German Consumer Group Threatens Legal Action Against Blizzard

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Arontala:
Where, exactly, do you see them demanding a refund?

They very obviously want some sort of refund if they're threatening legal action.

Regardless, it's amusing to watch idiots squirm and squabble about their pathetic notion of always-online drm going away.

Odin311:

Using the term "Internet Connection Required" is on the back of many games. It is often there for multiplayer. Why would someone who often buys games, believe that it would been you need to be online while playing alone.

.
Because with 'Many Games' the Requirements are listed like this:

Minimum Requirements:
Required CPU, Required HD space etc.

Multiplayer Requirements/Required for Multiplayer:
Broadband Connection

Whereas with Diablo III they are listed like this:

Minimum Requirements:
Required CPU, Required HD space, Broadband Connection etc.

Odin311:
I don't understand why people think that everyone should be as knowledgeable as them. Or why someone who buys the third installment of a single-player game should expect to always be connected to be able to play it. Especially when the other games could all be played offline.

Using the term "Internet Connection Required" is on the back of many games. It is often there for multiplayer. Why would someone who often buys games, believe that it would been you need to be online while playing alone.

The box always should have indicated that a constant internet connection was required. Any thing less is unethical. That they didn't do this, flirts with the conspiracy that they only wanted to drive sales in areas where internet is restricted.

The fact that people are defending Blizzard, and accusing the consumer is ridiculous. People are either not reading the article, or have some inflated sense of there own superiority.

Most games that require internet for multiplayer don't say "Internet connection required" on the box. Games that need internet for multiplayer say, "Internet connection required for multiplayer" on the box.

You are required to have internet to play Diablo 3 at all, so it says "internet connection required" on the front. It doesn't say, "Internet connection required for multiplayer," or "Single player doesn't require Internet connection." It just says "Internet connection required," because the whole game requires an internet connection. It's not a matter of being overly knowledgeable; It is a matter of reading comprehension.

The perfect counterpoint to the Diablo 3 rage is Guild Wars 1. Guild Wars 1 requires a permanent internet connection to play, just like Diablo 3. It can be played through single player with ai mercs, just like Diablo 3. All combat takes place in instanced zones with small groups of players (or solo players) just like Diablo 3. It lists on it's box, "Internet Connection Required," just like Diablo 3. Why aren't there any threads calling for blood from the guild wars team?

If you want to change industry standards by introducing more precise categories as far as internet connection go, that is fine, but don't make Blizzard into a scapegoat. You want to make each game list out every game mode it has and whether it requires no internet, a one time activation, or constant access? Fine, but then you have to make every single game devote that same ink. You don't get to punish one company for doing the same thing as what everyone else is doing.

P.S.
Aeshi, you and I are sharing a brain-wave or something. It's nice to see someone else who gets it.

First off, using Google Translate on a news story..is kinda bad really. But to the Topic, for those People here who still havent gotten it.

The usual Requirements thingy is on the back, right? Now lets assume that some Mother or Father buys it for their youngun because they buggered them about it. Would they read the Requirements? Yes if they had any interest in computers themselves, hell i would bet you that only a few of those who have no real interest or knowledge of computers even know whether their kids PC could even run the bloody thing. So thats the first Problem, but thats more on the consumer there.

However, the Box clearly states that a Online Connection is required, though given that the previous 2 entries in the series also had a similar wording for it, not labelling it strictly as "Internet required for Multiplayer" either, that could be a bit of a Problem of being suprised by it now requiring a Internet Connection all the time. Not everyone knew beforehand after all, not everyone reads News Sites for games either.

But here's what they are actually saying, if a game requires a online connection at all times, then that Connection has to work from Day 1. Failing that, there needs to be a bigger label, about the requiring a constant connection to the internet so People with shitty Internet, which exist and arent just a Myth, or People who want it only for the single player know about it.

So are you People really suprised that someone who didnt know about the Requirement, and did not read the "Internet Connection required" box as "You need it always", or bought the game for single player only and is irritated by having to be online and subject to lags and other crap, if it even worked, wants his Money back?

Hell all they are asking for is a bigger sticker here, ya know a little bigger on the letters and not "mini-size"? Cause lemme tell you, if i look at some Boxes of Games i own, the font is tiny, and i dont have bad eyes.

A-D.:

However, the Box clearly states that a Online Connection is required, though given that the previous 2 entries in the series also had a similar wording for it, not labelling it strictly as "Internet required for Multiplayer" either, that could be a bit of a Problem of being suprised by it now requiring a Internet Connection all the time. Not everyone knew beforehand after all, not everyone reads News Sites for games either.

Looking at the back of the box of both games:

Diablo II: Lord of Destruction Requirements:

Minimum Requirements: {usual hardware requirements}
Additional Multiplayer System Requirements and Options: 28.8kbps or faster modem, up to 8 players over TCP/IP network or Battle.net (Battle.net requires a low-latency Internet connection with support for 32-bit applications).

Diablo III Requirements:

Minimum Requirements: {usual hardware requirements}, Broadband Internet Connection

I'd say that's pretty strictly defined

kortin:

Arontala:
Where, exactly, do you see them demanding a refund?

They very obviously want some sort of refund if they're threatening legal action.

Regardless, it's amusing to watch idiots squirm and squabble about their pathetic notion of always-online drm going away.

What the fuck are you talking about? Did you not read the article, or something?

This isn't a bunch of disgruntled forum-goers saying that they'll sue Blizzard because they didn't like the game, this is a consumer group asking Blizz to make a goddamn label more clear.

Regardless of what you think about that, your posts make you look like the "adorable idiot". Jesus H. Christ, the sheer pretentiousness that you're spewing out is sickening.

Aeshi:

A-D.:

However, the Box clearly states that a Online Connection is required, though given that the previous 2 entries in the series also had a similar wording for it, not labelling it strictly as "Internet required for Multiplayer" either, that could be a bit of a Problem of being suprised by it now requiring a Internet Connection all the time. Not everyone knew beforehand after all, not everyone reads News Sites for games either.

Looking at the back of the box of both games:

Diablo II: Lord of Destruction Requirements:

Minimum Requirements: {usual hardware requirements}
Additional Multiplayer System Requirements and Options: 28.8kbps or faster modem, up to 8 players over TCP/IP network or Battle.net (Battle.net requires a low-latency Internet connection with support for 32-bit applications).

Diablo III Requirements:

Minimum Requirements: {usual hardware requirements}, Broadband Internet Connection

I'd say that's pretty strictly defined

Eh, cant find my copy of D2 right now to check, but unless you are in fact in possession of the german version in both cases, which may have a different label for all you know, there is little evidence that its clearly labelled. In fact if some consumer group goes through the trouble of threatening legal action, it usually means that the label as is isnt clear enough. And if you have been around for a while, on the internet and elsewhere, you'd know that alot of times, people are idiots, consumers more so. They want a bigger, less ambigous label on the box and thats really all there is to it.

And lets be honest, just cause we knew it ahead of time, doesnt mean everyone else did, and again may i point to the other part about Moms buying it for their devilspawns, or people who do NOT frequent the escapist or other gaming-related news sites at all, maybe because their internet is shit and they expected D3 to be a upgraded D2, meaning the Single player would be single player..without needing internet for it.

Aeshi:

maxben:
Sure they do, because it doesnt make any goddamn sense and you know it. Again, like selling a car without an engine. Or even better, if a game required you to buy a chinchilla for it to work you BETTER have it on the front in big letters. Ridiculous demands must be made obvious.

Except for that analogy to work there would be dozens of other cars that have required Chinchillas to run in the past and nobody ever minded it when they put 'Requires a Chinchilla to run' in small text on the back next to the 'Requires at least 1 Arm and 2 Legs to operate' and 'Requires Petrol to run' requirements.

Really? Its normal for a single player game to require constant online connection? If you are referring to the few ubisoft titles which did this you must also remember that A) They reasoned that it was DRM, Blizzard specifically said that this was not DRM and B) That Ubisoft stopped that practice
If you are talking about Steam it is just as wrong because us consumers understand that having an always online connection to a gaming platform that is always online makes sense. You do not buy Steam games in a store.
So in both cases, DRM, multiplayer and an online purchasing system, it is understood to be the case, but there has never been a situation where a game that could be played single player, bought in a store, and was said to NOT have always online DRM, required always online connection.

maxben:

Really? Its normal for a single player game to require constant online connection? If you are referring to the few ubisoft titles which did this you must also remember that A) They reasoned that it was DRM, Blizzard specifically said that this was not DRM and B) That Ubisoft stopped that practice
If you are talking about Steam it is just as wrong because us consumers understand that having an always online connection to a gaming platform that is always online makes sense. You do not buy Steam games in a store.
So in both cases, DRM, multiplayer and an online purchasing system, it is understood to be the case, but there has never been a situation where a game that could be played single player, bought in a store, and was said to NOT have always online DRM, required always online connection.

I was referring more to the MMO genre (and as has been pointed out above, Guild Wars 1, which seems to be similar to Diablo III in this and several other regards.) and how nobody has ever demanded that they move their 'Internet Connection' requirement to the front.

MMOs may not be single-player (for the most part anyway...) but this thread was a debate as to whether Diablo III's 'Internet Connection needed to play' requirement was obvious enough or not, I just pointed out that said requirement has been listed the same way in many, many other games and it's always been obvious enough for them.

Im with the Germans on this one.

It is just natural to assume that the internet required part is for multiplayer only. I mean, why would you need the internet if you aren't playing against anyone?

Im with the Germans on this one.

It is just natural to assume that the internet required part is for multiplayer only. I mean, why would you need the internet if you aren't playing against anyone?

Arontala:
What the fuck are you talking about? Did you not read the article, or something?

This isn't a bunch of disgruntled forum-goers saying that they'll sue Blizzard because they didn't like the game, this is a consumer group asking Blizz to make a goddamn label more clear.

Regardless of what you think about that, your posts make you look like the "adorable idiot". Jesus H. Christ, the sheer pretentiousness that you're spewing out is sickening.

They can't read. There's no justification for their stupidity and it makes me laugh that you would defend their inability to do proper research prior to their transactions.

It is in no way Blizzard's fault that they didn't do the research. That lies directly on the consumer end.

kortin:

Arontala:
What the fuck are you talking about? Did you not read the article, or something?

This isn't a bunch of disgruntled forum-goers saying that they'll sue Blizzard because they didn't like the game, this is a consumer group asking Blizz to make a goddamn label more clear.

Regardless of what you think about that, your posts make you look like the "adorable idiot". Jesus H. Christ, the sheer pretentiousness that you're spewing out is sickening.

They can't read. There's no justification for their stupidity and it makes me laugh that you would defend their inability to do proper research prior to their transactions.

It is in no way Blizzard's fault that they didn't do the research. That lies directly on the consumer end.

I'm with you on this. When you look at the box and look at the requirements I would say it's pretty clear.

Not Blizzards fault people didn't read it properly, or if they did, understand what was written.

A-D.:
snipped

Hell all they are asking for is a bigger sticker here, ya know a little bigger on the letters and not "mini-size"? Cause lemme tell you, if i look at some Boxes of Games i own, the font is tiny, and i dont have bad eyes.

The issue here is, "Why is Blizzard being held to a higher standard that the rest of the gaming industry?"

Blizzard has their requirements clearly listed on the box in the same way that every other game out there has their requirements listed, but people are saying "It's okay for everyone else, but Blizzard needs to be held to a higher standard."

Guild Wars 1 has a similar setup and identical box requirements and there was no outrage there.

Starcraft 2 has similar setup (online all the time) and identical box requirements and there was no outrage there.

It's not as though Blizzard devised some devious new way to hide information from the customer. They list their requirements the same way the rest of the industry does, but they're being singled out in this case.

A-D.:
snipped

Eh, cant find my copy of D2 right now to check, but unless you are in fact in possession of the german version in both cases, which may have a different label for all you know, there is little evidence that its clearly labelled. In fact if some consumer group goes through the trouble of threatening legal action, it usually means that the label as is isnt clear enough. And if you have been around for a while, on the internet and elsewhere, you'd know that alot of times, people are idiots, consumers more so. They want a bigger, less ambigous label on the box and thats really all there is to it.

And lets be honest, just cause we knew it ahead of time, doesnt mean everyone else did, and again may i point to the other part about Moms buying it for their devilspawns, or people who do NOT frequent the escapist or other gaming-related news sites at all, maybe because their internet is shit and they expected D3 to be a upgraded D2, meaning the Single player would be single player..without needing internet for it.

I am not in possession of a German copy of D2 or D3, however I think it's kinda a conspiracy theory to jump the gun and say "Clearly Blizzard made the -German- box of D3 more ambiguous to trick Germans into buying the game!" The source (poorly translated as it was) made no mention of German D3 boxes being radically different from the norm. I'm certain that Blizzard listed all their requirements, and most likely did it in a way very similar to the north american box. If you own a German D3 box and can show that it's mislabeled, then that's something to talk about. If you're firing a shot in the dark that was not mentioned in the source, then that's just wild speculation with nothing to stand on.

Assumptions of the consumer don't change the fact that the product is clearly labeled in a manner that is consistent with industry standards. I'm sounding like a broken record at this point, but it is not okay to punish one company when this is the way all games are labeled. If this consumer group wants to change the standards for game boxes to have their internet requirements listed in large text on the front of the box, then they should be pressing the entire industry to do that not singling out one company and attacking them.

I fail to see how this is a problem with Diablo III exactly and not with all the MMOs that boxed copy...

Oh boy! It's gotten to the point that whenever I read/hear the words "legal action" or "lawsuit" or any variation there of I suddenly get the tremendous urge to bash my head against the nearest wall. In fact, excuse me a moment.
*WHAM WHAM WHAM WHAM WHAM WHAM WHAM WHAM WHAM WHAM WHAM WHAM*

That will teach Blizzard a lesson for being F****wits and i'm pretty sure Jimquisition did this as a video. This is how I imagine the court.

Judge: "Sir on how are you charging"
German consumer lawyers: "By Zi Jimziquition video"
watches the video...
Judge: "Oh God! your right, Blizzard are guilty and have to compensate everyone for new rare equipment and disable online connection. The court is dismissed."

And now there is World Peace.

This is not a thing from the past. The game still disconnects, lags and rubberbands to this day. It is less frequent but no less annoying. Other online games are far more reliable.

And if you think that you have to put up with this to play single player, and that the measure did not stop scamming and exploits, the always online thing only benefits Blizzard and is a huge f*** you for the consumer.

it said, which I'm guessing means that if Blizzard doesn't respond by the end of the week, it'll be time to wake up the lawyers.

Lovely piece of imagery.
I now imagine a man call out "AWAKEN THE LAWYERS!" followed by a servant walking into a dark cave and blowing a conk shell horn to awaken some beastly lawyers from their slumber.

To be fair..

I hadn't payed much attention to D3's development other then it exists. I had played Diablo and Diablo 2. I didn't know about D3's always on feature.

Signa:

OT: I'm all for this change. Half of PC games have that "internet connection required" note on it somewhere, whether it's for the multiplayer, the Steam registration, or a Securom activation. Not everyone is going to know that Diablo 3's online rules are the same as a MMOs. Why should they expect that? Diablo 1 and 2 weren't a MMO at all! It's easy to forget how informed I am, because I go "duh!" at my last sentence, but not everyone is me.

This is also a little knowledge to the whole "Duh, you just need to read"-crowd. The "Internetverbindung wird benötigt"-sign has been on packages ever since this online-registration trend started here in Germany and they're using the same wording no matter for what that connection is required.
So no, it has nothing to do with "reading comprehension", if people use the same sentence to describe different requirements that's just not giving the necessary information.

Oh and to Mr. Chalk: Next time you think about translating a legal statement through Google Translate, please watch Yahtzee's "Psychonauts"-review and follow his instructions. Thanks.

I don't know what you're talking about, but the german box of Guild Wars has a label on the front that designates it as an online game. It's then repeated on the back of the box right next to a screenshot and not in the fucking fine print.

In Germany essential contract details have to be clearly labeled AND NOT hidden in the fine print because we value the costumer more than the corporation (as it should be ...)

The way it is written on the box in german is very vague and again, it IS NOT the job of the customer to research everything of a product, it is the responsibility of the corporation to inform them accordingly.

The Consumer Protection Group demands from Blizzard to be more clear on the box and Blizzard failed to do so. End of story. If you really think this is somehow a bad idea you're suffering from stockholm syndrome ...

chozo_hybrid:

kortin:

Arontala:
What the fuck are you talking about? Did you not read the article, or something?

This isn't a bunch of disgruntled forum-goers saying that they'll sue Blizzard because they didn't like the game, this is a consumer group asking Blizz to make a goddamn label more clear.

Regardless of what you think about that, your posts make you look like the "adorable idiot". Jesus H. Christ, the sheer pretentiousness that you're spewing out is sickening.

They can't read. There's no justification for their stupidity and it makes me laugh that you would defend their inability to do proper research prior to their transactions.

It is in no way Blizzard's fault that they didn't do the research. That lies directly on the consumer end.

I'm with you on this. When you look at the box and look at the requirements I would say it's pretty clear.

Not Blizzards fault people didn't read it properly, or if they did, understand what was written.

Unless you've seen the German box, and other German games that don't require a constant internet connection, you can't necessarily say that Blizzard didn't drop the ball in Germany.

It may be fine in the US, but it doesn't mean all translations aren't unambiguous.

I quite agree with this. I'm a fairly new PC gamer and I am not an MMO fan so I don't know the ins and outs of them at all. Personally, if I picked up Diablo 3, with no prior knowledge to what it was (since I've never heard of Diablo until everyone started raving about 3 being released soon), and read 'Internet Connection Required' I would think 'Oh, probably for registration and multiplayer. Single player shouldn't need to be connected'. So a 'Internet Connection required at all times' would actually be very helpful. Not just to myself but to others.

I think some people here are being a bit ignorant with their level of knowledge on the subject matter. As my example said above, even if you play games for most of your life, there are still things people don't expect or know. If you play MMOs all the time, you come to expect this. I also don't know why people are kicking up so much about a sticker being added to the cover.

YunikoYokai5:
I quite agree with this. I'm a fairly new PC gamer and I am not an MMO fan so I don't know the ins and outs of them at all. Personally, if I picked up Diablo 3, with no prior knowledge to what it was (since I've never heard of Diablo until everyone started raving about 3 being released soon), and read 'Internet Connection Required' I would think 'Oh, probably for registration and multiplayer. Single player shouldn't need to be connected'. So a 'Internet Connection required at all times' would actually be very helpful. Not just to myself but to others.

Except the 'Internet Connection' requirement is in the 'Minimum Requirements' section (you know, the section where all the stuff you need to have active all the time to run the game is) and not the 'Extra Multiplayer Requirements' section (like with every other game that doesn't require a constant internet connection.) just like it is with every MMO ever, yet I don't see any of the latter games being asked to make their always-online requirement more visible for the benefit of 'New PC gamers/Not-Computer People' with 'No prior knowledge'

Are we supposed to believe that these 'New PC gamers/Not-Computer People' somehow know that every MMO requires a constant internet connection without needing to check the box, instantly know when a game is an MMO and that Diablo III is 'singleplayer' just by looking at the box but somehow don't know that Diablo III requires a constant internet connection without a massive sticker telling them so?

If you think 'Internet Connection' type requirements should be made more obvious, fine but don't go whining about how Diablo III is at fault for putting its requirements where every other game that requires you to be online to play has put them.

Aeshi:

If you think 'Internet Connection' type requirements should be made more obvious, fine but don't go whining about how Diablo III is at fault for putting its requirements where every other game that requires you to be online to play has put them.

...Can you please tell me where I blamed Diablo 3? I've never played the series so I have no feelings either for or against it. It is just my general feelings towards all game developers to make sure there is as much clarification on the boxes as possible.

CardinalPiggles:
So they're saying that people who are rash in their decisions need their hands held? It states on the box "Internet connection required." If they can't read, or choose not to, fuck 'em.

You ever seen non-gamers try to buy games as gifts for others? They're so bad at it that it's painful to watch. They don't know that educational and licensed games are a sort of scam aimed at them, they don't understand the differences between consoles, and some don't even understand the concept of exclusive games. The DRM, DLC, and always-online bullshit we know and hate so much is completely beyond the scope of what they're looking at.

While it's tempting to say "Fuck 'em for being stupid", they're otherwise capable people who don't understand just how hostile this market is towards consumers, and they're the people this protection is for.

You said you agreed with what they were doing (threatning legal action for something dozens of other games have done in the past without blame), Blaming of Diablo III may not have been directly said, but it was sure as hell implied.

Aeshi:
You said you agreed with what they were doing (threatning legal action for something dozens of other games have done in the past without blame), Blaming of Diablo III may not have been directly said, but it was sure as hell implied.

I see I didn't make myself clear. I agree with adding clarifications to the box, not the legal action or anything else.

McMullen:

CardinalPiggles:
So they're saying that people who are rash in their decisions need their hands held? It states on the box "Internet connection required." If they can't read, or choose not to, fuck 'em.

You ever seen non-gamers try to buy games as gifts for others? They're so bad at it that it's painful to watch. They don't know that educational and licensed games are a sort of scam aimed at them, they don't understand the differences between consoles, and some don't even understand the concept of exclusive games. The DRM, DLC, and always-online bullshit we know and hate so much is completely beyond the scope of what they're looking at.

While it's tempting to say "Fuck 'em for being stupid", they're otherwise capable people who don't understand just how hostile this market is towards consumers, and they're the people this protection is for.

No, it's people complaining about Diablo 3 again. All their trying to do is discredit the game and Blizzard.

No company as far I can tell says little more than what Blizzard disclaimed in regards to always online DRM, but yet it's Blizzard getting the shtick for it.

Andy Chalk:
The thing we have to remember is that there are a lot more consumers out there than just "us." Somebody's mom is shopping for her 17-year-old kid's birthday, sees D3 on the shelf and remembers him saying something about how cool it is isn't going to have any idea about this always-on business. Maybe she reads the back and maybe she doesn't, maybe she parses "persistent connection required" and maybe she doesn't, maybe the guy at the counter tells her about it and maybe he doesn't. That's exactly the sort of thing consumer protection laws are put into place to guard against.

Sometimes it goes too far, and maybe this has, I don't know the details. But laws like this are about more than protecting the stupid from themselves, and if we start making room for exceptions because, hey, this is obvious and you should have known, we're invalidating the entire system, good and bad.

Indeed.
I would like to add that it's not just Mom's as people are tending to say. I know a lot of (what I guess people on here would call) "casual gamers".
Roughly all in their mid 20's to 30's. They aren't casual gamers from the standpoint that they play Zynga games or something of that ilk, but from the fact that they work and don't have the time or inclination to be "deep" in to the gaming scene. They tend to enjoy more "mature" titles and AAA games over titles such as angry birds, but I guess they would still be called casual gamers because they only devote time to the actual games and not to the games background. They are pretty uninformed when it comes to any details or stories about the games.
They will known about bigger titles such as D3, ME3 and Max Payne 3, but not about the drama behind the titles.
I'm usually the one to bring it up and they'll be surprised.
They might go to a store, see a game and decide to pick it up.

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