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Online retailers boycott MW2 PC thanks to Steam

Friday, 6th November 2009 08:53 GMT By Patrick Garratt

modernwarfare29

Thanks to the PC version of Modern Warfare 2 including a mandatory installation of Valve’s Steamworks, Direct2Drive is boycotting the game. Like, it’s not selling it.

“We don’t believe games should force the user to install a Trojan Horse,” a rep told Kotaku.

The IGN-owned DD service isn’t the only one taking umbrage: Impulse and Gamersgate are also dropping the title.

Direct2Drive has said it’s now refusing to sell any game bundled in such a manner until Valve has “decoupled its retail marketplace” from Steam’s other services.

This could turn mighty. Hit the link for the full thing.

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64 Comments

  1. Gekidami

    Someone call Randy Pitchford.

    #1 5 years ago
  2. Yoshi

    It has a Trojan Horse ?? XD

    #2 5 years ago
  3. G1GAHURTZ

    Surely that’s libel right there?

    #3 5 years ago
  4. El_MUERkO

    Space Stations, Snow Mobiles and Trojan Horses!?!

    BEST. GAME. EVAR!!!1

    #4 5 years ago
  5. Freek

    Trojan horse? That guy’s mad. Hasn’t Steamworks been received very positively by developers and gamers alike?

    #5 5 years ago
  6. G1GAHURTZ

    Yeah, but he’s just openly attacking a rival distributor.

    This situation is sort of like when the EU was trying to force Microsoft to give people a choice of bowser along with IE in Windows 7 in order to stop ‘anti-competitive practices’. Microsoft were on the verge of just leaving IE out altogether rather than be forced to give people an option to install Firefox or Safari.

    So they just don’t want to sell a game that once installed, forces players to install Steam.

    Kind of strange though, when this is the INTERNET, and Steam is just a google away for anyone.

    #6 5 years ago
  7. Cort

    Hasn’t MS been fined many hundreds of millions for that very same bundling trick? And their additional softwares were not mandatory in that the core software would function as intended if one deleted the superflouos things (in the cases I recall, at least).

    #7 5 years ago
  8. G1GAHURTZ

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/blog/2009/oct/16/browser-ballot-firefox

    #8 5 years ago
  9. Freek

    You install Steam yes, but you don’t have to then buy games through it, you can just use it only for Steamworks. Wich is merely a system for achievements and online play.

    You have the option to also buy games in the future, and that’s what they are afraid of, but the gamers aren’t forced into anything.

    Internet Explorer is something different, that’s the default way for browsing the internet, a far bigger functionality that causes users to be unaware of other browsers.

    In games Steamworks is merely one of many systems for online play, one that the developers are free to choose from.

    #9 5 years ago
  10. ChaosSmurf

    I wouldn’t want people realising there’s a better DD service than mine either.

    #10 5 years ago
  11. SplatteredHouse

    Steam shouldn’t be mandatory. This seems very similar to EU’s issue with Microsoft.

    @GIGA: The clear difference being that, having Googled Steam, the consumer has made a choice to install Valve’s solutions. Currently, for MW2PC, they’re not being given that choice. I can understand other DD services calling shenanigans, where every copy of a game that they would sell, would in the long term, exclude them from any further association with that customer, for the product. (Maybe, they also believe paid micro-DLC for PC, is just round for the corner…)

    #11 5 years ago
  12. Freek

    But they are given a choice. You can buy MW2 anywhere you want, somebody choose Direct2Drive, that’s fine.

    Steam then gives you another choice, after you have installed the game. But you don’t ever have to see the retail side of Steam if you do not want to, you can simply keep buying the games at what ever online retailer you bought MW2.

    That’s not like Internet Explorer wich is on your PC by default, and the default way to browse the internet. Wich means you don’t have to go looking for another browser.

    Steam is simply used for online play and achievements. Something that is also not default. The developer can choose what ever system they want, Games for Windows Live is another choice they could make.

    #12 5 years ago
  13. JonFE

    A couple of points:

    (1) By boycotting the game altogether, D2D are driving potential customers right into the lion’s (Valve) mouth. Isn’t that what they wanted to avoid?

    (2) IW chose Steamworks for a reason. D2D’s issue should be with them, not Valve. Calling Steamworks a Trojan Horse seems a bit rich.

    (3) Valve, Steam and Modern Warfare 2 do not have the market share of Microsoft, Windows or Internet Explorer, so I really don’t see the connection. Not to mention that in both Microsoft and Intel cases, the EU seemed more eager to place and pocket the hefty fines than actually straighten up the offenders’ policies.

    #13 5 years ago
  14. NiceFellow

    Looks like MW2, in addition to targeting sales records, is also out to annoy the most people as well, with complaints about US set combat levels, the whole PC issue, the pricing issue and now this.

    #14 5 years ago
  15. G1GAHURTZ

    @ Splattered:

    I dunno, I just think that PC gamers are a pretty savvy bunch.

    If there’s a good offer on via any download service, they will more than likely just pick the best offer with the ease of just following a link on a blog or a forum.

    I can certainly see why a download service wouldn’t want to ‘take’ people to a rival, but surely it’s not that big a deal in real terms.

    #15 5 years ago
  16. SplatteredHouse

    From the perspective of the Impulses, D2D’s etc. isn’t the historical Trojan Horse exactly what Steam being installed to a user’s PC as part of their MW2 installation, equates to?

    @Freek: Thank you, I appreciate your explanation. In the event of paid DLC/expansion packs, won’t Steam’s retail side be presented as the preferred place to obtain these (as it’s already installed, much like IE)

    #16 5 years ago
  17. Freek

    There is the possibility that they will promote the DLC via Steam.

    But that doesn’t need to be the case, previous map packs (paid for or otherwise) were available at different places.

    #17 5 years ago
  18. endgame

    finally! it’s happening baby. :) this was only a matter of time. heh, i love competition and with every passing day i hate steam more and more. good move d2d, and dd. u r correct in the action that u take. i hope that will win this.

    p.s. u know, now that i think about it, steam might actually be considered as a trojan horse. oh shit!

    @freak “But you don’t ever have to see the retail side of Steam if you do not want to”. 1. retail? it’s not a retail gaming service. anyways nvm that. 2. yes u do! they keep sending u offers!! like spam. omg! i just realised u can’t turn those off.

    #18 5 years ago
  19. endgame

    oh btw! tweet this guys! ppl must know.

    #19 5 years ago
  20. Tonka

    /signs petition

    #20 5 years ago
  21. Tonka

    And endgame; you write like a teenager.

    #21 5 years ago
  22. JonFE

    Give it up Tonka; they won’t be flying you over their premises :D

    #22 5 years ago
  23. G1GAHURTZ

    Did you see this, Pat? http://uk.xbox360.ign.com/articles/104/1042724p1.html

    #23 5 years ago
  24. Eregol

    Don’t a lot of developers use Steam as a way of combatting piracy?
    That, if you can’t authenticate through steam then you can’t play?
    Obviously this fucks up those who don’t have access to the internet, but it’s a good way of stopping these dodgy practices.
    Or is this Steamworks for something completely different?

    #24 5 years ago
  25. blackdreamhunk

    right on i like them retailer save gamestop

    woot wooot woot I love them retailers :) makes me so happy :)

    #25 5 years ago
  26. blackdreamhunk

    man this has made my day :)lol I feel like dancing.

    #26 5 years ago
  27. skuphundaku

    @Ergol:

    Do you know what the publishers (and their in-house developers to a much greater degree than independent developers) use digital distribution platforms for? It’s not to fight copyright infringement (piracy is what happens off the coast of Somalia). Fighting copyright infringement is not really an issue because games requiring online activation are just as crackable as those that don’t so that’s beside the point. It’s all about restricting second-hand sales.

    The publishers absolutely loathe the fact that people were able to sell their old games because someone wanting to buy a game could (and often did) go bargain hunting for a second-hand legal copy. In digital distribution, the publishers found the perfect tool for that fighting against the secondary market because you can’t sell your old games. As a result EVERYONE wanting a game must purchase it from the original publisher. Here’s a few links about big publishers complaining about the second-hand market like it’s the end of the world: http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/ea-second-hand-sales-are-a-critical-situation http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/second-hand-game-sales-are-a-huge-issue-epic http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/second-hand-sales-have-been-extremely-painful-for-the-industry-atari_8

    Bye-bye first sale doctrine! You probably noticed the fact that you can’t transfer a game key from one Steam account to a different Steam account. I haven’t tried D2D or Impulse, so I can’t talk about them.

    The fact that I can’t resell my old games is my biggest problem with digital distribution in general and with games that require Steam activation even for the copies that are sold in brick & mortar stores in particular (like Empire: Total War, Dawn of War 2, MW2 etc.).

    #27 5 years ago
  28. Psychotext

    Given time I wouldn’t be surprised if the PC gaming market boycotts itself into irrelevance.

    Still, I can’t say I blame them for taking this stance. Essentially they’re selling their competitors service for them… and that’s gotta hurt.

    #28 5 years ago
  29. blackdreamhunk

    well if them consoles gamer didn’t piss of pc gamers we would have that problem would we.

    pc gamers don’t care if we want we hack any program to get what we want.

    if i wanted to chare a game with friend I can.

    there is so meny way around it.

    you know where you can point the those nice figures at you the console gamers.

    then gamestop

    finaly the big greedy publishers

    #29 5 years ago
  30. blackdreamhunk

    silly Psychotext pc gaming is too big and pc gamers are way too smart.

    we can play any game we want with or with out game devs.

    but what pc gamer really wants junk

    #30 5 years ago
  31. pleasant_cabbage

    Please say English isn’t your 1st language.

    #31 5 years ago
  32. Psychotext

    I’d be extremely impressed if you could play any game you want without devs. EXTREMELY.

    Unless you want to play chess, or monopoly, or something like that… in which case yes, I agree.

    #32 5 years ago
  33. blackdreamhunk

    sure we can make programs such as emulators, in fact pc gamers can do alot

    oh wait your a console noob you wouldn’t know lol

    pc gamer are the gamers that made these games.

    we have been around alot longer than you

    #33 5 years ago
  34. OlderGamer

    “It’s all about restricting second-hand sales”

    True. Very true.

    But I don’t think pubs are as upset with you or me as they are with Game/Gamestop stealing new sales away from them with used copies for 10% less. While new games become more and more expensive to put on the shelf, retailers are raking in larger and larger profits from used games. I know for a fact that my local gamestop will under order copies of new games. The idea is if I walk in and want one, and they are sold out, I can put my name on a call list and they will call me when a used one is traded in. In my opinion that is just wrong. Instead of paying 47usd per new copy to sell new at 60usd(making 13usd), the store will pay 20usd, sell it used at 55usd(making 35usd). Thats the problem.
    I always buy new. I figure its worth the 5bucks to pay the people that actualy made the game in the first place.
    I always thought of it as ironic. The brick and mortor stores are putting themself out of bizz. They are the reason behind Digital Sales. I also never trade in games. If I can’t afford a new game, w/o giving up a game I own … then I can’t afford a new game. I see games as investments. I buy the thing, and invest my time into it. If I feel I am done with it, I put it back in the box, and put the box on my bookshelf. Because I know that down the road I will most likly come back to the game. After all something made me buy it in the first place.

    #34 5 years ago
  35. G1GAHURTZ

    I’m sure he’s getting worse…

    No, wait.

    He was always this bad.

    #35 5 years ago
  36. G1GAHURTZ

    I know for a fact that my local gamestop will under order copies of new games. The idea is if I walk in and want one, and they are sold out, I can put my name on a call list and they will call me when a used one is traded in.

    At GAME they put similar used titles next to new ones on the shelf, hoping that you’ll go for the used one.

    So they might put used FIFA 09′s right next to new FIFA 10 boxes, or used Saints Row 2 boxes next to new GTA IV boxes.

    It’s pretty annoying having all these used titles shoved in your face when you have no intention of buying one.

    #36 5 years ago
  37. OlderGamer

    I knew the manager at a local Gamestop, he left the store and is gone now. But he told me they went so far as to remove unsold new copies from the shelf. They do this when they start getting a few used copies coming in. Then they return the unsold new copies to the vendor for a 90% refund. Used games is that big of a problem.

    I think used games marketing is going to be the driving force behind Cloud style gaming services. Alot of game devs/pubs are in the red or very close to it. And its easy to understand why, they can’t get paid everytime their game makes a sale. I would like to see the retail guys have to pay a fee to the game pubs each time they make a used sale.

    #37 5 years ago
  38. theevilaires

    This just gets uglier and uglier :P

    #38 5 years ago
  39. Psychotext

    “sure we can make programs such as emulators, in fact pc gamers can do alot”

    …and without devs, what exactly would you play?

    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm?

    #39 5 years ago
  40. blackdreamhunk

    you know wht their Psychotex you good at finding numbers. How about you go and each the topic :0 then come back to me. ;)

    #40 5 years ago
  41. Psychotext

    If you write that request in English I might be able to help.

    But seriously, what games will you be playing without devs developing them?

    #41 5 years ago
  42. reask

    What really annoys me is when you buy a new game and the seal has been taken off.
    I just walk away when that happens.

    #42 5 years ago
  43. OlderGamer

    I got a “new” copy of a Dreamcast game once it had been resurfaced. When I took it back to the store, the manager tried to tell me that it came out of its case. I asked him how he would know that if he didn’t open it. He didn’t have an answer. I got the game exchanged and never went back to that store.

    #43 5 years ago
  44. G1GAHURTZ

    I once bought Metroid on DS from GAME.

    They guy brought it out in some shabby looking box, so I asked him if it was second hand, because I wouldn’t have bought it if it was.

    He assured me that it was a new copy and definitely wasn’t second hand, so I completed the sale and left the shop.

    As soon as I load the game up, what do I see?

    Filled up save game slots!

    #44 5 years ago
  45. OlderGamer

    lol funny stuff!

    #45 5 years ago
  46. reask

    I think Pat covered a story on it a while back.
    It should be illegal to do it full stop.

    #46 5 years ago
  47. theevilaires

    I once bought a used copy of red faction for the PS2 from gamestop. When I got home I opened the case and found out the guy had given me a “greatest hit disc” I was so pissed. I hopped back on the path train and told him to give me a disc with a black label playstation copy or I wanted my money back….little punk gave me the right disc afterward, cost me four hours of my life.

    #47 5 years ago
  48. reask

    Classic TEA. :D
    I hope it wasn’t Abba. :)

    #48 5 years ago
  49. theevilaires

    Whats Abba?, you mean singstar Abba…Mama Mia! :D

    #49 5 years ago
  50. skuphundaku

    @OlderGamer & G1GAHURTZ:

    I agree with you guys that what GAME and especially GameStop are doing is despicable (to put it mildly). Nevertheless, I was talking more from the standpoint of a buyer who wants to buy old games which haven’t been on the market in a long time like Z (from Bitmap Brothers), M.A.X., Fallout 1 & 2, Baldur’s Gate 1 & 2, the X-Com games, Incubation, BattleZone etc… the list of oldies but goldies is huge.

    Fortunately, for these games there’s eBay, gameTZ etc., so that’s not a problem. Sometimes the prices are higher than they were at retail in the first place. Nevertheless, most of the times they’re much more cheaper. Imagine, in 10 years’ time, a gamer wanting to buy the greatest hits of the current generation of games. Most of the physical copies will be unplayable because of DRM (because digital distribution platforms are DRM).

    You will say: “Well, but you’ll be able to download them from your favorite digital distribution platform of the moment.”. That might not be as easy as it sounds. With all the copyright craziness happening right now, I would bet that you will see a lot more brawling happening between IP owners (see the ongoing dispute between Interplay and Bethesda about Interplay selling a new edition of the original Fallout games: http://www.next-gen.biz/news/bethesda-sues-interplay-over-fallout). This is most likely to get worse, so it might happen with a lot of old games, especially when there’s an increased focus on milking established franchises instead of creating new ones. That means that republishing old games won’t be as easy as it seems.

    Also, the current digital distribution services might not even exist in 10 years’ time. Would you, 10 years ago, believed that Yahoo is going to shut down Geocities? How many of the current service platforms will still be running? I can’t say for sure, but I can bet you anything you want that not all of them will still be up and running. A very interesting article on this topic can be found here: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/columns/experienced-points/6452-Experienced-Points-Online-Activation-Is-a-Ripoff

    #50 5 years ago
  51. OlderGamer

    @Skuphundaku

    Good reading, and your right.

    I feel that the future of Video Games is going to look very different then it is today. I see a mergence of the Console and PC. I see a day when we will no longer have physical media at all. I think we will use server side clusters, Cloud Hubs where we will subscribe to and retrieve our games from. I think the same service will be able to be used across multiplatforms(PC, MAC, Ninetendos Living Room Media Center, etc). Think Netflix. I can watch my streamed movies, on a xb360, PS3, and PC. I think the hardware/manufactueer will be a non-issue. Remember the old Sega Channel? I think it might look something like that. It could easily be something the TeleComs/Cable/Sat companies offer. If you want to play Sony IP, you can subscribe to the Sony Channel. A controler could plug into your Cable box via USB, and bang your off. Someday.
    Right now it is kind of like health care, there are too many people making too much money off of the way things work now. They don’t care to abandon that and embrace something new, even if it turns out to be a better system that bennifits everyone else. Its all about money. Gamestop is not going to be excited about Cloud. But just like Blockbuster ignored the online rental/streaming shifts for too long, I think that if said companies ignore DD for too long, they will be cut out of the equation all together. Right now DD is out there because devs/pubs need and want it. It is a way to fight back against second hand sales. It is away to put out the products you want, like new IPs. It is a way to keep creative control. It is away to cut out a few middle men and keep the profits for yourself. And as for the consumer, it offers us more choices, easier acsess, and I think is an all around good thing.
    I hate DRM. But, really that is all Cloud is going to be. Advanced DRM. Pay to play. And I understand why the need for DRM exsists. But DRM needs to refine itself.
    Another consideration is about older games. Devs/Pubs don’t want you playing older games. They don’t care if in ten years your copy of whatevergame doesn’t work. Because they want to sell you a new copy of their new game. If G1GA decided that CoD MW was good enough for him and didn’t buy CoD MW2, Acti wopuld not only loss a sale, but couldn’t rake him through the coals for more DLC add-ons. I think, again, where we will see future “Retro” games will be in backlogs of Cloud style services like the said Sony Channel or Activision Channel.

    I think a lot of cool things are coming our way down the road. I also think a lot of questions need to be answered before it gets here.

    #51 5 years ago
  52. G1GAHURTZ

    @ skuphundaku:

    I dunno…

    I think that as long as there’s a market for retro games, someone will always try to supply them.

    Games like Fallout, GoldenEye, etc are examples of disagreements between rights holders disagreeing, but I think that they’re few and far between.

    But yes, the thought of having to power up a 10 year old 360 (if it still works) just to play a game that I paid for which is restricted to the hard drive doesn’t exactly fill me with pleasure though…

    #52 5 years ago
  53. G1GAHURTZ

    I think, again, where we will see future “Retro” games will be in backlogs of Cloud style services like the said Sony Channel or Activision Channel.

    Totally.

    That’s the way that I see things going too.

    #53 5 years ago
  54. theevilaires

    lol old gamer is pracer? :P

    #54 5 years ago
  55. skuphundaku

    @OlderGamer:

    I agree with your vision. It’s realistic but also rather scary. I say scary because it would imply the users relinquishing almost all control of their content to the publishers. And when you get to that point, there’s the danger of a slippery slope towards censorship because the publishers control all the content and whoever controls the publishers, controls how and what you get access to.

    My idea is that, if games want to reach the point where they’re considered art, like movies and music and all the others forms of art (and some of the more enlightened developers and critics think about this possibility) and escape their niche appeal, then there will have to be a balance between the rights and amount of control of the publisher and the rights and amount of control of the users. The problem with DD is that even if there are a number of benefits for the users, the control lies only in the hands of the publisher, and that is a huge cannonball chained to the ankle of the whole gaming world.

    Relinquishing control is hard, but I think that the game industry is at a crossroads right now: either choose to try and increase control, and paint themselves into a corner and stagnate, or choose to give more control to the users, and open up more opportunities for growth both for them and for the users.

    #55 5 years ago
  56. Psychotext

    Look at that. Some quality discussion.

    My hat’s off to you fellows.

    #56 5 years ago
  57. skuphundaku

    My hat’s off for you guys still following it:).

    #57 5 years ago
  58. Gekidami

    OlderGamer is Pracer isnt he…

    #58 5 years ago
  59. OlderGamer

    “Relinquishing control is hard, but I think that the game industry is at a crossroads right now: either choose to try and increase control, and paint themselves into a corner and stagnate, or choose to give more control to the users, and open up more opportunities for growth both for them and for the users.”

    I agree. This may well be an area where the little guy makes the difference. By that I mean the Indie guys. They are a lot tougher to control. With games like Castle Crasher, Tourchlight, Fat Princess, and other games chipping away it might offer some leverage to keep things moving in a fresh direction. As much as people like CoD, Need For Speeds, Halo, Uncharted, or whatever, I don’t think we need annual releases. In the video game industry, little scares me more then the word “Franchise”. Thats code for same old game.
    As far as games becoming an art form, I think they already are. They are socialy aware, and have a tremendious impact on our culture. They are reflective of world events and personial strugles. As for a greater acceptence in society…to be shoulder to shoulder with music and movies? I think it will get there. Right alot of people that didn’t grow up with games, don’t understand games. To them it is still a kids things. Some devs/pubs don’t do much to change that preception because there is a ton of money to be made selling said games. But I think once the generaly younger gamer crowd ages, games will become a more acceptable, reputable entertainment source. I am 38yr old, I have played games from Pong. I don’t see that changing anytime soon. What I play has changed. And what I look for in a game has changed. But I still play. I think that will be true for most people. I bet some people even looked at TV the way some people now look at games. I know my mom keeps hoping I will grow out of gaming at some point. When she brings it up, I remind her that she bought a Wii ;)
    Last bit, Censorship. I think we have always had it, and will always have it. To some degree it can be seen in the ESRB. But in the broader sense it is supply and demand. If, a game pushes the limits and doesn’t sell … thats censorship. It can’t be assumed that a game will sell simply because it does push the limits. And we can’t be mad if the general public(or even game buying public) cries out against a game that pushes boundries. Freedom of speach goes both ways. The game can pretty much do what it wants. But in the end it will have to answer to the ESRB and the public. If it sells well, then that is their answer. if it doesn’t sell, …. then maybe something needs to be looked at. But please don’t confuse a publishers responsibility to be tactfull and socialy aware with being censored. If on 9/12 a game came out where you could fly jetliners into city buildings to rack up deaths for points … you get the idea, you just can’t get away with doing that. I am not in favor of censorship. But I am in favor of gamers and nongamers voicing their concerns over content that they find objectionable. Gaming is in away a public forum. The game will alaways have to answer to that.

    #59 5 years ago
  60. NiceFellow

    Wow, where did all this interesting depth come from?

    Some thoughts:

    1 – moving to digital, cloud, whatever clearly helps IP owners to retain control and prevent second hand sales, etc. Hopefully it will offer improved service, etc. but currently I see no guarantee

    2 – clearly with games, despite my love of retro, there is an underlying tech shift that tends to leave all titles behind at some point, and I’m sure there are those who like that and want a model where you pay for access for a time then loose it or at least loose the ability to excercise it – for example I own L4D on Steam – Valve may always honour my right to download it, but they don’t have to ensure there is any tech that will run it, therefore my ‘ownership’ becomes moot. Music doesn’t have this issue to the same extent, neither does film (although that could change I guess)

    3 – the huge success of traditionally PC titles on 360 and to a lesser extend PS3 has clearly pointed the way towards a closed platform, high sales, DLC environment vs an open platform, user mods, lots of free content. This is a big issue for me. No just on a cost basis, but a creative basis. Currently, you could create a cool mod, get noticed, get published, etc. You can form a really deep community and have a lot of creativity. On console that’s gone currently. You get the game only, supplied maps only, no SDK, no mods. One thing that would make me feel a lot better would be mods, etc. on console. Funnily enough Sony does allow this, and I wish more people would actually back titles on PS3 vs 360 for this, if only to put pressure on MS to open up. It’s a shame that while UT3 can have mods on PS3 there aren’t many. Of course part of the issue is the mod has to be made on PC then put on PS3. We need to see SDK actually shipping with the game and allowing manipulation on the console – with mandatory K&M I would presume, but that’s hardly a problem.

    4 – Censorship I doubt would change much from today, so I don’t see hat big a difference. It’s there today and its about content and a willingness to make it available, physical vs digital or whatever makes little difference. That’s a battle for society to prevent a government having the desire or will to make such moves. As for games as Art, well they have a lot of impact, are deeply embedded in some of our cultures, but I don’t think they quite cut the mustard yet, mainly because, in the end, they are primarily made to entertain, not to educate, inform or express something. Clearly though they could be, although I’m waiting for the crucial moment when I play a game and think that a videogame was a better medium that a novel or a film or whatever to convey this story and this comment.

    So really, there’s a lot to enjoy right now, but there are for sure some worrying signs, particularly depending upon what you’re looking for. The trend is for controlled, big hits based on repeat franchises and popular content – sound like summer films much – and right now openness and freedom to create and share additional content around titles, plus take more control of the experience, is taking the hit wit this shift (LittleBigPlanet notwithstanding!).

    IMHO anyway.

    #60 5 years ago
  61. skuphundaku

    “To some degree it can be seen in the ESRB. But in the broader sense it is supply and demand. If, a game pushes the limits and doesn’t sell … thats censorship.”

    That’s true. There’s a lot of self-censorship happening because the goal is to make the games attractive to as large as possible segment of the population and that’s why the publishers try to be as tactful as possible, and socially aware.

    I agree with your 9/12 example, but sometimes the problem is an over-abundance of tactfulness on the part of the publishers. Going back to the comparison with art: sometimes, art is controversial. I’m not saying that games should be making light of everything, but that, from time to time, they shouldn’t be afraid to go into more controversial topics and push the boundaries. See the striptease scene in Heavy Rain, or the whole Kane & Lynch game.

    Me, for once, I really liked Kane & Lynch. From a software developer’s standpoint, it was a train wreck, the gameplay was mundane, but the story was something else. Sure, it sell abysmally bad, but I don’t think it was because of its language and brashness, but because its other failings and the debacle its publisher created with the GameSpot review. All in all, I think that Kane & Lynch made a great disservice to gaming in general because when people say Kane & Lynch, they think two things: 1) it was, probably, the most abusive mainstream game ever and 2) it cratered when it came to sales figures, and they’ll infer that it cratered because it was abusive and publishers will shy away from such games in the future. Sure, there’s a Kane & Lynch 2 coming, but it’s from the same publisher. All the rest are conspicuously tame in comparison.

    And, anyway, this is censorship with your wallet, which, in the end, is fine by me. My issue is with institutionalized censorship, like the Australian refusal of classification of games (Fallout 3, L4D2 and probably other less well known games as well). I find that the whole thing is positively revolting because they basically say “We won’t add an 18+ rating because you shouldn’t be allowed to view such content, even if you’re of age. We’ll treat you like children because we can and there’s nothing you can do about it.”. I doubt that there was a massive public outcry that prompted them not to add an 18+ rating. Quite the opposite, they refuse to add the 18+ rating despite the public outcry for the lack of one.

    #61 5 years ago
  62. MushroomStamp

    I have no problem using steam. In fact I like their service and have preordered my MW2 thru them… All is good in my world :)

    #62 5 years ago
  63. OlderGamer

    Nice chat guys. And some great points all around. For the record I use Steam too. If your a few years older and have fond memories of Diablo, I urge you to try TourchLight. Man I love that game.

    As for the Aussie situation….Thats a bad thing. Not too sure, but I believe Germany is also having some trouble. I think there should deffenetly be a adult/mature rating system in place in Aussie. I understand that gov to be very conservitive and it said to be out of place. That will most likly change with time as the now younger demographics age and come into positions of authority. I guss in time it will get better. My heart goes out to them now tho.

    #63 5 years ago
  64. skuphundaku

    Yup, nice one!:) Also for the record, I use Steam too, but only because I was forced by F.E.A.R. 2, Empire: Total War and Dawn of War II.

    As for Torchlight, Max Schaefer and Erich Schaefer, which are two of the co-founders of Runic Games, were also co-founders of Blizzard North, the company that developed Diablo and Diablo 2. So Torchlight might turn out to be closer to the Diablo of old than Blizzard’s own Diablo 3. Now I have officially heard too many people saying nice things about Torchlight not to try it at least.

    #64 5 years ago

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