Watch this. The hour this is gonna take for me to write this is gonna be worth the lifetime of pleasure I can spread around and take like 2 whole minutes to read.
In the age of the declining demo, (thanks to publishers not the developers, and also the increasing size of game worlds and storage required, though a game like GTA does not lend itself to demos for the size reasons, it also doesn't due to its open world nature - as the tech changed, it's impossible to give you "1 level" of GTA cause it is one world, and of course, the size limits any realistic shot at "15 minute trial demo" or anything like that, same problem for many games. In many cases, even a free level is a bit too big to give as a demo - it depends on how much you're paying to move those bits to the consumer's device), sometimes piracy is the ONLY chance a developer has to get in front of a PC gamer's eyes these days. You can't rent or borrow a game, you can't get it used, and we all have at least 50% of our steam games that we like and would like to play but that just never make time for or want to play something else instead - wasted money.
I justify it by saying "well, when i play with people, they have a selection to choose from"
Honestly, I haven't pirated a game and played it since I grabbed a nocd key for san andreas to get around my issues with 3.0 on Steam to play MTA again.
Had the hard copy of San Andreas before that, and it was literally just easier to keep a copy of it on my disk and use no-cd as well.
People also equate no-cd patches to pure piracy. I have as you see used no-dvd patch for GTA San Andreas before I rebought it on steam because of the simple fact I don't want my drive running, I don't want a disc always needing to be put in every time I play a different game.
Steam solved every single issue for me with that, except with San Andreas and Multi Theft Auto. There are probably other games you need unofficial downgrades or alternative exe's for, but of my 100+ games on steam, it's all just fine and they have answered that issue.
Prior to now I didn't really game a lot, and I had stopped gaming for a while after San Andreas on PS2 and Half Life 2 on PC, and then Steam and PC gaming grew and evolved and became the community and all the sales and most important of all, all the great games to play today. Games get less and less sh*tty over time. New gamers may never truly appreciate just how sh*tty games used to be. Even most of PS1 with only a few gems.
Back then, it was "just gta" for a guy my age at the time (29 now). I would play GTA every time it came out on PS2, and I had some valve games on steam I got with the collection before the Orange Box, i forget what it was called, limited or special edition or something with 5 discs.
I didn't even use the discs. I used the code in steam and threw the box of cd's in the trash lol. I bullsh*t you not. I didn't trust steam back then. I didn't like it. I thought it was too heavy, and indeed, it WAS too intensive for many decent machines for a long time. People hated it. I never looked back. I ditched all my hard copies, rebought my rockstar games (still need to get bully, but doesn't count, I am talking about the PC versions of my Rockstar games, but do need to get Bully again, miss it and want to show someone something in it, just not a priority right now )
I would have had to do massive updates to the CDs anyway every time I used to install them if I didn't anyway, I just straight downloaded from the code and it was over, my town happened to have high speed at the time of course and the CD's were there for limited internet speed or availability, especially back in those not so distant days.
I am describing probably 3/4 of the worlds gaming population's current circumstances. The audience has grown so much so fast that many, many people are dong everything i am explaining right now.
Many PS3 and Xbox 360 owners who were about the age or level of reasoning now that I was back in the end of PS2's times - They are seeing more and more videos and screens than I ever did, as well, about PC games that make them scratch their head and wonder "why the f*ck am I paying Microsoft money just to play multiplayer?"
"Why the f*ck does my 500 dollar console not outperform that 369 dollar PC?"
Etc. They are getting a PC game on their middle to low PC that HAS to be more capable than the LAPTOP I used back then
They are not just googling for GTA III easter eggs and then seeing screenshots of not just better textures but WHOLE NEW AREAS added onto Liberty City and losing their minds and slowly changing over to PC-only gaming when they eventually meet Steam and Half Life 2 and it influences them to never buy a console again -
No, my friends, today's generation who is in the beef markets (the ones where everything and especially value is available and not artificially inflated compared to other places) - these guys are flooded with youtube videos of comparisons between console versions of games and PC versions being talked about in the comments and watching GTA IV videos that look like real f*cking life after ENB is applied (correctly enb, not the ugly, for my blast and ash loves ) and then Youtube video compression mangles it and it makes a 480p video game video look like a 240p video of real f*cking life right in their eyes.
They lose their minds when they see the HD video setting and start looking around at even stock GTA videos with a million cars and people around and they start realizing - these consoles are cool and all, but they but they are beginning to warrant their own disuse.
I can't go to new islands and old maps in GTA on console, I can't see clearly far away because not enough little squares are drawing the image, I can't see high definition on things even up close, and I can't even play online on 360 or enjoy special deals on PS3 unless I pay those motherf*ckers.
They are noticing that they could just be typing to their friends instead of f*cking with joysticks. Especially the ones who don't like voice messaging or headsets (examples like people are VERY concerned about GTA making you yell at it to rob people faster).
They are noticing how many OTHER things you can do on your PC now. At a MUCH larger level than I ever did, you know what I'm saying?
They are seeing "San Andreas in GTA IV" or even "fake GTA V videos" prior to launch that are really SA:RAGE (san andreas GTA IV mod) and googling to see "how the f*ck did they do that?"
They are seeing, then, tutorials for gta modding, and learning even about ISO modding for consoles when they become persistent to be able to do it on their consoles, some successful in usually unmeaningful ways, they are learning how things work and it's brilliant.
They are so much more exposed than I ever was, even just a short while ago. Even from my own somewhat connected perspective, people are able to see so much more than I ever could when I was their age. The average gamer is 33 to 35 years old with some flex to account for global and sub markets in gaming, but they have been around for 20+ years. That's the vast majority of the PC gaming population at this time. The slightly larger console base is the other way around, where it's more rare to see/play among grow'd ups than a kid on those. But there are plenty of teens on steam and lots of adults on XBL and PSN as well.
They are seeing that they can make their own games free and if successful pay very little money at first with Unreal Engine, they are seeing Unity engine and Cryengine and they are seeing all kinds of screencasts about their favorite thing - all of this meta that surrounds Gaming, outside of the game - the creativity, the diving force in each and all aspects of the industry's innovation that lies in the PC platform, in every possible aspect "PC is why". They are learning through word of mouth like this and also learning through online shopping and making comparisons and learning how easy it is from more youtube videos to build and also how cheap (so cheap) in comparison and they are word of mouthing and now they are learning about SteamOS.
One of the BIGGEST barriers that no PC Gamer EVER tells ANYONE about for PC gaming is the Operating System. It's a very significant set back. It can do alot, but it is costly as well, and required for entry.
And now Steam is going to make it possible for people to build just a tower, or just a microatx media center, cheaper, use the Xbox controller they already have and plug it right into the TV, completely removing the rather expensive awesome operating system cost, without having to buy the newer sh*tty version of that operating system to do it. It's awesome.
The people that are downloading games illegitimately in the beef markets are tomorrows windfall profits. Every time they search certain ways to figure out how to crack this or how to put that mod into their xbox version of the game and so on - these people are not scum, most of them are kids and kids aren't scum either, everyone has dipped in the bucket at some point and took a free sip, and everyone eventually realizes that paying for their content on the platform that gives them the most for their dollar is a much much higher value than messing with your console or letting someone flash it or doing disc swaps with slim ps2 - blah blah blah, no one wants to do that crap, and value-added multiplayer strategies, persistent service-based gaming, in forms like Steam as a provider and accounts with services like Social Club and so on - these things completely and utterly deflate piracy today.
Gabe Newell has created the master platform. Seriously. Gamers in general are the Master Race. Not just PC gamers. Gamers in general. We're the fastest growing most profitable audience in the entire world - over and over again with no intermediaries - And you don't start out riding a 1300cc street eater on your very first ride - you start on your moped, learn the ropes, and then get with the big boys. No one who doesn't identify an aspect of themselves as "gamer" would really understand. It's a culture of its own, and it is very hard to define. History has been repeating itself and I've watched it so many times and done so much research and seen so many things first-hand for myself that I can speculate with authority about it at this point. I was everything from Nintendo until Now, and by the time it was PS3 and 360 time, those platforms just didn't make sense to me - financially AND potentially.
If I put GTA IV down to 720p man, just no. But I really was okay with San Andreas being 480p. I was totally fine with 1024x768 being the standard for a decade on PC - I was totally cool with those low resolutions. But I hadn't seen 1280x1024+AA yet. I hadn't seen full1080, San Andreas still looks good because it is very low def and 480p is perfect for it on a television screen, when you play it at high resolution you can see holes in the map where models meet at their edges and it's ugly and blurry without graphical mods. 1024x768, very high, anti aliased (if you rig allows the built in, or using driver) though, it is beautiful. Monitor needs higher res to look nice, tv's handle the low standard media resolutions over the years better. But they are too small to be meaningful screenspace anyway.
That last point does not illustrate "I was dumb and I didn't know any better", no, that last point simply illustrates that at the very core, at the very center for people, it's all been about experiencing something better than you were used to, and not being able to go back. Who would ever want to smoke mids after you've smoked strains?
No one pays more when they know they can pay less and get better.
You're not going back to playing with yourself once you play cod online. And you're not going back to 720p when you've experienced higher resolutions,with higher resolution assets that actually support the resolution. GTA V falls a bit short of meeting 720p, that's the cause ofthe talk about bad textures. The PC version's high textures will alow for it to look nicer, and I'll probably just play slightly higher than 720p since MSAA is supported and I will want to record gameplay anyway.
The steambox is going to accelerate the living sh*t out of all of this - it's happennninggggggg.