The EA Games Service

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RMcD94:
And yet NO ONE offers Linux support!

Wine works pretty well.

"If they don't attempt this in the next console generation, they are idiots."

If they DO attempt it they are idiots. They would be cutting out much too large a portion of their consumer base by going digital only, and thankfully, they already know that and thus won't be trying any stupid digital only schemes for their consoles anytime soon.

Uh dude MS, Sony and Nintendo already have a marketplace to buy games online. They just don't have multi-gb current gen AAA games for sale there yet, probably because of low adoption rate of of high speed, unlimited internet connections.

As for the whole games as a service thing of course the publishers want to go that way. The ideal situation for content owners is that each user pays for each instance of access, like your arcade example. This is opposed to the ideal situation for consumers where you pay once and get unlimited access.

Maybe I'm looking at the past with rose colored glasses but I feel like games were better before they were an "industry". A game developers was just a few guys with a good idea, occasionally they would even have a budget if they already had a success under their belt. And a lot fewer people who used "monetize" without irony in their day to day conversation.

I guess I'm an old fart but I don't see the appeal of online console play. For sports games it is way more fun to have friends over and drink beer, for shooters split screen works great (and for more serious geek intensity local network + split screen). What is a truly annoying modern (>10 year old) trend is for game developers to skip out on local network, direct ip, or player server options and just allow players to connect to their servers. SC 2 is a no-go for me just because of this. And Diablo 3 will also be no sale if they require any kind of connection for pure single player gaming.

Well is it any wonder? These publishers think they have the right to invade other people's property through various agents and remove stuff they paid for. They want to have it both ways and yet people slag customers for feeling "entitled" while they can't even explain why a publisher should be able to pull this kind of stuff with their customers who have done nothing to injure them. The piracy bugbear has now morphed into the the used game bugbear, and consumers cheer because they (Rightly.) hate Gamestop. However these geniuses don't get that these companies are still driving business towards the likes of Gamestop by giving them all of these pre-order deals. So the only one actually hurt by this is them.

RobCoxxy:
EA annoyed me with ME2. I bought it first hand from a small shop in my uni town who (simply to stay in the black) do not do refunds/returns, so my receipt was pointless.

Disc 2 was pre-scratched. This was a fortnight after release I'd bought it, EA wouldn't replace it because I had no proof I'd had it for less than three months. Two weeks after UK release, Three after US.

Physically impossible to have had it for three months.
Unless I'm a fucking Time Lord.

Um... that's your fault for buying from a shop that won't give you a receipt or do returns. Mind you, I'm not even putting blame for this on the shop. They have their policy and it's their right to have it. It's the customer's fault if they buy something from the shop knowing the policy and then get screwed when the product was faulty. Don't blame EA because you buy from a shady dealer.

WhiteTigerShiro:

RobCoxxy:
EA annoyed me with ME2. I bought it first hand from a small shop in my uni town who (simply to stay in the black) do not do refunds/returns, so my receipt was pointless.

Disc 2 was pre-scratched. This was a fortnight after release I'd bought it, EA wouldn't replace it because I had no proof I'd had it for less than three months. Two weeks after UK release, Three after US.

Physically impossible to have had it for three months.
Unless I'm a fucking Time Lord.

Um... that's your fault for buying from a shop that won't give you a receipt or do returns. Mind you, I'm not even putting blame for this on the shop. They have their policy and it's their right to have it. It's the customer's fault if they buy something from the shop knowing the policy and then get screwed when the product was faulty. Don't blame EA because you buy from a shady dealer.

That doesn't make sense. EA said that they wouldn't replace the disc because he could not prove that he had the game for more than three months. The problem with that is that the game was only out for two weeks in the U.K. and three in the U.S. Unless he stole the game somehow (Which they have no reason to suspect him of doing.) three months had not passed since release.

shadow skill:

WhiteTigerShiro:

RobCoxxy:
EA annoyed me with ME2. I bought it first hand from a small shop in my uni town who (simply to stay in the black) do not do refunds/returns, so my receipt was pointless.

Disc 2 was pre-scratched. This was a fortnight after release I'd bought it, EA wouldn't replace it because I had no proof I'd had it for less than three months. Two weeks after UK release, Three after US.

Physically impossible to have had it for three months.
Unless I'm a fucking Time Lord.

Um... that's your fault for buying from a shop that won't give you a receipt or do returns. Mind you, I'm not even putting blame for this on the shop. They have their policy and it's their right to have it. It's the customer's fault if they buy something from the shop knowing the policy and then get screwed when the product was faulty. Don't blame EA because you buy from a shady dealer.

That doesn't make sense. EA said that they wouldn't replace the disc because he could not prove that he had the game for more than three months. The problem with that is that the game was only out for two weeks in the U.K. and three in the U.S. Unless he stole the game somehow (Which they have no reason to suspect him of doing.) three months had not passed since release.

No receipt, no proof. I don't care if the game came out yesterday. Do you really think the customer service reps care about which game you're talking about or when it was released? I highly doubt that. And frankly, you brought-up the very reason that the release date is irrelevant. How do they know you didn't just pinch that from the local WalMart and now you want a replacement for a game you didn't even buy.

So again, this is his fault. Not EA's fault. Not the store's fault. Just his, he doesn't have to share any of it.

WhiteTigerShiro:

shadow skill:

WhiteTigerShiro:

RobCoxxy:
EA annoyed me with ME2. I bought it first hand from a small shop in my uni town who (simply to stay in the black) do not do refunds/returns, so my receipt was pointless.

Disc 2 was pre-scratched. This was a fortnight after release I'd bought it, EA wouldn't replace it because I had no proof I'd had it for less than three months. Two weeks after UK release, Three after US.

Physically impossible to have had it for three months.
Unless I'm a fucking Time Lord.

Um... that's your fault for buying from a shop that won't give you a receipt or do returns. Mind you, I'm not even putting blame for this on the shop. They have their policy and it's their right to have it. It's the customer's fault if they buy something from the shop knowing the policy and then get screwed when the product was faulty. Don't blame EA because you buy from a shady dealer.

That doesn't make sense. EA said that they wouldn't replace the disc because he could not prove that he had the game for more than three months. The problem with that is that the game was only out for two weeks in the U.K. and three in the U.S. Unless he stole the game somehow (Which they have no reason to suspect him of doing.) three months had not passed since release.

No receipt, no proof. I don't care if the game came out yesterday. Do you really think the customer service reps care about which game you're talking about or when it was released? I highly doubt that. And frankly, you brought-up the very reason that the release date is irrelevant. How do they know you didn't just pinch that from the local WalMart and now you want a replacement for a game you didn't even buy.

So again, this is his fault. Not EA's fault. Not the store's fault. Just his, he doesn't have to share any of it.

How do they know he doesn't have a time machine? You see the problem here? They have no reason to suspect him of stealing the item or receiving one early by mistake. However we do know that the game has not been out long enough for the three month limitation to be in effect under normal circumstances. So given the fact that the suspicion that he is a thief is unreasonable and the game has not been out three months, EA's refusal to replace the disc makes no sense. It would be like asking him if he was self-aware and then denying him service because he has no means to actually prove that he is self-aware. (You can only be aware of yourself, you can neither prove or disprove that someone who responds to stimuli in a "normal" fashion is actually self-aware.) We don't bother with such things because there is no reason for us to suspect others of being mere simulations of self-aware beings under everyday conditions.

Well EA is one of the rare cases since thy host game servers for people to play online, this costs them money. Now they want to reclaim that money off people who have not bought the game first hand.

Sounds fair play right ?

Of course other game developers don't host game servers and the multi player still works fine COD series as an example.
So why do EA spend the money hosting their own servers which they are now effectively charing for.
Is so they can declare a game old and drop support for it (sometimes in less than a year) and force you to re-buy a new one.

If you have bought a game second hand which has been dropped by EA (battlefield 2 for example) I'm sure they would still be happy selling you an online pass to a service which no longer exists.

the simple solution would be to let people host their own games like everyone else does and then you don't have to charge for it, nor care about the secondary market, but you cant force people to buy your new products.

shadow skill:
They have no reason to suspect him of stealing the item or receiving one early by mistake.

Err. yeah, they do: If I went to my local supermarket and stole a game, I wouldn't be surprised if the manufacturer asked for a receipt if it breaks. Same with pretty much anything that comes with a warranty. In this case RobCoxxy bought from a crappy shop and should go back to them and complain.

On topic: There is a quite a big difference between Steam and EA's Online Pass. Steam gives you added benefits, such as easy installing, reinstalling and downloadable backups on tap. The Online Pass just lets you into their online modes. Which, given EA's track record for maintaining online modes, may not last too long. (That's not to say that Steam is going to last forever, but if Valve gets into money troubles and nobody buys Steam, then that's confirmation that the whole industry is run by idiots)

shadow skill:
How do they know he doesn't have a time machine? You see the problem here? They have no reason to suspect him of stealing the item or receiving one early by mistake. However we do know that the game has not been out long enough for the three month limitation to be in effect under normal circumstances. So given the fact that the suspicion that he is a thief is unreasonable and the game has not been out three months, EA's refusal to replace the disc makes no sense. It would be like asking him if he was self-aware and then denying him service because he has no means to actually prove that he is self-aware. (You can only be aware of yourself, you can neither prove or disprove that someone who responds to stimuli in a "normal" fashion is actually self-aware.) We don't bother with such things because there is no reason for us to suspect others of being mere simulations of self-aware beings under everyday conditions.

You're taking their logic too literally. EA doesn't actually care when you bought the game (for the most part), but they also aren't going to flat-out accuse people of stealing, so they have to have something arbitrary like "We need to confirm that you bought it within blah blah amount of time" for their CSRs to blab about when someone without a receipt wants a replacement copy. You need to look less at the reason given, and more at the reason behind the reason given. Few businesses will say things straight and direct, you gotta read between the lines.

I wouldn't mind games as a service, or paying for games that are 50% done with the other 50% coming as DLC, but I DO MIND PAYING FULL RETAIL PRICE for such deals. I get less and they get the same money. Seriously, the direction this is going in isn't good for us. Digital distribution is already frakking us up the arse, charging full price for less than you'd get if you bought a physical product. You are making a very long rental instead of a purchase, and it still costs the same. Why? What exactly am I paying here?

All the trends in the video gaming industry such as DLC, Digital Distribution and smaller games would be perfectly fine if they also had an accompanying price drop for such practices. As it stands, it's just milking money out of the customer...

The_root_of_all_evil:
There's a scene from a certain movie that I feel fits here:

Don Corleone: We have known each other many years, but this is the first time you've come to me for games or for patches. I can't remember the last time you downloaded one of my demos, even though your friends have. But let's be frank here. You never wanted my friendship. And you feared to be in my debt.
Bonasera: I didn't want to deal with the DRM.
Don Corleone: I understand. You found paradise in Steam. You had a good trade, you made a good living. The DRM protected you and there were free updates. So you didn't need a friend like me. Now you come and say "Don Corleone, give me DLC." But you don't ask with respect. You don't offer friendship. You don't even think to call me "Godfather." You come into my house on the day my daughter is to be married and you ask me to download - for free.
Bonasera: I ask you for the game.
Don Corleone: That is not the game. Your game collection is still alive.
Bonasera: Let me play it as my friend plays it.

Bonasera: How much shall I pay you?

Don Corleone: Bonasera, Bonasera, what have I ever done to make you treat me so disrespectfully? If you'd bought the game honestly, this DLC that ruined your game collection would be already on your computer. And if by some chance an honest man like yourself had to reinstall, we would let you. And then, you could play the game again.
Bonasera: Be my friend... Godfather.

Don Corleone: Good.

Don Corleone: Some day, and that day may never come, I will call upon you to pay for some more DLC. But until that day, consider this game a gift on my daughter's wedding day.

Holy fucking shit.

This is easily the best post I've ever seen on the Escapist.

Fifty posts in and people are still screaming about EA charging for online play, when that isn't even close to what's happening.

They already did this with Madden 10, if you bought a copy used it cost you ten bucks to activate online franchises. No one bitched then.

Shamus has kindly left some facts out of his article, and now we're seeing a muddled perception of what is actually happening, instead of seeing the truth. Bang up journalism dude.

WhiteTigerShiro:

shadow skill:
How do they know he doesn't have a time machine? You see the problem here? They have no reason to suspect him of stealing the item or receiving one early by mistake. However we do know that the game has not been out long enough for the three month limitation to be in effect under normal circumstances. So given the fact that the suspicion that he is a thief is unreasonable and the game has not been out three months, EA's refusal to replace the disc makes no sense. It would be like asking him if he was self-aware and then denying him service because he has no means to actually prove that he is self-aware. (You can only be aware of yourself, you can neither prove or disprove that someone who responds to stimuli in a "normal" fashion is actually self-aware.) We don't bother with such things because there is no reason for us to suspect others of being mere simulations of self-aware beings under everyday conditions.

You're taking their logic too literally. EA doesn't actually care when you bought the game (for the most part), but they also aren't going to flat-out accuse people of stealing, so they have to have something arbitrary like "We need to confirm that you bought it within blah blah amount of time" for their CSRs to blab about when someone without a receipt wants a replacement copy. You need to look less at the reason given, and more at the reason behind the reason given. Few businesses will say things straight and direct, you gotta read between the lines.

So how does that make it his fault? Couldn't EA say that the receipt isn't enough proof? I think that he should have returned to the store and ask them to look in their records and then gone back to EA. But that doesn't mean it makes sense to say that he can't prove that he hasn't had it for more than three months when the game has not even been out that long. There is no reason to suspect that he stole anything. It would be like a cop coming up to you while you are walking down the street and asking you if you were a prostitute, then saying that he needs to take you in because you can't prove that you are not a prostitute. Is it your fault for not being able to prove that you are not a prostitute or is the cop the one with the problem for accusing, and arresting you without probable cause? The fact that the cop doesn't care about the truth of the matter does not make it your problem, when there is no reason for suspicion. The same is true for EA in this particular instance.

Well, I'm willing to pay if in the end I'm getting a fully playable, complete version of the game.
For example, to get full Dragon Age experience on PS3 I paid for all DLC (except for free ones, included as redeemable codes), so I paid for the game (not expensive) and then twice it's price for DLC. But it's all works for me, so it's alright (well, the only thing that needs fixing is damn Blight Queller trophy, which is just bugged).
And here's a bad example: Assassin's Creed 2 on PC. You paid as much as they wanted, and just can't play it because of some problems on Ubisoft side. That's a crap that doesn't deserve money.

EA should consider that if they want to charge more, they should make it worth it.

Payne121:

RMcD94:
And yet NO ONE offers Linux support!

Wine works pretty well.

Not for me it doesn't.

Low Key:

RMcD94:
And yet NO ONE offers Linux support!

Get a virtual system.

Is that like Wine?

To someone not new to this issue, your article slightly misrepresents the issue. You don't make it sound like they're only charging people who didn't buy it new. I guess it wouldn't make a difference to the running of the whole article but it's good not to misinform.

EDIT: Actually re-read the article and some of the points don't make sense when you take into account it's free for people who bought the game new (like usual). I mean you were talking about buying half a game full price and paying for online. And that's not how it works at all, instead it's like paying half the price for half the game and then paying 1/6th of the price to the people who actually put up money for you to use your servers.

I'm sorry but I feel the article only hangs together, if EA were charging people who bought the game new. And they aren't.

What happened to the good days, back when you bought the game.. oh wait, back in my "good days" i never played multiplayer.. Still, for singleplayer atleast you bought the game and the "DLC" was called an "expansion pack" that you would buy down the road for half the price of the original game. If you didnt want to shell out more moola, then dont, your game will still be fine. Those were some good days. I liked them, but sadly i dont think they will every come back.

Of course i wish the would go back to calling DLC, Expansion Packs. Its a very optimitic sounding phrase. Makes me WANT to buy you. DLC sounds like pre-popped bubblewrap the sometimes put in boxes, you just get sad... and still pay for it.

Delusibeta:

shadow skill:
They have no reason to suspect him of stealing the item or receiving one early by mistake.

Err. yeah, they do: If I went to my local supermarket and stole a game, I wouldn't be surprised if the manufacturer asked for a receipt if it breaks. Same with pretty much anything that comes with a warranty. In this case RobCoxxy bought from a crappy shop and should go back to them and complain.

I know this isn't a game related example but here's something similar that happened to me. I had bought the 20th anniversary Optimus Prime that sold for about $7o, well mine happened to be missing the Megatron pistol that he was supposed to come with and the stores around here were out of them so I couldn't exchange it. I called up Hasbros customer service to see if they could send me just the little 2 inch plastic gun, and they said that they would do better than that and just send me a new Optimus Prime directly from them and to keep the original anyway for their mistake. They didn't ask for proof, just apologized for the error and sent it out to me with an extra Transformers Alternator Optimus Prime with a note apologizing again for their error. That is going above and beyond good customer service considering I was asking about a minor part that I can get on ebay for three bucks and didn't think they would have anyway.

We're the consumer, we are the ones that keep them in business and if what happened to the above poster happened to me with EA, I would never support them again. In fact, just reading it makes me glad that I never buy any EA game that isn't at least a year old and 19.99 new. Yeah, he did buy from a crappy retailer and I'd have second thoughts about gracing that store again, too; but EA (or any company that makes their profits from people buyig their products) should never treat anyone who calls customer service as if they are a theif first and foremost.

whaleswiththumbs:

Of course i wish the would go back to calling DLC, Expansion Packs. Its a very optimitic sounding phrase. Makes me WANT to buy you. DLC sounds like pre-popped bubblewrap the sometimes put in boxes, you just get sad... and still pay for it.

I think this is essence of the problem; the way the big (bad) company's like EA and Ubisoft present themselves.
Even tough most people can relate to the fact that EA has a fair point charging second hand buyers for playing on their servers, it just isnt't positive PR.
Even tough everybody can get an idea of the problem piracy is for Ubisoft when they released their big budget production Assassin's Creed, we all stumbled over each other to burn them to the ground for their DRM on part II.
My point is that I'm convinced that the only way to step into the future and keep making money is by aproching their customers on a positive way.
let them look at the examples made by GoG with their fair prices and extra's, like soundtracks and artwork, Valve with their CEO flying to the other side of the world just to play a mod for Left4dead, Steam with their promotions, mod community support, etc.

We all accept that stuff'll cost money. Nobody likes to think their being screwed (well...)
Make gamers feel like their part of something special.
peace.

EA can go back to hell (where Acti and Ubi are waiting for company). They were doing so good and now they come back with this shit. I swear to god it looks like there is a competition between Riccitiello, Kotick and Guillemot to see whose company can be a bigger dick to gamers.

I can survive buying from my back catalog, Steam and the indies, thank you.

shadow skill:
So how does that make it his fault? Couldn't EA say that the receipt isn't enough proof? I think that he should have returned to the store and ask them to look in their records and then gone back to EA. But that doesn't mean it makes sense to say that he can't prove that he hasn't had it for more than three months when the game has not even been out that long. There is no reason to suspect that he stole anything. It would be like a cop coming up to you while you are walking down the street and asking you if you were a prostitute, then saying that he needs to take you in because you can't prove that you are not a prostitute. Is it your fault for not being able to prove that you are not a prostitute or is the cop the one with the problem for accusing, and arresting you without probable cause? The fact that the cop doesn't care about the truth of the matter does not make it your problem, when there is no reason for suspicion. The same is true for EA in this particular instance.

Again, you're a little too hung-up on the "3 months" excuse when I've said at least twice now that it's more-or-less just CSR speak. I'm not even gonna bother repeating it, just go up and re-read one of the posts where I explain it. As for your analogy about the cop, it's sort of a moot point since the law and business dealings are governed by two completely different sets of rules. A business is allowed to run (mostly) however it wants, a cop can't arrest you without reasonable cause (I mean, he could, but he'd get into a shit-storm of trouble if he didn't have a good reason and/or proof of the crime).

And finally, there's plenty of reason to suspect he might have stolen it: Because people do that sort of thing ALL THE TIME! It's the same reason you need a receipt to make a return at a store, because it's your proof that you aren't just shoplifting items and then "returning" them for cash. And that's why it makes it his fault. As the old saying goes, "Caveat Emptor", or "Let the buyer beware". If he knew that this store doesn't do returns and doesn't give-out receipts, then it's his fault that he got screwed by the situation because he didn't caveat. Or maybe he didn't emptor, I honestly don't know, but the point still stands. He should have bought the game from a dealer that gives receipts and/or does returns.

RowdyRodimus:

I know this isn't a game related example but here's something similar that happened to me. I had bought the 20th anniversary Optimus Prime that sold for about $7o, well mine happened to be missing the Megatron pistol that he was supposed to come with and the stores around here were out of them so I couldn't exchange it. I called up Hasbros customer service to see if they could send me just the little 2 inch plastic gun, and they said that they would do better than that and just send me a new Optimus Prime directly from them and to keep the original anyway for their mistake. They didn't ask for proof, just apologized for the error and sent it out to me with an extra Transformers Alternator Optimus Prime with a note apologizing again for their error. That is going above and beyond good customer service considering I was asking about a minor part that I can get on ebay for three bucks and didn't think they would have anyway.

We're the consumer, we are the ones that keep them in business and if what happened to the above poster happened to me with EA, I would never support them again. In fact, just reading it makes me glad that I never buy any EA game that isn't at least a year old and 19.99 new. Yeah, he did buy from a crappy retailer and I'd have second thoughts about gracing that store again, too; but EA (or any company that makes their profits from people buyig their products) should never treat anyone who calls customer service as if they are a theif first and foremost.

The exception is not the rule. Your story also doesn't give all of the details (which isn't your fault, mind) since we don't know why Hasbro was so eager to believe your story when you could just as easily have been bullshitting them. In any case, unless you have proof that you're the customer, then you aren't the customer. You're just some whiny voice with no receipt.

Mind you, I'm all for giving power to the consumer. In fact, it bugs me when people blindly buy games like Bioshock 2 despite whining about the DRM because it specifically weakens the gaming consumer by letting the companies think we're okay with something that we aren't. However, without a receipt, how do I even know that you're a consumer who should be empowered? If word got out about that little collector's edition Optimus Prime figure, I can guarantee you that millions of people would have been calling-in claiming to have been missing that very same piece so that they could get their own. Then what happens when a legit customer calls-in but they're out of stock so they have to turn him away because they were handing them out en-masse to non-customers?

What you call admirable customer service, I call foolish gullibility. If even one person got an Optimus Prime figure by calling Hasbro and lying about having been missing a piece and then didn't have to provide a receipt as proof of purchase, then Hasbro has horrible customer service*. Just because said customer service happened to work in your favor doesn't mean that it was good customer service.

(( *Edit: Okay, so maybe not "horrible customer service" in a manner of speaking, but if they're giving away free toys then they aren't "servicing customers", they're just doing hand-outs. However, if they ran out of stock and had to turn away even a single legit receipt-holding customer AND there was even one case like yours except the person was lying and got a free Optimus anyway... then they DO have shitty customer service because they fucked a customer in order to aid a freeloader. Next time you wanna sing praises about a company helping you out, try looking at the bigger picture of what they did. Was it really the right thing to do, or do you just wanna say that it was the right thing to do because it was in your favor? ))

The game is 50% finished at launch?!?!? Then don't fucking launch it until it is finished you stupid fuck!! Double the development time and double the retail cost if that's what you need to do to get the game out 100% finished. See how many copies you sell then dickhead. Other developers/publishers manage to release game at least 99% finished (minus some minor bugs), without charging for patches to iron them out. Seriously FUCK EA, they force us to play on their shitty servers that lag like all fuck and then charge us for the privilege, they piss and moan about used game sales despite the fact that almost every product besides food and toilet paper can be purchased 2nd hand and then come out and say "well didn't you know? All our shitty fucking games are only half finished when you buy them!" What a cock. Activision may be just as greedy, but at least they're not a) Stupid enough to release statments like that and b) Forcing XBL gamers to play on substandard servers that don't work outside th U.S.

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Oh Shamus, you and your complaints about EA. Haven't you heard their motto? "EA games, CHALLENGE EVERYTHING"

Clearly they're challenging your common sense on purpose.

I hope we can all agree on that EA is evil, Activison is evil, and MW2 was broken.

And the misinformation continues to spread...

online is free for new purchases. (still sounds weird to say that with a straight face...)

But their server cost excuse is bullshit tho.

When you charge $60 for a game aren't you already saying "This is how much it costs me to run my server for this price and this ONE COPY of the game" whether the game is used or not, isnt the service for that game paid for? its not like the person who sold it still has the game! (piracy not withstanding)

I get pissed of with everything needing a DLC to make it a finished game. Look at Dragons Age, even while playing offline i was still getting jibs for not having paied for the missions i was coming across. I was offline and it was the first few days of the game being out and i was already being told id have to pay out more money to play the game..? Additions added later a few months on, fair enough. look at Oblivion we got the whole game, then when the DLC came it was a massive addition to the game, and worth the money too.. GTA4 DLC were later released as stand alone games.. but to charge me to add a little mission to my game, and add acheivements to it that deduct from the standing 1000.. DLC comes with its own score.
Anyway, to charge 40 for a game their willing to say is 50% complete, to charge at least 1/4 of that again for the rest of the game we thought we were getting in thefirst place, and then charge to play online again on top of XBL subscriptions. All a bit much and a major rip off in my books.

DTWolfwood:
online is free for new purchases. (still sounds weird to say that with a straight face...)

But their server cost excuse is bullshit tho.

When you charge $60 for a game aren't you already saying "This is how much it costs me to run my server for this price and this ONE COPY of the game" whether the game is used or not, isnt the service for that game paid for? its not like the person who sold it still has the game! (piracy not withstanding)

You sir, are a wise man. I was about to post this very argument. Why does EA get to charge "Per user" rather than "per copy"? If they sell 2 million units new, and everyone who buys new gets free online play, then they have to support 2 million players on their servers. If any/all players sell the game to someone else the number of game copies the servers need to support still CANNOT exceed 2 million. This is raw, undiluted price gouging. And to everyone who says that "buying used hurts the industry because you don't support developers/publishers", please just finish your kool-aid and go die somewhere. No industry has ever collapsed because there was a used market.

Great article Shamus (as usual). We see eye to eye on just about everything here, but I still use Steam if the price is right. Personally I prefer my games as property, but $2.50 was an acceptable price over the Steam holiday sale to make up for missing Monkey Island back in the day. So while I don't necessarily dislike what Steam is (I almost never sell my games, I can download games after hours at work then play in offline mode at home, and Steam doesn't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon), I really dislike the message that EA and Ubisoft seem to be picking up from their success. I don't think I'd ever put up with the terms and conditions (and I might add implications) of Steam for a full-priced day 1 release. I'd need a disk and a bit more assurance that the game will always be playable with all features so long as the disk is in working condition (thus, Assassin's Creed 2 can go die in a fire).

people seem to forget that with games services, the digital games they buy won't be on the servers forever. When the server goes offline, the company goes under, or just the passing of time makes it pointless for them to store old games on servers and deletes them, or of course the dreaded "YOUR ACCOUNT HAS BEEN HACKED", all of which means your library and everything you spent your money on is gone. No games to replay later.

RobCoxxy:
EA annoyed me with ME2. I bought it first hand from a small shop in my uni town who (simply to stay in the black) do not do refunds/returns, so my receipt was pointless.

Disc 2 was pre-scratched. This was a fortnight after release I'd bought it, EA wouldn't replace it because I had no proof I'd had it for less than three months. Two weeks after UK release, Three after US.

Physically impossible to have had it for three months.
Unless I'm a fucking Time Lord.

rees263:

You know you were entitled to a refund from the shop right? Sale of goods act / statutory rights / contract of sale?

What he said. Just because they say no refunds, you're still entitled by law to get a refund if your product is faulty.

Nurb:
people seem to forget that with games services, the digital games they buy won't be on the servers forever. When the server goes offline, the company goes under, or just the passing of time makes it pointless for them to store old games on servers and deletes them, or of course the dreaded "YOUR ACCOUNT HAS BEEN HACKED", all of which means your library and everything you spent your money on is gone. No games to replay later.

That's why you back up your games on an external memory source?

While I don't agree with EA, his quote was a bit misrepresented.

John Riccitiello:
Today, what happens with a game is a team is there where you [use data] to improve it, provide great post-release content, new services like we did with FIFA and Madden recently with Ultimate Team. I mean the project is only half done when we ship it. It keeps going.

What he's trying to say is that in the old days, once games were shipped, the game was final. You moved on to the next edition to make things better. Modern games insist that developers make sweeping changes to the game. One could argue that Team Fortress 2 was only 40% done when it came out, seeing as it's more than doubled in content since release.

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