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Op Ed

Polygon - The days of owning games are coming to an end.
What EA is offering in this case is ephemeral, just like the games we buy digitally through Sony and Microsoft and install directly on our hard drives. One day the servers will go down, and the games will be gone. The hardware will die. The companies will stop supporting these services and they'll cease to host games. It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when. The digital coupons for content and games are a great deal for this generation, but let's not fool ourselves into thinking we're buying anything lasting.

We may complain about this in the comments, but the reality of the situation is that this is the future we've built. We support this new age of limited ownership, of products that exist at the pleasure of the publishers and developers. We spend money on games and services, we prop up the minimum viable products that we like and support their ongoing development. We talk about convenience when we buy digitally, and we worry about things like pre-loading so we can play the moment the game is out, but we're ultimately discussing impermanence.

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32 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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32. Ditto. Aug 1, 2014, 10:38 Ant
 
NamecaF wrote on Jul 30, 2014, 05:02:
I've been saying this since Steam arrived on the scene (and has taken off) but everyone seems to think it's the second coming or something. Maybe I'm just showing my age or maybe this generation doesn't really understand what "owning" something means, but we are headed in a really bad direction with the way software and games are heading.
Ditto. This is why I am tired of gaming and computing these days. Yes, I am an internet addict, but not everything needs to be online especially for stuff that don't need Internet like DVRs, single player games, etc. And yes, I am an old fart. Now, get off my lawn!
 
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Ant @ The Ant Farm: http://antfarm.ma.cx and Ant's Quality Foraged Links: http://aqfl.net ...
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31. Re: Op Ed Jul 31, 2014, 11:04 Optional Nickname!
 
NKD wrote on Jul 30, 2014, 08:20:
Optional Nickname! wrote on Jul 30, 2014, 08:04:
Until the corrupted politicians in robes rule otherwise, the first sale doctrine still applies in the U.S of A.

I buy it, I own it. The law says so and Ben Kuchera can go fly a kite.

According to your own link, current case law in the US does NOT support first sale doctrine for software licenses per Verner v Autodesk, and EULA clauses that grant you a limited license are valid.

False. Verner v Autodesk was in the 9th circuit, not the US Supreme Court. In addition to creating a arbitrary 3 prong test, the 9th circuit failed to apply that same 3-prong test in UMG v Augusto.

I restate my accurate claim. I buy I own it.

Outside the US of A, buyer protections are even stronger.
 
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30. Re: Op Ed Jul 30, 2014, 16:25 jdreyer
 
saluk wrote on Jul 30, 2014, 15:20:
Prez wrote on Jul 29, 2014, 21:30:
I've been saying this for a while now. So much of videogaming history will be lost to the ages because of dying hardware and more recently online server requirements. There are ways around a lot of these things but in 25 years will anyone be able to find a playable version of Diablo 2? Maybe, but the real question is will anyone be able to find a playable version of Diablo 3? Whether or not someone 25 years from now would want to play such ancient games (by future standards) isn't the point - this is our gaming HISTORY. Nobody values the Liberty Bell based on well it rings, nor do they judge the value of the USS Missouri based on how it could perform in a modern-day sea battle.

While I care about video game history, the examples you give are kind of poor. The liberty bell no longer rings, nor does the USS Missouri still fight battles. In the future when our old games no longer are playable, it will still be possible to look at screenshots, read strategy guides; and now watch let's plays of them, in order to preserve their historical significance. Even if they can no longer be played.

And yet, there's no reason for them not to be playable.
 
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"Microsoft is the absent minded parent of PC gaming" - Verno
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29. Re: Op Ed Jul 30, 2014, 15:20 saluk
 
Prez wrote on Jul 29, 2014, 21:30:
I've been saying this for a while now. So much of videogaming history will be lost to the ages because of dying hardware and more recently online server requirements. There are ways around a lot of these things but in 25 years will anyone be able to find a playable version of Diablo 2? Maybe, but the real question is will anyone be able to find a playable version of Diablo 3? Whether or not someone 25 years from now would want to play such ancient games (by future standards) isn't the point - this is our gaming HISTORY. Nobody values the Liberty Bell based on well it rings, nor do they judge the value of the USS Missouri based on how it could perform in a modern-day sea battle.

While I care about video game history, the examples you give are kind of poor. The liberty bell no longer rings, nor does the USS Missouri still fight battles. In the future when our old games no longer are playable, it will still be possible to look at screenshots, read strategy guides; and now watch let's plays of them, in order to preserve their historical significance. Even if they can no longer be played.
 
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28. Re: Op Ed Jul 30, 2014, 14:28 Creston
 
jdreyer wrote on Jul 30, 2014, 13:27:
Creston wrote on Jul 30, 2014, 11:47:

I've downloaded about 1.5TB of games (at work ) over the past few months. Every time I get a new game, I make a copy onto my Steam archive drive.

Your IT team must love you. Unless you are the IT team...

*wink*
 
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27. Re: Op Ed Jul 30, 2014, 13:44 BitWraith
 
Yeah I hadn't considered data caps. That would be a tough situation.  
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26. Re: Op Ed Jul 30, 2014, 13:27 jdreyer
 
Creston wrote on Jul 30, 2014, 11:47:

I've downloaded about 1.5TB of games (at work ) over the past few months. Every time I get a new game, I make a copy onto my Steam archive drive.

Your IT team must love you. Unless you are the IT team...
 
Avatar 22024
 
"Microsoft is the absent minded parent of PC gaming" - Verno
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25. Re: Op Ed Jul 30, 2014, 13:24 jdreyer
 
nin wrote on Jul 30, 2014, 09:08:
BitWraith wrote on Jul 30, 2014, 08:50:
NamecaF wrote on Jul 30, 2014, 05:02:
I've been saying this since Steam arrived on the scene (and has taken off) but everyone seems to think it's the second coming or something. Maybe I'm just showing my age or maybe this generation doesn't really understand what "owning" something means, but we are headed in a really bad direction with the way software and games are heading.

Gaben said they have a kill switch for if they ever went out of business. They could release all purchases. Who knows if they would actually do it, though.

That would also need either to have the steam content servers still running, or only work with already downloaded purchases. Which, some of us downloading our entire steam catalog at this point seems like a disaster...


Especially Prez.
 
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"Microsoft is the absent minded parent of PC gaming" - Verno
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24. Re: Op Ed Jul 30, 2014, 13:23 jdreyer
 
BitWraith wrote on Jul 30, 2014, 08:50:
NamecaF wrote on Jul 30, 2014, 05:02:
I've been saying this since Steam arrived on the scene (and has taken off) but everyone seems to think it's the second coming or something. Maybe I'm just showing my age or maybe this generation doesn't really understand what "owning" something means, but we are headed in a really bad direction with the way software and games are heading.

Gaben said they have a kill switch for if they ever went out of business. They could release all purchases. Who knows if they would actually do it, though.

It's less going out of business than selling Steam to a third party. I lost access to about half the games I purchased on Direct2Drive when they sold the business to Gamefly because the contracts were exclusive to D2D.
 
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"Microsoft is the absent minded parent of PC gaming" - Verno
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23. Re: Op Ed Jul 30, 2014, 11:47 Creston
 
nin wrote on Jul 30, 2014, 09:08:
I just cringe at the thought of trying to get everything...I have a 300 gig cap a month, and would blow through that in no time. Hell, Dragon Age is like 25 gig on it's own, and there's a few other titles people have said are bigger.

That's why you need to do it piecemeal, and do it over time, like I have. I've downloaded about 1.5TB of games (at work ) over the past few months. Every time I get a new game, I make a copy onto my Steam archive drive.

Edit: completely fucked up the quote. Fixed.

This comment was edited on Jul 30, 2014, 14:30.
 
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22. Re: Op Ed Jul 30, 2014, 10:39 Mad Max RW
 
With how easy it is to acquire old games freely now I'm not at all worried about catastrophic "what if" scenarios 25 years into the future. You'd have to knock out the entire internet after Steam. In that case video games are the least important problem.  
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21. Re: Op Ed Jul 30, 2014, 09:58 eRe4s3r
 
NamecaF wrote on Jul 30, 2014, 05:02:
I've been saying this since Steam arrived on the scene (and has taken off) but everyone seems to think it's the second coming or something. Maybe I'm just showing my age or maybe this generation doesn't really understand what "owning" something means, but we are headed in a really bad direction with the way software and games are heading.

Steam in particular is a non issue, because you can emulate steam You just have to store the patched games in some way on your PC. I get what you mean, but if you have the will, you can actually "own" any game. As long as it resides 100% on your storage. Games like D3 and all other fake MMO's are the real issues. But then you never owned them begin with, you just bought access
 
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20. Re: Op Ed Jul 30, 2014, 09:25 Verno
 
Prez wrote on Jul 29, 2014, 21:30:
I've been saying this for a while now. So much of videogaming history will be lost to the ages because of dying hardware and more recently online server requirements. There are ways around a lot of these things but in 25 years will anyone be able to find a playable version of Diablo 2? Maybe, but the real question is will anyone be able to find a playable version of Diablo 3? Whether or not someone 25 years from now would want to play such ancient games (by future standards) isn't the point - this is our gaming HISTORY. Nobody values the Liberty Bell based on well it rings, nor do they judge the value of the USS Missouri based on how it could perform in a modern-day sea battle.

Honestly thanks to VMs I think the situation is better than ever before for singleplayer games. Like you said though the real concern is games with online functionality. Look at all of the upcoming Ubisoft games and they underpinned online shit into every aspect. The day will come when they will shut those servers down and the excuse will be that only 5-10 gamers still play it. Personally I don't care if 1 or a million people play it, if I bought it I expect it to be playable. This is really a complex problem though because companies cannot just support a game indefinitely anymore and still create others, most aren't structured like Valve who can live off Steam/Dota/TF2 forever.
 
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Playing: Dragon Age Inquisition, Far Cry 4, This War of Mine
Watching: The Fall, The Walking Dead, Leon
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19. Re: Op Ed Jul 30, 2014, 09:14 nin
 
BitWraith wrote on Jul 30, 2014, 09:10:
I doubt they'd just pull the plug with no warning. I would likely buy a huge HD and just download everything.

I just cringe at the thought of trying to get everything...I have a 300 gig cap a month, and would blow through that in no time. Hell, Dragon Age is like 25 gig on it's own, and there's a few other titles people have said are bigger.

 
http://store.nin.com/index.php?cPath=10
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18. Re: Op Ed Jul 30, 2014, 09:10 BitWraith
 
nin wrote on Jul 30, 2014, 09:08:
BitWraith wrote on Jul 30, 2014, 08:50:
NamecaF wrote on Jul 30, 2014, 05:02:
I've been saying this since Steam arrived on the scene (and has taken off) but everyone seems to think it's the second coming or something. Maybe I'm just showing my age or maybe this generation doesn't really understand what "owning" something means, but we are headed in a really bad direction with the way software and games are heading.

Gaben said they have a kill switch for if they ever went out of business. They could release all purchases. Who knows if they would actually do it, though.

That would also need either to have the steam content servers still running, or only work with already downloaded purchases. Which, some of us downloading our entire steam catalog at this point seems like a disaster...


I doubt they'd just pull the plug with no warning. I would likely buy a huge HD and just download everything.
 
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17. Re: Op Ed Jul 30, 2014, 09:08 nin
 
BitWraith wrote on Jul 30, 2014, 08:50:
NamecaF wrote on Jul 30, 2014, 05:02:
I've been saying this since Steam arrived on the scene (and has taken off) but everyone seems to think it's the second coming or something. Maybe I'm just showing my age or maybe this generation doesn't really understand what "owning" something means, but we are headed in a really bad direction with the way software and games are heading.

Gaben said they have a kill switch for if they ever went out of business. They could release all purchases. Who knows if they would actually do it, though.

That would also need either to have the steam content servers still running, or only work with already downloaded purchases. Which, some of us downloading our entire steam catalog at this point seems like a disaster...

 
http://store.nin.com/index.php?cPath=10
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16. Re: Op Ed Jul 30, 2014, 08:50 BitWraith
 
NamecaF wrote on Jul 30, 2014, 05:02:
I've been saying this since Steam arrived on the scene (and has taken off) but everyone seems to think it's the second coming or something. Maybe I'm just showing my age or maybe this generation doesn't really understand what "owning" something means, but we are headed in a really bad direction with the way software and games are heading.

Gaben said they have a kill switch for if they ever went out of business. They could release all purchases. Who knows if they would actually do it, though.
 
Avatar 57722
 
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15. Re: Op Ed Jul 30, 2014, 08:21 NamecaF
 
Optional Nickname! wrote on Jul 30, 2014, 08:04:
Until the corrupted politicians in robes rule otherwise, the first sale doctrine still applies in the U.S of A.

I buy it, I own it. The law says so and Ben Kuchera can go fly a kite.

There is a world outside the "U.S of A" though, you know. Consider that for a moment.
 
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14. Re: Op Ed Jul 30, 2014, 08:20 NKD
 
Optional Nickname! wrote on Jul 30, 2014, 08:04:
Until the corrupted politicians in robes rule otherwise, the first sale doctrine still applies in the U.S of A.

I buy it, I own it. The law says so and Ben Kuchera can go fly a kite.

According to your own link, current case law in the US does NOT support first sale doctrine for software licenses per Verner v Autodesk, and EULA clauses that grant you a limited license are valid.

It's a different story in Europe, but that's had basically zero practical implications as yet. Having a legal right to transfer ownership doesn't mean that a third party has a legal obligation to actively facilitate a transfer of ownership.

And that's all putting aside the fact that First Sale Doctrine has absolutely nothing to do with games-as-service. If you buy software reliant on a service to be operational, then it doesn't matter whether you own it, or are merely licensing it: Once the service is dead, it's a useless pile of bits.
 
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If you don't like where gaming is heading, stop giving your money to the people who are taking it in that direction.
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13. Re: Op Ed Jul 30, 2014, 08:04 Optional Nickname!
 
Until the corrupted politicians in robes rule otherwise, the first sale doctrine still applies in the U.S of A.

I buy it, I own it. The law says so and Ben Kuchera can go fly a kite.
 
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32 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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