Buying games digitally.

One of the concerns people have had over buying video games digitally is that they don't actually own the game, but just temporarily have access to it. Why do people say this?

You can't sell it.

The best rebuttal:

Also my response.

Largely? Because it's not something you have possession of. It's a digital copy reliant on a store or publisher client to function.

Some games are more egregious than others in this sense, but let's put it this way: Back when it was new, I bought Spore and I was shocked to discover that there was a 3 installation limit. Not "it can be on a maximum of three systems at once", I could put it on a maximum of three computers, and then I might as well break the disks because they'd be useless to me. Even if I just upgraded the OS on the same hardware and reinstalled the game, it would count as one of my three installations. For most intents and purposes, this meant that what I had was closer to a rental than a purchase. After a certain point, my access to it would effectively be suspended until I made another transaction for it.

As I said though, that's an egregious example. That being said, the principle is the same for any 'online only' game that requires that you be connected to the publisher's servers in order to play, as your ability to continue playing is entirely at the convenience of the server owner. The moment those servers go down, your access to the game ends. And of course, a step down from this is the online store, such as Steam, Origin, Epic, Uplay, Twitch, etc. To be blunt about it, your game library probably consists of more games than you can reasonably install on your computer. What, exactly, do you expect will happen when Valve finally closes shop on Steam and takes the system offline? Your access to your Steam library is entirely subject to the Steam client being online. Think of it like Netflix. You don't own a copy of the video, you're paying for access to their copy.

I wonder if the consoles after the upcoming generation will even have a disc drive anymore. Will they expect everyone to just download all their games they once had again? Backwards compatibility is supposed to be a big thing with XB1X and PS5, but it will be short lived if their successors take away the means for the user base to install existing, owned copies of their software.

Well, its because on most digital platforms you are only getting a license which can be revoked and a lot of online accounts technically can't be passed on to someone else either so it really is more like you are renting. Really the one that is different is GoG since if you buy something there its not allowed to have drm on it so you actually can kinda own the files you get from there.

That's not quite it. You can buy a game digitally and own it, like if you get a game from GOG for example.

But if you buy from Steam, Epic, Origin, Uplay, or any other digital games client like that, then you do not own the game. What you are purchasing instead is a license to play that game on their games service. You don't own the game, just the 'ability' to play it through the service. If the service dies, or a copyright expires etc and the game is removed from the service, then your ability to play that game could vanish in the blink of an eye.

This is why I always, always buy my games from GOG. You buy the game. Once you download it, it's yours to keep forever.

VG_Addict:
One of the concerns people have had over buying video games digitally is that they don't actually own the game, but just temporarily have access to it. Why do people say this?

You'll have to clarify the context of what games they are referring to. DRM platforms like Steam require a Steam account and internet connection to play the games installed in your computer. If you permanently lose access to either of these, you'll lose legal access to those games.

When the service Games for Windows Live died, games that needed it became unplayable as they were. For games still supported by the publishers and developers, they created fixes (like with Dark Souls); but abandonware required the users to fix it themselves.

Because there's no way to obtain a legal copy of Scott Pilgrim vs the World made for the xBox 360.

Among many other examples. It's hell for video game archival

Should something like the infamous Games for Windows Live occur, you lose access to every game you had on the service.

Sure, that might be expected for an online game, but anything not contingent on multiplayer/online servers (and we'll set aside the debate on people running shards for abandoned MMOs) does kind of pose a question of value. Also its basically killed the idea of rental (other then recent streaming efforts), and reselling your games. Which was often a way to recoup or avoid shelling out for a questionable experience.

Even practically speaking, its something of a market barrier to entry. Your main new consumer for games is well, kids. Kids aren't generally legally able to even register for accounts on those services in most jurisdictions, nevermind maintain a credit card. And while most services do have gift cards available now, shunting out audiences who don't have credit cards (or potentially are in more remote or internation locales where the gift cards aren't) further bites into it. Anecdotally speaking of course, but I'd really chalk up the sudden exit of PC gaming from the mainstream to back when Steam gained dominance. I got basically locked out of it for 8 years (Steam cards didn't exist in Canada and couldn't get a cfedit card at the time). but in general I noticed there was a sharp decline of the proverbial "water cooler" even being aware of PC games.

Squilookle:
That's not quite it. You can buy a game digitally and own it, like if you get a game from GOG for example.

But if you buy from Steam, Epic, Origin, Uplay, or any other digital games client like that, then you do not own the game. What you are purchasing instead is a license to play that game on their games service. You don't own the game, just the 'ability' to play it through the service. If the service dies, or a copyright expires etc and the game is removed from the service, then your ability to play that game could vanish in the blink of an eye.

This is why I always, always buy my games from GOG. You buy the game. Once you download it, it's yours to keep forever.

While I much prefer GOG to the other services/storefronts, there are some games they don't have that you have to get elsewhere. Some of them I understand, particularly ones with an embedded online, so that probably counts as DRM, but others are just wierd. Celeste and Baba is You have been out for quite a while at this point and STILL aren't on GOG because....I don't know. I ended up getting Celeste when EPIC offered it for free and Baba is You on Steam when it was cheap over the holidays. It seems like those games were be right up GOG's alley and yet somehow you still can't get them there. So two lost sales right there just due to not offering it.

I get most games digitally now because I've already sold most of my hard copy library anyways, since I never played them anymore. I've only kept a very select few that I might want to reminisce with years down the road. I really don't care enough about keeping all the old hardware around or rebuying it just to use physical copies anymore.

On PC it's different. Yeah I'm spoiled by Steam and GoG, and haven't had a problem yet with either for reinstalling old games. If Steam disappears someday then well, I never had physical copies in the first place. I understand the principle behind always having physical copies in case disaster strikes with these services, but practically speaking I don't even have the time to play a fraction of all the games I've gotten on Steam at fractions of the price I could ever sell them for if I had physical copies.

Having said that, I did preorder the FF7 Remake steel book edition because this is something of a monumental release to me and I'm sure many others. At first I wasn't going to, and considered just waiting until all the parts are released in a collection, but who the hell knows how long that would be. Nothing else is really piquing my interest anyways, unless they announce Bloodborne 2 which wouldn't be happening anytime soon either. I also won't even be thinking of Elden Ring until I get done with DS3 and Sekiro.

Companies can and will take down their stores eventually.

Try to re-download your original Wii games and tell me how well that works. And that's Nintendo. Bit-players will probably be worse.

Dalisclock:

Squilookle:
That's not quite it. You can buy a game digitally and own it, like if you get a game from GOG for example.

But if you buy from Steam, Epic, Origin, Uplay, or any other digital games client like that, then you do not own the game. What you are purchasing instead is a license to play that game on their games service. You don't own the game, just the 'ability' to play it through the service. If the service dies, or a copyright expires etc and the game is removed from the service, then your ability to play that game could vanish in the blink of an eye.

This is why I always, always buy my games from GOG. You buy the game. Once you download it, it's yours to keep forever.

While I much prefer GOG to the other services/storefronts, there are some games they don't have that you have to get elsewhere. Some of them I understand, particularly ones with an embedded online, so that probably counts as DRM, but others are just wierd. Celeste and Baba is You have been out for quite a while at this point and STILL aren't on GOG because....I don't know. I ended up getting Celeste when EPIC offered it for free and Baba is You on Steam when it was cheap over the holidays. It seems like those games were be right up GOG's alley and yet somehow you still can't get them there. So two lost sales right there just due to not offering it.

Of course they don't have everything. You could say that of any online store. Not only does GOG have to perform a painstaking service behind the scenes to get the games running on modern systems, they have to clear the legal side with everybody who was involved in the original game. This is a lot harder for older titles than new ones. Plus some publishers think that Steam is the only store, which is pretty daft.

If a game is only on Steam, of course you'll grab it there, as you don't have much choice. What I'm saying is, if a game is on GOG as well as literally any other store, I will always get it from GOG, because it's the only place that sells me the game, rather than just the privilege of playing that game.

I prefer digital because I can't be bothered with the clutter. But I appreciate you can't sell them on so I get why you wouldn't want digital versions. If the PS5 has PS4 compatibility and i can play my digital games on there that would be amazing.

Digital is the future because it doesn't have physical waste and you don't need to wait for things to be shipped to you to access them. They just need to iron out the laws about how people own the games and prevent the ability from people to remove things from the market altogether like Konami did with the silent hills demo. That shouldn't be possible in an art medium.

dscross:
I prefer digital because I can't be bothered with the clutter. But I appreciate you can't sell them on so I get why you wouldn't want digital versions. If the PS5 has PS4 compatibility and i can play my digital games on there that would be amazing.

Dreiko:
Digital is the future because it doesn't have physical waste and you don't need to wait for things to be shipped to you to access them. They just need to iron out the laws about how people own the games and prevent the ability from people to remove things from the market altogether like Konami did with the silent hills demo. That shouldn't be possible in an art medium.

"Clutter?" Was life pre-digital availability really that inconvenienced by the clutter of physical games? That sounds like the portion of an infomercial where a minor problem is exacerbated by some frustratingly inept Average Joe just before they reveal the solution for "ONLY $19.99!!!" Is the tradeoff for dubious ownership of your purchases really the ideal fix? I'm no luddite, but I'll take my chances with something tangible; reliability is a far more valuable quality than convenience, particularly when uncertainty is the "comes-with" of the latter.

Xprimentyl:

?Clutter?? Was life pre-digital availability really that inconvenienced by the clutter of physical games? That sounds like the portion of an infomercial where a minor problem is exacerbated by some frustratingly inept Average Joe just before they reveal the solution for ?ONLY $19.99!!!? Is the tradeoff for dubious ownership of your purchases really the ideal fix? I?m no luddite, but I?ll take my chances with something tangible; reliability is a far more valuable quality than convenience, particularly when uncertainty is the ?comes-with? of the latter.

Depends on how many games you want (I have a lot), how organised you are with your collecting (not very) , how easily you lose things (my brain is not a tidy brain) and how much space you have to store them (not enough). Digital is much easier for me.

However, with music, I do miss the age of CDs, tapes and records (even though I know some dedicated collectors do have records). I think we are missing a lot of great music because of the digital age because no-one takes the time to listen to things for extended periods of time anymore. That's not the case with games though so the same logic doesn't apply to gaming culture.

dscross:

Xprimentyl:

"Clutter?" Was life pre-digital availability really that inconvenienced by the clutter of physical games? That sounds like the portion of an infomercial where a minor problem is exacerbated by some frustratingly inept Average Joe just before they reveal the solution for "ONLY $19.99!!!" Is the tradeoff for dubious ownership of your purchases really the ideal fix? I'm no luddite, but I'll take my chances with something tangible; reliability is a far more valuable quality than convenience, particularly when uncertainty is the "comes-with" of the latter.

Depends on how many games you want (I have a lot), how organised you are with your collecting (not very) , how easily you lose things (my brain is not a tidy brain) and how much space you have to store them (not enough). Digital is much easier for me.

I understand individual circumstances will vary and of course digital has its merits, but digital is rearing its head as yet another outlet for senseless glut lauding itself as the solution to the problem it creates, i.e.: would you have as many games were they not so readily available? Again, I'm not against digital availability, just not sold on the idea that it resolves the invented problem of the "hassle with physical games" and should eventually supplant physical altogether. Digital is fast food; it'll fill you up, but a steady diet of it leads to diabetes.

However, with music, I do miss the age of CDs, tapes and records (even though I know some dedicated collectors do have records). I think we are missing a lot of great music because of the digital age because no-one takes the time to listen to things for extended periods of time anymore. That's not the case with games though so the same logic doesn't apply to gaming culture.

And this comparative logic defies all reason. Music is far more digestible than games; I can listen to a song or two from an artist in about 8 minutes and decide whether or not I might like them all while jogging or doing my taxes, and services like Spotify allow me easy access to literally hundreds of thousand of artists and songs to explore. And guess what? I'm not paying the same $15-20 as I would have for the physical album!! Music is perfect for digital services. Games, on the other hand, command your full undivided attention, and a good one commands that attention for hours if not days or weeks at a time, so giving access to thousands upon thousands of them at a literal click at the full retail price of a physical copy and the added possibility that one day my access to that purchase could end does little more than waste time, money and add to an inevitable backlog.

I prefer to be more selective when I buy my games, one or two at a time, and in my day to day life, given that I pass dozens of retailers that offer me physical copies of games, I can be bothered to stop for 5 minutes and buy one that comes with a 100% guarantee of permanent ownership. But to each their own. If digital copies shine your shaft, you'll be plenty happy for the foreseeable future.

Xprimentyl:

However, with music, I do miss the age of CDs, tapes and records (even though I know some dedicated collectors do have records). I think we are missing a lot of great music because of the digital age because no-one takes the time to listen to things for extended periods of time anymore. That's not the case with games though so the same logic doesn't apply to gaming culture.

And this comparative logic defies all reason. Music is far more digestible than games; I can listen to a song or two from an artist in about 8 minutes and decide whether or not I might like them all while jogging or doing my taxes, and services like Spotify allow me easy access to literally hundreds of thousand of artists and songs to explore. And guess what? I?m not paying the same $15-20 as I would have for the physical album!! Music is perfect for digital services. Games, on the other hand, command your full undivided attention, and a good one commands that attention for hours if not days or weeks at a time, so giving access to thousands upon thousands of them at a literal click at the full retail price of a physical copy and the added possibility that one day my access to that purchase could end does little more than waste time, money and add to an inevitable backlog.

I prefer to be more selective when I buy my games, one or two at a time, and in my day to day life, given that I pass dozens of retailers that offer me physical copies of games, I can be bothered to stop for 5 minutes and buy one that comes with a 100% guarantee of permanent ownership. But to each their own. If digital copies shine your shaft, you?ll be plenty happy for the foreseeable future.

I was simply comparing two entertainment types and saying the reason why I personally like digital games but I miss hard copies of music.

I am a musician myself so that probably plays a part in it. People used to take to time to listen and digest a whole album and would listen multiple times through - having a hard copy with a booklet / artwork helped to solidify it as being special as well I guess - but now they tend to jump around and listen to whatever so things don't tend to stick as often, in my opinion. I say this as someone who knows lots of amazing musicians and/or songwriters who I believe could have been signed and made it back in the day but now are lost in all the white noise of the internet. Not saying it's impossible to make it but it's a symptom of shorter concentration spans from people in music.

The reason I don't think this applies to gaming as much is after you buy a digital game you tend to play through the whole thing, which a long experience, more often than not, and so they get massively invested in it irrespective of the form they get it in. That's not the case with music anymore - people tend to jump around with tracks a lot and not let a lot of the tracks grow on them in the same way they once did, or it happens less often at least.

dscross:

Xprimentyl:

However, with music, I do miss the age of CDs, tapes and records (even though I know some dedicated collectors do have records). I think we are missing a lot of great music because of the digital age because no-one takes the time to listen to things for extended periods of time anymore. That's not the case with games though so the same logic doesn't apply to gaming culture.

And this comparative logic defies all reason. Music is far more digestible than games; I can listen to a song or two from an artist in about 8 minutes and decide whether or not I might like them all while jogging or doing my taxes, and services like Spotify allow me easy access to literally hundreds of thousand of artists and songs to explore. And guess what? I?m not paying the same $15-20 as I would have for the physical album!! Music is perfect for digital services. Games, on the other hand, command your full undivided attention, and a good one commands that attention for hours if not days or weeks at a time, so giving access to thousands upon thousands of them at a literal click at the full retail price of a physical copy and the added possibility that one day my access to that purchase could end does little more than waste time, money and add to an inevitable backlog.

I prefer to be more selective when I buy my games, one or two at a time, and in my day to day life, given that I pass dozens of retailers that offer me physical copies of games, I can be bothered to stop for 5 minutes and buy one that comes with a 100% guarantee of permanent ownership. But to each their own. If digital copies shine your shaft, you?ll be plenty happy for the foreseeable future.

I am a musician myself so that probably plays a part in it. People used to take to time to listen and digest a whole album multiple times through when they had a bought hard copy with a booklet / artwork - but now they tend to jump around and listen to whatever so things don't tend to stick as often, in my opinion. I say this as someone who knows lots of amazing musicians and/or songwriters who I believe could have been signed and made it back in the day but now are lost in all the white noise of the internet. Not saying it's impossible to make it but it's a symptom of shorter concentration spans from people in music.

I understand where you're coming from. I wouldn't call myself a musician, but I do play the piano and have a great appreciation for music. However, many people see music as entertainment whereas people like you and me see it as art. The former have always been comfortable jumping around to whatever music suits their hummingbird-like attention span; digital services have just made it easier to do so; they've not changed the minds or attitudes of the latter.

The reason I don't think this applies to gaming as much is after you buy a digital game you tend to play through the whole thing and get massively invested in it irrespective of the form you get it inm whereas it's not the case with music as you can jump around and not let a lot music grow on you in the same way people once did, or it happens less often at least.

You said it; it doesn't matter what form of media a game is bought in, the players will (well, should) become massively invested in what they buy; that's what games are supposed to do. The difference is, a digital copy brings a real-if-tacit impermanence for the same price as a physical one, and little more is mitigated than niggling inconveniences.

I guess I'm only thinking in terms of new titles; digital is fine for deeply discounted titles. I'm not bitching if I lose $10-20 on a year-old game I had a passing interest in, but if I'm dropping $60 for the new GTA or Halo title, best damn believe I'm walking away with something tangible in my hand.

Xprimentyl:

dscross:
I prefer digital because I can't be bothered with the clutter. But I appreciate you can't sell them on so I get why you wouldn't want digital versions. If the PS5 has PS4 compatibility and i can play my digital games on there that would be amazing.

Dreiko:
Digital is the future because it doesn't have physical waste and you don't need to wait for things to be shipped to you to access them. They just need to iron out the laws about how people own the games and prevent the ability from people to remove things from the market altogether like Konami did with the silent hills demo. That shouldn't be possible in an art medium.

?Clutter?? Was life pre-digital availability really that inconvenienced by the clutter of physical games? That sounds like the portion of an infomercial where a minor problem is exacerbated by some frustratingly inept Average Joe just before they reveal the solution for ?ONLY $19.99!!!? Is the tradeoff for dubious ownership of your purchases really the ideal fix? I?m no luddite, but I?ll take my chances with something tangible; reliability is a far more valuable quality than convenience, particularly when uncertainty is the ?comes-with? of the latter.

Not talking about the clutter factor, talking about wasting the material and energy and time to construct a disk and case and print a label when you don't need any of those things with digital.

Dreiko:
Not talking about the clutter factor, talking about wasting the material and energy and time to construct a disk and case and print a label when you don't need any of those things with digital.

Funny enough, while it's probably different with games, music consumption causes more CO^2 equivalent emissions now than it did on CDs' heyday in 2000.

McElroy:

Dreiko:
Not talking about the clutter factor, talking about wasting the material and energy and time to construct a disk and case and print a label when you don't need any of those things with digital.

Funny enough, while it's probably different with games, music consumption causes more CO^2 equivalent emissions now than it did on CDs' heyday in 2000.

That's prolly to do with the technology involved in actually playing the music. Games don't have analogue method of running that are only possible with a physical game, you'll need your console or pc to be on to play em either way.

Dreiko:

McElroy:

Dreiko:
Not talking about the clutter factor, talking about wasting the material and energy and time to construct a disk and case and print a label when you don't need any of those things with digital.

Funny enough, while it's probably different with games, music consumption causes more CO^2 equivalent emissions now than it did on CDs' heyday in 2000.

That's prolly to do with the technology involved in actually playing the music. Games don't have analogue method of running that are only possible with a physical game, you'll need your console or pc to be on to play em either way.

IIRC it's because YouTube is an inefficient music player (songs are videos). To be honest, the CO^2 impact of gaming whether it's new consoles, the discs, or servers and live services involved is something that should be looked into.

OT: On PC it's a no-brainer, digital all the way. You *do* actually own your copy even on Steam (but you obviously have to download it first).

McElroy:

OT: On PC it's a no-brainer, digital all the way. You *do* actually own your copy even on Steam (but you obviously have to download it first).

And there's the rub. Having to download it means it takes up physical space on your hard drive, and often, one must often delete games to free up space for others. What happens to the deleted games you own when a service ends? What happens to those you've downloaded if the services ends and your computer crashes?

This is why Stadia existing makes absolutely no sense: you buy hardware and pay a subscription fee for the opportunity to pay full retail price to stream video games whose quality is completely dependent upon the fidelity of your internet connection. When Google inevitably stops supporting Stadia (in like a couple of months,) all any of those early adopters will "own" is a literally useless piece of hardware.

Xprimentyl:

McElroy:

OT: On PC it's a no-brainer, digital all the way. You *do* actually own your copy even on Steam (but you obviously have to download it first).

And there?s the rub. Having to download it means it takes up physical space on your hard drive, and often, one must often delete games to free up space for others. What happens to the deleted games you own when a service ends? What happens to those you?ve downloaded if the services ends and your computer crashes?

I dunno about Stadia so I can't comment on that.

However... I empirically tested if downloading games takes up physical space. It doesn't. My hard drive still has exactly the same dimensions. If we really get down to it, even the so-called physical copy is a disc backup of your wholly digital game, but nowadays games almost always get updates, which makes the usefulness of that disc very questionable. And y'know what DOES take physical space? The disc drive.

McElroy:

However... I empirically tested if downloading games takes up physical space. It doesn't. My hard drive still has exactly the same dimensions. If we really get down to it, even the so-called physical copy is a disc backup of your wholly digital game, but nowadays games almost always get updates, which makes the usefulness of that disc very questionable. And y'know what DOES take physical space? The disc drive.

You know that's what I meant, talking about the hard drive essentially becomes the "physical" copy of your games and hard drives have a finite amount of "space." If a digital games service ends abruptly and you lose or damage that hard drive, or if you have some purchased games NOT downloaded, you simply lose those digital games.

Xprimentyl:

McElroy:

However... I empirically tested if downloading games takes up physical space. It doesn't. My hard drive still has exactly the same dimensions. If we really get down to it, even the so-called physical copy is a disc backup of your wholly digital game, but nowadays games almost always get updates, which makes the usefulness of that disc very questionable. And y'know what DOES take physical space? The disc drive.

You know that?s what I meant, talking about the hard drive essentially becomes the ?physical? copy of your games and hard drives have a finite amount of ?space.? If a digital games service ends abruptly and you lose or damage that hard drive, or if you have some purchased games NOT downloaded, you simply lose those digital games.

What I do agree with is that we must be critical of blind trust towards digital distribution services having your game "in store" on your profile. However, a service denying your access to your games without a good reason is extremely unlikely to happen, and were one service to shut down there would emerge alternative ways to get a working copy of your game (people are creative like that).

Now optical disk backup vs a hard drive backup. Some people like to put stuff in shelves, I guess? I have a few dozen movies and games (PS3) on disks and if I could get them sold I would sell them right now bar a few collection items.

McElroy:

Xprimentyl:

McElroy:

However... I empirically tested if downloading games takes up physical space. It doesn't. My hard drive still has exactly the same dimensions. If we really get down to it, even the so-called physical copy is a disc backup of your wholly digital game, but nowadays games almost always get updates, which makes the usefulness of that disc very questionable. And y'know what DOES take physical space? The disc drive.

You know that?s what I meant, talking about the hard drive essentially becomes the ?physical? copy of your games and hard drives have a finite amount of ?space.? If a digital games service ends abruptly and you lose or damage that hard drive, or if you have some purchased games NOT downloaded, you simply lose those digital games.

What I do agree with is that we must be critical of blind trust towards digital distribution services having your game "in store" on your profile. However, a service denying your access to your games without a good reason is extremely unlikely to happen, and were one service to shut down there would emerge alternative ways to get a working copy of your game (people are creative like that).

I'm not suggesting that a service would every actively deny your access, but given the myriad things that could go wrong (service shut down, technical difficulties, get hacked, etc.;) if you've not taken precautions to download everything you "own," it can just be gone.

Point in case: my girlfriend had Verizon's cable package, and over the course of several years, she'd purchased dozens of On Demand movies, some for as much as $20. When Frontier bought Verizon a couple years ago, though they promised the changeover would be seamless, they somehow managed to lose all of her purchases, literally all gone. She had to call and complain multiple times over the course a couple weeks before they found "some" of her purchases, less than half of them. They gave her a nominal $50 credit off her next bill for the inconvenience saying that was the best they could do since they (Frontier) had no way of quantifying what (Verizon purchases) she'd actually lost. What's worse, Frontier was the only option for cable in our area for a while, but recently another option became available. She was ready to switch immediately until I reminded her that if she does drop Frontier, they're taking her movies with them. Lesson learned; we now rent any movies we want to see On Demand for like $6, and if we like it enough to want to own it, we buy the Blu-ray.

Xprimentyl:

Point in case: my girlfriend had Verizon?s cable package, and over the course of several years, she?d purchased dozens of On Demand movies, some for as much as $20. When Frontier bought Verizon a couple years ago, though they promised the changeover would be seamless, they somehow managed to lose all of her purchases, literally all gone. She had to call and complain multiple times over the course a couple weeks before they found ?some? of her purchases, less than half of them. They gave her a nominal $50 credit off her next bill for the inconvenience saying that was the best they could do since they (Frontier) had no way of quantifying what (Verizon purchases) she?d actually lost. What?s worse, Frontier was the only option for cable in our area for a while, but recently another option became available. She was ready to switch immediately until I reminded her that if she does drop Frontier, they?re taking her movies with them. Lesson learned; we now rent any movies we want to see On Demand for like $6, and if we like it enough to want to own it, we buy the Blu-ray.

I'd put my right to access the material I paid for over the service provider's mistakes.

McElroy:

Xprimentyl:

Point in case: my girlfriend had Verizon?s cable package, and over the course of several years, she?d purchased dozens of On Demand movies, some for as much as $20. When Frontier bought Verizon a couple years ago, though they promised the changeover would be seamless, they somehow managed to lose all of her purchases, literally all gone. She had to call and complain multiple times over the course a couple weeks before they found ?some? of her purchases, less than half of them. They gave her a nominal $50 credit off her next bill for the inconvenience saying that was the best they could do since they (Frontier) had no way of quantifying what (Verizon purchases) she?d actually lost. What?s worse, Frontier was the only option for cable in our area for a while, but recently another option became available. She was ready to switch immediately until I reminded her that if she does drop Frontier, they?re taking her movies with them. Lesson learned; we now rent any movies we want to see On Demand for like $6, and if we like it enough to want to own it, we buy the Blu-ray.

I'd put my right to access the material I paid for over the service provider's mistakes.

Isn't that what both of you are saying?

Squilookle:

McElroy:

Xprimentyl:

Point in case: my girlfriend had Verizon?s cable package, and over the course of several years, she?d purchased dozens of On Demand movies, some for as much as $20. When Frontier bought Verizon a couple years ago, though they promised the changeover would be seamless, they somehow managed to lose all of her purchases, literally all gone. She had to call and complain multiple times over the course a couple weeks before they found ?some? of her purchases, less than half of them. They gave her a nominal $50 credit off her next bill for the inconvenience saying that was the best they could do since they (Frontier) had no way of quantifying what (Verizon purchases) she?d actually lost. What?s worse, Frontier was the only option for cable in our area for a while, but recently another option became available. She was ready to switch immediately until I reminded her that if she does drop Frontier, they?re taking her movies with them. Lesson learned; we now rent any movies we want to see On Demand for like $6, and if we like it enough to want to own it, we buy the Blu-ray.

I'd put my right to access the material I paid for over the service provider's mistakes.

Isn't that what both of you are saying?

When it comes to licensed promises, they sometimes expire or otherwise get canned. For example in the case of an On Demand license which doesn't include the option of downloading it for offline viewing, I would use a workaround (screen capture or whatever) to do it. Against the terms of your purchase, obviously, but not against copyright law.

Squilookle:

McElroy:

Xprimentyl:

Point in case: my girlfriend had Verizon?s cable package, and over the course of several years, she?d purchased dozens of On Demand movies, some for as much as $20. When Frontier bought Verizon a couple years ago, though they promised the changeover would be seamless, they somehow managed to lose all of her purchases, literally all gone. She had to call and complain multiple times over the course a couple weeks before they found ?some? of her purchases, less than half of them. They gave her a nominal $50 credit off her next bill for the inconvenience saying that was the best they could do since they (Frontier) had no way of quantifying what (Verizon purchases) she?d actually lost. What?s worse, Frontier was the only option for cable in our area for a while, but recently another option became available. She was ready to switch immediately until I reminded her that if she does drop Frontier, they?re taking her movies with them. Lesson learned; we now rent any movies we want to see On Demand for like $6, and if we like it enough to want to own it, we buy the Blu-ray.

I'd put my right to access the material I paid for over the service provider's mistakes.

Isn't that what both of you are saying?

Yep.

McElroy:
When it comes to licensed promises, they sometimes expire or otherwise get canned. For example in the case of an On Demand license which doesn't include the option of downloading it for offline viewing, I would use a workaround (screen capture or whatever) to do it. Against the terms of your purchase, obviously, but not against copyright law.

Understood, so why should "licensed promises" come at the same cost as a physical one? What is the distinction between their "Rent" and "Buy" options if both are essentially rentals? Why is an "against the terms of service" workaround necessary if her movies were "purchased?"

What it boils down to is digital purchases have their place, but anyone who uses them (particularly those who depend entirely on them) should hold their providers to a higher standard of dignity and expect that the price they pay should be mitigated by the added risk they assume, i.e.: a $60 physical disk should be, I dunno, a $40 digital download with the understanding that for that lesser price and convenience comes potentially transient ownership.

Xprimentyl:
Understood, so why should "licensed promises" come at the same cost as a physical one? What is the distinction between their "Rent" and "Buy" options if both are essentially rentals? Why is an "against the terms of service" workaround necessary if her movies were "purchased?"

On PC there is no physical purchase anymore anyway. You get a DVD-shaped coaster for your soda can, I guess. By licensed promise I mean on demand services that can be 1) bought for a period of time, "renting" 2) subscribed to (you can watch a curated selection of stuff) or 3) bought for an indefinite time. The third option, as far as I know, includes a digital copy at least on paper, but it's possible (and I reckon common) that the service doesn't include a built-in way to download a copy. Ripping the video then could be breaking copyright protection which is not allowed.

What it boils down to is digital purchases have their place, but anyone who uses them (particularly those who depend entirely on them) should hold their providers to a higher standard of dignity and expect that the price they pay should be mitigated by the added risk they assume, i.e.: a $60 physical disk should be, I dunno, a $40 digital download with the understanding that for that lesser price and convenience comes potentially transient ownership.

Why in the heck would they do that? For a new game the point is to get to play it: 60 bucks ty no matter the platform. In the case of new multiplatform games, ownership being tied to whoever holds the disc is indeed better and more convenient. Because of all the other perks of PC gaming I'm fine with this (which has become evident in the course of this thread, I bet).

 

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