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“Games as a service” is fraud.

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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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 (see edit history)

Don't insult me. I have trained professionals to do that.

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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.

My little gaming blog

https://corktowngaming.wordpress.com

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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.

www.dijitalrehber.com

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

"You don't get to bring friends."

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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.

www.dijitalrehber.com

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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.

www.dijitalrehber.com

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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 (see edit history)

www.dijitalrehber.com

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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..

"You don't get to bring friends."

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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.

www.dijitalrehber.com

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It's quite alright. I also apologize if I came out as sort of mean. I was just annoyed that I couldn't seem to get my full point across. I guess I am also partly to blame since I forgot that you did in fact mention that you hadn't come to that part of the video yet.

 

I feel the same way as you do with this whole thing. It's quite depressing for me as well.

www.dijitalrehber.com

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It's been a while since the last RGD, and Freeman's Mind episodes can be kinda short (comparatively), so I was really happy to see an hour long Ross video in my feed; loved the video \m/

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5 hours ago, Elfing said:

I was actually quite surprised Ross didn't mention that "games as a service" eliminates piracy at the "pros and cons" part.

While this is true - always-online games is a sort of DRM, and probably the most efficient one available today, it doesn't absolutely eliminate privacy. Once there is a server emulator it is essentially the crack - and as an aside, the same thing goes with games with DRM when their service goes down. Such a thing has happened multiple times in the past with Denuvo, or, hey - your Steam library! No connection, no way to login and play - although Steamworks is sort of a placebo DRM.

 

All of that being said, it's a counterargument against Ross's point and it should be debated and addressed. Ross cannot feasibly make a foolproof defense against the absolute entirety of arguments against his point, and those who support it (or heck, even those who don't and want to debate) need to step up and fill in the gaps. This video is a call to action to make all consumers' lives better rather than a panacea. We, the consumers, need to fight for our rights and keep this topic debated until change is made.

 

And as a counterpoint to what I've said, he did the research. While we can debate using logic and well known facts, Ross presented some lesser known and more indepth ones that can fuel our arguments. Piracy is such a widely debated and very wide topic that could've detracted from the video, while the pros and cons for it in this context can be googled pretty easily and are kind of known beforehand. I think the video should stay as-is, and maybe not even get involved in Ross's stance on piracy (can be seen in multiple RGDs where he used cracked games because they simply weren't available to purchase, or joined a server emulator session for Battleforge) but the discussions it will generate on the topic could definitely include it and every other subject under the sun, and we debaters should be prepared.

Edited by Forgot_My_Account (see edit history)

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Just a heads up, folks.  I will not be doing subtitles for this video.  If someone else wants to do the subtitles for this video, please go ahead and do them, then post them to the appropriate section and I'll do the proofreading and get them ready for publishing.


I'm sorry, everyone.  This is just too long and too dense for me.

The Official Accursed Farms Subtitles Compendium: https://goo.gl/aTBvzj

--

Project Manager for Ross's Movie

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Imagine if books behaved like games these days - While they are sitting on your shelf, the author is making edits every now and then, so when you want to go back to a book you liked, it might very well be a completely different book. And if by some chance the author dies, all of the pages go blank.

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On 4/26/2019 at 12:24 AM, 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.

You call it a technicality, countries like Canada define them as dead-to-rights goods.  As for loopholes, sure, that's possible, but do companies really want to kick off players who lapse for a couple months and lower their playerbase for not paying 3 cents?  Having other players run around in the server and keep it populated is worth more to them than that, that's the reason the free to play model is so successful.  Again, this is CHEAP, cheaper than finding ways of evading it.  The only thing that's cheaper is doing nothing at all, I'm trying to see if the law can slam that door shut.

23 hours ago, Elfing said:

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.

It's like the other features I mentioned.  Eliminating piracy does not require you to ALSO destroy the game forever upon shutdown.  In other words, sure it eliminates piracy while the service is running, but that does not REQUIRE the game to die after shutdown.  The logic on this can confuse people.

 

22 hours ago, Im_CIA said:

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.. 

I admit the odds aren't great, but I am legitimately seeing a chance, so I'm going for it.  If I thought it was hopeless, I wouldn't have made this.  It's like I said, I need it to end or I need to be defeated. 

23 hours ago, Im_CIA said:

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

I may quote you for a future video I have planned, you may like it.

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Probably not the reaction you intended but I love the backgrounds you use from old source maps. There's a twitter account that posts pictures from old HL1 era maps but it's just not the same thing.

 

I used to load up custom tf2 maps by myself and just take in the ambience. I'm weird.          

 

Edit: Looks like someone was inspired to follow in his footsteps and make a twitter for Unreal maps.

Edited by Archdeco (see edit history)

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I don't know about anyone else but I didn't get any errors or anything similar while watching the video.  I'm guessing that downloading the video could fix any problems with YouTube.

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