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Opinion: Commercialism on a FREE site


Blue_Drac
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you can get candy FOR FREE? O___O

Tomorrow, yeah :-D

I can't wait to take a ride in Larry's second Ferrari.

You haven't gotten to ride in it yet? It's pretty roomy... or at least the trunk is. That's where I got thrown after spying on their super secret sellout plans, before being dumped just outside of Tulsa.

To be honest, the trunk was nicer than that place.

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Out of the hundreds of topics posted on OCR only like five have turned out that way in the last few years. You don't need to passive-aggressively insult the OCR community because it takes offense that someone is calling it a sell-out.

I know there's a lot of emotional attachment to a work of art that you created (generally speaking), but that shouldn't devolve into "let's be assholes" the moment criticism surfaces. Compare Liontamer's response with several others, including yours.

Calling out people for acting childishly is not 'insulting the community.' I'll leave it at that.

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Most posters in this thread are way too hard on the OP. Not every topic needs to degenerate into "TECHNOMANGA DELUXE EPIC MEME TIME.*" The guy just isn't sure why in the 10+ years of the site, there's suddenly an album for sale.

Yeah, I can understand as a guy who's been familiar with the site for over 10 years, how the sudden change could be a shock. I think it's a legitimate question, one that can be answered without insulting anyone.

You don't need to passive-aggressively insult the OCR community because it takes offense that someone is calling it a sell-out.

You're speaking for the community?

I didn't take offense and I figured the topic would pop up, I respect the question/opinion or whichever it is and I agree that the OP doesn't need to be chided over asking. OCR would only be a sell-out if they started releasing remixes you had to buy exclusively. They're not doing that with everything, just this album. You could call it the "sell out album" but it doesn't detract from the free mixes in the past or future that will still be there. This album is an interesting experiment, and while I don't necessarily understand the need to release a commercial album, I support it and I hope to see it succeed. I do think it's sad that not as many people will be able to hear the music due to the release limitations of it being official. If Capcom does a good job of getting the word out, it should be ok, but so far their promotion of it has been pretty small.

And just to add... Whenever someone posts a thread that is critical or questions something about an OCR standard, they get insulted or ridiculed, or people post jokes or memes. Every single time. And it's disturbing because people are encouraged to make a thread (by say Larry or djp, et al) if they have a criticism or question about standards or anything. It is probably the most embarrassing thing about the OCR community.

Edited by Brandon Strader
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I agree with Brandon that we don't need to antagonize people. No reason for it. If you don't have something constructive to add please don't post for the sake of dogpiling on someone.

Regarding the album promo, I think it's been pretty solid so far. Less than 24 hours and it has over 2.1k Likes on Facebook. That's VERY good... more than some of our recent releases combined. Part of the reason for doing this is to reach new audiences who ONLY consume music through Amazon, iTunes, Spotify etc. and it's already succeeding at that. The fact that you CAN stream it on SoundCloud in full also means that nobody is being prevented from hearing it.

If there was any doubt, Dave already broke down the financials in another thread and the transparency is absolutely there.

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I knew such a release would bring such a discussion, hehe.

Considering the format, and the collaboration with Capcom (and started by them), I understand the album is commercial, even if I'm not a fan of the concept.

Maybe it would have worked better with some people if the album was directly released by Capcom (and not as OCRC). I don't know, it's just an idea.

It isn't a big problem for me, as I'm not a die-hard fan of Mega Man. I took a listen on SoundCloud, and the album is great (I love Brandon's track).

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I feel like we've already had this discussion back when the FF6 Kickstarter was in full swing...

You know, the whole "OCR is a free site why should they ask for money for things" discussion.

The key differences this time, of course, are that this album was Capcom's idea and selling albums individually is different from trying to get a Kickstarter funded, but the principle remains. There's nothing inherently wrong with artists and the site getting compensated for their work, nor is there something wrong with a game company contracting OCR for songs (it already happened with Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD ReMix). That's just the company realizing the talent present on the site and giving props in a more meaningful way than :nicework:

If you don't want to buy the album, that's fine. That's your decision, your choice. No one here will force you nor strongarm you into buying the album.

However, there is also nothing inherently wrong with having a fully licensed commercial album from the site either. It isn't a matter of selling out nor of betraying its core values, nothing sinister at all. It's just an album that just so happens to be $10 and from OCR.

At least that's how I see it.

Edited by Mirby
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I feel like we've already had this discussion back when the FF6 Kickstarter was in full swing...

There's nothing inherently wrong with artists and the site getting compensated for their work, nor is there something wrong with a game company contracting OCR for songs (it already happened with Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD ReMix). That's just the company realizing the talent present on the site and giving props in a more meaningful way than :nicework:

However, there is also nothing inherently wrong with having a fully licensed commercial album from the site either. It isn't a matter of selling out nor of betraying its core values, nothing sinister at all. It's just an album that just so happens to be $10 and from OCR.

Absolutely agree with this. As long as the albums in question are properly licensed or discussed with the copyright holders to commercially distribute, I see no reason why artists and remixers should not get compensated for that, even if it's under the OCR umbrella. So this experiment with Mega Man is a nice venture for the artists involved an OCR in general. If other companies contact OCR to make music for a game or certain arrangements and are interested in commercial distribution, it would be great to have these on the side of the free music that's always there.

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I wasn't a big fan of seeing a price tag attached to an album on OCR after 12 years of coming to the site, but after I first heard about the Mega Man album (specifically, Capcom's involvement in it), I would have been absolutely shocked if it were free. That's just not how things work once a major corporation gets involved. I had no problem paying the $10 because I was expecting to pay something for the album (granted, $10 is not a significant expense for me).

On the other hand, I would be genuinely upset if paying for OCR albums would be the new norm. But I understand the special circumstances behind this album (and I would frankly be surprised if OCR didn't jump at the chance to officially partner with the publisher of some of the most remixed video games on the site), and I know that the vast majority of the site's content will continue to be free (for legal reasons, if nothing else).

Anyhow, I am thoroughly enjoying the album. It was worth paying $10 to see that some artists haven't forgotten how to remix. :-P

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I've paid money to listen to VG remixes from The Megas, VikingGuitar and the Oneups, so this isn't entirely new to me. Now, as long as the money goes to the site and not to Dave's "pretzels" business, then I'm fine with it.

But I'll fucking rage if the FFII and Sonic CD albums end up selling out

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Actually, considering this costs money, I wonder if the mp3 of it will show up on Pirate Bay in some time. I wouldn't download it, but I wonder if the divide between free and pirate-worthy is so thin.

There are normal OCR albums that are on TPB. Which is hilarious.

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I've paid money to listen to VG remixes from The Megas, VikingGuitar and the Oneups, so this isn't entirely new to me. Now, as long as the money goes to the site and not to Dave's "pretzels" business, then I'm fine with it.

But I'll fucking rage if the FFII and Sonic CD albums end up selling out

Please stop saying "selling out." It's incredibly insulting.

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But in my opinion, that was never the spirit of what this site was about.

I'm definitely not in favour of this site "selling out" ... and though I may have donated previously... I never will buy the Mega Man album.

I just don't agree with it.

Well, first off, even though I don't agree with the content of your post, thanks for starting the discussion, because I DO think it was a topic that needed to be hashed out. ALSO, thank you for your previous donations to the site. Donations have trailed off considerably in recent years, even BEFORE we launched the FF6 kickstarter, FYI. And heck, thanks for registering all the way back in 2003 and remaining active enough to post something ten years later, too.

I'm disappointed you won't consider purchasing the album on the basis of not agreeing with it on principle, and that you consider this ONE foray into the world of commercial albums as "selling out". As to the spirit of what this site is about, you're partially correct, but only if you take this one album to an extreme conclusion - our Mission Statement reads:

  • Appreciate and honor video game composers and their music

  • Encourage artistic expression and development through fan arrangements

  • Preserve and promote video game music of the past and present

  • Provide resources and connections for the game composers of tomorrow

  • Distribute great, free music to the world

So if we stopped distributing free music (or great music ^^) to the world, you'd be absolutely correct - it would be against the spirit of the site. However, a SINGLE commercial album, especially one made in partnership with a game publisher like Capcom, is (however awesome it may be!) a drop in the bucket compared to 44 free albums, 2500+ free mixes, and 13+ years of countless unpaid staff time. I have made a massive, uncompensated sacrifice of time & energy to this community for over a decade - I don't expect that to make me instantly "right" or buy me sympathy points, but I do expect some benefit of the doubt & a fair measure of respect/trust. I'm not sure I'm getting either of those from you, based on your comments. As they say, respect is earned, and trust is earned, but... well, it's been me running the show the whole time, and I guess I thought we'd done a pretty decent job earning both of those.

Here's another way of thinking about things: TONS of people use iTunes, some of them exclusively. Ditto for Spotify and many other streaming services, and Amazon, Google Play, etc. If we can't release a commercial album every once in awhile, we have no presence on these storefronts, which impedes our ability to promote VGM and deliver on the OTHER aspects of our mission. Just a thought - sometimes releasing exclusively free music is actually at odds with other aspects of our mission.

we just did a little thing with the capcom. it's coooooooooooool, man. still plenty of free music

Plenty = understatement :nicework:

Also an opinion:

Ocremix has been providing thousands of remixes, dozens of albums and lots of other entertainment for free for over a decade now... and now that they're offering something even better in exchange for helping keeping the site running, you snob them out of "philosophy"?

Not better, just different :wink: Honestly, I don't want to send the message that BECAUSE this is our first commercial album, we consider it "better" than our 44 free arrangement albums. It isn't about that, and I think many of those albums... Balance & Ruin, for a recent example... exceed the quality of the majority of albums I've EVER purchased, personally.

I agree with Brandon that we don't need to antagonize people. No reason for it. If you don't have something constructive to add please don't post for the sake of dogpiling on someone.

...

Part of the reason for doing this is to reach new audiences who ONLY consume music through Amazon, iTunes, Spotify etc. and it's already succeeding at that.

Quoting both points for agreement & emphasis!

pciql.jpg

LOLz. As mentioned though, donations have trailed off. It's ironic, but past "Support OCR Month" fundraisers helped this site a LOT more than the FF6 kickstarter could, and probably more than this MM25 album ever will, from a financial perspective. And both FF6 & MM25 were a LOT more work, too. Oops? :nicework:

I've paid money to listen to VG remixes from The Megas, VikingGuitar and the Oneups, so this isn't entirely new to me. Now, as long as the money goes to the site and not to Dave's "pretzels" business, then I'm fine with it.

But I'll fucking rage if the FFII and Sonic CD albums end up selling out

My business IS the site; the two are inextricable, and neither are motivated primarily by profit. All funds for OC ReMix are kept in separate bank accounts, and all ad revenue, album revenue (now that it exists), donations, etc. go directly into these dedicated accounts so that everything can be tracked. If you've got specific questions about this, let me know, but I don't appreciate insinuations that I've got a "business" that is in some way separate from the site itself and from which I directly profit.

None of our albums in the works have any plans to be commercial, and it's something that would need to be clarified at the outset and would require a motivator like Capcom's involvement. Nevertheless, any threats to "fucking rage" in response to anything we ever choose to do won't really impact our decision-making process. We do want to make people happy, but walking on eggshells to avoid haters and those prone to knee-jerk, volatile reactions is both restrictive and generally a waste of time.

Edited by djpretzel
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