Gamers' Rights?

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Gamers' Rights?

Unread postby Lady Wu » Mon Sep 01, 2008 10:32 pm

Inspired by The Gamer's Bill of Rights and James' topic on Do you buy....

And also my recent frustrating experience with a Taiwanese-made game that I bought legally. The following is from my post here:

Lady Wu wrote:I finally got it to work. But the registration process left me so upset that I'm no longer in the mood to play the game anymore.

I'm so glad this is the last of the FS series. I will never buy a game from UserJoy again. Their system does not take into account players who don't live in Taiwan.

First, you need to register the game in order to activate it. To do so, you need an account with UserJoy. The account application form requires information such as your passport/ID card number and your phone number---hardly legal in the west! By the way, Taiwanese phone numbers are 8 digits long, so even if I were to give them my real number, the form wouldn't take it.

Ok, now I have an account. Next step, you have to fill in the CD-keys for not only the extension, but the original as well. Off I go to hunt for my FS4 game manual so I can find the CD-key. Conveniently, my game manual was not kept in my FS4 box for some reason... Anyway, after digging around I found it. I enter the numbers, and it tells me that my entry is not valid because the FS4 key has already been registered under a different account!

So it means I had created an account before in order to activate FS4! But darned if I remember the account name and password---when I created the account then, I did not expect to have to use it ever again. What to do?

Fortunately the UJ website has answers. It says, "If your account number or password has been lost, please fill in this form and fax it to this number." :shock:

Talk about user-friendliness!

PPS: Every single time I want to play the game, I need to log on, even though this isn't an online game. Why must I have internet connection to play a regular PC game?? I think this is enough to drive me to pirating and hacking UJ's games from now on.


Are there laws, international or not, about what hoops software companies may make their customers jump through just to use a product? The "System Requirement" information on the box does not say anything about having to hand over personal information, and the registration site doesn't tell you how they will use the information you provide them. I also don't understand why I must be connected to the internet (and log-in) every single time I play this single-player game. Do they collect my log-in information (time, IP address, etc.)? And what if the company goes under and the servers go offline?

Seriously, I feel I was screwed over and that my rights were violated. I bought this merchandise without being forewarned of all the hoops I need to jump before I get to use it. I wonder if a case can ever be made against them?
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Re: Gamers' Rights?

Unread postby KvChaos » Thu Sep 18, 2008 8:32 am

Is this the same thing for all the other series of the game?
I am playing FS2 and it appears to have a inital pop-up screen when starting the game. Isn't there a [Start the Game] option rather than requiring you to login. I actually find the same kinda thing happening in Company of Heroes. -.-
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Re: Gamers' Rights?

Unread postby James » Thu Sep 18, 2008 3:37 pm

That's crazy... I would be more than upset, myself...

I doubt anything would ever be done about something like this through international law. It would have to be a high profile product which is deliberately marketed internationally for even regions to take interest in it. I can imagine, though, that if a popular game was released in the United States with those requirements, and no up-front documentation of them, it would become a legal issue quite quickly. Especially if returns weren't being accepted.

I think it does serve as a good example of where things could potentially head.

Do you suppose this has something to do with rampant piracy in Asia?
Are there other Asian publishers who can be this hardcore about registration?
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Re: Gamers' Rights?

Unread postby Lady Wu » Fri Sep 19, 2008 7:08 am

KvChaos wrote:Is this the same thing for all the other series of the game?
I am playing FS2 and it appears to have a inital pop-up screen when starting the game. Isn't there a [Start the Game] option rather than requiring you to login. I actually find the same kinda thing happening in Company of Heroes. -.-

No, there's no way to bypass the initial screen, though I don't remember FS2 requiring logging in (they do, however, do an IE pop-up asking you to log in and fill out a questionnaire, and they bug you every time you start the game EVEN IF YOU'VE ALREADY FILLED OUT THEIR F***ING QUESTIONNAIRE, and the worst part is that you can't even fill it out again!).

James, I know there really isn't a case against it, even though logically it's so illegal. I was really more pissed off than anything. I haven't come across any other Asian game developers who are this hardcore about registration (Koei is the closest I've encountered, in having you activate online--I don't remember if I had to register my personal information with them), but it does work. The FS4 expansion came out in July and the Mainland Chinese hackers have yet to crack it (usually games get cracked the day after they come out), as far as I know.

This is also the first single-PC game I've played where I can be disconnected and booted mid-game--not fun when you're in the middle of a boss battle. My laptop has a flaky wireless card.

I hate being treated like a criminal when I actually spent money to buy the damn game...
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