November 16th, 2014


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You didn't think you _owned_ the game you paid for, did you?

A couple of interesting events in the world of gaming this week, both involving games changing after people paid for them.

The new Elite game dropped their offline mode. The game will now only be available if you connect regularly to their servers to get the latest updates to the persistent galaxy. This despite having promised in the original Kickstarter that "it will be possible to have a single player game without connecting to the galaxy server". This bothers two kinds of people:
1) Those who have rubbish internet connections because they live in the middle of nowhere.
2) Those people who want to be able to play the game ten years from now, and won't be able to once the original company stops making money and shuts the servers down.

The second is more of an issue to me - it bothers me that chunks of gaming history will vanish once nobody can play those games any more.

Secondly, GTA: San Andreas was patched on Steam last week, and (amongst other changes) 17 tracks of music were removed from the game, presumably because their licensing deals had run out (it being ten years since the original release).

The fact that you can be happily playing a game, and then suddely "pow" a bunch of the stuff that made it up vanishes from it, strikes me as fairly ridiculous. I could understand it if new copies of it were sold without those tracks, but the people that already own it bought it with those tracks in!

Something connected frequently happens with TV series, which are licensed for a bunch of music for the TV release, but it's not considered worthwhile negotiating the rights for the DVD, so when the show is release on DVD (or, sometimes, in other countries) it's either missing music or has cheaper, less-good, music filling in the gaps. But at least they don't come round to your home and switch your DVDs out for a version with worse music ten years later...


I suspect that in the former case there will _definitely_ be people demanding refunds. And in the latter case there might be as well (although most of the people who own the game will have bought it several years ago).

Original post on Dreamwidth - there are comment count unavailable comments there.