Don’t Think, Just Jam

  • 47 Posts
Joined 8 months ago
Cake day: November 25th, 2023


  • TL;DW:

    • Patrick Breyer and Niklas Nienaß submitted questions to the European Commission on the topic of killing games (the latter in contact with Ross and two EU based lawyers).
    • EU won’t commit to answering whether games are goods or services.
    • EULA are probably unfair due to imbalance of rights and obligations between the parties.
    • Such terminations should be analyzed on a case-by-case basis (preferably by countries rather than EU).
    • Existing laws don’t seem to cover this issue.
    • Campaign in France seems to be gaining some traction. Case went to “the highest level where most commercial disputes submitted to DGCCRF never go”.
    • UK petition was suppose to get a revised response after the initial one was found lacking. Due to upcoming elections all petitions were closed and it might have to be resubmitted.
    • Also in UK, there’s a plan to report games killed in the last few years to the Competition and Markets Authority starting in August (CMA will get some additional power by then apparently).
    • No real news from Germany, Canada or Brazil.
    • Australian petition is over and waiting for a reply. Ross also hired a law firm to represent the issue.

    This is a simplified version of simplified version, watch the video for more info.

  • Because that’s what it is. I think some of it might have to do with the limited content of the petition itself (a pretty short description about “customers being robbed” without any broader ideas suggested by the campaign) and some with the fact they get plenty of petitions so the first reaction is to stick with what’s already there. That’s my guess at least.

    I hope that if this petition reached 100k signatures and went to a parliamentary hearing there could be a chance for a more nuanced presentation of the topic but who knows, maybe I’m just being naive.

  • It’s the question of both though - sure, game preservation aspect is important but it would also be nice for the law to catch up to technology and decide whether companies should have the right to remove your ability to use the product you bought.

    If the law would go through in the way envisioned by the campaign, games should be designed and developed in a way that releasing a patch/server software should be possible even for a company at the verge of closing. We’re not talking about creating these releases at the last moment but baking their creation into the development process from the start.

    At the end of the day all the possible solutions proposed by the campaign are just ideas to give lawmakers some kind of starting point. If this goes anywhere it’ll be debated and decided upon by people with far more law and customer protection knowledge than anyone involved in the campaign itself. The important part right now is to bring the issue to someone willing to look into it.

  • Fair enough. My experience is mostly tied to companies where even shutting down would be run through a process of sunsetting all projects and tying up as many loose ends as possible before that so my perspective might be a bit skewed.

    I can see this being an issue for a small or indie developer but something like Embracer Group shouldn’t have any leeway in that regard - they could absolutely afford keeping a studio (at least a skeleton crew) long enough to release a single server package/patch.

  • Just so we’re clear, this is not my petition. It’s related to the Stop Killing Games campaign mentioned in the post description, though it was slightly modified by the author (one of the volunteers helping with the campaign).

    I’m not sure I follow your example.

    First things first - companies don’t poof out of existence suddenly. Secondly, the whole reason behind the end-of-life proposal is for devs/publishers to have a ready and easy to execute plan in case of ending the official support (whether it’s closing the developer run servers or closure of the company). The whole idea is that something like that would be planned and prepared for during the development.

  • This specific petition was broadened to involve all software rather than just games which is why it mentions pinging home instead of focusing on multiplayer servers.

    The general idea of the campaign as a whole is to force publishers to create software with a specific end-of-life plan that would include one of the few possible options:

    • relase the server software to allow players host them themselves
    • patch the game to not require company’s server (even if not all features would be functional)
    • allow people to create their own servers after official ones are dead (think private MMO servers)

    Any of those options would come into effect only when the official support for the game were to end.

    How exactly would that increase the risk of creating multiplayer games? Private server hosting was a thing for years and the only reason we’re here now is because publishers decided they should be the only ones allowed to do it.