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"Games as a service" is fraud.

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My ultimate video on "games as a service"!  This video is more fact-heavy than the vast majority of ones I make, but it's on a topic that I think is the largest problem in gaming today.  As you'll see in the video, this is my declaration of war on "games as a service."  I've been meaning to make this video since at least last year, there's been a lot leading up to this.  It's quite long and dryer than my usual stuff, you may want to watch it in chunks, or just skip straight to the ending.

In the past, I've made "Dead Game News" videos as a way to shine a light on how bad the practice of destroying games is.  That hasn't been enough to curtail the practice in any way whatsoever; on the contrary, the practice continues to accelerate.  This video is essentially what "Dead Game News" was leading up to.  I was hoping to raise enough awareness on the topic to take some sort of real action against it.  Most of the video is a "deprogramming" of the industry narrative as to what "games as a service" is, similar to how you would try to treat a rescued cult member, hence the reason it's so long.

The end goal of this video is to lead to some sort of legal action against the industry (details on that in the video).  Now that I've learned enough about the topic to see that this could actually be possible, I think it's the only chance for saving many games in the future.  I honestly have zero idea if this video will lead to real action being taken or if things will completely fizzle out.  Either way, I felt compelled to make it, like it wasn't even in my control.  This video is very much a "It's better to regret something you have done, than regret something you haven't done" situation.

This did take time away from my other usual videos, my apologies about that, but it also served as an exorcism for me so that I don't have to keep obsessing on this topic in the future.  It's in fate's hands now, I've done what I can, we'll just see what happens.  Anyway, more fun videos are coming for the future, which is what I'd rather be making anyway!


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Posted (edited)

At 1:09 the video consistently errors out on Youtube. If skipped to 1:19 it plays just fine so far. Also happens at 9:32, resuming at 9:40.

Edited by BTGBullseye

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Showed it to a friend and he got the same crashing issue at 1:09, multiple times. I hope this isn't too stress-inducing honestly, I can only imagine how frustrating that could be for such a large, important project. He kept watching anyway without encouragement from me, so that's gotta count for something, man.

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Well, in a sense I agree, but on the other hand it seems like you’re skating by on a technicality of the distinction between a good and a service. It seems more like these games are something in between a good and a service. 

 

Also, supposing you’re right and any online-only game is committing fraud if they don’t charge a fee and shut their game down. You say all these games couldn’t afford to go back to subscriptions—why couldn’t they just charge $0.01 for a yearly subscription? I mean, when you try to catch a company on a technicality like that, there’s always going to be loopholes. I think it would be hard to make this stick unless you could prove that when people buy an online only game with no subscription fee, they have the expectation that they will be able to play it indefinitely.

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Monkey off your back? 😉

 

You make some strong arguments, although the estimate of 1 hour to a few days to achieve the minimum level of repairability seems thin. Even if the development effort for the work is X number of hours, it still needs to be tested and verified to be functional, which means test cases and testers. For software produced by mature companies, you should also assume ancillary activity for things like documentation, analysis, and project management. The minimum effort could still be low, but probably not as low as an hour.

 

Also, the reason for calling it Gaming As A Service is probably more a nod to latching onto the cloud computing bandwagon with buzz words (Software As A Service, Infrastructure As A Service, Platform As A Service), rather than being anything remotely connected to the NIST definition. 

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I was actually quite surprised Ross didn't mention that "games as a service" eliminates piracy at the "pros and cons" part. Now I am in no way arguing that setting up your game so that it is dependent on a central server is a sane and ethical way of preventing piracy -even though current regular DRM is extremely weak and gets cracked within days or even hours upon release-, however I think that was another counter argument that you had to answer towards the end. Games as a service is objectively better for the seller when it comes to maintaining profits by eliminating the chance for "cracks" of the game to be made but it is NOT fully defensable since you do breach the deal you made with the buyer by also preventing those who obtained the game legitimately to play it again.

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Posted (edited)

*buys a game for 60 bucks*

*buys some DLC, maybe some microtransactions*

*game shuts down after a day*

 

1: hey uh, can i have my money back

2: no lol

1: uhhh, can i have my game back???

2: nO WE LOST THE GAME SORRY

 

How can anyone defend something like this?

 

12 minutes ago, Elfing said:

I was actually quite surprised Ross didn't mention that "games as a service" eliminates piracy

it also eliminates the game pretty well

 

1 hour ago, daisekihan said:

Well, in a sense I agree, but on the other hand it seems like you’re skating by on a technicality of the distinction between a good and a service. It seems more like these games are something in between a good and a service. 

 

Also, supposing you’re right and any online-only game is committing fraud if they don’t charge a fee and shut their game down. You say all these games couldn’t afford to go back to subscriptions—why couldn’t they just charge $0.01 for a yearly subscription? I mean, when you try to catch a company on a technicality like that, there’s always going to be loopholes. I think it would be hard to make this stick unless you could prove that when people buy an online only game with no subscription fee, they have the expectation that they will be able to play it indefinitely.

 

do you guys hate videogames or something? are they not real enough?

is the effort not real enough? are the hours people slaved over not "real" enough for, anyone? this whole thing is ridiculous

 

do we just pretend that games are not real, that they are not part ouf our reality

what, are games now just a figment of our immagination?

 

OH ALL THAT EFFORT YOU PUT INTO THAT GAME? no it's not real sorry, screw you

no arguments can justify these subscription services to me, ever

 

ok i get it, you shutdown the game, either

 

1. allow me to play the game

2. give me my money back

 

there's no other good option, anything else, and it's fraud automatically

 

it would be like burning down churches and paintings just because we stopped paying the janitor's fee

JUST GET A NEW JANITOR, OR DON'T, BUT STOP BURNING EVERYTHING DOWN YOU MORONS, QUIT SCREWING AROUND WITH THE SCORCHED EARTH TACTICS

WHATEVER YOU ARE DOING, YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG

Edited by RaTcHeT302

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I don't care, there hasnt been a good video game since 2004. Gaming deserves to die

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7 minutes ago, RaTcHeT302 said:

it also eliminates the game pretty well

Yes, that's exactly what I said at the end of my post. I was just pointing out that Ross should've included that counter argument at that section. He spent some time on the pros and cons of "games as a service" and I think it paints that entire section of the video as being too biased if he doesn't include actual pros into the pros part.

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6 minutes ago, Im_CIA said:

I don't care, there hasnt been a good video game since 2004. Gaming deserves to die

MR PRESIDENT ROSS PLEASE SAVE US

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, Elfing said:

Yes, that's exactly what I said at the end of my post. I was just pointing out that Ross should've included that counter argument at that section. He spent some time on the pros and cons of "games as a service" and I think it paints that entire section of the video as being too biased if he doesn't include actual pros into the pros part.

no point with arguing with that, i'd be going in circles (i mean if you just cancel out your argument at the end, what's the point - it doesn't make my point null)

 

my point is, that it cannot be justified, 100%, no matter how you try to present it, there are no benefits, games are as real as anything else on this planet

Edited by RaTcHeT302

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1 minute ago, RaTcHeT302 said:

my point is, that it cannot be justified, 100%, no matter how you try to present it, there are no benefits

Except there are, for the company. Are you even reading what I wrote for more than the first 2 sentences? Online only games dependent on central servers cannot be pirated, and that is a significant portion of their profit saved from piracy. Companies don't develop central server based games because they are sadist and thrive on the destruction of hardwork and art, they do it because they are solely profit driven, and central server based games increase profit.  Including that fact would even be beneficial for his argument since it would also tell people WHY companies set their games up so that they are dependent on central servers, hence the video doesn't appear heavily biased.

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1 hour ago, Watterson said:

Showed it to a friend and he got the same crashing issue at 1:09, multiple times. I hope this isn't too stress-inducing honestly, I can only imagine how frustrating that could be for such a large, important project. He kept watching anyway without encouragement from me, so that's gotta count for something, man.

i kinda got bored 20 minutes in but, i'll just watch it in chunks, and i thought the video glitches were intentional - i thought it was either that, or just very ironic of the future state of games, how reality as we know can be altered just like that, where game "releases" won't mean much, when the games themselves can simply vanish off the face of the planet, as if they were never, ever made in the first place

 

it's ridiculous

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Elfing said:

Except there are, for the company. Are you even reading what I wrote for more than the first 2 sentences? Online only games dependent on central servers cannot be pirated, and that is a significant portion of their profit saved from piracy. Companies don't develop central server based games because they are sadist and thrive on the destruction of hardwork and art, they do it because they are solely profit driven, and central server based games increase profit.  Including that fact would even be beneficial for his argument since it would also tell people WHY companies set their games up so that they are dependent on central servers, hence the video doesn't appear heavily biased.

game's dead, give me my money back or let me play it if i threw money at it, anything else doesn't matter

 

i bought the game, i don't care about piracy, i'm a customer, why do i get ripped off?

 

update:

just to add insult to injury, THE GAMES LITERALLY STOP EXISTING WITH THE LIVE SERVICES, THERE ARE NO JUSTIFICATIONS BEHIND IT, YOU LITERALLY BURN MONEY AWAY, TO GET NOTHING, NOT EVEN THE CHARRED ASHES OF YOUR CASH

 

GAMES ARE LITERALLY "NOT REAL" ANYMORE, THEY DO NOT EXIST

i don't care about piracy, because i'm not pirating in the first place, i'm buying it, now i bought it, now the company says "no you never bought this game you dumbass, play these other games instead"

 

but i want my game, the game i bought, the game I OWN, THE REAL GAME, I WANT REALITY BACK

 

aaAAAAAAAAAA

 

so yeah, i think my argument holds water

Edited by RaTcHeT302

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8 minutes ago, RaTcHeT302 said:

game's dead, give me my money back or let me play it if i threw money at it, anything else doesn't matter

 

i bought the game, i don't care about piracy, i'm a customer, why do i get ripped off?

 

Exactly, that was the counter argument I presented for the "eliminates piracy" counter argument. Read the entirety of my post. Hell I can also come up with another argument against that. A EU research found out that piracy can actually BOOST sales and that people who pirate games substitute them for free games. So they were never going to pay money for the game anyways.

 

I just think it was another noteworthy counter argument Ross had to answer beforehand for and a big chunk of solving a problem is examining WHY it's there in the first place. Central server based games are here partly because of short sighted greed in an attempt to prevent piracy.

Edited by Elfing

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Posted (edited)

does the game exist, or does it not? to me, that's all that matters (according to game companies, the answer to the future, is no games exist)

does the game i bought exist, or does some company randomly ransom me, by deciding, that no, reality as i knew it, is no longer valid

 

nope, still can't justify it, just for piracy alone, it's not a good enough argument to me at least, it's too weak, i'll stick my guns to the "reality" argument

a painting doesn't stop existing just like that, why should a game, with actual work, put into, be any different?

 

i don't know, i don't think ross needs to defend this practice by having counter arguments

why would he dismantle his own opinion? it is biased, of course he's biased, that's the point, the point is that we do not want to this stupid thing, because it's stupid, that's about it

 

literally the whole video is here to fight this practice, why would he provide counter arguments, against his very own opinion, it doesn't make much sense to me (not that any good arguments for games as a service exist, they are all the result of some, really twisted logic in my mind, i just cannot justify it, i'm sorry, no matter what people say, it's real, or it's not real)

 

to me the point is, we want to stop this practice no matter what, nobody cares about the motivation, behind some stupid choices, they are still stupid at their core, and we want the stupid to stop, mostly, or at least, have some measures to ensure, that the stupid choices can be fixed in the long term and down the line, so that the games we play 10 years down the line, can still actually be played

 

if all games released in 2020, in 10 years no longer literally work, what's your piracy argument good for then? we are just going in circles again

Edited by RaTcHeT302

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This general call to arms against corporate greed reminds me of a book I read recently, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe.

 

The story takes place in first wave of the European conquest of Africa, where the main character tries to rally his village to fight back against their oppressive, white colonizers. Unfortunately for him, most people just wanted to live and let live.

 

I get the feeling this will fizzle out in a similar way..

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2 minutes ago, RaTcHeT302 said:

nope, still can't justify it, just for piracy alone, it's not a good enough argument to me at least, it's too weak,

I'm now fully convinced you are not reading my posts in their entirety or you are simply not understanding them. That's exactly what I said. This practice is NOT justifiable. That's what he has proven at the counter arguments part, by debunking all the potential counter arguments.

 

4 minutes ago, RaTcHeT302 said:

i don't know, i don't think ross needs to defend this practice by having counter arguments

why would he dismantle his own opinion?

He doesn't. He dismantles THOSE pro-central server opinions. If you don't answer to counter arguments, your argument doesn't really seem strong. He's just further proving that it is unjustifiable by debunking all the "justifications" for that practice. This is actually exactly what you are doing right now. By that logic, if what I'm saying is stupid, then why are you even responding? By quoting my posts and respondin to them, you are also including my counter arguments.

 

And the funniest thing is, I'm not even arguing that this whole thing is justifiable, quite the contrary. I just think that Ross missed a detail and I pointed out why it is relevant to his case.

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Posted (edited)

ok i give up, you guys can stop the pirates, good job you did it

 

edit: ok i'm 45 minutes in after that long break at minute 20 (the law stuff was really boring, i've been playing some deus ex music to spice the video up after 30 minutes), and i'm surprised at how so many of my arguments and thoughts do match up with the video as a whole, didn't expect ross to even bring up the "reality" thing, but that felt kinda cool to be on the same wave more or less

Edited by RaTcHeT302

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