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Digital game purchases: do we really "own" them?

By Leeky
Feb 10, 2012
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  1. Gaming website Rock, Paper and Shotgun has published an interesting piece chronicling the ill-treatment received by one of its readers, a PC gamer by the name of Gimperial, from Valve.The gaming firm disabled…

    Read the whole story
     
  2. Short answer: NO!
     
  3. amstech

    amstech TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 1,455   +606

    Steam and Origin, for the most part, have been pretty good to me.
    There have been some very annoying snags though.

    For starters, Origin denied me getting BF3 for 50% off during 2011 Christmas.
    Days later, they haulted the sale.

    Arrgh.

    For Steam, once in awhile you can't launch a game and get some wierd launch error (ive seen different ones pending the game) which basically means you need to go to local game content and then you need to "verify the intergrity of your game cache", which is cover-up for "we want to verify that your game files are indeed paid for".

    This happens more then it should and a user should never had to fish for a setting to play a game.
    Very annoying.

    I still like Steam and Origin its great to pop and play your games from anywhere or any PC but they still have a lot to work out.

    Account fraud, theft and suspension is handled terribly as well.
     
  4. My beloved country, I weep for thee.

    Greed will be our species undoing.

    I remember while growing up, there was always one kid who could not afford to buy any form of entertainment. Today I see the "same" kid, and he is playing the games, watching the movies, learning the languages, and learning to play a cheap guitar after finally being able to attain some real music.

    If I found a way to copy hamburgers, and thus feed the entire world, I am pretty sure I would be killed within the hour.
     
  5. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,750   +1,105

    You dont' own the boxed version either... just like a music CD, all you purhcase is the right to listen to it. This isn't new because games can now be digital.

    This brings up another question of the future of gaming and piracy. I expect all games in the future will move toward the Angry Birds model. Grand Theft Auto 16 may very well be free, but you'll be forced to watch a commercial between every level and you'll be driving by billboards full of ads.

    They'll probably even have a way to change the commercials/product placement through required updates.

    This completely eliminates piracy. And honestly, it's probably what we deserve.
     
  6. The publishers ultimate goal would be the "arcade" buisness model where you have to pay to play EVERY time. Don't kid yourselves folks, this will be the way of things in the not to distant future across the board. Count on it!
     
  7. This also applies to game guides that Steam are selling. You are actually purchasing a weblink to view the guide via a third-party - A third-party weblink that Steam have no control over. In a nutshell Steam aren't selling an actual product (ie a PDF or similar). With regard to Brady game guides, Steam refuse to mention the true nature of the guide and they only intimate the weblink with regard to Prima game guides.

    When I queried this with a Brady game guide that I bought from Steam, they told me to take it up with Brady Games. Brady Games were equally clueless as to what they were selling via Steam.

    In a nutshell, Steam doesn't disclaim the product pages with a simple, clear, clarification that no physical product (PDF or similar) is being sold and that the product is, in fact, a third-party weblink.
     
  8. TJGeezer

    TJGeezer TS Enthusiast Posts: 385   +10

    Good reason not to send money to Steam. Lots of other publishers around.
     
  9. The copying and spreading of digital data is one of the greatest accomplishments of the human race.

    The devil wants to stunt the evolution of the entire world for financial gain?

    Life will find a way...
     
  10. enocheed

    enocheed TS Rookie

    Some day you will have to insert quarter in your long for an hour of breathing time. And when you run out of quarters you are put into stases.
     
  11. The doom and gloom over this is unnecessary, digital content ownership is still a new and sticky area, but over time it'll get ironed out and various regulations put in place to enforce a set of consumer rights. In the meantime, unless you happen to be particularly unfortunate or violating the ToS then you get a lot more value from Steam than you used to from boxed games. I'm quite willing to sacrifice my right to resell in exchange for heavy discounts, continued support, cloud savegames, automatic patches, etc.
     
  12. jameslr

    jameslr TS Rookie

    The devil's plan worked. Don't you know watching TV and playing video games makes you dumb? :D
     
  13. Love is the absence of fear.
    Bereaving something beautiful from the people is the absence of humanity.
     
  14. I think Obama's heart is in the right place; he will remember it before the end. He may actually prove himself to be a force worth believing in! Too bad the opposing party would slit their mothers thro%t for a dime.
     
  15. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,315   +133

    Wow... I never realized this. I better go back to pirating all my games again instead of buying them. If I lost access to my games... well, its not 250 games, but damn, I'm going to loose a DECENT INVESTMENT, (up to a few hundred dollars.)
     
  16. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,290   +239

    Wow, how did this diverge from the topic of digital software ownership to these abstract philosophical and political observations?

    Gotta love the internet...
     
  17. Going by my own experiences with Steam, I find it a very good service, quite fair and a good value. I'm sure they are not perfect and mistakes happen though they should give someone a reason why they have disabled his/her account.
     
  18. Please correct me if I am wrong but I seem to remember a few years ago someone posted a question asking if Valve ever went out of business would you still get to keep all the games you purchased on the Steam account.

    I guess Valve responded by saying that all digitally locked DRM games would be unlocked so you can keep them. But then I think someone pointed out a piece of I guess Eula or something saying Valve doesn't have to give you squat if they go under.

    I like the first guest post. No, is a quick way to say we don't own squat from digital game purchases.
     
  19. NTAPRO

    NTAPRO TS Evangelist Posts: 810   +102

    Maybe the find print needs to be read more?
     
  20. H3llion

    H3llion TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,254   +222

    Hamburgers would just increase worlds obesity :p But I see your point.
     
  21. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,333   +267

    I bought a physical copy of Supreme Commander 2 when it came out (DON'T JUDGE ME~ lol) and I was rather upset to find out that it was not a standalone game, but required Steam in order to register and play. Heck, it didn't even install from the DVD, it just redownloaded the entire game from Steam, what nonsense...

    At least Steam has not done me wrong yet.
     
  22. ramonsterns

    ramonsterns TS Enthusiast Posts: 744   +12

    We don't own the physical copies either.

    I could think of worse choices than trusting my games to Valve.
     
  23. Ranger1st

    Ranger1st TS Evangelist Posts: 334   +101

    and once again, 'unlocked' copies with private servers gain another 1-2% of the total gamer population.. These companies need to learn that TO survive they need to cater TO the customer.. not beat him over the head with a mace then ask them to pay for said beating.
     
  24. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,750   +1,105

    1) If 99% of people in violation of the EULA weren't trying to steal something, maybe they'd be more willing to give you the benefit of the doubt. "legitimate activity that have been caught inadvertently in the company's security measures" yeah... i'm sure there are a lot of them.

    2) If you think a company protecting their assest and their hard work is greed, you have an entitlement issue. Fighting piracy is NOT greed.
     
  25. The 1%er's incessant will to quench the population's wishes to embrace the future and immense benefits of file sharing is disheartening, discouraging, and outright sad.
     

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