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GamesIndustry.biz slams up a registration wall

By on January 11, 2010
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The web is going more open, more social, more accessible.

But some companies are putting up barriers between their content and their users.

GamesIndustry.biz this morning announced that all of its content would be hidden behind a registration from mid-January.

Their arguments:

  • It’s free and the network offers a range of benefits to users
  • Advertisers want to know that the site is full of genuine games industry people, not fanboys
  • Having a stronger Network (it currently consists of 10,000 people) would benefit all

My counters:

  • The web is full of high-quality news resources like Develop, GamaSutra and many others which users can switch to so easily that putting any barrier in the way is dangerous.
  • The number of registrations that people are prepared to have seems to be falling. Using Facebook Connect, Twitter or even Disqus as a registration puts the lowest barrier between users and commenting; forcing people to remember yet more user names and passwords creates a high bar.
  • Other sites will start considering linking to stories on sites without registration walls. I could be wrong, but I doubt that GamesIndustry.biz has enough scoops to counter this trend.

Just to be clear, I really like GamesIndustry.biz, and I’ve been a registered member of their site since they first launched it. So if they could persuade me to register despite my reservations above, maybe this will work.

But I fear that they are overvaluing their content.

What do you think? Would you still read GAMESbrief if I made you register first? Please le me know in the comments.

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: thecurveonline.com
  • abacus

    I'm not a registered member. Ironically, if they'd gone with the grain of the web, instead of against it, I probably would be. Many times I almost registered, to comment, but I found the repeated “you will only be allowed to see comments if you register first” to be insulting and laughable. What's the point of me commenting if no-one is going to see it?

    Now, of course, I am also no longer a *reader*.

    My guess: either GI.biz is in *major* financial trouble, and this is one of those last-gasp attempts to stem the flood, or … they have a digital editor who has no idea what they're doing, and should go back to traditional print publishing, and make way for someone who understands the web.

  • deftangel

    As a registered member already as well, it doesn't really affect me. On one hand, I generally make a point of reading Rob Fahey's editorial every Friday so I would sign up on that basis. On the other, that's merely my perspective as an existing reader knowing what content I'm getting. If I was just discovering GI, it's far more likely that I wouldn't. Especially when at a glance I can see the same headlines at GamaS, MCV etc. on a Twitter list or Google reader.

    Agree that it would seem like an oversight not using Open ID, Facebook Connect etc.

  • deftangel

    As a registered member already as well, it doesn't really affect me. On one hand, I generally make a point of reading Rob Fahey's editorial every Friday so I would sign up on that basis. On the other, that's merely my perspective as an existing reader knowing what content I'm getting. If I was just discovering GI, it's far more likely that I wouldn't. Especially when at a glance I can see the same headlines at GamaS, MCV etc. on a Twitter list or Google reader.

    Agree that it would seem like an oversight not using Open ID, Facebook Connect etc.