The future of gaming: Will we let them continue to abuse us?

Slava

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EDITED to add the following:

I have been a gamer for 22 years and own around 1000 (a thousand) games. I used to trust developers/publishers to *sell* me the product to keep and enjoy forever and ever, just like that Monopoly board game I have in my closet. But it was only recently that I found that these days End User Licensing Agreements are such that they don't provide for my ownership of even single-player games.

I do suspect that I am not the only one who is/was in the dark about everything that has changed. For this reason I posted the below. Sound off, let everyone know what you think.

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Electronic Arts (EA) has been on a trek for profits showing complete disregard for the clients (gamers). They have destroyed many creative developer studios only to cash in on their good names.

The most recent outrage is what happened to BioWare. As most of you, I have been a loyal and loving fan of BioWare and its games for decades (since Baldur's Gate series). But now this love affair has come to a bitter end.

Since EA took over BioWare they have destroyed the following games/franchises:
Dragon Age (2)
Star Wars: The Old Republic
Mass Effect (3)

Don't take my word for it. Do some searching on the web and skip positive 1-liner reviews. Instead read long and detailed negative reviews.

How did this happen? Why did this happen? Well, I pay close attention to the stock market and company earnings reports. Here's how and why it happened (just the most recent examples):

EA did not have a very good 2011, so in the last quarter of 2011 (on December 20) they decided to push to the market the broken and unfinished game of Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR). It is essentially a single-payer game with barely usable or non-existent multiplayer components for which they want to charge monthly subscription fees. They did it, following aggressive advertising and hyped-up, misleading marketing, to improve sales numbers for the last quarter of 2011 and millions of gamers (myself included) were raped and robbed as the result.

Now, that the gaming community is on to them and SWTOR sales/subscriptions are not doing that great, they decided to push to the market the long-anticipated Mass Effect 3, even though it is a defective, buggy, unfinished game which does not deliver anything that was promised. Why? Because the end of the first quarter of 2012 is near and they need to show decent sales numbers.

(Search the web for GAMER reviews, not critic's reviews as all critics are on EA's payroll: How else would we explain why there is such a glaring discrepancy in critic and player ratings of the said games [not to mention that all critics' web sites, such as Gamespot have huge and colorful game ads on their front pages]? Conflict of interests anyone?)

So what we get lately is lousy games with Disk Locked Content for consoles/Downloadable Content for PC (DLC) for which you have to pay extra if you want the possibility of hope that you can enjoy the game(s). Gone are the days when you bought a disc for under $50.00 and actually owned the game you bought, free to play it forever, no matter how many times you upgraded/replaced your PC. The quality of games controlled by EA has been ever decreasing while prices and other charges have been ever increasing. But that's not all.

EA are not only destroying gaming as we know it, they are also infringing on our basic rights as consumers by making us accept their licensing agreements which boil down to the following (Don't take my word for it. READ the EULA for any EA game you have installed):

1. YOU have NO rights whatsoever;
2. THEY have NO liabilities or obligations to you whatsoever;
3. YOU own NOTHING. You should pray to EA asking them to allow you to pay for the license to touch their products;
4. THEY have the right to yank your privilege of touching their products and to yank support at their leisure and YOU have NO recourse if they do so (which results in your being unable to play the game anymore whenever they decide they don't want to support it anymore).
5. THEY will install spywares on your computer and collect your information and YOU cannot do anything about it; the Spyware known as SecuROM will continue to sit on your hard drive even if you uninstall all EA products and never install any new ones ever.
6. And if you install their games (and accept the License Agreement) you WAVE your right to sue them for any reason or be a part of any Class Action law suit against them.

Join me in my efforts to drive the gaming community to BOYCOTT ALL EA games regardless of the platform. Don't buy them no matter what. It is time gamers took a stand against abuse by this horrible company.
 
Hello,
nice post, I totally agree with you and I've been boycotting EA games for quite a while now.

However, there's some problems with your post, and if you're trying to convince people to do something, it's better if you fix those issues.

1. DLC stands for downloadable content, unless whatever you wrote was intended as a pun, in which case it's fine.
2. there's quite a number of spelling mistakes, which doesn't say much about your credibility or amount of time/care devoted to writing this post.
 

Slava

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Thanks.

1. Hmm.. I will double-check, but I composed this in Word 2010 with Spell-checker on;

2. As far as various articles on the web indicate, DLC stands for Disc Locked Content in the case of consoles when you must purchase a special code to unlock game content otherwise unavailable to you. DLC as in Downloadable Content serves much the same function in PC games - to milk the player for more cash.

P.S. Well, I have just pasted the entire original article into Word and re-run the spell check again. The text is clean. Perhaps you should check your own spelling :)
 

casualcolors

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Disc locked content is a joke because of Mass Effect 3 and SF x Tekken. It stands for downloadable content.

I appreciate how you feel, but you made essentially this same post before in another thread and ignored some of the contradictory evidence that came in response.

To be completely fair toward EA, they're one of the least predatory of the major game publishers these days. Activision-Blizzard without a doubt has the least qualms with literally abusing their customer base.

Also Origin isn't spyware and it isn't a rootkit. It scans for other games that function with Origin and are downloaded through seperate means, and auto adds them so that you have the ability to launch through Origin if you so desire.

EULA's that shift direction after the purchase of the ware in games that do not have a month-by-month fee are largely subverted by laws that exist in almost every country that you can imagine to protect the consumer.

No game publisher has any liability or responsibility to you. Valve won't do anything more for you than EA if it is compromised and your information was possibly put at risk (as evidenced by the fact that they still won't release the exact information about what was taken when steam was hacked).

I don't think you've really done much industry-wide research into this topic and you're just aimlessly spazzing.
 

Devastater6194

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Just want to point something out in your logic. When you mention about ignoring the positive one liners and read the negative reviews, it sounds a bit biased. You can find just about any product in the world and there is guaranteed to be someone who doesn't like it. Try pointing out that people say more negative things about the products instead. And I do half agree with you. EA do seem to be out purely to make money but then again isn't that what a business is there for? To make money. Some of the blame has to lie in the developers who need to stand up to EA if they need more time for a game or whatever.
And as for dlc, you moan if they release it and you moan it they don't support the game with dlc. Make your mind up. There's only been a couple of games where the dlc was already on the disk. Bioshock 2 is the only one I can think of off the top of my head.
 

casualcolors

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The developers exist to make money themselves. Mass Effect 3 was built from the ground up with day 1 dlc in mind. The funny thing is that people are ready to excuse Bioware under the general premise that somehow Bioware are digital artists being shackled to their workstations by the evil EA corporation.

They both want your money, and as much of it as possible. lol

Also this excerpt I posted in response to the last time you had this tantrum OP, and it still stands:

--For the record, EA didn't destroy SWTOR, Bioware did when they decided to develop verbatim a complete rehash of World of Warcraft with its primary and in fact only* selling point being the Star Wars universe. The game does zero things as well as the game it tries to emulate, and doesn't innovate in any way. And that was what Bioware developed from the get go with that title. They had an opportunity to try to expand the MMO experience in a meaningful way (re: gameplay) but they didn't. Hopefully Tera Online and Planetside 2 do reasonably well, as they are 2 examples of multiplayer games being developed with innovation in mind.
 

Slava

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1. I posted just a few words in the other thread, after that I felt it would be a good idea to add some details in a dedicated thread.

2. I singled out EA because I have not had much experience with abuses from other publishers, in particular Activision. Granted, I have not played an Activision game other than World of Warcraft in the last few years (and stopped playing WoW with the launch of Cataclysm) but I don't see how they are more predatory than EA. For one thing, WoW was a great game (until Blizzard, some 5 years later, ran out of ideas and destroyed it) even though it was one of the very first MMOs and as such the developer was sailing in uncharted waters and innovating, so some bugs/problems would be forgivable. EA/BioWare on the other hand knowingly pushed two highly hyped-up and anticipated games in their unfinished/buggy state and charged premium prices for them…

3. Origin: I will research this further, but so should you.

4. The game publisher has no liability/responsibility… FINE, but I want to own the products I pay top dollar for and I do not want to be at the mercy of licensing and activation servers which can be shut down by the publisher at their leisure (obviously I am talking about single-player games). Like Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale, or KOTOR, I want to be able to dig my games out when I am retired, install them and relive the joys of the past. Every gamer knows that we do this sometimes. I personally lost track of how many times I enjoyed Master of Orion 2 or System Shock 2 or Baldur's Gate 2 or Fallout 2 or… the list is really very long and distinquished…
 

Slava

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There is NO porblem with the logic. Hyped 1-liners are meaningless and should be ignored. Any review that gives 5/5 star or 10/10 star ratings should be substantive. Therefore, only long and detailed reviews should be read.

If you look around, you will notice that in the case of SWTOR, on Amazon for example, about 60-70% of 5-star reviews are such 1-liners: Epic!. Incredible, you will love it, I love it.. and such. Anyone who has a brain should ignore this kind of garbage.

As for businesses wanting to make money, BioWare was doing pretty well before Ray Myzyka sold out to EA and became one of its top executives. For almost a decade and a half, BioWare never released a horrible product. Why? Because, in spite of being a business and wanting/needing to make money they were diligent and hand-crafted exceptional products and that’s why we all grew to love and respect them.

So the questing becomes then, why shipping garbage to customers was unacceptable in the past and is suddenly acceptable now? The money-making goals of the business have not changed. The management changed and the will of BioWare has been subdued and subordinated by EA. In case you did not know a bunch of leading BioWare writers and others have quit or were fired before ME 3 was finished (I would imagine because they disagreed with the current EA/BW policies and attitudes).
 

casualcolors

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1. that's fine

2. WoW is the most consumer-predatory game in the history of online gaming. At this point it literally exists to siphon 30% of its net profit from alternative revenue sources that are as game-changing as non-combat pets. I won't go too deeply into why WoW's community in general has the general profile to make this an aggressive scheme, because that would be a very long discussion. I'm sure you can suss it out yourself with some thought though.

3. I already did, when it became a big deal the first time. I realized it wasn't invasive and stopped caring about it.

4. Welcome to the reality of internet gaming since 1996. Hell if I had my way I'd like to have splatterball and darkness falls back, since they were taken with zero notice after hundreds of hours invested in both (and more money than you have ever spent on any retail game in your life, each used to be 1.99 an hour when they were released). But that's how it works. I realize that it makes you uneasy, and it should. It's really crappy but the industry has had the consumer behind the 8ball since the day the internet became a medium for competitive multiplayer gaming. It leaked into single player gaming as soon as people accepted Valve. If you're concerned about this end of EA, you'll be less comforted to know that the exact same thing goes for Steam. If Valve goes under for any reason, the lion share of your steam games go with it.

You know I hate to crosspost but I just got a laugh out of something that I read, and it's semi-applicable. To paraphrase, "the only reason to not buy an EA game at this point is Activision already took all of your money."
 

Slava

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EDITED the original post to add the following:

I have been a gamer for 22 years and own around 1000 (a thousand) games. I used to trust developers/publishers to *sell* me the product to keep and enjoy forever and ever, just like that Monopoly board game I have in my closet. But it was only recently that I found that these days End User Licensing Agreements are such that they don't provide for my ownership of even single-player games.

I do suspect that I am not the only one who is/was in the dark about everything that has changed. For this reason I posted the below. Sound off, let everyone know what you think.
 

casualcolors

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Yeah it's a shame that even when you purchase a hardcopy of a game you are more or less at the mercy of login servers, authentication servers, and such. Of course, this all catalyzed in the wake of mass PC pirating that almost killed the PC platform entirely. As bad as it is, it could have been worse. PC could simply have been abandoned completely. In a lot of titles' cases it probably would have been the fiscally responsible thing to do.
 

HugoStiglitz

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with ANY product you will hear more from the people who do not like it than people who do.

someone mildly unhappy will write a bad review but someone who is mildly happy will prob not say a thing and that's because people like to complain.

Yes i do hate the requirement of being internet connected to play single player games or even LAN based multiplayers. and one day they may turn off the logon servers of a classic.

As for EULA's and "Ownership of a game" its the same for all software. including microsoft. and good luck going head to head with that hydra.



 

Slava

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I humbly but strongly disagree about pirating. It is one of those myths perpetuated by game publishers. I have a friend who has now retired from gaming altogether but while he still gamed he was downloading cracked torrents for free for years. The only limitation for him was that he had to play in offline mode and could not officially buy and install patches/DLC and such.

On the other hand, Stardock/Ironclad Games decided not to insult their fans with draconian DRM and insulting EULAs. You buy a hard copy of their game – it is yours. Whether games such as Sins of the Solar Empire or Galactic Civilizations I and II have been pirated or not, the publisher/developer are doing just fine. They report robust sales and vibrant activity in the Metaverse. Personally, I own a hard copy of each of the Galciv and Sins games and it was my pleasure to pay their VERY REASONABLE prices. I do not believe I ever paid more than 39.95 for any of their games.

So even this singular example indicates that in spite of all the DRM in the world, games continue to be pirated and those who want to play pirated games need only know something about torrent sites;

Companies that do not use DRM and DON’T copy protect their games are doing just fine and have a large, loyal and dedicated fan base.

EDITED:

P.S. As a matter of fact, out of several dozen gamers I know personally (minus that retired gamer I mentioned earlier) no one has ever played a pirated game. Everyone wants their own (preferably hard) copy. We are not just gamers, we are game collectors too and the only thing that DRM does, it punishes US while those who are less scrupulous still find pirated games.

I will admit that a few dozen of my friends are not a huge statistically relevant sample, but if I were to extrapolate, only a tiny fraction of gamers use pirated content.
 

casualcolors

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What you don't understand is that DRM was developed as a way to potentially curb piracy so that the PC would remain a financially viable platform. The alternative was to simply stop developing games for the PC. Now I'll grant you that DRM does not inhibit piracy, but it's been an attempt at a solution that has thankfully staved off the otherwise obvious answer to go to console-only development. It's cheaper to say the least, to cut a platform out entirely.

You should in particular read about Ubisoft's probing into the piracy of DRM and non-DRM games in the post-DRM era. The entire excuse that games are pirated because of invasive DRM was pretty much put to rest when Ubi released a few AAA titles without DRM that were as mercilessly pirated as the titles with DRM. In fact they used the PC game pirates as a focus group just to entertain the notion that their claim might be right. It wasn't, which can't be any surprise to any thinking human being.

You're attempting to put the cart before the ox and then blame the cart for being a pain in the ass.

In fact you completely misinterpret the impact of piracy. It is the number one thing that has damaged the PC gaming community.

I won't tell you that you are shortsighted; I will tell you that I think you should really go back and examine the last 20 years in PC game development. If you do so with an impartial eye, you might be surprised at how your conclusions vary from your current stance. As it is you're going to extensive means to make a lot of leaps of logic that just don't add up for anyone who has been around since before it was a problem (the piracy and the DRM that is).

And as for your "friend" who used to pirate a lot of games; I never suggested that he would be subject to anything other than offline play and no DLC's. However his actions (along with everyone else who steals pc game titles) contributed to the situation that you're currently in, and hate so much. Not the other way around. If you ever want to see a larger sample size than your group of a dozen friends, Ubisoft actually publicized to what extent their DRM and non-DRM titles were pirated. The dollar-value is pretty disgusting when you think that it is money literally being stolen from the developer and publisher.

Edit: humorously enough, pirates aren't the only group that publishers and developers have to contend with. Retail stores like Gamestop have adopted the policy of aggressively selling used copies in lieu of new ones whenever the opportunity is there, and that includes them making the opportunity. They do this because they cut a wider profit margin. The side effect is that the publisher and developer get nothing. That is mostly a console-side issue but these are the things that lead us down the path to things like day-1 authentication codes with costume packs attached to it and things. The publishers have to do something to entice people to actually buy new copies of the game. The same approach is being used with some success to combat piracy on the PC platform, and hopefully you will start to see this employed more than actual DRM software which doesn't work, costs the publisher money, costs the developers time to implement, and pisses off the customer.
 

casemods

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Yes this is why I hardly pay for games any more unless it's on sale for $5 on steam

What really pissed me off was when I bought AVP2 for > $4 at compusa.

I remember playing that game about 7 years prior and it was scary at my friends house.

I finally had it. WOW!

And I ran it maxed out.

Finished the entire alien campaign. Didn't care much for the predator or human. (too scary, in all honesty, at least the human one)

Multiplayer community was alive.

THEN THEY SHUT THE SERVERS DOWN BECAUSE THERE WEREN'T MAKING ANY MONEY

OMFG this made me rage so hard.

It's like nintendo putting chips in NES or n64's and suddenly you are unable to play them anymore due to them not making any money selling the consoles.
 

waspzz

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At the end of the day, its all still up to you. You are the consumer, you have control over what you will and will not buy. Off course, Publishers will always market their game positively, that’s their job. Who would want to sell a game and indicate every bug or every defect that’s in it?

As far as the DLCs are concerned, Video Game development is still a business. Publishers and Developers would try to milk as much money as they can in a successful product. Again, it’s up to you to purchase it or not. DLCs are intended to improve gaming experience and not really required for you to enjoy the game. If you feel in anyway that the system is being unfair, then just don’t buy it. Find a different mode of entertainment like Movies or Sports. Boycotting EA wouldn’t really help the Gaming Industry, it might even get worse since EA is affiliated in almost all major video game releases nowadays and boycotting them would just left other publishers and developers hanging.

What I suggest is just to try to enjoy what gaming has to offer. I know time has changed, but not all change is for the worse. We are in a time where we are witnessing technology advance in an unbelievable pace. From graphics, to online communities, portable gaming, etc; the Gaming world has benefited a lot in technological advancement. Let’s just enjoy it while we still can. :D
 

I'd like to point out that CDprojekt also made a press statement recently that they won't use DRM in any of their future games, due to the fact that based on the study they did for one of the witcher games, the game with no DRM was pirated less than the game that came out with DRM. (I cant find the article at the moment but I think it was here on TH news)
So, ubisoft doing a study and another company doing a study, I would've loved for them to find the same results, but they didn't. And all it does is make me question which one of them is lying. Or perhaps both are telling the truth, perhaps Ubisoft games experience a greater degree of piracy than cdprojekt, I don't know, but point is - there's evidence on both sides of the DRM concept. You say that piracy caused the DRM, pirates say it's the other way around, but the end of the day the important question for DRM pros vs cons, does it work? Does it effectively stop piracy while letting legit users enjoy the game? The answer is no, it doesn't work the way it's intended to. DRM doesn't stop piracy, but it diminishes the experience for legit users. So, foregoing the debate of which came first, the chicken or the egg, the point is that DRM has proven to be a false practice.

I also do not agree with your statement that emergence of DRM was required in order to keep PC as a platform. Are we saying that consoles have no piracy? Does it imply that console industry doesn't use any form of DRM? I think that point is a bit moot, seeing how for instance Skyrim doesn't require a draconian DRM or a constant connection to the auth server, yet the game is enjoying record sales and record pirating. why? because the game is good, not because of the lax DRM.

On the other hand you do bring up an excellent point of alternative medicine. I've recently noticed that Ubisoft tried a new scheme on one of their games (heroes 6) where they required a constant connection to their servers in order for you to use all the in-game features. If not, you could still play the game, just with the fact that your experience would be somewhat diminished if you didn't authenticate with them. I really liked that idea, despite many fans of the game hating it, because it shows that publisher is willing to give you the benefit of the doubt, ok you don't have an internet connection right now, we will still let you play the game, just won't let you use some features. Which I think might be annoying at times, but is a great bargain as opposed to complete loss of functionality due to lack of active connection.


1. as mentioned before, profitability of the business has been on bioware radar before they were adopted into EA family, yet only now we are seeing a significant drop in quality of content.
2. boycotting EA is my choice as a customer, you stated this in the first paragraph of your own post. I don't understand why you think boycotting EA leaves other publishers/devs hanging. It's not like this is suggesting boycott PC gaming industry all toghether.
3. your last paragraph is a lame excuse to not wishing to deal with the argument/problem at hand. This discussion is about PC gaming, if your choice is to go enjoy portable gaming that's your choice, but that's not the point of this topic. By same reasoning we can give best advice is to give up videogaming completely, trust me it's a great decision to make (there's plenty of other things to enjoy in life), but not everyone here is looking to do that.
 

Slava

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@AntiZig

Thank you, AntiZig. You eloquently and logically addressed many of the erroneous statements the 'defenders' of the DRM and present day EULAs made in response to my original post.

I will just add one thing for now regarding business/profits.

I fully agree that any business' goal is to make profits. However, as you (AntiZig) correctly point out, this has always been the goal for developers (BioWare in this case). For over a decade and a half BioWare did just fine and never produced garbage and for that reason they earned our love and respect. They took as much time as was necessary to 'hand craft' an exquisite product. Now EA/BW is out to exploit the good name of BioWare, but the customers are on to them. I have read hundreds of reviews of EA/BW two recent games: Star Wars: The Old Republic (which I played and reviewed myself, giving it 1 star) and Mass Effect 3.

It is important to note here, that while earning profits is fine, it is NOT FINE to earn profits by lying to your customers. In the case of SWTOR and ME3 BioWare blatantly lied over the years and mislead people. Here are a few examples:

SWTOR:

Ever since it was first announced BW promised that it would be a huge (sandbox) world where you can do anything your heart desires.

They promised there would be genders/races/12 playable classes and you would be able to customize them any way you want.

They promised that if you did not want to be a Jedi (or whatever) you would be able to be a starship captain and fly around and quest/act Privateer/Free Space style.

They promised it would be an MMO. They did NOT deliver on a single one of these promises.

Instead, this is not a sandbox but a cleverly camouflaged corridor/maze with zero exploration value.

There are no meaningful differences between races and there are only 4 classes (per faction vs. the promised 12) and as thousands of players who reviewed this game state, customization options are very limited and largely meaningless as well (this includes skills/combat roles, appearance, etc.)

There is no 'free space' There are only 3 unique space missions (+2 of the three recycled by increasing enemy hit points, otherwise identical to the first two space missions). Your space ship is nothing but a tool that allows you to move from one planet to another.

This game is not an MMO. It is a single-player game with some rudimentary and badly executed MOO features half of which don't work (including PvP, Social features such as emotes, GTN (auction house) and many more)

Yet they DID NOT DISCLOSE any of this during the pre-order period and before launch. Had they acknowledged that due to budget/time constraints they were unable to implement the features they promised no one would buy the game. THIS HAS NOTHING to do with advertising. Advertizing simply says things like "Join the epic batte for the Imps or for the Reps, pick your side" and then shows a nice animation with a lot of light saber swinging. THIS HAS EVERYTHING to do with hype and misleading/dishonest statements by the developers.


Mass Effect 3

I will not go into excessive details here. You can easily find and read tens of thousands of posts/reviews by pissed-off (former) BioWare fans and loyalists. Invariably, even the positive reviews of ME3 state that EA/BioWare lied to them when they claimed that everything you did in ME1 and 2 would have major consequences in ME3. This did not come to pass. Save for a few (meaningless) references and a glance or two at some of the NPCs from previous games nothing you did in ME1 or 2 has any consequences.

Moreover, (just one 'classic' example) if you chose Anderson to be the councilman in ME1 this (major) decision does not carry over to ME3. When the game begins, Anderson is an Admiral and Udina is the councilman. BioWare gives NO explanation for this at all, not even a 30-second statement by either Udina or Anderson.

In anticipation of ME3, many people who never played ME1 but only played ME2 BOUGHT ME1, created their new Shepards, spent a hundred or more hours playing through ME1 and 2, carefully nurtured relationships, weighed every action and decision… then bought ME3 and found that they spent their time and money in vain. (And I am not talking only about the abysmal broken, uninspired ending of ME3 and the whole story; I am talking about everything that happens in ME3)

This has nothing to do with advertising and the need of a business to make a profit. This has EVERYTHING to do with misleading hype which leads customers to believe they are getting a white Rolls Royce while when the 'item' is delivered they discover that it is a $hitt-colored scooter.
 

casualcolors

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Just want to touch on a couple of points, although 3 of them were directed toward Waspzz. This is all just for fun naturally.

1. I thought Bioware's production values had already dropped substantially by the time they were making Mass Effect. Personal opinion and irrelevant to the piracy/drm/moneywhoring issue but that's my opinion, in response to yours. Which is cool.

2. Of course you have the choice to boycott EA and no one's going to take that away from you. The biggest problem is that Slava doesn't seem to actually know why he's boycotting EA, because he's expressed repeatedly through his posts that he doesn't understand how these companies have changed over the last 20 years or so, nor does he address the fact that there are other companies on the market that are more aggressively taking advantage of video game consumers that, if you want to boycott EA, need to be boycotted as well.

And with regard to whether DRM or PC game pirates game first? I don't have to assume one side or the other is telling the truth. I remember which came first because I'm unfortunately getting old lol. It wasn't the DRM.

CDProjekt is a cool company and I certainly support their decision not to use DRM on their games. But CDProjekt isn't an Ubi or an EA and their company structure likely isn't as demanding on the people in charge either. The *FACT* which I already pointed out, was that DRM and no-DRM is irrelevant when it comes to piracy because every DRM is cracked and market studies have shown that either game will be massively pirated. This is why you've seen companies move away from some of the previous attempts at DRM and move toward things like Purchase-Codes that allow access to certain DLC content. Usually this is cosmetic, but the problem from the gamer's standpoint arises when it isn't.

In essence I agree with a lot of your sentiment Antizig, but I also think that you're in a position to make the call on what you will boycott because you've taken some time to critically assess the topic. The same can't be said for any of Slava's posts on the subject, which is where everyone "supporting DRM" has pretty much taken issue with his stances. They just aren't the justifiable reasons to actually spaz on the company. Most of them aren't even accurate.
 

whatsthatnoise

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It's understandable that companies try to protect their products. After all they invest quite some time and money in the production.

What those game publishers should realize is the that there are plain wrong and better ways to achieve that.

Plain wrong is the "spyware" and "copy protection of any kind" way. The first will just upset the customer and the second one will be cracked anyway.

A better way is to provide goodies and extra stuff with an original product, those can be physical and/or digital.

Take LeagueOfLegends for example. It's completely F2P, but makes a ton of money. That's how things could work. This can also work with massive games that you buy at first and you are free to add (optional) stuff over time, if you choose to do so. Many people will choose to do it, if the game is worth playing. If it's not it's down to the company to accept their fail in the first place.


My personal favorite is a one time online registration/activation. Microsoft does it with windows. While this might be aggravating for some "old schoolers" this is a pretty save way that does provide a good protection for their product and doesn't hurt the customer. They own the product once they activated it. It keeps working after that. A new install needs a new activation.

You can sell the product or give it away, since it's not account bound or in any other inconvenient way (personally) bound.

What I really hate is this online dependency in games, even if they are solo play. You often have to log in first ... sucks.

TLDR; it's better to have some trust in your customers and to address the majority of people that actually buy things and make them buy things, instead of going the way of distrust that just pushes away selling customers, maybe even make them "switch to the dark side". There will ALWAYS be people who won't pay for a product and still aim to get it. And they will get it, one way or the other.

And yes I do think they are making those numbers up (piracy cost us 2934829479811$$ last month), yeah sure. Even if so, it's because they did it the wrong way in the first place.
 

casualcolors

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Actually it's because they were stolen from. lol

What a lot of people don't seem to grasp is that the alternative to exploring DRM (which hasn't been effective) was to simply stop wasting programming time on PC games and go strictly console. It's just funny to me that PC gamers do a better job of destroying our own gaming platform than anyone else. We (collectively) steal rampantly, and then try to piss and moan as loud as possible when companies explore ways to stem the loss of revenue.

Let's be honest, as soon as the total dollar loss to piracy crosses the threshold of what profit can buoy vs. production cost, PC will simply end up cut out of the loop. And the only people that will be left to blame really will be PC gamers. Why do you think every PC gaming company is drooling at the cloud device solution and wants to see it expanded? It takes the last bit of physical ownership away from you and also cripples what they see as the process through which games are pirated (as accurate or inaccurate as that may be). Personally, I'd rather not have to go there. I like having the code stored physically on my machine. I'd rather not lose that already modest capability 5 or 10 years down the road just because people couldn't stop stealing on their computers.
 


Good points all around, I just wanted to quote this little piece to ask you to elaborate. When you say production values were already down when they were making mass effect, do you mean ME3 or ME1?

Frankly I cannot recall right now what came out first ME1 or DAO, I believe DAO, but I'm leaning to believe that bioware was working on both games in approximately the same time frame and both games were absolutely fantastic.

I don't have a grasp on how good their production values were back in the period from Baldurs gate 2, through NWN and up to DAO/ME1 (whichever came first), as majority of those games I got acquainted with through retro gaming (didn't have a pc to game on, so only started digging for bioware titles after I've played jade empire). Baldurs Gate 2 I remember the original hype about because even though I was a kid I heard about it from my friends who had good computers at the time and could enjoy them.
 

Slava

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Let's play a Yes or No game and see which of my statements are inaccurate...

1. DRM does not prevent piracy but creates problems for legit users, also results in de-facto renting games, not owning them – Accurate?

2. EULAs deprive customers/gamers of all rights while absolving EA/BW of all responsibilities/liabilities – Accurate?

2.1. They will promise one thing, ship to you something else and refuse to take it back and refund your money …. because you accepted the EULA (see my post above re: SWTOR and ME3) – Accurate?

3. Most people are unaware of (2 and 2.1 above) since they think that the publishers can be trusted to do the right thing and these people should be made aware of the above. – Accurate?

4. DLC, supposedly only cosmetic, is often not. Two examples:

a) ME3 begins with a cinematic and a story-relevant dialogue which is based entirely on events from a ME2 DLC. One of the most recent user reviews on Amazon for ME3 PC describes this in detail. I quote:

"Another important detail related to the story, when the introduction begins you don't really understand what the characters are talking about because they are referring to a story that happened in a DLC of Mass Effect2... Bioware said it wasn't important but the beginning of the game starts with a huge reference to it. So in other words, we had to pay for downloadable content to get the whole story... I've never seen something like that, what were they thinking?"

So if you happened NOT to buy that DLC you sit there and wonder what the hell they are talking about; THIS is predatory.

b) The ME3 notorious 'Day 1 DLC' is lore/back story relevant, not simply cosmetic. Granted, ME3 fails to deliver on the much hyped up promise of making all your past actions/decisions have consequences, so presence or absence of the DLC Prothean is also largely inconsequential. However, this does not invalidate the statement that if you don't buy this DLC you will not learn some of the most important truths about the past history of ME universe. This handling of DLC content is, at the very least, unethical. – Accurate?

5. There isn't a major Activision/Blizzard game which was hyped up to be a Rolls Royce but turned out to be a pile of stinking garbage. EA/BW have done this with at least two major games: SWTOR and ME3 – Accurate?

6. Your statement regarding how Activision is preying on WoW population is laughable. You are comparing apples and oranges. If WoW players want to buy vanity pets for cash – it is totally fine. What EA/BW does with DLC is completely different. They are not trying to sell you a vanity pet or a pretty dress which you can easily do without. In the case of Mass Effect they sell you story-relevant and consequential content; and as described in (4) above this sort of thing forces you to buy the DLC. It is not purely optional as WoW's vanity non-combat pets you refer to in one of your replies in this thread. - Accurate?


7. Every time EA takes over a developer studio it pushes its unfinished/broken products to the market to meet sales goals following massive and misleading hype and advertising campaigns (it is easy to find proof/examples. See my post above about SWTOR and ME3 and Check the fate of Spore to start) – Accurate?

8. "Official critics'" reviews give stellar scores to EA/BW games while gamers give the same games abysmal scores; "Official critics" display colorful ads on their sites for the games to which they give stellar reviews/scores. Conflict of interests. – Accurate?

Do you honestly believe these things do not justify boycotting EA?
 

whatsthatnoise

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You can boycott EA for whatever and no reason all day. But they definitively are only an expression of the core problem.

Personally, I'm curious how Activision will handle future titles, including Diablo III. There's some fishy *** going on, too. Like the RMAH stuff with in-game currency only viable within Activision games, etc. ...

All this stuff makes me more and more going F2P and generally way more patient with purchasing new games.