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.

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  • Tman88

    I like the originality in downloadable games. It helps them become more mainstream and popular with gamers. With more popularity comes more sales, with more sales comes more money, and then comes more opportunity. Developers like Media Molecule and ThatGameCompany have come a long way and par of it has to do with the originality in their games.

    Posted: July 20, 2010 6:31 PM
  • rikkuster

    Two things that I don't like about moving to an all-downloadable future is the amount of disk space the actual game will take and the time it takes to download. The good thing about having a physical disc is that the only the save data will fill up your HDD.

    Posted: July 20, 2010 6:21 PM
  • LeBigMac

    I hope it stays in the store because I want to keep having the case, the manuals, all of those. I still got all the blacklabled Crash Bandicoots, and their strategy guids. <3

    Posted: July 20, 2010 6:15 PM
  • ossiss

    ahh... the old warner bros. cartoons... *sigh* when cartoons were cartoons and a hole in the chest (caused by a gun) was a good thing to show! you kids and your "cartoon violence" is nothing compared to the day and age of way back when.

    Posted: July 20, 2010 6:00 PM
  • xL7717

    DeathSpank, in my opinion, is an amazing game. It was not perfect, but it was a lot of fun. Not to mention that everyone and everything in the game was very memorable and likable.

    It's games like these that can help move the industry along. (But I will say though that I see huge potential for DeathSpank to become a franchise/series. Not to mention that it ends with a cliffhanger.)

    As for Limbo, I only have a PS3. So I can't comment on that. But I will say though that I am really jealous. I'm guessing it will never come to PSN, but it would be awesome if it does someday.

    Posted: July 20, 2010 5:45 PM
  • Meatball_Mamba

    I'm not sure the correct response to seeing titles with originality appearing on downloadable game services is to hope that the industry will further move towards this space.

    Yes, the format does mean less risk for developers and therefore a stronger opportunity for new ideas, but if the whole industry moves to that platform over retail? I daresay it would look very similar to the selection you find on store shelves.

    Publishers will always gravitate towards what's thought to be the most popular and what is likely to sell the most. While the downloadable sector may cut costs, AAA game development is still an expensive undertaking that, sadly, will more often than not see ideas and genres that are less risky propositions.

    And if the downloadable space were to become cluttered by a new 'POPULAR GAME BRAND #5' and the ilk every year? It'll make those titles we currently value places like XBLA and the PSN for much harder to notice for the consumer and make it harder for those titles to sell.

    There are a bunch of reasons I don't want to see the industry move to a downloadable format. I like to actually own my games - not just the digital rights to them that will likely disappear once a new console appears or a service goes down. I want to be able to play a game I purchase on a friend or relative's system, even if it's not connected to the internet. Countries outside of the USA largely don't have the sort of data plans that would allow for multiple downloads of 6GB-and-up a month. Games aren't likely to see a significant price drop in the format.

    But one reason to hold off on this inevitable shift, that I don't think seems to be recognised a lot, is the potential for the space to become overcrowded - snuffing out the original and indie games that proponents of the format champion.

    (All this sounds a bit CHANGE IS EVIL. But food for thought)

    By the way, DeathSpank is one of the funniest games I've played in years.

    Posted: July 20, 2010 5:32 PM
  • AshlikeBlood

    Always going to have ups and downs with downloadable games. They can take more risks, but that does take up a lot of space.

    I've never been one to play the normal games. I like darker games. Just because over the last years, I haven't touched any games doesn't mean I haven't been watching. When I finally do get the chance to start buying things, I'll be right back to enjoying it.

    I've played since I was a kid and have watched over the years as the new gaming systems have come out. It has jumped over the last ten years.

    I wish people would take more risk and put more ideas out there, but I do understand the point of worry as well.

    I'm very happy to see that we have great minds like Adam out there saying his two cents. It was so much harder back in the day. It was word of mouth by friends and now we have the internet to help us along.

    Posted: July 20, 2010 5:11 PM
  • Notafanboythatiknow

    Great inferences as always Mr. Sessler. I will just say that downloadable games are a great idea. Developers can certainly be more risk-takers. I also would like to see more old school games (like the rumored NBA Jam) on PSN and XBLA.

    Posted: July 20, 2010 4:59 PM
  • iwould/doadam24/7

    i had problems with the save system in deathspank, the save icon remained on the screen constantly, and it would freeze if i tried to quit

    Posted: July 20, 2010 4:16 PM
  • chantler

    I am a bit worried about an all digital market and many of my worries have been expressed in previous Feedbacks and Sessler Soapboxes. Like who owns the games I payed for? I download the game I play it for some time then delete it for more space but what happens if the site goes out of business and/or they no longer provide the game/s to me? With out a physical copy of the game do I really own it? What kind of stipulations will these companies place on me when I want to play my games? What if they require an internet connection to play even my offline games? I don't like the sound of that.

    If downloadable game companies offer me a way to make myself a copy of the software for my own personal use then that would alleviate most of my concerns but no one does that.

    Posted: July 20, 2010 4:09 PM
  • Zzanzabar

    I see two major flaws in going to an 'all downloadable' format for the larger title games:
    1) Hard drive space- I own approx. 50 - 60 titles for both X-box and Wii, no matter how large a HD there is no way they will fit.
    2) Do not for a minute believe that the price of games will drop to record lows because of less overhead. Companies like Activision and EA will just take the extra savings a profits, why not when people are already willing to shell out $50 and $60 per game.

    Posted: July 20, 2010 4:03 PM
  • PcBuilder

    You're trying to tell me you see no similarities between system shock2 and bioshock? I would like to make it clear that I do love bioshock, but I didn't think anyone could say that with a straight face.

    Posted: July 20, 2010 3:47 PM
  • NeoBlite

    I agree

    Posted: July 20, 2010 3:46 PM
  • willsskillz

    about the concept of an all downloadable future, a lot of people's arguements against it is they like going to the game store and talking to the employee about what game might be right for them (i'm not about to you hardcore gamers out there).

    my response to that that could still work in the retailers favor is the fact that right now, mainly for psp games i've seen, there are vouchers to buy for a specific game, lets say god of war chains of olympus, that are 20 dollars, and when you put in the code, you can download the game off of psn.

    why not have us do the same thing with a full fledged PS3 or 360 game? just have the box art and information on a small piece of cardboard that gets activated when you purchase it, so that not only can you deal with burgarlers who might try to steal the game, but it also combats used game sales.

    i think that if we move into an all-downloadable future, that should be the structure the industry should follow.

    Posted: July 20, 2010 3:43 PM
  • Darkstorn

    Excellent Soapbox. I too am somewhat tired of the lack of originality that seems to be all too prevalent in modern games, and it does seem like downloadable titles are the ones pushing creativity these days.

    That being said, there are some truly excellent franchises that are not all that original. Uncharted, Mass Effect, and God of War are all shining examples of an existing but extremely refined style of gameplay.

    Suffice it to say, I hope that at least some of the games we pay $60 for are worth their weight in creativity.

    Posted: July 20, 2010 3:42 PM