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Add on DRM downloads
PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2016 11:19 Reply with quote
voronezh
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Joined: 22 Jul 2015
Posts: 30




I recently aquired some FSX add ons that were downloaded and contain DRM (Digital Rights Management). Most of the aircraft I have are either downloaded freeware or CD/DVD payware. Add on companies have now abandoned DVD releases and their stated reasons are a) environmental b) instant download/updates c) no delay for production/printing d) flexibility to buy what you require only. The aspect of piracy is also present, they add DRM to prevent piracy. While there is some truth in the above the real reasons for DRM in flight simulator add-ons is slightly different. The first thing you notice is unlike a CD/DVD purchase, downloaded add ons often do not contain all the versions of the target aircraft. With downloads you can acquire what's called a 'base pack' to which you can add to at extra cost of course. This of course means that compared with DVD purchases downloads are much more expensive when you add up the cost of all the different models (many of which require very little effort to make from the developer). If you want to have some extra liveries that is even more cost. Another aspect is the pricing. A DVD release of a given product has an identical cost to the download. There is no reduction due to no printing costs of a manual or the lack of a DVD sleeve or CD. The cost and inconvenince of printing pdf files is transfered to the customer. Developers have gone down this route in the guise of DRM being for anti-piracy purposes. It's not really to do with that. Virtually all downloaded titles are still available for free download on shady websites. DRM has not affected piracy at all. The real reason DRM is applied is to inflate prices and to control the customer. This gives the developer power over the customer. In the extreme they can shut down a discontinued product. They can limit instances of the product on the customer's PCs if they have more than one. There is also one other huge benefit to the developer: the destruction of the used add on market. Once you purchase downloads they obviously have no resale value. The downloads are tied to the e-mail address/PC they were downloaded to. If activation is attempted from a different e-mail address/PC then it will fail. This naturally benefits the developers as they are the only source (as well as other vendors of their products) and the consumer has no legal alternative. There are other undesirable effects, for example, PMDG released their 747 "Queen of the skies" add on for FS2004. They subsequently released the 744 Freighter as a download only which also enhanced certain elements of the passenger aircraft. Since PMDG no longer offer this product for sale owners of the "Queen of the skies" product can only upgrade their add on by illegal means. If you want to buy the freighter add on in isolation this can't be done either as it requires the 'base' add on. All in all this makes add on downloads a less attractive proposition than anything you can purchase on a disc. Naturally sooner or later you will load the aircraft only to find the aircraft is 'dead' and the undercariage is up when you are still on the runway. Somethings gone wrong and you need to restart, reinstall the aircraft or contact the developer for assistance. What amazes me is that people have just accepted this and downloaded products which reduce their rights and are much more expensive without any thought.
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Add ons
PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2016 17:57 Reply with quote
WalterLeo
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Joined: 10 Feb 2009
Posts: 1660
Location: Viena Austria




Hi friends:

I bought only two addons (a good 747 for FS5) and a fair MD-80 for FS9 both were sold at discount prices in the supermarkets. All my other aircrafts are freeware and the best ones from PT! Some very good ones also came from HJG.

Some others I have tried to make a little better (so the Tu-124 and the Tu-114 from Samdim and the Tu-104 by Mikhail Stepanov).



All I have published at AVSIM.SU

My FSX DVD I have stored and never installed.....

Kind regards

Walter

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 21:05 Reply with quote
ha5mvo
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Joined: 23 Jan 2005
Posts: 2233
Location: Toronto, Canada




voronezh


Not sure how much the pricing of FS addons can be related to the way they are being delivered to the end user/ customer.

Truth is, optic media is becoming a thing of the past altogether. Many a modern desktop computer will have no CD/DVD device at all.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 23:16 Reply with quote
voronezh
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Joined: 22 Jul 2015
Posts: 30




I don't have any objections to paying for digital downloads, but I felt I was getting much less for my money than purchasing a DVD. If the cost of the download was reduced to reflect the fact that there were no printing/manufacturing costs. If the cost was reduced because it's only one model of an aeroplane or reductions due the restrictions of DRM then that would be fine. The hidden agenda though of course is the reverse - to increase the cost as much as possible.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 15:34 Reply with quote
ha5mvo
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Joined: 23 Jan 2005
Posts: 2233
Location: Toronto, Canada




voronezh
When you say increase or reduce the price of an addon , you inherently assume you can establish a "base" price for a given product (which, you claim , is being inflated by not-so-kosher means).

I wonder, how can you establish a fair price?
how much should a PMDG 747, for example, cost? be it download or DVD offer.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 02:19 Reply with quote
sLYFa
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Joined: 14 Nov 2005
Posts: 84




voronezh wrote:
If the cost of the download was reduced to reflect the fact that there were no printing/manufacturing costs.


keep in mind that you get server and DRM costs that could be just as high as printing/manufacturing costs.

I personally like having my sim products in digital form. I bought almost all my stuff from simmarket. Whenever I rebuild my system I dont have to backup every scenery/aircraft/patch but can always download the latest version from simmarket FOR FREE. I remember simmarket had a limited downloading period, which meant you had to backup your product or else it was gone. They dropped that several years ago.

Another advantage is availability. I remeber when PMDG released their 747 and I was just dying to get it. The problem was, it was not available in germany yet and I did not have a credit card to buy it from PMDG´s store. So I had to wait for aerosofts box release. The point is: Boxed releases take a long time to spread to other countries (sometime they even never do due to lack of local publishers). But with online shops I can get any addon I want instantly, all that thanks to DRM.

I do however agree that DRM does little to stop piracy.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 00:21 Reply with quote
voronezh
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Joined: 22 Jul 2015
Posts: 30




It is difficult to say what a fair price mght be for any product. As an example of pricing take a look at Captain Sim's 737:
737-200 base pack $34.99
737-200 ADV $14.99
737-100 $14.99
737-200 C/F $14.99
Total cost $80 or Ј65 for a mid level simulation and all the expansions are also exterior only. Apparently it was too much effort to model the differences in the virtual cockpit or modify the flight models. So other than the aircraft shape the expansions are identical to the 737-200 base. I suppose I should be grateful the liveries are free.
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Add on DRM downloads
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