Saturday, August 30, 2008

Gamers Bill of Rights

Edge Online is running an article about a Gamers Bill of Rights created by Stardock and Gas Powered Games. The article says that it's a PC Gamers Bill of Rights, but with this gen of consoles featuring online play and updates a lot of these apply to every gamer.

We the Gamers of the world, in order to ensure a more enjoyable experience, establish equality between players and publishers, and promote the general welfare of our industry hereby call for the following:

1. Gamers shall have the right to return games that don't work with their computers for a full refund.
2. Gamers shall have the right to demand that games be released in a finished state.
3. Gamers shall have the right to expect meaningful updates after a game's release.
4. 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.
5. Gamers shall have the right to expect that the minimum requirements for a game will mean that the game will adequately play on that computer.
6. Gamers shall have the right to expect that games won't install hidden drivers or other potentially harmful software without their express consent.
7. Gamers shall have the right to re-download the latest versions of the games they own at any time.
8. Gamers shall have the right to not be treated as potential criminals by developers or publishers.
9. 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.
10. 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.

I have to say that I'm impressed by how in-touch Stardock is with most gamers and how progressive this Bill of Rights is. The thing I like is that it is very customer centric with rights such as 2 and 8. With so many games coming out almost finished not only pisses of consumers, but also hurts the game developers in the long run.

Lets face it, gamers are a different type of consumer and it is a different type of industry. If a developer treats it's customers right, then those customers turn into fans and those fans will support that developer. The potential goes beyond the game itself and stretches into gaming merchandise, developer merchandise, and just the general hype that fans can bring, which is free advertising for the developers next project.

Sure not every game can be a Mario, Halo, or Metal Gear, but developers can still snag a smaller level of fans/customers and the best way to do that is by starting with the Gamers Bill of Rights. The next move will be to have a Gamers Bill of Rights for the console. Number one shall be that we have the right to a console that doesn't red ring.

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