SOPA: Why I Can’t Defend the Game Industry Anymore


(This is another edition of </RANT>, a weekly opinion piece column on GameFront. Check back every week for more. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not reflect those of GameFront. The featured image on this week’s post is an amazing piece by sakimichan at Deviant Art)

When I first started writing, one thing I wanted to do more than anything was to defend the videogame industry. The frustration I felt when watching games suffer ignorant criticism by mainstream media pundits often threatened to develop into a consuming inferno of throbbing rage. No moment more defined my goal as a writer than the murder of 14-year-old Stefan Pakeerah. The British teen was brutally attacked with a claw hammer by a “friend” who was reportedly “obsessed” with Rockstar’s Manhunt. This game became the focal point of a discussion that ignored driving motivations for the murder (it turned out that the incident was an attempted mugging), the wider causes of violent street crime, and the fact that Pakeerah’s own parents had bought Manhunt at one point.

Despite police concluding that Manhunt was not responsible for the attack in any way, that didn’t stop opportunists jumping on the bandwagon, to the point where some blame Manhunt for Pakeerah’s death even to this day. The parents were the driving force of the blame, but scavenging Labor politician Keith Vaz was the fuel in their engine. The self-promoting minister has continued to attack videogames and still claims Manhunt is responsible for Pakeerah’s death.

When I was hired by Destructoid in 2006, I finally felt like I had a voice. Even if I was preaching to the choir, there was a great catharsis in championing the videogame industry’s merits, as I did when the British Board of Film Classification banned Manhunt 2, when Anne Diamond wrote a slew of anti-game propaganda  for the Daily Mail, and when California attempted to impose limitations on videogames that movies and books had not been subjected to, singling out interactive entertainment as something more dangerous and toxic.  I did this proudly, and I did this with all the energy that my moral indignation could muster. Nowadays, however, I struggle to care. The indignation is still there, but the desire to fight in favor of the industry? That’s been eroded, possibly beyond repair.

It has become pretty clear over the course of the past two years that my desire to defend videogames is at odds with my desire to defend the rights of gamers themselves. As publishers continue to punish paying PC users with unfairly restrictive DRM measures, as the likes of THQ and EA put online passes into games to pressure retailers (who rely on secondhand sales to make any kind of profit), and as a vast majority of the game industry still remains silent on the issue of the Stop Online Piracy Act, I cannot help but feel that my past desire to “go to bat” for this industry is a little embarrassing. To defend the rights of companies that don’t care if we live or die … it’s not something I feel comfortable doing anymore.

Online passes and DRM were one thing, but the recent SOPA issue took it too far. It’s what hammered home a truth that we all know, deep down — that the game industry we so love has no feelings toward us. We are all little more than walking wallets, and that’s something we’ve been fine with for a long time. I don’t expect EA, THQ, or Ubisoft to give a rat’s ass about me, but I would have expected more than stony silence on an issue that threatened the free speech of everybody in this industry, be they developer, gamer or even publisher. Unfortunately, the Entertainment Software Association sunk lower than silence. It supported — and still supports — SOPA. A bill that, in case you haven’t heard, was written with the intention of allowing corporations supreme power over the Internet, blocking access to sites that it didn’t like without due process, and strangling revenue streams to sites containing copyrighted content. It wasn’t just about piracy, either — even sites with user-generated content could be shut down. That’s how vague the bill is, even after multiple changes and research (not to mention postponed hearings!).

The ESA, which represents a huge amount of game publishers, has proudly remained a supporter of SOPA in the face of terrible publicity, consistent blows to its credibility, and criticism from a huge number of tech experts. What truly makes it appalling, however, is the startling hypocrisy at play.

Remember, this is the same ESA that begged gamers for help during the Brown vs. EMA/ESA legal battle. The California Bill wanted to restrict the sale of games, slapping laws on videogames that other forms of entertainment were not governed by. The ruling would be a direct attack on the First Amendment rights of entertainment software, and the ESA worked that angle like a pro. It used its Video Game Voters Network to whip gamers into a defensive frenzy, and it milked the concept of free speech for every beautiful, shiny drop. I spread the word as best I could, as did many gamers, and I feel many shared my years of frustration with games being treated as dangerous scapegoats. Years of pent-up anger toward preening pundits and clueless politicians was salved when the supreme court eventually ruled that videogames were protected by free speech, that people couldn’t just waltz in and change the rules because they did not understand a new medium.

How pathetically ironic, then, that the ESA is doing to the Internet what Arnold Schwarzenegger and Leland Yee tried to do to videogames. Now it’s the ESA’s turn to play the out-of-touch, incompetent, hysteria-driven old dinosaur that is trying to legislate that which it cannot comprehend. And in the face of an appeal from the gamers that once helped it, the ESA has this to say — f*ck you. F*ck you all.

That was, as they say, the last straw. Yes, it’s obvious that the game industry doesn’t care about its consumers, but until recently, I kind of didn’t mind it. I was still happy to fight for gaming as an art form, even if Activision and Microsoft just saw it was a way to fleece as much cash out of consumers as possible. I was fine with that. But not anymore. I can’t keep doing it, because I respect myself too much. I can’t go to bat when Mass Effect is accused of distributing pornography to minors by FOX News, or when some half-baked psychologist claims Bulletstorm encourages rape. I can’t do it because the sting of knowing that I’m being exploited is just too great. That’s what it is, at its core — exploitation. Publishers know how much gamers respect videogames, rely on them to defend their artistic rights, and then betray them at a later date. As EA and Capcom continue to pull poker faces and refuse to speak out against SOPA, as the trade body representing them actively and proudly supports the thing, I can’t feel morally right about sticking up for any of the bastards. Even as some companies come out against SOPA at the eleventh hour, one feels they were were staying on the fence and letting other people do all the heavy lifting, marching in only when they were sure it was a good PR move, expecting a hero’s welcome.

The frustration I once felt when I saw games being misrepresented in the media has been replaced with a different kind of frustration. A frustration at seeing developers claim to require online passes because their million-selling, AAA title wouldn’t make a profit otherwise. A frustration at seeing publishers use DRM that they know doesn’t work, exerting greater control over paying customers while blaming everything on the pirates who have gotten away scot-free. A frustration at corporations fleecing retailers over profits of brand new games, then acting like the victim when those retailers push used sales in order to make up for it. A frustration at seeing platform holders play with our personal details like toys, and only come clean about it once the evidence is too great to deny.

The silence of games companies and the treachery of the ESA opened my eyes to everything else. It also allowed me to see the hypocrisy that infests this industry. Just think about how videogames are used as a scapegoat when someone is killed. Now think about how pirates or used sales become scapegoats when a shitty or poorly promoted game doesn’t sell enough copies. Videogames have learned well from their detractors over the years. The same propaganda and fear-mongering employed against them have been employed expertly against the perceived enemies of this business. Pay like unto like, I suppose.

That’s why, when I see Electronic Arts crying over free speech while defending the use of real-life helicopters in Battlefield 3, I am not compelled to care. EA doesn’t care about free speech. Nor did the ESA. To the games industry, free speech is not a basic right, but just another loophole to be exploited. It’s just something that disingenuous fake-grassroots organizations like the Video Game Voters Network can utilize to trick gamers into defending corporations that don’t give the first fuck about them. It’s just another tool in the box. I can’t keep defending First Amendment rights for companies that are fair weather friends to the First Amendment.

I am still as angry as I ever was when I saw Stephen Pakeerah’s death used as a political tool by self-serving parasites. Now, however, I cannot wield that anger to champion the side of games. I still love videogames, and it’s an industry full of individuals I respect, but my self-righteous oratory is wasted defending interactive entertainment. It needs to be used to defend the interactively entertained. That’s you. And me, of course. Gamers. Consumers. People. Consumer advocacy has been something that truly spoke to me over the past few months of anti-SOPA protest, and I dare say we need a few more consumer advocates in gaming.

I got into the games writing field with a hope to defend videogames from selfish, greedy people. Now, it seems we need to defend people from selfish, greedy videogames.

Join the Conversation   

* required field

By submitting a comment here you grant GameFront a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution. Inappropriate or irrelevant comments will be removed at an admin's discretion.

70 Comments on SOPA: Why I Can’t Defend the Game Industry Anymore

Aids

On January 17, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Hostile takeover…real hostile. Mergers, buyouts, and acquisitions. Low down crooks in high positions. Wheelers, dealers, and CEO’s. Fired and paid off through the nose.

Just tell them to kiss your…dot com.

Eric

On January 17, 2012 at 12:55 pm

I could not agree more with the author of this article. As a Canadian, I am in no direct threat of this SOPA Bill but it will indirectly affect Canadians and most other users around the world. I have to many ill things to say about SOPA, many of which involve too many curse words to censor, but as you highlighted in the thesis of your article, its the ESA’s stalwart defense of SOPA that just blew my mind throughout these months.

How could, a company that thrives on consumers liking their products, betray their consumers in such a grand manner? They claim that people reproducing their content on sites like youtube is destroying their sales. With sites like youtube, developers can easily see the bugs in their games, and how the community wishes it should be fixed. Youtube is also *FREE* advertisement for their product. If SOPA passes at one point, the video game videos on youtube will vanish faster than the new Duke Nukem game.

And yet the ESA still defends SOPA to this day while its members remain speechless? As a consumer, I feel disheartened to see this. I had bought Battlefield 3 and immediately returned it when I saw the online pass I had to enter to play multiplayer. I had pre-ordered Mass Effect 3 on PC but immediately cancelled it as I saw it would only be released on origin. While the ESA is terrible for what it is doing to consumers, Electronic Arts is not far behind them. Notorious for its customer service and terrible game management, EA does not care for its customers. They see them as walking wallets, waiting to buy their Game of the Year titles.

Its a damn shame what is happening to video games. As a man in high middle twenties, I have seen the rise of the genre from the NES to what will be the “XBOX 720″ and the “Playstation 4″. I can say with all honesty that the golden years of Video Gaming is over. From this point forward, it is downhill and perhaps the collapse of the video gaming industry as consumers are learning of the treachery at the hands of publishers and developers. It is only a matter of time.

-Eric

Jeremy Gulley

On January 17, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Amen.

Eh?

On January 17, 2012 at 8:52 pm

Um, CHoedy….. What?

quicktooth

On January 17, 2012 at 11:49 pm

I agree with everything you’ve said. I’ve done the same things, with friends, relatives, and teachers. This article is pretty much my life story with respect to video games, but I’m still at university so haven’t entered the workforce yet. I guess it’s too much to take in; this betrayal by the games industry. It’s OUR freedom that’s being attacked by SOPA. Ours. Not just the people working in the ESA(!), or me, or you, but ALL OF US. And I’m treated like by games companies; they don’t trust me at all. I only buy games full price now; when younger I made mistakes, but I was hurt to see the companies I liked go bankrupt (New World Computing especially; yet I always have bought their games…!).

So for so long I’ve bought games, while being treated like . Wow. I’m speechless that the ESA, and companies who are represented by them (YES CAPCOM WE ING KNOW YOU SUPPORT SOPA- YOUR ADVOCATES DO!!!) actively want to ATTACK my freedom of speech. A basic civil right. Holy . I’ll try to only buy from Mojang, and all the others who are against SOPA.

I can’t, ever, support the evil people who are most of the games industry. Silence means aiding and abetting this crime, as the ESA supports SOPA. Your silence isn’t hiding anything- do you think your paying customers are idiots?? That we can’t see your ADVOCATES championing SOPA? Do you really, really believe we won’t react? I won’t PAY to have you attack me. F*ck you. F*ck you all. There are decent people I can buy from, trying to make things that will let me have FUN; not greedy whores who say or do anything to get a buck, who attack my basic civil rights if they can. WHO’S WITH ME???

Daniel

On January 18, 2012 at 1:22 am

Thing is, a even some game companies are opposed to SOPA like League of Legends.

Ian

On January 18, 2012 at 3:35 am

I was interested by Erics comments. I am in my late forties and have been building my own rigs on a very tight budget since day one. Like all new technologies the industry appeared to be driven by the excitement of what could be achieved and often that was payment enough. Once that passion is replaced by how much profit can be made things tend to go ‘corporate’. Then shareholders, often with no interest in the industry, must get returns for their investments. Its the age old dilemma and unfortunately an inevitable side effect of our society at the moment. Making money seems more important than doing what you love. The effect can be seen in the very nature of current entertainment media. FX laden films with no story, slick games with no real appreciation of what gamers want. My own personal rant is that RPG parties should be 6, not 4 or 3 and I would gladly sacrifice a little polish to have that in my games. The ‘industry’ seems to disagree but how many people are still playing Baldurs Gate 2 or NWN 2 or Planescape Torment. We dont have to spend millions in developing the latest bit of technological ‘fluff’ to produce good games.

As a side note, if you want to still see passion at work then visit the many many active modding sites where amateurs are doing some incredible stuff for the love of it. Thats what many gamers want

Skipper

On January 18, 2012 at 5:56 am

Hey good article Jim, definitely some very solid points in there! As stated in the article, no, these massive publishers do not give two ***** about the gamer, and also as stated, that’s totally fine by me to a certain point. But we’re at a crossroads now where publishers are trying to force so much unnecessary BS down legitimate consumers throats that it’s seriously more appealing just to steal/pirate a game sometimes.

Not that I do pirate, but I’ve given up supporting many publishers due to their aggressive DRM measures. UBI Soft in particular needs to fix their DRM, with mostly single player games that need 24/7 internet connections? That’s terrible design and the pirated releases are much more user friendly. That’s one example of one of my favorite publishers that I’ve totally gotten over since their introduction of harassing paying customers.

Games for Windows Live is another terrible DRM design, disguised as a “service”. And EA is getting a bit ridiculous with all these Origin software requirements for no damn reason. It’s just all gotten rather silly, publishers make it more and more a hassle for people to play the games they’ve purchased, they increasingly release games in a rushed state to maximize profits, they act hard up and trash retailers for selling used games, and they continue to blame everyone but themselves when a million copies are pirated… ******* incompetent fools. I know it’s hard as gamers guys, but we’re all got to do our part and show a little restraint in purchasing such shoddy releases. It’ll only get worse if sales continue to rise!

Luther

On January 18, 2012 at 6:47 am

I think you do understand Jim, I learned this same truth back from blizzard when it abandoned its fans for the all mighty dollar yet the mindless sheep still flock to there cries and pounding.

gegner

On January 18, 2012 at 7:10 am

Well I’m glad to see you have finally seen the light, even if it is a bit late.

The game industry companies are not going to say anything about SOPA because they know that the same people buying their games are the ones opposed to it and if they open their greedy mouths to say they support it then they will have a backlash of their own customers. Of course they don’t want that so you can pretty much assume that just about every game company that did not come out against SOPA is probably in total support of it.

Personally there were only a few companies that I would have actually stood up for but over the past decade that list has been getting shorter and shorter because of how these companies act. Now the list is gone…there is no one left. Glad to see I’m not alone.

Min

On January 18, 2012 at 8:00 am

Warning: Non-Native English, read careful! Hope you understand my english!

************************************

I’m tired and came back from work a few minutes ago (and must go back in a few hours). I only readed to the part that Games had limitations rather than any other media.

A book, TV Series, even a simple and harmless toy can lead to violence, not only games, so that limitation is… stupid.

On the other hand, as you said, I don’t want to be round and round with stuff, but yeah. Firstly Parents’ fault. I can tell that because of my dumb Stepmom buying a PS2 to my stepbrother, which is only 8 years old and has been playing it since he was 5 years old… so go figure why he acts like a retarded imitating same characters movement, voice and stuff.

ABOUT the SOPA (omg, run, go, get to the shopah! lol)it wont last long, and if it does, will lead, consume, and become everything bankrupt.

Why?

It would be a criminal and of piracy downloading games from Xconsole’s network beause they’re affraid of the users to pirate their games!
Or just download any music into an Ipod!

Or even (a company I don’t really care about…) Microsoft.

Online payments? No problem! We keep the money for you and never see it again!

Digital transactions? No more.

I do piracy, but it’s for my own use. (And no, I never sold anything I downloaded from internet).

Piracy will exists, digital and analog, so it’s stupid to stop piracy from internet while its beginning starts from outside.

What I suggest is them stopping THEFTs that uses Piracy for their own profits.

That’s all I have to say… United States haven’t been doing anything for good to happen lately.

… I remember once my sister gave me Red Hot Chilli Pepper’s Californication disc for my birthday, it was pirated. I so loved the disc as well as I did to the band, so I saved up money and got it by myself. Besides that the pirated disc started to have weird green dots (like fungis, stuff) to a point that I was unable to play it though the disc wasn’t scratched.

Mike

On January 18, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer seems apt. Great podcast btw!

Thomas Hooker

On January 18, 2012 at 6:08 pm

The worst part? I’ve made my own RPG (voice acting and all). http://www.rpgrevolution.com/game/oracle-of-tao_1445.html What happens when someone decides it’s derivative? It get blocked and I become a “criminal.”

BrandeX

On January 18, 2012 at 8:14 pm

“by: Daniel

On January 18, 2012 at 1:22 am

Thing is, a even some game companies are opposed to SOPA like League of Legends.”

Sorry Daniel, they are one of the openly public supporters of SOPA:
http://www.edge-online.com/news/league-legends-dev-issues-sopa-rallying-call

BrandeX

On January 18, 2012 at 8:18 pm

Oops! I should have read more than the article title. Or, they should have more appropriately written it as “Anti-SOPA rallying call”.

Cayl

On January 19, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Funny thing is, there’s a high chance that this bill WILL be passed, because, in most cases, the massive million-strong gaming businesses such as EA and Capcom, will have their employees counted into the populace who support the bill. One of these days, if this bill is passed, we’re probably going to face the dawn of an authoritarian age, while there’ going to be SOME form of underground internet-which would probably be the internet we have today without all the regulations-the irony of it all. There’s going to be two mirrors of everything if this keeps up…

Nick

On January 19, 2012 at 7:02 pm

As a PS3 Gamer, I was disappointed when i had to pay for an online pass to play BF3, and in order to do anything clan related you need to run external software on your pc. I hate to see games rushed like IL-2 Cliffs of Dover or for those Silent Hunter Fans out there, SH:5, it is buggy, crashes, requires you to have an online connection at all times, and Ubisoft doesnt care enough to fix it. SOPA will affect the video game industry, but the way i see it, when this bill gets passed, and consumers tell the “giants” like EA, Ubi, Blizzard, ect to go F*UCK OFF, like i am sure i will, and they are not making any kind of money….. Then we will see how fast they pull DRM which to be honest is SOPA for the gaming industry. Ok i get it pirating is bad, i dont do it, but then again so is modding games that developers dont want you to mod like Call of Duty World at War, The IL-2 franchise has been from day 1 Modder friendly why, because then the players can take the game into their own hands, rather then have to beg and whimper to the developers, who will want to see trends and forcast models, before they produce a patch or add-on then they will charge you 25% of what the game cost originally to get this “new and improved gameplay” that could or should have come in the first place.

Brad

On January 19, 2012 at 7:25 pm

If I knew it would be any help, I’d help organize a march on DC. Once there, we start demanding some equal requirements to any sort of pro-media anti-piracy law. I personally would like to see a sort of “Media User’s Bill of Rights,” requiring companies to differentiate between legitimate consumers and criminals rather than lumping everyone into the same damned category.

igott

On January 19, 2012 at 8:48 pm

I agree with you. For too long, have I been having to deal with being persecuted by my fellow gamers because I boycotted Skyrim because of that 2GB RAM limit, or the crap that Activsion was pulling.

For too long, we have been treated like cows to get the shiniest and newest gimmick to waggle and make ourselves look like buffoons with (Yes, that looks like you’re giving someone a hand-job.) And the saddest part is that we stand for it. We get games that are comparably as bad as E.T. and the sort that lead to the Crash of the 80′s; but this time, they’ve learned.

They learned that the can make it a shiny cubic zirconium ring, market it as diamond, and in the end, you’re paying $60 for something that really isn’t worth it. Then when you want them to actually try, they on you and burn down Megaman.

I think it’s time we’ve had another crash.

Spud

On January 20, 2012 at 8:26 pm

This was an amazing read, Jim. You’ve put into words things that desperately needed to be said. I feel like I’ve just read an historic address.

Mark my words, when videogame history is taught in schools, the Jim Sterling Article will be required reading.

Jeremy

On January 20, 2012 at 9:42 pm

What stupidity I just got done reading by both this author, and the idiots commenting on it.

IF you BUY a game the online pass is FREE, if you buy it second hand, you then have to pay to use it. Used game sales hurt the gaming industry, they have every right to try to protect their business.

Get educated on the facts first.

Trubbs

On January 21, 2012 at 3:40 am

Do your part: torrent games, don’t buy them. Tell the industry you want quality. Hurt their profits. Say YOU right back. Of course, this doesn’t apply to developers of actual quality product. Then again, try as I might, I can’t think of one quality developer.

GoG.com games are worth buying though, since the prices are what they should be.

Alan C

On January 21, 2012 at 10:27 am

@Eric:

I don’t think this is the beginning of the industry’s collapse. I think it’s the beginning of the industry entering its ‘adult’ stage – as film did before it. Until now, video games have been in the black and white movie era. Everyone was figuring them out and coming to terms with this new form of entertainment. Now we’ve entered the 60s/70s of movies – the beginning of the Hollywood blockbuster, the summer event movie, etc. All these things we’re seeing are not the beginning of the end, but the end of the beginning.

With regard to the rest of the article, I broadly agree. I could forgive stony silence about SOPA (though it would irk me a bit) but active support for it is ludicrous. This is one of the reasons I increasingly strongly feel drawn to indie developers. They’re us. They haven’t become unheeding corporate parasites yet.

Ciro

On January 21, 2012 at 7:56 pm

And we still get tools like Jeremy up there, who completely miss Jim’s point and come out to parrot the same BS talking points they got from some self-serving publisher mouthpiece’s press release. Not only don’t these scumbags not NEED little cheerleaders like that, Jim’s right. They don’t DESERVE them.

Andy

On January 21, 2012 at 10:10 pm

Ever since I first read about SOPA on Wikipedia, it revolted me.

They don’t just want to combat piracy, they’re going over it all wrong, trying to shut us up to get at them. The closing of Megaupload, to me, was the straw that broke the camel’s back, as if every content of theirs was pirated. I don’t think the owners should be held responsible for what a person in a basement half a world away uploads there. To put it in context: what if I had uploaded an important document that I needed to relay to a colleague? Now that they closed it, it’s gone? It’s like using a landmine to kill an ant. Not only it’s an abusive breach on our freedom of speech, it’s also done in the stupidest possible way.

As for the implication to games, this is really an outrage. I’ve been letting myself get willfully robbed (yes, robbed, because the cost for things here in Brazil is, most of the time, on the limit of our affordability, due to abusive tax charges on the products) by Microsoft just so I can play online with my Xbox 360. The compensation I get from this (aside from the quality titles – I’m a selective gamer) is that I get to meet people from other places all over the world, who share similar interests based on the games we play. But there’s no point in being this idealistic when they only care for us when we’re doing something “wrong”, is there?

I miss the time when I didn’t have to pay more than for the game itself to have fun. Even when I had no Internet, I’d just boot it up and play away. But now that the video game companies have achieved “billionaire industry” status, they went from the lovable outcasts to greedy sellouts and their silence and/or pro-SOPA stance just serves to prove this point. It’s like you said, it’s hard to take the side of people who don’t give a damn if we live or if we die.

And that’s why too many people download instead of buying: they’re sick of being extorted by the industry. And instead of figuring out reasonable ways to bring the consumers back, how do the higher-ups respond? Proposing idiotic, retarded from the get-go law projects. Because they don’t know what they’re dealing with; as long as they get to legally screw the little guy over, they’re completely fine with it.

I don’t know if I said any here (forgive me if I did), but I wrote just what came off the top of my head, after all I’m entitled to my opinion, as is everyone else, no matter how half-assed it may be (right, Jeremy?).

Zerokrash

On January 22, 2012 at 3:44 am

I agree with the article. I do not buy any game that is remotely linked to Steam or any other type of online activation. (Ubisoft’s stupid idea is another one. If the server is down you can’t play anything!) I paid for it, I own it, I will install it and play it when I feel like it. I do not see why I should “tell” a company when I’m playing it. It is none of their business. On the other hand, I don’t have a problem with a game that requires the DVD inserted or entering a serial number/key for it to work, provided I don’t have to be connected when I’m entering the number. If companies are so against piracy then don’t make them moddable. But that discussion is for another day……

Brad

On January 22, 2012 at 10:18 am

Well, while we’re all patting ourselves on the back, you guys may want to check out Wiki for ACTA, which is apparently the international version of SOPA.

SecretSmoke

On January 22, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Great article, Jim. I usually don’t like commenting when I don’t have something constructive to say, but I just thought I’d let ya’ know, that we as consumers, and as humans, appreciate that you’re speaking for those of us that can’t.

SkumzYa

On January 22, 2012 at 3:54 pm

@Zerokrash:

Way to fundamentally miss the very nature of Steam. Of course Steam is online, you directly install the games over the internet. You dont have to log in (except for a few crummy DRM games that would require it regardless of your purchase method) or stay online once the games are installed, you can unplug your ethernet cable and run Steam in offline mode for all they care. I just bought Skyrim on Steam and it didnt pester me with one second of DRM garbage. If you want to make a point to the gaming industry, buy THAT game for pc. Dont just pirate all games. Not every company is being a total douchebag (though feel free to wait a little while for the price to drop, it is pretty damn high right now).

Jelf Boho

On January 22, 2012 at 4:54 pm

Yeah, Steam is the only reason I buy games these days. (Especially Steam SALES!) :D

So much less hassle than a disk or even the more elaborate cracks for some pirated games.

Memphis

On January 22, 2012 at 5:39 pm

Let me give you a version of what the writer put, that is not TL;DR…

ESA Supports giving government Nazi control of the internet VIA SOPA because quite simply put, indie game developers rely heavily on the internet, And SOPA would give Viacom the ability to spend its limitless funds to basically snipe Indie film/show makers and force you to watch their crap, while ESA can spend all it’s money sniping Indie Game Developers so you have to buy Call of Duty 209: Modern Warfare 206 as your only source of video game entertainement. This is a hostile corporate take over of the US, as Viacom owning 60% of US Media basically controls which presidential candidates look good, and bad.

Bigbadbob

On January 22, 2012 at 10:32 pm

so i was just like you, defending games to the death. one day, i buy a game in a case at a well known retailer. upon opening the game, i realize the disc is fake and the confirmation code was missing. when i tried to return it, i was told it was my fault for not checking it before i bought it. when i showed them the seal that was on the game, it was still my fault. i contacted EA and asked for a refund. they sent me back to the store. goodbye retail hello amazon.

CyrpticOne

On January 22, 2012 at 11:51 pm

@Eric. Yes SOPA will affect you, even though you’re in Canada. Just last week we had US federal agents shut down MegaUpload web site who’s owner is from New Zealand and whose servers were in Hong Kong. The owner was also arrested in his New Zealand home. MegaUpload may or may not be guilty of piracy, but the point is they were shut down by the FBI without due process or a trial.

I say this as a US citizen: It is a very scary world we’re entering when another country’s foreign agency can basically ignore both our constitution and that of any other country’s to go after alleged copyright violations–even without SOPA. The fear of SOPA was that the government could eventually turn on the people and close down sites on just an accusation, perhaps because an administration just didn’t like what a web site is saying. All they’d have to do is claim you plagiarized another site. Boom, shutdown, no income–although you *can* spend a fortune on a lawyer and, after years, maybe you can prove your innocence.

Normally in the US, the accused has the presumption of innocence and the prosecution has to prove their case. Except for the IRS, who is allowed to put the burden of proof on the accused–the accused has to show that they didn’t cheat on their taxes! Now it looks like the government once again plans to do this on behalf of the movie, music and game industries.

EEK_a_Mouse

On January 25, 2012 at 8:47 am

My advice is to do what I do. Vote with your feet. Hit them where it hurts, in the pocket! I mostly now am going retro and playing old games that are still of good quality. Just don’t buy the latest!
As a life-long PC gamer I find the more recent games both dumbed-down and hyped-up to suit console gamers who demand instant success followed by cheats. They are little to blame as this is how they grew up gaming. If you cant win look for a cheat and use that.
Take my advice go retro if you disagree and keep your cash. You will be amazed how good some of those older games are.

Modern gaming is bland

On January 26, 2012 at 5:25 am

Zerokash don’t talk to me about ing steam! I remember when I bought yes bought half life 2 only to be told I had to activate it?! I refuse to set up a user account just to play a sodding game; I remember the glory days of my childhood. I could actually lend my friend my sega mega drive cartridge no password required!

I have actually been playing alien vs predator 2 lately, remember that when you could just put a disc in and it’s your game; none of this communist bull of having to create a user account!

This is one of the reasons why I don’t play modern games these days!
Viva le revoulution let’s start playing our snes’s again :P

John

On January 26, 2012 at 5:25 pm

The reason for anti-piracy bills make me even more angry. They think they are missing out on money because people download it. News flash: most people who downloads music, movies and games do this because they can not buy everything. They want quality. And if your game/music/movie is , they will not buy it after it having seen on a download. But if the game/music/movie is good chances are the person IS going to buy it.

Quality. We want it back. Don’t blame us because you can’t sell a product. Since when is it the consumers fault if you make a ty product? Where are the times that the customer is always right.

Look around you. The customer is being ing everywhere by companies and rich s who think the world is their silver plate. They have the money and the power. They can just lobby the out of us or lawyer up. Normal people don’t have those means.

SOPA is the example of how the rich are trying to control the rest. The lobby system is a failure. The world needs to revise this. Companies have to much power. You see this in the U.S. But also in the U.N. where companies just send armies of lobbists to Brussels.

We live in a world where capitalism has gone to far. That’s right, it’s extremist capitalism. People who download go to the same jail as rapists and murderers. Is that justice?

Also, watch this. It will make you bricks.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJIuYgIvKsc

John

On January 26, 2012 at 5:28 pm

“People who download go to the same jail as rapists and murderers. Is that justice?” I thought I deleted that. :P I’m not sure it’s true. Sorry folks.

Anonymous

On January 26, 2012 at 7:32 pm

I have lost respect for all of the videogame producers and publishers I used to hold in high esteem. For me mostly it’s the lies and hypocrisy. A bit of marketing spin I can take – but lately publishers are outright lying to consumers faces before release, then after release they just stay totally silent on the same issues once all the criticisms roll in.

But EA is and always has been moralless scum, so them supporting free speech one minute and attacking it next comes as no surprise to me whatsoever.

Matt

On January 27, 2012 at 6:09 pm

Adding numbers to fellow Brazilian countryman Andy:

The basic – read well, basic – import fee to any videogame is a whopping 70% of the product’s stated sell value (meaning, they do not only tax based on the cost, they also tax the freight costs and profit margins), plus 18% of some nonsense caled Market and Service Tax. Oh but wait! There is still other small-time taxes like the local PIS, COFINS.

But in Brazil, there is always the “but”. And the best, best part is:

Taxes overlap.

Yes you read that right. Every tax is calculated taking in account the FINAL cost of the product, INCLUDING previously added tax. Just to keep track:

100% = Value + Shipping Cost + Profit
+20% Import tax = 120%
+50% Industry Tax on 120% = 60%. So: 120 + 60 = 180%.
+18% Market and Service Tax on 180% = 32,4%. So: 180 + 32,4 = 212,4%
(See that? I just bought a game for me and another one – plus a Happy McMeal with sundae, I guess – for my legislators! How nice is that!)
+5,5 PIS/PASEP, COFINS, added-up et cetera ==> 224,5% roughly (the gas to go to McDonalds and back, lawmakers need that stuff of course)

And, just to make sure we ARE paying a hefty enough value, retailers put the blame on overtaxing and rake their profit margins to up to 65% in some cases.

Result?

Case study: Skyrim costs US$150 in PREORDER.

Obvious consequence?

Brazil is #2 world torrent hub.

So, to our great relief, when the guys here torrent, it’s fair enough to say that its EVERY F*CKING BODY ELSE’S FAULT.

Thank you for paying head to a third-world rant.

jesper

On January 28, 2012 at 1:27 am

inda,ix

jesper

On January 28, 2012 at 1:29 am

map ets

Devon

On February 1, 2012 at 7:34 pm

I’d say this whole world is getting out of hand… Because you got people who don’t do anything to make things better. Hell they would just go along with it. For example: Like you said Jimmy, the video game producers. I knew this SOPA coming around ever since October. Even though I’m against the bill especially with alot of you people and about millions of people in this world, but why would the congressmen come up with the stupid like that when pretty much that bill is in violation of our speech and freedom?

I am a hacker myself. (Getting a little off topic) I have the tools I desire to hack my computers and other electronics but not to endanger others; Only except the manufacturers that give us less freedom to do what we want because it hurts them due to getting less money. But the thing is if you give people the less freedom than what they deserve, there are gonna be more people who are going to do illegal stuff(piracy) to get the freedom that they want. Such as a PSP and a PS3 with custom firmware and free games. The only thing with that I don’t agree with is when it’s abused or when it harms other people in the whole world such as the PlayStation Network that got hacked and then later on it got shutdown and undergoing maintenance until they built up the security.

So my question is why should we have to follow the companies policy like Sony and their little games that they pull on us to give us less stuff than what they have? Remember the good times when everybody had the “Install Other OS” on their PS3s with Linux on it? Why should the government and the other companies put us in jeopardy and make us all suffer when one or more person caused it all along? It may sound contradicting but think about it for a sec. WHO IS ALL WITH ME SO FAR?? I’m gonna fight, and will fight to this day of what freedom I have against the SOPA!!

marhawkman

On February 2, 2012 at 6:35 am

If you think this is bad… check out ACTA: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Counterfeiting_Trade_Agreement

An international treaty for regulating the internet? Not a horrible premise…. except that ACTA would be controlled by corporate interests rather than any government.

wolf

On February 2, 2012 at 9:44 am

you all!! Il pirate all your ing games greedy whores

DarkFusion

On February 2, 2012 at 8:08 pm

It’s stuff like this that makes you pray for another video game crash

Prime262

On February 2, 2012 at 8:33 pm

lucky for the internet, nay, the world at large, the SOPA/PIPA bills have been put on a serious delay, and even if by some unholy chance they did make it through congress, our presedent(who finally did somthing i agree with) threatened to put the presidential ban hammer to work against them, and has sided with the internet. guess he liked his prated movies too.

Duncan

On February 4, 2012 at 4:11 am

This piece of writing deserves a standing ovation. I agree with everything and admire your standing up against the industry of which you love the products.

fuerchter

On February 4, 2012 at 6:41 am

*cough* ubisoft drm *cough*

owen

On February 4, 2012 at 12:55 pm

I’m 12 and even I think this is a terrible Idea. If this passes will we ; not be able to go on YouTube ’cause it shows video’s on how to torrent and we can’t use Google because it gives links to piracy websites and we can’t us email because it can be used to pirate files??? People will still find ways round it so it is pointless. Torrenting is so easy I was doing it when I was 8 for my DS. While I don’t do it anymore I still think these web pages actually PROMOTE GAMES. Without my friends owning r4 cards I would never have bought super mario 64 ds. Without youtube I would not be into Rock music and own all the albums I do.

SOPA, ACTA and PIPA are all disgraces.

P.S: I still haven’t reached S2. Not all of us listen to pop music and play terrible games.

Mitchell

On February 4, 2012 at 1:34 pm

I wish I could hug you. This is the best article I’ve read in a long time. And probably the most true.

Leatra

On February 5, 2012 at 6:11 am

Fight the Corporate Evil
Support indie games

Gametweeka

On February 5, 2012 at 2:54 pm

DRM has ruined alot of games for me. Got burned quite a bit before. A constant internet connection is unreliable and completely rediculous requirement for a single player game. Until all the hassle with DRM / origin / etc I had NEVER pirated a single game. Guess what… game has that garbage then I don’t bother buying it anymore. I just wait for someone to crack it and get it free. Guess what, DRM doesn’t help stop piracy, it screws legitimate gamers and hurts your sales and I’m proof. Getting screwed after buying a new game wouldn’t work right was annoying so.. GAME OVER, I win!

Change your stupid policies gaming “industry”! Ask yourselves WHY someone gets the hard copy of the game rather than downloading it from an online store. You really think your customers WANT a pain in the ass install/registration process after SHELLING OUT HARD CASH for the hard copy of a game?! Probably about the same number of people who would fall in love with the idea of recurring payments and billing cycles instead of a simple one shot purchase. Oh well at least Zinga has these dips thinking they should start giving them all away free to play style anyway. Thx, you guys are gonna save me about 1500 bucks a year or so… give that salesman a raise!

Anonymous

On February 5, 2012 at 9:20 pm

You’re completely wrong, you know. It’s not exploitation by videogames that you object to, it’s exploitation by videogame companies. Not the same thing. You can still defend the medium while condemning those who drag it through the mud in search of gold. The only factor stopping indie gamers from getting the same media circus overreactions that circle around murder and suicide cases is that indie developers aren’t capable of the same level of distribution or public recognition, and that is the ONLY thing protecting them. Should they be condemned along with companies like Capcom? I don’t think so.

l1m1t3dfive

On February 7, 2012 at 6:26 am

God, ok, not a bad article, except for one thing. You’ve created this friggen article at least 10 years behind schedule!!!! With nonsense like the old Starforce copy protection, it’s no wonder things are the way they are these days. This problem is like a severely infected wound, and the only remedy is…… not putting a bandaid on it! I miss the days when I could buy used video games from the local game store.

Sure digital download has it’s benefits, but the lack of past choices is ING LAME!!!! I don’t think I would’ve ever played Populous: The Beginning if it hadn’t been a used copy for like 10 bucks at the local EBGames.

PFT publishers can go to hell.

l1m1t3dfive

On February 7, 2012 at 6:28 am

Used PC games I mean…

Anonymous

On February 8, 2012 at 10:26 am

With SOPA/ACTA around i may consider not playing games anymore iam not rich i can’t buy every game that comes out, i used to download games but if these laws got approved iam ed i think you can expect everything that comes from a capitalist society!!! Sharing is not stealing tho!

some dude

On February 9, 2012 at 2:30 am

When SOPA/PIPA was (attempted to be) passed, I then knew that whoever was protecting our “rights” just got blasted to hell by whoever decides who gets to talk, or switched sides. The same thing happened around 200 years ago, when taxes, tariffs, and stranglehold laws governing libel, slander, and sedition nearly tore the hometown news of America apart. much of the news of that time had nothing to do with the perceived threats the restrictions placed on them defined, and was just taken out of context.

Its kinda jacked up that somehow something you privately publish as your own, can have its own digital “evidence” of when it was created, what you used, how much space it took up, and even what you used to research it -cough *unbox* cough- that can somehow be construed to be imitating someone else’s work or a copy of it. Plus, this someone (usually a corporation) has never met you in their entire life, and knows you don’t know anything about the ideas you used to make that product.

Oh wait, it gets better. Turns out some of those “products” are actually not even the intellectual property of the someone, just licensed under them. music, movies, and photos can all somehow be attributed to amazon.com or other crap, just by a few paragraphs the size of an index card in their “End-User Agreement”.

And by end user agreement, i really mean a 200 page long PDF file with the first 4 pages listed on the web site. this “agreement” is not really about the end-user. it’s about ending the users ability to agree or disagree. plain and simple.

so there you have it folks. the stuff the SOPA/PIPA Law is designed to protect and uphold. It’s kinda like a sopapilla actually. sure, the outside may look good and tasty, but the inside can be full of a nifty little dessert, or a nasty gelatinous goo designed to make you asphyxiate on your own vomit. it all depends on your tastes, and who cooked it.

Brad

On February 9, 2012 at 4:02 pm

Boycotts on a massive scale are necessary. If it could happen on a large enough scale, I’m fairly certain the games industry would get the picture. Personally, I’m seriously considering not buying ME3. I am not advocating piracy, but there’s plenty of other non-DRM games that I could play that are fun. If even half of the gamers in the world were to stop buying games that the bigger companies (not the indie developers) develop, and instead play legitimate (read: non-pirated) older or non-DRM games, I’m fairly certain we could get our point across. If we could maintain this boycott for an extended period of time, I believe the big game developers will sit up and take notice.

I think that we need to do this, not only to send a message to the companies to change their hardline draconian ways, but also to bring them to the table to…renegotiate the customer/developer relationship. Nothing will change until then.

Nomad

On February 10, 2012 at 6:53 pm

I agree with most of the folks here. SOPA/ACTA/PIPA are designed to destroy our freedom and personally,to make it next to impossible to actualy enjoy a game,movie or other related product. Recently I bought Dawn Of War 2 and expansion Chaos Rising(a while back Command and Conquer 4, being constantly connected to the internet just to play single player campaign? I mean what utter BULL!!!)…I won’t mention the feeling of disgust when having to create accounts from being forced to install third party applications, forced to download patches,constant updates to steam or one can not play the game in offline mode. This is the first and only game I have bought(ignorant of the new DRM/SOPA/ACTA/PIPA filth) with Windows Live and Steam content and quite honestly…If this is how the gaming industry is going to proceed with screwing over honest paying gamers,their TOTAL lack of care for the ones that enable them to make a living and live the good life cause of all the money they leech out of us and their ABSOULTE BOGUS claims of it preventing piracy…(IT WILL INCREASE IT!!!) it will be the last game I purchase and it will be the same end result with ALOT of other gamers out there. The question is…boycotting…do you have the stamina that it takes? You all will need to be doing it for a long time for those game corporations to feel it. You would have to make sure you never bought another game from the ones supporting or staying silent to this filthy SOPA/ACTA/PIPA law.. After all, they have been taking/draining your money since way back when. I’m sure they have more than enough to keep themselves living the sweet life for longer than we can boycott them. I think everyone should look at the bigger picture here too. This thing is not going to stop with just games,movies and other downloads and internet services etc…bank accounts, accessed at will by those thieves, e-mails(they can already intercept and read e-mails)they will be able to “legaly” intercept and stop your e-mails with this “law” and take whatever action they deem “right” or “lawful”…monitoring your instant messengers(they already bragged about doing that here in South Africa)…tracking who you have on your cellphone sim card, who you call when, how often and monitoring what you say, reading your text messages at will for “security reasons”…just a few examples that this is only the start of the nightmare to come. If this is their idea of “freedom and justice for all” they can shove it so deep in a place the sun don’t shine that the doctors will need to pull it out from the mouth instead of the other place….

Nomad

On February 10, 2012 at 9:09 pm

A quick P.S. to my other post. Just look at what these SOPA/ACTA/PIPA “lawmen” did to pirate bay back in 2006 raid and look at the end results in just 2 years….an increase from 1 million registered users to 2.7 million and an increase of 2.5 million peers to 12 million peers….it now has more than 25,000,000 million active users…now this SOPA/ACTA/PIPA says its going to decrease piracy…they are playing with fire and are going to be burnt alive…yet they continue with this disgusting invasion of our privacy, lives and rights as human beings insisting that it is to protect their income, jobs, products…. They are going to approve or have already approved these new laws, but in doing so they have initiated a potential for unimagined chaos such as was never before a problem…instead of making us gamers their allies, they are alienating us from them and making it pretty obvious that they do not care about our opinions, wishes, wants etc but rather just getting our money. Lets hope that after their revenue income plunges even lower on the scales that they will learn their lesson, cause I for one (and the multitude of friends, family, relatives I know) do not intend supporting greedy, money grubbing people that only focus on their own selfish lusts while letting the very ones enabling them to make their living rot on the sidelines with no recourse.

Dylan

On February 11, 2012 at 3:43 am

Amazing article, your passion and that of the gaming community has been well expressed.

Brad

On February 12, 2012 at 7:26 am

@Nomad: I respectfully disagree with you on one point, though: As Jim said in a recent rant, game developers tend to be short-sighted, instant gratification types that will notice when they start taking a financial hit due to a boycott. If even a third of their profits disappear for a year, and one or two of their so called “Triple A” titles doesn’t do as well as it would normally, they will notice.

I think I could handle a boycott. The question I have is: Who else can? I think that we could get our point across by boycotting for one year. If enough people can do it for that one year, the game companies will have to notice because their games aren’t doing so hot.

Peter L

On February 12, 2012 at 8:09 am

Though English is not my native, I totaly understand your point and agree. Just this morning I saw a man, Yochai Benkler, on TV talking about the necessity of a free internet, you should check him out.

Kira

On February 12, 2012 at 8:50 am

@BrandeX

Did you even bother to read the article you linked? It says, right on the first line, that they do NOT support SOPA/PIPA.

“League Of Legends developer Riot Games has urged users to contact local politicians in a bid to ensure SOPA and PIPA are not passed into US law.”

Oh also,
“Riot Games is opposed to SOPA/PIPA in their present forms.”

Steve

On February 12, 2012 at 1:00 pm

What happened to gaming? Since when do I need to spend countless hours to unlock parts of my game that allow me to be competitive when playing with my friends? More importantly, where did all the communities go? I know what you’re thinking, and I’ll stop you there: Xbox Live, and the Playstation network are NOT communities. They’re gaming social networks, operated in a very controlled environment. The state of gaming is changing, and not all change is good.

Gaming studios are pressured by their parent companies to push their product for release as soon as humanly possible. They’re told to focus all their energy and resources on making a visually stunning product, as to APPEAR to be the most graphically intense game on the market.

In turn, little effort gets put into making a solid foundation for basic gameplay, and many games ship will multiple bugs/glitches, or huge UI problems. Battlefield 3 was one of the latest culprits. NHL 12 was another example. The community was demanding a laundry list of fixes from NHL 11. Instead, most of the issues were never fixed, let alone addressed, and they marketed the new 2012 release advertising a new Winter Classic mode and goalie fights.

PC gaming has gone by the wayside as well. Everything is shipped closed-sourced, full of DRM, and with little to no support. It used to be that the more popular a game, the larger the community. With the larger support, many aftermarket, third-party mods were created by users, and posted to the internet….free of charge. I remember during the height of Unreal Tournament 2004, the community joined forces, and created countless community map packs, with hundreds of maps for people to test out and play with their friends. Again, this was released at absolutely no cost to anyone. Now-a-days, companies like Treyarch, and Activision, create over-elaborate map-packs, with no community input, and release them for the price of $15…for 5 maps.

Console gaming has gone too mainstream, and has made it almost impossible for PC gaming to compete. Games are filled with subliminal product advertisements, and companies are looking at every corner of the market to make money off of their product. If SOPA ever get passed, PC gaming will be done for, and the quality of gaming will never get thoroughly tested within the communities. A monopoly of sorts will form over the creation and intellectual property of video gaming, and we’ll be forced to either accept what’s put in front of us, or live without anything else.

Karac V. Thweatt

On February 13, 2012 at 12:26 pm

I have seen many great quotes in the past replies. Yet there is one that all seemed to have missed.

We shouldn’t get mad. We should get EVEN.

We all know that the online pirates are what kept the game industry GOING with the hopes of being able to do new things with the game. Even now people still install JTAG’s to their XBOX’s, and hardmod their PS3′s. It’s nothing new. Out of all the times Microsoft and SONY had to come up with REASONABLE security measures for their software, not one time have we NOT been able to get into the software and find an exploit.

This SOPA act is just getting started, this doesn’t mean online piracy and the gaming world has to finish. If you want to fight, like this comment and contact me at xpv73@yahoo.com and we can work together to vote out this act.

For everything that it’s worth, certain games SHOULD be restricted to the group of people that are mature enough to view it. I have first-hand experience with knowing how a game or even your PHONE can get you obsessed.

A good example of this was when I was 7 years old and playing the newly released “Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess” videogame for the Nintendo Gamecube. After only maybe 3 or 4 weeks, I was literally obsessed. I would go around with sticks and hit trees and other things. I would also be talking with my friends about it, to the point of which they would just walk away.

Yes, my parents bought it, but they didn’t know to what extent the video game contained violence. As it is so rated, T for Teen. I still had 6 years to develop my mind and have a normal life til playing this game. But at the time, I was 7 years old, and didn’t even realize that I was addicted to the game.

The only way to stop being that way was when my parents took the game away til I was older. See how the simple things do the best job?

We don’t need SOPA to control our lives, we don’t even need our parents.
Ourselves are our best tools in making decisions and if you cannot observe that you are becoming addicted to a game, then I feel sorry for you.

All in all, I fell online piracy is probably the best thing that happened to the gaming world, but it has problems, such as who has access to it and how easy it is to obtain it.

To get Halo 3′s ISO from the internet, all I had to do was search in google for “download xbox 360 game ISO halo 3, torrent” And there it was on ThePirateBay.com . Simple as that. With the ease-of-access being stated, it is a big sign that people should know their limitations and should keep track and watch for what they do.

- Karac

Trevor

On February 16, 2012 at 8:43 pm

The comments some of you make regarding piracy do not make sense. You say, “I despise this developer. The games they have released are all awful(they are not worth the money the games have earned). Therefore, I will steal it”

Stealing a pack of bubble gum from a gas station because you think the company makes too much money and their product is too tough and flavorless for your taste does not push the company to provide better quality or to listen to you! There are much more effective ways of doing that.

Rodney Johnson

On February 19, 2012 at 11:55 am

There is a lot to be said here, but about the article it self and some of the comments I’ve read. first off what I think made it possible to overlook the fact that the game company’s have pretty much always been in it for them self’s is up until now if a game didn’t sell well they would try to improve on the product, or try to figure out what we thought went wrong and try to fix it in their next run though. So while they where still just as much in it for the $ before as now what changed is that before they thought to get the most money they had to give us what we wanted the most. now they think they can throw out something new and flashy and if no one really wants it, well we’ll blame pirates and find a way to force people to pay us anyway. it’s not just the game industry that’s doing this either I haven’t been to a movie theater in years. not because I’ve been watching the movies by some other means, but because I haven’t found anything that was really worth spending the time, money and effort to go watch a movie. my Wii has been collecting dust for quite some time now too. why? well other then a few retro games that I’ve played so many times over it’s ridiculous and the wii fit type stuff there really nothing I find interesting. I got news for you execs out there the reason i’m not buying your stuff isn’t because I got a pirated copy of your stuff, it’s I don’t think it’s worth my while.

and talk about poor promoting, I’ve seen many cases of that too most notable in my mind is the 12 kingdoms anime. it had so little sales they only got about half way though the anime before it just stops. yet this story has a plot depth that would make star wars and LOTR seem shallow by comparison. I think the only reason it hasn’t gone on to be a favorite is no one knows about it I wouldn’t of even known about it but when I moved to my new apartment the library here has an unusually large movie collection for a library and I thought i’d give it a try. I tried to buy it but after a lot of searching I all I could find was some half finished “official” site and it was clear that the people who where supposed to promote this only gave a half assed attempt at it.

As for my take on the user generated content and video game movies on youtube, I would agree with those who say it’s not hurting the game sales in fact I think it’s quite the opposite. anyone who knows me would know that I don’t like lots of blood and gore, or gratuitous violence. yet after being asked to watch some videos and spoilers for Assassin’s creed and Infamous, for a friend and giving in at their insistence. I discovered that these games while rife with that have a redeeming quality it’s not just random fighting or a beat up everyone in sight there’s reasons for why they do it and it’s not just a grab a big gun and go type of game like i first thought. I actually went out and bought them two games that if i had just seen the trailers or the back covers I would of been like no way. also portal 2 i thought was just a puzzle game and wasn’t that interested in just having to solve one puzzle after another after another. but as I started to watch someone do a play though I found there’s a lot more to it and i was frustrated by how the person doing the walkthought would allays talk over the cut scenes, or just cut them out completely and stuff so knowing the only way I’d get the goods is to get the game myself and thus i did. so that’s 3 sales that wouldn’t of other wise happened right there, and I seriously doubt that I’m the only one who’s been there done that.

Anon

On February 29, 2012 at 5:45 pm

Just want to share something to calm some minds, great article btw I 100% agree with everything. I have a masters in network security and engineering, so trust me when I say, you have nothing to fear from SOPA. These old money grubbing jews are so excited about what SOPA could theoretically do for their wallets that they spend all their energy in trying to pass the bill, and collectively they have a 15 year olds knowledge of how any of the technology actually works. What I’m trying to say is this: SOPA is literally almost impossible to enforce without billions and billions of dollars dumped into it, and even then, if you know the IP address of the website’s server, you can connect to it directly. SOPA will not have anywhere near the result they hope it will, if they can even get it to pass. The idea and morals behind it are terrifying, no doubt, but the old farts trying to get it to pass don’t realize that it won’t work. No one has anything to fear from SOPA, well, unless you’re one of those people who’s knowledge of home computer use stops at updating your facebook status.

JD

On February 29, 2012 at 6:28 pm

I agree with this fully, they don’t seem to realise that the games don’t sell because of pirating but because they are just pure bull**** to play.

Too much emphasis is placed on graphics these days and not gameplay, too many clones of other successful games (there are some exceptions). I haven’t bought a Fifa game in years because every new installment is exactly the same as the last except with updated rosters…why buy a new game (which looks exactly the same and plays almost the same) when i can just make the changes myself?

Same with movies…how many more ing remakes of classic movies will we have to painfully endure before hollywood actually finds someone with half a brain?…and they expect us to pay for this .

We have got to a point where the “art” view of games has been lost and the only view now is $$$