An EU commission has proposed a mandated 2-year gaurantee on certain goods be extended to video games
. On the surface it seems as if this would mean nothing more than "if the disc is defective or is scratched up by a disc drive, you must replace it", but then again this is the EU we're talking about. In any case, the commision is interpreting this as "if the game has bug or glitch, the consumer can demand their money back". Obviously, the industry is up in arms over this, and I think they have good reason.
The internets seem to be cheering this on. "Yeah the end of bugs forever!" they cry. "I hope the United States adopts the same law!" People. Are you really that stupid? It's not that easy. No matter how commited your quality assurance team is, there's always going to be something that flys under the radar. Sometimes it's a really nasty glitch that corrupts or otherwise ruins your save (as in Twilight Princess
where at one single, short point in the game if you save and quit you're stuck forever
), other times it's something keeps the game from playing properly on a system, and yet other times it's just a curiosity. Furthermore, what defines a bug or glitch? Really now, if I hit A+B+C in the original Sonic the Hedgehog
to glitch the demo after the title screen, can I get my money back? I like how even the commision admits that people are going to abuse this law but decide "lol, it doesn't matter". Yes, because we must all OMG PROTECT THE POOR HELPLESS CONSUMER AT ANY COST FROM THE BIG BAD CAPITALISTS!!!!1!1111one
If Europe seriously thinks they're going to get any better quality out of this, they're so dead wrong that it makes the universe cry in shame. They're only going to get three times longer delays than they already have on top of an even smaller
selection of games. And you can kiss PC gaming goodbye, because there's no possible way to test every single hardware combination on the planet. Not to mention indie gaming. Could you imagine the financial bomb that would explode back on them if their released game doesn't run on a common video card because they can only test using the one video card they have on their own machine? Take for example Braid
's case, where the recent PC version met some unexpected problems at launch and suddenly an entire throng of people decend on his blog. Sure, most people seem to be civil about it, but there's also plenty of people like this
who barge in, demand GREAT JUSTICE!!!, and then actually have the gall to go on and accuse Jonathon Blow of not providing technical support in the very thread where he's trying his best to keep on top of the posts that are piling up at light speed
I'm not opposed to some sort of protection for consumers if their game doesn't work for them, but if they can just scream until they get their money back for a game they've owned for over a year because "lol, the collision detection is off at this one spot and only this one spot i don't like the game anymore anyway i want my $50 back for a game that's not even worth that all this time later". I hope you don't enjoy video games, Europe, because if this is imposed, you won't see them anymore.