Jimquisition: Buyer Beware

nightazday

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josh4president said:
Wait, Jim, didn't you mock Mass Effect fans when they expected what they were promised back with Mass Effect 3?

That doesn't sound like something a consumer advocate should do.
Then he followed it by several videos saying "You know the whining the ME fans do might be a good idea, why don't we do that more often?"
 

Aardvaarkman

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Jul 14, 2011
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SilverStuddedSquirre said:
What good is voting with my wallet alone, when the entire population of China, and my own family votes against me with theirs?
The point is that you are not spending your money on things you don't want. Different people have different tastes, and you can't force the market to only provide what you want.

I dislike the Transformers movies, too. I dislike McDonalds. So I don't buy them. That's about all you can do, apart from informing your friends and family about other options and why they might be better. Every day we wake up in a world with a bunch of hassles and shit we don't like. That's life. For example, nobody likes being stuck in traffic. But everybody wants to drive. For me to have an empty road to drive to where I want to go, would deprive a bunch of other people of driving where they want to go.
 

LameDuck

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CBanana said:
Sorry Jim, even if there are objectively poor quality games, tastes differ which is why gamers should still need to do their research. I quite like Mitsurugi Kamui Hikae while you think it's a terrible game. I dislike Angry Birds Space while you're fond of it.
That's not really the point, though. It's about games being broken, buggy, stolen, missing files (like the game released without the main EXE file a few months back) or outright lying to the customer (like WarZ). You also have the issue of re-releasing a game that was originally released a decade ago and Steam placing it on the "New Releases" list, when the game is horribly broken on modern systems.

There are games like Ride to Hell: Retribution that are horrible disasters, but they are still mostly playable and it should be up to the customer to read reviews.
 

Rellik San

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Feb 3, 2011
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LameDuck said:
Aardvaarkman said:
Is this really anymore prevalent today than it was in the past?
I've skimmed through most of the posts, but it seems like people missed the biggest point:
.
That Jim used the Grange Hill music and had every single British person on the board screaming and ripping their hair out as they ran through their nostalgia banks to remember what it was?
(Yeah I quoted you just to make that joke. :p)



To the Point:

But in general I agree, it should be up to the publishers to at least make sure the game is functional, one of the worst example is the game from what seems like aeons back: Breed. It had in one mission a game breaking bug that meant progress was impossible, this is a prime example of shit not suited for purpose and as the company behind it shut down shortly after a patch was never released. In any other industry that would require a massive recall and refund... but not in games.

It's like having a printing error in a book which results in the climax of the second act not being printed and the pages left blank, for the publisher then to go: "You should have checked in store if the book was complete. Not our problem," and for the author to just give a shrug and the retailer to have a no returns policy, people would not stand for it. So for people into games to have such a "HA! YOUR PROBLEM LOSER!" attitude to others being caught out by this is ridiculous, we should stand for it together as a shoddy product is just as likely to purchased by a well meaning relative as a gift as it is the end user themselves.
 

Aardvaarkman

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LameDuck said:
Now we have self-publishing and small publishers who release whatever they can to make a quick buck, as Steam (just like the Xbox Indie Arcade) doesn't care what is sold through their market. Is it worse than before? Maybe not, but that was the infancy of the video games market. We don't need to revert to those times...
Yeah, so back in the day, major publishers would release totally broken games. Now that's mostly restricted to crowd funded startups and the like (with some notable exceptions).

I don't think we're in any risk of reversion, the market is way too diverse and dynamic for that. I think the crowd funding thing in particular is somewhat faddish - people are often backing Kickstarters and Greenlights or what have you, just because crowd funding is an exciting new thing. I think the novelty will wear off soon enough, and that market will stabilise and mature.
 

weirdee

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Apr 11, 2011
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gaming's pretty much been run on the "no backsies" rule for years

it's kind of ridiculous when you think about it

i mean, there's a gamefly ad that is built on the premise that it's cheaper to rent from them than it is to buy a game only to realize that you've been scammed and there is nothing that you can do after you've unwrapped a new game (not even played) besides cry, or perhaps trade it in for a pittance while the store just puts the shit game back on the shelf at near full price for somebody else to come along

and gamefly portrays itself as the alternative, as opposed to actually having some consumer rights or something
 

klaynexas3

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I agree and disagree at the same time. People should research what they buy, and when they do buy something like WarZ or the Guise of the Wolf(not the backers, but people later on), I feel like it's more of a "you reap what you sow" point. It needs to be a half and half system. The industry should control themselves, but gamers too should control themselves and understand what they are buying. I understand mostly that Jim would not address this aspect as much because his is more of the counter argument to an argument already well known, but I still feel the idea where both parties act properly and intelligently is something that should also be advocated. Industry, stop being such cock-heads, but gamers, be weary that plenty of companies are just that. With EA, while they are known for putting out shit some of the time, not all of it is all god awful, so if someone bought SimCity and got pissed about the always on, while I hate always on, they should have known it was there. As for games such as ME3 where the ending pissed people off, that is something else, and people were actually lied to about that(16 endings my ass). I for one actually liked the original ending(it just felt more proper, while the extended cut just felt so happy go lucky and out of place, even if it still made more sense in writing terms), but they still lied about it, and that's bullshit.
 

Aardvaarkman

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Rellik San said:
But in general I agree, it should be up to the publishers to at least make sure the game is functional, one of the worst example is the game from what seems like aeons back: Breed. It had in one mission a game breaking bug that meant progress was impossible, this is a prime example of shit not suited for purpose and as the company behind it shut down shortly after a patch was never released. In any other industry that would require a massive recall and refund... but not in games.
I'll definitely agree with that aspect. Consumer protection laws need to be enforced on the gaming industry. The idea that you can't get a refund on a game once the package is opened is pure bullshit. EB Games here offers "scratch insurance" on new discs, which is totally insane. If a a brand new disc in sealed packaging is somehow defective, you're giving me a refund, regardless of whether I bought "insurance" for it. I'm not sure how the consumer rights laws in different countries stack up on that issue.

The question is, beyond physically damaged or otherwise defective games, how does regulation relate to other issues in games, such as glitches or bugs? That would be very difficult to define and regulate legally, most companies would just try to work around that with a EULA. But there probably should be some legal limit to how much they can wash their hands of liability for buggy software. But I don't think too many legislatures have much interest in regulating software in that way (unless it comes to censorship of content, of course!)
 

Pyrian

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Gah! Never again will I watch the Jimquisition without checking reviews first to make sure they haven't changed the music.
 

LameDuck

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Aardvaarkman said:
Yeah, so back in the day, major publishers would release totally broken games. Now that's mostly restricted to crowd funded startups and the like (with some notable exceptions).
Not only crowd sourced games, but games from small studios that either self-publish, or go through a small publisher. These are no longer exceptions, but a rather large part of Steam releases. Ever since Steam decided to let everyone release their games on Steam we have seen a huge increase in low-quality games, many of which appear to have skipped QA testing.

The industry crashed because of this shit, why would we allow that to happen again?
 

Racecarlock

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Jimothy Sterling said:
Buyer Beware

Caveat Emptor is the "get out of an argument free" card for people who want to defend shoddy business practices. It's friggin' bollocks, though.

Watch Video
Good episode, but I would like to add this. Say everyone DOES get a good source of information and everyone does find a good quality control channel. Guess what? Now the AAA industry has lost all of it's launch day money because everyone is now watching these things and finding out that these games are glitchy piles of crap. And if that happens, it won't be our fault. The people who release glitchy games in the first place, it'll all be on them. They can blame us all they want to, but if everyone does beware, they're going to have to step up their game or else just die.
 

inkheart_artist

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You're gonna want to tweak those new lights. They made the whole set a little too blueish and put a lot of glare on your backdrop. I guess I'm the only one who thought the music being played was funny, although maybe it shouldn't be a regular thing.
 

IamLEAM1983

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V TheSystem V said:
The music made me have a nostalgia trip. I did not watch this video for a nostalgia trip, so beware, all ye who enter here...

But I digress, I really hate the fact that I have to look at reviews to see what games are playable these days. Because of that, I'm glad I didn't preorder A:CM, because licensed games have hurt me before...
Oh, reviews in and of themselves aren't enough for me. I need reviews from the mainstream sites, reviews from smaller outlets, I need Kotaku's Frankenreviews and at least two or three partial Let's Plays before I can safely say "Okay, I'm gonna buy this". Reviews alone no longer suffice, not when there's so many ways to peer through a biased reviewer's genre preferences or nostalgia goggles, or, in the best of cases, to see exactly *how* a given title would deserve some of my dosh. We live in a time that makes consumer advocacy the simplest thing to safeguard that's ever existed, but the thing is we're teetering close to the Atari days' lack of quality control.

Jim is right to mention the plague of shovelware that's infesting Steam, but I'd also consider half-baked releases for AAA products as handled by brazen developers who figure that the consumer needs to become an informal member of the QA team. You could also add in always-online strategies, but I'd place an addendum:

I have nothing against always-online tech per se, so long as it doesn't involve the use of a rootkit or active data collection. It used to be people had no problem slotting CDs inside their trays before starting a game, so people should also be able to tolerate a minimal ping to go along with their gaming. On the other hand, if, as a developer, you do choose to go always-online, then the onus is on you to provide a stable connection ON RELEASE DAY.

Not two weeks later, not two years later - on release day. That, in and of itself, is always-online's biggest failing. I'd even suggest that if something needs to be released with an online tether, then purposefully MINIMIZE the hype in order to make sure you start out with LESS players than your initial server architecture supports.

As the current situation is obviously untenable: massive hype + incorrect estimates regarding Day One connection attempts = What the fuck, developer?!
 

Aardvaarkman

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LameDuck said:
Not only crowd sourced games, but games from small studios that either self-publish, or go through a small publisher. These are no longer exceptions, but a rather large part of Steam releases. Ever since Steam decided to let everyone release their games on Steam we have seen a huge increase in low-quality games, many of which appear to have skipped QA testing.

The industry crashed because of this shit, why would we allow that to happen again?
Oh, I totally agree that a lot of bullshit is being pumped through those channels without quality control.

But I don't agree that this puts the industry as a whole at any risk. People aren't going to just stop playing games at this point. There are plenty of quality alternatives, so the only people these publishers and self-publishers are going to hurt is themselves. I really don't see any indication that an industry crash of similar magnitude to the 1980s one is even remotely likely today.

Videogames in the 1980s were a fringe activity. Today they seriously rival TV, music and movies put together, and that will only increase as formerly untapped markets gain access to technology.
 

Madman123456

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I'm beginning to warn people away from videogames. Most of the stuff that comes out isn't worth the effort of searching for information; with the media being largely useless one will have to rely on forum posts and one would have to know about the uselessness of certain media outlets and how to find them (or rather avoid them) in the first place so buying a game for christmas or something is going to turn out crappy.
 

SecondPrize

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But caveat emptor doesn't mean that it's all your fault, it means you share some of the fault. You're absolutely right though, companies should stop selling shit. They actually might if enough buyers fucking bewared, but they fucking don't now do they?