Online Passes Pay For Dedicated Servers, Says Homefront Dev

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Online Passes Pay For Dedicated Servers, Says Homefront Dev

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Running servers isn't cheap, says Kaos Studios' boss, and pre-owned sales don't contribute anything to the pot.

Homefront developer, Kaos Studios, has defended the THQ Pass system - where THQ restricts online content to people who have bought a game pre-owned, until they play a small unlocking fee - saying that it helps pay for things like dedicated servers.

Kaos head David Votypka said that dedicated servers were a good example of why it was important that developers and publishers got a decent share of the revenue from the product they made. He said that Kaos wanted to provide dedicated servers in order to give gamers the best experience possible. Unfortunately, running servers for thousands, or even millions, of people wasn't cheap, and if the majority of players bought their copies pre-owned, then that put Kaos and THQ in a difficult position.

Votypka didn't go as far as to say that pre-owned sales would make it difficult to keep running servers, but he did say that they didn't help Kaos support the community. What's more, he said that there was the principle of the matter to consider. Kaos and THQ were providing a service, and they deserved some recompense for that, whether through new game sales or online passes.

Votypka makes an interesting point, and to a certain extent it's actually quite hard to argue with him. Whether you support the idea of online passes or not, Kaos and THQ are providing a service by running dedicated servers. Unfortunately, the argument about revenue rings a little hollow because pre-owned sales don't increase the number of players, they just swap one player - who likely paid full price for the game - out for another. The idea that it's the principle that's important might have more legs, but Votypka will probably have a hard time convincing people to agree with him.

Homefront comes out for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 on March 8th.

Source: CVG

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This will put people in an awkward situation - paying for withheld components, they don't like, but dedicated servers, they do.
In my opinion, I think it's a good idea. Servers are expensive to maintain, so paying a bit for more support while playing is a good trade off in my books. But I'll be buying it new anyway, so doesn't erally affect me.

well, regardless of the fact that you are swapping one player out for another, it does make sense. if someone picks the game up used, it may not be an added slot but someone new in the same one, it still helps them boost their income and help allow them maintain those servers, which i can respect. of course, i'm sure they'll make plenty of extra revenue with things like map packs in the future, but it's a stance i can accept. if i'm not mistaken, they still have a decent way of handling used sales so that people can experience the multiplayer and decide for themselves whether the online pass will be worth it. all in all, even tho i'm highly motivated by online play and hardly motivated by single player, the single player itself seems like it might be worth the experience, new or used.

I don't really see a problem.

His excuse is likely bullshit, but they want to make at least some money from each player (and why shouldn't they?), and if you're buying second-hand and paying the "unlock fee" you're still getting it cheaper than brand-new most likely.

How can a majority of people buy their game pre-owned, that makes no sense.

It's probably never going to be a concern for me, the places i know of that sell used games sell it for about 30 dkk (about 5-4 dollars) less than the new one, and its still about 20-30% more than a brand spanking new game purchased online, even after the delivery fee (if there even is one).

Why not get players to simply buy their own dedicated servers like many games have done? As for the console gamers - I'm not sure how it would work out for them.

This seems fair. Same as BFBC2 I bought it pre owned and had to pay more for the VIP, didnt see a problem.
Ill be buying it new anyway.

Considering preowned just swaps one player for another, they are still getting a full $60 per online player.

This is bullshit. If you need extra recompense, what is that initial $60? A fucking gift!?

Swaki:
How can a majority of people buy their game pre-owned, that makes no sense.

It's probably never going to be a concern for me, the places i know of that sell used games sell it for about 30 dkk (about 5-4 dollars) less than the new one, and its still about 20-30% more than a brand spanking new game purchased online, even after the delivery fee (if there even is one).

only way I can see this is if 1 game disk goes through 3 people. 1 new 2 used sales

DSK-:
Why not get players to simply buy their own dedicated servers like many games have done? As for the console gamers - I'm not sure how it would work out for them.

The PC version uses Steamworks, rendering Online Pass academic. He's talking about the console versions.

danpascooch:
Considering preowned just swaps one player for another, they are still getting a full $60 per online player.

This is bullshit. If you need extra recompense, what is that initial $60? A fucking gift!?

Think you're missing his point. $60/player is not going to pay for dedicated servers forever.

I don't see why people don't just put ads on the loading screens of dedicated servers. If I get a better experience and have to look at a 10 second ad while the game loads instead of a shot of the map I am ok with that. Although I don't why they don't let people buy dedicated servers like on the PC.

Delusibeta:

danpascooch:
Considering preowned just swaps one player for another, they are still getting a full $60 per online player.

This is bullshit. If you need extra recompense, what is that initial $60? A fucking gift!?

Think you're missing his point. $60/player is not going to pay for dedicated servers forever.

But $10 is?

The way you said that made it sound like only a subscription would work, which would actually make sense, even if it would be annoying.

But you have to remember, that we're talking about $10 flat fee here, not a subscription.

If they want to charge more for the game, they should grow a pair and charge more for the game, this backhanded crap is bullshit.

The explanation provided lacks detail. What people tend to miss in it is not the fact that player B who bought pre owned takes space over player A. It's the fact that player B, if not used game sales, might have been forced to actually buy new game and thus support the company.
On a personal scale, it doesn't matter, when the used sales start to make big portion of market it gets noticeable from the publisher/developer end.

Let's say studio A releases a game and they get ~25$ / box sale. Let's also assume that 1 million players buy the game. Everyone is happy. Studio gets their money (25,000,000$)they can upkeep servers fine, there is nice return on the production costs and still have leftovers for future development.

Now lets look at situation 2, more common these days. Again 1 million players buys the game, but out of that 1 million 25% buys pre owned, often just for 5$ less than a brand new copy. Suddenly your 25 millions revenue drops by over 6 million and the dent looks noticeable. Out of those 25% im pretty sure majority would buy the game full price if they did not have the choice of pre-owned sale considering the pricing difference.

In such situations you really cant look at 1:1 ratio of players in and out of game. You need to look at total earnings of the company. If the used sales market will grow even further and it's share in videogames will be 30-40% then the losses are even higher.

Logan Westbrook:
Unfortunately, the argument about revenue rings a little hollow because pre-owned sales don't increase the number of players, they just swap one player - who likely paid full price for the game - out for another.

I'd have to say this isn't very accurate, while yes one player does stop playing and a new one starts, the main servers don't know that player 1 has left and his information is still stored and on their servers, while player 2 comes along and ads another player file adding a little more pressure on the server, while yeah a single file really isn't much of a problem it would quickly add up.

meh. if i get this game it will be for pc on steam. so it doesnt really effect me. however, i support the sale of online passes for used games. however, if they are going to do it they REALLY need to advertise it. i bought need for speed hot pursuit (used) for my siblings for christmas and we were all very disappointed to find out that we needed to get an extra online pass. they are very sneaky with it and it is very uncool

danpascooch:

Delusibeta:

danpascooch:
Considering preowned just swaps one player for another, they are still getting a full $60 per online player.

This is bullshit. If you need extra recompense, what is that initial $60? A fucking gift!?

Think you're missing his point. $60/player is not going to pay for dedicated servers forever.

But $10 is?

The way you said that made it sound like only a subscription would work, which would actually make sense, even if it would be annoying.

But you have to remember, that we're talking about $10 flat fee here, not a subscription.

If they want to charge more for the game, they should grow a pair and charge more for the game, this backhanded crap is bullshit.

Still misunderstanding him. Most $60 purchases will happen during the launch period. Ignoring the fact that the publisher won't see at least a quarter of that money, it still presents a problem of how to sustain the dedicated servers over the long term. Their answer: getting a more consistent revenue stream by charging used customers for unrestricted access. Charging $70 at launch won't help.

Swaki:
How can a majority of people buy their game pre-owned, that makes no sense.

It's probably never going to be a concern for me, the places i know of that sell used games sell it for about 30 dkk (about 5-4 dollars) less than the new one, and its still about 20-30% more than a brand spanking new game purchased online, even after the delivery fee (if there even is one).

Because one game can be sold multiple times.

Why would THQ ever need to maintain dedicated servers? Aren't those servers maintained by the community? When I played Call of Duty 4 I'm fairly sure the server I played on was not hosted by Activision.

This is just another bullshit excuse.

AndyFromMonday:
Why would THQ ever need to maintain dedicated servers? Aren't those servers maintained by the community? When I played Call of Duty 4 I'm fairly sure the server I played on was not hosted by Activision.

This is just another bullshit excuse.

Because Homefront isn't CoD4 and has dedicated servers, which produce a better experience. Ever complained about the host leaving, lag happening? That won't happen with dedicated servers, as they use connections that are more stable and larger than your average run of the mill DSL or cable leading to the average person.

dedicated servers are only good when you commercialize them you mooks! let customers RENT them! the RENT PAYS FOR THE SERVERS.

Its been like this for all previous generation of PC games so i don't know y its suddenly has to be company run only servers?! its completely asinine to even suggest pre-own games has any thing to do with it if they just went back to what it was!

If your games suck so much that no1 wants to rent out servers than sir you've made a terrible gamble on a game in a field where competition is fierce. Sorry u lose.

Logan Westbrook:

Unfortunately, the argument about revenue rings a little hollow because pre-owned sales don't increase the number of players, they just swap one player - who likely paid full price for the game - out for another.

well thank you at least someone gets its.

edit: if they want to run a Matchmaking system, than i say FUCK THEM! i've never liked the retarded system. It takes me less time to refresh a master list of servers to select from and get into a game than it does for me to sit there waiting for the retarded matchmaker to give me a random server that may or may not be laggy to me.

Why should they get paid twice for the same game? Car Companies dont make money when a preowned dealer sells a used car.

More pointedly, what's wrong with the PC system of players running their own servers? Also how do online passes pay for that assuming they allow it at all?

For matchmaking Ded servers are still better than Peer to Peer, at least you get a consistent connection and don't have to worry with the dreaded Californian joining your group and lagging you to the stone age. But if 'dedicated servers' just means they're going to run match making games on it and not allow players to use their own servers I still don't like them. The idea of paying money for a game to be told when, how, for how long and in what way I am going to play it with my friends stinks. It's the bigeest problem I have with Xbox Live/similar systems.

fix-the-spade:
More pointedly, what's wrong with the PC system of players running their own servers? Also how do online passes pay for that assuming they allow it at all?

For matchmaking Ded servers are still better than Peer to Peer, at least you get a consistent connection and don't have to worry with the dreaded Californian joining your group and lagging you to the stone age. But if 'dedicated servers' just means they're going to run match making games on it and not allow players to use their own servers I still don't like them. The idea of paying money for a game to be told when, how, for how long and in what way I am going to play it with my friends stinks. It's the bigeest problem I have with Xbox Live/similar systems.

I wholeheartedly concur. Y is it so hard for these companies to just go back to what it use to be? Did they not make money when their servers could be rented out?!

more importantly Y is matchmaking even necessary?! you want more casual players for a Hardcore game?! it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out how to score down a list of servers and chose one to play on.

dedicated servers as a perk of buying new are just fine, but on one condition...

players are given the capability to run their own servers and join public servers if they want to

otherwise it is just a money grab

Femaref:

AndyFromMonday:
Why would THQ ever need to maintain dedicated servers? Aren't those servers maintained by the community? When I played Call of Duty 4 I'm fairly sure the server I played on was not hosted by Activision.

This is just another bullshit excuse.

Because Homefront isn't CoD4 and has dedicated servers, which produce a better experience. Ever complained about the host leaving, lag happening? That won't happen with dedicated servers, as they use connections that are more stable and larger than your average run of the mill DSL or cable leading to the average person.

I was talking about the PC version and giving that online passes are only for consoles since there's no pre-owned games market when it comes to PC games this makes me a moron.

I'll be sure to pay attention to what I'm readying next time.

Swaki:
How can a majority of people buy their game pre-owned, that makes no sense.

At any one time, impossible.

Over the life of the title, quite possible with individual copies being re-sold multiple times.

Woodsey:
I don't really see a problem.

His excuse is likely bullshit, but they want to make at least some money from each player (and why shouldn't they?), and if you're buying second-hand and paying the "unlock fee" you're still getting it cheaper than brand-new most likely.

"It's still cheaper" is a pretty bad excuse. That's like saying you're okay with someone kicking you in the groin because they're only doing it a little.

I am the WanderingFool, and I support this practice.

BTW, why does captcha use symbols not found on the keyboard? Its trying to fuck with me, I know it is...

Zachary Amaranth:

Woodsey:
I don't really see a problem.

His excuse is likely bullshit, but they want to make at least some money from each player (and why shouldn't they?), and if you're buying second-hand and paying the "unlock fee" you're still getting it cheaper than brand-new most likely.

"It's still cheaper" is a pretty bad excuse. That's like saying you're okay with someone kicking you in the groin because they're only doing it a little.

No it isn't.

At all.

Fat_Seth:
Why should they get paid twice for the same game? Car Companies dont make money when a preowned dealer sells a used car.

Car company also don't pay for oil for your car.

Woodsey:

Zachary Amaranth:

Woodsey:
I don't really see a problem.

His excuse is likely bullshit, but they want to make at least some money from each player (and why shouldn't they?), and if you're buying second-hand and paying the "unlock fee" you're still getting it cheaper than brand-new most likely.

"It's still cheaper" is a pretty bad excuse. That's like saying you're okay with someone kicking you in the groin because they're only doing it a little.

No it isn't.

At all.

At least back up your argument, please.

It is BS. Once the new player gets his copy, the servers are no longer needed for the previous guy.

So I guess they just want us to pay for moving air now.

And why would they rent-in the game if it's so awesome? Apparently, something is wrong with the awesomeness level if they do it, so the game (aka servers) may as well R.I.P. for all what the players really care.

Swaki:
How can a majority of people buy their game pre-owned, that makes no sense.

Well in that case Onlines passes doesn't matter since no one buy used copy.

Exort:

Fat_Seth:
Why should they get paid twice for the same game? Car Companies dont make money when a preowned dealer sells a used car.

Car company also don't pay for oil for your car.

Your comparison makes no sense.

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