Reaction to our interview with Kevin Bachus last week has been extremely varied, with comments ranging from praise at the company finally getting serious about its efforts to continued skepticism over the console and business model.
One common theme, however, is that gamers are inherently suspicious of subscription based business models - a suspicion that Infinium is going to have to work hard to overcome, as this letter outlines...
Dear Mr. Fahey,
This Phantom business has finally gotten interesting - only to fall right on its face again.
I have nothing against Mr. Bachus, nor against the X-box or consoles in general. I am a PC gamer by choice, because I like tinkering with hardware and I appreciate the vast amounts of games available, and game genres to choose from, that exist in the PC realm.
I do acknowledge that console gaming has a few genres that are quite entertaining, and modern consoles are also quite good as far as visual quality is concerned. So I am not going to comment here on whether or not Infinium can actually make a good console - they might be able to, especially with someone like Mr. Bachus on board.
However, there is one thing that this article has said that raises my blood pressure : the word "subscription".
I know, I know, the Internet is supposed to become ubiquitous and all-encompassing. The future will have us all interconnected with terabytes of bandwidth. And to make it happen, someone has to start today.
Fine. I am not going to bash Infinium because they want to sell a pay-per-play service associated with a hardware kit. Their choice, their freedom.
My freedom is to choose not to buy into this gig. I prefer having my games on CD/DVD at home. I prefer not having to pay each time I want to play. And I do NOT want to risk putting my gaming money into a service that may no longer exist in the next three years.
Infinium is not the first on the pay service market. I believe the Live! service for XBox wants you to pay too, and you still have to buy your games. But, the games are YOURS. Microsoft can cut Live! if it wishes, it cannot keep you from playing at home.
All in all, call me retrograde if you wish, but the idea of property suits me well. And property is something you are supposed to be able to touch and use when YOU see fit, not when someone else decides to give you the opportunity.
I will oppose with my utmost strength anyone who will try to convince me to pay for something without giving me a tangible, material something in exchange. Especially when it comes to gaming.