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Thread: An argument against games going download

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    Default An argument against games going download

    Rights and licensing. For instance, the Deadpool video game. It came out in 2013, but was withdrawn from online stores on November 16, 2017 due to licensing issues. However, I bought a copy for a good friend on April 6, 2019 at a local retro & modern video game store. Played it tonight and am probably getting a copy for myself.

    That's what I love about physical copies - legal issues can't do shit about the physical copies already out there. Since the download stores are centrally managed, the companies involved (publisher, console mfr., et al) get to have total control over the price and whether it's available at all.

    For instance, let's say a hypothetical game I'll call "Call of Generic FPS" for PS4 comes out today, May 25, 2019 and has a license that expires at the end of 2021 from a company called "Supercorp". In a physical game market, they might manufacture one million copies, and those copies aren't going to magically disappear once January 1, 2022 rolls around. In a download only market, the game can't legally be downloaded once January 1, 2022 rolls around. That means if you didn't get a copy in 2021 and earlier, you're SOL.

    We'll say Billy, a future retro gamer, comes across a website about this game in 2045. Billy's interested in it despite being born three years after the game ceased production. He has an old PS4 he bought on Ebay. With physical copies, he goes on Ebay and pays 10 bucks for a copy of "Call of Generic FPS" on PS4. If he's lucky, he might even find it in a local retro game store. Takes it home, pops it in his PS4 for some 2040s retro game action.

    If the game's download only, he realizes that he'll never get to play that game. He goes to his room and cries. Does some research, finds out that Supercorp is the reason the game can't legally be sold. Vows to never buy a Supercorp product.

    And what of age restricted games? The M rating says 17 and up to buy, not "you have to be 17 before the license runs out, a date which we won't reveal.". Someone born between November 17, 2000 and May 25, 2002 has every bit as much right to get the Deadpool game as someone who was old enough to buy it when it was on the download market. Let's say Mortal Kombat II was made for three years, 1993-1996. I, born in 1992, have every bit as much RIGHT to buy MKII as someone who was born in 1979 and earlier and was old enough to buy it when it was being produced new. I have to find it used, yes, because the publisher can stop producing the game if they want to. Midway doesn't have to make MKII for Sega Genesis in 2019. But Midway can't do shit about me going out and buying an old copy.

    http://www.dreadcentral.com/news/260...d-storefronts/
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    I agree with this mostly. Something similar has already happened with Capcom's Marvel-based games, with them being continually de-listed and sometimes re-listed on various download services depending on when Capcom has the Marvel license. But owning physical copies means I can play them whenever I damn well please.

    As someone who isn't a rich kid in a city, I submit another issue: download-only basically means you have to be from a higher-class household to even game in the first place. It terribly restricts your audience, and to be honest some of the crap gaming does today reminds me of stuff comic books did in the 1990s, which you'll remember is when comics crashed and became a niche for-hardcore-fans-only market. I don't like how gaming has essentially become a rich kids' hobby and if you can't afford hyperfast internet speeds (or internet at all) then its tough luck, sugar. Gaming should be for everyone.

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    I kinda worry about the future of retro gaming in general. If somebody wants to play a PS4 game released today 25+ years from now, even if they have a physical copy of the game itself, how many PS4 systems will still be working at that point? How easy will they be to fix when they're not working? Today's consoles are a heck of a lot more complex than our 80s and 90s systems. How compatible will the PS4 be with whatever TVs are like at that point? And what if the game has patches? If the patch is no longer available for download, how potentially broken is the game as it is on-disc? I mean, we currently live in a world where even a publisher like Limited Run Games, with the preservation of gaming as their company goal, released a totally broken game with Night Trap on Vita. It's literally unbeatable, and it's a game that, under normal circumstances, you could beat in an hour. If a game that's so easy to playtest and at least confirm is beatable is still released in such a broken state, how can we put our faith in much more complex games? People are pressuring the developer of Night Trap to release a patch, but that won't ever change what code is on the physical Vita release. If a patch is released and then becomes unavailable for download at some point, everybody who has the physical release but doesn't have a Vita with the patch installed is back to possessing a broken, unbeatable game.

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    I learned my lesson early on with Microsoft pulling a lot of games off Arcade such as Marble Blast Ultra and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, that I bought. I really wish MBU had gotten a physical release.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie2B View Post
    I mean, we currently live in a world where even a publisher like Limited Run Games, with the preservation of gaming as their company goal, released a totally broken game with Night Trap on Vita. It's literally unbeatable, and it's a game that, under normal circumstances, you could beat in an hour. If a game that's so easy to playtest and at least confirm is beatable is still released in such a broken state, how can we put our faith in much more complex games? People are pressuring the developer of Night Trap to release a patch, but that won't ever change what code is on the physical Vita release. If a patch is released and then becomes unavailable for download at some point, everybody who has the physical release but doesn't have a Vita with the patch installed is back to possessing a broken, unbeatable game.
    Those copies should be recalled and replaced as they're basically defective.

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    Ideally, yeah, but it's impossible to replace them because manufacturing of Western Vita games has already ended.

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    They can always release a version 1.1 with broken games like that. I know they did that with the NES Dragon Warrior cart. I dont know what was wrong with the first one

    And now that I think about it, Ms Pac-Man was kinda Pac-Man version 1.1 considering they wanted to make it so the player couldnt memorize all the routes
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    Like I said, it's literally impossible to do another print run of any Western release on Vita at this point, and with a lot of other games, they're not mainstream enough for it to be financially feasible to do a second print run, even for the purpose of fixing bugs. In some cases, it's not even financially feasible to do a patch. I buy a lot of games from niche publishers, like Aksys and NISA, and even when their games are prone to crashing, or the trophies are glitched, or the scripts are littered with typos, etc., they still can't afford to create a patch, let alone a new physical print run.

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    Wait, the Limited Run Games release of Night Trap is unbeatable? Really?

    What's the deal exactly?

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    The "revoked license" hoopla reminds me of Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing... for iOS and Android. I owned a copy of S&SASR for Android. SEGA, due to licensing reasons, removed the game from Apple's iOS store and the Android stores including both Amazon's and Google's shops. I was able to write to Amazon (where I had acquired the game) and got a $5 credit to my account as I am now no longer able to download the game nor install it on new devices. That means that the only copy of the game which I have and can run is on my five-year-old tablet where it plays but it is less than optimal. I was really looking forward to playing on my comparatively powerful Google Pixel XL smartphone yet I can't as the app is DRM'd such that I can't install the backup copy of the APK onto my newer phones.

    The Android / iOS copy of Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing is like a souped-up variant of the Nintendo DS game, meaning similar graphics yet a higher, scaled-up resolution and higher FPS. Yes, I own copies of this game for Android, DS, Wii, and Windows, and yes, the Wii and Windows variants are more detailed than these less powerful variations, but sometimes you want to play a particular variant. Remember the SEGA Genesis port versus Super NES port days? Sometimes you have one of the two in mind, and even though the games might have the same name, you want to play the one you have in mind in particular and the other one won't suffice. That's what it is like for me with S&SASR.

    If these "mobile OS's" had carts or cards with copies of the game that you could buy, sell, and trade, this situation wouldn't be such a big problem. But digital-only + DRM + Internet requirements can more or less kill a game. While there is a way to remove Amazon's DRM and make the game playable, the technical hurdles are too much of a hassle to be worth it to me at this time. Sometimes you can find "mirrored" copies of APK's online. However for the more obscure or unpopular games, you might not be able to find such a copy, especially if it was a pay-up-front game due to stronger legal concerns. Even if you could find a downloadable copy from one of these sites, if it was DRM'd then it might not work anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Megas View Post
    Wait, the Limited Run Games release of Night Trap is unbeatable? Really?

    What's the deal exactly?
    Only the Vita version. As far as I know, the PS4 and Switch versions are fine.

    From what I understand, there are a number of bugs in the Vita version, but the most problematic is that a scene near the end of the game simply won't play:

    https://forum.psnprofiles.com/topic/...nish-the-game/

    The sad thing is that, even though the digital PSN release came a while after the physical release, it too is glitched just the same.

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    The prospect of lost games and consoles isn't on the horizon, it's already here. For example, my PS3 borked pretty hard. I found a shop that promised to fix it, and after a month and a half of back-and-forth and missed deadlines, they gave it back in a trash bag and told me that the repairs were more than the console was worth and they weren't going to bother (despite telling me at the start that they would do whatever I was willing to fund, even beyond the item's value), and I lost a lot of savefiles. Yes, I should have made some backup saves with thumb drives, and thankfully my usual stubbornness about owning physical copies made things a bit less painful. But not having the means and skills to make repairs and not having access to somewhere that was willing was one of the most infuriating things I've encountered that was gaming-related. Older consoles and carts have a better possibility of repair, and there's something of a 'passionate craftsman' community that will do those repairs. It's not unlike modern cars vs. classic cars.


    If the games were download-only, they would have been GONE and I probably would have another month (optimistically) ahead of me convincing Sony that the replacement console belonged to me and getting my games back. Five years from now and this would most likely be impossible. As mentioned above, stuff like this is already happening to games on mobile devices, plus consoles that are two generations old (I'm looking at you, Wii). PC has been dealing with this for a very long time already.

    The whole thing is part of 'modern' electronic entertainment. CCGs are still playable and collectible even after the game becomes unsupported. If WFB players got their wish and Games Workshop spontaneously combusted, you could still play Warhammer. But all that has to happen for download-only media to die is...absolutely nothing.
    RPGs: Proof that one you start done the dork path, forever will it dominate your wallet's destiny.

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    Does PSN for PS3 function differently? I don't have a PS3, but as best as I understand with PSP, Vita, and PS4, digital games are linked to your PSN account, not to any specific systems. So if you have to replace a system, it should be as simple as logging into your PSN account and installing the game to your new system. You have to do more if you want to back up your save files, but it should at least prevent you from losing access to the games themselves. A lot of games are cross-platform too, so, say, if you replace a PSP with a Vita, you could then install your digital PSP games on your Vita.

    Probably the worst move Sony has pulled in this regard is killing off PS Mobile. There were over 100 games on the service, and those are plain gone. Even if you bought them, you can't access them for download, unlike other PSN games that have been removed, which should still show up on your download list if you bought them prior to their removal.

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    That was the odd part. The account got locked at some point in the interim between the old console dying and the new one booting up. I got it unlocked, and Sony was pretty reasonable, then somehow it got locked up again a week later and the rep I got the second time was a jackass trying to make intimations that I was some sort of pervert or pirate but switched back to helpful after about twenty minutes. I'm not sure whether his supervisor told him to knock it off or his pills kicked in or something. Things are hunky dory now on that front, at least.
    RPGs: Proof that one you start done the dork path, forever will it dominate your wallet's destiny.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie2B View Post
    Like I said, it's literally impossible to do another print run of any Western release on Vita at this point, and with a lot of other games, they're not mainstream enough for it to be financially feasible to do a second print run, even for the purpose of fixing bugs. In some cases, it's not even financially feasible to do a patch. I buy a lot of games from niche publishers, like Aksys and NISA, and even when their games are prone to crashing, or the trophies are glitched, or the scripts are littered with typos, etc., they still can't afford to create a patch, let alone a new physical print run.
    There's a difference between some minor bugs or glitches that can be avoided or still worked through, and a bug or glitch that makes a game completely unbeatable. If it's really unbeatable then it should be refunded or replaced with a working version.

    Imagine if other industries could get away with selling broken products the same way. Sure those brakes are defective, but the company is poor so they can't afford to recall or replace them so it's ok then. It's just odd how video games appear to be the one type of product that can be sold defective without any repercussions.

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    You don't seem to get what I'm saying. To replace the Vita copies of Night Trap with beatable copies, LRG would literally have to convince Sony to recommence manufacturing of Western Vita games, which is just not going to happen. If no patch was planned, a refund would be called for, but if a patch is coming, I can see why they wouldn't offer one.

    What constitutes "broken" in a legal sense varies from product to product. If you receive a game that won't play at all, you're fully entitled to a replacement or refund, as long as it all falls within the warranty. But if you can still play and enjoy the majority of a game, then you're probably out of luck, especially when not all games are designed to be beatable to begin with, so it's not regarded as an essential part of the gaming experience.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WulfeLuer View Post
    The prospect of lost games and consoles isn't on the horizon, it's already here. For example, my PS3 borked pretty hard.
    Have you attempted to pull the saves off the HDD? I know it's fairly easy on a 360, and you can convert the save to work with a different profile with minimal effort.

    Let me tell you, the Vita's save files are a fucking bitch to deal with. They're lumped together in one big file with the game install, so if you're install gets corrupted (like mine seem to do constantly) there's no way to copy/backup/restore your save. The only way to backup your gamesave is to back up the entire multi-gigabyte install file, which is a real genius move.

    The only way you can back up your tiny gamesave file by itself is to subscribe to PS Plus. Nintendo's handling of Switch saves has nothing on Sony's, and at least their system doesn't constantly corrupt installs on their own proprietary memory cards

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    Quote Originally Posted by Az View Post
    Have you attempted to pull the saves off the HDD? I know it's fairly easy on a 360, and you can convert the save to work with a different profile with minimal effort.
    It was something I had thought about trying, but simply put I didn't have the means to do so myself and I was having some outside issues to deal with so after the oh-so-wonderful repair shop threw it back in my lap I gave up and waited until I could just buy another console.
    RPGs: Proof that one you start done the dork path, forever will it dominate your wallet's destiny.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie2B View Post
    You don't seem to get what I'm saying. To replace the Vita copies of Night Trap with beatable copies, LRG would literally have to convince Sony to recommence manufacturing of Western Vita games, which is just not going to happen. If no patch was planned, a refund would be called for, but if a patch is coming, I can see why they wouldn't offer one.
    If a patch comes out to fix it then fine, I was going by the link you posted which made it sound like it wouldn't happen. I prefer to hold companies accountable for the products they sell whenever possible.

    There are other known games that are also unbeatable so it's not a unique thing. It's still not good for it to ever happen.

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=0mn-4y8YrU4

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    There are some pessimists who are assuming Night Trap won't ever get a patch, based on the current point of the Vita's lifespan, the lackluster communication, and the length of time it's been since people received their physical copies, but as of a couple weeks ago, LRG was saying the developer has made a patch and that it should be available soon. So hopefully that'll pan out, though it still sucks that what's on the card itself will always be broken.

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    I don't mean to sound rude, but I haven't read anything in this thread at all.

    If I pay for a game, I expect to own license to play it whenever I want, internet or not**.

    That's it.



    **unless I pay for a digital version of a game; that's different.
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