Having played the same old games for the past five plus years, I was completely obvious that the world of PC gaming had gone to the dogs. It’s no wonder I was simply happy doing what I was doing. Replaying Thief: Deadly Shadows until my eyes bled. Taking my frustrations out on the hookers in Grand Theft Auto IV. Mucking about in World of Warcraft. I was bored, but I was happier doing that over what I’ve been doing lately. Such as trying to find a new game to play. Talk about frustrating as hell!
Let me back up a bit so you know where I’m going with this. Before now, I had played nothing but the previous games I mentioned, plus a bunch of others including Runes of Magic, Last Chaos, Unreal Tournament, Unreal Tournament 2004 and that’s about as new as my games got. All I needed to play them was just the games. No unnecessary extras unless I deemed them necessary. Including Curse, an addon manager for Runes of Magic and World of Warcraft. For the longest time I updated the addons manually to keep the unnecessary software off my computers keeping resources free and my computers running smooth and clean. Only the online games themselves had their own built-in updating mechanisms which is all any game should ever need. For any standalone (single player), offline games I had/have, patches can be downloaded manually and installed by the user with minimal effort. So patches were easy and covered.
I’m incredibly aware of DRM (Digital Rights Management) and all the bologna that goes with it via the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) and MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) and how for the longest time buying MP3 music was a pain in the ass. Until they backed off on the music part and now you can buy MP3’s via Amazon and others and play them on all the devices you like. Working for an Internet Service I see DRM just about daily.
I also know very well about the battle against Software Piracy. It’s been raging on for many years now. I understand that software publishers don’t want to lose revenue over stolen games. I can also deal with needing the CD inserted to play a game or online activation to play a standalone game. That inconvenience is more than enough for any end user.
But forcing the end user to install third party software just to be able play a game is outlandish. They cover it all up with terms and actions such as download management, automatic updates, social media inclusion, in-game web browsing (seriously??), and in-game forums (like chat wasn’t enough?). But what they are really doing, is keeping your software in check. Keeping you honest. Not allowing for any third party modifications. (Side note, I realize only stand alone games should be modified as modifying online games would likely give the player an unfair advantage, e.g. cheating.)
So the past 2 weeks or so since I quit WoW, I’ve been trying to find new games to play. When I realized that most new games include some nonsense extra software I don’t agree with. Even some old games I used to play before now require things I don’t want or need running on my computer. I don’t agree with these things being forced upon me or anyone else. The image above shows just some of the shit I’ve run into just wanting to play a game. Though I also refuse to run out and buy a console. I’m not in a position to throw down hundreds of dollars on a console and then buy another couple hundred dollars in games.
One, I don’t want social networking in my games. I don’t like Facebook. Never have and never will. This image pretty much portraits how I see Facebook, and to me it’s useless. I only use it once a day at most, because that’s the only method I have for several people. Sure there’s a Facebook link on my site, again, so other Facebook junkies can find me. But I don’t want Facebook anywhere near my games. Or any other social media for that fact. Having other players in an online game is the only online social networking I’d ever want. Other than that, I’d rather go out in real life with real humans who don’t have their brains saturated in social networking nonsense.
Two, unless my game is an MMO (online for those who don’t know the acronym MMO), I don’t want it automatically installing anything that isn’t pertinent to the game itself. Even then, good programmers will make an updater in the games “launcher”. Such as World of Warcraft and Guild Wars (2). Runes of Magic used to be fine, but now they have some GameForge bullshit that now gets crammed down their players throats.
Three, any standalone (single player) game should never require an active internet connection. With the exception of a one time activation. Now I know you can put Steam in offline mode, but Steam shouldn’t even be necessary unless that was your preferred method to obtain the game in the first place. Games sold in the store such as Skyrim and the up coming Thief 4, should not require another software just to play it by yourself. Me, I can’t stand Steam and to have to be forced into using it to play my games is complete and utter bullshit.
This just means that me and people like me will likely just not spend our money on such games. We like our games to be DRM and bullshit free. Or at least keep the DRM to a simple activation or CD check. In all honesty, these required extra software packages are likely collecting data and forcing advertising on you as well. Not too mention the possibility of their databases being hacked and your account being compromised. Offline games should never have to endure such a fate. Ever. It’s just another thing no one should have to put up with just to enjoy the things they spend their money on. And honestly, it seems that this kind of thing would promote piracy, not prevent it. Much like when I watch a movie and have to suffer watching two or more warnings about piracy. I often think to myself, if I had stolen the movie from the internet, the person who uploaded it would’ve likely been nice enough to cut that crap out for me. It sucks to feel like the MPAA is accusing you of doing wrong when you’re not. Pirated games won’t have DRM on them. Though I’m not promoting piracy by any means. Just comparing why folks would. I’ll stick to my DRM free or minimal DRM and Indie games.