Stardock announced today the Gamer’s Bill of Rights: a statement of principles that it hopes will encourage the PC game industry to adopt standards that are more supportive of PC gamers. The document contains 10 specific “rights” that video game enthusiasts can expect from Stardock as an independent developer and publisher that it hopes that other publishers will embrace. The Bill of Rights is featured on Stardock’s website (www.stardock.com) and is on prominent display in Stardock’s booth (1142) at the Penny Arcade Expo.“As an industry, we need to begin setting some basic, common sense standards that reward PC gamers for purchasing our games,” stated Brad Wardell, president and CEO of Stardock Corporation. “The console market effectively already has something like this in that its games have to go through the platform maker such as Nintendo, Microsoft, or Sony. But on the PC, publishers can release games that are scarcely completed, poorly supported, and full of intrusive copy protection and then be stuck on it.”Chris Taylor, CEO and founder of Gas Powered Games stated, “This is an awesome framework for the industry to aspire to, and ultimately so that we can provide our customers with the gaming experience that they have wanted for years, and really deserve.”As an example of The Gamer’s Bill of Rights in action, Stardock instituted a policy of allowing users to return copies of The Political Machine purchased at retail to Stardock for a full refund if they found that their PC wasn’t sufficient to run the game adequately.“The PC market loses out on a lot of sales because a significant percentage of our market has PCs that may or may not be adequate to run our games. Without the ability to return games to the publisher for a refund, many potential buyers simply pass on games they might otherwise have bought due to the risk of not being certain a game will work on their PC. The average consumer doesn’t know what ‘pixel shader 2.0 support’ means, for instance,” said Wardell.According to Stardock, the objective of the Gamer’s Bill of Rights is to increase the confidence of consumers of the quality of PC games which in turn will lead to more sales and a better gaming experience.The Gamer’s Bill of Rights:Gamers shall have the right to return games that don’t work with their computers for a full refund. Gamers shall have the right to demand that games be released in a finished state. Gamers shall have the right to expect meaningful updates after a game’s release. 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. Gamers shall have the right to expect that the minimum requirements for a game will mean that the game will play adequately on that computer. Gamers shall have the right to expect that games won’t install hidden drivers or other potentially harmful software without their consent. Gamers shall have the right to re-download the latest versions of the games they own at any time. Gamers shall have the right to not be treated as potential criminals by developers or publishers. 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. 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.
Right what do I see wrong with this notion of "rights".
1. It's called the Gamers Bill of Rights, why because it's for gamers to producers, then again, how can we as a community in mass, which would include all game genre types, define ourselves, in the Gamers quota?
2. To call it as it is, and have put out there to be seen by other producers, most won't agree, since EA went from being a humble little company of producers to a big ass Corporation, that focuses on multiple fronts. Their big hitters games, such as their sports games, don't seem practical enough to hit this Bill of Rights, at any angle.
3. This sounds great, but it also sounds too bad, since if one were to think on it clearly, they would be required to have Impulse, EA downloader, Activision's little monster nightmare, Gamespy downloader, Steam, and so on and so forth, to just get updates, receive micro downloads, and other add ons to games they own.
4. The word micro transactions, I hate to say sounds criminal on the part of the Producers of games, why simple, I'm in the Stock Market, I understand the placement production of micro transactions, should always be put before a Panel of Scrunity, when it gets too damn aggressive with it's micro transactions. One good example of a micro transactions, would be PORN Sites, you pay for your trial period of one day to one week, then later down the road, you realize, your bank in red, down to negative numbers. You owe the bank, the company you bought the game from, and other peoples, which include third parties, even when you don't agree with the third party rule.
5. To call it the Gamers Bill of Rights, by a producer, seems redundant at best, since it's made by Producers, which in this case must first argue with the consumers such as all of us, over the definition of the word Gamers. They would then have to ask, us the consumers what we want, what we demand, and what we wish to see in all future projects with all corporations. They'll have to put an Convention together to get all gamers, both producers, consumers, modders, and the like to come together, to discuss this, not in forum, but in person, which would take months to put together and orginize.
6. To even discuss this in panel, and delegation would be a long road to follow for both producers and consumers alike, which could sort of stopper all placement products in the future, and take up too much time from us the Gamers, from actually playing the games.
7. To orginize, would mean, each and every forum online ever created, would have to interact with each other, set up times and dates for discussion, delegations would have to be put forward to represent the entire body of gamers, and this whole thing would have to include all, not just, us here in the USA, but all. Which would take too much time.
8. Don't write a Bill of Rights, and not think that there would be thinkers writing against this, which I am. I don't like the idea, since all would disagree with it's idea. Both producers and consumers would be forced to think, but they will not act, and more or less disregard such notions as a Bill of Rights.
9. The idea for a Bill of Rights, would be great, but first and formost the consumers not the producers would have to come forward with a rough draft of the Bill before ever coming up with a true Bill altogether. This is why it's made both difficult and arbitrary to the facts laid down by all in this sort of inconceivable time consuming process.
10. Finally, saying a demand of updates won't always work, I've been on this forum for Sins now since it came out, and all I've seen in any sort of updates is simply not consumer driven. Yes they listened to some of us, but most overall, have been sort of ignored, the same applies to Steam, EA, Activision, and Bioware, all have learned over the years, it's the consumer who is always right, and should be listened to since are idea's are both straightforward, out there, and sometimes mullagan, but worht it to listen.
The idea, for a Bill of Rights, sounds great but to think of it, causes headaches, tears, and blood to seap from the nose. To suggest however a Bill of Rights, makes one dream of a better tommorrow, where it's not the Producers, making demands, but the consumer making such demands as to push forward actions by the Producers.