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Posted (edited)

I think Anno 2070 is kind of a bad example, Ross. You talk about burning Bram Stoker's Dracula, but they aren't purging the whole game, just the online elements. Is Anno 2070 even popular enough that someone would run a fan server for a city building game, even if they offered up the code like you've suggested in the past?

 

As to why this is getting noticed and the other ones aren't--the ones you mentioned were only shutting down the online servers in 2021. We were hearing that people wouldn't be able to download the DLC for various popular Assassin's Creed games anymore even if they had already paid for them, and that pissed people off. People are fairly willing to except the fact that online services won't last forever (whether that's right or not is a completely different matter), but if they paid for a certain amount of downloadable data they are going to be affronted if they lose access to that data. I'm sure that the same thing has happened before, but Assassin's Creed II and Far Cry 3 were very popular.

Edited by daisekihan (see edit history)

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These days it seems journalists do more psychological warfare than journalism. So I think maybe they report on dying games with sad acceptance to try and normalize just sadly accepting it and doing nothing else whenever it happens.

It's not like you can socially engineer "being upset about not being able to do something anymore" out from the human condition. That's an extension of a survival instinct. So when Ubisoft wants to shut something down (because if people don't stop playing old online game they won't buy new online game), they pay the journalists to deaden the impact as much as is possible without looking like Ubisoft is paying them. They know they can't make you not care. They can however keep you feeling as if it might be socially unacceptable to care any more than that. If this one's getting more exposure than the others, it's because Google's datamining (or something) told them too many were starting to wish this practice would stop and they need to be reminded of the normality of sad acceptance.

 

People who work in media these days also tend to be postmodernists who think that history and truth is open to the strongest bidder and might makes right and you'd better join with whoever appears to be the strongest side in any issue even if it means holding contradictory principles, like acting this way and also hating capitalism.

Is this the road to madness? Absolutely, but that's no reason to think someone in the media wouldn't be this way. If madness pays the bills they'll be crazy all day.

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Posted (edited)

Ross, MintPress, publisher of the article on the CIA that you quote here, is not a credible news organization. They have been caught spreading lies that even other far left news outlets disavowed (https://www.antiwar.com/blog/2013/09/20/retraction-and-apology-to-our-readers-for-mint-press-article-on-syria-gas-attack/)

 

If you are really opposed to misinformation, I think you should be more diligent about your sources. Furthermore, even this article, as flawed  as it is, only said that the CIA *was* embedded in major media outlets during the Cold War.

Edited by daisekihan (see edit history)

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On 7/15/2022 at 2:31 PM, daisekihan said:

I think Anno 2070 is kind of a bad example, Ross. You talk about burning Bram Stoker's Dracula, but they aren't purging the whole game, just the online elements. Is Anno 2070 even popular enough that someone would run a fan server for a city building game, even if they offered up the code like you've suggested in the past?

He brought it up because of the rhetoric in the article, not specific to anything about the game itself. I mean, purging online aspects of a game with no way to recover them is still wrong, even if it doesn't render the entire product unplayable. Maybe instead, just burn the last ten pages or so of every copy of Dracula if you want a comparison.

 

The popularity doesn't really matter, as well. If someone -- anyone -- wants to, the art they're trying to access should be...y'know, accessible. The only limitation to accessing art should be the physical limitation of stuff that hasn't already been preserved digitally. It could be friggin' Empress Theresa and it would still be wrong to permanently damage or remove every copy in existence.

 

 

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Physical discs aren't entirely coasters, they're mainly now aimed at people with slow internet, install some of the game, then download the rest ... and find the newer patches are probably bigger than what you managed to install from disc ;-)

 

Also, sometimes the physical discs are cheaper than the digital version even when a game is newly released (it's why my version of Dishonored 2 was a physical purhcase).

 

I recently started re-playing GTA SA. I couldn't be bothered using my original 1.0 disc, so used my steam copy which has whatever patches are in it. It's been a very buggy (both graphical and gameplay) journey and none of the bugs I've experienced ever occured replaying my 1.0 game, which also leads on to feature removals etc.

 

I can't recall which game it was (it'll have been free off the Epic store or GoG) that I recently installed, but it was the first time I'd actually seen a EULA where it clearly stated they could remove any feature at any point from the game and you HAD to comply with your game being modified and accept it.

 

There was further text in the EULA saying they could modify the game in any way they saw fit.

 

On the one side I guess it was nice they freely admit to that, since buyers could in theory reject the EULA and request a refund, but it still made me glad it was free because really, who'd want to pay for a game that they might come back to years later and find that the game had been modified so much as to no longer be the same game.

 

 

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On 7/16/2022 at 4:54 AM, daisekihan said:

Ross, MintPress, publisher of the article on the CIA that you quote here, is not a credible news organization. They have been caught spreading lies that even other far left news outlets disavowed (https://www.antiwar.com/blog/2013/09/20/retraction-and-apology-to-our-readers-for-mint-press-article-on-syria-gas-attack/)

 

If you are really opposed to misinformation, I think you should be more diligent about your sources. Furthermore, even this article, as flawed  as it is, only said that the CIA *was* embedded in major media outlets during the Cold War.

 

I can't speak to the former, but as for the second part of your statement, you're correct in that this is all historical.  However, I can't think of any reason to assume they've become less influential since then as their budget is only larger and there's more media conglomeration since then.  If there was a mass purge of state actor influence, it certainly missed my attention.  On the contrary, one we know of was the false reporting of WMDs starting the Iraq War (which the article also mentions), that happened long after the Cold War.  My reasoning is "the influence never left", but if you have evidence to the contrary, I could look at it.

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On 7/15/2022 at 11:31 PM, daisekihan said:

I think Anno 2070 is kind of a bad example, Ross. You talk about burning Bram Stoker's Dracula, but they aren't purging the whole game, just the online elements. Is Anno 2070 even popular enough that someone would run a fan server for a city building game, even if they offered up the code like you've suggested in the past?

Shaddy more or less explained it, I was referring the to the rhetoric being used.  However, you illustrate an important point of why communication gets lost SO EASILY online if I refer to anything other than COMPLETE shutdowns, since there's wide room for confusion on the internet.  Ubisoft killed Mighty Quest For Epic Loot, Ghost Recon Phantoms, Might & Magic Showdown, etc., I think it's just a matter of time for bigger titles.

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I feel like you are a little behind the curve on games journalism companies being useless piles of shite

 

Also yea the CIA is probably still putting their fingers into the punch bowl that seems rather beyond dispute to me

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I saw a post I was going to reply to but I guess it got deleted or something. Not a big deal. Main point was on that Anno 2070 problem and the comparison to burning all copies of Dracula. I went back to check that over assuming I might have missed something, but I don't really think I did. The argument Ross responded to was "people had enough time to experience X piece of media" and the Dracula comparison was about the idea that you could justify burning every copy of the book after 100 years of it first being published because 100 years is enough time to read it.
As long as a user can host their own server or the multiplayer component is only available through LAN, you can still use something to make it work. Even if the online is terrible and rushed, people should still be allowed to play that component of the game. People might've bought it with the intention of playing it online too since online modes tend to be in advertising for games. Sort of in the same vein as Sony advertising that the Playstation Vita could stream a large amount of the PS3's library too it and all it needed was PS3 on the same network. That feature pretty much was nonexistent for the Vita's life (except if you used CFW, but that's modding the system which is unintended) and Sony lost a lawsuit over that and owners of a Vita that bought it while they advertised that feature were awarded some monetary compensation.
Even if the multiplayer is a small component of the game, I don't think it is very unfair to suggest that I should still have the ability to play all of the game I bought, not just part of it even if that is the main portion of the game. Taking away singleplayer DLC is nothing more than destroying that whole piece of content. The base game is still playable, but the extra stuff I bought is gone even in the mode that isn't effected by the online mode. That DLC could've been the reason I kept playing or got me interested in the game in the first place and same with the multiplayer. If I got it for either of those two reasons, that game is completely dead to me. Sure, I can play the base game, but if I didn't buy it for that and I have no intention of playing that then it lost its value.

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On 7/16/2022 at 8:15 PM, QuakeIV said:

I feel like you are a little behind the curve on games journalism companies being useless piles of shite

I'm not sure that's fair. The internet as a collective needs to be more descriptive about what "game journalism" means. Sure, people have been memeing on the incompetence of games media for years now, but why they do that is much more important.

 

Best I can tell, "lol games journalism" started in 2014 with gamergate. I'm not getting into the varied, often-contradictory claims of that movement, but it should be clear those claims aren't the same as the killing games problem. The shutdown craze has increased since 2014, but in my experience gamergate was more angry about individuals who represented social values they disagreed with, and the connection to "game journalism" was a story where one of them allegedly used underhanded tactics for good press.

 

My skepticism of that story aside, it should be clear why the internet decided "game journalism" meant corrupt, sycophantic or incompetent actors. It's thinking in terms of individuals. I'm sure everyone here has seen someone talk about Kotaku like it's a person, not a site full of differing, sometimes-conflicting viewpoints. But games being killed is a systemic issue, an industry-wide practice that needs major legislative decisions to counteract, not started by individuals or even a specific company. The connection to journalism isn't just under-reporting, but what reports there are treat it with kid-gloves and fail to hold the publishers accountable for this decision.

 

Games coverage has for a very very long time been in the pocket of publishers, and their tendency to play defense for them (even without actual sponsorships) hasn't wavered a bit since people started going "lol games journalism", because the problem goes further up than that, and I think saying "well game journalism has been bad a long time" kinda ignores this, because it's still treating it with the individualist mindset.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 7/17/2022 at 8:34 AM, Shaddy said:

Best I can tell, "lol games journalism"

Best I can tell it's about companies like IGN who have reviewers who completely tare into games in reviews but still give them a high score like 4/5, or just give bad games high scores just because they are afraid of being canceled (i.e. lose their critic perks) by the game company.

like the examples here (at the time stamp)

 

Edited by kerdios (see edit history)

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Posted (edited)
On 7/16/2022 at 12:51 PM, Ross Scott said:

Shaddy more or less explained it, I was referring the to the rhetoric being used.  However, you illustrate an important point of why communication gets lost SO EASILY online if I refer to anything other than COMPLETE shutdowns, since there's wide room for confusion on the internet.  Ubisoft killed Mighty Quest For Epic Loot, Ghost Recon Phantoms, Might & Magic Showdown, etc., I think it's just a matter of time for bigger titles.

I'll put aside the CIA thing. But about multiplayer features, aren't there inevitably going to be some games that are simply not popular enough for fans to bother setting up a server, even if the company released the code for free? Even popular games can eventually have empty lobbies even if the server is technically running after enough time.

Edited by daisekihan (see edit history)

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On 7/17/2022 at 1:47 PM, daisekihan said:

But about multiplayer features, aren't there inevitably going to be some games that are simply not popular enough for fans to bother setting up a server, even if the company released the code for free? Even popular games can eventually have empty lobbies even if the server is technically running after enough time.

That is true, a lot of people will move on after enough time passes. This was addressed in the "GaaS is Fraud" video. This boils down to the company deciding what games we still get to play not the actual players. So in this case, the players have decided that they don't want to play that game right now, but maybe in a couple years when a new game in that series is announced people will go back to the older ones. It never went away and is always there waiting. If a game is terrible and nobody wants to preserve it, then it doesn't get preserved. That is not because nobody could preserve it but because nobody wanted to, there is a massive difference between those two.
 

On 7/17/2022 at 6:51 AM, kerdios said:

Best I can tell it's about companies like IGN who have reviewers who completely tare into games in reviews but still give them a high score like 4/5, or just give bad games high scores just because they are afraid of being canceled (i.e. lose their critic perks) by the game company.

like the examples here (at the time stamp)

I think it isn't just about losing perks of free games and getting info sooner (although that is a part of it), since that company blacklist can hurt but I think the problem is also on some of the people that see those reviews. It also isn't just limited to that specific company but also other companies see that and add you to the blacklist. If a game gets any less than a 9 or 10, I always hear some people making claims about the review or essentially attacking them. You might remember Jeff Gerstmann getting fired over the Kane and Lynch review years ago. That's because the publisher had tons of money in that and any slight amount of negativity surrounding it was asking for death.

I remember directly seeing calls for violence against a couple reviewers for Cyberpunk 2077 getting less than 9 or 10 alongside the pointless accusation that the reviewer is an "SJW" and that's why they gave the game a low score. Not to mention the people working on the game getting death threats when the game got delayed.  I saw that stop once people actually PLAYED the game, but nonetheless people still did that over an arbitrary number. I think it boils down to some people being extremely petty and needing to use numbers to prove their game is better instead of why they think it really is a better game. You like the games you like, who cares what score the game got when you like it and have fun with it.

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On 7/17/2022 at 10:47 AM, daisekihan said:

I'll put aside the CIA thing. But about multiplayer features, aren't there inevitably going to be some games that are simply not popular enough for fans to bother setting up a server, even if the company released the code for free? Even popular games can eventually have empty lobbies even if the server is technically running after enough time.

But the point isn't about whether the server will have a bunch of people on it, it's about being able to run it at all. Plenty of games will go unplayed whether a publisher kills them or not, but the focus is that publishers shouldn't be able to kill them regardless. You can't predict whether a game will stay popular, but you can choose whether to deny anyone the right to ever play it again, and that's a shitty thing to do which shouldn't be allowed, at least if they paid for any part of it.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 7/17/2022 at 7:16 PM, Shaddy said:

But the point isn't about whether the server will have a bunch of people on it, it's about being able to run it at all. Plenty of games will go unplayed whether a publisher kills them or not, but the focus is that publishers shouldn't be able to kill them regardless. You can't predict whether a game will stay popular, but you can choose whether to deny anyone the right to ever play it again, and that's a shitty thing to do which shouldn't be allowed, at least if they paid for any part of it.

But like, what if no one is even willing to run such a server in the first place? I mean, we're not talking about erasing the full game, but just the multiplayer aspects of a game you can still play. The company can't run the servers forever, so the proposed other option is to turn multiplayer servers over to the fans. But someone will have to run and pay for those servers. That's just not going to happen every time even if the company does allow it. 
 

On 7/17/2022 at 6:01 PM, Blizzaga said:

That is true, a lot of people will move on after enough time passes. This was addressed in the "GaaS is Fraud" video. This boils down to the company deciding what games we still get to play not the actual players. So in this case, the players have decided that they don't want to play that game right now, but maybe in a couple years when a new game in that series is announced people will go back to the older ones. It never went away and is always there waiting. If a game is terrible and nobody wants to preserve it, then it doesn't get preserved. That is not because nobody could preserve it but because nobody wanted to, there is a massive difference between those two.

I'm not saying I agree but if this scenario happened, "but maybe in a couple years when a new game in that series is announced people will go back to the older ones", the companies would argue, "If such a demand appeared we would reopen the servers."

Edited by daisekihan (see edit history)

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The problem is that all AAA companies have moved towards the GaaS model as an outgrowth of the "always-online" DRM model. When every game is designed in a manner not too dissimilar to how MMOs were, there is nothing stopping the publisher from holding all the cards when it comes to you accessing the game.

 

I know Ross made some good criticisms of the "boomer mindset," but I think the issue is that people aren't being boomer-y enough. We're heading for a digital dark age, popular culture is just kinda getting worse all around, and while enterprising pirates will likely keep us from completely losing a not-insignificant portion of our cultural history, it really does feel like there is little worth paying attention to past some point in the past 30-ish years.

 

It's not enough to try and buy physical or pirate, one should just reject virtually everything that's new from the big corporations. Reward creators who aren't just completely recycling something old or who see you as more than just a wallet. Champion new ideas and original works. The problem there is that, for one, that kind of attitude is off-putting, and two, "new ideas and original works" for the past decade have been...mixed, IMO.

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On 7/18/2022 at 7:58 AM, daisekihan said:

But like, what if no one is even willing to run such a server in the first place? I mean, we're not talking about erasing the full game, but just the multiplayer aspects of a game you can still play. The company can't run the servers forever, so the proposed other option is to turn multiplayer servers over to the fans. But someone will have to run and pay for those servers. That's just not going to happen every time even if the company does allow it. 
 

I'm not saying I agree but if this scenario happened, "but maybe in a couple years when a new game in that series is announced people will go back to the older ones", the companies would argue, "If such a demand appeared we would reopen the servers."

 

I'm pretty sure I covered this is in the DGN Lawbreakers episode, but this is an easy one to address. 

 

First off, depending on the game we're talking about, there's no "paying" for servers other than the cost of running a computer.  If you're trying to run an arena shooter with 10 people, one system can handle that easily.  Now if we're talking replicating an MMO, yeah, some costs can emerge, but don't assume you have to fork over a bunch of money just to run a multiplayer game.  In the 90s / early 00s it was as simple as "host game" right in the game menu.  If it's a planned group, the servers don't have to be running 24/7 either.

 

Second, interest can always re-emerge.  If you have server software and some friends like an old multiplayer game, you can play it, the end.  There's no expiration date.  If a popular Youtuber enjoys an old game, then their fanbase / new people could start playing it again.  Tying it to the company server ensures NO ONE can play it again, regardless of how much interest.  Most MMOs for example, have people playing them right until the very end.

 

Third, I'm not trying to prevent NATURAL death of a multiplayer game.  If literally no one wants to play it, fine, that should be up to buyers, they bought a copy of the game.  I'm against ARTIFICIAL death, where players have no choice.  And even if players stop playing, it can always re-emerge (see point 2 above).

 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 7/17/2022 at 10:58 PM, daisekihan said:

But like, what if no one is even willing to run such a server in the first place? I mean, we're not talking about erasing the full game, but just the multiplayer aspects of a game you can still play. The company can't run the servers forever, so the proposed other option is to turn multiplayer servers over to the fans. But someone will have to run and pay for those servers. That's just not going to happen every time even if the company does allow it.

We're not talking about perpetually hosting a dedicated master server or anything, we're talking about the bare minimum to play the game at all.

 

Like, SRB2, the Sonic game built in a dead fork of the Doom engine, will always be playable in multiplayer, because you can run the server yourself even if the multiplayer master server (which, for perspective, has run for fifteen years on a non-profit fangame) were to be taken down completely. It doesn't cost anything for me to open my ports to play co-op with my friends.

 

A few months back, darkflame released their own custom software to run private Lego Universe servers specifically because there were legal issues with trying to host a public one. That game is now officially rescued from being dead, whether or not anyone actually uses that software.

Edited by Shaddy (see edit history)

 

 

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