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Stardock's 10 Commandments... For Games

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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]

7 Comments

MuddBstrd said:

Stardock is by far my favorite PC gaming company. I actually give their games the benefit of the doubt when deciding a purchase just because they treat gamers with as much respect as they do.

Kiarean said:

I'm seconding Mudd's opinion, as someone who has bought games from Stardock they are by FAR by favorite gaming company. Not only that, they have good games too, and also seem to support small development to look at some of their games. While these small development games aren't always the highest quality it promotes new ideas and new developers.

Anyone who has not checked out Stardock I highly recommending downloading their program, Stardock Central, and checking out Galactic Civilizations 2 (a strategy game in the vein of the Civilizations series by Sid Meyer) and Imperium Romanum (simulator in the vein of the Sim City series), both of which I highly recommend. They also publish Sins of a Solar Empire, which received a 4 out of 5 from X-Play. Thier next big name game is Demigod, which sounds pretty interesting to me and I definately intend to check it out when it's released. Beyond games, they also have various non-gaming applications for desktop costumization.

MattFW said:

My (admittedly non-game) software already follows this general plan, slightly nicer in many ways, and piracy is rampant despite the low price point. However - I hope that their adoption of it helps other companies adopt it and in turn manages to cut back some of the pirates, which should help those of us who buy our software get it without the ridiculous rights management that is going in to games now.

scarritt said:

I would LOVE for the first commandment to be implemented (my laptop will run some games that don't quite fit within it's... parameters, and some it won't), but then you run into federal law >

kwyjibo said:

It seems Stardock isn't as perfect as you make them out to be. In their other products, they blatantly violate this Bill of Rights' philosophy and now force DRM on their customization software. This is added in their new distribution system, "Mycolors".

Skins that in the past would have been editable by anyone with Stardock's Skinstudio and a graphics editor are now locked down. They claim this is to combat piracy.

"Gamers shall have the right to not be treated as potential criminals by developers or publishers."

What about skinners, Stardock? Are we to be treated as criminals?

matt said:

I disagree, gaming is opening up to a new era of Games on Demand.

If you don't know what i mean you can find more info here

Games on Demand

Eshto said:

Boo on the title of this post.

These aren't commandments, this is a bill of rights.

Commandments are a list of things you must comply with under threat of punishment.

Kinda opposite things, really.

And girls who like girls who like rumble packs!

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Eshto on Stardock's 10 Commandments... For Games: Boo on the title of this post. These aren't commandments, this is a bill of rights. Commandments are a list...

matt on Stardock's 10 Commandments... For Games: I disagree, gaming is opening up to a new era of Games on Demand. If you don't know what i...

kwyjibo on Stardock's 10 Commandments... For Games: It seems Stardock isn't as perfect as you make them out to be. In their other products, they blatantly violate...

scarritt on Stardock's 10 Commandments... For Games: I would LOVE for the first commandment to be implemented (my laptop will run some games that don't quite fit...

MattFW on Stardock's 10 Commandments... For Games: My (admittedly non-game) software already follows this general plan, slightly nicer in many ways, and piracy is rampant despite the...

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