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By on January 11, 2010

The web is going more open, more social, more accessible.

But some companies are putting up barriers between their content and their users. 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 has enough scoops to counter this trend.

Just to be clear, I really like, 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: