Brad Wardell, Elemental, and GOO
I had an interesting meeting with Stardock Systems' Brad Wardell this morning to talk about one of the games I am really interested in - Elemental - and to talk about the company's new technology that will enable developers and publishers to resell games. Before we got into that, Wardell emphasized how much he thought that GameStop's used games market was so unfair to game developer and publishers. One of the main reasons being that publishers and developers often have to support a product to multiple customers when there are problems instead of just the original purchaser. Support costs money of course and when you have to cover more people you can see why it is kind of unfair.
But the new system Wardell talked about uses an outer layer of encryption (kind like the coating on those extra strength Tylenol i'm popping today) and inside is the software, which contains your serial key and your email. Let's say you buy a game and two months later you want to get rid of it. Simply login to Stardock's system, transfer it and bam! Your game is sold, you get some cash, the publisher gets some cash and Stardock gets a small transaction fee. It sounds simple enough, though it will be interesting to see if publishers that are considered competition to Impulse will be interested in working with them to use this technology.
The stress test will be on Stardock's games first, so that everyone can see that it is (knock on wood) a painless experience with some real benefits. I'll be talking about all of this stuff more in-depth at some point.
I didn't get to see Elemental but I sure did grill Brad about it. I'll talk more about this later, but I can't stress enough that we need a game that delivers this generation's Master of Magic. Brad has a lot of faith in this title and GPG's Demigod, so we'll see how it turns out. Demigod is going to go gold soon.. More later.