CN: I guess I feel like console
users just might not be aware of what they're getting into.
MR: At least in the beginning, the way it's going to work at launch is they're going to have to go and get it themselves, and make the choice and put it on their console. They're going to go to some website, download a mod, and make the choice to actually install it on their console.
CN: That surprises me more -- "some
website." Not the fact that they're even allowing downloadable
content, but the fact that it's from anywhere.
MR: It's great!
CN: Yeah, we're not being negative about it.
MR: You are!
BS: No no no, we're...
MR: I know, and I get what you're saying. It's hard to fathom the fact that, because the console business has been so tightly closed in the past...
CN: Like suing the existence out
of people who tried to make games about paying licensing fees.
MR: But remember, this is content for a game for which they bought the game. You bought the game. You're entitled to run your content. It's not like you have to own Unreal Tournament 3 to play these mods. I think Sony's going to have a good Christmas this year. Games like Unreal Tournament 3 will hopefully get out the door.
CN: Yeah, will it be a Christmas with Unreal Tournament 3?
MR: Well, I hope we do. [Rein subsequently confirmed that the title will debut in December for PS3.] Regardless of that, they've got a lot of good games coming, they've dropped the price of their system, and they're embracing this kind of openness. I think this is going to work out positively for them in the long run.
BS: I think there's been some kind of message shift from some companies recently, like Rockstar for instance. Manhunt 2 came out, and some Russian kid figured out how to hack it to get unblur some of the censored content and make it normal again. In the past, they would deny that that ever existed. Now they're saying, "Yes, someone did that." It seems like there's a different attitude forming toward user-created content, where people are realizing, "Yes, this is users!" and claim responsibility for users. Is that...
MR: Of course. Companies themselves... with pens and pencils, what you write or draw with those pens and pencils they have no control over that.
CN: Senators believe in the whole-hearted necessity and usability of pens and pencils.
MR: And they should, and they can't believe in censorship.
CN: But they do!
BS: That situation's pretty rough.
Those folks don't understand the industry, for one thing, and also..."If
it exists in a game or can be done with a game, it's the responsibility
of the people that made that originally."
MR: Well, that's silly.
BS: I agree.
CN: I think we all agree, but right now...
MR: They might as well go after companies that sell paint, because some people make objectionable paintings, as opposed to the people who make...
BS: And they used to! I was going
to ask, what would you think about someone selling a mod?
MR: The end-user license agreement for the game...
BS: Ah, there we go. Makes sense.
MR: And the law. The fact that it's our IP.
BS: Did people used to sell CounterStrike before it was a proper Half-Life mod?
MR: We haven't run into any problems like that. People are pretty respectful. They know they're using our tools, and they've read the end-user license agreement when they installed that says, "You can't use our tools for commercial purposes." But while we say that, we would very much like to have the ability, down the road, to sell mods. That's something we're actually working on behind the scenes.
We could set up a store where users who create mods have a way to monetize them down the road. We think that's definitely a good goal to have. We're looking into that. That's not some new revelation, but we think that is a good thing for us down the road, but in a controlled way, so that we get some reward for the fact that they're using our technology.