This is what's gonna happen to a whole lot of modern games. What a waste.
Only pirates can help them.
Usually with enough dedication you can track down and hack out the activated code - and if an old DRM system falls into disuse a lot of companies will just release the details on it making it even easier to patch out.
In summary I would say that the coverage is a lot more complete than you'd expect :)
To use a sports analogy here, do you think it really matters to football coaches that the players can't go back in time and play the game exactly as it was played 100 years ago, for various reasons? The equipment and safety practices have changed, the old fields have been rebuilt or destroyed, the minutiae of the rules have changed quite a bit over time, etc. People could try to do a historical re-enactment of sorts, it wouldn't be the same, but that's okay because the game would still be fun if it was done the right way.
But now... 5 different subscriptions, and still unable to get the show you want,... yeah, not anymore.
I remember the Battlefield 2 community tried to revive the multiplayer servers after GameSpy shut down.
EA sent them a C&D.
EDIT: it's impossible to make money off of digital goods without artificial scarcity. This is because data is naturally not scarce. In the beginning, physical media allowed data goods to piggy-back on the retail structures already in place. Personal computing and the internet has mostly eliminated that form of scarcity. New forms of scarcity have been invented, some better than others (from the end-user perspective). Note that this truth applies to FAANG as well. Facebook and Google's fortunes have been built on the scarcity of ad space. Gaming companies have invented ways to create scarcity ranging from account-bound DRM (Steam, Battle.net), dongles, and always-on phone-home requirement for the runtime. And more. All of these technologies exist to extract money from something that is naturally not scarce. And rather than hate that fact, consider that without the ability to extract monetary value, these projects would not have been executed in the first place. So what's worse: a world in which we have excellent games hobbled by money extraction mechanisms, or a world in which we don't have excellent games? I know which one I prefer.
The reason you see alternative monetization is because it is so damn profitable, not because it is needed simply to fund the games. Look at Warzone, brings in $5.2M per day. There are countless other examples.
Investors want to go where there is maximum profit. But that doesn't mean we need these schemes just for the games to exist.
Companies like Sony still do it, but Sony gets a cut of every transaction on their platform, so they have their regular income as well.
Microsoft has sort of figured out a solution with gamepass where they can make large offers to devs in order to minimise their risk.
Whole industry is shifting towards it.
Maybe I haven't had enough coffee, but I don't think I understand.
You can't just quit your day job, live off your savings for a bit, and make a game like this. You need a big team with funding set up ahead of time, and that finding won't be released - either by external investors or management at a studio - unless you expect to make a return on that investment.
Are you saying that if old games didn't eventually break because people didn't maintain them, new games wouldn't be made?
I was active in gaming in the early-mid CD-ROM era and saw this in practice. If something can be trivially pirated (copy the files on the disc to a new one) it will be copied like wildfire. If it takes a bit more effort (bad sectors that make naive copying fail, etc.) then piracy won't go away but will become rarer. As the effort to pirate becomes more intense, if buying it is easier people will. If ads let you drop the price to a point where it's more affordable, more people will choose to pay it. Etc.
That said, I'm not sure "artificial scarcity" is the right way to think about this. No company is making money off of five year old games. The fact that they connect to an ad server has nothing to do with creating artificial scarcity, it's just another revenue stream for the game company.
GTA 5 came out in 2013 and sold 20 million copies last year.
Several games sold better after 5 years than most others at release.
Side note: is it possible to fix this by routing through a custom DNS and spoofing the ad server? This seems like a pretty rudimentary issue, and could probably be solved with the technological equivalent of Krazy Glue and duct tape.
Doom/Quake are a bit of an exception because iD have always implemented basically everything themselves, dramatically limiting how many third parties they'd have to negotiate licenses with.
It says in the thread, they already fixed it by having the madserver.net server reject connections.
Previously Microsoft parked it by having it handshake and send empty replies, which worked for other madserver-seeking games but choked these two.
Since switching to TCP rejects cleared the issue, a custom DNS entry was probably a viable workaround before the upstream fix.
I don’t agree with it, but I can’t think of a single game company that is not incentivized to obsolete their games much the same way phone manufacturers are incentivized to obsolete their phones
I think there are more than enough people who would pay a few euro for the convenience of installing an old game on their phone, console or modern OS straight from an App store or website instead of going through instruction on Github for free.
Would be great if they started pushing to release the source-code of more games, but they're still much better than nothing.
Neat fix - presumably an empty response blew up the XML parser but ECONNREFUSED escapes to safer code?
Holy hell, I'm not even sure I'd call that a game. I swear it took 20 minutes to actually start a match because of all the explicit ads, then ads disguised as ceremony. And 30 seconds into play, it crashes.
I can't imagine why people actually pay for these games year after year.
as in "THIS IS AN AD" or as in "this is a porn ad"?
Seems like there could be a demand for an independent standards committee that certifies games as shenanigan-free. My children are starting to play games themselves, so I’d like a service like that. I would pay a premium to know my kids aren’t going to be prompted to put in my credit card information and won’t be assailed with toxic marketing ploys.
If this was really an issue - game prices not keeping up with inflation - publishers wouldn't be posting profits (not revenue, profits) in the billions of dollars.
And on a more explicit point: God of War, a game with no microtransactions or any other BS, made their company over $500M in revenue in a year, for a game that cost them under $100M to make.
So while I'm not surprised these multi-billion-dollars-of-profit companies are so ready to squeeze as much money as they can out of us, I don't attribute it to Tiny Tim begging for enough money to live, but to Ebenezer Scrooge hording as much money as he possibly can, no matter the societal cost (or cost to himself).
You're taking the most succesful game on the most successful platform as an example, not sure it's very relevant for the thousands of games that get released every year...
If an independent company like New Blood can find success simply by making good games and being a good company then major publishers can follow suit or die off.
A lot of people who buy games aren't on 6-figures.
The monetization schemes are mostly just a way to squeeze every drop out of the customer possible. They use them because they work, not because they aren't profitable already.
They have. Mario was $50, games generally run $60+.
The big difference? You don't need to manufacture a cartridge anymore.
I recall specifically SMB3 retailing at $55 at Walmart.
I see some reports online that the average price was $50 in 1990, and others that say $40-$50, and maybe slightly higher for select titles. I think it's fairly safe to say that Nintendo priced their launch titles low to attract people, and third party titles were likely averaging $40-$50 within a few years.
I also think it's safe to say that most people's memories about this are fairly faulty, given 30+ years. There's numerous reports online about people saying they paid $60 for all their NES games. In addition to that, there were probably some places that sold above MSRP, and some people bought from those locations.
A bit of research shows an approximate $7 for developer cut of each sale at the 1988 figures. Given the approximate inflation adjustment, that becomes $18.20. Given that cartridge, physical retailers, and boxes are mostly gone, and even even with the deep licensing fees of the platforms today (30%), a $50 game will make the developer almost twice as much revenue as it did in 1988.
My example I've used elsewhere in this thread: God of War, a game without microtransactions, making $500M in the first year for under $100M in development costs.
I have a newer one that I paid $35k for, it has 460hp, leather interior, a banging sound system, dozens of airbags, computer-controlled wizbangery that makes the car a breeze to drive, massive tires, and somehow gets 20mpg.
Adjusted for inflation, these cars cost the same, but the newer one is such an incredibly massive improvement in every aspect.
Cars have a higher development investment, as well as marginal costs per unit considerations. Adding a feature to a car, like a carbon fiber hood over a steel one, incurs an added unit cost, while adding a level or something to a game has almost no marginal cost increase.
It's not like I'm getting five cheap 2008 Fiestas in a Humble Bundle any time soon :-P
EDIT: I stepped away for a moment and just noticed that you edited your answer. I'll keep my reply intact anyway.
ha ha ha
It's like when people say "if you're not paying for a service, then you're the product" to describe when user data is sold, when in actuality many services you do pay for happily sell your data all over the place.
That's the big difference today. A person can develop a good game in a reasonable time frame, but they can also put that game on a virtual shelve in front of about a billion gamers world wide.
It's absurd, really, how ads have become such an invasive part of our lives. To the point where you're looked down upon as abnormal for not appreciating ads.
They did test the game with an unavailable ad server, but it was still brittle (as in: not tested with badly formatted ads)