (FOR BOTH) but it’s going to be slow and subtle. Suddenly more DLC will be made available. More micro-transactions will appear. And Day One Digital will (hopefully) be cheaper and will have so many added bells and whistles that consumers (with reliable enough bandwidth) will have a hard time refusing the tasty downloadable edition over the disc based one.”
“I’ve said before if I worked at Microsoft I would not only POSITIVELY motivate users to go digital but also offer their own trading system in which they give you MORE money for your game than Gamestop and sell the used games for LESS than Gamestop. Include a Netflix style mailing system and move along your merry way by engaging the customer as opposed to treating them like criminals.”
Bleszinski seems confident that Microsoft’s biggest problem wasn’t its policies, but how its overall message was delivered.
“Years from now college courses are going to be taught in proper messaging and they’re going to use Microsoft’s E3 delivery as a worst case scenario,”
During E3, Bleszinski took to Twitter to support Microsoft and their DRM measures, which were poised to clamp down on pre-owned sales, his Tweets weren’t received too well, with many seeing them as inflammatory siding with “the enemy”. Bleszinski took time in his blog post to address the issue.
“Making deep or well outlined arguments in 140 characters is nearly impossible, especially with a subject as complex as DRM and used games.
I’m pro developer. I do, at the heart of it, believe that you can be profitable and pro-developer while being pro-consumer…if you’re careful with how you message things. I’ve been in the trenches for many years alongside brilliant peers and I’ve heard stories at conferences of talented people getting fucked out of money they deserve.
If you think this is back-peddling understand that I firmly stand by everything I’ve said. I’m writing this to give a surgical explanation behind some of my more…inflammatory posts on Twitter.”
To prove his point, Bleszinski went on to recount a pretty bad experience with GameStop.
“A few years ago Microsoft asked me to go to the Gamestop Manager’s show in Las Vegas.” he explained. “So I flew out there, came on stage, shot a T-shirt gun at the crowd (so fun) met the managers, and did my best to not remind myself that I was in a city that I really don’t like.
Next up was the big exciting midnight launch for Gears 3… Cut to flying home and people start sending me pictures of the extremely well put together finely printed leaflets at the Gears 3 launch that said “Trade in this game by November 6th and get more than you normally would on your trade in!
Motherfucker. We had done a lot of work to keep the disc in tray, but those retail practices are deliberately set up to create a revolving door of game trade in. Folks say “Yeah, but Gamestop helps out a lot of games by pushing them!” to which I quote Chris Rock “Yeah, they’re like the uncle who paid for your college…but molested you.
Capitalism? Sure. It’s a free market and they’ve got every right to do this. I accept that. However when I see studio after studio closing and the aforementioned alluded titles failing I know something’s got to change.”
As always, he’s passionate and definitely raises some good points, but what do you think?
Are you with the developers on the negative effect of pre-owned gaming or could you care less?
Let us know in the comments below!