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Comment Maybe 3,000 isn't so bad (Score 1) 126

You're right. However, they managed to get 3,000 subscribers, which means at $5 per month each they can now afford to pay a full-time newsroom staff of five people, on top of whatever the advertising pays for. Not too shabby.

The Pegasus News manages to cover the entire Dallas-Fort Worth area with a total staff of 19 people.

Comment Re:But The Tyee brings in money (Score 1) 126

The Tyee is not a news site. It is not "good journalism." It is an opinion site. They write stories with very clear opinionated slants. And people who agree with that slant gravitate to the site and call it "good journalism."

Their election "coverage" is nothing more than them asking for money to cover the election from the slant their readers want. Read their appeal again.

From your link:

We asked you to tell us which issues mattered most to you, promised to put your donation towards that area of reporting

This is no different than a consortium of advertisers requesting a newspaper cover an election issue from a particular point of view. This is the same old thing, just more obvious.

This shows me people don't want news that tries to be objective as possible, they want to read something that agrees with their opinions.

Comment Standing ovation -- bah (Score 4, Insightful) 437

First screening impressions sometimes don't mean anything.

I would like to piggy-back on your comment suggesting early reviews were coloured by the excitement (which is probably bang-on) and point out that in the theatre where I watched the first screening of Star Wars: Episode I, there was a standing ovation after the movie was over.

Later I realized there was a standing ovation BECAUSE the movie was over.

Comment Re:Times have changed, but not prices (Score 1) 207

Which is actually a pretty good deal

Maybe, or maybe it means games were always really expensive.

other prices have risen in the same time frame, including the cost to develop a game.

Very true, but instead of being happy when they sell 100,000 copies publishers are now looking at hopefully moving millions.

dropping the price doesn't result in an equivalent increase in sales.

Guess we won't know until they try! Or until those private companies release sales records about what happens when they lower prices to move those millions of copies that didn't sell for full price.

Comment Times have changed, but not prices (Score 3, Insightful) 207

Damn. I used up my mod points already. You make a good point which companies are aware of, they're just too greedy to change. We're paying prices which have been the same for ages, from the days when gaming was a niche hobby and there were fewer copies of games created (which by the magic of supply and demand means they were probably more expensive to make). I remember eagerly shelling out $80 CAD for the first Dark Forces PC game the day it was released. That was unusual - a new release price was about $60, which continues to this day.

Pricing for console games is a little less obvious but I think it's pretty similar to PC game pricing. I remember Atari 2600 games costing about $10-20 (a lot of money for a kid in the 1980s, especially if you save up only to find out your new game is a real shitburger) Nintendo games costing about $50 (an AWFUL lot of money in the late 1980s) and today a new release on any console is $50-70. Factor in inflation and the cost is probably about the same as it's always been.

But even though the cost of making games has increased, the cost of distributing them has dropped drastically. Stamping out DVDs costs pennies and electronic distribution costs even less. I still like getting a physical copy of a game - especially when the publishers put goodies like a special manual or cloth map or figurine in the box - but I would certainly sacrifice that if it meant distribution models like Steam or WiiWare would drive down prices to a more affordable range. I like Steam and WiiWare, but I only buy Steam games on weekend deals (STALKER for $5, w00t) and only use WiiWare for something I really think is worth full price. Electronic distribution needs to be $5-10 cheaper than box copies, IMO.

Comment Read again (Score 1) 322

Your wagging finger of "free Internet" evangelism is misplaced. OP never said there was a pay wall, he said "we, unlike our moron competitors, understand that these clips bring traffic to our site, which makes us money."

How do newspaper websites make money? By getting visitors to click on their ads. How do you get lots of visitors? Give it away for free, and co-operate with Google to get your content listed near the top so you get lots of hits. Protectionist subscriber "exclusive content" models are pretty much instant fail and the newspapers/media businesses that are going to survive this recession know that.

Comment Single-player example (Score 2, Interesting) 226

The Witcher (original, not the Enhanced Edition) shipped with a CD-Key that most people thought was useless. It allowed you to register your game with publisher Atari and get... not much.

However, the studio later released an Enhanced Edition, which added more cutscenes, more dialogue, more quests, two side-missions that stand alone from the main game, the official soundtrack, a CD of music inspired by the game and a "making-of" DVD. All this stuff was available for purchase; but the best part is the studio and Atari made all the new content available FOR FREE DOWNLOAD to all the owners of the original game who had registered their games using those previously mostly-useless CD keys.

The content could not be installed without keys. Of course pirates could just download cracked versions of the enhanced editions, but that's a humongous download, six gigs-plus and I doubt casual copiers would bother. Offering all that content free to confirmed, legitimate owners of the original edition wasn't just a nice thing to do, it was also a good incentive to have a legitimate copy of the game.

There were some problems in Canada - the bilingual manual was printed without keys. Oops. I'm one of the people who bought the original game and was stoked when I learned about the new content - only to flip through every page in the manual and find there was no fucking key. Good one, hope the proof-reader got fired for that. However, Atari support was pretty good, I filed a key request and two weeks later was happily slaying drowners with my silver sword - enhanced edition style.

Anyway, this might be a copy-protection scheme worth considering - downloadable content available only for legitimate, registered owners. I don't know how this would work with your game, but for me in my example, I thought it worked great (except for that shitty Polish download server they decided to use to release the enhanced edition content. Good idea, bad execution - make it EASY for customers to get the good stuff and they'll be less likely to visit TPB.)

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