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We've all been there right? You paid for a game, it required an active internet connection and a couple of years later the publisher decided they're done with it and shut it down leaving you with a broken game. Annoying.

Very annoying. It repeatedly happens, mostly AAA publishers that do it and their games are often quite expensive too. One of the most recent is The Crew from Ubisoft, a game that until late December last year cost £25.99. The developers at Ubisoft Ivory Tower announced on December 14th that as of March 31st, 2024 the servers would be shut down and so it will no longer be playable for anyone. The Crew 2 is still online, and Ubisoft are about to launch The Crew Motorfest on Steam on April 18th.

So now YouTuber Ross Scott of Accursed Farms, has launched the Stop Killing Games campaign to try and better highlight the issue. As noted on the campaign website: "An increasing number of videogames are sold as goods, but designed to be completely unplayable for everyone as soon as support ends. The legality of this practice is untested worldwide, and many governments do not have clear laws regarding these actions. It is our goal to have authorities examine this behavior and hopefully end it, as it is an assault on both consumer rights and preservation of media. We are pursuing this in two ways:"

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It's definitely an interesting and often frustrating issue, especially for games that could seemingly continue to let you play offline without too much trouble. It's a complicated issue though, and the campaign might not end up going anywhere, but it's certainly going to be interesting to watch.

Unquestionably a campaign I can get behind though, because I've said for years it's a really poor situation for consumers to have your purchase suddenly stop working forever that you've not just put money into but often a ton of your time. It's a question of preservation too, the games are just — gone. I miss the days where you could just host your own server.

What are your thoughts? 

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Salvatos Apr 3
Quoting: slackSorry, I see it differently. It's one thing what you think you're buying and another thing what you're paying for. In my opinion, you can never buy a game because it will always be the property of its creator. In reality you are only paying for the legitimate right to use it, with permission of its creator. You cannot resell it, nor rent it, nor make any business with that right without the permission of the creator of the game.
Are renting games (that worked at release) and reselling physical copies (that were fully playable from disk) already gone from people’s memories? The always-online model isn’t a fundamental requirement of video games. It’s a symptom of the greed and lower quality standards of today’s industry.

You don’t own the IP, but you sure should own your copy of it just like books, music and films.
fabertawe Apr 3
Quoting: grigi....On the cheaper end of that is Reolink/Dahua and my Reolink cameras are working great. But it's a pain that everyone is pushing for cloud-first these days.


I'll check those cams out, thanks for the heads up.

As for the theromostat, I think I'll replace it with a LAN only solution.
CatKiller Apr 3
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Quoting: AnzaThat sure will make any kind of games where players can't host their servers financially unsustainable. Not necessarily bad thing, though will cause major changes in the market.

For a start you'd expect every planned-obsolescence game to shut down the day before the law goes into effect.

QuoteI'm not sure if that kind of change is easy to push through.

No legislation is easy to push through (broadly by design), but the alternative approaches to deter the conduct would be, I'd expect, even harder to get done. Refund of money to make a customer whole is often used and well understood; getting specific other actions out of companies is trickier, and will need a whole lot of argument. See, for example, regulation of gambling in games.

QuoteJust knowing when the support ends might help like with phones. If you know that you get two years of support, you know not to buy phones that area close to end of their support period unless you know you can replace the stock OS with something with longer support.

With games things can be bit fuzzy, but at least some kind of minimum support period would be good. Especially with multiplayer and games with mandatory online component. With single player games if DRM allows, there are more workarounds.

Purchases coming with an advertised fixed expiry date would allow the market to price accordingly, and that's the kind of thing that might allow a company to avoid refunding everyone. If, at the point of sale, codblops77 says "this product will cease to function on 30 April 2025“ then the customer is informed and can choose to purchase, or not purchase, accordingly.
I don't know the guy, but he's right.

It should be legally mandated for studios to remove all DRM components one year after first release of the game and, for games having online features, to release all tools needed to operate the game on a private server on the same day the studio ceases operation of the official server.
DenysMb Apr 3
I remember when Amazon released Crucible. They shut the servers down on the same year of the game release.
It was a free-to-play game but with some micro transactions.
It was weird how fast they thrown everything in the trash bin.
M@GOid Apr 3
Well, I'm already doing my part by not making any purchase of anything from the usual suspects in the last decade, like Ubisof and EA. You only encourage them to keep doing despicable things like this, if you keep buying their games. So do not buy them, send this clear message.

Last edited by M@GOid on 3 April 2024 at 4:07 pm UTC
I'm still mad at Ubisoft for the loss of my Assassin's Creed DLC's (by shutting down the servers).

On the other hand I like how Crystal Dynamics handled the end of life of (the service game) Marvel's Avengers by releasing a definitive edition containing all service content. That was my reason to buy it after avoiding it for some time as I'm no fan of service games. In an ideal world this would be the version to be sold for all eternity but somehow licenses happened or something.

I expected Ubisoft to also release a final patch removing the server connection and giving all DLC content but unfortunately they just didn't care about their own games.
At least Polyphony Digital released or is releasing a patch to make Gran Turismo Sport offline play on PS4. So that's better than nothing, and another reason why I like them as developers.
Quoting: PenglingHonestly, I don't understand what a person could possibly get out of connecting appliances to the internet...
It's a niche thing, but my bougie friend has a smart wine chiller. It was nice having the Champagne the proper temp when we got back from hanging out before. She showed me the app, and I joked that the app looked like the app for this smart NSFW toy that you can control over the internet. Which we both found hilarious. XD
Quoting: Pengling
Quoting: Liam DaweBut this does happen, with all these "smart" products. See news all the time about features removed, suddenly subscriptions needed to keep certain features going and so on. It's not just gaming it happens. Sadly.
I honestly didn't know that - as with not buying into the sorts of games afflicted by these issues, I've never bought into those sorts of appliances either. A fridge really doesn't need to be connected to the internet, y'know?
This is very much reminding me of that Cory Doctorow story Unauthorized Bread, which of course isn't in any way a satirical call to action on all this stuff.
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