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Old 04 November 2014, 01:26   #64
Photon's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Hult / Sweden
Posts: 4,465
Don't forget that if you made a crack, the group it was released for used it to reach/stay at the top echelon (c) Fry by means of swapping for other hot releases, i.e. for free.

I never witnessed this paying for cracks myself though naturally I know even some big groups offered to sell to anyone by mail, as famously in Cebit 90. But those are the exceptions, normally addresses were for swappers deemed "elite enough". If you had cracked a games, you were.

I just clicked past such addresses since I wasn't really keen on sending disks and money abroad. Plus, I knew a swapper from day one. ;P For the most part the trickle-down via swappers worked well and I could check out what's new and later buy the games I liked. To be perfectly honest, there wasn't much buying, even of the games I liked, until I got my own money. Basically you could get 3 albums for the price of one game, and with allowances being just around that sum a game would have to good enough for you not to have anything left to spend on anything else that month. That's a tough challenge to meet for any game developer.

That's not an excuse, or at least not a valid one if you adhere to the spirit and letter of applicable laws. I just think game companies were (in hindsight) na´ve to more than double the price of games and expect not to discourage, nay eliminate the lion share of their market. Because unlike the music industry doubling the price for the same-thing-on-plastic-disc and C64 game disk versions, they didn't have a fallback market for their products for the non-rich kids. That said, non-rich kids are pretty good at nagging, so it should be possible to produce a curve of sales that looked fine until prices hit some pain threshold, like 25 GBP. But this wasn't 1982. As knowledge, software, and cartridges spread, people found out how to not even accept 15 GBP for a game if they could help it - and they could help it. That of course affected # originals made and thereby raised the price to cover costs. But this had been an ongoing trend since the heyday of C64/Spectrum etc.

Last edited by Photon; 04 November 2014 at 03:02.
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