Sessler's Soapbox: Downloadable Originality

Posted: July 20, 2010
Sessler's Soapbox: Downloadable Originality
Adam discusses how DeathSpank and Limbo made him think that digital distribution could change gaming for the better.

Comments are Closed

  • JingJang

    While I agree with the Sess man that risk is a factor, I also feel that another huge reason games like Deathspank and Limbo can flourish with their type of creativity is because their price warrants their playtime. Their oodles of creative juices are spread better across the time they are expected to fill.

    Posted: July 21, 2010 11:19 AM
  • dino2100

    The only thing that I fear about a strict downloadable future is this one thing: lack of physical ownership. When I own a book I can return to that book at any time of my choosing, save it is not destroyed in a fire. When i own a movie I can watch it again and again to my hearts content at anyone's house so long as they have dvd or bluray and I maintain good physical care of the medium.

    But when I download a game, music, a movie, or a book it is meant and dedicated to only one system, one piece of hardware that is made by design to fail, become outdated, that can be easily stolen (taking most of everything at once), or is produced by a company that is not guaranteed to continue support or even be around in ten to fifteen years due to a fluctuating market. Once one of those things fails, then I will be forced should I want to revisit a piece, of what should be my, property to purchase it yet again.

    When it comes to music I still opt to buy cd's when available. I understand Adam where you are coming from on a creative stance and actually agree; it is strictly the fear of loss that keeps me from supporting a download economy.

    Posted: July 21, 2010 10:55 AM
  • Angry Jessie

    I was watching Limbo the whole time you were talking Adam, wish i could get it...

    Posted: July 21, 2010 10:33 AM
  • Psymon-4

    I will admit that downloadable games are becoming more and more popular cause the restraint on creativity is sort of lifted but to say that disc gaming is dying kinda scares me. The fact that you will always need an internet connection to play makes me wonder if it is really mine. With disc gaming i hold something in my hand and know that no matter what i now own this and nothing can stop me from playing. I know its been talked about before but with a problem like that in downloaded games i am still not sold on the idea just yet. I have had times when my provider would have to shut off service to my grid to fix a problem and i couldn't play any of my downloads for a period of time cause i wasn't online.

    Posted: July 21, 2010 10:12 AM
  • Tsuiyo

    Why is it that the bigger a company is, the less creative they become? The smaller companies seem to be able to retain their creativity and seem to actually put some thought into their games. Like with Limbo: I think they spent three years just working on the SPRITE for the boy.

    As Mr. Sesseler said once, "It makes my eyes happy."

    Posted: July 21, 2010 9:34 AM
  • Life79

    i truly hope that the downloadable universe is where we go to get those types of games like deathspank and limbo, and i also hope that the activisions of the world dont see this new universe and do the typical american corporation thing and bleed it till its dry and move on.

    Posted: July 21, 2010 9:14 AM
  • Matches Malone

    I've always thought DLC would be the future of gaming and it looks like it's starting and I say good. Someone should explain to the suits about how much they could save on overhead costs of producing and distributing traditional dics. That would get them on board. Just appeal to the bottom line and watch them flock like mindless sheep to the idea.

    BTW, Deathspank is a fun game and it's hilarious. It's nice to have a good ol' visceral experience once in a while.

    Posted: July 21, 2010 9:03 AM
  • Bowmanganie

    I think downloadable is a great alternative, and gets away from HAVING to be aligned with Activision or EA in some way for distribution. Still need a server contract, so Microsoft is still helped, but someone has to be the middleman somewhere. How about downloadable DLC? Where, even if you do NOT have the original game, you could pay for and play the DLC when it comes out? Could cause people to want to go and buy the original (like a pay for demo almost) and help companies still make money of already designed games. Not like the code is not already written....

    Posted: July 21, 2010 8:02 AM
  • dantastic4

    I fully agree with Adam on this one.I myself find playing original game downloads like Limbo sometimes to be more rewarding than your multimillion dollar budget games that often find themselves in a ridiculous loop hole of the same old same old.I for one am feedup with the term AAA.Just because a game refers to its self a such PR nonsense does'nt mean its good.To those gamers that pass the kind of Judgement could be totally missing out on some unique and kickass games.To me it would be like passing up Bad Religion over Lady Gaga AAAAAHHHHHHH forget that horrifying thought.

    Posted: July 21, 2010 6:31 AM
  • logdog200x

    Great soapbox Mr. Sess. I've been waiting to play Limbo since E3. It's 5am on release day and still nothing on XBLA. Drats! Move faster world. I guess I can wait a little longer for something original though.

    Posted: July 21, 2010 3:16 AM
  • xplayfan1500


    Posted: July 21, 2010 12:16 AM
  • xplayfan1500

    I have a mixed opinion on this topic. First I like the idea of good, cheap oringinal games. Being realesed on the various virtual marketplaces. But it could also be viewed as a dumping ground for games that aren't good enough for the retailer's shelf. All of this depends on one person and that's you the gamer.

    I don't think game companies are not wanting to make original games. It's that gamers aren't buying them. Take these three examples of excellent, original games that should have sold more. Shadow of the Colossus, Okami, and Beyond Good and Evil. (yes and Psychonauts) All of them were awesome, original games, but GAMERS didn't buy them. So the rest of us are left behind. Begging for a sequel, Morgan and Abbie and the rest of the FEEDBACK crew know what I mean. BG&E2.

    By contrast these four games were original and sold well. So the game compaines were quick to cash in again. Bioshock, Assassin's Creed, Katamari Damacy, Left 4 Dead. Gamers bought these and played them. Most importantly they PROMOTED them. To friends, co-workers, customers. Gamers are the most powerful influence on the games that get released.

    As for the virtual marketplaces being a dumping ground. It's sort of like the direct to dvd idea. I mean take LIMBO for example. Games, like movies are being made by buisnessmen. It's possible that someone shot down LIMBO claiming that gamers wouldn't buy it. The suits think they know better. The virtual marketplace is a great answer to those doubts.

    But beware, as the virtual marketplace gains followers and more games. The price could start to skyrocket. Therefore I think the game companies should publish the more successful games to the retailer's shelves. This way some of us can buy a backup copy of it. Also non-live gamers can give them a try.

    Thanks Adam for some mental stimulation.

    Posted: July 21, 2010 12:13 AM
  • silentshadow867

    I agree with Sess. I haven't been a gamer for too long, but I remember when I was little I loved trying out all sorts of games for the N64. I remember being able to choose from all different kinds of genres and original titles. I started to become more of a gamer with the PS2 and still had a pretty good variety of original games in its early life, but later on I noticed that the selection of new good games started to narrow down to fps's or sports. I think that there are still a lot of original games out there, just not as much as there once were. I love a lot of games most people would never consider picking up because they look strange or childish, like Katamari Damaci, Fat Princess, Wario Ware, or LittleBigPlanet, so I would gladly buy a lot of unique downloadable games. I wish more people would give these games a chance.

    Posted: July 20, 2010 11:57 PM
  • CodyGilleyMcnugget

    Th only problem I have with doenload only games is I like to own a hard copy in my hands that can go on my shelf and what happens if my download game gets corrupted and I have to buy it again? But I agree with Adam saying that there is a lot of creativity on the download space plus re-releasing old favorites is also good. If microsoft sony and nintendo made big time games downloadable and could pass on the savings to the consumer I would consider but as it stands I can buy a retail version of games like Fable 2 or Fallout 3 cheaper in a retail store than I can as a downloadable game. But as always great Soapbox and Adam once again makes a very were constucted opinion.

    Posted: July 20, 2010 11:02 PM
  • ilovemyjeep

    With so many fantastic downloadable titles on the XBLA and PSN Store (now and on the horizon), I have almost considered ditching all the in-store titles priced at $59.99 for the many original and entertaining downloadable games tagged at. $14.99. Roughly speaking, I can buy 4 downloadable titles for the price of one run-of-the-mill big budget game! By purchasing games on the XBLA or the PSN Store, you are also supporting and encouraging smaller, independent developers that would otherwise go unnoticed. Not a bad idea right? The only downside is running out of hardware space, but I guess you could just delete whatever games you've finished and re-download them again later.

    However, there is still The Last Guardian. Yay creativity!

    Posted: July 20, 2010 10:07 PM
  • BlackLable69

    Sure why not? And you can lessen the amount of pollution being produced to boot.

    Posted: July 20, 2010 9:28 PM
  • Bass.EXE

    Do you think the cost-savingness of a downloadable game future will be passed along to the consumers or will companies continue to charge $59.99 because they know they can get away with it and they'll make more profit that way?

    Posted: July 20, 2010 9:22 PM
  • kings_legacy

    I agree that its good to have a place where certain games to exist but I'm against the idea that games should all go to downloadable.When dealing with downloadable games you do not have a physical copy of the data instead the data is stored in the system. Now the problem is data inside the system there is always a chance it could get deleted or some day a network problem could occur "playstation 3 trophy incident" that makes that data disappear.To me having a physical game is safer than digital data because the game disc will always exist"provided you don't some how destroy it" but information can get lost "government information about you for licenses,ect".

    Posted: July 20, 2010 9:20 PM
  • Spybreak

    I took my console to a friends apartment and he asked me why I had so many XBLA titles while the 360 could play all these graphics/physics intensive games. Yes, this is one reason why I have over 80 "arcade" titles on my 360. I love the format and it's crazy to hear what they thought XBLA was going to be and what it is today. It's the main way people download new games now. Not as great as Steam but not a bad alternative. Still I think if games are downloadable they should be priced reasonably considering no marketing/distribution/paying retail etc.

    Posted: July 20, 2010 8:28 PM
  • Meatball_Mamba

    It also kind of annoys me that as downloadable gaming grows on services like Xbox Live and the PSN store we seem to be being charged more and more for games, and while I'd say there's a larger amount of quality than there was in the early days of the service, I don't necessarily feel like the great titles are worth more money than the great titles we used to be getting at a lower price. Every decent title seems to be priced at 1200 (or even 1600) points these days, it used to be 800 - and before that prices for new release arcade titles would be even lower.

    Shank has just been dated and priced...and you guessed it - it's 1200 points.

    And we're hoping that games moving to a downloadable format will result in lower prices? Fat chance.

    Posted: July 20, 2010 7:51 PM