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4 Top Games Downloading Facts

Jun 27, 2008
Games downloading facts from around the world.

1. Shopping Kart

If you love to download free computer games, the South Korean game 'Kart Rider' (similar to Mario Kart) has perhaps given us a glimpse of what the future holds. Played by over 12 million people, the lo-res racing game is downloaded for free, and competitors pay to customize their vehicles and characters. Players then race against each other online to increase their ranking and hopefully become a respected Kart Rider star.

So far, players have spent tens of millions of dollars, proving that a games company's business can be built entirely around downloadable add-ons.

2. The real pirates

Independent software developer Stardock has seen recent success, but according to founder Brad Wardell it was a difficult journey. They started out like most other developers, using traditional publishers and distributors. So what prompted them to cut out all the middle men and sell the game directly through their own website?

A: One of their first games, 'Galactic Civilizations' for the OS/2 was published in 2003 by 'Advanced Idea Machines'. Stardock subsequently never received any royalties, and 'AIM' disappeared soon after.

B: Some time later, Stardock decided to publish 'Galactic Civilizations II' themselves using two distributors, 'Micro Central' and 'Blue Orchards'. Both went out of business owing Stardock hundreds of thousands of dollars.

C: They then decided to enter 'Galactic Civilizations II' into the Windows market and use a well known publisher 'Strategy First'. A year and a half later, and they were still waiting for royalty payments on most of the sales.

When asked about how he feels about the downloading of pirated games, Brad is quoted as saying, 'When the PC sales go down, what's the reported reason? Piracy of course. Yea it's piracy, sure. In my experience of writing games it's not pirates ripping us off of our hard earned money, it's been publishers. The software pirate can go to jail on a felony, the business executive who doesn't pay royalties gets off the hook'.

3. One for the little guy

It is thought by many that the continued increase of digital distribution will eventually bring about the demise of pre-recorded disk media. This is good news for independent game developers who will no longer be forced to hand over a large percentage of their revenue to the publishers and distributors, hoping that they get paid their royalties.

Perhaps the ability to set their own prices, or even let you download free computer games will help transform the traditional sales model in favour of the smaller outfits. This will hopefully open up the field and keep the established players on their toes.

4. Good or bad?

Purchasers of EA's 'Battlefield 2142' were surprised to find a disclaimer inside the box explaining that the game includes a program that monitors their online activity. This software records sensitive information such as your IP address, websites you visit, and downloading habits, then reports back to advertising companies and ad-servers to generate in-game ads.

As a result, the 'In Game Advertising' technology supplied by 'IGA Worldwide' has been deemed to be 'Spyware' by some groups. It was even pointed out on the 'IGA Worldwide' website at the time that 'Gamers at play are operating at a much higher concentration level than someone who is passively watching television', indicating that these techniques are bordering on subliminal advertising.
About the Author
Jon Mills has created the TotalDownloader website which provides information on downloading techniques, increasing your speeds, maintaining anonymity, and much more. So get started now with your free 6 part course at TotalDownloader.com
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