Up until the most recently, I have been first and foremost a PC gamer. As someone who has owned an x86 derivative since the mid-to-late '80s, I can honestly say that the state of PC gaming has gone progressively down hill. Quality assurance has slacked, development times have grown exponentially higher, zero resale value and inhibiting system requirements all result in an industry that is not conducive to someone who cannot afford persistent hardware upgrades.
Stardock (known for their works Window Blinds and Sins of a Solar Empire) announced at PAX the Gamer's Bill of Rights. The company refers to the document as:
...a statement of principles that it hopes will encourage the PC game industry to adopt standards that are more supportive of PC gamers. The document contains 10 specific "rights" that video game enthusiasts can expect from Stardock as an independent developer and publisher that it hopes that other publishers will embrace...
the objective of the Gamer's Bill of Rights is to increase the confidence of consumers of the quality of PC games which in turn will lead to more sales and a better gaming experience.
The document, a bulleted list, is as follows:
- Gamers shall have the right to return games that don't work with their computers for a full refund.
- Gamers shall have the right to demand that games be released in a finished state.
- Gamers shall have the right to expect meaningful updates after a game's release.
- Gamers shall have the right to demand that download managers and updaters not force themselves to run or be forced to load in order to play a game.
- Gamers shall have the right to expect that the minimum requirements for a game will mean that the game will play adequately on that computer.
- Gamers shall have the right to expect that games won't install hidden drivers or other potentially harmful software without their consent.
- Gamers shall have the right to re-download the latest versions of the games they own at any time.
- Gamers shall have the right to not be treated as potential criminals by developers or publishers.
- Gamers shall have the right to demand that a single-player game not force them to be connected to the Internet every time they wish to play.
- Gamers shall have the right that games which are installed to the hard drive shall not require a CD/DVD to remain in the drive to play.
Thank YOU Stardock. I don't expect anyone except the company itself to follow these rules, as they are user oriented, and not focused on big business. In the mean time, lets just cross our fingers that these ideals become global. Up with gamer rights!
Stardock Releases Gamer's Bill of Rights at PAX [GamePolitics]