Jimquisition: Sony's Begging For Piracy

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Fun-fact: I played the very last SNES game to be released, Fire Emblem: Thracia 776, entirely on my PSP.

Chairman Miaow:

geizr:

"I love my Vita, and I want it to do well."

This is the basic attitude that I think allows companies to think they can just get away with doing whatever the fuck, to whomever the fuck, whenever the fuck they want without any repercussions or loss, because geeks and nerds will hang on to something and struggle in vain to try to make the purchase somehow seem like a justified or worthy action, no matter how much observable reality proves otherwise. If something is shit, don't buy it. If you already own it because you took the gamble upon it and it turns out to be shit or have shitty service such to render it unusable, then just dump it and move on to something else that works better. Don't keep hanging on in some vain hope that the situation will magically change just because you will it to be so. Just take it on the cheek as a loss and move on to something else. It's not worth the continued waste of time, effort, and blood-pressure pills trying to make a piece-of-shit be anything other than a piece-of-shit (I realize the hardware itself is not a piece-of-shit, but hardware without software and a proper ecosystem of services is nothing but an expensive, fancy door-stop or paperweight). If a company is not going to take an interest in their own product to ensure its success, there is absolutely no reason for you, as a consumer, to bend yourself over the railing. Write it off and move on. If a company continuously puts out shitty products and provides shitty service, don't waste energy bitching about them, just stop buying from them. You're not hurting anyone but yourself to do otherwise, and no one is going to have sympathy for blind idiocy.

Honestly, until the gaming market finally learns to actually punish companies providing poor service and poor products with no sales, this kind of thing will only continue or get worse. As I continue to say, companies hear and understand only two sounds (ever!), the creek of your wallet opening and the slap of your wallet closing. All other sounds are just noise to be ignored. You can bitch until you are blue-in-the-face and die of asphyxiation; however, if you keep throwing your money at these companies, they have no real reason to change one iota to appease you. It's not until the money flow stops that they finally go "Oh SHIT! We need to treat our customers better!".

Not buying it won't necessarily make them treat customers better. As has been seen many times, if something doesn't do well, the scapegoat is usually something external, like piracy or used games. No company is going to turn to the shareholders and say "Yup, it's our fault for treating the customers like shit."

Then those companies can die, and the market moves on. Wasting time and energy petitioning companies that are willfully stupid is just hurting yourself, in my honest opinion. If they don't want to learn and own-up to their own error, fuck 'em and move on. There are better things to spend the time, energy, and money on than trying to convince the willfully stupid of their error.

geizr:
snip

Then those companies can die, and the market moves on. Wasting time and energy petitioning companies that are willfully stupid is just hurting yourself, in my honest opinion. If they don't want to learn and own-up to their own error, fuck 'em and move on. There are better things to spend the time, energy, and money on than trying to convince the willfully stupid of their error.

The only company I have seen who hasn't made excuses like that is CD Projekt Red and they are self-published, so they don't have the whole shareholder issue. The industry would not survive on self-published companies only.

Chairman Miaow:

geizr:
snip

Then those companies can die, and the market moves on. Wasting time and energy petitioning companies that are willfully stupid is just hurting yourself, in my honest opinion. If they don't want to learn and own-up to their own error, fuck 'em and move on. There are better things to spend the time, energy, and money on than trying to convince the willfully stupid of their error.

The only company I have seen who hasn't made excuses like that is CD Projekt Red and they are self-published, so they don't have the whole shareholder issue. The industry would not survive on self-published companies only.

I'm not sure one can say for sure that the industry cannot survive on self-published companies alone. The gaming industry basically started from a lot of self-publishing, garage developers and a handful of larger companies. Some remnant of the gaming industry will survive, I'm fairly positive of that. You just won't have the current crop of big publishers (maybe some new big publishers that are a bit more respectful of their customers). However, in my opinion, if the gaming industry is not capable providing satisfactory entertainment without all the unnecessary, cumbersome bullshittery that they are currently pushing, then, in my honest opinion, it's time to move on and find something more fulfilling and worthwhile to be entertained by.

Just don't buy it; don't pirate it, but don't buy it. That, in my opinion, is the best way to get the message across without getting into a moral morass of hypocrisy and passing-the-blame. If you prefer, go ahead and tell the company why you are not buying their product:

Dear, Sirs,

Your product is a loaded pile-of-manure that is not worthy of my purchase. You have encumbered your product with needless, intrusive DRM that detract significantly from the value and enjoyment of this product. Further, you have engaged in a set of policies and practices in regards to your product that are anti-consumer, de-humanizing, and de-valuing of the product as a whole. This product is not worth the price you are asking nor is it worth my time and effort to attempt to derive enjoyment from its use, as that use has been severely encumbered by the policies, procedures, and systems you have packaged around this product. I will NOT be purchasing this nor any other product from you as long as this situation continues.

Sincerely,
P.O'ed customer

Then, you back up that complaint by sticking to your decision to not buy the product; for instance, I will never buy an Ubisoft game, no matter how great it "looks", because they have established a very strong history with their DRM. I was excited to get Anno 2070 when I first saw it; then, I saw it was from Ubisoft and was immediately turned off to it. Still haven't bought it and, likely, never will because it's an Ubisoft game (by the same token, I will not pirate it, because I think that is just wrong). As I said, I personally think one of the reasons why gaming companies think they can get away with the stuff they do is because they know gamers, no matter how much they complain, will just buy it anyway. The complaint has no enforcement.

Honestly, this industry needs an enema, and a major crash and shake-out may be just the thing. Even so, there are many games out there that don't have all these problems or the problems are to a degree that is tolerable. There are many games that are just more enjoyable and worth the money than the big mainstream, Triple-A titles. Unfortunately, those games don't get the attention they deserve because everyone is focused on the big titles. People forget the gaming industry is very large and has a wealth of diversity once you get away from the corrupted microcosm of Triple-A games. The only thing is that finding those gem games takes a lot of work, something people aren't always willing to do. It's much easier to turn to the gaming-press and just go with whatever is the feature item on the front-cover. It would be nice to have a journalistic stream that focused on the many smaller or lesser known games to bring them to the front of attention. I won't say that they are all great (Indie-gaming is not a panacea), but it gives one a greater wealth of options over the Triple-A titles, which have all become horribly inbred due to the extreme risk-aversion of their publishers or developers. (Seriously, can you even tell the difference in these games today? Back in the day, games were fairly unique in look, feel, and styling. You could tell who developed the game the moment you looked at it or picked up the controller. Today, the most distinguishing feature seems to be which set of DRM hoops you have to jump through to get the damn game to just bring up the title screen)

Sorry, I don't mean to rant, and just to be clear, I'm not saying this in any sort of anger...okay, maybe there is a little anger or at least disgust at the overall direction of the industry, but it's not directed at you. So, please, don't feel defensive or the need to flame. My main point is that unless gamers are willing to enforce their judgement that the quality and appeal of the entertainment they are getting is unworthy of the price they are being asked to pay, then the industry, in my opinion, will have absolutely no incentive or pressure to make any sort of change, regardless of how much gamers complain. Natural-selection works because there are unforgiving environmental pressures that force particular adaptations. In the absence of those environmental pressures, certain mutations can persist without detriment to the organism (very much like the human appendix; it does nothing anymore, except get infected, yet, there is no environmental pressure that selects it out. So, it persists). DRM, day-one DLC, and other horrible anti-consumer practices are adaptations that gaming companies have taken to deal with piracy, increasing production costs, and a more competitive market. However, those adaptations are proving deleterious to the ability of gamers to enjoy games and manage their own costs of supporting their hobby. The only recourse, in my opinion, for gamers is to change the market environment under which the game-companies operate such to make their current practices be maladaptive to their own continued survival (i.e. don't buy it).

Gah! Again, sorry for the wall-of-text post, and again, any sense of anger in this post is not at all directed at you. Just want to be clear on that as I know sometimes it's easy to miscommunicate on forums.

ADDENDUM: Something I wanted to highlight is that I would love to see the gaming-press give more attention to games that are not on the mainstream Triple-A track. I understand that it is the advertising from the big publishers that fund the journals, and so, they have to give the most attention to those. However, it would still be nice to have a little more light shed on excavating those hidden gems. As I said, small and independent games are not a panacea; they have their share of crap, too. However, it does provide a potential out, in my opinion, from the insular, inbred microcosm of Triple-A gaming.

geizr:
snip

Don't worry, I'm not going to get defensive or anything, and I completely understand why you are angry, I am too. The difference between me and you however, is that a lot of the time, I still find that the games are worth it. I bought a Vita because I thought the benefit outweighed the inconvenience by miles. I won't be buying any Ubisoft PC titles because Uplay is a stinking piece of shit that does need to die. I get that possibly the only way to get rid of this kind of crap for good would be a crash, but I REALLY don't want that to happen.

Chairman Miaow:

geizr:
snip

Don't worry, I'm not going to get defensive or anything, and I completely understand why you are angry, I am too. The difference between me and you however, is that a lot of the time, I still find that the games are worth it. I bought a Vita because I thought the benefit outweighed the inconvenience by miles. I won't be buying any Ubisoft PC titles because Uplay is a stinking piece of shit that does need to die. I get that possibly the only way to get rid of this kind of crap for good would be a crash, but I REALLY don't want that to happen.

Well, if you still find worth and value in the game, despite any inconveniences, for the money and effort you have to expend toward the game, then that's fine. Rock on, have fun! My particular rant is for the case when the opposite is true. In such a case, continuing to waste time, money, and effort toward a game or game company that is just proving unworthy of such is just not good judgement, in my opinion, particularly if the company is just being unresponsive to the complaints. Further, the situation is going to be different for different people. One person may be willing to put up with things that another may not. Even so, there can cases where the situation is just universally deleterious (*Looks balefully at Ubisoft DRM schemes*), and there can be an overwhelming consensus opinion that it's just bad to continue investing in it.

EDIT: had to add the "Rock on, have fun!" part for emphasis.

I really really really want a Vita right this second now. Well say what you want about Sony, but at least they aren't Microsoft, or God forbid, Apple. At least Sony would try to give you some sort of freedom of homebrew and then, AFTER it's been abused by pirates, take it away. Where as Apple, Nintendo and Microsoft will try as hard as they can to deny you that right from the start. Hmm maybe that actually is better. I mean after you've had your first bite you'll actually get more pissed off when your blueberry pie is taken away.

hes right... simple as tbh i use to love ps3 but just look at how sony manages the ps3 and the games out for the damn thing then look at pc or 360 n its just meh...

yep, when an illegal downland can get you playing in 15 minutes and the legal one in 15 hours, you really think there's something wrong with the world.
but then again this is nothing new. The japan based companies, sony, nintendo, ect have sucked hard for the last 10 year or so.

ah good stuff. never really followed Jim much until after seeing him at the Escapist Expo :P

There's very few things left in the world that can actually make me laugh at an audible level.

This episode's opening now stands as one of them.

Still can't play Metal Gear Solid Portable Ops on my Vita and still can't directly download any PS1 classic I have to my Vita. The more I look at my Vita, the less I want a PS4.

WickedSkin:
I really really really want a Vita right this second now. Well say what you want about Sony, but at least they aren't Microsoft, or God forbid, Apple. At least Sony would try to give you some sort of freedom of homebrew and then, AFTER it's been abused by pirates, take it away. Where as Apple, Nintendo and Microsoft will try as hard as they can to deny you that right from the start. Hmm maybe that actually is better. I mean after you've had your first bite you'll actually get more pissed off when your blueberry pie is taken away.

Yes, thank god Sony isn't Microsoft or Apple. We wouldn't want Sony to start being competent like those two losers, would we?! INCOMPETENCE FTW, GO SONY GO!

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