Piracy Kills Eastside Hockey Manager?

by on January 31, 2007 · 44 comments

Ars reports on what seems to be a genuine case of piracy choking off a popular gaming title:

Sports Interactive had made Eastside Hockey Manager 2007 available only via digital distribution in an attempt to give the game a wider reach in Europe and North America. Unfortunately for Sports Interactive, the end result was a hacked version of the game that was quickly distributed via BitTorrent.

“The orders came in a drizzle, rather than a flood,” wrote Jacobson. “We scratched our heads trying to work out what had gone wrong. And then someone pointed out that the game was being pirated, and was available as a torrent from lots of different pirating sites. Then sat there and watched as the claimed amount of downloads on those sites went up and up, as sales stayed static.”

The end result was a popular game that had “more licenses than any other hockey game in history,” according to Jacobson, but was apparently so widely distributed over peer-to-peer networks that the company was not able to make back the development or licensing costs. Although Jacobson left open the possibility that SI may resurrect Eastside Hockey Manager in the future, he said that all development on the game has been halted and the programmers and others that worked on the title have been reassigned to other projects within the company.

In some industries, such as music, I’m sympathetic to the argument that we’d get along just fine without copyright. But as I’ve said before, I think there are other categories of content that would be significantly impoverished without copyright protections. Video games, which are subject to soaring costs appears to be in the latter category.

  • http://www.uglyshz.com/blog Jon Lawrence

    Tim, I jumped back to see what you’d “said before,” and read the stuff about the Theatrical releases and whatnot.

    As a working filmmaker, I have to point out that theatrical sales are no longer a revenue driver at all for most movies. In fact, many smaller films that do go to the theater, lose money on their theatrical release.

    The only benefit from a theatrical release in many cases is that:

    1. It makes people more aware of the film, which helps DVD/home video sales (where most films end up breaking even).

    2. It helps make more sales of content abroad. (foreign distributors are more likely to buy, and to pay more for films that have been shown theatrically in North America).

    I’m really against DRM in general and believe firmly that it punishes honest users more than it defends against dishonest users. However, I’m not sure what the new world of content creation is going to look like if every piece of creative work becomes free.

    Music IS a bit a different beast than games and film/tv simply due to the massive cost difference in production. It’s cheap to record a song with a few friends. There’s a lot of stories you simply cannot tell with a few friends and a DV camera.

    Should production costs come down in film & TV? Absolutely. Are they going to? Not likely for a long time. There’s too many lawyers and agents and very expensive middlemen involved for that to happen very quickly.

    There’s also the astronomical cost of advertising in the modern world, which can easily cost double or even triple the cost of production on a film.

    I believe that it’s very possible that without some equitable solution to this problem, that much of the creative work in film, television, and games will disappear within 50 years. Because by then, it will be relegated to those who can create “as a hobby” because it’ll be nearly impossible to make a living at it.

  • http://www.uglyshz.com/blog Jon Lawrence

    Tim, I jumped back to see what you’d “said before,” and read the stuff about the Theatrical releases and whatnot.

    As a working filmmaker, I have to point out that theatrical sales are no longer a revenue driver at all for most movies. In fact, many smaller films that do go to the theater, lose money on their theatrical release.

    The only benefit from a theatrical release in many cases is that:

    1. It makes people more aware of the film, which helps DVD/home video sales (where most films end up breaking even).

    2. It helps make more sales of content abroad. (foreign distributors are more likely to buy, and to pay more for films that have been shown theatrically in North America).

    I’m really against DRM in general and believe firmly that it punishes honest users more than it defends against dishonest users. However, I’m not sure what the new world of content creation is going to look like if every piece of creative work becomes free.

    Music IS a bit a different beast than games and film/tv simply due to the massive cost difference in production. It’s cheap to record a song with a few friends. There’s a lot of stories you simply cannot tell with a few friends and a DV camera.

    Should production costs come down in film & TV? Absolutely. Are they going to? Not likely for a long time. There’s too many lawyers and agents and very expensive middlemen involved for that to happen very quickly.

    There’s also the astronomical cost of advertising in the modern world, which can easily cost double or even triple the cost of production on a film.

    I believe that it’s very possible that without some equitable solution to this problem, that much of the creative work in film, television, and games will disappear within 50 years. Because by then, it will be relegated to those who can create “as a hobby” because it’ll be nearly impossible to make a living at it.

  • http://www.techliberation.com/ Tim Lee

    Jon, I think you might have been misinterpreting my previous post–I agree with you that copyright protections for movies are important, and that eliminating copyrights for movies would be harmful to both the filmmaking industry and the general public.

    However, I also think it’s important to keep in mind that the current structure of the movie industry isn’t set in stone. Studios calibrate the amount they spend on movies to the expected return. The more the typical movie earns, the more the studio is willing to spend in the hopes of producing a blockbuster. That means that if there were a policy or technological change that reduced the average haul of a movie, (say rampant P2P sharing destroyed the market for DVDs but not the market for theater viewing) the studios would respond to that by reducing the budgets of movies accordingly.

    There’s quite a lot of space between the $50 million that a typical big-budget movie costs today, and “a few friends and a DV camera.” It strikes me as implausible if average movie revenues dropped by half, that the filmmaking industry would disappear. Movies would be a little bit less polished, salaries in the industry would be lower (my guess is that the stars would see their salaries fall the most, since they’ve got nowhere else to go), but people would continue to make movies. They might have average budgets of $10 million instead of $20 million, but you can make a pretty good movie for $10 million.

    Which isn’t to say that it would be a good thing if that happened. I like big budget movies, and if we can continue the status quo, that would be great. But I also don’t think that a reduction in revenue would be quite the disaster that some people portray. Hollywood got along just fine in the 1970s, when their only significant revenue source was theater tickets. I don’t see any reason to think they couldn’t get along just as well on theater revenues today.

  • http://www.techliberation.com/ Tim Lee

    Jon, I think you might have been misinterpreting my previous post–I agree with you that copyright protections for movies are important, and that eliminating copyrights for movies would be harmful to both the filmmaking industry and the general public.

    However, I also think it’s important to keep in mind that the current structure of the movie industry isn’t set in stone. Studios calibrate the amount they spend on movies to the expected return. The more the typical movie earns, the more the studio is willing to spend in the hopes of producing a blockbuster. That means that if there were a policy or technological change that reduced the average haul of a movie, (say rampant P2P sharing destroyed the market for DVDs but not the market for theater viewing) the studios would respond to that by reducing the budgets of movies accordingly.

    There’s quite a lot of space between the $50 million that a typical big-budget movie costs today, and “a few friends and a DV camera.” It strikes me as implausible if average movie revenues dropped by half, that the filmmaking industry would disappear. Movies would be a little bit less polished, salaries in the industry would be lower (my guess is that the stars would see their salaries fall the most, since they’ve got nowhere else to go), but people would continue to make movies. They might have average budgets of $10 million instead of $20 million, but you can make a pretty good movie for $10 million.

    Which isn’t to say that it would be a good thing if that happened. I like big budget movies, and if we can continue the status quo, that would be great. But I also don’t think that a reduction in revenue would be quite the disaster that some people portray. Hollywood got along just fine in the 1970s, when their only significant revenue source was theater tickets. I don’t see any reason to think they couldn’t get along just as well on theater revenues today.

  • http://www.uglyshz.com/blog Jon Lawrence

    Sorry Tim, I didn’t interpret what you were saying in your previous post as being for the abolishment of all copyright at all. By and large I find your stances and writing on the IP issues excellent, and agree with most of them.

    The King Kong article and debate you were addressing was what put me off on my little direction rant above;).

    I agree there’s a ton of room for smaller movies – I’d love to make a $10m movie – both of the ones I’ve sold so far have had budgets around the $1m mark. Frankly, it’s still very hard to make back your money even at that level without a large marketing budget, or spending more on making the movie because you’re paying “stars.”

    Our current system here is a mess, for sure. And that is driven by the audience, who wants to know “WHO’S in it?” Which largely means that the salary setting power lies in the hands of the agents and managers of those “who”‘s.

    This is especially true of International buyers in our biz. Star (even B or C level) names will sell the movie. As will (quite literally) the number of guns and the number of people shot in a movie. (I kid you not, it’s very weird sociological viewing to watch International buyers at a large film market).

    Personally, I’d much rather make “smaller” movies with reasonable budgets. I’m more about “good business” than I am about excess. The idea of trying to provide a good ROI to my distributor or my investors on a $100m film production scares the crap outta me.

    Keep in mind in the 70′s – the theater was the *only* place to get movies! Home theater has dramatically changed our world, at first for the (much) better, and now, it’s a little sketchy with the piracy questions, and the format battles don’t help either (HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray for example).

  • http://www.uglyshz.com/blog Jon Lawrence

    Sorry Tim, I didn’t interpret what you were saying in your previous post as being for the abolishment of all copyright at all. By and large I find your stances and writing on the IP issues excellent, and agree with most of them.

    The King Kong article and debate you were addressing was what put me off on my little direction rant above;).

    I agree there’s a ton of room for smaller movies – I’d love to make a $10m movie – both of the ones I’ve sold so far have had budgets around the $1m mark. Frankly, it’s still very hard to make back your money even at that level without a large marketing budget, or spending more on making the movie because you’re paying “stars.”

    Our current system here is a mess, for sure. And that is driven by the audience, who wants to know “WHO’S in it?” Which largely means that the salary setting power lies in the hands of the agents and managers of those “who”‘s.

    This is especially true of International buyers in our biz. Star (even B or C level) names will sell the movie. As will (quite literally) the number of guns and the number of people shot in a movie. (I kid you not, it’s very weird sociological viewing to watch International buyers at a large film market).

    Personally, I’d much rather make “smaller” movies with reasonable budgets. I’m more about “good business” than I am about excess. The idea of trying to provide a good ROI to my distributor or my investors on a $100m film production scares the crap outta me.

    Keep in mind in the 70′s – the theater was the *only* place to get movies! Home theater has dramatically changed our world, at first for the (much) better, and now, it’s a little sketchy with the piracy questions, and the format battles don’t help either (HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray for example).

  • Charles

    Jon,

    My poster child example for movies done on the cheap is “Primer”. It was reported to have been done for 10k$. My understanding is that this figure accounts for everything up to transfering the movie to a support that can be shipped to movie theathers, distribution, advertisement, etc. So starting from that point it started costing significantly more than 10k$. What I find remarkable is that if the ‘real theater’ experience is replaced by downloads over the network and, taking for example, the case of the UK band ‘Arctic Monkeys’, which rose to the top of the charts through word of mouth rather than ‘conventional advertising’, don’t you think there is a future for creative work in film without the backing of major studios through huge budgets?

    Maybe I’m taking this too far off-topic but reading your comments here made me wish I could have your opinion on this, as a filmmaker.

  • Charles

    Jon,

    My poster child example for movies done on the cheap is “Primer”. It was reported to have been done for 10k$. My understanding is that this figure accounts for everything up to transfering the movie to a support that can be shipped to movie theathers, distribution, advertisement, etc. So starting from that point it started costing significantly more than 10k$. What I find remarkable is that if the ‘real theater’ experience is replaced by downloads over the network and, taking for example, the case of the UK band ‘Arctic Monkeys’, which rose to the top of the charts through word of mouth rather than ‘conventional advertising’, don’t you think there is a future for creative work in film without the backing of major studios through huge budgets?

    Maybe I’m taking this too far off-topic but reading your comments here made me wish I could have your opinion on this, as a filmmaker.

  • http://weblog.ipcentral.info/ Noel Le

    ***In some industries, such as music, I’m sympathetic to the argument that we’d get along just fine without copyright.***

    You say a bit more than that Tim:) You’ve basically argued this week and last that musicians should not be able to tap the Internet as a direct source of revenue.

    ***But as I’ve said before, I think there are other categories of content that would be significantly impoverished without copyright protections.***

    So some industries need copyright more than others. What does that mean in terms of policy? Should we have different copyright policies for digital code based on whether its helps consumers enjoy a book, game, movie or a song? Do your proposals to repeal the DMCA and ban DRM have any implications for industries that you feel deserve copyright?

  • http://weblog.ipcentral.info/ Noel Le

    ***In some industries, such as music, I’m sympathetic to the argument that we’d get along just fine without copyright.***

    You say a bit more than that Tim:) You’ve basically argued this week and last that musicians should not be able to tap the Internet as a direct source of revenue.

    ***But as I’ve said before, I think there are other categories of content that would be significantly impoverished without copyright protections.***

    So some industries need copyright more than others. What does that mean in terms of policy? Should we have different copyright policies for digital code based on whether its helps consumers enjoy a book, game, movie or a song? Do your proposals to repeal the DMCA and ban DRM have any implications for industries that you feel deserve copyright?

  • Doug Lay

    *Great* posts, Jon. I’ve got your blog bookmarked and will follow with interest.

    In the long run (10 years? 30?), I’m optimistic that creativity and creators will flourish in our new post-scarcity world of digital distribution. In the short run, there is going to be a lot of pain as whole industries seek out defensible business models that don’t depend on the impossible pipe dream of copy control.

    Given the challenge ahead, it is somewhat understandable that many people in the creative industries chose to believe in the siren song of DRM back in the late ’90′s, as the Internet was ramping up. However, 10 years later it is clear as a bell that DRM does not work as advertised. Continued belief in this snake oil is costing companies extremely valuable time that would be better spent figuring out revenue models that might actually work.

    One suggestion that might work in some cases (only for established artists unfortunately): If David Simon announced tomorrow that he could not afford to produce another season of the Wire without $5 million (or whatever) in up-front payments, I would cut a check for $50 or even $100 immediately.

  • Doug Lay

    *Great* posts, Jon. I’ve got your blog bookmarked and will follow with interest.

    In the long run (10 years? 30?), I’m optimistic that creativity and creators will flourish in our new post-scarcity world of digital distribution. In the short run, there is going to be a lot of pain as whole industries seek out defensible business models that don’t depend on the impossible pipe dream of copy control.

    Given the challenge ahead, it is somewhat understandable that many people in the creative industries chose to believe in the siren song of DRM back in the late ’90′s, as the Internet was ramping up. However, 10 years later it is clear as a bell that DRM does not work as advertised. Continued belief in this snake oil is costing companies extremely valuable time that would be better spent figuring out revenue models that might actually work.

    One suggestion that might work in some cases (only for established artists unfortunately): If David Simon announced tomorrow that he could not afford to produce another season of the Wire without $5 million (or whatever) in up-front payments, I would cut a check for $50 or even $100 immediately.

  • http://www.techliberation.com/ Tim Lee

    You’ve basically argued this week and last that musicians should not be able to tap the Internet as a direct source of revenue.

    Noel, how many times do I have to say this? Stop putting words into my mouth. What I said was that musicians are likely to find it in their own interests to give away their music as a way of promoting themselves to a wider audience. I have never said there’s anything wrong with artists charging for their work.

  • http://www.techliberation.com/ Tim Lee

    You’ve basically argued this week and last that musicians should not be able to tap the Internet as a direct source of revenue.

    Noel, how many times do I have to say this? Stop putting words into my mouth. What I said was that musicians are likely to find it in their own interests to give away their music as a way of promoting themselves to a wider audience. I have never said there’s anything wrong with artists charging for their work.

  • Doug Lay

    Tim:

    The chances of Noel ceasing with the distortions of your views because you ask nicely are virtually zero. Distorting your views and keeping you on the defensive are what he gets paid for (albeit not very well, I’m sure).

    This article should be instructive:

    http://www.nature.com/news/2007/070122/full/445347a.html

  • Doug Lay

    Tim:

    The chances of Noel ceasing with the distortions of your views because you ask nicely are virtually zero. Distorting your views and keeping you on the defensive are what he gets paid for (albeit not very well, I’m sure).

    This article should be instructive:

    http://www.nature.com/news/2007/070122/full/445

  • http://weblog.ipcentral.info/ Noel Le

    Tim, why do you predict that musicians will follow their own interest with your “virtuous” model of business, when you criticize them for following their self interest now: trying to maximize their profits (as if thats a bad thing) and leveraging DRM. Oh, you only want musicians to follow their interest when it suits your interest:)

    I have not distorted your views Tim. Rather, if you don’t clarify them, then they may be misinterpreted. So its better to address my questions.

  • http://weblog.ipcentral.info/ Noel Le

    Tim, why do you predict that musicians will follow their own interest with your “virtuous” model of business, when you criticize them for following their self interest now: trying to maximize their profits (as if thats a bad thing) and leveraging DRM. Oh, you only want musicians to follow their interest when it suits your interest:)

    I have not distorted your views Tim. Rather, if you don’t clarify them, then they may be misinterpreted. So its better to address my questions.

  • http://www.techliberation.com/ Tim Lee

    you criticize them for following their self interest now: trying to maximize their profits (as if thats a bad thing) and leveraging DRM.

    Care to provide a citation? I don’t remember saying any such thing. I criticize the use of DRM largely because it doesn’t benefit artists.

  • http://www.techliberation.com/ Tim Lee

    you criticize them for following their self interest now: trying to maximize their profits (as if thats a bad thing) and leveraging DRM.

    Care to provide a citation? I don’t remember saying any such thing. I criticize the use of DRM largely because it doesn’t benefit artists.

  • http://weblog.ipcentral.info/ Noel Le

    You criticize DRM because it does not benefit artists?! What…

    I’m not going to search through TLF for citations, although its pretty hysterically obvious your frequent barbs at profit making entities that don’t reflect your style of libertarianism.

    In any case, you criticize DRM because it does not benefit you, Tim. You’re hardly concerned with artists, because you want them to sell music lessons rather than songs over the Internet to make money. It seems like you want to tinker with Internet technologies at the cost of a large industrial segment, but don’t want others to benefit the same way from technological progress.

  • http://weblog.ipcentral.info/ Noel Le

    You criticize DRM because it does not benefit artists?! What…

    I’m not going to search through TLF for citations, although its pretty hysterically obvious your frequent barbs at profit making entities that don’t reflect your style of libertarianism.

    In any case, you criticize DRM because it does not benefit you, Tim. You’re hardly concerned with artists, because you want them to sell music lessons rather than songs over the Internet to make money. It seems like you want to tinker with Internet technologies at the cost of a large industrial segment, but don’t want others to benefit the same way from technological progress.

  • http://www.techliberation.com/ Tim Lee

    Noel, I’m getting tired of you misrepresenting my views and then backpedaling when I call you on it. Again, I’ve never criticized companies for wanting to make money. Nor have I criticized artists for charging money for their music. I have suggested that giving away music could be in the self-interest of many musicians. (and some of them agree with me).

    I make “frequent barbs” at companies that advocate policies I disagree with. That’s the way politics work. That doesn’t make me an enemy of markets or private companies.

  • http://www.techliberation.com/ Tim Lee

    Noel, I’m getting tired of you misrepresenting my views and then backpedaling when I call you on it. Again, I’ve never criticized companies for wanting to make money. Nor have I criticized artists for charging money for their music. I have suggested that giving away music could be in the self-interest of many musicians. (and some of them agree with me).

    I make “frequent barbs” at companies that advocate policies I disagree with. That’s the way politics work. That doesn’t make me an enemy of markets or private companies.

  • http://weblog.ipcentral.info/ Noel Le

    Tim, you’ve suggested that IP firms should be called patent trolls, advocated the downfall of the Hollywood studios, call corporations hierarchical beauracracies (whatever that means). You even predicted the demise of the softare industry as it is, with all software being created through peer-production- and your policy recommendations aim to support this delusion. I can go on.

    You never address my questions when I pose them, and I’m not going to search TLF for those posts. Rather, it would be great for you to clarify your views here. I mean, look above, I asked you how you can shape policy that takes away copyright privileges for musicians but not makers of ebooks, movies and games; and you didn’t reply.

  • http://weblog.ipcentral.info/ Noel Le

    Tim, you’ve suggested that IP firms should be called patent trolls, advocated the downfall of the Hollywood studios, call corporations hierarchical beauracracies (whatever that means). You even predicted the demise of the softare industry as it is, with all software being created through peer-production- and your policy recommendations aim to support this delusion. I can go on.

    You never address my questions when I pose them, and I’m not going to search TLF for those posts. Rather, it would be great for you to clarify your views here. I mean, look above, I asked you how you can shape policy that takes away copyright privileges for musicians but not makers of ebooks, movies and games; and you didn’t reply.

  • http://www.techliberation.com/ Tim Lee

    Noel, none of that changes the fact that you misrepresented my views when you said I’m against musicians charging money for their music or maximizing their revenues. You keep changing the subject to avoid admitting that you made a mistake. Frankly, I’m getting tired of this, so unless you want to acknowledge that your prior statements were false, I’m done with this discussion.

  • http://www.techliberation.com/ Tim Lee

    Noel, none of that changes the fact that you misrepresented my views when you said I’m against musicians charging money for their music or maximizing their revenues. You keep changing the subject to avoid admitting that you made a mistake. Frankly, I’m getting tired of this, so unless you want to acknowledge that your prior statements were false, I’m done with this discussion.

  • http://weblog.ipcentral.info/ Noel Le

    Tim, you want to take away musicians’ current online revenue stream, and your proposals for alternatives are just plain weird.

    First, you try to argue that the sales of musical instruments and music lessons shows the “music industry” doing well (by doing this you switched away from the core copyright music industry).

    Second, you say that people make music for fun, and thus copyright is not necessary for the music industry (here, you fall into the fallacy of direct and causal 1-1 relationships between policy and real world phenomena).

    Third, you follow some logic that generalizes every possible avenue of revenue, not taking into consideration either proportion or musicians’ interest (so ToGo or whatever they are called give songs away for free, every musician does to some extent, but you want to build an entire industry on this).

    Tell me if you were being serious, if not, I’ll stop the criticism. And why are you attacking DRM and the DMCA to begin with? To protect your freedom to tinker? Because there is some regulatory effect on tinkering, even though there is no proven effect that DRM and the DMCA result in any substantial curb innovation.

    My prior statements were correct.

    And look, you STILL don’t address my question about how repealing the DMCA will affect not only musicians but other copyright onwers in the online environment.

  • http://weblog.ipcentral.info/ Noel Le

    Tim, you want to take away musicians’ current online revenue stream, and your proposals for alternatives are just plain weird.

    First, you try to argue that the sales of musical instruments and music lessons shows the “music industry” doing well (by doing this you switched away from the core copyright music industry).

    Second, you say that people make music for fun, and thus copyright is not necessary for the music industry (here, you fall into the fallacy of direct and causal 1-1 relationships between policy and real world phenomena).

    Third, you follow some logic that generalizes every possible avenue of revenue, not taking into consideration either proportion or musicians’ interest (so ToGo or whatever they are called give songs away for free, every musician does to some extent, but you want to build an entire industry on this).

    Tell me if you were being serious, if not, I’ll stop the criticism. And why are you attacking DRM and the DMCA to begin with? To protect your freedom to tinker? Because there is some regulatory effect on tinkering, even though there is no proven effect that DRM and the DMCA result in any substantial curb innovation.

    My prior statements were correct.

    And look, you STILL don’t address my question about how repealing the DMCA will affect not only musicians but other copyright onwers in the online environment.

  • Anonymous

    Doug is right. DNFTEC.

  • Anonymous

    Doug is right. DNFTEC.

  • http://www.uglyshz.com/blog Jon

    Tim,

    I give you much kudos for your tolerance of posters who put so much effort into drawing you into cul-de-sacs of pseudo-intellectual battle on pretty much every post you’ve ever written here. It’s nutty, and you’re much kinder than I would be;)

    At any rate, to Charles point, doing “Primer” for $10k is an exercise in futility, and I’ll tell you why. I’ve made a lot of short films, and one both features for, ok, to be honest, close to $100k each.

    Here’s the kicker, that was a $100k where NOBODY got paid to work on the films, save for some money, very meager money, to the actors because SAG requires you to pay actors before you can sign a deal with anyone to sell your movie – regardless of whether your selling the movie for enough to cover those “due in full” salaries to the actors, which currently clock in at a base salary of around $700 per day, per actor, that’s if there’s no overtime or “meal penalties. EVERYONE else on the movie worked for *free* for what we call “deferred” salary – meaning if the film ever makes it’s money back in full, we’ll pay everyone who worked on it for their time. Now, we’re actually going to get to do that on our last film, which is awesome, and VERY rare, but it’ll have taken 3 years after it was shot to do so.

    Then you have to rent or buy your cameras, your tape stock (or hard drives) your editorial computer, your sound mixing gear – and to sell the damn thing, all the promo you do to the industry itself, and then the QC and mastering. We had to spend $14,000 just in Quality Control reports so that we could sell the films. Otherwise, no go.

    Then you have to create fully separate sound mixes with no English dialogue (called Music & Effects, or M&E mixes) for foreign sales too, otherwise, you’ll get none of that either.

    Primer, for $10k, maybe what they shot it for, but that would be with lots of friends and family working for free, over some months or years I would guess, and doesn’t include any actual post-production costs.

    That does not, a viable business, nor even a living, make:)

    Not saying I need to make millions, because I don’t expect that, but a living wage is good. Especially when you consider that the vast majority of people in our business don’t get any health care coverage at all, unless they’re the select, select few who do enough union work each year to qualify for that. I’m not a union supporter either for the most part, but at the same time…well, they do provide somethings of value to their workers that our business is terrible about providing for.

    Oh, and Doug, thanks for the kind words:)

  • http://www.uglyshz.com/blog Jon

    Tim,

    I give you much kudos for your tolerance of posters who put so much effort into drawing you into cul-de-sacs of pseudo-intellectual battle on pretty much every post you’ve ever written here. It’s nutty, and you’re much kinder than I would be;)

    At any rate, to Charles point, doing “Primer” for $10k is an exercise in futility, and I’ll tell you why. I’ve made a lot of short films, and one both features for, ok, to be honest, close to $100k each.

    Here’s the kicker, that was a $100k where NOBODY got paid to work on the films, save for some money, very meager money, to the actors because SAG requires you to pay actors before you can sign a deal with anyone to sell your movie – regardless of whether your selling the movie for enough to cover those “due in full” salaries to the actors, which currently clock in at a base salary of around $700 per day, per actor, that’s if there’s no overtime or “meal penalties. EVERYONE else on the movie worked for *free* for what we call “deferred” salary – meaning if the film ever makes it’s money back in full, we’ll pay everyone who worked on it for their time. Now, we’re actually going to get to do that on our last film, which is awesome, and VERY rare, but it’ll have taken 3 years after it was shot to do so.

    Then you have to rent or buy your cameras, your tape stock (or hard drives) your editorial computer, your sound mixing gear – and to sell the damn thing, all the promo you do to the industry itself, and then the QC and mastering. We had to spend $14,000 just in Quality Control reports so that we could sell the films. Otherwise, no go.

    Then you have to create fully separate sound mixes with no English dialogue (called Music & Effects, or M&E; mixes) for foreign sales too, otherwise, you’ll get none of that either.

    Primer, for $10k, maybe what they shot it for, but that would be with lots of friends and family working for free, over some months or years I would guess, and doesn’t include any actual post-production costs.

    That does not, a viable business, nor even a living, make:)

    Not saying I need to make millions, because I don’t expect that, but a living wage is good. Especially when you consider that the vast majority of people in our business don’t get any health care coverage at all, unless they’re the select, select few who do enough union work each year to qualify for that. I’m not a union supporter either for the most part, but at the same time…well, they do provide somethings of value to their workers that our business is terrible about providing for.

    Oh, and Doug, thanks for the kind words:)

  • http://www.uglyshz.com/blog Jon

    Tim,

    I give you much kudos for your tolerance of posters who put so much effort into drawing you into cul-de-sacs of pseudo-intellectual battle on pretty much every post you’ve ever written here. It’s nutty, and you’re much kinder than I would be;)

    At any rate, to Charles point, doing “Primer” for $10k is an exercise in futility, and I’ll tell you why. I’ve made a lot of short films, and one both features for, ok, to be honest, close to $100k each.

    Here’s the kicker, that was a $100k where NOBODY got paid to work on the films, save for some money, very meager money, to the actors because SAG requires you to pay actors before you can sign a deal with anyone to sell your movie – regardless of whether your selling the movie for enough to cover those “due in full” salaries to the actors, which currently clock in at a base salary of around $700 per day, per actor, that’s if there’s no overtime or “meal penalties. EVERYONE else on the movie worked for *free* for what we call “deferred” salary – meaning if the film ever makes it’s money back in full, we’ll pay everyone who worked on it for their time. Now, we’re actually going to get to do that on our last film, which is awesome, and VERY rare, but it’ll have taken 3 years after it was shot to do so.

    Then you have to rent or buy your cameras, your tape stock (or hard drives) your editorial computer, your sound mixing gear – and to sell the damn thing, all the promo you do to the industry itself, and then the QC and mastering. We had to spend $14,000 just in Quality Control reports so that we could sell the films. Otherwise, no go.

    Then you have to create fully separate sound mixes with no English dialogue (called Music & Effects, or M&E mixes) for foreign sales too, otherwise, you’ll get none of that either.

    Primer, for $10k, maybe what they shot it for, but that would be with lots of friends and family working for free, over some months or years I would guess, and doesn’t include any actual post-production costs.

    That does not, a viable business, nor even a living, make:)

    Not saying I need to make millions, because I don’t expect that, but a living wage is good. Especially when you consider that the vast majority of people in our business don’t get any health care coverage at all, unless they’re the select, select few who do enough union work each year to qualify for that. I’m not a union supporter either for the most part, but at the same time…well, they do provide somethings of value to their workers that our business is terrible about providing for.

    Oh, and Doug, thanks for the kind words:)

  • http://www.uglyshz.com/blog Jon

    Tim,

    I give you much kudos for your tolerance of posters who put so much effort into drawing you into cul-de-sacs of pseudo-intellectual battle on pretty much every post you’ve ever written here. It’s nutty, and you’re much kinder than I would be;)

    At any rate, to Charles point, doing “Primer” for $10k is an exercise in futility, and I’ll tell you why. I’ve made a lot of short films, and one both features for, ok, to be honest, close to $100k each.

    Here’s the kicker, that was a $100k where NOBODY got paid to work on the films, save for some money, very meager money, to the actors because SAG requires you to pay actors before you can sign a deal with anyone to sell your movie – regardless of whether your selling the movie for enough to cover those “due in full” salaries to the actors, which currently clock in at a base salary of around $700 per day, per actor, that’s if there’s no overtime or “meal penalties. EVERYONE else on the movie worked for *free* for what we call “deferred” salary – meaning if the film ever makes it’s money back in full, we’ll pay everyone who worked on it for their time. Now, we’re actually going to get to do that on our last film, which is awesome, and VERY rare, but it’ll have taken 3 years after it was shot to do so.

    Then you have to rent or buy your cameras, your tape stock (or hard drives) your editorial computer, your sound mixing gear – and to sell the damn thing, all the promo you do to the industry itself, and then the QC and mastering. We had to spend $14,000 just in Quality Control reports so that we could sell the films. Otherwise, no go.

    Then you have to create fully separate sound mixes with no English dialogue (called Music & Effects, or M&E; mixes) for foreign sales too, otherwise, you’ll get none of that either.

    Primer, for $10k, maybe what they shot it for, but that would be with lots of friends and family working for free, over some months or years I would guess, and doesn’t include any actual post-production costs.

    That does not, a viable business, nor even a living, make:)

    Not saying I need to make millions, because I don’t expect that, but a living wage is good. Especially when you consider that the vast majority of people in our business don’t get any health care coverage at all, unless they’re the select, select few who do enough union work each year to qualify for that. I’m not a union supporter either for the most part, but at the same time…well, they do provide somethings of value to their workers that our business is terrible about providing for.

    Oh, and Doug, thanks for the kind words:)

  • http://weblog.ipcentral.info/ Noel Le

    Review previous posts on TLF and count the number of times Tim utters the phrase “hierarchical beauracracies,” uses multiple meanings of “monopoly” in the same sentence, refuses to reply substantively to questions about his posts and criticizes someone’s article or paper by calling it something, well, uncalled for. It seems like Tim may be the PR guy in Doug’s article:)

  • http://weblog.ipcentral.info/ Noel Le

    Review previous posts on TLF and count the number of times Tim utters the phrase “hierarchical beauracracies,” uses multiple meanings of “monopoly” in the same sentence, refuses to reply substantively to questions about his posts and criticizes someone’s article or paper by calling it something, well, uncalled for. It seems like Tim may be the PR guy in Doug’s article:)

  • Jack McGee

    They are *his* articles, Noel. He has the right to respond or not respond to whomever he wishes. Including the right to not respond to you if he wants! So quit crying allready.

  • Jack McGee

    They are *his* articles, Noel. He has the right to respond or not respond to whomever he wishes. Including the right to not respond to you if he wants! So quit crying allready.

  • Rikki Nipplez

    ha!

  • Rikki Nipplez

    ha!

  • aaa

    This whole article is not saying the whole truth…Altough hacked version was distributed via torrents, the game was still not cracked, so everybody who downloaded it without licence played 6 months and than stoped. So I do not think that poor sales were caused only by torrents.

  • aaa

    This whole article is not saying the whole truth…Altough hacked version was distributed via torrents, the game was still not cracked, so everybody who downloaded it without licence played 6 months and than stoped. So I do not think that poor sales were caused only by torrents.

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