Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Rant 35: WTF has happened to video gaming?! (18+)

Seriously WTF has happened?! Look at modern gaming today, DRM is making video games harder to play, Online Passes locking out the major selling point in some titles, download limits to digitally distributed games, always on internet connection required for some games and the servers can shut down at anytime, multiplayer being online only, day 1 DLC and on disc DLC making the full price not worth it, no ownership of digitally distributed game... and WE let this happen?! Let me rephrase that... YOU let this happen! The gaming majority!

Back in the Golden age of gaming, before the modern gaming majority stuck their nose where it didn't belong(or so we thought back then) games were a hobby of the socially awkward and was a grand old time. It was a sacred time of playing with friends on the couch to finish some of the hardest games known to man like Battletoads or just trying to finish games in the fastest times against friends. Life was good! Flash forward to today and now if you want to play with friends you have to play what they're playing, even if you don't like it just because the multiplayer is online only or they're too lazy to leave the house, single player games on PC need internet connections just to play, the advantages of downloadable games don't outweigh the disadvantages and the list just goes on!

Diablo 3 is the most recent game to kick the gamers while their down with players required to have an internet connection if they want to play it and they can't even play the single player if the server is down and worse is the fact that a single player game can lag. Here in Australia not every person is able to play games online either because they don't have the internet or they just don't have enough internet data to allow playing games online. I have seen people return copies of Diablo 3 and Assassin's Creed games because they couldn't play it. We in the Golden age of gaming never had this problem because games didn't need an internet connection, just clean cartridges to work in our consoles.

Then there's digitally distributed games. Don't get me wrong I don't mind the theory behind downloadable games but the practices are evil! See what's hidden in the fine print that no one ever reads is the fact that all digitally distributed games have download limits and can be either taken away from you or removed from the serves so you can never download it again! Is that fair? FUCK NO! It means you don't own the games you download and worse, you have to repurchase it if you ran out of download because of upgrading your PC or other unforeseen events!

Day 1 DLC and on disc DLC is another problem. Games are expensive! We all know this, especially if you live in Australia and New Zealand where games are double what the U.S.A is paying for the same game. Day 1 DLC and on disc DLC are essentially developers laughing at you, pointing their fingers saying "Ha, Ha! You paid full price for an unfinished and/or incomplete product!" and counting every cent you spend in total on the product. On disc DLC is much worse because you know it's there but you can't access it without buying an unlock key to access it. Capcom did this with every current generation fighting game released on HD console and no one complained at first.

Online Passes have pissed me off since day 1! Sure it locks off content I usually don't give a fuck about but in the case of Mass Effect 3 where if I wanted the best endings of the game I needed to play online to unlock it pisses me the fuck off and will happen more frequently in the near future! Online passes are game developers fighting against video game retailers and making gamers lives miserable! It started affecting me with the Catwoman unlock key from Batman Arkham City and then Mass Effect 3 so what's next? This just needs to stop and developers have to face facts that not every game they make is great and live with the fact some gamers don't think every game is worth AU$110!

Anyone who frequents me(which is no one, yeah I know no one gives a flying fuck about what a 26 year old gamer who's been gaming 22 of those years has to say unless it's in a video on YouTube or writing for a popular and bias website.)knows I have a hatred of online multiplayer and it's population. Online multiplayer in theory was a brilliant idea but the majority of people playing it make me sick and want to impose a mandatory I.Q test on everyone to executed the idiots and thin the herd! Ahem... sorry that's the disturbed nerd from school in me talking... anyway I just can't stand that a lot of games are cutting out local multiplayer in favour of online only multiplayer and what's worse is the fact no one seems to be angry about this other than me! Hell I was pissed of when I had to link 2 PS Ones for Command and Conquer to be played in multiplayer, but I didn't have the internet in my house until 2002 when it was way to late to bitch about it.

Back in the old days of gaming the biggest problem we had was our parents and budgets when it came to gaming. I admittedly didn't have very many games as a child due to living on the edge of poverty and relied heavily on renting and borrowing games from other kids. To grow up as an adult to see the hobby that has kept me from suicide during the darkest times of my life become what it has today has me considering looking down the top of the ledge once more.

Look guys, the world of gaming has dramatically changed from the days of yore, not just in visuals but in business practises, respect of consumers and ownership. No one has the balls to stand up against this except a small group of people like the guys of Operation Rainfall, Jim Sterling, Bob Chipman aka MovieBob aka The Game Overthinker, me and others I haven't mentioned because I haven't heard from them. These days gaming is as popular as sports, TV and film and we need to stand up and make this right again! The developers and game companies want a war, I say lets give them the war!

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