Gaming shut downs.

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The real problem...somehow yet again....is the West's obsession with the stock market and finance market based capitalism. Recurring revenue looks really great to shareholders, and CEOs will do an awful lot to make shareholders happy...because shareholders make them obscenely rich.
Quite. When a company succeeds or fails on how well they please the customer, that leads to improvements in service and quality as well as competitive pricing.

When all that matters is the share price and pleasing stockholders, you can be as abusive as you like to the customers. Particularly when you create monopolies or oligopolies, and the major companies have figured out that it's much more profitable to cooperate with a competitor in screwing customers than it is to engage in a race to the bottom.
I don't care how much of a dinosaur it makes me, I don't care if we do agree to the EULA, games as a service is just wrong.
Sometimes games as a service makes sense. MMOs are the main one for me, partly because they've always been like that but mostly because a huge part of the game is running on servers that have significant ongoing costs. That makes sense to me, I'm paying directly for the costs of keeping the game running in it's current state.

I think most games as a service don't have this. Most games have trivial server costs that should probably be considered part of the cost of the game.
As it's become easier to exchange funds for services without physical transactions, repeat transactions have become easier. I think it's absolutely fair to be critical of the trend toward subscriptions over single transactions for tangible goods, and it's a criticism that I also offer, but the answer isn't regulatory oversight.
It's an answer, even if you don't like it. But companies aren't going to alter their behaviour themselves, and customers really have very little ability to encourage changes in behaviour when the future of the game is unclear at purchase. Nobody knew what was going to happen with GT Sport at EOL for a long, long time, and there was reasonable reasons for thinking that it might just become a coaster. At the very least a regulation requiring clear statements around what happens at the end of life for a game would seem reasonable so that consumers can make an informed purchase.

What alternatives do you suggest other than don't buy any games at all?
My primary concern is that government is in a unique position to violate rights (especially absent a preservation of rights, as there's no natural right to tangible goods exclusively), but I also have the informed expectation that oversight won't be conducted consistently, either due to ineptitude or malice. At some point, a state actor is going to make a value judgment about not consistently applying regulatory standards and that value is going to be that of funds exchanged for consideration.
That's what happens now. Government is bought and paid for in any number of areas. It hardly seems like a reason to avoid regulation in this particular area.
 
I will continue to buy games like the Gran Turismo series as PD have shown that they are willing to keep their games (somewhat) alive with an EOL update.

I will never buy the Crew 2 or any other games in the that series because they didn't do to The Crew what PD did with GT Sport.

Would I prefer to see EOL updates to keep games functioning? Sure would, and companies that have shown me they won't do this will not get another cent of my money. Simple.
 
I will continue to buy games like the Gran Turismo series as PD have shown that they are willing to keep their games (somewhat) alive with an EOL update.

I will never buy the Crew 2 or any other games in the that series because they didn't do to The Crew what PD did with GT Sport.

Would I prefer to see EOL updates to keep games functioning? Sure would, and companies that have shown me they won't do this will not get another cent of my money. Simple.
Season 9 Good Job GIF by Friends
 
I understand that much, but I'd suggest that the state forcing individuals to relinquish property on the basis that other individuals like it is not something good. Property is availed conditionally and entirely at the discretion of the owner of said property.

I've long thought that somewhere between the length of patent (17 years) and corporate copyright (120 years; this is actually shorter than [Author + 99 years]) would be a happier medium for de facto abandonware. But software companies would also like to remarket that nostalgia as soon as possible.

But with games going almost entirely online and the bulk of the content going that way, it really doesn't matter too much, when the offline content might be so heavily reduced. If there's not enough of a community playing the same game, I understand shutting servers down. On the other hand, I still have the idealistic noble (and stubborn) idea they should keep it running so that four remaining fans can play it almost forever, since it's their common bond, just because it makes for a good story.
What alternatives do you suggest other than don't buy any games at all?
I mean, it works for me. Though I did pick up F1 2010 for $4 about a decade ago just so I'd have a reason to play the kids' XBox. (Note: they've played it more than I did, I think I've done three ten lap races and forgot about it until they cleaned up their playroom one day.)
 
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I've long thought that somewhere between the length of patent (17 years) and corporate copyright (120 years; this is actually shorter than [Author + 99 years]) would be a happier medium for de facto abandonware. But software companies would also like to remarket that nostalgia as soon as possible.
The duration of copyright and trademark protections is excessive, and ridiculous, and excessively ridiculous, and ridiculously excessive.

I think they should pick an individual directly involved in the production of a property and protections will be availed the duration of that individual's natural life. No more of that Steamboat Willie nonense.
 

I won't say that I saw this pure scum move coming, but when I was experiencing massive issues getting Assassin's Creed III to complete due to the UPlay DRM, I quit AC entirely as it was clear Ubisoft were anticonsumerist bastards.

It was my favourite series and although I picked up some titles later in physical form it was long after launch and at heavy discount for nice collector items (although I did play BF and it was crap; Syndicate was okay, and the Egyptian one bored me to the point of self-assassination).

Nice to be vindicated 12 years later. Well, not really.
 
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This is not merely false, rather it's aggressively stupid in its falsity. There was always an alternative. Don't like that a product is only available through a subscription service? Don't subscribe.
Slightly different industry, but I as a consumer didn't certainly ask for Sony to hoover up nearly all of the American anime distribution companies in the span of 5 years, including buying out an entire distribution platform that started before I was born, banishing all of the content on it that in many cases was the only avenue available to buy it legitimately in the US, then making it clear that they only bought it seemingly purely to shut it down in favor of migrating people towards the bigger one they bought a the year prior. And tying it even closer to this thread, I certainly didn't ask for Sony to consolidate their entire operation under a single vertically stacked organization and tell people who had already invested in an existing ecosystem they bought to basically 🤬 off because they don't think the negative attention they knew it would draw really matters. What alternative do I actually have as a consumer, not someone who pirates things out of spite but someone who has money and is willing to engage in commerce and has bought thousands of dollars of stuff related to this industry, if a major international technology conglomerate is willing to throw billions of dollars to have complete vertical integration of an entire market that used to have many players on it? Go on the internet and publicly hope that Sony doesn't get involved with it; and that Netflix gets it instead so maybe it gets a physical release? Consider me not terribly impressed with "well the government may not always be 100% fair with every application of regulation for consumer's rights" as an argument vs "just let media companies do whatever they want because if they go too far consumers will push back;" as if there isn't a massively laughable power imbalance at play for that. As if companies like Sony or Ubisoft don't run cost/benefit analysis to see how many people they can actively screw over and attract negative press but still come out ahead on when they force people to Consume Product.


We're reaching the point now, in all forms of media, where you can buy something and be told you own it and then the company can (and in the videogame industry, frequently has already for years now) been told that "no you don't because we're taking that away from you entirely when its no longer convenient for us." Yeah, maybe this is a bit of "closing the door after the horse left the stable" when things like Steam has been the dominant platform for games on an entire platform for almost 20 years and people have been shown that they are perfectly willing to trade physical ownership for convenience and that goes even further on with stuff like Game Pass where the actual game delivery is itself a service; but not every company in this space is Valve. Acting as if massive videogame publishers or multimedia conglomerates or film studios don't have the power to force market trends whether the customer base wants them or not is in fact quite aggressively stupidly false.
 
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That entertainment consumption is anything other than entirely opt-in, apart from that which one doesn't actually want to consume, is far more prevailing a belief than I ever could have imagined. Insanity.

Never in history has the consumption of entertainment been more convenient than it is now and it should be expected that one may not like all practices that such convenience invites and yet one is unwilling to give up an inch of that newfound convenience so that it may dissuade disfavored practices. Instead, one wants government to intervene, violating rights in the process, even though the nature of government and the corruption inherent in it is such that disfavored practices aren't actually dissuaded but instead enabled by the few with the most power and the greatest means to buy off leaders and the lowest of bureaucratic functionaries alike, thereby increasing the chokehold because smaller actors in the market can't compete with the larger ones and the government combined.
 
I've started buying DVDs & Bluerays again...for what it's worth.

There's probably an end game where IP holders (Disney for example) try to acquire display companies so they can enforce EULAs at the hardware level. I'm sorry, your old-ass DVD player is not compatible with your new big-ass projecto screen™. Please purchase smart DVD player and PAY UP BUDDY for the rights to watch the copy of the Lion King that you bought 30 years ago.

The real problem...somehow yet again....is the West's obsession with the stock market and finance market based capitalism. Recurring revenue looks really great to shareholders, and CEOs will do an awful lot to make shareholders happy...because shareholders make them obscenely rich.
An unintended side-effect of going back to physical (for me, at least) was not being overwhelmed by choice - it's great having millions of shows at your fingertips, but it's easy to get lost mindlessly scrolling through options.
 
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If rights aren't equally protected, there is no point to them.
Yes, I also voted for Johnson in 2016.

I provided a specific example of a major corporate entity buying their way into vertical integration for an entire form of media for an entire region of the world and demonstrably making it worse, up to and including taking purchased items away from people after they had been purchased because they knew they could just ignore the bad press from doing so. You want to try justifying why someone who might have had thousands of dollars of Funimation digital titles (luckily I only had 4-ish and if I cared to make a Crunchyroll account they were all Dragonball movies) should care about poor Ubisoft's rights to only allow people to use content they sold to people so long Ubisoft allows them to have it? Or why that person should believe because any attempt at government regulation, even something as benign as requiring companies to provide a roadmap for what their long term goals for a piece of media are as was already suggested in this thread (and pointedly ignored by you), could potentially theoretically maybe lead to abuse by the government that they should just be happy that the companies are allowed unfettered ability to shovel 🤬 into their face instead?



Though feel free to regurgitate Reagan administration talking points if that's all you want to do. I really liked the "well you could just stop consuming content at all" rebuttal. That one has been funny each time you've repeated it.
 
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Yes, I also voted for Johnson in 2016.
I'd assume for a sentiment similar to what I typed, but if so why if you don't actually believe it?
I provided a specific example of a major corporate entity buying their way into vertical integration for an entire form of media for an entire region of the world and demonstrably making it worse, up to and including taking purchased items away from people after they had been purchased because they knew they could just ignore the bad press from doing so. You want to try justifying why someone who might have had thousands of dollars of Funimation digital titles (luckily I only had 4-ish and if I cared to make a Crunchyroll account they were all Dragonball movies) should care about poor Ubisoft's rights to only allow people to use content they sold to people so long Ubisoft allows them to have it?
If you're going to try to intentionally slant the rules to your favor, you shouldn't be surprised if someone else tries to do the same. It's that simple.

Disliking what a corporation does is perfectly reasonable, but not liking it isn't a reason to take from them what is theirs. I would prefer to see an agreement reached willingly between both sides and if the government were to get involved I think it would better serve as a mediator and enforcer for that agreement rather than a tool to rig the system one way or another. We don't have to immediately jump to forcing people to conform to what we want.

I don't have a solution for the people that lost their purchases in the Funimation buyout, but it only makes sense to use that event to inform choices moving forward.
 
Blockbuster used to cost $5 for a single rental, and you had to drive yourself there twice. These days for peanuts we have access to more TV and movie entertainment than you can actually watch. And we still complain.

What people used to complain about was the cost of rentals and physical media, and so they would pirate it. It's only slightly harder to pirate today, but most people don't bother because the cost of going legit is lower, now people complain about the cost.

I have a massive catalog of old games that were compatible with Win95, 98, 2000. Lots of physical media, and I don't play any of them. I have several old game systems (SNES, PS2), I never play any of them. Most of them were junk or nearly junk at the time. These days most of them are eclipsed by newer games. There are a few old gems, but they're just not worth the setup trouble. I'd rather pay another $6 to steam to play master of orion 2 than to try to make my old physical copy work (which I still have).

I am sympathetic to this complaint to a degree. I don't love subscription bloat, and it is irritating when a title gets yanked. Moving titles in and out of availability makes it difficult to buy anything (because tomorrow it will be worthless) and makes it hard to actually have control over your entertainment. I also think a game easily becomes more of a commitment in terms of skill and development than a movie, and so losing access to that is a much bigger deal. I also absolutely despise the trend in the game industry of adding microtransactions to everything. I bought the game, now I have to buy the game again a-la-cart? Diablo 4 is a good example of a game that was developed with this backlash in mind. They promised no pay to win microtransactions in the game in response to backlash to Diablo Immortal. Diablo 4 was a crap game of course, but that's due to unrelated reasons - so was Immortal.

The way to get what you want is to vote with your feet. But also, you do need to be willing to pay for entertainment. The industry has fought for a very long time against the impulse to refuse to pay for entertainment. It's a shame that it seems like it's often Americans who champion this cause, because America is so heavily invested in the entertainment industry. So many domestic jobs are entertainment based, it's one of the nation's best exports.
 
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The way to get what you want is to vote with your feet. But also, you do need to be willing to pay for entertainment. The industry has fought for a very long time against the impulse to refuse to pay for entertainment. It's a shame that it seems like it's often Americans who champion this cause, because America is so heavily invested in the entertainment industry. So many domestic jobs are entertainment based, it's one of the nation's best exports.
Games cost as much today as they did when I was growing up. Considering the price of everything else, they should be twice as expensive.
 
As far as I remember NES cartridge games, the prices now are more than twice as that.
If you factor in inflation, it would cost around twice that amount currently.

A Sega cartridge was ~$59.99. The inflation adjusted price from 1997(last year of the system) to now gets to ~$116.
 
As far as I remember NES cartridge games, the prices now are more than twice as that.
I don't have a frame of reference there, though a very quick search did bring up prices that are similar to the baseline cost today, a little lower but not half as much.



I've generally seen games priced at $50-60 for most of my life.
 
This talk of game cartridges makes me wonder if there's a correlation between adolescent lung capacity and the dominance of game systems that run on discs.
 
I don't have a frame of reference there, though a very quick search did bring up prices that are similar to the baseline cost today, a little lower but not half as much.



I've generally seen games priced at $50-60 for most of my life.


I've probably said it before, but even Atari 2600 titles ranged from $30-40, some creeping over $50...looking at you, Yars' Revenge.

To be fair, it took me about 17 years to get to the purple level (although I didn't have a working VCS for half of that time).
 
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If rights aren't equally protected, there is no point to them.
I mean, that seems like it describes a lot of modern problems. We already know that the justice system does not apply equally to all. It never has. So rights have never been equally protected, yet they still seem to be useful. Because at least attempting to protect rights is better than no protections at all.

That aside, there's a lot of wiggle room on what "rights" you actually have over an idea. We find it economically useful to assign ownership in some cases because of the labour and effort that went into them, but actual natural rights around an arrangement of words or sounds or bits? Not so much. Those are no more yours than a math equation or a sunset.

I don't think rights is the correct way to approach this issue.
The way to get what you want is to vote with your feet. But also, you do need to be willing to pay for entertainment. The industry has fought for a very long time against the impulse to refuse to pay for entertainment.
Piracy was popular way back when because people were willing to pay, they just weren't willing to pay the extortionate prices that publishers were demanding. When digital stores and streaming came online, piracy went way down because people were absolutely willing to pay a reasonable price for their entertainment.

People are still willing to pay, but part of the problem now is that it's unclear what you're getting for your money. How do you evaluate whether a purchase is worth it if you don't know key things like how long you will have access to the material?

Subscriptions are in this sense better - you pay X amount of money for Y amount of time during which you can access Z list of media. Subscriptions have problems too, but advertising laws mean that they mostly have to be pretty upfront about what you get access to and for how long.

Now that digital purchases in many ways resemble subscriptions more than they resemble physical purchases, it might be time to start explicitly applying some of the same rules so that people can make informed choices to vote with their feet if they wish.
 
Blockbuster used to cost $5 for a single rental, and you had to drive yourself there twice. These days for peanuts we have access to more TV and movie entertainment than you can actually watch. And we still complain.

What people used to complain about was the cost of rentals and physical media, and so they would pirate it. It's only slightly harder to pirate today, but most people don't bother because the cost of going legit is lower, now people complain about the cost.

I have a massive catalog of old games that were compatible with Win95, 98, 2000. Lots of physical media, and I don't play any of them. I have several old game systems (SNES, PS2), I never play any of them. Most of them were junk or nearly junk at the time. These days most of them are eclipsed by newer games. There are a few old gems, but they're just not worth the setup trouble. I'd rather pay another $6 to steam to play master of orion 2 than to try to make my old physical copy work (which I still have).

I am sympathetic to this complaint to a degree. I don't love subscription bloat, and it is irritating when a title gets yanked. Moving titles in and out of availability makes it difficult to buy anything (because tomorrow it will be worthless) and makes it hard to actually have control over your entertainment. I also think a game easily becomes more of a commitment in terms of skill and development than a movie, and so losing access to that is a much bigger deal. I also absolutely despise the trend in the game industry of adding microtransactions to everything. I bought the game, now I have to buy the game again a-la-cart? Diablo 4 is a good example of a game that was developed with this backlash in mind. They promised no pay to win microtransactions in the game in response to backlash to Diablo Immortal. Diablo 4 was a crap game of course, but that's due to unrelated reasons - so was Immortal.

The way to get what you want is to vote with your feet. But also, you do need to be willing to pay for entertainment. The industry has fought for a very long time against the impulse to refuse to pay for entertainment. It's a shame that it seems like it's often Americans who champion this cause, because America is so heavily invested in the entertainment industry. So many domestic jobs are entertainment based, it's one of the nation's best exports.
This is the most realistic response (in my mind) yet.
I mean, that seems like it describes a lot of modern problems. We already know that the justice system does not apply equally to all. It never has. So rights have never been equally protected, yet they still seem to be useful. Because at least attempting to protect rights is better than no protections at all.

That aside, there's a lot of wiggle room on what "rights" you actually have over an idea. We find it economically useful to assign ownership in some cases because of the labour and effort that went into them, but actual natural rights around an arrangement of words or sounds or bits? Not so much. Those are no more yours than a math equation or a sunset.

I don't think rights is the correct way to approach this issue.

Piracy was popular way back when because people were willing to pay, they just weren't willing to pay the extortionate prices that publishers were demanding. When digital stores and streaming came online, piracy went way down because people were absolutely willing to pay a reasonable price for their entertainment.

People are still willing to pay, but part of the problem now is that it's unclear what you're getting for your money. How do you evaluate whether a purchase is worth it if you don't know key things like how long you will have access to the material?

Subscriptions are in this sense better - you pay X amount of money for Y amount of time during which you can access Z list of media. Subscriptions have problems too, but advertising laws mean that they mostly have to be pretty upfront about what you get access to and for how long.

Now that digital purchases in many ways resemble subscriptions more than they resemble physical purchases, it might be time to start explicitly applying some of the same rules so that people can make informed choices to vote with their feet if they wish.
You are very correct. I would be MUCH happier if I knew that the game would have a VERY certain life. Buying a hard copy, to me, says that I want to access it whenever I choose to. So, putting it as a subscription would help me decide how much I want to get it.

This is an interesting conversation. Lots of good points.
 
I mean, that seems like it describes a lot of modern problems. We already know that the justice system does not apply equally to all. It never has. So rights have never been equally protected, yet they still seem to be useful. Because at least attempting to protect rights is better than no protections at all.
It's true that society can run even if some of the gears are grinding, though I still find it concerning if people openly ask for more bias to fix existing biases. Protecting something is better than protecting nothing, but ambivalence to the preservation of rights of other people isn't really conductive to the former. And if we're going to allow that the people with the backing of money and the ability to closely coordinate with others of similar mind are probably going to excel at manipulating the system.
That aside, there's a lot of wiggle room on what "rights" you actually have over an idea. We find it economically useful to assign ownership in some cases because of the labour and effort that went into them, but actual natural rights around an arrangement of words or sounds or bits? Not so much. Those are no more yours than a math equation or a sunset.

I don't think rights is the correct way to approach this issue.
Ideas can't be owned, but if someone is in possession of an idea they can set the terms under which they will share it. If they want to offer that idea for something in return the terms can be negotiated. This is essentially what's being attempted by creating consumer protection laws, but that still doesn't justify dictating what a corporation (in this case) can or can't do when it comes to business. I think the goal should be to find a set of mutually agreeable terms.
 
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