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View Poll Results: Should ESA protect the continuity of sales as well as copyrights?
Yes. 5 19.23%
Yes, if within reasonable price. 11 42.31%
No. 2 7.69%
I can't be bothered to pay money for games that old! 8 30.77%
Voters: 26. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 23-05-2005, 11:58 AM   #1
The Fifth Horseman
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Note to mods/admins - this is not supposed to be an ESA-bashing thread, if anything like that begins then feel free to lock it.

Now, the thing is... we see some companies still keeping up sales of their old titles, both in standard form as well as pay-per-download one, 3D Realms being a god example with still selling old Duke Nukem, Blake Stone and Commander Keen games. Altough their pricing is usually a bit high considering the age of the games, I feel that in general they do the right thing by continuing the aivaiblility of these games.

ESA, however, protect only the copyrights and hypothetical income that exists only theoretically, since the companies with the copyrights are not continuing the sales of their old titles. This is also one of the reasons why these games end up so often on abandonware sites that soon get smacked because somebody at ESA decided to execute their rights to the games. See our recent trouble with ESA for an example.

The question now is, do you think ESA should do something to bring back old games for sale, be it in the full form or in pay-per-download one?

This would not only help protect the copyrights of their members but also the income from these titles would be real and not only theoretical as it stands.
I know that some people would continue to obtain these titles via illegal means, but in my very own opinion the frequency of such cases would greatly decrease, since people will be able to obtain a fully legal copy of these games again.

PS. Please, no ESA-bashing here. Express your opinions politely and to the point. We're supposed to be civilized people, so let's behave like ones.
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Old 23-05-2005, 12:06 PM   #2
Havell
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A pay-per-download system would be the best way to go as there would be no high publishing costs and the bandwidth would be more than paid for by the people downloading. Also, the risk would be minimal as the site itself doesn't cost much money to maintain so they would be in profit even if only a handful of people bought the games!
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Old 23-05-2005, 12:13 PM   #3
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I absoloutly agree. The only problem could be technical support. There are laws (at least in some countries - like Slovenija) that if you sell an item you must also ensure the support for the buyer to be able to make the item work.
There are some sites (our would be a great example) that provide that support and could host the games - so all ESA games could be payed dowloads (the site would get enough money to pay for the costs - the rest should go to the company that currently has the copyright and ESA - it's up to them to devide the money).
They'd have almost nothing to lose and a lot to gain. I know I'd love to download a few games!

This would be a good thing for the companies (and ESA) because they could get some income from the games and for the abandonware sites - much more games. Imagine games like The Lost Mind of Dr. Brain (by Sierra). It's almost impossible to get this game (but if Sierra would be involved the game would be available again).
I'd be prepared to pay up to $25 easily for some great titles.
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Old 23-05-2005, 12:16 PM   #4
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A kind of thorny issue, you've brought to attention. Good job, and I mean that with sincerity.

The download system is being implimented by a substantial amount of sites, and larger companies are starting to adopt the concept. We see an example of this in Nintendo, with their Revolution system. Neat idea, it had me anticipating, but, as my friend Morgan immediatly reacted to it: "Nice! Imagine, now we have a steady supply of roms to hack out!" ...now, there are many, many technical errors in his statement, I am aware of that, but the concept I got from the statement was "We already have emulators." ...too slow, Nintendo. They also did their "Classic gaming series" carts for the gameboy advanced. I recall laughing at the notion. Here they were, selling Metroid for nearly price of a new game. Great marketing decision...

Some other download to play games have been attempted, Half Life 2 springs to mind, with its fantastically frustrating Steam system. Damn tight copyright protection implimentation though... even though the execution had a few gaping flaws that resulted in little glitches like, oh, paying customers being unable to play their game (ahem, hi!). Meh, at least Valve tried.
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Old 23-05-2005, 12:32 PM   #5
The Fifth Horseman
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As for support, they can just put up a disclaimer that the software was made with older sysops and hardware in mind, therefore possibly being incompatibile with newer stuff, and as it is the tech support for these games has expired due to that.
And they can always add a link to DosBox site.
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Old 23-05-2005, 12:35 PM   #6
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hehe I wonder if they would pay the dosbox people to offer support for their games.
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Old 23-05-2005, 12:36 PM   #7
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There is quite the potential for a few high profile marketing deals, mhmmm....
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Old 23-05-2005, 12:50 PM   #8
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I agree that it would be nice if it were still possible to buy those games somewhere, but why would this be ESA's concern? Clearly the decision is up to the companies that own the rights. Or the companies that bought the companies that owned the rights. Or the companies that bought the companies that bought the companies that owned the rights, for that matter.
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Old 23-05-2005, 01:17 PM   #9
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The current way ESA acts is completely all right with the law, sure, however in the terms of the public reaction they are often seen as not much better then the software pirates they so pursue, since they also prevent some people from obtaining replacement copies of software they have purchased and still have licenses for but the original data carriers (floppies, CD's etc) were lost or destroyed.

Thus, it would help their image, since from "an organisation who fights to prevent people from access to games for whom the original producer does not care and fights piracy" it would shift to a much clearer "organisation that protects the avaibility of old games and fights oldwarez and piracy".

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hehe I wonder if they would pay the dosbox people to offer support for their games
Well, why not? Since they would get an income from the continuity of sales, they could as well drop some change to the people who enable this software to be ran on modern machines.
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Old 23-05-2005, 01:43 PM   #10
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I doubt the ESA care about their image. They're paid by a number of software companies to prevent and punish piracy, and that's about the extent of their function. If anyone takes the initiative and makes old games available again it will be the software companies. And I doubt that (well, some of them might, and some already have, as you point out, but I doubt the majority will do it).

It's a good idea, though, so long as the games are reasonably priced, although I would much prefer to get the game in a box, with manual and all.
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