Games as a Service - Discussion

#1

TRS, if you haven’t seen my post in Discord, I’m posting it again here.
There’s this person talking about the “Games as a Service” business model in which he lifts the red flag, he has gone very deep to explain each and every single information about this fraud.

Warning!

The video is a hour long, so prepare to hear him talk a lot.

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#2

Based on the thumbnail alone I’m a skeptic.

Like all SM channels it’s easy to fall into an echo chamber. At an hour long, I’m not inclined to hear him out.

Albert Einstein: If you can’t explain it simply , you don’t understand it well enough.

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#3

Althrough he explain a lot of points that makes “Games as a Service” a bad thing.
Like he said as well, the game itself is the body and the server is the brain, if the brain gets shutdown, the body loses all of its functions and becomes a corpse. In that case, the game is dead.

If you buy a game, you are supposed to own it. When you buy a game as a service however, it still belongs to you but it can be rendered useless at an unknown date for any reason by the seller, it means that you bought it until the game becomes unplayable, that means you spent your money for a game that could become unplayable at any time. If you buy a game and that the next day it becomes unplayable because the seller decided to shutdown the game’s server, how would you feel? You’d feel scammed.

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#4

All software is technically sold that way, read your EULA.

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#5

This is basically a cultural debate rather than something with an objective answer. I prefer the idea of games that I own, without need for 3rd party servers or equipment, but that’s because that’s what I have grown up with. I also see the great benefits that can come from a well supported game operating as a service while providing a multiplayer experience.

In a decade or so this discussion won’t even be a thing, maybe for the better, maybe for the worse, but because it is quite clear that we are going full throttle in one direction, and gamers who are starting their gamer life around now don’t know any different, and have different base expectations to older gamers.

I think we see this in the current gaming crowd that seems to want some form of content update, even if small, on a weekly basis. The new expectation for new gamers is games as a service.

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#6

It isn’t fraud because playere have fun playing it for as long as it lasted. Companies also make you aware of this via their EULA (as @TheMountainThatRoars said before)

This is true for all games that are multiplayer only.

I understand @niaccurshi point of view. Back in the day, you bought a game and it was fully functional. You would own it and be able to play it whenever you wanted it.

However now that’s hardly even a thing. Games get released incomplete and fixed over time via patches while also new content gets added.

This happens both with singleplayer games and multiplayer-only games. At least singeplayer games you can play somewhat offline.

Another thing. Steam. What happens to the games we purchase when it goes bankrupt and suddenly goes offline. Now you can’t download the games you want to play so they’re worthless, except for the ones already installed that are functional offline.

Conclusion: It’s not fraud and it’s happening not only with games. It’s a new era and a new way of Entertainment Distribution in a digital era (Netflix, Steam, etc)

#7

Look, I’m not talking about games you purchase online, I talk about games that requires you to be online wether it’s to play multilayer or solo.
I for example own The Crew 2 which is a Game as a Service, sometimes the servers can go down for a couple of hours and that means I can only scroll through the menu or else I get an error message when I hit “Play”. If however the servers of The Crew 2 had to shutdown FOREVER, that means I’d get the error message FOREVER and I would be unable to play the game FOREVER and that’s the main reason why buying a copy of this game for 60€ and then having no way to play it is a fraud! It’s like if you were to buy a computer and then the company that made the computer decides to go in your house to destroy it.

#8

That’s a weak analogy, the two are not equal. Buying a game is buying a license to play it. Not the game itself, especially when servers are involved.

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#10

Isn’t this going pretty off-topic?

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#11

Yep, gonna move it into it’s own topic.

#12

I listened to the whole thing, and while I’m all over the place on how I feel about the video…

does this really apply to TRS?

Both L4D1 and Evolve have means to play it offline if/when the servers are/were ceased. They don’t have a track record of making games revolve around an exclusively online experience. Despite what little we know about B4B, it will have a campaign and dedicated AI work… I don’t think it will be at risk of being under “games as a service.”

I understand and appreciate the sentiment he (and by extension you, for sharing it) is providing with this video - it was an interesting topic to listen to - I just don’t see the need to present it specifically to TRS. But, thanks for sharing it, regardless. It’s an intriguing topic that I both somewhat agree and disagree with, and I feel he glossed over or didn’t research a lot of technicalities that may be apart of this issue he’s discussing.

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#13

As long as they don’t plan to make B4B a “Game as a Service”, no and that’s very fine like that.
It’s just that I wanted the team to see it because maybe they’d find it interresting compared to what happened on Evolve Stage 2. In fact, I wanted TRS to see it because it was linked with the fact that “Games as a Service” are generally games run on a server such as for the multiplayer of Evolve Stage 2.
Evolve Stage 2 is NOT a “Game as a Service” thanks to being able to play offline against bots, but conversely it has elements that could have made it a “Game as a Service” such as the fact that it required servers to run its multiplayer and the fact that it cannot be searched on Steam directly anymore after its servers got shutdown.

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#14

I wonder how it can be considered fraud when most of these ‘games as a service’ are free to play.

Let’s take Evolve Stage 2 for example and consider it a good. It’s free so technically you don’t own it (perhaps that’s why it’s considered a service instead), therefore you have no ownership over it.

However, when you buy a skin, you own that skin as now it is a good. And when the Stage 2 servers shut down, you still need to be able to use that good. Which is perhaps why you’re still able to use the skin in offline mode instead (a good and its function).

Another thing is also this. If it’s such a fraud, why don’t more people care? Simple, because they enjoyed the time the service provided itself.

You don’t own the game, but you can own things that come with the game.

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#15

I remember Sledge talked to me once about DarkSpore, that game which was published by EA and that was in the universe of Spore. When she talked about it, I was curious to know if I could get this game…until she told me its servers went down years ago.

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#16

Yes, Darkspore is one of those games that I really enjoyed and I feel it didn’t get enough real attention in its time, for how unique it was. Now, since the server was closed, nobody can play it, not even solo. I really enjoyed playing with the avatar creator…literally everyone could create their own spore-like avatar. I did pay for Darkspore, which made it different than for Stage 2, which was free. When the servers were cut, you will cut out of your ability to play what you purchased.

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#17

The only problem I’ve had with Games as a service is that AAA studios are using it as an excuse to release an unfinished and unpolished game saying that they’ll just fix it down the line when the game should be good from the beginning.

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#18

And then when they start making games that are finished from the beginning reddit will be full of gamers complaining there aren’t frequent updates, and will of course still manage to find common opinion that the game is imbalanced or broken. Studios can’t win.

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#19

Yeah people will complain but a lot more will be positive about it as long as the updates are good.

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#20

A finished game upon release is still better than an unfinished game. At least the finished game is playable whereas an unfinished game may be stuck in its unfinished/unplayable state if the publisher/dev studio decides to move on rather than fixing what is broken.

Ex. Anthem still has glaring playability issues months since launch. It was also promised a roadmap. Now it seems more than likely fixes will take long (or won’t come at all) and meanwhile the content from the roadmap has been delayed indefinitely.

On the other end, Division 2 was a finished game at start and as a result its release went smooth with hardly any bugs at all and if there were they got fixed rapidly.

Kotaku even says this at the end of their review for Division 2:

“To have played The Division 2 for a month has been to experience an ongoing conversation with the developers and to have witnessed rapid iteration—some of it planned, some clearly not—atop an already impressive game that looks and plays great. The Division 2 is the new standard for how to launch an evolving game and an experience I’m looking forward to playing and following for a long time.”

This^ should be the norm. I can accept an unfinished game in an early access title where you can buy it cheap now instead of more expensive later. Good examples of this are Subnautica, Rust, Divinity Origin Sin 2, etc. However the purchase still comes at a risk that at least you’re aware of.

An unfinished game from a triple A publisher, that’s a NO-NO.

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#21

the late 90’s want their argument, along with that haircut and goatee back.