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Doom Marine

Trent Reznor Interview: Oldschool Gaming and New Concepts

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A three page interview:
http://www.joystiq.com/2009/09/24/interview-trent-reznor/

"Again, it seems like games have gone from the golden age -- like Robotron, which was only a few kilobytes -- to the era of Wolfenstein and Doom, where a boutique shop of just ten guys could create an in-depth, quality game in six months to a year. Now we're at an era of needing hundreds of guys and millions of dollars and several years to compete with other A-list titles to attract the big publisher that wasn't as big of a deal years ago. Indie implies there's a great creative atmosphere, but that isn't necessarily true. The publisher equates to the record label and now you have an ecosystem where, if you want to compete with EA or Activision, you have to have a mainstream enough title, which turns into a blockbuster movie scenario..."


Non-related: A fan of his music, I also appreciate his tech-savvy and consider him of the few creative heads who "gets it" when it comes to matters like music piracy.

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Heh, I had seen the same exact statement being repeated in different flavours during the last 14 years -the earliest being in 1995 complaining about titles from companies like Origin-.

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What pisses me off is that I've heard gamers (hell, I heard one developer this morning) say that "overcoming obstacles and reaching a goal" is too simple of a concept, and should be thrown out.


Then what is the point?


It's astounding. The reason the Industry is the way it is is because there's a rising population of gamers who actually enjoy all this shit,else they wouldn't say stupid shit like "Games with attainable goals and an ending have little-to-no replay value". The industry has nurtured this behavior and released games that are goalless grindfests .

Examples? LBP? WOW? Any recent sim game like Second Life?

Jesus Christ. O does the industry need a kick in the pants for their success! Success being, turning a pasttime into a financial parasite to the gamer's wallet.

Who are these gamers that think such things are a "good idea"? Having a reasonable goal (kill the demons, rescue the princess, save the world) in a game isn't desired anymore? Then why the hell waste your time?

Having no basic goal at all is retarded, This includes MMOs that are nothing but quest after quest for items, killing shit along the way. You never "beat" the game, therefore one has no satisfaction of doing so. So one keeps playing in futile search for it.

It's quite vile. The industry is thriving off of this crap right now, and I don't see it stopping for a long time.

Edit: fixing up drunkposting.

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Doom Marine said:

the few creative heads who "gets it" when it comes to matters like music piracy.

In other words, someone who strokes your bloated sense of entitlement. An enabler.

Just say it. You don't think people should be paid for their hard work. You just want shit for free. Of course, god forbid your manager at McDonalds be five minutes late handing you your biweekly paycheck. A few of your kind that I've talked to have been able to put their pride away and admit this. Will you?

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Bucket said:

In other words, someone who strokes your bloated sense of entitlement. An enabler.

Just say it. You don't think people should be paid for their hard work. You just want shit for free. Of course, god forbid your manager at McDonalds be five minutes late handing you your biweekly paycheck. A few of your kind that I've talked to have been able to put their pride away and admit this. Will you?


"Those poor record companies! They'll never be able to afford their Corvettes and golden bathtubs if piracy continues!"

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Bucket said:

In other words, someone who strokes your bloated sense of entitlement. An enabler.

Just say it. You don't think people should be paid for their hard work. You just want shit for free. Of course, god forbid your manager at McDonalds be five minutes late handing you your biweekly paycheck. A few of your kind that I've talked to have been able to put their pride away and admit this. Will you?

Uhh, I'm pretty sure that's not what this is about at all. Trent Reznor doesn't want to just give away his music for free and fuck it if he goes broke. He realized that file sharing was a useful tool in the music-making industry. He exploited that fact by giving away some albums? Did he loose money? Hell no, he made a huge profit off of it. He still got plenty of money from concerts and from people who bought his stuff anyway despite being given free copies of it. He proved that piracy isn't killing the music industry, the music industry is killing the music industry.

Anyway, I thought this article was pretty good. I seem to always end up agreeing with him on everything. Except maybe his love of Macs. :P

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He's a well established musical artist with a large devoted following. At this point, he could shit in a box and fans would buy it. You think a no-name band could get away with releasing shit for free and make a profit? I doubt it.

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alexz721 said:

He's a well established musical artist with a large devoted following. At this point, he could shit in a box and fans would buy it. You think a no-name band could get away with releasing shit for free and make a profit? I doubt it.


Yes they could. Easily. Bands make most of their money through touring and merchandise.

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alexz721 said:

You think a no-name band could get away with releasing shit for free and make a profit? I doubt it.

Could a no-name band make profit from album sales either? Their share of the sales would be hardly worth anything, and being a no-name band who the hell would be buying their records? At that point in particular it would be better to gain some recognition through other means (such as giving free songs on the net) than hoping that someone would happen to buy their CD on a whim.

There's at least one Finnish metal band (that I know of) that started as an amateur band sharing their songs on a musician community website, from where a record label found them (and all the attention their songs had received) and turned them into a pretty big band. It would have been very unlikely for that band to get the same kind of recognition through normal channels...

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Bucket said:
You don't think people should be paid for their hard work. You just want shit for free. Of course, god forbid your manager at McDonalds be five minutes late handing you your biweekly paycheck. A few of your kind that I've talked to have been able to put their pride away and admit this.

Business needs ethics, too. I'm more likely to support a product by someone who shows consideration and fairness in providing it than by someone with paranoid or abusive business practices. Buying something controlled by some morbidly bloated industry doesn't excite my enthusiasm much and working for a company I feel is shitty makes me feel they can never pay me enough.

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alexz721 said:

You think a no-name band could get away with releasing shit for free and make a profit? I doubt it.

A lot do, now that there is the Internet that lets them publish their stuff for practically nothing and reach a potentially huge audience.

Why do you think there are so many bands on MySpace, Facebook and other social networks? Busy uploading their clips on YouTube, Dailymotion and others?

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Yeah, honestly--The record companies primary purpose has always been to publish the music, but now that the internet is around and bands can self publish their work to a wide audience for little to no cost the record companies are going frantic searching for a purpose.

Recording a record can cost a lot of money, but on the other hand it can also be done with relatively cheap equipment in your own home for even pretty decent quality.

Mastering is another costly endeavor, but even still there are plenty of independent companies that will master tracks for reasonable prices if you can't do it yourself.

I personally do not buy CDs. Not because I feel I'm entitled to free music, but because I have no desire to support a broken and at this time practically useless industry. I do think that artists have the right to sell their music, but the majority of the proceeds should go to those who actually had creative input on the product rather than lining the pockets of empty suits.

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Jodwin said:

There's at least one Finnish metal band (that I know of) that started as an amateur band sharing their songs on a musician community website, from where a record label found them (and all the attention their songs had received) and turned them into a pretty big band. It would have been very unlikely for that band to get the same kind of recognition through normal channels...


At first I thought you were talking about my favorite band Machinae Supremacy but their in Sweden and used a simple ftp and webpage to start out and they weren't so much found by a record label as the record label came to the band when the band was ready.

But yeah. If the record company made buying and owning an album as easy as downloading a DRM free copy from a fast pirate server they are getting on the right track. Making the customer always right would got them further then making the customer always a pirate until unproven otherwise by way of DRM shackles.

iTunes and Amazon and CD Baby now sell DRM free if I understand correctly. I still by cds over buying downloads so I can control the quality of the rip and have a back up if I really care about it but yeah, its coming around.

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I thing the services that have the right idea are ones like Rhapsody with a flat monthly rate and you can download however much you want.

However, if given the option I'd rather buy music straight from the artist.

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Nomad: I'm aware the majority of profit comes from touring and merch. I was in a band. I've known lost of bands. And by the way, touring isn't profitable until you build a following.

Jodwin: I wasn't advocating record companies. The bands on their labels see very little of the money. Record companies basically serve to give a band exposure, and they are run very poorly. If anything, I fully support those who release albums independently. That way you know the money is going to the band.

Most bands who use the idea of releasing free music that become successful usually release a few tracks, never whole albums. Get the audience wanting more. Classic technique. I believe releasing a full album is a poor choice. I know people can give me examples of those who it worked for, but you have to look at trends, not isolated examples.

Gez: Bands do that for exposure. I was responding to the idea of releasing free music. Most bands on myspace don't make their tracks downloadable (naturally, there are ways to get around this). Again, it's the idea of previewing music to the public and hoping they will make a purchase.



Anyways, my initial point was that Reznor had it much easier than most in choosing to release free material. He's got the money now. He could probably lose money on a record and still be comfortable. But, he made money through proper marketing and because he has a lot of loyal fans.

To succeed in a band, it will always come down to marketing or luck. Making a lot of connections, knowing what venues will get you exposure, and willingness to sacrifice money into the project since almost no one sees an immediate profit.

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alexz721 said:

Nomad: I'm aware the majority of profit comes from touring and merch. I was in a band. I've known lost of bands. And by the way, touring isn't profitable until you build a following.


Having a following has little to do with profiting from touring. The hard part is finding places to play at, but 99% of the time if you play a show people will come.

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Bucket said:

In other words, someone who strokes your bloated sense of entitlement. An enabler.

Just say it. You don't think people should be paid for their hard work. You just want shit for free. Of course, god forbid your manager at McDonalds be five minutes late handing you your biweekly paycheck. A few of your kind that I've talked to have been able to put their pride away and admit this. Will you?


^^^ 100% pure fail.

First off, music is free regardless of what the record label tells you. Welcome to the new paradigm. The old business model of selling records through major labels no longer works.

Going on what Danarchy mentioned earlier, Trent and other artists like Radiohead are still able to turn a profit in spite of "giving away" their music for free. Between concerts, special edition CDs, and various memorabilias; fan driven profit goes directly to the artist. Notice Trent's 2008 "Ghost I-IV," readily available for free download in 320 kbs DRM-free MP3s, netted roughly $1.6 million from various deluxe/collector's edition alone.

BTW, did you pay anything to see my hard work? No? Then shut the fuck up.

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Nomad said:

Having a following has little to do with profiting from touring. The hard part is finding places to play at, but 99% of the time if you play a show people will come.

All right, I'll concede that people will always come, but many times the band will barely break even due to touring costs unless the venue pays generously, or if they manage to bring in more than the average size crowd.

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Trent Reznor said:

...Look at any game on the PlayStation 1 that tries to exceed past the terrible 3D graphics...


Coming from a guy who looooooooves Alien Trilogy. :p

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Nomad said:

I personally do not buy CDs. Not because I feel I'm entitled to free music, but because I have no desire to support a broken and at this time practically useless industry. I do think that artists have the right to sell their music, but the majority of the proceeds should go to those who actually had creative input on the product rather than lining the pockets of empty suits.


This. No-one should be supporting an industry that's hell-bent on destroying the internet.

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According to industry sources, artists generally make between 0.5% and 2% on CD sales. Pretty suck by itself. That's why no artist could ever survive off of album sales alone unless they own the rights AND oversee manufacturing, distribution, etc. But that virtually never happens. The rest of the money goes to the copyright holders; part of it goes to manufacturing but the vast majority of it sits in the pocket of the copyright holder...usually the record label.

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If anyone bothered to look, they would see that the average record contract weighs heavily against the artist. When you buy a CD, the artist only makes 90 CENTS. Not dollars, cents.

Bands only make decent money through touring and merch sales. PERIOD. If you honestly expect to make big bucks off a CD, you had better be releasing "Baby One More Time 2" because you will NOT see cash any other way.

And if you think I'm joking, go to this url: http://www.derekroddy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=13209

I can't make this shit up if I tried.

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Csonicgo said:

What pisses me off is that I've heard gamers (hell, I heard one developer this morning) say that "overcoming obstacles and reaching a goal" is too simple of a concept, and should be thrown out.

Hasn't it been already? In many cases it has anyway.

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Mr. Freeze said:

Bands only make decent money through touring and merch sales. PERIOD.


There are some bands/artists I listen to that never tour and they do fairly OK, :wumpscut: being one of them, although I haven't heard many releases by said project in a while...

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alexz721 said:

All right, I'll concede that people will always come, but many times the band will barely break even due to touring costs unless the venue pays generously, or if they manage to bring in more than the average size crowd.


Pretty much whenever any of my bands played with a band touring through, basically all of the money went to the touring bands and we got shit. But we could just have had "generous" hosts.

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If I ever had a good band, I think I'd just go the way that Devin Townsend did: start my own label and fuck all the record companies. I have no idea how he managed that, though.

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Careful planning and lots of luck, no doubt. The skullet might have helped too.

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Danarchy said:

If I ever had a good band, I think I'd just go the way that Devin Townsend did: start my own label and fuck all the record companies. I have no idea how he managed that, though.


NO DANARCHY YOU ARE THE RECORD COMPANIES

And then funding was cut back.

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