Interviews// David Braben, Industry Veteran

Posted 29 Aug 2008 16:19 by
SPOnG: Several developers have included SecuROM in their games recently...

David Braben: Oh, this re-validation? That would annoy me as a player. That would really annoy me. Much as I'm a fan of 24, for example, and various other films, bought DVDs. How many times have I seen that, 'You Wouldn't Steal a Car' that you can't skip? That is really annoying. And that's because I've bought it! I suppose people with ripped-off copies don't have that on.

It's the wrong way around, this is my point. We've got to embrace that. We've got to be creative and find a way to make it attractive. There are a lot of ways that we can make pre-owned detectable, by serial-numbering the discs or by having a type-in number. It doesn't have to be a validation every week or anything, it can just be something that adds value for the user.

SPOnG: The gamer's perspective would probably be, as you said, bring the price down. When you look at a single-player game that might only take eight hours to play through, at 40, some people might argue that's not great value compared to other media.

David Braben: Well, if you look at a film, how much is that now?

SPOnG: About a tenner...

David Braben: The average length of a movie is about 90 minutes.

SPOnG: Is it? I'd have thought more like two hours.

David Braben: People were saying this with Lost Winds, for example. It's $10, so 5. Actually, slightly more because of the exchange rate thing in the UK, and that's three and a half to four hours. It's a similar sort of ratio.

And I think the point is that eight hours for a 40 game, the equivalent of two hours for 10 quid, is actually still better than films. Please do look, but you'll find that most films are 90 minutes, maybe 100 minutes, but less than two hours.

And it's more involving entertainment! Because when you play a game, it's different.
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