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Legal analysis roundup (for USA)

Since I’ve made the “Games as a Service” video, several US attorneys have weighed in on the legal portions of my video. There’s not a total consensus and in some cases there was minor misunderstanding, but the conclusions all point in the same direction: GAAS is either not fraud or else extremely difficult to prove it’s fraud. Furthermore, even if it was established as fraud, it would be on such a minor level under the law, that it may not even carry a penalty. Barring new information, I’m leaning towards declaring the USA a lost cause on this manner and focusing on countries with stronger consumer protection laws.

Anyway, here’s a list of the legal analyses, and some additional appearances I had in responding. I recommend not watching these unless you’re bored or doing something else as most are quite long:

“YouTuber Law” video analysis
I think this is the best one (also the 2nd shortest). He grasped my arguments well and gave a realistic look at the situation.

Leonard French long video analysis
A longer look at the laws in the video, I also had some audio appearances in this one where I asked more questions.

Leonard French short video analysis
A quick look at the laws in the video, he made some conclusions that weren’t quite applicable, which prompted the longer analysis

Hoeg Law video analysis
I thought his legal portion was relatively good, though there was a small misinterpretation on the legal portion and a major misinterpretation on my stance.

Hoeg Law audio discussion / debate
I appeared with Hoeg Law to go over his rebuttal and debate was was said in the previous video. Discussed the larger issue also and not just the law in this one.

Nick Rekieta Law discussion
A more casual discussion, he takes a differing view than most other attorneys, but still comes to a similar conclusion, that working within the confines of existing law is unlikely to work in USA. We talk about various other things too.

 

Anyway, sorry to flood the site with all this legal analysis, I swear that’s not the long-term direction things are taking, more regular videos coming!

 

ADHD version: Ross was right on some things, wrong on some things, doesn’t matter for USA; the situation there is basically hopeless on legal protection against destroying games.

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6 hours ago, RaTcHeT302 said:

Hawken

 

It was a somewhat faster paced version of Mechwarrior Online, with smaller maps, almost no customization, and everything was effectively locked behind microtransactions. Oh, and most of the purchased stuff was still time limited. (would go away in a day/week/month) It also liked to put all the free players on one team, and all the paying players on the other, so the paying people always won. (it was completely pay2win)

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7 hours ago, BTGBullseye said:

It was a somewhat faster paced version of Mechwarrior Online, with smaller maps, almost no customization, and everything was effectively locked behind microtransactions. Oh, and most of the purchased stuff was still time limited. (would go away in a day/week/month) It also liked to put all the free players on one team, and all the paying players on the other, so the paying people always won. (it was completely pay2win)

I swear, I think it had AI bots though, I would've been fine with just playing against AIs, I'm not that hardcore into multiplayer games to be honest.

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Posted (edited)

Yeah, YouTuber Law guy is pretty good one, a lot better than Lennard who sufferes from lack of attention to detail and coherent production. Though it's funny how he calls you "Ms. Scott" :D

 

P.S. And yes, his solution is actually quite good. Provide incentive, so big companies will start doing it for profit and small companies will do that because it's cool. And if will create a clear single repository you may commit stuff to, which is a lot easier than inventing your own solutions - just put it into library of sorts and then it's library problem. It works for books.

 

Edited by NightNord

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18 hours ago, RandomGuy said:

And the vast majority of them are either total crap or never get made.
"Hobbyists" will not crank out games to the same extent that full studios will

Don't forget there is much more hobby developers than studios. High waste rate is not an issue. Also with less good games each year, people should be more willing to pay for them since market will be starved. Unless they would be content with what already exists but if that was the case games already wouldn't make any money.

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And it looks like crap.

Matter of opinion. Looks good to me. Only the animations look bad.

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The vast majority of people disagree with you about what constitutes a "good game."

Vast majority of people seems to be fine with always online games and heavy microtransactions. If majority is right then GAAS is the way to go. People wouldn't buy those games otherwise, right?

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It's also just presentation/polish in general as well as depth of mechanics. When all of this is considered I don't see how an indie dev could ever make something like, say, Fallout New Vegas.

Big budget and lot of people doesn't necessarily lead to polish and gameplay depth. If it does then why so many AAA games still have shitty AI, meaningless choices, bullet sponge enemies, primitive modifiers such as +5 damage or 5% to drop loot box on hit, a hundred variations on 5 basic guns, bluntly presented kill x of y quests or tons of bugs on release?
Any seasoned gamer should be able to name some indies with high level of polish and/or deep gameplay (just from top of my head - factorio, brigador, dust elysian tail).

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I don't consider any of the above scams. You get what you pay for and there's tons of information available on what you're buying.

I don't think that there were many people for which games such as EA's SW Battlefront met their expectations. You pay in advance for something they promote as excellent game, true successor etc. and you get shallow experience with barely any content. Sure, they won't just run away with your money but either way I wouldn't say you got what you paid for.
Once the game is out however, then you are right it's on the buyer to be informed. Preorders are not literally scam, people would sue otherwise, just like killing games is not illegal (for now).

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Two, the elephant in the room, digital piracy.

If those high percentages are true and piracy has been running rampant for more than 20 years, how the hell are any indie games being made anymore? They should be bankrupt, yet I still see plenty of new releases.


Also how about:
"GAAS the gamers!" Said the EA officer.

 

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