>>"THE ENTIRE problem of piracy results from CUSTOMERS BEING MISTREATED and businessmen acting like they rule the world."
So you're saying that if media companies had dived into online sales, that there would be *no-one* copying stuff for nothing?
Surely, there'd still have been some people who wanted whatever it was 'right now' but couldn't buy it because they didn't have the money just now, or who wouldn't pay for it on principle because 'the companies were still making too much money', or...
Especially with young people likely to be:
a) more than averagely impulsive
b) often of limited means
c) lacking adult payment methods
d) possibly feeling more 'entitled' than the average adult
there'd be a natural constituency for freeloading whatever the paid business model was, even if the overall scale might be rather less than it currently is.
I certainly couldn't stand up and say that I know if I'd been offered pretty much anything for nothing when I was a 14-year-old, I wouldn't have taken it and rationalised it away one way or another, whatever the actual price of legit copies was.
>>"Not to mention, time and AGAIN, studies have shown that pirates buy more movies and games than non-pirates,... "
Though obviously, people do have to be pretty careful about drawing cause-and-effect conclusions from data like that.
It would seem pretty predictable that the people who are interested enough in the product to be the heaviest-paying consumers would also be likely to be particularly interested in trying stuff out for free, just as people with minimal interest in games/video wouldn't be expected to do much downloading.
Simply having a correlation between downloading and being a heavy paying consumer doesn't prove the first *must* cause the second to any particular degree.
Having a 'natural' positive correlation from basically honest people who do (or don't) buy much content can help mask a fair amount of pure freeloading, even assuming that the pure freeloaders are giving honest information to the studies.
Before downloading was really feasible, there was a definite group of people who spent a serious chunk of their disposable income on games/videos/music.
I worked with a /lot/ of people who would fit into that category, some being pretty much pathological examples of it.
If you could transport someone like that from pre-download days to the modern day and give them the chance to sample stuff before buying, it'd be a very tricky call whether they'd be likely to spend more, the same, or less than they would have done without that chance, even though it'd be a fair bet that in the absence of any obvious sanctions, most of them would be downloading stuff to try it out, and still buying more stuff than the average consumer, and therefore contributing to a positive download:purchase correlation in statistics whether the influence of downloading on them as an individual was actually positive, negative, or neutral.
>>"ALL the cost is R&D. So as long as somebody pays you $1, you're making profit."
Well, assuming enough people pay you $1 to cover all your development costs and other overheads.
As for a company selling things cheaper, that's certainly one way to go, and it'll be really interesting to see how well it works in the long term.
I think it'd be great if it does work out, though it'd be understandable if other games companies were wary until it was more common and *still* seeming to be no less viable than the current system.
It's at least *possible* that the first company to do something like that benefits from some interest due to a 'novelty factor' which could dissipate over time, or from resultant free advertising.