Consumerism, self-control, boycotts and the Gamer. A sort of mini-rant.

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

So, a lot of people think that a lot of things are wrong with the game industry today. Many people place the blame on developers and publishers. And while they are not wrong to assign some degree of blame to them, I do not think it is useful to focus on what developers/publishers can do differently. We are not members of the company (well, most of us). We do not have control over what projects get greenlit when. We do not have control over company policy. We do not have control over what gets published by whom, and with what DRM. No, what we have to focus on is what we, as gamers, can do to affect change. The companies are beholden to us. It is we who pay their paychecks. Publishers are not stealing money from our wallets. In order to purchase their product, we have to go into a store/steam/PSN, put it in the cart, then go over to the checkout area and hand over the cash. We have more power than we sometimes want to acknowledge. We share some of the blame for the state the industry is in, and we should actually do something about it so no one can look at us and accuse us of laziness or complacency.

If a game company is doing something you hate, do not purchase their product. At all. EA the devil? Don't purchase their products. Don't purchase them new, don't purchase them used, don't purchase them digitally, don't purchase them physically. Do not purchase their DLC, do not purchase anything that they have released. Activision running the COD franchise into the ground with samey sequels? Don't purchase that next sequel, hoping it will be different. CD Projekt Red providing their game DRM free at GOG? Purchase it there instead of on Steam. EA putting invasive crap into Origin? Don't use Origin or any games that use Origin. Want more old-school RPGs? Support those old-school RPGs and shun all of the newer ones. Hell, buy copies for all of your friends to show them how good those games are. Want more core games for the Wii? Actually fecking buy those core games.

Until we fecking learn some self-control and don't purchase games that do stuff we hate, we cannot expect anything to change. Complaining by itself does not change anything at all; it needs to be backed up by action. Which is something that we have not yet figured out how to do. We need to get out of this consumerism mindset that so many seem to be stuck in, and actually become responsible consumers. So, I implore you, if a pub or a dev is trying to screw you over, don't fall for it and purchase the game; grow some fecking balls, learn some self control, and don't purchase their games. Do what you say for once.

/mini-rant

Discussion! What do you think you can do to affect a positive change in the industry? What positive changes do you want to see?

That's what I am doing with EA.

I just don't know when to stop. Do I buy an EA game once it has no DRM in it or do I just wait until they say "no more DRM, ever!" which will never happen.

Matthew94:
That's what I am doing with EA.

I just don't know when to stop. Do I buy an EA game once it has no DRM in it or do I just wait until they say "no more DRM, ever!" which will never happen.

yeah same.

While I am drawing a thick line, it's hard to know where that line begins and ends, and if it actually makes a difference...is EA gonna go "Phew, they are buying again, back to the tricks people!" *insert obligatory Mr. Burns evil picture here*

BreakfastMan:
Snip

I have to agree with you for the most part, but I also have to disagree with some points you've made too. The thing I agree with you on is not buying DLC or games that we the players resent. By having some self control, we can ensure that a company gets notice that their game or DLC practices are not being so successful.

However, I must disagree with you about doing nothing (as in, not bothering to pay for a game or DLC that has a feature we dislike or find to pricy to spend.) If we hold back to much, people will get frustrated due to not having anything. Just because I despise Mass Effect 3's ending doesn't mean I have to stop myself from buying the game. It's multiplayer makes up for it (actually that's a lie but I still enjoyed the story overall.. despite the ending). We can't be to picky with what we want or don't want. Again, I agree we shouldn't buy obvious rip offs like day 1 DLCs but we can't hold back where companies are unaware what to do because no sales are going through.

The best we can really do is give feedback, along with reviews on games. By following reviews, we can assume the game is worth it or not. Weighing the pros and cons also help (I even did this for Skyrim, and it's pros were off the charts compared to the cons) But yeah I understand your point- sadly people won't care. If it's fresh, new, and something revolving around their favorite series or franchise, they will feel the need to have it. Heck for Dead Space 2, the DLC 'Severed' was really short and felt like a rip off for 500 microsoft points but I still had to have it because I was so drawn into the story and wanted to obtain all the achievements (shameful I know.)

Matthew94:
That's what I am doing with EA.

I just don't know when to stop. Do I buy an EA game once it has no DRM in it or do I just wait until they say "no more DRM, ever!" which will never happen.

Let's work from the hypothesis that approximately 25% of potential consumers of a company's products share your exact views and follow your purchasing habits exactly.

If that 25% of the consumer base simply stops buying all of that companies products, no exceptions, then that company is going to go into crisis mode. They're going to experiment with DRM, DLC, or any other sort of incentive to increase sales and the available profit margin derivd from those sales. Market practices you approve of may result from this. But more likely than not, the end result is going to be something different, but not necessarily more to your approval.

If, however, you instead buy that company's products selectively, based on which particular products you approve of, then the company's reaction is going to be different. They'll have immediate access to all available sales data, and they'll be able to determine what is selling well and what is not. If they see, for example, that product A has no overly restrictive DRM, and is selling as projected, and product B, with DRM, is selling 25% less than expected, I think it would be easy to determine which method they will pursue in the future.

In short: Making informed purchases is more beneficial to the market as a consumer than simple blind boycotts.

Caramel Frappe:

However, I must disagree with you about doing nothing (as in, not bothering to pay for a game or DLC that has a feature we dislike or find to pricy to spend.) If we hold back to much, people will get frustrated due to not having anything. Just because I despise Mass Effect 3's ending doesn't mean I have to stop myself from buying the game. It's multiplayer makes up for it (actually that's a lie but I still enjoyed the story overall.. despite the ending). We can't be to picky with what we want or don't want. Again, I agree we shouldn't buy obvious rip offs like day 1 DLCs but we can't hold back where companies are unaware what to do because no sales are going through.

...except we won't have nothing if we support the devs that do stuff we like. I am not saying do not buy any games ever, buy games from good devs. They still exist. Or buy older, awesome games. I know I still have dozens of old PC games and old PS2 games I have not played.

And I say we should be picky. We should be very picky. It is the only way we can actually expect change.

One idea for preventing buying 'The Same Game part 3' is to start threads on gaming sites with titles like, 'The Same Game part 3 alternatives' where the discussion is to provide the best similar to this game video game that is close enough to it to satisfy the need to play the bad game, but is a game with better business practices, gameplay, writing, etc.

And the point of it would be to pick one or three best ones, not to just list off every indie jrpg or fps ever. Kind of like an unofficial official knockoff.

It's true this young community hasn't got around to learning self control yet, partially because a good chunk of the demographic is very young and partially because they just got used to buying games blind as a kid.

Yes this used to be all fun and games but shit has gone big wig corporate and your wallet vote is more important then ever, this is the time where things start to shape for the future, and if you want to see quality products then the foot hasto come down.
If your dog shits on the carpet you got to smack him on the nose right there and then or he will just keep doing it, same goes for companies, if they suffer financially for bad behavior they simply can not afford to do it any longer.

But we still got a long way to go before the community can actually unite in holding off their immediate gratification to make a point.

Hal10k:

Matthew94:
That's what I am doing with EA.

I just don't know when to stop. Do I buy an EA game once it has no DRM in it or do I just wait until they say "no more DRM, ever!" which will never happen.

Let's work from the hypothesis that approximately 25% of potential consumers of a company's products share your exact views and follow your purchasing habits exactly.

If that 25% of the consumer base simply stops buying all of that companies products, no exceptions, then that company is going to go into crisis mode. They're going to experiment with DRM, DLC, or any other sort of incentive to increase sales and the available profit margin derivd from those sales. Market practices you approve of may result from this. But more likely than not, the end result is going to be something different, but not necessarily more to your approval.

If, however, you instead buy that company's products selectively, based on which particular products you approve of, then the company's reaction is going to be different. They'll have immediate access to all available sales data, and they'll be able to determine what is selling well and what is not. If they see, for example, that product A has no overly restrictive DRM, and is selling as projected, and product B, with DRM, is selling 25% less than expected, I think it would be easy to determine which method they will pursue in the future.

In short: Making informed purchases is more beneficial to the market as a consumer than simple blind boycotts.

What do you do when every EA game has DRM and some are becoming origin only?

Yeah, I've made it a policy of not buying shitty games with shitty DRM after a little misadventure with Advent Rising and SecuROM.

Kahunaburger:
Yeah, I've made it a policy of not buying shitty games with shitty DRM after a little misadventure with Advent Rising and SecuROM.

What about good games with shitty DRM? Do you avoid those was well, or purchase them?

BreakfastMan:

Kahunaburger:
Yeah, I've made it a policy of not buying shitty games with shitty DRM after a little misadventure with Advent Rising and SecuROM.

What about good games with shitty DRM? Do you avoid those was well, or purchase them?

I don't think of any game I have to install spyware to play, am not able to get to work at all, or that requires an online connection for single-player as "good."

Funny, I did that with Capcom and Street Fighter x Tekken, and Capcom thought I didn't buy the game due to market saturation empting my wallet.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/117274-Street-Fighter-X-Tekkens-Poor-Sales-Due-to-Cannibalism

You see that's the thing. I know a lot of people hold to the magical power of the boycott and witholding money to get better services, but on their own, such tactics aren't particularly successful. If anything they seem to push companies in worse directions like trying to block used game sales, or producing only what appeals to the non-boycotting mass market. The DLC isn't selling not because it's too expensive, the game just isn't popular. Game X doesn't sell, it isn't becuase it stunk or was poorly marketed, but there's a lack of interest in the francise or genre. I won't say the conept is worthless, but it is going up against some very prideful and stupid individuals that would rather face bankrupcy than admit they have to conceed to the consumer base.

I think too many passionate gamers and fans get too caught up in the marketing hype of a game and feel they must play X title even if it makes them buthurt.

Just look at the crap sonic fans have put up with through all these years (even worse with the current state Sega is in)

If you want to boycott a game and show your dislike of it, don't pirate it either.

Pirating shows that your issue with the game was an economic one. No matter what your reason actually is, they will see it as 'this person would have bought the game but the economic incentives weren't correct'. If you're upset with a game, just put it down, leave it, and play something else. There's so many games out there.

Too bad we can't go back in time and boycott ME3.

Boycott can change the industry, it's just that big boycotts tend to go... wrong. I, personally am not buying Diablo 3 because of the bull that's been put into it such as the Real Moeny Auction House. And yes, we do need to be picky. If we show devs and publishers we will only buy good games and ram it into their heads, hopefully more good games will be produced.

Matthew94:

Hal10k:

Matthew94:
That's what I am doing with EA.

I just don't know when to stop. Do I buy an EA game once it has no DRM in it or do I just wait until they say "no more DRM, ever!" which will never happen.

Let's work from the hypothesis that approximately 25% of potential consumers of a company's products share your exact views and follow your purchasing habits exactly.

If that 25% of the consumer base simply stops buying all of that companies products, no exceptions, then that company is going to go into crisis mode. They're going to experiment with DRM, DLC, or any other sort of incentive to increase sales and the available profit margin derivd from those sales. Market practices you approve of may result from this. But more likely than not, the end result is going to be something different, but not necessarily more to your approval.

If, however, you instead buy that company's products selectively, based on which particular products you approve of, then the company's reaction is going to be different. They'll have immediate access to all available sales data, and they'll be able to determine what is selling well and what is not. If they see, for example, that product A has no overly restrictive DRM, and is selling as projected, and product B, with DRM, is selling 25% less than expected, I think it would be easy to determine which method they will pursue in the future.

In short: Making informed purchases is more beneficial to the market as a consumer than simple blind boycotts.

What do you do when every EA game has DRM and some are becoming origin only?

If having DRM at all is a deal breaker for you, then it would make sense to avoid most of their games. However, given the fact that the vast majority of AAA games released nowadays have some form of DRM, that policy would be limiting your choices somewhat. If the negative consequences of DRM are your main objection, then it would make sense to purchase products that implemented their DRM in a relatively harmless fashion. I'm given to understand that you youngsters are fond of Steam, for example.

Kotep:
If you want to boycott a game and show your dislike of it, don't pirate it either.

Pirating shows that your issue with the game was an economic one. No matter what your reason actually is, they will see it as 'this person would have bought the game but the economic incentives weren't correct'. If you're upset with a game, just put it down, leave it, and play something else. There's so many games out there.

But what about DRM issues? Like, the people who pirated Assassin's Creed 2 because the game was good, but the DRM would make it into a worse game than the pirate version. How would you qualify that sort of thing. It's not an economic reason...

Hal10k:

If having DRM at all is a deal breaker for you, then it would make sense to avoid most of their games. However, given the fact that the vast majority of AAA games released nowadays have some form of DRM, that policy would be limiting your choices somewhat. If the negative consequences of DRM are your main objection, then it would make sense to purchase products that implemented their DRM in a relatively harmless fashion. I'm given to understand that you youngsters are fond of Steam, for example.

I should rephrase that, I don't like their DRM.

I don't mind steam as it is a mostly competent product but I will not use a product that has limited installs, forces me to use origin or is online only.

Most of EA's games have 2/3 of those issues. I only own a very small number of products (<5) that have install limits and 2 of them are borderlands DLC I got on sale and the install can be removed thankfully.

Wild_Marker:

Kotep:
stuff

But what about DRM issues? Like, the people who pirated Assassin's Creed 2 because the game was good, but the DRM would make it into a worse game than the pirate version. How would you qualify that sort of thing. It's not an economic reason...

It's not about the actual reason for doing it, it's about what the companies will see as the reason for doing it. If you boycott a game and pirate it, the company sees that you wanted the game, but didn't want to pay.

Also, there's the issue that they might take the fact that people are pirating it as a reason to introduce more DRM, even if that DRM is going to eventually be cracked.

Playing the game despite boycotting it undermines that message a bit.

Caramel Frappe:
We can't be to picky with what we want or don't want.

Actually, we can. That's kind of the marvel of luxury items.

Just because I despise Mass Effect 3's ending doesn't mean I have to stop myself from buying the game.

You don't have to do anything, but maybe you should. Because in purchasing, you're sending the message that the ending is acceptable. Along with on-disc content and day-1 DLC. Simply giving feedback rarely works. I mean, DRM has had quite a lot of feedback, but it hasn't gone away. Not even always-on DRM.

Matthew94:

Hal10k:

If having DRM at all is a deal breaker for you, then it would make sense to avoid most of their games. However, given the fact that the vast majority of AAA games released nowadays have some form of DRM, that policy would be limiting your choices somewhat. If the negative consequences of DRM are your main objection, then it would make sense to purchase products that implemented their DRM in a relatively harmless fashion. I'm given to understand that you youngsters are fond of Steam, for example.

I should rephrase that, I don't like their DRM.

I don't mind steam as it is a mostly competent product but I will not use a product that has limited installs, forces me to use origin or is online only.

Most of EA's games have 2/3 of those issues. I only own a very small number of products (<5) that have install limits and 2 of them are borderlands DLC I got on sale and the install can be removed thankfully.

Most, but not all. For example, Kingdoms of Amalur, co-published by EA, is available on Steam with no restrictions as far as I can see. My point is that we should judge products on a case-by-case basis, since the universal pronouncement of "It's EA so it must be evil" won't do much to motivate their decisions.

Matthew94:
That's what I am doing with EA.

I just don't know when to stop. Do I buy an EA game once it has no DRM in it or do I just wait until they say "no more DRM, ever!" which will never happen.

I think the idea is keep at it until they change. I still haven't bought ME3, partially out of a lack of interest or desperate need to play it, and partially out of not wanting to contribute to EA's pile of money. I imagine I'd be thinking a lot harder if it were a game I was really interesting.

The problem with games is with anything that are so digitally integrated, like having to register EA games through Origin, you really have no option but to cross into that company's waters. It's not like boycotting a brand of peanut butter by buying another brand of peanut butter. It's more like boycotting a brand of peanut butter when literally nobody else in the world makes peanut butter. So yeah, it is harder, but that is why EA keeps carrying on like they do. Because they've got us by the nose, and they know it. And we let them. We can't bring ourselves to swear off peanut butter. And that ultimately shows them we value the peanut butter more than we value legitimate business practices.

Kotep:

Wild_Marker:

Kotep:
stuff

But what about DRM issues? Like, the people who pirated Assassin's Creed 2 because the game was good, but the DRM would make it into a worse game than the pirate version. How would you qualify that sort of thing. It's not an economic reason...

It's not about the actual reason for doing it, it's about what the companies will see as the reason for doing it. If you boycott a game and pirate it, the company sees that you wanted the game, but didn't want to pay.

Also, there's the issue that they might take the fact that people are pirating it as a reason to introduce more DRM, even if that DRM is going to eventually be cracked.

Playing the game despite boycotting it undermines that message a bit.

Yes, but don't you think pirating a game because your problem is not with the game, but with the DRM itself, sends the message "We want the game, but we don't like how you sell it"?

If they introduce DRM and the pirate numbers go up while sales go down... well they have to be pretty damm stupid to no notice it

"Hey, what changed between our last game and this?"
"We put more DRM"
"And we sold less and got more pirates out of it?"
"Yes"
"Well, then it's probably not the DRM"

If that dialog did in fact go down in Ubi's office (like many believe it did, if you see all that happened last year) then I don't think anything we do will send the desired message to these people.

I mean, a boycott is one thing. But if "vote with your wallet" means "make specific and arbitrary desicions because otherwise that's the way the people who greenlight this sort of stuff get the message" then... we probably need to change how those people are geting their info, methinks. Though that be quite hard...

Bear in mind that gaming has expanded to very different social circles. The classic gamer/nerd/geek might still be gaming away and only purchasing select games that deserve it/are worth it, but there's for example the so-called "jock" crowd of CoD or similar combat or sports oriented multiplayer games and they will always buy the next version even if it is the exact same game with new levels. And that crowd is huge.

Also, a straight boycott isn't going to change things for the better. Feedback is required. If you don't like what EA is doing, perhaps you should start a petition or be an active member on their forums and voice your opinions. I don't know how much of it would get through to the execs, but I'm sure if people become loud enough about an issue, changes will be made. We've seen it before. It's not often, but it can happen. Sadly, some of the changes "the people" have made happen have been for the worse, but... oh well. At least Demon's/Dark Souls have done well enough that devs/pubs should know there are still people who want to be challenged :)

BreakfastMan:

Discussion! What do you think you can do to affect a positive change in the industry? What positive changes do you want to see?

I wouldnŽt buy games with DRM or any kind of so called service (since iŽm a console user this isn`t a problem yet).
Now i don`t buy games with on disk DLC (at least not new and not on day one), i try to avoid DLC were i have the feeling it`s cutted out from the core game (to me the DLC of GTA4 and RDR are prime examples how "good" DLC should look like), i try to avoid the "cutted" games itself or wait for cheap sales with all DLC included. DLC with a forced timescale is another no go to me. The same goes for games with online passes, i just don`t buy them first day and wait for a massive price drop or i don`t buy them at all.

I`m currently waiting for a price drop on Dragon`s Dogma or maybe iŽll buy it used (can`t say anything about the DLC, i only heard it`s the usual 100+ fetch quests and stuff like armor and new haircuts). I`m not 12 anymore, i can wait (most times, Max Payne3 starts screaming liar in the background).

While i understand that publishers/developers feel pushed out by the used sales, i`ve enough. I`m sick of feeling like a guinea pig for sales strategies. I`m a paying customer and i still decide what i buy.
The only thing those publishers have achieved is that i`m way more carefull now than i used to be.

Positive changes are taking a few steps towards the customer. CD project is good at this and i like to mention Monolyth. Gotham City Impostors has a gotten a free map (or now maybe 2 i`m out of the loop atm) and other free stuff. With those little steps i`m actually more in the mood to pay for a next mappack as long as i don`t feel it`s to much of a price. These things gain trust as long as those developers don`t get funny ideas they get support and it`s a win/win situation for both sides.

I know i sound like a pretty cheap bastard now but it`s all from the former feeling of having paid to much + getting f....d with.

I dont have any Origin games but if I did the last thing i'd do is post on EA's forums where if they don't like the look of you they can ban your account and lose your games.

But yeah Amalur on steam should be excluded from folks shit lists as it's 3rd party not EA who are handling it.

I think there should be some distiction between games that are owned by big publishers and those that are just published with the devs a seperate entity.

For example some doujin shmups are coming out soon on Steam, however it has Crapcom as publisher, even though these games are as much indine / doujin fangame as the great Cave Story only it has Nyu Media localising to the west (along with their own distro) with Capcom handling publishing on steam and their own store.

Ppl will just see the name Capcom and wont give those games a 2nd thought which is a shame

I assume, that when people buy a game, they're probably banking on enjoying the game.

And if they do, even if they hate the publisher, or hate an aspect of the game, who are you to berate them? It's not a matter of "self-control", or it wouldn't be if haters like you didn't make people guilty for buying and playing games that they have been waiting for.

It's all fine for YOU to not buy a game because YOU disagree with it for whatever reason, but don't start thinking that just because YOU think the game shouldn't be made, or shouldn't have gotten anyone's money, that that's some universal truth that the brainless masses are just too stupid or impulsive to realize.

The funny thing is, you're actually preaching a very anti-consumerist message in the guise of some consumerism manifesto. The truth of the matter is, people will buy games that they want to buy. They may enjoy them. They may not. If they don't, they have every right to complain. If they do enjoy them, then stfu and let them play their damn game that they figured was worth their money to buy.

The big bad publishers feed the gaming industry as a whole, and if the whole wants something, even if you disagree with it, they'll make it, because there is money there to be made. And more power to them - if they can make a call of duty clone every year and sell 6-8million copies, I say bravo. I don't buy those games, because competitive online multiplayer puts a bad taste in my mouth, but that's me. I certainly wouldn't think less of the people that want to play them, and try to keep up to date with the newest game. For the most part, those people are happy.

To quote an old axiom, don't hate the player, hate the game. And if you personally hate the game, then don't buy it. But don't just assume that everyone else is too stupid or weak to get "real change in the industry". The industry will change when it's good and ready. Until then, play the games that you want, and I won't look down on you for it.

I just play good games. I don't care whether its made by EA, Ubisoft, Activision, or a indie dev; if it looks good I'm going to buy it.

I also don't care about DRM since its never negatively affected me, or online passes since I can get over having to type in 25 characters which takes me a whole 30 seconds to do.

As for the industry changing, I think that it is stagnant but that's because we've hit the end of this generations life cycle so people really stop taking risks. I think in two years or so we're going to start seeing some really amazing stuff

If I truly enjoy the game, and the price is reasonable, I'd buy it no matter what the company is. But the problem with people still buying the cookie-cutter games is all the dedicated drones to games like CoD (forgive me for using this example), they are not aware of the gaming medium as a whole and only concentrate on the game they like to play.

Captcha: bad egg (that's you CoD players who over react)

i tend to agree with the original poster. if you dont agree with the business practices, pudicts or services offered then shop around and support those who you give you what you want

it is like talking to crack junkies.
you might convince some with the risk that they may fall back into the habbits because of the illusion of 'fame' you'd get or the 'right' to criticize it.

has anyone seen the tester 3 and how they shunned arin 'egoraptor' hanson because he didnt have enough game medals?

even if the escapists will not like this:

The problem I have with this whole system is that it only works if a game is good or bad.

If, hypothetically, EA released a game new at $50, bringing the content up to twice as much as launch with patches etc, and had revolutionary features nobody thought possible. If this game also has always online DRM that boots you out of the game without saving at the slightiest hiccup in your connection, what do you do?

If you buy it, intending to encourage them to make more amazing games, they can just interpret it as "These kids love our DRM" and put it in all their other, worse games where it doesn't offset the greatness of the game. If you boycott it because of the DRM, they can just interpret the game being a failure, and continue to implement DRM and not the wonderful mechanics.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that games are FAR too complicated for buy it/don't buy it to be a decent feedback mechanism. Even if games were only ever perfect or horrible it still wouldn't be a fine enough scale.

Matthew94:
That's what I am doing with EA.

I just don't know when to stop. Do I buy an EA game once it has no DRM in it or do I just wait until they say "no more DRM, ever!" which will never happen.

I buy them second hand without an online pass, if I really want it that is.

I'm doing so to EA and a few others.

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

This thread is locked