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The Gamer's Bill of Rights Unveiled, Demands PC Gamers Not Be Treated as 'Potential Criminals'

by Chris Faylor, Aug 29, 2008 8:40am PDT
Related Topics – Gas Powered Games, Stardock, PC Gaming

In an effort to create standards for PC games and increase consumer confidence, publisher Stardock and Demigod developer Gas Powered Games today unveiled a document titled "The Gamer's Bill of Rights."

"As an industry, we need to begin setting some basic, common sense standards that reward PC gamers for purchasing our games," explained Stardock CEO Brad Wardell. "On the PC, publishers can release games that are scarcely completed, poorly supported, and full of intrusive copy protection."

The Gamer's Bill of RightsWe the Gamers of the world, in order to ensure a more enjoyable experience, establish equality between players and publishers, and promote the general welfare of our industry hereby call for the following:

  1. Gamers shall have the right to return games that don't work with their computers for a full refund.
  2. Gamers shall have the right to demand that games be released in a finished state.
  3. Gamers shall have the right to expect meaningful updates after a game's release.
  4. Gamers shall have the right to demand that download managers and updaters not force themselves to run or be forced to load in order to play a game.
  5. Gamers shall have the right to expect that the minimum requirements for a game will mean that the game will adequately play on that computer.
  6. Gamers shall have the right to expect that games won't install hidden drivers or other potentially harmful software without their express consent.
  7. Gamers shall have the right to re-download the latest versions of the games they own at any time.
  8. Gamers shall have the right to not be treated as potential criminals by developers or publishers.
  9. Gamers shall have the right to demand that a single-player game not force them to be connected to the Internet every time they wish to play.
  10. Gamers shall have the right that games which are installed to the hard drive shall not require a CD/DVD to remain in the drive to play.




Comments

43 Threads | 117 Comments



  • While we are in the process of creating ridiculous, one sided, cynical, underinformed, and ultimately useless lists, I think I’ll add a few to the mix:

    The Game Developers Bill of Rights:
    1) Game developers have the right to NOT be responsible for games that don’t work on a Gamers spyware filled, Fry’s built Frankenstein, or off the shelf bought budget computer.
    2) Game developers have the right to conjure up infinite cash in order work on a game for as long as they feel necessary in order to demand a quality and finished product.
    3) Game developers have the right to conjure up more infinite cash in order to support their games post launch.
    4) Game developers have the right to ensure that their 1 or 2 years of hard work are paid for at 100% retail value by every end user of their product.
    5) Game developers have the right to build a game with one system specification in mind and should not be responsible for gamers that have outdated crap.
    6) Game developers have the right to install whatever software or drivers they believe is required to run their game on every single user configured computer in their target audience.
    7) Game developers have the right to force their publisher to host magical unlimited bandwidth internet services that contain detailed user information so every end user can download any game they have paid for legitimately on demand.
    8) Game developers have the right to treat every single PC user as a criminal until the piracy rates on the PC platform drop back down under 50%.
    9) Game developers have the right to ensure that their product is paid for by end users and can enforce this right by forcing gamers to connect online to verify the legitimacy of their product.
    10) Game developers have the right force gamers to own a legitimate physical copy of their product and require that the physical copy be present every time the game is run.
    11) Game developers have the right to always receive backend participation on their hard work, not forced into hand to mouth work for hire agreements.
    12) Game developers have the right to force any publishers in the world to give them infinite money to build whatever game the developer wants made, regardless of target market, projections, or potential for success.
    13) Game developers have the right to always own any IP they create.
    14) Game developers have the right to walk into to any Gamers house that has pirated their product and beat the shit out of that pirate, steal anything they want before leaving, and be guaranteed protection from the possibility of any legal recourse.
    15) Game developers have the right to be suspicious and assume that Game publishers, Game retailers, and Gamers are all out to screw Game developers out of their investments.

    The Game Publishers Bill of Rights:
    1) Game publishers have the right to rely on their limited QA and compatibility teams to ensure that games work on every spyware filled, Fry’s built Frankenstein, or off the shelf bought budget computer but ultimately are not responsible if it doesn’t work.
    2) Game publishers have the right to ensure profitability of every product they invest in by creating specific budgets that Game developers must adhere to.
    3) Game publishers have the right to create budgets for post ship support for a product only if the product is successful enough to warrant additional funding, and granted that the developer is still solvent and capable of providing post ship support.
    4) Game publishers have the right to force gamers (via the EULA) to keep their products updated via download managers and updaters in efforts to reduce the cost of retarded call center and tech support calls.
    5) Game publishers have the right to force developers to reduce their high end, graphically superior products quality down to a set of arbitrary minimum system requirements in order support the lowest common denominator consumer that fits inside the marketing departments “target market.”
    6) Game publishers have the right to force gamers (via the EULA) to install the latest software or drivers they believe is required to run the game in efforts to reduce the cost of retarded call center and tech support calls.
    7) Game publishers have the right to build a digital distribution system for any product they desire, allowing gamers to download, purchase, and update those products on demand as long as a system like this is affordable and has the potential for success.
    8) Game publishers have the right to treat every single PC user as a criminal until the piracy rates on the PC platform drop back down under 50%.
    9) Game publishers have the right to ensure that their product is paid for by end users and can enforce this right by forcing gamers to connect online to verify the legitimacy of their product.
    10) Game publishers have the right force gamers to own a legitimate physical copy of their product and require that the physical copy be present every time the game is run.
    11) Game publishers have the right to shop for Game developers all over the world until they find a developer that can build a game within a specific budget and on a work for hire basis.
    12) Game publishers have the right to test any game idea against the target market and refuse to fund development of a game that will not be profitable.
    13) Game publishers take all the risk of funding, marketing, and being legally responsible for a game, therefore they have the right to demand IP rights from developers in order to fund their game.
    14) Game publishers have the right to sue the shit out of pirates and make an example out of any pirate they feel necessary in order to protect their investment and deter further piracy.
    15) Game publishers have the right to do whatever they want, since they have all the money and take all the risk, period, get over it.
    16) Game publishers have the right to be suspicious and assume that Game developers, Game retailers, and Gamers are all out to screw Game publishers out of their investments.

    The Game Retailers Bill of Rights:
    1) Game retailers have the right to refuse to refund gamers if they have opened the product or if a product doesn’t work on their spyware filled, Fry’s built Frankenstein, or off the shelf bought budget computer.
    2) Game retailers have the right sell products at any price regardless of how much it cost developers or publishers.
    3) Game retailers have the right to force Game developers and Game publishers to never release post ship DLC or updates, instead those further updates must be converted into retail product that can be sold for profit.
    4) Game retailers have the right to demand that publishers do whatever it takes to ensure that Gamers do not return copies to their store, this includes forcing users to update their products by any means necessary.
    5) Game retailers have the right no not care what publishers or developers put on the box in regards to system requirements and ultimately leave the task of determining if a game will run or not up to the well informed purchasing consumer.
    6) Game retailers have the right to not be responsible for what is inside the game box and what the software does to a Gamer’s computer.
    7) Game retailers have the right to re-sell copies of games to Gamers that are too stupid to keep their disc in good working order or lose their products using whatever means necessary to ensure that Gamers come back to the store to spend more money.
    8) Game retailers have the right to refuse the return of opened PC games since the user is likely a criminal that has just bought the game, copied to their hard drive, and is now returning it.
    9) Game retailers have the right to demand that Game publishers and Game developers force games to connect to the internet at all times so that pirating becomes harder, ensuring that Gamers actually come in to the store to buy physical copies of the games they are playing.
    10) Game retailers have the right to demand that Game publishers and Game developers force games to require a physical CD/DVD to be present in order to run the game, ensuring that Gamers actually come in to the store to buy physical copies of the games they are playing.
    11) Game retailers have the right to not be required to pay publishers any profits on “used” copy sales.
    12) Game retailers have the right to protect against losing money by not carrying a single copy of a game that has not received any pre-orders.
    13) Game retailers have the right to open every product making it “used” so when gamers attempt to return the product, they can buy the product back as “used” instead of issuing a full refund, then turn around a sell that product for 90% of the new price.
    14) Game retailers have the right to be suspicious and assume that Game publishers, Game developers, and Gamers are all out to screw Game retailers out of their investments.

    And one more to add to the Gamers Bill of Rights:
    11) Gamers have the right to be suspicious and assume that Game publishers, Game developers, and Game retailers are all out to screw Gamers out of their hard earned money.

    Now, if you put all four of these lists next to each other, you can easily see that the business of game development contains many contradictory elements since there are essentially 4+ parties involved with radically different requirements and expectations for each and every product.