Author Topic: Suggestion: Adding More Digital Distributors  (Read 100 times)

Suggestion: Adding More Digital Distributors
« on: February 10, 2019, 10:13:01 pm »
Hi there! I'm going through cataloging all of my physical and digitally owned games, and I own some games through services besides Steam and GOG that I'd like to catalog. I know I could just add the Steam/GOG counterparts, but games like Mass Effect 3 and some other distributor-only games I can't do that with.

Specifically, I want these platforms added:
Origin (EA)
Twitch

Some others that could get added:
Discord (They sell games now I guess)
Epic Games Store (Yup, this is a thing now)
Battle.Net (Blizzard) (For Overwatch, WoW, etc.)
Game Jolt (A lot of it unfiltered, "post whatever you want", but not only are there legit good games on there, but stuff you have to pay with money, making at least some of it a store)
etc.

Now, I'm going to discuss this further in an attempt to sway those of you who may be unconvinced. First, Steam, GOG, and other console forms of digital distribution are already included, so adding other forms of digital distribution should be listed as well. Many well established and popular games are legally distributed on these platforms, or are exclusive to these platforms. I'm going to throw some examples, Mass Effect 3 is exclusive (digitally) to Origin, Fortnite is exclusive to the Epic Games Store, any Blizzard game is exclusive (digitally) to Battle.Net, Discord has some exclusive games apparently, as explained here: https://www.techspot.com/news/76682-discord-first-seven-exclusive-games-have-unveiled.html, etc.
Beyond exclusive games that may necessitate their inclusion, some people (like me) have games on those platforms and not on Steam or GOG, meaning I would have to mis-catalog some of my collection which just feels wrong. This also means that if I get a second copy on Steam/GOG, then I'm really outta luck.
Lastly, I wouldn't give much credence to the thought that adding digital distributors would clutter the list, considering we already have a different listing for every region for every console. Despite having a different listing for every region clutters and elongates the list significantly, they're still listed because it's important to. Similarly, different digital distributors should be added so not everything purchased online must be listed as from Steam, GOG, or "PC - Digital". (Oh, and the ridiculously long list of devs and publishers, which are necessary because there are a lot of devs and publishers).
Also, I don't give much credence to the idea that this is a slippery slope and that there could be an infinite number of distributors. Reason being that assuming a company wishes to distribute digitally, they're only going to sign with/agree to distribute on platforms that are stable, secure, and trustworthy. Places like HumbleBundle, GreenmanGaming, GamerGate (yes, tis a real site) and so on, while good and trustworthy on their own, are a secondary market as they often, if not always, give you codes for use on "actual" distributors, like Steam or GOG. Point is, as long as we remain reasonable with what distributors are allowed onto the list, then the worry about a slippery slope is just a fallacy. Adding Origin and Battle.Net or whatever won't make it so "bobbyjim.net" would get added.

Anyways, let me know what you think.  :)
« Last Edit: February 10, 2019, 10:14:33 pm by omnises »

Re: Suggestion: Adding More Digital Distributors
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2019, 11:05:48 pm »
The real issue is that with digital games you don't really own them. You just bought the right to play that game for as long as the owner wants you to.

Re: Suggestion: Adding More Digital Distributors
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2019, 12:59:17 am »
Well, that's kinda true. Legally, you own the game, with some exceptions like some "always online" games. If you've bought a game off of Steam and you install it, assuming it doesn't require online connectivity to function, then you physically own that game. You don't have a case that encapsulates the hardware in which the data of the game is stored, but it's nonetheless physically etched into your harddrive (or stored as read-only in your sdd). Anyways, yes, I too condemn the practice of "always online".

The other way to interpret your saying that you don't really own digital games is if you mean to imply that the ownership of the games are only validated by the existence of the distributor, in which case you're right but it gets fuzzy. It's kind of like fiet money in this sense, only worth something if backed up. Once you own a game through a distributor (and the fine details of this definitely change between distributors) you own that game (if you install it and the distributor hypothetically ceased to exist, you would still legally own it as long as you don't redistribute it and such). However, if you don't have the game installed, you still technically own it, so if the distributor hypothetically ceased to exist and you had a method of legally downloading the game despite this non-existence it would be legal, but logically impossible.
Point is, buy a high capacity harddrive and download all of the digital games you own. OH, the actual point is that you can really actually truly own digital games, and more importantly I want to catalog them.

tripredacus

Re: Suggestion: Adding More Digital Distributors
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2019, 12:12:02 pm »
Well, that's kinda true. Legally, you own the game

This isn't correct. The best quote regarding what the actual relationship with games and/or software is this: "The software is licensed, not sold. This agreement only gives you some rights to use the software. Microsoft reserves all other rights." Of course, this is from Microsoft, but just change the company name to any other copyright holder and it is the same. We do not own the characters, the text, the sounds or the music, the artwork or any of that. We aren't allowed to make copies or redistribute the software, in whole or in part, except as specified by the rights holder. We are not allowed to modify the software in any way, or use portions of it in the creation of/or an addition to, another software program. Do not confuse active enforcement with what our relationship with the product actually is. This applies for regular software as well as games.

Regarding the different platforms, currently all of the other PC games go into PC Digital Download category and you put into description as to what platform it is available on. Ideally, there would not be different platform categories for digital games, even for the consoles. Instead we would use a tag system to specify which platforms the game was available on. Currently, because of how our database is set up, there are duplicates in these sections because the same games are available through multiple different platforms. So in the database we have separate entries, per platform, for the same things. A physical equivalent to this would be to have separate entries for Xbox 360 / Xbox One co-branded titles, or those multi-system PlayStation Genteiban that have disc collections in them.

Re: Suggestion: Adding More Digital Distributors
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2019, 02:30:20 pm »
You're correct, of course, but I'm misunderstood a bit. This same relationship is similar to owning a physical copy with one of the many exceptions being that modification voids warranty and isn't technically illegal (though on modern systems where you won't be able to play it or will detect modification, Ex: homebrew). I didn't mean to imply that you "owned" the game and could do whatever you want with it, and I suppose I was being careless with the term "own".
Anyhow, my point was that irrelevant of distributor and irrelevant of the game being digitally distributed, once you've installed the game it is on your harddrive and can be played regardless of outside influences. This is mainly because Steam is a distributor, not a publisher or developer (anymore), while they enforce rules regarding distribution and what the user can do with software, if Steam hypothetically didn't exist, the only conditions you must follow are of the developer/publisher in which had sold you the game through Steam. But anyway, I suppose discussion over "ownership" of games, physically, digitally, or whatever is a discussion for another time since it's irrelevant to the point of the thread: What the site should do about the categories of digital distributors.

I also strongly agree with your point. The reduction of already listed distributors, names Steam and GOG, should be removed in favor of all digitally distributed games being labeled under "PC - Digital" as a catch all. This especially makes sense when you realize that, without the distributor, all games are ran the exact same way. This removes the slippery slope argument and also makes moot the issue of omission of other digital platforms. To this end, having Steam and GOG is like having Best Buy and Gamestop as categories, and it'd make more sense to differentiate based on PC, MacOS, and Linux since they actually run differently than each other and require different programming.
I see this as a valid alternative to adding every other digital platform.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 02:43:51 pm by omnises »

Re: Suggestion: Adding More Digital Distributors
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2019, 04:00:58 pm »
The real issue is that with digital games you don't really own them. You just bought the right to play that game for as long as the owner wants you to.

Some games are digital only. Also, dual analogue is just bad so pc shooters are the way to go.