Sunday, June 17, 2007

That's it! Retail stores, the Rant.

I bought "Runaway 2" today, an adventure game. I bought it on a lark, I don't know much about it. What I do know is that, like every PC game I've bought from a brick-and-mortar store in the past year, it doesn't fucking work. Yeah, it wants to see the original DVD before it'll let me play, never mind that the original DVD is in the drive.

So, as usual, I find myself downloading an illegal crack to play a perfectly legal copy of the game.

Worse, I find that I could have bought it on-line for the same price and just downloaded it, no DVD required. Which means the version released to the stores is crippleware. Crippleware that prevents me from playing the game I own.

I can add this to a giant stack of games I bought and could not play without illegal software modifications. A few of them: Half Life 2, Halo, Stubbs the Zombie, Sid Meiers's Railroads... all games I bought and could not return when they didn't work because of "store policy". "You can only exchange them for copies of the same game." Guess what? The game doesn't work on my machine. Period. I still haven't played Stubbs.

Strangely, I've never had any problems with games bought and downloaded - I once had to get a patch, which has been the extent of my difficulties. And I own a lot of games purchased from on-line stores - more than a dozen. All of which work fine.

So, what the hell? The multi-billion dollar industry of game stores can't produce a usable product, but J random downloads work fine?

Hilariously, I saw versions of games I downloaded online in the store - Bookworm Adventures, Shadowgrounds, Aveyond, etc, etc. I almost want to buy them just to verify that the retail versions won't work, even while I have a perfectly functional copy two hundred kilobytes to the left.

No more brick-and-mortar stores. Fuck them.


Patrick said...

You're preaching to the choir. You may be interested to know that the current frontier of game design and business opportunities exists a dimension above download sales, in games that are entirely web-based - much like pathspace is a dimension above hyperspace, which is a dimension above timespace.

(Pathspace is a reference to Immortal Defense, a game you might enjoy trying.)

David said...

i have the same problem with movie rentals...