Author Topic: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse  (Read 44277 times)

Thy Reaper

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Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« on: April 01, 2011, 10:24:56 PM »
On March 31st, Stardock Systems announced that Impulse will be purchased by GameStop, likely some time in May. Due to a rather large list of things we detest about GameStop, Star Ruler will no longer be available for purchase on Impulse after the takeover. Impulse users will hopefully be able to continue receiving automatic updates after the sale; in any case, the patches hosted on our site are compatible with the Impulse version.

We are ending sales through Impulse due to GameStop's long, negative behavior toward the PC platform and independent games. We would never have signed onto distribution through GameStop, and being forced into this situation has only made it worse for us. We feel GameStop cannot serve as the leader of a true competitor in the digital distribution market.

I want to stress that our interactions with Impulse have been consistently good. We would've had no issues with continuing to sell on their service, and we had every intention of being on their service for future games; so long as they were owned by Stardock. However, with the announcement of the merger, and due to the nature of our contract, we had to decide rather quickly what we would do. After a lot of discussion and debates, we arrived at these key points:

  • GameStop's business practices stand opposed to our goals.
  • We feel they would not respect our customers.
  • GameStop consistently focuses only on large budget titles and safe bets, shying away from the independent market.
  • We supported Brad Wardell's direction of Impulse, and his absence ruins our faith in the service's future.

Impulse Customers: You are not being abandoned! We will be trying to arrange the continuation of automatic updates through Impulse. If this doesn't work out, our patches are all compatible with the Impulse version, and we will be working on an automatic updater for all of our customers to make the update process simpler.

We thank you for your time and apologize for the suddenness of this news and the confusion surrounding it. Things have been very busy as patch 1070 had just come out when we heard about all this and we haven't been able to be as proactive as we would've liked to be on this matter. For that, we apologize, and hope that you understand both our reasoning and that we will honor your sale of Star Ruler with the support it deserves, no matter what our distribution agreements are, to the best of our ability.

colonyan

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2011, 10:52:39 PM »
Ah the harsh competition.
As long as it is compatible and fully functional I have got nothing to say...
Ah but thanks for your dedication.

I never knew about Game Stop but if that is what their business practice is about,
I think that's perfectly normal but they are being extremely on mere sales company side than
being part of whole game industry and growth of its culture. I can not wrap it up better than
this but I think they will the last digital vendor to try if there will be any chance.
(Maybe they have their own business strategy and steps?)

By the way, will Impulse copy owners will be able to download the game a new other than
automated patching service?

EDIT: Um yeah and I wish you guys can work on making games long time. Good luck for all
of you guys. Wanna some tea?
« Last Edit: April 01, 2011, 10:54:46 PM by colonyan »

Thy Reaper

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2011, 10:55:50 PM »
Impulse owners will be able to redownload Star Ruler as often as Impulse will allow, unless something changes. Hopefully, GameStop will not limit downloads in the near future, or ever.

bbosnjak

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2011, 08:21:36 AM »
I fully support your position and decision.  Kudos on having the moral integrity.

Will the Great

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2011, 05:28:22 PM »
I was kinda hoping that was an April Fools prank... :/

XTRMNTR2K

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2011, 06:22:24 PM »
To be completely honest, as a long time Impulse user I was shocked when I heard about the takeover (just got the news today... yeah, I'm slow.). As much as I support your decision, I also understand that this wasn't an easy one; kudos to you for having the balls to do this.

However, this does show one of the issues with digital distribution. Although Impulse does allow for backups and games like star ruler can be patched manually, such services with stricter DRM, like Steam, are far more problematic. Not saying that Steam will be bought by someone else, of course; but this is a risk that comes with EVERY digital distribution service. And I don't give a damn about promises like "we're going to release an offline patch in case we're going bankrupt".

On the other hand of course, digital distribution is one of the best chances for indie developers; one of the reasons I liked Impulse so much was the availability of so many indie games (whereas Steam, relatively speaking, is more focused towards big-budget titles). Now that the GameStoppers will take over, I'm expecting that they'll forget about indie games in favor of the so-called "AAA titles" (just like you implied, Reaper).

Anyway, whatever the future brings, I will support you guys at Blind Mind Studios. The retail release of Star Ruler is as good as bought the second it hits the shelves. :)

T-Bone Biggins

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2011, 07:32:54 PM »
I say just give the Impulse users a key for a version directly from Blind-Mind. Another game went to ghost on Impulse update wise, it's called IronGrip Warlord. The dev and Impulse had a disagreement on how to implement and distribute a patch, and the Impulse version of the game is years old. Luckily the people behind IG:Warlord have sent all Impulse users the option via email to send them the Impulse serial key and trade it in for a key for their version they sell on their website.

I want an option like this. Not saying the dev is completely abandoning Impulse users, but he is giving us up in a way. If the game won't sell, Impulse won't want to keep paying for server bandwidth to keep up to date patches available for users and Impulse will drop it eventually, especially considering their new partner. Don't leave us dry, let us trade in our keys for a version direct from the developer.

Thy Reaper

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2011, 07:50:48 PM »
The version from impulse would be identical to one from us, so I'm not sure what that would accomplish.

T-Bone Biggins

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2011, 08:15:38 PM »
So I could download the demo from this website and use my serial from Impulse to install and unlock the full game? That is the point of what I was saying is Impulse may allow updates but can we indefinitely re-download the game at any time?

Thy Reaper

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2011, 08:38:04 PM »
Ah, now I see what you meant. We don't really have even the beginnings of something like that working, so I don't know if that is either possible or likely.

Amethyst

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2011, 09:10:51 PM »
Ah, now I see what you meant. We don't really have even the beginnings of something like that working, so I don't know if that is either possible or likely.

The main thing would be to have the account information (email and serial code) for the copies sold by the time it stops being availible. Then an alternative can be setup at a later if it is needed.

T-Bone Biggins

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2011, 09:35:10 PM »
Well I hope it's possible.  Again, look to Isotx with Iron Grip: Warlord and what they did, they simply generated new serials for the demo copies of the game from the website to unlock to full. To verify this would be the issue so you don't give away free copies though.

By the way I don't blame Blind-Mind for leaving the grip of Gamestop, it just bugs me because Star Ruler is one game I don't want to lose. The rest of the games I own on Impulse like Capitalism 2 can go away with minimal effect to me  :)

Amethyst

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2011, 09:42:18 PM »
Well I hope it's possible.  Again, look to Isotx with Iron Grip: Warlord and what they did, they simply generated new serials for the demo copies of the game from the website to unlock to full. To verify this would be the issue so you don't give away free copies though.

By the way I don't blame Blind-Mind for leaving the grip of Gamestop, it just bugs me because Star Ruler is one game I don't want to lose. The rest of the games I own on Impulse like Capitalism 2 can go away with minimal effect to me  :)

You can try archiving it, which will allow a reinstall without connecting to the server.

maxi

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2011, 02:22:04 AM »
I have few questions because I didn't understand few things. You said your goals were opposing to GameStop. What are yours? What  is Brad Wardell's vision of Impulse? One more question concerning the game. If I reinstall Windows, will I have to do it with the game? Of course required components like OpenAL, VC Express etc. I will have to reinstall, I just ask about the game.

Amethyst

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2011, 08:57:09 AM »
I have few questions because I didn't understand few things. You said your goals were opposing to GameStop. What are yours? What  is Brad Wardell's vision of Impulse? One more question concerning the game. If I reinstall Windows, will I have to do it with the game? Of course required components like OpenAL, VC Express etc. I will have to reinstall, I just ask about the game.

For Brad's vision, see: http://www.gamersbillofrights.org/

Firgof

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2011, 09:34:55 AM »
We have no DRM and other than OpenAL and the VCRedist Star Ruler has no dependencies that must be installed.  So if you'd like to make backups of your game all you have to do is just make a copy of the folder the game resides in and put it elsewhere.  Now this does not work with Steam of course as you'd need to use their special backup command to properly get it, but Steam keeps a record of all the games you've bought anyway so there shouldn't be a huge need to back it up except to prevent things like bandwidth usage.

Impulse also has an archive option somewhere but I'm unsure how it works and where it is.
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Amethyst

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #16 on: April 03, 2011, 09:50:02 AM »
(For those that want to know how to archive Impulse applications)

Open Impulse, goto My Games, and select the game. Right click it and select Archive Application from the drop down (or Download and Archive if it is not installed). There is a option in the "Folders" settings for Impulse to select where the archive will go, but it does not seem to work so it just lets you know where to find them.

It might be good to check and see if the archive works, as this function was never really meant to work except for Stardock's own desktop applications which are subscription based (so this is the only way to install the version you had access to before the sub ran out).

Edit: One small note on restoring the archive. The target install folder must already exist or it will fail. It can create the subfolders, but not the install directory itself.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2011, 09:57:04 AM by Amethyst »

Firgof

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2011, 09:51:28 AM »
Thanks, Amethyst.  +1
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ZStar20

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #18 on: April 03, 2011, 04:12:37 PM »
Still waiting on Stardock and Gamestop to both jump out and say "APRIL FOOLS, WE JUST EXTENDED IT A FEW DAYS!"....

Right?  :)

Right?  :-[

 :'(


ALL HAS BEEN LOST. *Jumps off cliff*

However, I do wish to see if Gamestop may do a miraculous 180 in their treatment of PC gamers with Impulse and as such I hope everything works out for the best. *Shrug*

Still wish to support Stardock, and thus I will continue to use Impulse for their games; but I most likely will switch over to Gamersgate if the quality of Impulse lowers dramatically.  Anyways I shall be the first to bitch if something goes awry with Star Ruler on Impulse, and as well continue to look forward to the updates that change Star Ruler.

Now time to go back to lurking.

ObliviousTrek

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #19 on: April 03, 2011, 08:24:55 PM »
I really have trouble understanding why Stardock sold Impulse. Stardock say the ideal partner for the sale was Gamestop. And yet it appears that Brad wardell hasnt done any research on Gamestop and it bad practices. Like the destruction of PC Gaming.

Impulse was the most profitable business for them in the last year and this in itself doesn't make any sense why they sold it off. I am not a businessman but i do have some common sense. Why would i sell a business that was more profitable than Stardock. The argument for this is that Brad Wardell claims that impulse was taking up more Stardock resources. So he would rather sell impulse and concentrate on the publishing side instead. Okay fair enough. But it seems to me that Brad Wardell has the inability to run two companies together.

For Brad Wardell i think this will be a very costly mistake. There is a lot of anti Gamestop sentiment on the Stardock forums. A lot of users say they will not purchased any more games because of the sale. Which means this will hurt Stardock in future sales as there customers abandon them. BlindMind did make the right decision.

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #20 on: April 04, 2011, 01:13:25 AM »
I'm not so sure I can support this. Gamestop has been a poor supporter for PC games, but dropping them without giving them a shot isn't something I can agree with, at least for the time being. They've done their best to keep their business and as you said stuck to the big titles, but there's the chance this gives them the opportunity to do otherwise. With the purchase of Impulse they can take chances (no worries of wasted shelf space) and it's due in part to the idea that they just about have to. Just from a financial position they're losing out on the PC market, and getting into this half-assed will put them next to GFWL, so wouldn't you think they'd do what they could to compete with Steam? Call me optimistic, but while I'm not enthusiastic about the sale and also worry it's more of a desperate move from Wardell to recoup some of Elemental's projected profits(?) I can't write GS off when it's possible this could be for the better. All in all Impulse is going to be turned down without a thought, but Steam, who stated Star Ruler wasn't wanted thanks to too many games like it, is that much better than Impulse's potential future....

mnjiman

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #21 on: April 04, 2011, 01:43:26 AM »
My only concern is when/if Gamestop no longer holds Star Ruler... how will I be able to re-download the game If i need too? Ill be forced to rebuy it.

Texada

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #22 on: April 04, 2011, 01:56:08 AM »
I'm not so sure I can support this. Gamestop has been a poor supporter for PC games, but dropping them without giving them a shot isn't something I can agree with, at least for the time being. They've done their best to keep their business and as you said stuck to the big titles, but there's the chance this gives them the opportunity to do otherwise. With the purchase of Impulse they can take chances (no worries of wasted shelf space) and it's due in part to the idea that they just about have to. Just from a financial position they're losing out on the PC market, and getting into this half-assed will put them next to GFWL, so wouldn't you think they'd do what they could to compete with Steam? Call me optimistic, but while I'm not enthusiastic about the sale and also worry it's more of a desperate move from Wardell to recoup some of Elemental's projected profits(?) I can't write GS off when it's possible this could be for the better. All in all Impulse is going to be turned down without a thought, but Steam, who stated Star Ruler wasn't wanted thanks to too many games like it, is that much better than Impulse's potential future....

Gamestop (like the British version Game) is a video game pawnshop.

I bet anything that they will make a "used" games download service for Impulse (that meaning some sort of DRM)

Then BMS and the other independent developers might as well not be on Impulse at all by that point.

Remylebeau_88

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #23 on: April 04, 2011, 02:07:54 AM »
I bet anything that they will make a "used" games download service for Impulse (that meaning some sort of DRM)

I'm not sure I follow. Are you suggesting GS would implement this form of DRM that would render any "purchase" into a rental? I can't figure how that would make sense to anyone or how a fear of a company would be so far flung. I'm just a little worried that BMS are getting sucked into this speculating and, for the time being, extraneous scare.

Nodachi

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #24 on: April 04, 2011, 04:25:53 AM »
Gamestop (like the British version Game) is a video game pawnshop.
And that is the core reason game publishers hate them. When gamestop sells a used game the publisher doesn't get a cut and they somehow seem to think that they should. That's why the media companies, including software publishers, are trying to take away our right of first sale by claiming that we're not buying anything but a "license" to use their stuff.

Now, before someone jumps on me, I'm not claiming this is the reasoning behind BMS leaving Impulse, BMS has already stated their reasons for the move.

Firgof

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #25 on: April 04, 2011, 11:27:24 AM »
Additionally, do note that though we cannot divulge the specifics, when we wrote that we had to make a decision rather quickly that that was meant in the most literal sense possible.  We could not 'wait and see'.  We made this decision based on historical appraisal; they even have had their own digital distribution service for quite some time.  With it not being a success, and also not representing many indie titles at all, that bred zero confidence in our outlook for Impulse being managed by them.

Quote
My only concern is when/if Gamestop no longer holds Star Ruler... how will I be able to re-download the game If i need too? Ill be forced to rebuy it.
Star Ruler should continue to persist on Impulse but not be sold.  This means that the files should be available for redownload at any time.  I would recommend backing the game up on your own backup media; it has no DRM so you should have no trouble reinstalling the game at any point.
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Amethyst

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #26 on: April 04, 2011, 12:08:23 PM »
Impulse was the most profitable business for them in the last year and this in itself doesn't make any sense why they sold it off. I am not a businessman but i do have some common sense. Why would i sell a business that was more profitable than Stardock. The argument for this is that Brad Wardell claims that impulse was taking up more Stardock resources. So he would rather sell impulse and concentrate on the publishing side instead. Okay fair enough. But it seems to me that Brad Wardell has the inability to run two companies together.

The reason given is they would not be able to do what they like doing (and he is in the business because he likes it, not for money), which is creating cool software. Or do be more precise, they would be stuck making software for Impulse. Look at Valve, they have only released one new game of late.

Now for a publically traded company this would truely be a crap decision.

Amethyst

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #27 on: April 04, 2011, 12:12:39 PM »
I'm not so sure I can support this. Gamestop has been a poor supporter for PC games, but dropping them without giving them a shot isn't something I can agree with, at least for the time being. They've done their best to keep their business and as you said stuck to the big titles, but there's the chance this gives them the opportunity to do otherwise. With the purchase of Impulse they can take chances (no worries of wasted shelf space) and it's due in part to the idea that they just about have to. Just from a financial position they're losing out on the PC market, and getting into this half-assed will put them next to GFWL, so wouldn't you think they'd do what they could to compete with Steam? Call me optimistic, but while I'm not enthusiastic about the sale and also worry it's more of a desperate move from Wardell to recoup some of Elemental's projected profits(?) I can't write GS off when it's possible this could be for the better. All in all Impulse is going to be turned down without a thought, but Steam, who stated Star Ruler wasn't wanted thanks to too many games like it, is that much better than Impulse's potential future....

Stardock did not need the money; their desktop applications alone sales paid for Elemental. And Impulse made more than the desktop apps.

On another forum it has been said (if I remember correctly) part of why the decision to remove Star Ruler from sale on Impulse was so quick is Gamestop could change the contract BMS has with Impulse.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2011, 12:16:28 PM by Amethyst »

Ynglaur

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #28 on: April 04, 2011, 12:47:57 PM »
Such a shame...I know Brad's long-term vision for Impulse was to have it be a distribution platform for large amounts of freeware applications, in addition to paid applications.  Other than Corel and Stardock's own products, though, I don't think it ever grained traction with non-game applications.

DarkShrike

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #29 on: April 04, 2011, 01:00:51 PM »
Ironically it had to be your repudiation of the new gamestop overlords that led me to discover this game but now that I have found you - consider this notification of another purchase.

HOW did I not see this one coming down the pipes???

Despoiler

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #30 on: April 04, 2011, 05:28:29 PM »
i have never bought or sold a game at gamestop just because how they treat independant companies, but i've had an external version of star ruler since i bought it so its not a huge deal, though it is sad  :'(

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #31 on: April 04, 2011, 07:15:16 PM »
I have been an Impulse user for several years now. But things are not as they once were.

I purchased and D/L'd EUIII Complete in early Jan. of this year. My computer uses x64 Win XP Pro as the OS. My computer is 2 yrs old.

In Late Feb and then in Early March I purchased SoaSE Entrenchment and then SoTS Complete. Neither will complete the D/L process. I submitted a Support ticket with Impulse. After several EMs and even Disabling my AV and Firewall the D/L's still would not work/complete. Today after running their special SDSupport Tool.exe program I'm notified that Impulse and the games they sell do Not support x64 XP. What?!! They did in Jan and all last year! So what has changed? They also closed the support ticket! A Mr Hendsell Manager of the Support QA team was the one who replied and closed the ticket. I did every thing they asked and the problem is on their side but they copped out on me.

I of course fired back a reply asking for a refund on my 2 purchases. If they do not give me a refund Impulse will be deleted from my Computer and I will Never use their services again. I don't take kindly to theft.

JosEPh

If it worked in Jan why won't it work in March?

Amethyst

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #32 on: April 04, 2011, 07:45:35 PM »
No one supports XP64, some applications just happen to work on it.

In any case, it says under the system requirements of Impulse that it only supports XP (32-bit).
« Last Edit: April 04, 2011, 07:52:57 PM by Amethyst »

ObliviousTrek

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #33 on: April 05, 2011, 12:06:28 AM »
No one supports XP64, some applications just happen to work on it.

In any case, it says under the system requirements of Impulse that it only supports XP (32-bit).
According to JosEPh Impulse did support this in January. Unless it was put up by mistake.

Psitaylor

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #34 on: April 05, 2011, 03:18:44 AM »
I wholeheartedly agree, seeing as i`ve been treated badly by gamestop at their stores, and one time even being scammed. Infact i just cancelled my sins pre-order because of this and will not be using impulse in the future, stardock really made a stupid decision on this, even if they did get alot of money for it.
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greywolf

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #35 on: April 05, 2011, 04:29:43 AM »
Re: Archiving Star Ruler

There are really 2 questions:
- If I simply copy the whole Star Ruler folder to another destination and uninstall Star Ruler, would Star Ruler run from that destination folder? Wouldn't it need some registry entries?
I could try myself, but maybe someone knows already.
- Using the Impulse "Archive" function gives me a file with the extension ".impulse". How do I restore Star Ruler from that file (renaming it to exe doesn't work) without using Impulse? 

ObliviousTrek

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #36 on: April 05, 2011, 06:58:36 AM »
The reason given is they would not be able to do what they like doing (and he is in the business because he likes it, not for money), which is creating cool software. Or do be more precise, they would be stuck making software for Impulse. Look at Valve, they have only released one new game of late.

Now for a publically traded company this would truely be a crap decision.
But he sold it to Retailer who he pretty much despises. He doesnt mention GS by name. But he says that the retailers have destroyed pc gaming and they don't let the small indie devs a foot in the door. Which is why he started Impulse.

I cant see why Stardock couldn't run impulse as a separate company and be a subsidiary. All Brad would have to do is hire a CEO to run Impulse. So Impulse would have its own management and money and they wouldn't be taking resources away from Stardock.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2011, 07:02:16 AM by ObliviousTrek »

GGLucas

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #37 on: April 05, 2011, 11:46:47 AM »
Quote
- If I simply copy the whole Star Ruler folder to another destination and uninstall Star Ruler, would Star Ruler run from that destination folder? Wouldn't it need some registry entries?

Yes, there is no problem with doing this (although you will need to back up your savegames/exported stuffs separately, they are in Documents/My Games/Star Ruler).

Amethyst

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #38 on: April 05, 2011, 11:51:58 AM »
According to JosEPh Impulse did support this in January. Unless it was put up by mistake.
He was wrong that it was supported, they were not really supporting XP64 as far back as 2008, if it worked great! If not then too bad, it was a use at your own ri type of thing. At that time it worked, but now it is another story.

http://forums.impulsedriven.com/315663
http://forums.impulsedriven.com/341573/page/1/
« Last Edit: April 05, 2011, 11:55:05 AM by Amethyst »

adugan

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #39 on: April 05, 2011, 05:11:10 PM »
I am planning to buy Star Ruler, is there any way to get it in a retail box as a disc copy? I do not trust Steam and Impulse, since I want a physical copy of my game to use whenever I want.

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #40 on: April 05, 2011, 05:13:13 PM »
The physical discs will not be released until later this year (september).

You can preorder one at The Iceberg shop, though.

adugan

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #41 on: April 05, 2011, 05:25:56 PM »
Ah, ok. How would I be able to get the game before September if Impulse no longer sells it?

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #42 on: April 05, 2011, 05:32:57 PM »
You can get it at any of the online retailers listed on the buy page. You can still get it from Impulse until the GameStop takeover becomes effective though.

Note that these are separate from the physical copy from Iceberg.

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #43 on: April 05, 2011, 05:35:50 PM »
Cool, Thanks for your help GGLucas.

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #44 on: April 06, 2011, 01:00:36 AM »
Thanks for the clarification, GGLucas. It's good to hear that values still matter in these days of shortsightedness - good luck and much success!

Deadeas

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #45 on: April 06, 2011, 04:19:52 AM »
Huh. Saw this mentioned on Kotaku earlier.

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #46 on: April 06, 2011, 09:45:32 AM »
Hello.  I'm not (yet) a Blind Mind customer, but I just wanted to say I applaud and respect your decision to leave Impulse, and your actions make me much more inclined to purchase Star Ruler than I otherwise might have been.

I would also like to suggest that you consider including Good Old Games (gog.com) among your retail sales partners.  I see mentioned in this thread several times that there is no native DRM for Star Ruler, so there should be no business incompatibility preventing you from listing your game with gog.com.   I'm not affiliated with them in any way, except as a prolific customer.  They respect consumer computing rights, and are currently the only digital distributor that I know of that is steadfastly defending a DRM-free market for PC gaming.

I would *love* to see Star Ruler included in gog's catalog, and I firmly believe that the accompanying increase in sales would be tremendous.

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #47 on: April 06, 2011, 10:01:19 AM »
We did consider joining up with GoG but weren't sure if we would fit, given that it's a site whose primary consideration is older games.  I do know that The Witcher 2 is coming out on GoG but then the company who owns GoG made The Witcher 2.

Regardless, I suppose it's worth a shot at least.
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dahoste

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #48 on: April 06, 2011, 10:51:11 AM »
Thanks for the reply Firgof.

Yeah.. their choice of name was probably a little short-sighted.  :)   They bootstrapped themselves with the genuinely old stuff, but have been pulling in titles seemingly as much as the respective publishers will cooperate (which is still an uphill fight).  Their collection of post-2005 titles is growing, and I hope continues to do so.

Unfortunately, I think a lot of the publishers are still viewing it the same way that movie studios view DVD sales relative to theater-ticket sales.  I.e. they're playing ball but only because they perceive the DRM-free market as a way to squeeze more juice out of the fruit after the normal retail channels have run dry.

I'd be very surprised if gog wasn't enthusiastic about accommodating you.  I know for a fact that they're constantly being deluged with customer requests for inclusion of any and all titles, so I can't imagine they aren't anxious to grow their catalog, especially from a like-minded studio with a contemporary game.  (My opinion is that they're taking the leap with their Witcher 2 release as a way to be able to show compelling sales numbers to publishers, to soften their resistance to a DRM-free release of brand new mainstream games.)

Regardless, again I want to say thanks for sticking to your philosophical guns.  Too few developers do so, and that's precisely why the industry has devolved to what it is today.

Phrost

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #49 on: April 06, 2011, 02:16:38 PM »
First off, I understand BMS's position in that they were likely given a very limited time window to annul their contract when the change of ownership was announced, and I don't fault you guys at all for taking the position you did.  I also applaud your pledge of ongoing support for all owners, regardless of the purchase channel, so thank you.

With that said, I'm optimistically taking the opposite view of the purchase of Impulse by Gamestop.  Gamestop is currently a "brick and mortar" store (while not privy to their financial situation, I can't believe that online sales account for a significant percentage of their revenue).  Part of the constraint of operating a B&M store is the distinct limitation on the physical space they can devote to inventory.  Gamestop has taken the position that console games/equipment are "where the money is at", and so have allocated the bulk of their physical space accordingly.  I think most PC gamers are disappointed at that, but thus far that's just been the way things go.  Where my optimism kicks in: I like to think that Gamestop has realized the error of their ways, and is using this as an opportunity to branch out.  Maybe someone finally decided that "hey, even though we can't allocate our limited physical space to niche products, the internet is infinite" and so have decided to purchase Impulse to allow them to use the stores to cater towards 'things that sell well in stores' but will use Impulse to cater towards more niche products.  My vision for this, and what I hope was running through Brad's mind when he sold, was to allow Gamestop to leverage their much larger marketing and sales budget/staff to put their time and expertise towards the strengths that digital distribution offers, while still using their retail stores to emphasize the strengths of a physical presence.  Hopefully the outcome will be physical stores that cater to the generations of consoles that still require physical disks, and a digital download service that takes advantage of the fact that stocking a niche product doesn't prevent you from stocking a main-stream product, and so we end up with a healthy, robust variety of options.

Now I challenge you, Gamestop, to make that happen.

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #50 on: April 06, 2011, 07:55:59 PM »
No one supports XP64, some applications just happen to work on it.

In any case, it says under the system requirements of Impulse that it only supports XP (32-bit).

It's actually XP "Pro" x64 and Microsoft still supports it. And they still sell it at any major computer retail company like Newegg and Tiger.

And it's Waaay better than Vista 32 or 64 and will still do some things that 7 x64 balks at.

All that aside Impulse is ignoring my EMs.

JosEPh

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #51 on: April 06, 2011, 08:15:24 PM »
It's actually XP "Pro" x64 and Microsoft still supports it. And they still sell it at any major computer retail company like Newegg and Tiger.

And it's Waaay better than Vista 32 or 64 and will still do some things that 7 x64 balks at.

All that aside Impulse is ignoring my EMs.

JosEPh

Support as in specifically make sure that software will work on it.

And XP64 was not really been supported as of 2008, so you were lucky it worked before.

On another note, I came across a use peice of info regarding archiving with Impulse. To get the best results (meaning least chance of it not working) use the option to Download and Archive the application.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2011, 08:29:14 PM by Amethyst »

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #52 on: April 06, 2011, 11:55:05 PM »
I will vouch above for the option of GOG.com being a vendor, and I will buy this game from them if you go there 100%. My account has, hmm lemme see......39 games on it at GOG and my latest purchase was the Battle Isle Platinum set.

GOG satnds up for DRM free, and I have every single one of the installers for the games I like on my HDD. What I like the most is that these installers will work an infinite amount of times off any media I put it on, whether it's CD or flash drive. And there is no restriction of any kind which is great. Because they treat customers so well there is actually only like 10 of their games being pirated, out of 300+ in their catalog that is very good considering it's an open DRM-free installer. Their customers respect GOG and because of this GOG treats customers well, which makes customers respect GOG more. Very good company. Don't worry about their initial focus of good old games, GOG included a few new games in their catalog like Empire Earth 3 and etc.

Random

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #53 on: April 07, 2011, 12:56:42 AM »
As someone who purchased through Impulse, thank you.

ObliviousTrek

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #54 on: April 07, 2011, 05:38:00 PM »
I will vouch above for the option of GOG.com being a vendor, and I will buy this game from them if you go there 100%. My account has, hmm lemme see......39 games on it at GOG and my latest purchase was the Battle Isle Platinum set.

GOG satnds up for DRM free, and I have every single one of the installers for the games I like on my HDD. What I like the most is that these installers will work an infinite amount of times off any media I put it on, whether it's CD or flash drive. And there is no restriction of any kind which is great. Because they treat customers so well there is actually only like 10 of their games being pirated, out of 300+ in their catalog that is very good considering it's an open DRM-free installer. Their customers respect GOG and because of this GOG treats customers well, which makes customers respect GOG more. Very good company. Don't worry about their initial focus of good old games, GOG included a few new games in their catalog like Empire Earth 3 and etc.

Can you still back up GOG games to DVD. I know on GG SR is DRM free. And all you have to do is copy the SR exe to DVD.

T-Bone Biggins

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #55 on: April 07, 2011, 11:31:34 PM »
Yes, just copy the installer to whatever media you choose. It can be CD, DVD, Blu-Ray, Flash drive, USB HDD, Solid State HDD, and even a few smaller ones maybe even Zip Drives (Master of Orion 1+2 totals like 30Mb)

The downside is this can turn off major companies, and I have not seen a current Indie game on GOG yet. Nevermind, browsing and I see Shadowgrounds which is an Indie game from 3 years ago. Hmm, we'll see what Blind-Mind does......

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #56 on: April 08, 2011, 05:27:12 AM »
Just to add what I can to the GoG discussion: I actually contacted them about a game I developed (a pretty simple indie game) a while back, and they replied that they only sold old games, as the name implied. I think the email actually said something like that. Almost sounded sarcastic, in a refreshing "there is a person and not a robot sending me this email" kind of way. Anyway, they seem like cool people.

They also seem to have started selling some not-so-old games recently, so maybe they will be interested in newer/indie games now.

And all that aside, I just learned of Blind Mind Studios and Star Ruler from all this hubbub. I think you've snared me.

dahoste

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #57 on: April 08, 2011, 08:55:40 AM »
Dark_Oppresor, when did you make your inquiry to GoG?  I would be disappointed if it was recently, as that would indicate an active resistance on their part to broaden their market footprint.  And as a GoG customer, if this were the case, it would make me contact them regarding their stance towards indie games (both new and old).

My hope is that they indeed wish to include as many decent games in their catalog as they have the resources to support, regardless of release date.  I suspect that to some extent they've had to tread lightly, avoiding the perception of poaching revenue from the very entities with which they must negotiate.

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #58 on: April 08, 2011, 09:26:34 AM »
Just to keep this a bit up-to-date:  Within a week's time:  The Affiliate program is ended due to the GameStop take over (that means it would have ended for us too, so we would no longer receive an 15% markup on royalties from people who buy Star Ruler from our website).

GameStop is putting up a digital storefront on Facebook (probably with the intention to 'poke' people about pre-orders and/or go "ThisGuy just bought X game at GameStop!  He chose you as his 'buddy', so click here to receive an exclusive discount on the game he bought for your purchase!), and the Power-Up program is going to be 'integrated' with Impulse along with Impulse somehow being integrated with GameStop's website.  They have also announced that Power Up will be offered to people on Impulse.  EDIT: Currently, Power Up is a free membership at GameStop; Power Up Pro is a paid-for membership that includes discounts and pre-order information as well as special offers.

Also, though it's not coming from GameStop, Brad suggested that he believes GameStop will win out over Steam due to being able to leverage its game sales program to give discounts on Impulse.  (my e.g.: You trade-in one game and are given the option to get 'impulse credits' or just credits to your power up account; instead of getting cash on your game or even a store credit, you get discounts on games.)  What's cheaper than giving a customer money?  Giving customers fixed discounts with expiration dates.  Again, pure speculation on my part, but I wouldn't be surprised if there was a glimmer of truth in the example Brad gave.

It's sadly looking like our historical appraisal was actually an appraisal of their corporate policy.  I'm still hopeful that GS has changed and has figured out how to make this work but these are not confidence building announcements, one after the other, all negative.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2011, 08:38:31 PM by Firgof »
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thecdn

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #59 on: April 08, 2011, 09:49:48 AM »
You can preorder one at The Iceberg shop, though.

Would North American customers order through this site or will there be other alternatives?

Firgof

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #60 on: April 08, 2011, 10:03:13 AM »
We are working on alternatives but can't state what they might be at this time.
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dahoste

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #61 on: April 08, 2011, 10:12:43 AM »
Matrix Games is another outfit that is very receptive to indie (and modestly budgeted) games.  And Star Ruler is actually a great demographic match for them.

http://matrixgames.com/corporate/submitting.asp

(I hope you don't mind the retail partner brainstorming...)

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #62 on: April 08, 2011, 10:13:21 AM »
We approached them a while ago actually.
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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #63 on: April 08, 2011, 12:11:40 PM »
Would North American customers order through this site or will there be other alternatives?

Note that Iceberg does indeed ship internationally, so if you're in North America, there's nothing stopping you from ordering aside from shipping price/speed.

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #64 on: April 13, 2011, 04:03:07 PM »
There is a podcast link at the Elemental War of Magic web site (probably other places too) called "Jump the Shark Podcast with Brad Wardell".  He talks about the how and whys of the Gamestop deal and future of digital distribution of games.  Interesting to say the least. 8)

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #65 on: April 15, 2011, 12:30:21 PM »
I was rather surprised to see that Star Ruler is on sale at Impulse this Weekend. Is this something that you can not influence?

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #66 on: April 15, 2011, 12:33:55 PM »
We're fine with Impulse-as-controlled-by-Stardock gaining sales.  This can be seen by Star Ruler continuing to be sold at this time.  That may change due to recent legal conversations, however; the game may be removed earlier-than-intended.
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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #67 on: April 15, 2011, 05:58:05 PM »

I respect the developers for taking a stand on principle. Reminds me of when California banned .50BMG rifles, so Barrett Firearms Co. (makers of the M-82 .50 cal rifle) announced that they would no longer sell weapons to the state of California, or service their existing weapons, which was a huge loss of business for them.

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #68 on: April 18, 2011, 06:50:43 AM »
I think we are going to see more devs pull out soon. One dev has already started to issue Steam keys to its impulse customers.

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #69 on: April 22, 2011, 10:28:34 AM »
Wow.  I didn't even realize Impulse had been bought until I saw it here after coming to this website just to link it to someone I was playing Shores of Hazeron with and then I realized I'm not registered on these forums.  I don't have many games on Impulse but Star Ruler is one of them.  I wonder how things will change.  I certainly won't be buying any games from them again any time soon if this change loses my access to Star Ruler.

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #70 on: April 24, 2011, 03:00:52 AM »
What a shame, impulse seemed like a really good service too; but if gamestop is taking it over I will most likely stop using it.

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #71 on: April 24, 2011, 12:37:20 PM »
The same.  I preferred Impulse to Steam as long as Stardock was in control, but since GameStop is taking over I'll stick with Steam.
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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #72 on: May 01, 2011, 07:21:28 PM »
just saw this:

http://news.bigdownload.com/2011/04/10/stardock-head-surprised-by-star-rulers-decision-to-depart-imp/

might be worth a read if your interested in this topic.
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« Last Edit: May 01, 2011, 09:22:25 PM by Amethyst »

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #74 on: May 01, 2011, 09:11:43 PM »
Star Ruler was recently removed from sale on the service.

darkova

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #75 on: May 02, 2011, 02:05:21 AM »
is there anything i can do to download the game from another provider since i already bought this on impulse?

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #76 on: May 02, 2011, 03:07:24 AM »
I am pretty new to SR and have never tested Impulse, either, so I got a question:

How does GameStop neglect the PC platform? What has GS done to have this reputation?

I am from Germany and GS is nearly non-existent around here, thats why I am wondering.
Also, I think it is really dumb to not support Indies. I mean, havent games like Star Ruler, Minecraft and others proven that Indie games
not only can but mostly ARE waaaay more creative than all the crap the big companies spit out? And isnt the digital distribution supposed to be a cheaper alternative to shelves in your local store?
Aint that the whole idea?

I am dreaming of becoming an Indie someday so this pisses me off, especially when great ideas bite the dust due to such actions.

Luckily there do exist alternatives.
Greetz

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #77 on: May 02, 2011, 10:29:22 AM »
You've probably never been in a GameStop, so you won't know about their practically-nonexistent PC shelf space.  GameStop also focuses on buying used console games for $20 and selling them at $50-$55.  GameStop simply does not respect the PC.
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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #78 on: May 02, 2011, 11:10:39 AM »
I am from Germany and GS is nearly non-existent around here, thats why I am wondering.

The main reason for them being so underrepresented here in Germany is that Germany's PC games market is still relatively strong compared to the console market, mainly due to the ongoing success of casual and budget games, simulations (farming simulators, train simulators and truck simulators to name a few) as well as some PC-focused genres, such as adventure games. Sadly, the PC is still getting weaker.

I, for one, as a long-time gamer, am fed up with some of the console bullshit that's been going on (o hai sony!) and will not buy any new game consoles in the years to come.


Though it is sad to see Star Ruler simply vanish from Impulse (which I used to prefer to Steam where possible in the past), it's small signs like these that need to happen to show companies like GameStop what the PC crowd thinks of their business practices. Like I said before, kudos to Blind Mind Studios for having the balls to see it through. I'm sure the potential loss of sales due to this isn't exactly small.

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #79 on: May 02, 2011, 11:21:16 AM »
Quote
How does GameStop neglect the PC platform? What has GS done to have this reputation?
GameStop was once one of the best ways to get PC games.  Due to its close competitors, it kept itself honest, stocked some indie titles and generally speaking wasn't too much of a hassle to shop at.  Over the years, what was 4 whole walls of PC games (and these were the 'full box' size, but was still at about 2 1/2 walls when the switch to small box happened) shrank to a tiny, stomach-high, two-sided rack mainly stocked by Blizzard (they pay to have their presence in the store) and by stocked by Blizzard I mean the war chests.  Sometimes there are some recent, high-profile, titles on the shelf but not often and never in quantity.

If you would like to buy any PC game you have to pre-order it, basically, otherwise they won't stock it.  Now, all that wouldn't be bad in your typical business environment.   It's likely GameStop would just lose out PC competition to its competitors.  Except that its competitors got swallowed into GameStop; effectively making it a monopoly in some areas.  Circuit City provided PC retail, but went bankrupt.  Best Buy used to offer a wide selection of PC games over a large area (I think 4 or 5 full shelves, about 3-4 sections long): now it's half of one full shelf.

Now the most important thing is:  That monopolization occurred before Steam really existed.  The whole problem was that there was usually no place else to go to get PC games unless you were lucky enough to live in a major metropolitan area.  The reason for why PC games started shrinking in presence at GameStop are probably primarily greed motivated:  As PC games started using DRM the PC section shrank and the used game sales grew.  Now, fine, that cuts into their retail pricing and all (because they can't sell them used anymore).  But I want to stress that they were effectively a monopoly, therefore unless the whole of PC gamers decided to just stop buying games, they had to buy them at GameStop if they were unlucky.  All that put together:  GameStop abandoned its PC market and still has no real desire to be in it.

This trend of not caring about the PC market [and independent games] has been a long and growing thread.  It's even still visible:  the digital distribution system on their site (not Impulse) was an aggregator that only really sold big-name games and even those included didn't represent the lion's share of market demand.  That timid 'toe into the water because maybe it'll kill our company'/'we really don't know how to make this work, so do it for us' really shows well their inexperience and their discomfort in breaking back into the PC market.  They don't really understand the PC market because they didn't know how to sell it before, they still don't now because they're letting other companies decide "who they wear", and I'd mark this purchase down as an act of desperation in attempting to be relevant in the PC market.

With all that:  GameStop has had the wealth and more than the opportunity to really be a leader in the PC market sector for years and years.  They've neglected the market and neglected their customers, so few owe them any loyalty anymore.  They are a business whose primary obligation is to get customers 'invested' in their storefront as they're the only game in town that buys consoles and games for cheap and 'flips' them to turn a great profit (but then turn around and only offer a fraction of that fraction of money in actual walk-out cash to the customer); all this whilst badgering the customer about the various opt-ins they have. 

That they're now trying to 'make amends' to those same customers after several years of Steam demonstrating a vibrant and profitable PC market, their token download system was a joke and this recent acquisition a demonstration of inconfidence in their ability to lead (justifiably so)?  None of these things are confidence building and none of them are qualities we would like to see in a partner: and that's why, in the context of the necessity of making a snap decision, we made the decision that we did.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2011, 12:27:00 PM by Firgof »
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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #80 on: May 02, 2011, 05:11:12 PM »
I was just logging into impulse and noticed an update and sadly it now shows the Gamestop logo on it...

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #81 on: May 02, 2011, 05:15:51 PM »
Mhhh, if anything this decision is too early. If it had been based on something graspable like a dedicated decision by the new owners of Impulse that goes against Indy developers it would be understandable, but declaring to not-support a company before you have a (in any way related) reason to do so is shooting your powder too early.

Maybe worse, because Steam originally refused Star Ruler when Impulse was the only place that accepted it it looks like you are biting the hand that fed you and honestly, i agree that this makes this decision look all the more "odd" - or at least way too soon.

As I live in Germany I know nothing of Gamestop so i have no opinion, any change to make Impulse actually relevant outside of the USA is welcome, so far Impulse is more restricted and walled off than Guantanamo, that is if you want to buy any of the AAA games which are nearly often (always?) restricted to US/Canada.

Anyhow, you gotta know what you are doing
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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #82 on: May 02, 2011, 05:37:12 PM »
We could not make the decision any later than we did as I have stated many times.  We had to make it then and, as I showed above, there were plenty of reasons both logical and ethical to persuade us to drop the contract.  As time has worn on, our decision has only been reinforced.  The affiliate program was dropped, our conversations with GameStop were... aggravating, and I only see dark clouds on the horizon from the announcements they've made on what they want to do with the service thus far.

I'm willing to be proven wrong but they have a very compelling history that persuades me to not expect sweeping or even moderate change.  By and large they've "stuck to the plan" and never gone against their known policies.  I expect GameStop to do 'evil' things like I expect Derek Smart to have convoluted interfaces with non-tooltipped three-letter acronyms everywhere.  Sure, I am willing to accept Smart changing his UI design practices but I've been well conditioned to expect that.

I would go into the legal stuff if I were allowed to but I cannot.  Suffice to say: There was more than one compelling legal reason that soured the water in a truly significant and important manner.  Our further contact with them has only continued to degrade our opinion and willingness to work with GameStop-by-way-of-Impulse.

Losing Impulse was a very big blow to us and it was not a casual decision that we made.  There were long debates with all of us debating pros and cons as quickly as possible.  We tried to gather as much information as we could.  We double-checked all the legal stuffs to make sure we were reading our obligations and their obligations correctly.  We considered their history, their financial status, their corporate ethics, and our interactions with them.  From all that, we came to the unanimous decision that we had to drop the contract.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2011, 05:40:57 PM by Firgof »
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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #83 on: May 02, 2011, 05:41:06 PM »
is there anything i can do to download the game from another provider since i already bought this on impulse?

For the time being, it is still availible on Impulse for download if you have purchased it.

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #84 on: May 02, 2011, 05:43:43 PM »
because Steam originally refused Star Ruler when Impulse was the only place that accepted it

Impulse was after GamersGate and Direct2Drive in accepting Star Ruler onto the service.

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #85 on: May 02, 2011, 05:45:08 PM »
As I live in Germany I know nothing of Gamestop so i have no opinion, any change to make Impulse actually relevant outside of the USA is welcome, so far Impulse is more restricted and walled off than Guantanamo, that is if you want to buy any of the AAA games which are nearly often (always?) restricted to US/Canada.

That is still better than having to put up with that crap practice of releasing only censored versions of many games in the German Steam shop. We have to keep in mind that the regional pricing and censorship issues are both controlled by the publishers, though. Well, that and Steam doesn't offer an age verification system that would stand up to German regulations (though, since they are based in the US, I'd say "fuck this" and release uncut stuff anyways).

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #86 on: May 02, 2011, 05:54:35 PM »
Quote
crap practice of releasing only censored versions of many games in the German Steam shop

I have a feeling that this isn't Steam doing it, but your silly laws ;) I would doubt anyone would spend the time/money to censor things if they didn't have to.

Quote
regional pricing

Yeah, that one is a bit silly. But as you said (and as Star Ruler shows), that's not Steam's fault but the developer/publishers'.

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #87 on: May 02, 2011, 06:17:01 PM »
Indeed, and Impulse/Gamersgate/D2D have the same problems. ;/ Stupid youth protection laws.

Thanks for clearing that up though, I totally forgot about Gamersgate and D2D ;P (I am only on Steam/Impulse anyway). My memory sucks apparently.

As I have no "inside" view on what goes on behind the scenes @ Impulse I can only guess. But if the goal is to compete against Steam they probably shouldn't annoy Indy and "not AAA" developers....
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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #88 on: May 02, 2011, 06:31:58 PM »
I have a feeling that this isn't Steam doing it, but your silly laws ;)

That's what we usually get to hear from all who don't have to put up with stuff like this - and it's only half of the truth. No offense intended, of course. :)

I know that aside from Valve games (i.e. TF2) this isn't Valve's doing. Usually the publishers do this because they grew so used to dealing with the shitty laws in the past that they became overly cautious by now. But the thing is that there is no law that makes anyone censor their games. Only a tiny fraction of games is actually banned (usually those with certain political symbols or excessive scenes of violence or glorification of it), or rather put on an index limiting the available options of selling and advertising to a minimum (though even that is wrong in my opinion). Often it is worth pursuing a lower age rating, though, to maximize sales. Even games with an USK 18 rating can be sold easily, but it can and will hurt sales. That is one of the reasons many games are released in a cut version.

The games that are put on an index (in a different process) can still be sold - but not openly advertised (so they need to be sold "under the counter", effectively killing sales almost completely).

Quote
I would doubt anyone would spend the time/money to censor things if they didn't have to.

Because some publishers don't wanna go through the hassle of having their games checked (multiple times) only to get denied the rating they were aiming for, it has become an option to not even try and release a game in Germany. Others simply opt for the path of least resistance and risk, censoring their games in advance because it will - probably - still be the more economical approach in the end.

That being said, I simply refuse to pay for incomplete software. Moreover, games can be and often are a form of art; why would I buy censored art?
So in this case, I'll either go for an import (in the case of Mortal Kombat 2011 for example, for which a German release won't even be considered for obvious reasons) or simply have to do without it.

Stupid youth protection laws.

I think that is exactly the point where things are going wrong. The Jugendschutzgesetz is supposed to protect kids. It was never meant to protect or limit responsible, adult people. However, our politicians - for a multitude of reasons - won't see reason and still view computer games as some sort of magical voodoo mumbo-jumbo that is only meant for kids and freaks. Some of this I know from first hand experience, since my last job involved dealing with politicians on a daily basis.

Anyways, sorry for bringing this up. Didn't want to clutter this thread with something unrelated to it. I should *really* refrain from posting when I'm sleepy...

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #89 on: May 03, 2011, 02:54:24 PM »
Thanks for the information, that explains alot.

But how can they be THAT dumb? They wanna come back because of the vibrant PC digital download market, sure, but if they abandon the PC market as a shop that had a monopoly they cause the downfall of the market themselves and are also able to save it, aren't they?

Whatever, I never used Impulse and I won't start now, so all thats left is to respect you for the balls proven.
Greetz

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #90 on: May 04, 2011, 10:36:27 AM »
I have a feeling that this isn't Steam doing it, but your silly laws ;) I would doubt anyone would spend the time/money to censor things if they didn't have to.
Several years ago there was a game called Return to Castle Wolfenstein. In the review in a games magazine they said that swastika symbol in the game was replaced by games logo specially for Germany. Even I don't live there(I'm in country bordering to the east), I know something about that market.
About age restrictions. Not many people in my country buy games, but I think nobody cares about it, when they buy them. Most of games are pirated from p2p networks.

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #91 on: July 23, 2011, 04:37:00 PM »
Yea I'm not a big fan of Gamestop either. The main reason I got into Impulse was because I was already a member of Stardock Central (what they called it before) and it was really focused around Indie developers. After Gamestop purchased Impulse I no longer have any plans to buy anything off there... Must restrain from long winded rant against GS...


As for Stardock choosing to sell it I still think that makes absolutely NO sense. People try to defend their reasons by saying everything is not about money but honestly they are kind of wrong. You need money to do spend the time to make the cool and interesting stuff. If you have something making you a ton of money then you don't simply get ride of it, you keep it and make sure it continues to grow so it can help support your real interest.

What they should of done is created either a new division at Stardock or created a new company owned by Stardock and transferred the whole Impulse division to that company. Then hire a CEO to run Impulse Corp as well as bringing on more staff to handle the day to day operations. Then Impulse corp pays out dividends to it's stock holder which is Stardock and thus the money trickles in helping to fund what you really care about doing. This would branch Impulse off from Stardock in terms of organization meaning he wouldn't have to dealing of one over the other as they would be completely separate.

It's been a while since my College Accounting and Business classes (Not an accountant just took some courses) but I know there are ways set it up as well as end up putting other people in charge of running the company day to day business while you still retain control over it. Of course that's not saying it would of been easy to do and may of taken months or even a year to get properly setup with all the legal paper work, hiring of new staff, finding building, and etc. But in the long run I think it would of been better then the alternative.

I thought Impulse was going to build up some serious momentum and maybe even rival steam, while still helping to support Indie developers. Now given what Gamestop has down with their own DD system as well as much of the animosity towards Gamestop I see a lot of people going to Steam of other DD services as a simply means of preventing Gamestop from getting their money. Gamestop's used games racket is cutting into the profits of Developers greatly and is the real reason behind much of they heavy DRM policies. I remember back when online activations with CD keys for multiplayer and other things started to hit PC games it was about that same time Gamestop stop selling used PC games.

A lot of big name Developers claim it is to combat piracy but that is a lie they need to tell because they want to keep on good terms with Gamestop so they can distribute their games. It's the same reason for a lot of the Day One DLC with code in the box, to discourage people from buying it used. All of these schemes the companies are coming up with which usually end up screwing over us customers are designed to try and combat Gamestop's marketing model which racks in Billions while giving none of that back to the developers.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2011, 04:40:36 PM by spyre2000 »

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #92 on: August 30, 2011, 08:47:59 PM »
Hi all,

Star Ruler just got patched on Impulse and is listed as purchasable on Impulse (http://www.impulsedriven.com/starruler), has there been a change of policy by Blindmind?

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #93 on: August 31, 2011, 01:44:06 AM »
Probably Iceberg, not BMS.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2011, 02:48:13 AM by Azalrion »
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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #94 on: August 31, 2011, 07:21:43 AM »
IGS, our North American retailer, also has digital resale rights. They decided to sell through Impulse as we were not actively selling there any more. I do not recommend purchasing through Impulse, for the reasons we originally left, as well as it not being a 'direct' sale to us.

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #95 on: August 31, 2011, 10:45:33 AM »
At least you know.  I wondered if it was gamestop bullying you into selling through impulse because of the boxed release in the US of A and them being the dominant retailer over there.

I don't buy through impulse anymore.

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #96 on: August 31, 2011, 11:19:36 AM »
Walmart and other department stores are bigger than Game Stop for total game sales, I believe. And I'm fairly sure Game Stop is continuing to downsize their PC sales.

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #97 on: September 04, 2011, 02:23:38 PM »
To be honest I am ecstatic Impulse has Impulse on it again. First it means constant automatic updates to our version of Star Ruler, and a guarantee we won't lose the ability to download it in the future since it's still being sold.

Next, it's Impulse. Still the same as before. I noticed no difference as an end-user since Gamestop added Impulse to it's portfolio. They notice that Impulse worked before and it's what they wanted when they bought it, a functioning service for PC. This is obviously Gamestop's way to profit from PC users along with console users, but they didn't do anything hurtful so far.

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #98 on: September 04, 2011, 02:29:23 PM »
Quote
Still the same as before
Except removing the affiliate program in its entirety, disrupting the pre-order system, some interesting changes to their ToS that would allow them to sell user information, a flood of issues related to game purchases/downloads in a reasonable timespan that started about the time of the exchange...

It's only been two months since the merger and they've expressed interest in changing bits and piece of Impulse already (pre-orders, demos, and stream-ware).  Not a positive trend so far.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2011, 02:39:38 PM by Firgof »
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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #99 on: September 08, 2011, 06:47:18 PM »
Just thought I should let you know the games is on sale at impulse for $9.97 this weekend.

But that's the problem with distributors, they only do what they want to do and to hell with the developers that made what their selling wants.

I've read horror stories from other indie devs, especially Derek smart, he always goes public with publisher issues/lawsuits. :)
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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #100 on: September 08, 2011, 08:16:40 PM »
When you give rights to a conglomeration of people who do their best to maximize the profits of a game it should be expected that they will do everything in their power to do so, even if it may conflict with your company's principles, as long as they are allowed to exercise those rights.

IGS hasn't done anything terrible.  If they wish to deal with Impulse/GameStop, that's their prerogative under the conditions we gave.  They are a separate entity from us and may not share our views and that's fine as long as they do not harm the game itself, compromise our company, or harm our customers.  We do not expect a partnership on that level with a distribution agreement; and I'm sure they expect us to not treat them as 'part of our company'.  We, however, will continue to not deal with Impulse/GameStop.

To their credit, they are trying to do what they believe is in our best interests as what they believe is in our best interests is getting us the money necessary for our survival.  Though we do not agree with their assessment of Impulse/Gamestop and do not believe it will generate much money at this point in the end, we shall still hold up our end of the bargain.  Our loyalty is to our customers, as always, no matter where they came from. :)
« Last Edit: September 08, 2011, 08:18:46 PM by Firgof »
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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #101 on: September 09, 2011, 03:16:22 PM »
The main reason large digital venders are such annoyances to deal with (Steam, Impulse, etc.) is about 90% legal rights. I like Steam, I use it extensively and so on. I've seen Impulse, it's alright. They would be wonderful for the developers, too, except for all of these bindind contracts and such made for one reason: to protect the company. There will always be people who wish to get money by loopholes in ToSes and such, and when you have mediums (companies which sell other companies products, both with rules and regulations), legal matters become a nightmare, which ruins everything else.

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #102 on: September 09, 2011, 04:30:31 PM »
.... which is why I always prefer (and look for) opportunities to pay developers directly when buying a game.

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #103 on: September 14, 2011, 02:31:21 AM »
Hi all,

I'm so annoyed about this that I had to register so that I could post.  BTW, this is not a rant about SR which is fantastic and something that everyone should buy!

Buyer Beware: Impulse's purchase system is dishonest.

I discovered SR this weekend because Impulse sent me an email advertising it.  After checking the demo out and being very impressed, I decided to buy the game from Impulse.  So, I went through the order process, entered my card details, etc.  At the end of the process, I had a page which said "thanks for your order, our sales team will process it during business hours (9am to 4pm EST)".  Isn't the whole point of digital distribution/electronic checkout supposed to be instant gratification?  Anyhoo, I received an email later in the day saying that the order could not be processed and I should check the details entered.

Quote
Our records indicate that you recently placed order number xxxxxxx with us at GameStop.com. Thank you for your business.

Unfortunately our system was unable to process your order. This has resulted in the order's cancellation. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

As a possible solution, we would recommend these steps:

     1. Contact your financial institution and confirm that the information they have on file matches with all the information you included when you placed your order.

     2. Place another order on w w w . g a m e s t o p . c o m (disabled) using a different form of payment.


If you require any further assistance, please feel free to reply to this email and we will be more than happy to assist you further.

Best Regards,

GameStop/Impulse Customer Service

Just wonderful.  I buzzed over to SR's website and found that it was on special from BMT, so placed an order there and had the game on my computer within 10 minutes - what a contrast!

This morning I see on my bank statement that Impulse have charged me, even though they claimed that the order could not be completed and have not supplied me with the game.  Outrageous!  I've managed to sort it out with my bank, so no trouble there.

I hadn't even realised that Impulse had changed ownership before I saw this thread on the forum.  Like another poster, I'm an old Stardock Central member.  After this experience, you can be sure that I will never buy from Impulse/Gamestop again!

The whole process has annoyed me so much that I thought I should post this here to warn anyone considering buying through Impulse/Gamestop that they may be charged, have a long wait and, ultimately, receive no game.

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #104 on: October 14, 2011, 01:50:09 PM »
Right,

So I'm disappointed in you guys. Has anyone ever heard of Kongregate? Really?

I love BMS and I love SR. I purchased it though Steam because I played the demo (before 1.1 even!) and said "OMFG THIS IS AWESOME." I made a friend try the demo and he bought it within an hour.

I realize when BMS had to make the decision it had to be "now" and I realize the affiliates program was a good source of income but I have this sneaking suspicion that maybe, just maybe a few people went into the talks with Gamestop with an overly negative attitude. You looked at their history? No mention of the Kongregate purchase around here.

Why is this important? It perfectly demonstrates that Gamestop sees independent games as a great thing that they want to support. Kongregate is a place where you can play games for free. Yes, it changed a little when Gamestop bought it so that they could make money. This is what is called a "business". Gamestop, like many other large companies, operates like a Hydra. Sometimes one head doesn't know what the other is doing.

So basically Gamestop wanted back in to the PC market because there's money in it, yes... but also because customers have been asking for it. Steam refused, apparently, to allow Gamestop to sell Steam codes for games as Gamestop wanted a cut of the profits. I don't know any specifics but I've heard there were talks that fell through a while ago about publishers giving Gamestop a discount on new games in exchange for a cut of preowned profits. I heard those fell through because the publishers wanted almost a half cut, even though they don't help fix broken games OR take the loss incurred by discs they can't fix.

People see themselves getting $20 for a game and Gamestop selling it for $55. Yeah, and? If you were selling things wouldn't you want to make a profit? How about paying the person you're having inspect those games and help customers find those games? I realize not every Gamestop has the best employees but, well, the one I go to seems to pride itself very much on having personable employees that, frankly, don't suck. Yes their margin is high, but they have a whole factory for resurfacing games that are defective. When a game doesn't work, they don't make money. They lose it. I'm not sure the percentage of loss there, but it likely eats into their margins something fierce as they've recently started kvetching about cracks forming and other things apparently.

People blame Gamestop for the waning PC market. How the hell is this Gamestop's problem? Gamestop is a retailer with limited space. Best Buy had entire aisles of PC games from AAA to little crapware titles for babies. How on earth does Best Buy downsizing their PC section rest with Gamestop? Here's a hint: IT DOESN'T. Gamestop and BestBuy are just RETAILERS that do a thing called "responding to demand". Well, PC games aren't in high demand. Just because you and I want them doesn't mean everyone ever wants them. Like it or not, consoles are at least as big, if not a little bigger, than PCs due to ease of use.

So why did the PC market wane? DRM. Don't you dare try to blame it on anything other than publishers implementing terrible DRM. They saw software piracy as a threat (which I disagree with, but more on that later) and implemented measures to treat everyone, even their customers, as criminals. They showed their allegiance was to $$$ and not to you and me. CD keys, yeah. We could handle those. Online activation? Started to get shaky... Starforce? Screw that. The publishers blamed piracy which is just a scapegoat for their waning customer service and product quality. Now, I know some people might start shaking with rage about me downplaying software piracy. Let me just say, stealing games is not cool.

Developers like BMS deserve payment for the awesome games they make, but they made SR with no DRM... And where is the piracy loss? The fact of the matter is, digital things are not physical. You can't "steal" something online unless you say you made it. No pirate is dumb enough to say they made the game they're not paying for. Theft is not the same in a digital sense as the original product is STILL THERE. It's copying without paying for the copy. Its... still like theft, but not entirely the same. I think we need a new word for it or something as most people don't put as much thought into it as my weird self does... I digress, though. Essentially I believe piracy isn't harming game sales as much as publishers whine about. My reason for this? They attribute every pirated copy (somehow they find the numbers? I think they're liars there, as well!) as a "lost sale". How? How can they prove Joe Blow would have bought AwesomeQuest IV if he was unable to pirate it?

I actually have a theory piracy helps SOME games. Now read the next few sentences before you hit reply and pull out that flamethrower, I actually have a cogent reason here and I am NOT aboutfacing on my stance on the matter. Imagine if BMS was silly and didn't release a demo for SR. People are asked to pay a sum of money for a game they only read about or see video about. That's not PLAYING it. I can't support this with actual numbers that are reliable, but I theorize a good number of people actually purchase games when they are able post-piracy if they really enjoyed them. According to a few of my friends, most cracking outfits actually put "If you enjoy the game, support the developer and buy it!" at the end of the installation instructions. Sometimes they've told me they even link to the developer's website.

But enough crazy theorizing and piracy talk, back to the stop of the games...

Gamestop recently announced customers can use trade-in credit and Gamestop gift cards at Impulse. You also get Power-up Rewards points and can get exclusive discounts (according to the email I've gotten) if you're a Power-up member and shop on Impulse. In my local Gamestop they are apparently going to be getting an "Impulse Digital" rack to display little cards for downloadable PC titles. I've heard rumors that Gamestop is also asking indie developers with popular titles about publishing larger, polished versions of their Kongregate titles on Impulse.

Looks to me like Gamestop is trying, in their "old fogey trying to learn about new technology" way, to learn about indie developers and put them on display. Last time I was in my local Gamestop they even were showing mini commercials showcasing a few Kongregate games (usually one farmville-like virtual currency and three independent no-pay-at-all) on the big tv they have showing Gamestop TV. You can even use Power-up Rewards points to get Kongregate Credits to give to developers. For those of you that don't frequent Kongregate, the credits are useable in some non-indie games for in-game items... but they are also used to put in a developer's tip jar. They can then cash out the credits they have in their tip jar.

Bottom line: Gamestop did not ruin PC games. Put blame where it belongs; greedy publishers. Gamestop is trying to look at indie developers seriously as they see they are gaining attention. They're a big, old company though so sometimes they're more cautious and old-fashioned than they need to be. They try their best to stay current from what I can see and haven't done anything to piss me off seriously even though I've been to some Gamestops with terrible service.

Azalrion

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #105 on: October 14, 2011, 02:01:06 PM »
Honestly the point is kind of moot now. IGS decided to put Star Ruler back on impulse.

But on a side note the problem with trade-in credit and the like is that you only get that for console games because of DRM, a console trade in and buying a digital pc game really isn't a "stop the presses" point, its very much a niche that won't affect many people as quite often its a very distinct market between digital pc gamers and console gamers.

As for the point on sales price, why wouldn't you as a dev get annoyed that game stop doubled the cost of your game. It drives down sales for you through that area of customer saturation, and the dev's don't get extra revenue to compensate for lower sales. Its all nice and fair to say they are running a business, but they are running it at the cost of the people who developed the games.

To be honest the argument of consoles vs pc shelf space is a very hard point. Here in the UK the major Games retailer stocks pretty much equal shelf space for PC/Xbox/PS3 so again the point is very easy to contest.
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Thy Reaper

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #106 on: October 14, 2011, 02:28:18 PM »
So I'm disappointed in you guys. Has anyone ever heard of Kongregate? Really?

I play games on Kongregate quite often. When Gamestop took over, I was concerned, but so far they've done very little in the way of altering Kongregate. Even the most significant things they've done are now rare to see or gone entirely.

Contrast that with what is being done with Impulse, where the entire site has been completely rebranded as to almost hide Impulse's name, and I can hardly see Impulse being left to its own devices as happened with Kongregate.

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So why did the PC market wane? DRM. Don't you dare try to blame it on anything other than publishers implementing terrible DRM. They saw software piracy as a threat (which I disagree with, but more on that later) and implemented measures to treat everyone, even their customers, as criminals. They showed their allegiance was to $$$ and not to you and me. CD keys, yeah. We could handle those. Online activation? Started to get shaky... Starforce? Screw that. The publishers blamed piracy which is just a scapegoat for their waning customer service and product quality. Now, I know some people might start shaking with rage about me downplaying software piracy. Let me just say, stealing games is not cool.

DRM is hardly new. In the past is was CD Keys or decoder sheets, or even various more ridiculous mechanism. However, this is not why the PC market waned. I attribute it mostly to the focus on marketing console games. If retailers want to focus on console games, whats a PC developer to do? Whine about piracy? Really? Until Steam and similar services, there really wasn't anything that took advantage of the strengths of the PC platform. Now that Steam and the many other distributors exist, the PC market is revitalizing.

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Developers like BMS deserve payment for the awesome games they make, but they made SR with no DRM... And where is the piracy loss?

What does this have to do with anything? I feel like you're accusing us of blaming piracy for.... uh... making Game Stop cut their PC sales down to nil? I don't know.

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Gamestop recently announced customers can use trade-in credit and Gamestop gift cards at Impulse. You also get Power-up Rewards points and can get exclusive discounts (according to the email I've gotten) if you're a Power-up member and shop on Impulse. In my local Gamestop they are apparently going to be getting an "Impulse Digital" rack to display little cards for downloadable PC titles. I've heard rumors that Gamestop is also asking indie developers with popular titles about publishing larger, polished versions of their Kongregate titles on Impulse.

Gamestop also, to my knowledge, changed their TOS to basically say "we can cut off the service at any time." As they move to more Impulse-focused sales, I imagine they'll reduce or completely end their sale of retail PC titles.

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Bottom line: Gamestop did not ruin PC games. Put blame where it belongs; greedy publishers. Gamestop is trying to look at indie developers seriously as they see they are gaining attention.

Having actually spoken to one of the individuals in charge of Impulse from the GameStop side, and from my involvement in the retail release of Star Ruler, it seems like you have no idea what you're talking about.

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #107 on: October 14, 2011, 02:35:11 PM »
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So basically Gamestop wanted back in to the PC market because there's money in it
I believe their original excuses amounted to them leaving because they didn't think there was money in it. (read: They couldn't exploit enough profit from it)

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Steam refused, apparently, to allow Gamestop to sell Steam codes for games as Gamestop wanted a cut of the profits.
And vice versa.  Further: selling serials cart blanche is also risky business.  Most businesses that sell just serials do so shadily for a reason; it's a very difficult area to walk the line on.  Further, Steam would have no control over the serials themselves or the pricing GameStop used on the codes.

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People see themselves getting $20 for a game and Gamestop selling it for $55. Yeah, and? If you were selling things wouldn't you want to make a profit? How about paying the person you're having inspect those games and help customers find those games? I realize not every Gamestop has the best employees but, well, the one I go to seems to pride itself very much on having personable employees that, frankly, don't suck.
On my end of the anecdote, I've only had crappy GameStops along with the other developers.  From what we often hear, the 'good' GameStop franchises are a rarity.  On your "it's a business!" remark:  It doesn't take a $33 mark-up to pay those guys.  Maybe a $5 mark-up.  They're in it for the money, at the expense of their employees, their customers, developers, and anyone else as proved time and time again.

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People blame Gamestop for the waning PC market. How the hell is this Gamestop's problem
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Gamestop and BestBuy are just RETAILERS that do a thing called "responding to demand".
(1) The PC market has never really 'waned'. 
(2) It's GameStop's fault for the onus they now bear.  They pulled out of PC sales on their own time and dime and only in reaction to DRM being added to games.  Sure, that's not their fault that developers added DRM, but I'll point out that they pulled out of the PC market because they couldn't get used sales out of it.  Not because they felt the PC market was 'waning' or that consoles were 'stronger'.  Because the DRM prevented them from abusing the second-hand market (which they still do).  Now this wouldn't be bad if they hadn't bought out all their competition.  So now practically no specialty store carried PC games as they all phased out which means that they are primarily responsible for the 'drought' of boxed PC sales in their sector.  Wal-Mart and Best Buy and so forth aren't specialty retailers; they sell shelf space to partners and those partners to get to sell their products.  Their employees couldn't help you find games, wouldn't know much about them anyway, and the business itself wouldn't know which games to stock and not stock, thus depressing the consumer market due to a lower availability of higher quality titles.

If PC Games are in 'as high' demand as consoles: They are in high demand.  And we don't even have access to the metrics of the digital market.  What we do know is that voluntary participation in things like the Humble Indie Bundle show not only a strong market but a very reactive market -- which means an interested market. 

DRM is definitely something we also dislike.  As we've stated in the past it only harms the customer at best and does little to nothing to piracy at worst.  It's a net negative and shouldn't have much to do at all with games given how useless and potentially harmful to the consumer's experience it is.

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Gamestop recently announced customers can use trade-in credit and Gamestop gift cards at Impulse. You also get Power-up Rewards points and can get exclusive discounts (according to the email I've gotten) if you're a Power-up member and shop on Impulse. In my local Gamestop they are apparently going to be getting an "Impulse Digital" rack to display little cards for downloadable PC titles. I've heard rumors that Gamestop is also asking indie developers with popular titles about publishing larger, polished versions of their Kongregate titles on Impulse.
Woo hoo.  Very little going on here given that they can't get their support together over on the service itself.  Their forums are swarmed with people buying games and not getting them.  I can't even imagine the volume of e-mail traffic.  This dearth of bad service started right after Impulse started merging with Gamestop.

On recent announcements: they announced through a ToS change they can sell your personal data to whoever they feel like through a loophole they introduced.

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Looks to me like Gamestop is trying, in their "old fogey trying to learn about new technology" way, to learn about indie developers and put them on display. Last time I was in my local Gamestop they even were showing mini commercials showcasing a few Kongregate games (usually one farmville-like virtual currency and three independent no-pay-at-all) on the big tv they have showing Gamestop TV.
They're going for the biggest dollar, not the biggest reward for the customer.  They're going to show the most mass market stuff -- that's not "indie" at all.  FarmVille is not indie; FarmVille is casual mass-market.  Of course they'd show that: games like FarmVille abuse game psychology to hook people into games such that it's not a rewarding experience they're having, it's a hard sale after a hard sale and a league of regretful transactions that mean nothing:  Those games are entirely about getting the customer to hand over their wallet, not to have a good time.

Really I feel it fits GameStop perfectly to want to sell those games.  An exploitative business selling exploitative games. :p

The other three they showed also probably were precisely calculated to keep people watching or get people to visit Kongregate in the largest numbers possible.  Though I do appreciate those being shown more.

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You can even use Power-up Rewards points to get Kongregate Credits to give to developers. For those of you that don't frequent Kongregate, the credits are useable in some non-indie games for in-game items... but they are also used to put in a developer's tip jar. They can then cash out the credits they have in their tip jar.
Call me when they implement that for their digital game sales.  My money is that they won't for the same reason that they shut down the affiliate program and substituted it with their own affiliate program (from 15% to 5% on some titles).

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Bottom line: Gamestop did not ruin PC games.
GameStop disregarded PC game sales in the retail sector.  They were the specialty market for PC games back when PC games couldn't be "found" easily.  They stopped shelving them because they couldn't get second hand sales from them (DRM).  They bought out all their competition who were shelving said games and discontinued them there as well.  They kept ranting and raving to publishers that would listen that the PC Market was dying and not worth even looking in to.  They use an abusive model of game sales to loophole out of owing developers money for the games they sell and maximize their profits while maximizing costs to customers.

They're on the borderline between a business and a racket.  Those stores that walk that line and come out doing good for the consumer I applaud; but the rates still come down from high.

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Gamestop is trying to look at indie developers seriously as they see they are gaining attention. They're a big, old company though so sometimes they're more cautious and old-fashioned than they need to be.
Indie developers that they feel they can squeeze the most profit out of.  See Penny Arcade's dealings with them for more on that.

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They try their best to stay current from what I can see and haven't done anything to piss me off seriously even though I've been to some Gamestops with terrible service.
No they don't.  They heard 'digital sales are the next big thing' so they outsourced to another company to manage their online "sales" and "catalog".  They discovered that there was a market there and flip-flopped to 'the PC market is alive and well!'-mode as Publishers are started to crack down harder and harder on the second-hand market (because GameStop won't work with them or try to send some of their profit back to the people who made the games).  So they're building their Ark with Impulse.  They don't know how Impulse works; they don't want to know.  What they want is a life raft in case their ship sinks meanwhile trying to build a 'squeaky clean' image on top of years and years of negative and dismissive attitudes toward the PC Market.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2011, 02:46:20 PM by Firgof »
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tsujiban

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #108 on: October 14, 2011, 04:05:47 PM »
People blame Gamestop for the waning PC market.

:-D  I've been hearing this "PC gaming is dying/dead" type comment since before the 80386 came out.  It never goes away.

And neither does PC gaming.  :-)  pc gaming is not going anywhere, it will be here for my lifetime, and for future generations, as long as industrial culture exists.

otherwise, I'm not gonna get into this argument except to say I really dislike gamestop for a number of reasons.  just my personal opinion.

Ayyno

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #109 on: October 14, 2011, 04:17:05 PM »
Wow! Thank you both for your responses! :D

They were very good reads and I'm glad to see I was wrong about a few points. Gamestop really isn't all that transparent with their info and I don't use Impulse very much so I'm unfamiliar with how messed up things have gotten over there.

However I want to point out that Gamestop doesn't need a $33 market to just pay their employees. It's a business. They run their own refurbishing centre. That gets paid for somehow. The money doesn't just come magically, it comes through an insane markup on preowned titles. Yes, it's a lot, but Gamestop has plenty of sales and deals to look like they're being nice and generous when they really are just cutting off a portion of the margin that's profit and not actually paying for something.

I do enjoy how you both attribute DRM to Gamestop's inability to sell preowned PC titles... Well, this isn't Gamestop's issue. They pulled out of a business they couldn't grift extra money out of. It's common in business, especially when you figure niche PC titles might only make them that extra dime when they can resell them as preowned. It falls on the publisher for using DRM that is one-use (in one way or another) and often non-transferrable. The publisher turned paying for a game into "renting" it as after you've bought the newest AAA title and beat it there is crap all you can do with it.

Firg I think hit it on the head though, as Gamestop DID buy out all the competition. EB Games was a pretty strong supporter of PC from what I can tell... Gamestop seems to be all about putting all the product where the demand is highest and none of it anywhere else. However you can't really fault them for being a corporation. That is what businesses do as they are very profit-centric when you get higher up the food chain. Stores are instructed to be as customer-centric as possible so none of the higher ups have to deal with the average Joe whining about trade-in values.

Gamestop is a videogame pawnshop, though. It's quite simple: If you don't like how much a pawnshop wants to give you for something you either leave and take it to another pawnshop or you sell it yourself. People could make much more off of their preowned games by simply selling them themselves, which negates the margin Gamestop makes in the first place. I want you to try to sell a game to someone for more than Gamestop will buy it for. If you are successful then you've learned a valuable lesson: Sell smart, don't sell lazy.

On one of Thy's comments though, I don't accuse anyone of blaming piracy for anything. When DRM comes up I tend to talk about piracy as that's what publisher blame for their often draconian DRM rootkits and measures. A lack of brick-and-mortar stores may have caused a boxed PC drought, but when you need to be online constantly to play Settlers IV singleplayer then what's the point in buying a physical copy? If I need to activate Portal 2 on Steam and be online to do so anyway, why buy a physical copy? Publishers are KEEPING brick-and-mortar stores from focusing on PC now as most stores around here (I live in Chicago) that try to focus on PC games end up closing rather quickly due to a lack of business. All of this in the name of keeping publishers "safe" from software piracy and punishing the end-user for actually buying anything.

I do agree, though, that Gamestop reduces the amount of money a developer can make out of a game. Unfortunately, you're blaming them as it is convenient. People buy and sell used games all the time. People would still do it regardless of if Gamestop existed or not. However, that is just what happens. It's been going on since games were being sold. If you think that Gamestop is solely responsible for developers not getting a cut of preowned profits, you're quite silly. Developers never got a cut of preowned profits.

From a consumer point of view if I buy a game and I want to sell it to a friend, why should the developer profit from that? They got my money. That copy of the game was paid for. I no longer want it. If you stray into, "Well we made it so you owe us money for that" then I don't own my copy, which means what the hell did I just pay for? A rental? No. Screw that. Don't get me wrong, developers deserve the money from the game sales... but why are they entitled to what I choose to do with my copy afterward as long as it isn't making a billion copies and handing them out for free?

Publishers like to take big cuts and I think that's bull. They wouldn't have a product if the developer didn't make it in the first place. Publishers like EA are no better with their "activation keys" that you need just in case you happened to buy that game secondhand. Buying a game is expensive in the first place, I don't want it to end up being a damn rental. That is insane.

No other market has this issue. CDs you can sell secondhand. No one minds. Books? Sure! Go ahead! DVDs? Have at it! Why are video games such a point of contention with this? It's because there's money in it. A lot of money. So let's all screw over paying customers and tell them what they can and cannot do with that copy of AwesomeQuest they just bought. Want to lend the disc to a friend so he can try it? Oh, sorry. Now we'll sue you as that's a breach of the Terms of Service.

As I'm edging into ranting here, I will summarize what I essentially feel: People need to STFU about Gamestop being "evil". That is how things are. Not just Gamestop, but most corporations have some greed and some "evil" in them with absolutely NO exceptions. A corporation is out for profit, even if that profit has to come at the great expense of someone else. Best Buy, Walmart, Gamestop, Target... All of them use underhanded practices and psychological trickery. People just complain about Gamestop for one reason and that is convenience. If everyone else is complaining about them, too, then it is far easier for people to complain.

You say most of BMS has had bad experiences at Gamestop? Ever been to a BestBuy? Try to find a goddamn employee. Try going to Target and asking where something is. If you find someone you get the, "Oh I think it's over there!" with the hand gesture that we all know means "screw off". Retail sucks. I work retail and it's a pain in the ass trying to be a perfect little cheery flower all the time but I manage it. It pisses me off when all I hear is "Oh this is bad, that is bad, and it's all this one retailer's fault." No, it's every goddamn retailer's fault. All of them are the same, Gamestop is just getting the most attention about it right now. Why doesn't every retailer get the same attention?

Oh and, by the way, Target and BestBuy are branching into preowned games giving worse "deals" with more abusive terms than Gamestop is. I applaud them for attempting to end the Gamestop monopoly but they're being just as (if not more) abusive as you attribute to Gamestop. Target your rage where it belongs: At every retailer. Nothing will change if everyone just sits back and picks at Gamestop. Consumers need to grow a pair and if something isn't a good deal have the confidence and non-lazy attitude necessary to walk the hell out of the store and find a better deal elsewhere.

Firgof

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #110 on: October 14, 2011, 04:52:07 PM »
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It's a business. They run their own refurbishing centre. That gets paid for somehow. The money doesn't just come magically, it comes through an insane markup on preowned titles. Yes, it's a lot, but Gamestop has plenty of sales and deals to look like they're being nice and generous when they really are just cutting off a portion of the margin that's profit and not actually paying for something.
Their refurbishing costs can't amount to that much.  Their titles can be (and often are) sold multiple times in a row.  If a product doesn't sell, sure, there's that cost.  But the titles that do sell are likely to be not only sold, but sold again and again for about the same price.  The same unit; multiple buyers and sellers.  Come on.  Their profits versus costs are published every quarter.  Their profit is far and beyond the money they spend on those things.  They get that massive disproportionate profit and share none of it with their employees or their businesses so they make more money and quite possibly everyone gets screwed.

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I do enjoy how you both attribute DRM to Gamestop's inability to sell preowned PC titles...
It's entirely why they can't.  You can't sell a product that doesn't work.  Without the right stuff, the game doesn't work and you get sued.  So yes, that's exactly why they were unable to sell preowned PC titles and why they're getting in trouble for second-hand sales on consoles now.  It's entirely GameStop's issue.  They were making money on PC titles; they just decided it wasn't "enough money" because they could grift console games harder than PC games then.  So they did.  Now consoles are getting DRM and they're coming full circle to the same problem they had before.  So they're leap-frogging again to digital.  They're a habitual abuser with no intent to change: it's their issue.

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Unfortunately, you're blaming them as it is convenient.
I blame them because the mark-ups are beyond what an actual pawnshop would go to (well... a pawnshop that tried at all to be legitimate).  You buy a game at 10% market value and sell it for 300% and try to pass yourself off as a 'businessman'?  Come on.  There's a point where you transcend "trying to get a good deal" and enter into the realm of con artist.  Just because you're the only game in town (because you bought out or rigged the other games) doesn't make you any less of a con artist.

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If you don't like how much a pawnshop wants to give you for something you either leave and take it to another pawnshop or you sell it yourself.
Finding interesting buyers is the part that Gamestop bills as its service.  You basically give them the game to be sold to someone else (or many someones) and they give you money.  They know they can find someone to buy it and even if nobody does, they buy it at such a low cost that it doesn't even matter.  (Again making the 'but they're poor!' argument invalid)

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However you can't really fault them for being a corporation. That is what businesses do as they are very profit-centric when you get higher up the food chain.
A business doesn't have to be profit centric.  Look at Google.  They're about as high up the 'food chain' as "high up" gets.

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Publishers are KEEPING brick-and-mortar stores from focusing on PC now as most stores around here (I live in Chicago) that try to focus on PC games end up closing rather quickly due to a lack of business.
The market is moving on because of what Gamestop did to it.  The customers have given up as they've found a place where they can get what they want and not have to deal with the abusive middleman.  Except now that abusive middleman is now in the place they found as well.

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From a consumer point of view if I buy a game and I want to sell it to a friend, why should the developer profit from that? They got my money.
  Not all of us are against the idea that games are products but even those of us not against the idea recognize that your sale to your friend is fine because you're liable to be friendly and make a good offer.  GameStop doesn't make good offers.  Ever.  It's not interested and never will be.  Is that the kind of corporation you want to start taking over the digital gamespace just so soon after we got away from it in the physical space?

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No other market has this issue. CDs you can sell secondhand. No one minds.
That's not true at all; you just get away with it in other markets where the game market has tighter controls and more discreet outposts for selling things.  Name more than two places you can sell a used PC game legitimately that isn't Greenmangaming. 

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So let's all screw over paying customers and tell them what they can and cannot do with that copy of AwesomeQuest they just bought.
Just like movies.  Just like music.  Just like (electronic) books.

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Best Buy, Walmart, Gamestop, Target... All of them use underhanded practices and psychological trickery. People just complain about Gamestop for one reason and that is convenience.
Google.  Amazon.  Netflix.  Hulu.  Need I go on?  A corporation isn't evil by necessity.  It isn't even evil to want money for its services.   Of corporations who are abusive to their customers and employees, GameStop ranks up there with Wal-Mart.  Wal-Mart.

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Ever been to a BestBuy? Try to find a goddamn employee.
They're not there to service game customers.  They're a shop; not a specialty store.  They have no investment or interest in you as a customer.  Yet that's where you're going to have to go to legitimately buy a copy of a game without ordering online because other than GameStop they're it.  GameStop has no excuse for being only 'as good' or worse in any respect.

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Retail sucks.
My combined nine years of retail service agrees with this statement but I disagree that it's "every retailer's fault".  It's GameStop's fault because GameStop is practically the entire market for boxed sales of games that aren't big chain supermarkets.  It's their fault because they took on that challenge of being the whole specialty market knowing that they couldn't care to provide good service, decent wages, or flexibility/autonomy to their franchises/employees

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All of them are the same, Gamestop is just getting the most attention about it right now.
I have three retailers I trust within the tri-county area I live in that are privately owned and have great customer service -- but their selection is small because they don't make money because nobody knows about them.  When you ask for a band-aid, you get a band-aid.  You don't think about bandages.  When you think "I'm going to go buy a game" you think GameStop, you don't think "A game store".  So they have to find some way to climb over that barrier which GameStop doesn't make easy because they can afford to simply game their prices until the store runs out of customers and money, then raise them back up again (See: Wal-Mart handshakes with local businesses)

Gamestop is getting that attention because they have oodles of money and are a very old business; they've swallowed all of the competition.  Therefore they owe it to me as a customer to not only be as good as they've ever been, but better.  Instead they just get worse year after year.  They get the attention because they're the only game in town .  That's very important.  They're a monopoly that everyone has to deal with.  So of course they're going to get all the attention.

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Target and BestBuy are branching into preowned games giving worse "deals" with more abusive terms than Gamestop is.
They've been doing that a long time.  Since the SNES and a little before it.  They still owe us nothing.  They're not a 'game store'.  They're a supermarket.  They don't need to match prices and we shouldn't expect them to shoulder the burden.  GameStop should be shouldering the burden because they took all the burden and know more about games and the industry than the supermarket chains you pointed out.  It's their market: they just choose to abuse it.

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to walk the hell out of the store and find a better deal elsewhere.
If GameStop swallows every digital distributor out there: There won't be.  That's the part I think you're failing to get here.  You're talking about these things as if there are ripe alternatives everywhere.  There aren't.  GameStop ensured this in the physical space; they're going to ensure it in the digital space.  Once they get control over the market they'll slump right back to where they are now.  They've shown no indication of changing that.

Sure, we'll still have eBay.  Sure, we'll still have Amazon.  But no legitimate places to buy from that actually come back and pay the developer.  And I bet most of them will then be owned by eBay, who are secretly PayPal, who are not who I would entrust the fate of PC gaming to if my life depended on it.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2011, 05:19:54 PM by Firgof »
"Now it will punish you"

colonyan

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #111 on: October 14, 2011, 06:00:33 PM »
We the consumer have to carefully choose
who need to get the most of the money.
The developer is the value creator.
Does reseller create any true value?
Not really. They just distribute.

If they just seems to hinder the developer,
they just need to vanish. We need to make
people up there know that they can not
manipulate us.

« Last Edit: October 14, 2011, 06:18:30 PM by colonyan »

Ayyno

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #112 on: October 17, 2011, 11:58:33 AM »
Man, I hope you guys aren't getting pissed off at me, BTW.

If anything, this discussion is making me love BMS all the more!

I do disagree with you saying that Gamestop is not a business simply because they con and grift and screw people out of money. They ARE a business. They use practices other companies use all the time. They're just an insanely greedy, corrupt business. A friend of mine that works for them told me they started cutting payroll hours to the bone a while back and are STILL trying to do so. They aren't just screwing consumers, they're screwing their own employees as well!

I do know DRM is why Gamestop can't sell used PC titles. When I said "I enjoy" you both attributing the former to the latter, I earnestly meant it. I apologize for any hint of sarcasm as I assure you it was not there. :) I do, however, think that Gamestop is not alone in the used debacle... Publishers that force consumers to purchase online passes or face restricted game usage are just as guilty. Yes, they are responding to Gamestop tyranny but that does not justify it. I like having all the content on the disc available to me. Why can't I play as Catwoman on the upcoming Batman: Arkham City (WHICH WILL RULE MY LIFE! YES!) unless I redeem my online pass? Sure, I am buying it new but the issue still remains. What if I have no internet? What if the service is discontinued in twenty years and I want to be Catwoman in game again and have since replaced my PS3?

My entire ranting and raving has not been "Gamestop is not evil! Listen, everyone! They're normal!" and I apologize if it has come off as such. The entire point I am trying to make is that Gamestop is not alone in its corruption and twisting of the video game industry. Best Buy may not be targeted at video games but finding an employee for ANYTHING in their stores is a pain in the ass. Getting an answer other than "It's over there!" out of them is like pulling teeth. Getting a straight answer from their customer service department is like talking to a very stupid brick wall.

There IS a little truth, I feel, in the argument I make that hating Gamestop is "in" right now. Remember about two or three years ago with the Best Buy hubbub? They changed their product REPLACEMENT plans to a product SERVICE plan... Normally not an issue as people still get their stuff fixed or replaced, right? Wrong. They removed replacement as an option entirely. You either get what you had fixed by them or you got a gift card for the value you paid (if you have a receipt) or the current price of the item, whichever is less. Sounds the same as you can use the gift card to get the broken thing, right? Wrong. I took a broken 360 I had purchased from them back THREE times... Their idea of "repairing" it was to have one of their untrained Geek Squad employees look at it AND THEN OPEN IT AND VOID ANY MICROSOFT WARRANTY IT WOULD HAVE HAD. The thing was six months old and I could have used my Microsoft warranty. I explained this to the "technician" and he said, "Uh huh. Ok." I expected a replacement as every other Red Ring of Death I got ended with me promptly getting a brand new 360. This experience is how I learned about the policy change. Joy of joys. Then I had to talk to no less than four managers who each told me they "don't replace products with a broken warranty seal." It took me an hour and a half and nearly wringing the "technician's" neck to get them to replace it as their moron employee broke the seal in the first place without telling me what he was going to be doing to what was still MY system. The next time I brought it back (as the new one red ringed again inside of eight months) I was told I would have to pay to get it repaired even though I had a valid warranty. I was told the warranty "did not cover the red ring". Furious conversations later I was leaving with another new system. At least the third time it was just the controller that was broken and the manager recognized me and just swapped it out on the spot.

These are underhanded business practices taking advantage of the fact that Best Buy is often seen as "the" place to buy consumer electronics. It isn't the only place, just like you can purchase new games anywhere that is not Gamestop, but it operates on a sort of "WE DO THIS SO COME HERE!" mentality. It could even be argued that Best Buy ruined the idea of big box stores having any sort of customer service. Do I make this argument? No, as it's ludicrous to think that ONE company could "ruin" a thing that has so many factors. Similarly it is kind of crazy sounding to say, "Gamestop ruined boxed PC sales!" when there were several contributing factors.

I don't argue Gamestop was one of the factors as I was watching it happen. Nor do I argue that they are only a minor contributor. I simply argue that it seems you are placing blame square on Gamestop when it rests fairly evenly across Gamestop and publishers not reaching some sort of mutually beneficial business agreement as to how used game sales could benefit everyone, including the consumer. I mentioned before there were rumors of EA games and Gamestop in talks to share preowned profit. EA gets a cut and Gamestop gets a discount on new games. As far as I know EA's stance was, "They are our games so we want the biggest share." while Gamestop was saying something very similar. However there is a glimmer of hope. WB Interactive has this strange stance on used game sales... They have online passes, yes... however if you buy a copy of Mortal Kombat used from Gamestop you get a free online pass. The rumor circulating is that WB and Gamestop reached an agreement to track sales of used copies of Mortal Kombat through online passes issued in this way and that WB is giving Gamestop some form of discount somewhere while getting some profit.

The rumor is that Batman: Arkham City will use this same kind of arrangement as well, with used copies from Gamestop getting you a free online pass. Seeing as Gamestop can only get the passes from WB, I can only assume they've reached some sort of agreement that I hope is kicking some money back to Rocksteady as they certainly deserve it for their amazing work. :D

Also, this isn't really an argumentative point but... Firg... Most pawnshops are far from legitimate. I would even go as far as saying that "pawnshop" and "legitimate" are mutually exclusive. Also, most pawnshops I know of get "fallen off the truck" kind of product and operate under the same idea Gamestop does. They buy low by any means necessary and sell as high as possible. The only difference is pawnshops need to be careful to avoid legal attention as if they're selling things at crazy high prices someone might accuse them of selling stolen product which, let's be honest, is very probable. The difference here is that people see a discount of $10 off the new game at Gamestop for used games and think, "Well, I get that 7 day return policy for a refund..." and go ahead and buy it. They see a lower price and don't even think "wait Gamestop only paid someone $15 for this..." as Gamestop tries their hardest to hide trade-in values unless you're in the store and have the game you're trying to sell in front of you. Conversely, though, I HAVE heard that publishers might refuse to stock Gamestop with new games if they undercut the new price too much with the used prices. No clue how true that is, though.

The idea that Gamestop sells things again and again and again for great profit... Rentals. Redbox does the same thing. $1 a day, right? Well that ONE DVD has seen Redbox close to $30 in profit a month most likely. Figure the cheap prices drive people in and it's no surprise they're booming. This is a weaker comparison than it could be seeing as Blockbuster recently tanked, but the point is still sort of there somewhere. :P They make oodles off the same product and cut out the profits moviemakers see. Redbox recently started renting games for $2 a day. I guarantee developers don't see the oodles of profit they'll make off of a relative handful of game discs.

Lastly:

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Google.  Amazon.  Netflix.  Hulu.  Need I go on?  A corporation isn't evil by necessity.  It isn't even evil to want money for its services.   Of corporations who are abusive to their customers and employees, GameStop ranks up there with Wal-Mart.  Wal-Mart.

Google is awesome. I can't quite find terrible things they do, but it is clear they are forming a monopoly. I think the intent of their business is currently warding away any corporate evil that might be attempting to form. The opposite of Google is Apple, though, so there you go. I think maybe Apple is taking in the evil that Google refuses to accommodate, maybe. Amazon has a similar racket to ebay going now as they charge crazy fees when Average Joe sells his old TV on there and knowingly does not provide sellers with proper options to charge customers for the ACTUAL shipping costs of an item unless the sellers pay a monthly fee. Amazon also uses what I like to call "wholesale" trickery. They buy things at crazy low prices in places where they can get them at a huge bulk discount with low sales tax. Then they ship them all over the place with the MSRP slashed out with an "Amazon" discount that is pretty high above what they pay for product. It's close to a racket, they're just quieter about it. Also, if you want a rip off then look at how much Amazon offers you for the same game Gamestop will give you $20 for. It's usually 75% or less of what Gamestop offers, so they're worse in that department.

Netflix just attempted to break into game rentals and split their subscribers after hiking their rates up a hell of a lot with no specific reasons given. It had tons of press, really, so I don't understand why you made this claim. They seem to be caring less about the consumer after their huge popularity boom. I want my Instant + 1 dvd unlimited option back. I just don't want to pay $15 a month for it when they were making profit on $10 a month for the same thing.

Hulu I don't use, but they use slight trickery. The trickery comes in how the peg themselves as the "current show" streamer, yet they sometimes do not get a just-aired episode until a week after it has aired. It seems as if they might be in the same boat as Netflix though and may simply be at the mercy of their publishing content-owning overlords. Netflix, I believe, is being targeted by publishers and content-owners as someone to overcharge for shows and DVDs because they're so popular. DVDs they don't get licensing fees paid on so that might be the difference between Netflix and Hulu... Hulu is just the current-running shows so networks might fear drops in ratings if they put content on there too soon...

All in all, guys, I agree with the overarching points you are making. I'm just trying to see things from a different, slightly more global, perspective. Gamestop (and walmart) is a tumor of a company, yeah, but that tumor has countless lives ensnared in it. It also is fighting other tumors for dominance or trying to work with other tumors. They are responsible and culpable for their underhanded practices, but they are not SOLELY responsible is my whole thought. There are a lot of issues consumers need to face with corporate greed or we'll all be wearing a company's colours soon enough as they'll own everything. Let's just hope it's Google, I guess!

Firgof

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #113 on: October 17, 2011, 12:54:36 PM »
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I do disagree with you saying that Gamestop is not a business simply because they con and grift and screw people out of money. They ARE a business.
You can call them whatever you like.  A business can still con people out of their money but if they do then they don't deserve to be called a business even though their legal description would be 'business'.  A racket is still a business even though it doesn't deserve to be 'legitimized' by calling it the same thing as other, legal, respectful, businesses.  Not trying to No True Scotsman here, just saying its a false statement to cart blanche an entity simply on its legal description.  I doubt anyone these days would want to call Enron a business; they were a massive fraudulent entity that happened to be in the form of a business.  They're still a business, no doubt.  They paid for the right to be one, registered, and were recognized as a business; yet they're unlike any other business legally recognized.

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Yes, they are responding to Gamestop tyranny but that does not justify it.
I agree but there's also little else they can do about it other than giving up (which is what I would also advocate about piracy).  Leave to the customer their decision on where to shop.

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My entire ranting and raving has not been "Gamestop is not evil! Listen, everyone! They're normal!" and I apologize if it has come off as such.
You wrote as much: "People need to STFU about Gamestop being "evil". That is how things are."

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The entire point I am trying to make is that Gamestop is not alone in its corruption and twisting of the video game industry.
As far as used video game sales from specialty retail: They are because they bought near everyone else who could qualify for that description.

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Similarly it is kind of crazy sounding to say, "Gamestop ruined boxed PC sales!" when there were several contributing factors.
Apples to oranges.  You're equivocating two businesses in separate industries that happen to overlap in this one area; claiming that their roles in their respective industries are the same in that overlapping area. 

That's nonsense.  GameStop is responsible for the blight of PC sales in the specialty retail sector of games because they comprise the majority of all specialty retail game stores.  To wit:  You could equivocate them if Best Buy were also: Fry's, Circuit City, CompUSA, Newegg, Microcenter, and so on and refocused on solely providing for the games sector.  But they're not.  Best Buy does not control its market in the same respect GameStop does; nor are they as focused or interested.  They're a retailer; not a specialty store catering to a specific market.

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I simply argue that it seems you are placing blame square on Gamestop when it rests fairly evenly across Gamestop and publishers not reaching some sort of mutually beneficial business agreement as to how used game sales could benefit everyone, including the consumer.
I doubt GameStop was even interested in reaching any sort of business agreement.  They're not pro-publisher in the first place.  Their primary business comes not from buying product to sell from publishers, but from customers buying and selling the product that they bought.  Publishers give them things to sell; customers give them their large profit margins.  The Publishers are just a means to their end; they're not a partnership in the intimate sense.  A partnership would imply that the publishers would be willing to actively work with GameStop's used sales where in the publisher still gets nothing and the developer still gets nothing.  Why would a publisher ever agree to help someone "steal" their profit?  Why would GameStop ever want to get rid of its good thing (its enormous profits that it holds accountable to nobody) simply to help out the publishers they don't really care about?

So they deadlocked and remain deadlocked.  It's the publishers fault for trying to work around the deadlock to try and get the profit that it "rightly" owns but it is also GameStop's fault for creating the situation in the first place.  I repeat:  The onus of the situation rests on GameStop and the publisher reaction to piracy and used game sales grifting.  GameStop is a large contributor to their own situation.  The Publishers played their role in it, but GameStop owns that onus.  The blame is not evenly spread because it wouldn't be fair to the situation to spread it evenly.  GameStop has the majority of the blame as they're at fault for the majority of the circumstance; thus they are "squarely" at fault.

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Also, most pawnshops I know of get "fallen off the truck" kind of product and operate under the same idea Gamestop does. They buy low by any means necessary and sell as high as possible.
To which end I point to your next statement: "The only difference is pawnshops need to be careful to avoid legal attention as if they're selling things at crazy high prices someone might accuse them of selling stolen product which, let's be honest, is very probable. "

Thus: They're trying to act legitimate, which is exactly what I was implying.  A pawnstore wouldn't dare be so bold as GameStop is in their margins.  I'm sure some of GameStop's product is stolen goods as well.  The only reason why GameStop gets away with what they do is because they're enormous, franchise-based, and project an innocent exterior which quickly crumbles under scrutiny.

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The idea that Gamestop sells things again and again and again for great profit... Rentals. Redbox does the same thing. $1 a day, right? Well that ONE DVD has seen Redbox close to $30 in profit a month most likely. Figure the cheap prices drive people in and it's no surprise they're booming. This is a weaker comparison than it could be seeing as Blockbuster recently tanked, but the point is still sort of there somewhere. :P They make oodles off the same product and cut out the profits moviemakers see. Redbox recently started renting games for $2 a day. I guarantee developers don't see the oodles of profit they'll make off of a relative handful of game discs.
Again, you're equivocating things that aren't equal.  Redbox has an agreement with publishers to do exactly what they do: Rent.  I'm sure they pay a princely sum for the rights to the DVDs they obtain, probably playing off the naivety of the publishers they're obtaining the rights from (in a similar fashion to Netflix).

On the other hand:  GameStop buys say 40 units of product.  They buy them just as Wal-Mart buys them or Target buys them: Through bulk sales.  They don't sell the games they get as used: the sell the games their customers bring in as used.  It's a loophole.  So they've bought the same $30 unit product available at Wal-Mart but where Wal-Mart will collect profit once, GameStop can collect profit infinitely.  Once the game has gone outside the scope of that First Sale, they "own" the product, can set the rates its sold at, and can precisely control how much profit they get from it.

Redbox, Netflix, Blockbuster, etc. they all directly license their product for rental and as such don't pay "$40/unit", they pay the unit price and then a premium, larger, price for the right to rent the product itself.  GameStop has no such agreements as far as I'm aware.  In effect, they're a pawn shop that buys direct from manufacturers and slyly encourages their customers to come sell the product back to them when they're down with them; at which point they have free reign over the product.  This, I'm sure, is not what the manufacturers intended but since they're the "only" specialty game store the publishers have no choice but to sell to them if they want to capture the market GameStop occupied and rigged.

Completely different situations, market conditions, and agreements.


On Netflix/Hulu:  The majority of those problems you're mentioning are directly related to the people they're getting their content from being at most abusive and at least apprehensive.  I've heard whispers of truly exorbitant rates and hair-thin profit margins off of contracts.  Of some of the restrictions that those contracts entail that are unavoidable.  The publishers don't like streaming content (as evidenced by the large rift between what titles are available for instant watch and those that are dvd-only) and they don't like Netflix or Hulu as services in and of themselves because they don't control the profit.  They used to control the profit exclusively and they still want control; they do this by squeezing the middle man.

They're still not blameless of course for their own situation (Netflix).  One of their largest contracts they just barely were able to loophole so that they weren't paying nearly as much for what they probably should have been paying.  When that contract expires (which it started to two months ago I believe) then they had to re-license to keep the products that the contract held.  The contract that is expiring/expired had a huge number of titles in it.  It was the spine of their business.  I'm sure that in renewing the contract they found the rate they had to pay marked up sharply from what they would've paid before as well as a punitive measure to discourage them from loopholing further.  This, in turn, had to be passed to the customer in order for them to stay afloat financially.

Simply put, I wouldn't think it's primarily Netflix/Hulu's fault for the spots they're in.  They're trying to do digital distribution at a time in the entertainment industry where DRM and First Sales are holy words and all the major players play their part as staunch nuns; refusing to do business with people who won't announce DRM as the 'second coming' of their religion of profit.  As Netflix has started to become popular, their contracts I imagine have started going up in price with more and more restrictions added on.  There's only so much they can do:  They have to have the movies their customers want or they're a useless service.

Eventually they'll either have to price themselves out of existence (at which point one of the companies trying to put them under will swoop in, buy them, and snatch their unique infrastructure and service; rebranding it as well) or they'll finally get their sector of the industry used to and okay with licensing their product for what amounts to online rental.  Or they won't and instant watch will go entirely away or be riddled with advertisements.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2011, 08:38:31 PM by Firgof »
"Now it will punish you"