Jimquisition: Air Control - A Steam Abuse Story

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Darknacht:

Infernal Lawyer:
Nice to see, yet again, people are making no shortage of excuses for the developers. Look, I get that consumer responsibility is very much a thing, but shouldn't the person selling the crap or being dishonest while selling it be held accountable too? And anyway, how does the whole "do your research" argument hold any weight when the developer is actively removing criticism and falsifying praise? Are they STILL blameless when you buy their product based on lies and misinformation?

Honestly, eventually we have to stop putting all of the blame on the customer and say "actually, you know what, this is unacceptable; not only does this pass the boundaries of subjective quality, being undeniably trash, your dishonesty, thievery of copyrighted material and censorship of criticism goes beyond the pail, and should not be sold for actual money".

There are plenty of bad review of the game on steam its not like they are being removed. The argument most people are making is that it should not be removed from the store not they Steam should not fix the problem of deceptive descriptions and dev moderation of the forums.

Just because the developer doesn't spend every hour of the day deleting criticism doesn't mean s/he never has. Who knows, maybe they only just learned what the Streisand effect is.

Also, why shouldn't it be removed from the store if the developers can't handle being honest about their product, and goes against even Valve's lax rules? Or are you talking about in general?

InfamousDS:
Unmitigated trash is bad. You can argue that having trash in the park makes the grass look greener, but it still doesn't change the fact that sooner or later the grass WILL die because of that trash.

I'm a programmer and as part of my training I had to take website and user-interface design courses. The one truth that is universal to good design is informative minimalism. Convey as much information in 5 seconds that you can with as little on screen as possible, because users will not devote more time than that in passing. We can all deny that we don't do this, but that's just how the brain works and we have to consciously decide to investigate further past those 5 seconds.

Which brings me back to my first statement. Trash like Air Control on Steam takes away from those 5 seconds by taking the place of another game which may be more deserving of the passing glance. Having a cluttered or overpopulated store inhibits purchasing by creating information overload and/or decision paralysis, which is bad design. Steam is better than that, which is why they need QA and QC to function. With AAA taking up spaces just by existing, real estate is extremely valuable to indies. Sure its good for a laugh to have bad games and makes the other games nearby look much better by comparison, but sooner or later the trash will choke the grass and we will all lose something valuable.

Thats why steam needs to redesign their main page and build a decent recommendations system for it. If you look at most good digital store fronts they are filled with things they think you may like based on your browsing history/stuff you've rated, the exception seems to be video game distributor, such as steam, that seem to be a little slow and have not yet realized that people are more likely to make a perchance of an item, that they had not already decided to by before they loaded the sight, if you show them an item they are more likely to want rather than a selection of new, popular, and featured items that they care nothing about.

Infernal Lawyer:
Just because the developer doesn't spend every hour of the day deleting criticism doesn't mean s/he never has. Who knows, maybe they only just learned what the Streisand effect is.

Also, why shouldn't it be removed from the store if the developers can't handle being honest about their product, and goes against even Valve's lax rules? Or are you talking about in general?

There are a continuous stream of bad reviews going back to May 9th and the vast majority of the reviews are bad so if the dev is removing negative reviews they are doing a terrible job of it. Valve just needs to stop letting the devs have full rain of the Steam community hub for their games, this is incredibly unprofessional and would fix many of the problems of deception. And Steam should pay more attention to flagged deceptive descriptions, videos, and screen shots.

Same shit, different week.
I'm expecting this to become more frequent, at least until the dumbfuck consumer base learns to stop buying games blindly, or until big daddy Steam gets up and holds their hand for them.

Well buyer beware I guess. Honestly I think steam should remain the way it is. If you start policing games where does it end? If someone buys a game these days without watching a third party game play video they get what they deserve. I honestly don't know a single person that will drop money on a game in steam based on the developer's description and screenshots alone, unless they are familiar with them already. I am in favor of requiring more votes for green light though.

The freedom of steam is a double edged sword.

I have to admit I'm a bit shocked. For a second I was considering playing Devil's advocate, thinking this was some game with a really quirky concept or something, looking at the plane flying through what seems to be a cave full of spikes, and the bones and vicera (badly rendered) filling the plane. I'm a fan of horror games and though "well, maybe this is about a plane going through a portal to hell or something, and it was a high concept work by developers that didn't have skill to pull it off and were performing a labor of love"... but no, it's nothing like that in presentation, so I can't even argue an amateur game maker learning and releasing a cheap product... especially since this is apparently not the first problem with "Killjoy".

I am shocked it wasn't pulled yet, I do have to wonder what STEAM is thinking, they can't be oblivious to the issues because they get constant criticisms, and the garbage and shovelware is constant. I mean cripes, these guys didn't even have a cool, offbeat, idea of the "WTF" school. It's pretty much being presented as a "full plane" simulator.

At any rate, I think we might have a candidate to invoke for "worst game ever made". Or at least "worst flight simulator".

If this is a joke, the devs should understand totally screwing people isn't funny. Things like "Goat Simulator" kind of show how to do it right. :)

Therumancer:
If this is a joke, the devs should understand totally screwing people isn't funny. Things like "Goat Simulator" kind of show how to do it right. :)

Go look at the games steam page before you judge how much you think its screwing people, its very obvious that its a joke even if its a bad one and its actually funny to play and laugh at. The dev really should not be lying and censoring people though I suspect that he is doing it for kicks and attention more than anything else, after all if people like Jim did not freak out about the game than no one would know about it. I suspect steam has not pulled it yet because its clearly a joke and some people do enjoy playing the absurd game. The bigger problem isn't that Steam is not pulling the game or that he is trolling his customers but that steam gives devs the ability to censor people and that they ignore reports of deceptive game descriptions(although this game putting "Try the best flight simulation in the history of computer games today!" as its description really isn't any more deceptive what many big budget games do).

Looking back at what was left uncensored by dev, there is plenty of negative stuff posted about the game being shit and needing to be taken down that did not get removed like Jims videos and what not did. Its quite possible that the dev specifically censored things that he thought would piss people off enough to get videos made about.

Hazy992:
This shit is getting beyond parody now. This is going to kill Steam in the long run, virtual monopoly or not. Valve's credibility is going to be in tatters.

If selling human on dinosaur erotic "literature" didn't kill off Amazon's place in the market, then Air Control won't kill off Steam's.

Darknacht:

Therumancer:
If this is a joke, the devs should understand totally screwing people isn't funny. Things like "Goat Simulator" kind of show how to do it right. :)

Go look at the games steam page before you judge how much you think its screwing people, its very obvious that its a joke even if its a bad one and its actually funny to play and laugh at. The dev really should not be lying and censoring people though I suspect that he is doing it for kicks and attention more than anything else, after all if people like Jim did not freak out about the game than no one would know about it. I suspect steam has not pulled it yet because its clearly a joke and some people do enjoy playing the absurd game. The bigger problem isn't that Steam is not pulling the game or that he is trolling his customers but that steam gives devs the ability to censor people and that they ignore reports of deceptive game descriptions(although this game putting "Try the best flight simulation in the history of computer games today!" as its description really isn't any more deceptive what many big budget games do).

A fair point, but that's a problem inherent in free speech not being protected against other citizens. On a private forum, the forum owner can choose to censor whatever they want and represent it however they want. That shouldn't be legal, citizens having more power over other citizens than elected officials, and I'm been saying so for many years now, but it is.

At the end of the day Valve is a business, no matter how well loved they are. They want to sell games, and attract developers, as such they have a vested interest in not hosting tons of negative reviews. You see similar things on Amazon, Drivethru RPG, and other business sites all the time. Ideally you'd think this kind of deception would lead to customers turning on the sites, but it doesn't happen, especially as today's digital sales sites hook their customers. If you say own 100+ games on STEAM it's not likely that your going to stop using STEAM based on them allowing developers to lie about your products, you'll complain about it like your seeing now, but you won't actually do anything, and inevitably your going to probably still buy from them just to keep your games organized in one general place, and not having to juggle multiple services/distribution platforms.

You are 100% correct, but it comes down to a much larger issue, and one that gets very touchy. The thing about laws is that they have to be universal, the law cannot be subjective. The counter-argument is that if the government DID protect free speech from other citizens, which I feel is the lesser of evils, it would give spammers a free reign, and it also means people are able to talk smack and malign you on your own, personal, forums which is something people can agree with when it comes to a company pushing a defective product, but takes on a different life when you consider that people could call your personal website and fill it with nothing but negative stuff about you.

At the end of the day, as I said, I feel the proper course is to simply make communications a "free fire" zone entirely and to disallow citizens from censoring other citizens, but it's not as straightforward as it sounds and something that inspires a lot of discussion and debate. In the end, I don't think it will ever happen, largely because media companies that make a living based on controlling forums would never allow it, and the BIG crooked businesses that rely on information control are of course going to be donating big bucks to the politicians. The little players like "Killjoy" just get to benefit from it.

This also means that I think STEAM knows what's going on and what the issues are, it just doesn't much care, which is why things like this continue and It takes days for responses even when there are huge numbers of complains. People might like Gabe and his company, but at the end of the day your still dealing with one of the biggest online
businesses there is, and it's all about the money, and frankly with the situation they have created for themselves the bigger a customer you are, the more toothless you are because the more you already rely on their service and them to provide products you've purchased. As a lot of critics have pointed out STEAM has huge numbers of gamers by the balls, and while it's not as ruthless as it could be, it's well aware of that fact.

Pedro The Hutt:

Hazy992:
This shit is getting beyond parody now. This is going to kill Steam in the long run, virtual monopoly or not. Valve's credibility is going to be in tatters.

If selling human on dinosaur erotic "literature" didn't kill off Amazon's place in the market, then Air Control won't kill off Steam's.

Yep, some things sold on Amazon and labeled as serious products: UFO detectors, gallons of milk, Fresh Whole Rabbit, and used condoms and thats nothing compared to the stuff that gets posted on ebay.

Pedro The Hutt:

Hazy992:
This shit is getting beyond parody now. This is going to kill Steam in the long run, virtual monopoly or not. Valve's credibility is going to be in tatters.

If selling human on dinosaur erotic "literature" didn't kill off Amazon's place in the market, then Air Control won't kill off Steam's.

You know what I mean -_- I'm not talking about Air Control in particular, I'm talking about the complete lack of quality assurance on Steam as of late. This will absolutely kill Valve's credibility in the long run.

Between games like this, Guise of The Wolf, Day One: Garry's Incident, The War Z, 7 Days to Die, Earth: Year 2066 and god knows whatever else, unless Valve get their act together and actually vet some of this shit then people are going to lose faith in the service.

And let's not forget all the games from 10-15 years ago that are just shat on to the storefront with absolutely no requisite that they actually work properly. Valve are willingly selling broken products at this point, and thinking that this isn't going to hurt them in the long term is just being naive.

I know anecdotal evidence doesn't really count for much, but speaking only for myself I can say that I now have very little interest in going to the Steam storefront anymore. I don't feel like wading through piles and piles of utter shit to find something that might be interesting.

I've been through the steam reviews, and 99% of the reviews shit all over it. The 1% are either developers associates or sarcastic "ironic" reviews that describe it as avant garde art.

Although this is my favourite (positive) review of all

"It is a very good computer, I am very good at this game. I love you so much! I'm your computer, there is a problem with the poor people are lame. I especially love the excitement of fashion! This is one of the best games I've played for a long time, but he is a flight simulator, when I heard that I was expecting, but what exactly."

-Courtesy of Steam User "Salad Forks!"

Good thing you called it out Jim.

Also, that tie just doesn't work with the background, red works much better.

Aardvaarkman:
That's only an issue if Steam is the only player in the market. If Steam rejects it, then another company can sell the game. Address the real problem - Steam having too much influence - not the symptoms.

First: Steam is not the only player on the market, but every indie who has given sales numbers has shown that they get 90%+ of their sales off Steam. If you want to actually make money off your game, you want Valve to carry it. It is disingenuous to say "Well, just sell it off of some other platform" when you're basically telling the developers to cut their revenues by an order of magnitude.

You can make the point that Steam is too powerful, and I would agree with that (though I think the problem is more one of a lack of good alternatives, rather than the problem with consumer behavior you've characterized it as). However, that is not germane to the point I am making, which is that if Steam takes an active role in censoring, it will have a chilling effect on indie developers. We've seen it before--when Wal-Mart ramped up censoring of artists they deemed family-unfriendly back in the early aughts, it had a chilling effect on the music business, for example. It doesn't matter that there were dozens of other record stores out there, Walmart was the biggest brick-and-mortar distributor so publishers and artists started self-censoring, because they didn't want to lose more than half their income.

Aardvaarkman:
Steam already has subjective reasons for not selling some games, so this "problem" already exists. What would an "objective" criteria for a "good game" look like, anyway?

There's more to a problem than "does it exist or not." I don't know what subjective criteria you are referring to, but I don't think the fact that there are already subjective criteria for getting a game on Steam should mean we're OK with changing Steam such that publishing with them is an entirely subjective process.

More to the point, you've looped right back around to my original point, which is that there is not an objective criteria for a game that would not eliminate entire niches worth of titles. Since there's no way to consistently and fairly police what goes on Steam and what doesn't, we shouldn't be demanding that Valve try to curate for us when it is impossible to do so without deleterious effects.

I feel like I should say something about how games like these hurt other games, hurts Steams sales in general, confidence in Steam as a platform, is outright criminal and so on... but I'd just repeating what Jim and some commentators are saying.

So I'll just settle with saying this: I agree with you Jim, show no mercy.

Darknacht:

InfamousDS:
Unmitigated trash is bad. You can argue that having trash in the park makes the grass look greener, but it still doesn't change the fact that sooner or later the grass WILL die because of that trash.

I'm a programmer and as part of my training I had to take website and user-interface design courses. The one truth that is universal to good design is informative minimalism. Convey as much information in 5 seconds that you can with as little on screen as possible, because users will not devote more time than that in passing. We can all deny that we don't do this, but that's just how the brain works and we have to consciously decide to investigate further past those 5 seconds.

Which brings me back to my first statement. Trash like Air Control on Steam takes away from those 5 seconds by taking the place of another game which may be more deserving of the passing glance. Having a cluttered or overpopulated store inhibits purchasing by creating information overload and/or decision paralysis, which is bad design. Steam is better than that, which is why they need QA and QC to function. With AAA taking up spaces just by existing, real estate is extremely valuable to indies. Sure its good for a laugh to have bad games and makes the other games nearby look much better by comparison, but sooner or later the trash will choke the grass and we will all lose something valuable.

Thats why steam needs to redesign their main page and build a decent recommendations system for it. If you look at most good digital store fronts they are filled with things they think you may like based on your browsing history/stuff you've rated, the exception seems to be video game distributor, such as steam, that seem to be a little slow and have not yet realized that people are more likely to make a perchance of an item, that they had not already decided to by before they loaded the sight, if you show them an item they are more likely to want rather than a selection of new, popular, and featured items that they care nothing about.

That is probably the only way to appease their end goals and the users simultaneously. True censorship would kill innovation, which would reduce the odds significantly that the next indie smash hit would land at the store. But everyday users don't want to have 30ish new games presented to them in a near constant stream which is just barely filtered (if at all). The best solution is to use the metrics we know for a fact they gather and implement new design based on it. Even new users would benefit from some metrics-based redesign, because it would most likely show the highest rated or highest grossing titles in the distinct genres that Steam uses.
Taken a step further, they could create social-media style pages for every user which is updated automatically. For the user, it serves as the Store home page. For anyone else, it is a good idea of what that user likes to play and buy and serves as a metric that friends could share at a glance. Add in some sticky functions (preferred recommendations which never get replaced or a public wish list), and personalization happens.
And they don't have to get rid of the rabbit hole which hides beneath the Store main page. People who feel like browsing can and should have access to the unfiltered Store, but they would need to implement much better results filtering for searches (it's less than ideal).
Bam! Instant user satisfaction, no more Air Control showing up in the general population, and Air Control still gets to exist for the niche who hunted it out or those who might enjoy it.

RvLeshrac:

Evonisia:

RvLeshrac:
Watch_Dogs doesn't launch for many people. Some were banned from UPlay for "too many attempts" to activate because keys would not work. To this day, multiplayer will not work for many PC and XBOne users. It was intentionally broken, by the developer, on AMD PC hardware.

"4.5/5" -Jim Sterling

Did you miss the PS4 (Reviewed) part of that review? I'm sure the score would be much lower if he had played the PC version. Maybe even if he reviewed the Xbox One version (I'm not sure whether the whole multiplayer being broken thing is true).

And the issue is that it *doesn't fucking matter* which version was reviewed at the end of the day, it doesn't excuse releasing broken garbage and charging $60 for it, but the only site that has actually covered their broken shit is RockPaperShotgun which, conveniently, is the only site that didn't give it a glowing, faultless review.

Except his game wasn't broken, his rating was uninterrupted by the PC disaster or the Xbox One troubles.

It's unfair to mark a game down for being broken when you played it and it wasn't broken.

Thanatos2k:
Yes it is, because it's not their store - it's Valve's store.

Not sure the distinction matters. Does Publix or Walmart allow consumers to stand by products and shout reviews at people who look at the products?

It would be like Best Buy stifling your ability to express opinions about whether or not Panasonic makes good TVs while you're in the store.

Go into a Best Buy and start complaining loudly about their products to other customers and tell me what happens.

It would be Newegg allowing Intel to moderate the reviews of a product it sells. That's ridiculous, and wrong.

Newegg specifically builds it's business around having legitimate reviews in the same way Amazon does. Steam is not that company.

Look, I'm not defending lying about a product. But where evidence is lacking there is a burden on the consumer to do some basic research. The biggest problem here is that information isn't lacking, it's abundant but only one side. The company also lies in what it's promising. So misinformation is wrong. I know here we've seen a lot of arguments that the burden isn't on the consumer to do the research but this isn't snakeoil salesman days where there isn't other places to do research before shelling out cash.

What's more is that on the Steam page, I'm scrolling through pages of "do not recommend" reviews on the game page dating back from the 23rd (the day of release). So the lack of information may not be as much to blame here as the fact that it exists at all.

Hazy992:

Pedro The Hutt:

Hazy992:
This shit is getting beyond parody now. This is going to kill Steam in the long run, virtual monopoly or not. Valve's credibility is going to be in tatters.

If selling human on dinosaur erotic "literature" didn't kill off Amazon's place in the market, then Air Control won't kill off Steam's.

You know what I mean -_- I'm not talking about Air Control in particular, I'm talking about the complete lack of quality assurance on Steam as of late. This will absolutely kill Valve's credibility in the long run.

Between games like this, Guise of The Wolf, Day One: Garry's Incident, The War Z, 7 Days to Die, Earth: Year 2066 and god knows whatever else, unless Valve get their act together and actually vet some of this shit then people are going to lose faith in the service.

And let's not forget all the games from 10-15 years ago that are just shat on to the storefront with absolutely no requisite that they actually work properly. Valve are willingly selling broken products at this point, and thinking that this isn't going to hurt them in the long term is just being naive.

I know anecdotal evidence doesn't really count for much, but speaking only for myself I can say that I now have very little interest in going to the Steam storefront anymore. I don't feel like wading through piles and piles of utter shit to find something that might be interesting.

No I'm serious, Amazon sells some serious nonsense, some amazingly awful products, and stuff that is beyond the bizarre. And yet it remains the most prolific online retailer out there. The only difference is that those don't make it to the front page on Amazon so you would be forgiven for thinking Amazon only sells good things. That is the only thing Valve needs to change, make some changes to how the front page works and things would be golden.

Plus, not all developers can be good starting with their very first game. Their first game would be a good chance to get feedback that they can apply to their second game, how are you expecting them to get feedback if it's going to get barred from being on Steam ~at all~ because it's not 8/10 material?

People are allowed to sell stuff you don't like. People are allowed to buy stuff you don't like. Valve doesn't need to spend any amount of money to protect anyone from their own poor purchasing decisions.

SecondPrize:
People are allowed to sell stuff you don't like. People are allowed to buy stuff you don't like. Valve doesn't need to spend any amount of money to protect anyone from their own poor purchasing decisions.

Any software Steam sells takes up server space and bandwidth. Any customer complaints take up the time of paid employees in addition to the loss of revenue. It is entirely within Steam's interests to run quality control on the products they sell.

Jim's "teddy bear full of glass" analogy was a bit over the top, but Toys-R-Us certainly does not waste shelf space or employee man-hours on shoddy products that do not sell or, worse, generate customer complaints.

MinionJoe:

SecondPrize:
People are allowed to sell stuff you don't like. People are allowed to buy stuff you don't like. Valve doesn't need to spend any amount of money to protect anyone from their own poor purchasing decisions.

Any software Steam sells takes up server space and bandwidth. Any customer complaints take up the time of paid employees in addition to the loss of revenue. It is entirely within Steam's interests to run quality control on the products they sell.

Jim's "teddy bear full of glass" analogy was a bit over the top, but Toys-R-Us certainly does not waste shelf space or employee man-hours on shoddy products that do not sell or, worse, generate customer complaints.

Complaints are handled by people whose job it is to handle complaints. Their salary is already blocked out and this game being in the marketplace doesn't add to that cost. What it does do is generate sales, because people will buy this game. Some crazy bastards will actually enjoy it. Some may buy it to see if it's really that awful. Some may buy it to gift to a friend as a joke. Some may buy it to stream or let's play it. No matter how shit a game is, reasons exist for people to buy it.

As far as I'm concerned, the right of people to buy crap far outweighs the desire of people to not see crap cluttering up the steam marketplace. Not when there are tabs on the steam store other than recently released. Not when it's 2014 and the resources available to read about and actually watch games played, in their entirety even, are abundant. So Jim Sterling thinks this game is crap, other people think this game is crap. Just from watching the video I'm pretty sure that theirs will be the popular opinion on the matter. So fucking what? No one has forced them to buy it and implementing some quality control to keep stuff that others want to buy out of the store isn't the way to go.

Now the devs should have the shit slapped out of them in court if they've used assets they don't have the right to use, but barring an injunction there's no reason this shouldn't be available for purchase.

air control is an example of a developer shitting his britches. its like a britches holocaust.

Lightknight:

Thanatos2k:
Yes it is, because it's not their store - it's Valve's store.

Not sure the distinction matters. Does Publix or Walmart allow consumers to stand by products and shout reviews at people who look at the products?

Why are you mischaracterizing it as "shouting reviews at people"? (Actually, I do know - the old "use hyperbole to characterize the argument you can't debunk" tactic) Does Publix or Walmart FORBID you from discussing products negatively while in their store with other people in the checkout line?

Besides, the Steam forum is a place people voluntarily go to GET INFORMATION. It is Walmart banning negative reviews of a product when their web site encourages customers to review a product. There's no "shouting" - Steam reviews are Steam asking you for feedback. Steam forums are letting customers report issues or express opinions and then letting developers quash anything they don't like. This is nothing similar to what you're describing and nothing like this occurs in any other store anywhere. If Walmart started doing stuff like this you'd better believe people would start shouting, but not for the reason you're suggesting.

It would be like Best Buy stifling your ability to express opinions about whether or not Panasonic makes good TVs while you're in the store.

Go into a Best Buy and start complaining loudly about their products to other customers and tell me what happens.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128571

Look at that. Lots of people complaining loudly about a product. Newegg hasn't deleted all of those reviews, however. I wonder why?

Same with bestbuy.com. Go on, look.

It would be Newegg allowing Intel to moderate the reviews of a product it sells. That's ridiculous, and wrong.

Newegg specifically builds it's business around having legitimate reviews in the same way Amazon does. Steam is not that company.

Look, I'm not defending lying about a product. But where evidence is lacking there is a burden on the consumer to do some basic research. The biggest problem here is that information isn't lacking, it's abundant but only one side. The company also lies in what it's promising. So misinformation is wrong. I know here we've seen a lot of arguments that the burden isn't on the consumer to do the research but this isn't snakeoil salesman days where there isn't other places to do research before shelling out cash.

What's more is that on the Steam page, I'm scrolling through pages of "do not recommend" reviews on the game page dating back from the 23rd (the day of release). So the lack of information may not be as much to blame here as the fact that it exists at all.

Basic research like, I dunno, reading reviews about the product on the store that you're purchasing it from? Checking user sentiment on the forum of the product you're thinking about buying that the storefront provides? Do you not see how flawed your argument is?

So you're saying it's ok because reviews shouldn't be taken seriously on Steam. And reviews aren't taken seriously on Steam because the developer can censor them. So it's the user's fault for not doing research on the game.

The circular logic is making me dizzy.

Abnaxis:

Thanatos2k:
Again, names are one thing. Marketing descriptions are another. This is the description for Surgeon Simulator on Steam:

"Surgeon Simulator 2013 is a darkly humorous over-the-top operation sim game where players become Nigel Burke, a would-be surgeon taking life into his own shaky hands, performing life-saving surgical maneuvers on passive patients."

See the difference?

That's patently ridiculous. From a marketing standpoint, what you name your product is THE most influential factor in how the public is going to perceive it. If I make a game, and call it "Helicopter Pilot 2014," you can bet your ass I expect people to come in wanting to fly helicopters. It is just as significant, if not more significant, than a little blurb people only see after a customer clicks to the page, having already read the title and formed an impression of what the game is about.

And Surgeon Simulator is as much a simulator as Air Control is a flight simulator. Admitted, Surgeon Simulator does admit that it is a farce somewhere in the marketing materials, but the fact is both titles are deliberately misleading.

NONSENSE. The "somewhere in the marketing materials" is every marketing material the game has.

Again, the game IS A SURGERY SIMULATOR. Do you deny this? There is absolutely nothing misleading about it.

I bought Watch Dogs and it had nothing to do with watches or dogs! I WANT A REFUND! Do you see how dumb this is getting?

Thanatos2k:
Why are you mischaracterizing it as "shouting reviews at people"? (Actually, I do know - the old "use hyperbole to characterize the argument you can't debunk" tactic) Does Publix or Walmart FORBID you from discussing products negatively while in their store with other people in the checkout line?

Try standing by the product and repeat your negative or even positive review for everyone that passes by and glances your way. THey will stop you.

Besides, the Steam forum is a place people voluntarily go to GET INFORMATION.

People shouldn't go to steam for information. That's a mistake but I guess timeshares actually get sold to people for some insane reason. Basically, each game site is like the individual developer's store front. Not steam's. This would be like you going to Fabreeze's website to look up product details. That's kind of dumb. Of course their product is the best there is and well worth your money if you ask them.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128571

Look at that. Lots of people complaining loudly about a product. Newegg hasn't deleted all of those reviews, however. I wonder why?

Same with bestbuy.com. Go on, look.

I'll repeat, these are businesses that sell a wide variety of products and rely on their reviews as a reason consumers go to them. Steam just sells games and it does not hurt or help them to have reliable information unless it's negative. If you buy a shitty game, it doesn't impact steam. You're not thinking that steam is bad anymore than you'd blame Amazon for buying a cheap product from another vendor on their site.

Let me ask you, how do you think reliable reviews would help steam's bottom line? Yet Walmart and Bestbuy and everything else has a pretty robust refund policy and unhappy customers mean not only the cost of restocking returned merchandise but also potentially lost revenue in the future. Steam however? That's just digital games and a no refunds policy.

It would be Newegg allowing Intel to moderate the reviews of a product it sells. That's ridiculous, and wrong.

Newegg specifically builds it's business around having legitimate reviews in the same way Amazon does. Steam is not that company.

Look, I'm not defending lying about a product. But where evidence is lacking there is a burden on the consumer to do some basic research. The biggest problem here is that information isn't lacking, it's abundant but only one side. The company also lies in what it's promising. So misinformation is wrong. I know here we've seen a lot of arguments that the burden isn't on the consumer to do the research but this isn't snakeoil salesman days where there isn't other places to do research before shelling out cash.

What's more is that on the Steam page, I'm scrolling through pages of "do not recommend" reviews on the game page dating back from the 23rd (the day of release). So the lack of information may not be as much to blame here as the fact that it exists at all.

Basic research like, I dunno, reading reviews about the product on the store that you're purchasing it from? Checking user sentiment on the forum of the product you're thinking about buying that the storefront provides? Do you not see how flawed your argument is?[/quote] This is as dumb as asking a couch salesman whether or not you should get the couch in his store.

So you're saying it's ok because reviews shouldn't be taken seriously on Steam. And reviews aren't taken seriously on Steam because the developer can censor them. So it's the user's fault for not doing research on the game.

I'm saying that it isn't a company's responsibility to provide negative reviews or information about their product. A drink company can sell you dirty taint juice and tell you it's filtered water (filtered through someone's balls in fine print) and they can leave it at that. If you just buy it without any additional research from an unbiased source then that's the risk YOU are taking.

You don't put the weasel in charge of the henhouse AND ask him if he's doing a good job guarding them. You take a look and see for yourself. I'm sorry and I know Jim thinks this isn't true. But the burden of research IS on the customer and the vendor doesn't have to provide that information.

However, in this scenario it looks like they lied about the game content. Lying is another story. But keeping negative reviews? Not their responsibility.

The circular logic is making me dizzy.

The problem is that you think Steam is the only site to review products on and you haven't made the connection that a game's page is actually the development/publisher's online storefront that they're renting from Steam. It isn't steam's page that they're maintaining for developers.

Thanatos2k:
NONSENSE. The "somewhere in the marketing materials" is every marketing material the game has.

Again, the game IS A SURGERY SIMULATOR. Do you deny this? There is absolutely nothing misleading about it.

I bought Watch Dogs and it had nothing to do with watches or dogs! I WANT A REFUND! Do you see how dumb this is getting?

...not a particularly good example, because Watch Dogs actually does have government entities that maintain databases on its citizens--i.e. "Watch Dogs"--in it.

Regardless, I'm not talking about Watch Dogs, or Man of Steel, or even (a better example) Twitter or Facebook. The marketing that went into naming those clearly wasn't trying to build customer expectations as to the exact function of the product. "Surgeon Simulator" or "Flight Simulator" or "Air Control" or hell, even "Tie Fighter" or "Modern Warfare" are. The names are a deliberate attempt at marketing to build up customer expectations for what the software entails, at least as much as any other marketing material that describes it.

And please, point out the specific example of marketing material for Air Control that is lying about the game more than calling Surgeon Simulator a simulator is lying. I don't disagree that Surgeon simulator IS a simulator, but I brought it up for comparison with people saying Air Control is false advertizing. How is Surgeon Simulator less false than Air Control? Or rather, how do you write a rule that will punish the devs for Air Control, because they are deliberately misleading customers, without punishing Surgery Simulator, who are misleading for the purpose of irony?

Lightknight:

Thanatos2k:
Why are you mischaracterizing it as "shouting reviews at people"? (Actually, I do know - the old "use hyperbole to characterize the argument you can't debunk" tactic) Does Publix or Walmart FORBID you from discussing products negatively while in their store with other people in the checkout line?

Try standing by the product and repeat your negative or even positive review for everyone that passes by and glances your way. THey will stop you.

Stop misrepresenting what is happening here, because that is not even close to remotely it.

I'll repeat, these are businesses that sell a wide variety of products and rely on their reviews as a reason consumers go to them. Steam just sells games and it does not hurt or help them to have reliable information unless it's negative. If you buy a shitty game, it doesn't impact steam. You're not thinking that steam is bad anymore than you'd blame Amazon for buying a cheap product from another vendor on their site.

Steam sells a wide variety of video games. I can't seriously believe you are continuing onwards with this argument.

"it does not hurt or help them to have reliable information"

In what universe is this true for ANY PRODUCT anywhere? My god....

Let me ask you, how do you think reliable reviews would help steam's bottom line? Yet Walmart and Bestbuy and everything else has a pretty robust refund policy and unhappy customers mean not only the cost of restocking returned merchandise but also potentially lost revenue in the future. Steam however? That's just digital games and a no refunds policy.

The lack of refunds is not the driving factor behind this. Really?

I'm saying that it isn't a company's responsibility to provide negative reviews or information about their product. A drink company can sell you dirty taint juice and tell you it's filtered water (filtered through someone's balls in fine print) and they can leave it at that. If you just buy it without any additional research from an unbiased source then that's the risk YOU are taking.

Ah, so you think that a grocery store should carry all produce produced by everyone? I mean, sure, one farmer put in rotten tomatoes somewhere in there, but it's the consumer's responsibility to know what is an isn't rotten. E-coli? Buyer beware!

You don't put the weasel in charge of the henhouse AND ask him if he's doing a good job guarding them. You take a look and see for yourself. I'm sorry and I know Jim thinks this isn't true. But the burden of research IS on the customer and the vendor doesn't have to provide that information.

The weasel being in charge of the henhouse is exactly what is happening when developers are allowed to quash unfavorable posts and reviews. Thanks for agreeing.

The problem is that you think Steam is the only site to review products on and you haven't made the connection that a game's page is actually the development/publisher's online storefront that they're renting from Steam. It isn't steam's page that they're maintaining for developers.

It SHOULD be reliable enough so that it could be the only reviews that you need. It's not, because of the terrible mechanics involved, the very things we're talking about now. I'm still not sure why you oppose fixing the issue. Do you just like to argue? Please don't turn into the Aadvark.

I don't think Steam wants quality control they just want to be the biggest store front and sell every title that they can. Can that cause trouble for consumers yes but a little research would solve that which you can do by scrolling down the steam page and reading user reviews.

Abnaxis:

Thanatos2k:
NONSENSE. The "somewhere in the marketing materials" is every marketing material the game has.

Again, the game IS A SURGERY SIMULATOR. Do you deny this? There is absolutely nothing misleading about it.

I bought Watch Dogs and it had nothing to do with watches or dogs! I WANT A REFUND! Do you see how dumb this is getting?

...not a particularly good example, because Watch Dogs actually does have government entities that maintain databases on its citizens--i.e. "Watch Dogs"--in it.

Like Surgery Simulator has a surgery simulation? Funny how that worked. You're saying there's actual NUANCE that you need to parse beyond just a name?

Regardless, I'm not talking about Watch Dogs, or Man of Steel, or even (a better example) Twitter or Facebook. The marketing that went into naming those clearly wasn't trying to build customer expectations as to the exact function of the product. "Surgeon Simulator" or "Flight Simulator" or "Air Control" or hell, even "Tie Fighter" or "Modern Warfare" are. The names are a deliberate attempt at marketing to build up customer expectations for what the software entails, at least as much as any other marketing material that describes it.

Legend of Zelda often isn't even about Zelda. Refund please.

Did you complain about Goat Simulator too?

And please, point out the specific example of marketing material for Air Control that is lying about the game more than calling Surgeon Simulator a simulator is lying. I don't disagree that Surgeon simulator IS a simulator, but I brought it up for comparison with people saying Air Control is false advertizing. How is Surgeon Simulator less false than Air Control? Or rather, how do you write a rule that will punish the devs for Air Control, because they are deliberately misleading customers, without punishing Surgery Simulator, who are misleading for the purpose of irony?

There's nothing misleading about it. At all.

Thanatos2k:

Lightknight:

Thanatos2k:
Why are you mischaracterizing it as "shouting reviews at people"? (Actually, I do know - the old "use hyperbole to characterize the argument you can't debunk" tactic) Does Publix or Walmart FORBID you from discussing products negatively while in their store with other people in the checkout line?

Try standing by the product and repeat your negative or even positive review for everyone that passes by and glances your way. THey will stop you.

Stop misrepresenting what is happening here, because that is not even close to remotely it.

How is a review permanently posted under a product not akin to a person standing next to a product telling you what they think about it?

"Close" means nearby, akin, similar to.

Steam sells a wide variety of video games. I can't seriously believe you are continuing onwards with this argument.

A variety of video games is not a variety of products, it's just digital games as the product. It's not mops and TVs and food.

"it does not hurt or help them to have reliable information"

In what universe is this true for ANY PRODUCT anywhere? My god....

Ugh... I can give you a HUGE number of examples. For example, any shitty product for sale benefits from a lack of information. Basically, negative reviews means fewer sales. Why is this hard for you to grasp? Negative reviews mean fewer sales and positively reviewed games sell themselves.

All that really helps most products is that there is information available at all. Marketing. But reliable information? Nope.

Let me ask you, how do you think reliable reviews would help steam's bottom line? Yet Walmart and Bestbuy and everything else has a pretty robust refund policy and unhappy customers mean not only the cost of restocking returned merchandise but also potentially lost revenue in the future. Steam however? That's just digital games and a no refunds policy.

The lack of refunds is not the driving factor behind this. Really?

I'm unsure how you came to the conclusion that this is what I said. Where in the cited paragraph do you see me saying anything that could be construed as no refund policies not being a driving factor? You'd better believe that reliable reviews matter when refunds are possible. Me bringing up the no-refunds policy is me directly citing it as a factor.

Ah, so you think that a grocery store should carry all produce produced by everyone? I mean, sure, one farmer put in rotten tomatoes somewhere in there, but it's the consumer's responsibility to know what is an isn't rotten. E-coli? Buyer beware!

The food industry is heavily regulated and is not a luxury product. You live or die on what you eat, you don't live or die on what game you play.

The weasel being in charge of the henhouse is exactly what is happening when developers are allowed to quash unfavorable posts and reviews. Thanks for agreeing.

So then it's the consumers job to get their information elsewhere now that you agree that this is like going to the weasel.

It SHOULD be reliable enough so that it could be the only reviews that you need.

Why? How would it benefit Steam to prevent people from giving them money? Hell, a bad purchase not only gets Steam money but even likely speeds up the amount of time between the sale of the next game to the same consumer. Are you saying it should be reliable so it'll be convenient for you? That's a nice sentiment but it isn't your right to have that.

Look, not only is it not the individual store front's job to allow negative information but it doesn't make Steam any sort of business sense to curate it. People are complaining an awful lot about all these poorly made games but I haven't fallen into the trap even once. So that leads me to believe that people are putting next to no effort into researching their purchase. Then again I take the time to look at other products any time I buy something new so maybe I'm the odd one out but if I go into something blind I at least understand that it's the risk I'm taking.

FYI, here's a review from May 23rd off of Steam (the day it was launched)

"This game is disgusting. It rarly works and most of the time sound only plays through one of your ears. You can barly do anything you read about in the description and the screenshots do not look anything like the game itself. DO NOT BUY!. It is the WarZ of plane simulators!"

Lightknight:

Stop misrepresenting what is happening here, because that is not even close to remotely it.

How is a review permanently posted under a product not akin to a person standing next to a product telling you what they think about it?

1. To view a review you have to go looking for a review. So it's not the same thing at all.

2. A review is not the same as a person shouting their opinion to anyone nearby who may or may not want to hear it. So it's not the same thing at all. I noticed you stopped saying shouting too. Odd.

Steam sells a wide variety of video games. I can't seriously believe you are continuing onwards with this argument.

A variety of video games is not a variety of products

Newegg sells a variety of computer stuff. Since it's all about computers that means it's all the same. Right? A grocery store sells just food. All the same, right?

Think of how many different companies have products on Steam, and say again how that is not a variety of products?

"it does not hurt or help them to have reliable information"

In what universe is this true for ANY PRODUCT anywhere? My god....

Ugh... I can give you a HUGE number of examples. For example, any shitty product for sale benefits from a lack of information. Basically, negative reviews means fewer sales. Why is this hard for you to grasp? Negative reviews mean fewer sales and positively reviewed games sell themselves.

So you're admitting that these shitty games are attempting to deliberately restrict the information available to customers or mislead them. Good.

Why is this a good thing for the consumer? Why shouldn't this problem be corrected?

Ah, so you think that a grocery store should carry all produce produced by everyone? I mean, sure, one farmer put in rotten tomatoes somewhere in there, but it's the consumer's responsibility to know what is an isn't rotten. E-coli? Buyer beware!

The food industry is heavily regulated and is not a luxury product. You live or die on what you eat, you don't live or die on what game you play.

Are you suggesting that losing money in a scam gaming purchase hasn't harmed anyone? Money is money.

And WHY would we care about people getting sick from food? It's their fault! Why do they deserve protection from bad food but not from bad luxury products? Go on, spin up some bs for that.

The weasel being in charge of the henhouse is exactly what is happening when developers are allowed to quash unfavorable posts and reviews. Thanks for agreeing.

So then it's the consumers job to get their information elsewhere now that you agree that this is like going to the weasel.

Because Steam is allowing it. If they did not, then it would not be like this. So the onus is on Steam to correct the problem. Steam is the one that put the weasel in charge.

It SHOULD be reliable enough so that it could be the only reviews that you need.

Why? How would it benefit Steam to prevent people from giving them money?

Because companies that get a reputation of being unreliable and offering low quality products lose sales and revenue. This isn't a complicated concept. There's a different between the reputation of Whole Foods and Aldi. Which reputation would you like your store to have?

Look, not only is it not the individual store front's job to allow negative information but it doesn't make Steam any sort of business sense to curate it.

Pure nonsense. Apply the exact same logic to Newegg, a seller of "luxury products." Why would Newegg allow reviews? Someone might see bad reviews and not buy a certain product. Therefore it makes no business sense for Newegg to allow bad reviews.

This example will continue to obliterate your argument, and there's no escaping it.

Thanatos2k:

Abnaxis:

Thanatos2k:
NONSENSE. The "somewhere in the marketing materials" is every marketing material the game has.

Again, the game IS A SURGERY SIMULATOR. Do you deny this? There is absolutely nothing misleading about it.

I bought Watch Dogs and it had nothing to do with watches or dogs! I WANT A REFUND! Do you see how dumb this is getting?

...not a particularly good example, because Watch Dogs actually does have government entities that maintain databases on its citizens--i.e. "Watch Dogs"--in it.

Like Surgery Simulator has a surgery simulation? Funny how that worked. You're saying there's actual NUANCE that you need to parse beyond just a name?

Regardless, I'm not talking about Watch Dogs, or Man of Steel, or even (a better example) Twitter or Facebook. The marketing that went into naming those clearly wasn't trying to build customer expectations as to the exact function of the product. "Surgeon Simulator" or "Flight Simulator" or "Air Control" or hell, even "Tie Fighter" or "Modern Warfare" are. The names are a deliberate attempt at marketing to build up customer expectations for what the software entails, at least as much as any other marketing material that describes it.

Legend of Zelda often isn't even about Zelda. Refund please.

Did you complain about Goat Simulator too?

And please, point out the specific example of marketing material for Air Control that is lying about the game more than calling Surgeon Simulator a simulator is lying. I don't disagree that Surgeon simulator IS a simulator, but I brought it up for comparison with people saying Air Control is false advertizing. How is Surgeon Simulator less false than Air Control? Or rather, how do you write a rule that will punish the devs for Air Control, because they are deliberately misleading customers, without punishing Surgery Simulator, who are misleading for the purpose of irony?

There's nothing misleading about it. At all.

Once more, slowly this time.

Many people are flinging criticism at Air Control because they say it violates Truth in Advertizing.

I am saying that Air Control does NOT violate Truth in Advertizing.

I am saying this, because if we ding Air Control for lying, we would also need to ding Surgeon Simulator.

I am not saying I need a refund for Surgeon Simulator. I am saying the opposite, that we need to NOT punish Surgeon Simulator.

Consequently, we can't pull Air Control (BAD) from Steam on the grounds of False Advertizing without also pulling Surgery Simulator (GOOD).

Please address what I'm actually saying, and stop flipping out over something I'm not.

Abnaxis:
Once more, slowly this time.

Many people are flinging criticism at Air Control because they say it violates Truth in Advertizing.

I am saying that Air Control does NOT violate Truth in Advertizing.

I am saying this, because if we ding Air Control for lying, we would also need to ding Surgeon Simulator.

I am not saying I need a refund for Surgeon Simulator. I am saying the opposite, that we need to NOT punish Surgeon Simulator.

Consequently, we can't pull Air Control (BAD) from Steam on the grounds of False Advertizing without also pulling Surgery Simulator (GOOD).

Please address what I'm actually saying, and stop flipping out over something I'm not.

But your argument is wrong, no matter how slowly you repeat it. Surgery Simulator has not been deceptive in the SLIGHTEST bit. All of its marketing materials indicate the game is comedic. The name describes the content of the game. If you thought that because the game was named Surgery Simulator that it would contain a realistic simulation, then I don't know what to tell you because there's something wrong with you. Someone who only looks at the name of a game and then draws erroneous conclusions is beyond help. One can only wonder what such a defective person would expect when they purchase a game sight unseen called Kingdom Hearts, Resonance of Fate, Star Fox, Wild Arms, Deus Ex, or Mass Effect. What a bunch of terrible misleading games.

Air Control on the other hand, deliberately misleads using its marketing materials.

Simple enough for you?

Thanatos2k:
This example will continue to obliterate your argument, and there's no escaping it.

Your only argument is that you feel that they should give people better information. This is more of a philosophical argument since they certainly aren't legally obligated to do so. So I'm sorry but you're not sitting on top of some kind of absolute truth soapbox right.

You may have posted after I edited my thread though. Jim was kind of wrong, they can't or didn't edit the reviews on the game store front. Just go to the game page and scroll down:

"This game is disgusting. It rarly works and most of the time sound only plays through one of your ears. You can barly do anything you read about in the description and the screenshots do not look anything like the game itself. DO NOT BUY!. It is the WarZ of plane simulators!"

That was from the day of launch. They have several more and each have a ton of comments affirming their statements. Likewise, the positive votes have all been downvoted for helpfulness (the lack there of).

Why do you think it is important that the forum on the game is moderated if this is still available on the Steam store too? Or were you unaware that this existed?

Thanatos2k:
But your argument is wrong, no matter how slowly you repeat it. Surgery Simulator has not been deceptive in the SLIGHTEST bit. All of its marketing materials indicate the game is comedic. The name describes the content of the game. If you thought that because the game was named Surgery Simulator that it would contain a realistic simulation, then I don't know what to tell you because there's something wrong with you. Someone who only looks at the name of a game and then draws erroneous conclusions is beyond help.

Air Control on the other hand, deliberately misleads using its marketing materials.

Simple enough for you?

As much as you can come up with contrary examples--of which there are plenty--if I put and explicit description of a product in the name of the product, I am building expectations with my customers. If I make a widget, name it "THE BEST HAMMER EVER™", and sell it to you, you are completely within you rights to take me to court because you bought it expecting a hammer, and I mailed you a screwdriver. That does NOT mean that every single product name has to be literally descriptive of the product in question, but WHEN THE PRODUCT NAME PLAINLY, EXPLICITLY, AND DELIBERATELY DESCRIBES THE PRODUCT, that description has to be accurate or it's deliberately misleading customers.

And once again, please point me to the marketing material for Air Control that is more of a stretch than calling Surgeon Simulator a simulator.

What it sounds like, is that the INTENT is what you're worried about. Marketing the game as "Surgeon Simulator" is clearly a joke--it does a horrible, terrible job of simulating actual surgery, that's the point. However, the intent of Air Control marketing to deceive people into thinking it's a flight sim, when it does a horrible, terrible job of simulating flight.

However, there's no way to objectively prove intent.

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