Jump to content

How publishers punish us for buying new games


Recommended Posts



There used to be nothing better than going to the store, buying a brand new game, and putting it in your system of choice to sit down for a nice day of gaming. This should be a grand moment: you just bought a game you're excited about playing, and the publisher has your money. These days, however, it has become a wonderful opportunity to punish you instead.

Here's how that goes down, and what I don't want to do when I buy a new game.

I don't want to install the game, or an update

I don't care what system it's on, what technical excuse you have, or anything else. Putting a new game into your system only to be told to go grab a sandwich while the game takes ten minutes or so to install is a pain in the butt. When the game is done installing and you're confronted with another loading screen? That's just adding insult to injury. I want to play, not look at a slowly filling progress bar.

Likewise, I don't want to be stuck installing an update. It's like a big sign saying "this game wasn't ready to ship." I mean, that's literally what happened. Publishers can now ship a game that doesn't work, knowing they can push out an update that installs the first time you play the game. So I have an idea: for every megabyte of patch I need to download, I get to punch one person on your development team. I'm not a strong guy, so it won't hurt that much, but it will make me feel better.

Don't get me started on the PlayStation Portable, a system that often requires a system update before a new game can be played, and then refuses to install that update until it's fully charged—even if the system is plugged in. This is a system that just does not want to be played. God forbid you buy a new game when you're traveling, because Sony's response is something akin to a middle finger to your silly request to play a game away from an outlet.

Day-one DLC is another subject entirely, but a simple patch before the game is released to the public? It's becoming the rule, not the exception.

I don't want to input a stack of codes

Remember when games just came with the content, ready to go? These days that content is still on the disc, but you'll need to input a code to access the online play or all the characters. The reason is simple: if you have the gall to sell the game to someone else, your buyer will still have to give the publisher money to play it online. What's fun about this system in practice is that everyone is annoyed.

After you put in the code to play online you may need to put in a code to unlock the characters the developers have locked on the disc so you have some reason to buy the game at Amazon or GameStop or some other retailer. It's likely every retailer will have their own codes, so you'll never feel like you're given the entire game no matter where you buy it. There will always be an outfit, a level, or a character that's kept from you because you didn't buy a copy from everyone selling it. Or you can buy that content later for an additional cost.

You get a code for preordering the game, another one for buying the game, and yet another packed in to play online. Dear publishers: I hate you so very, very much.

I don't want to watch an unskippable trailer for your next game

Listen, I just bought your new game. I paid around $60 for it if I bought it new, and if I bought it used I have to pay you to play it online. So why can't you let me enjoy that feeling of owning a new game for a second before trying to sell me the next big thing? You have to rub my face in a whole other game before I get a chance to play this game a single time? Why not just come to my house and call me an idiot for spending money on the current game when the new game is months away and you're already showing me how much better it looks?

This is a move that sucks all the joy out of owning a new game, and everyone doing it should be applauded for finding a new way to kill the fun of playing a video game.

I don't want to make a new account for your online service

I already have a Steam account, an Xbox Live account, and a PlayStation Network account. I'm barely comfortable with all the information those companies have, so I'm not happy when a new game asks me to make yet another account to go online and use their online services. When that account comes with Terms of Service that basically says the company will own my first-born in exchange for the privilege of playing online, I get even more upset. I understand that companies want us to use their online services so they can harvest our information and e-mail addresses and track our usage patterns, but it still sucks for the end user. So now there are multiple services that can fail and keep me from playing online? That's not a good thing.

I just want to play the damned thing

Anything that puts time between my putting the game into the system and actually playing it is a bad thing. I actively remove splash screens from by PC games by deleting the movie files. I don't want to watch trailers before I play. I don't want to download anything, and I'm annoyed that I'm expected to. I don't want to have to do something to unlock a feature that should be standard. I'm getting sick and tired of games that I play requiring this much time to get primed and ready to go before I can actually play.

It's a sad state of affairs, filled with redemption codes, mandatory patches and updates for both the hardware and the software, and multiple accounts needed to play a racing game. The games themselves are better than they have ever been, but everything else is becoming worse and worse.

I remember when the biggest impediment to playing a game was blowing into the cartridge once or twice. Now I feel like we need to plan an hour or so to get the game ready before inviting friends over to play, and there's little chance of the situation improving.

view.gif View: Original Article

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 0
  • Views 621
  • Created
  • Last Reply


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...