No Oceans: Dishonored UK “Launch” Trailer Is Cruel

By John Walker on October 10th, 2012 at 1:00 pm.

But Samuel would prefer that we keep rivers.

As RPS has long pointed out, staggered international release dates for games may well please high street stores, but they piss off just about everyone else in the world. The archaic, anachronistic notion that a game should come out on Tuesday in the US, and Friday in Europe, was pretty daft when a trip to the shops was the only way to get a game. To still do it when everything is online is aching stupidity. And it’s a real shame to see games as great as XCOM and Dishonored being sullied by this utter nonsense. You want an extra kick in the teeth? On Wednesday 10th October, a day after the game was released in the US, Bethesda have seen fit to release the “UK Launch Trailer”, two full days before it’s actually out over here.

The reason it happens, as best as we’ve ever been able to ascertain, is because of retail. Games have traditionally always been released on a Tuesday in the US, and a Friday in the UK. Before there was an internet concreting over the seas, a US postcard sent boasting about it would arrive in the UK after it had finally been released. Now, however, we see it appearing on our chums’ “now playing” info in Steam, while staring at our own purchased and completely unplayable copy.

Except it’s not unplayable, of course, because if it’s out in the US, it’s accessible to the whole world in a pirated form. Which is something you’d imagine publishers, developers, shops and online retailers would all prefer people didn’t opt for. And yet something publishers, developers, shops and online retailers are all tacitly endorsing when they don’t fight for simultaneous worldwide release dates. Which is why we absolutely despair that this is even still a thing.

It’s especially frustrating and ridiculous when it comes to games as hyped – and as deserving of the hype – as Dishonored. When the press and publisher have been getting people appropriately thrilled to play the game, and when publishing embargoes are all tied to the first – and usually US – release of the game, it becomes a farce for the rest of the world when they then can’t play it. Sure, it’s three days – it doesn’t immediately sound that much. But when the game will be finished by most people in that time, and when the internet means discussion isn’t region-locked, by the time the rest of the world is allowed in, forum threads about the ending are bursting at the seams, and spoiler videos wallpaper the internet. “Hey, we’re having this amazing party over here! We’ve got music and dancing and food and it’s going to be the best time! Your invite is for just after it’s over.”

There are other ways around this, of course. Using proxies/VPN means you can trick Steam into thinking you’re in the US, and play the game that way. However, it’s crucial to note that Valve have made it clear this violates their terms of service, and if caught you could lose your account, and access to all the games you’ve bought with it. If you’re willing to take that risk, and we of course can’t endorse it because we’d hate you to lose your games, there’s a good guide here. (Although note that it hasn’t updated the risk level since Valve changed their ToS.)

But no one should have to risk anything. And that’s why we fervently wish to see an end to this nonsense. Yes, it would require some significant changes to when physical stores receive their stock. There would be infrastructure adjustments to be made. But not impossible ones, and certainly not in a time where the ongoing collapse of gaming retail might mean people want to consider options that would help it, rather than hinder.

Right now half the world is jubilantly enjoying Dishonored and XCOM, and celebrating it in the shared common room of the internet. The other half is staring in frustration, despite likely having already handed over their money, and others presumably sorely tempted to get hold of the game by means they shouldn’t oughtta. And it’s all despite the game’s availability being only a minor adjustment on an online retail store away.

Here’s the localised “launch” trailer for a game that hasn’t actually bloody launched here yet.

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212 Comments »

  1. Zanchito says:

    Spot on.

    • Lemming says:

      Indeed, although I’d go one further:

      No language barriers. Speaking behalf of English (this applies to any language that is the native language of the game, however), and I realise it’s more irksome for us Brits who have to wait for a European language version when we just get the same version the US had anyway, but there is a HUGE amount of people who don’t speak English natively, but have it as a second language and would happily buy an English version of a game if it came out earlier. Not to mention that many times it is preferable to have a proper English translation, to a bad one in your native tongue.

      Games should be released in their native recorded language day one, no delays, worldwide. Make it clear it’s an English only version or whatever, perhaps even save some money and offer the other languages as a later patch rather than a whole new boxed copy, but please, please, STOP delaying English games for perfectly English-literate countries just because they aren’t on the same bloody continent as the USA.

      • Tatourmi says:

        Yeah, and what is even worse is when a game gets locked in a region/country, only because it “hasn’t been translated”.

        I was only able to get Shank for example by the intermediary of a friend, living in germany at the time, who gifted it to me. And it worked perfectly… And the game has no, as far as I know, german translation either.

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        BlackestTea says:

        Very much agree to this. This is an even greater problem for me as I’m German, but live abroad most of the time. I much prefer a properly voiced English version of most games. Still my bank is in Germany and so for those games that have to be sold as “low-violence” in Germany (quite a few… a whole other topic), I can only get the bloody German version – not to mention that it takes much longer still for that version to come out.

        • Grargh says:

          the bloody German version

          You wish. I’ve yet to see a remotely bloody version of any game make it to Germany through Steam, as you hinted at yourself. This bothers me way more than release dates, actually, because even years later I’m not allowed to play the game proper regardless of my age or patience or anything.

          • Lemming says:

            To be fair, if you’ve bought the game of Steam in whatever country you reside in, you shouldn’t feel bad for obtaining an ‘extra’ copy from a less-than legitimate source if you’d rather a non-censored version. In fact, that’s perfectly legal.

          • harmlos says:

            @Lemming:

            While I would argue that getting a non-legitimate version of game you already purchased legitimately is morally justified, I’m pretty sure it is not legal in quite a lot of jurisdictions.

            As to the censorship/bad localization of games in Germany – thankfully lots of games are still available via retail and thus the English version can be bought from Amazon in the UK without any problems. Amazingly enough, this is sometimes cheaper than buying from Steam.

          • Faxmachinen says:

            harmlos: No kidding. Since they’re making me wait anyway, I preordered a boxed version off amazon for 23£. In comparison, preordering on Steam would set you back 40£.

        • Drevyek says:

          I’ve been using Paypal to pay for Steam games- if you make an account that has, say, a UK or US address, then Steam will accept the payment. You can also make a new Steam account in the country you want, thereby associating it with that country. As long as your Paypal address is the same country as that associated with the new Steam account, it will go through. Just gift the US version to your actual Steam account, and you’re home free.
          It doesn’t violate the ToS, as far as i know, so it should work perfectly. Steam may localize it when you gift though.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            I have heard of accounts getting shut down though if they are only ever used to gift games, though I believe use as you describe would not be an issue, its when tens of copies of the same game get gifted on a daily basis – basically if valve believe these gifts are not gifts but you are accepting payment for them

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      cspkg says:

      Amen.

  2. Jim Rossignol says:

    If you are a twittererer please tweet your support to the #nooceans tag.

    • Whallaah says:

      No worries RPS, I and many of my fellow students vote with our wallets. Going into public and telling what we did would be a little more complex though, if you get what I’m going at. But that notwithstanding, it’s horrible and not even exclusive to video games: Books can be excused for having to be localized, but damn, why music and film.

      Anyway, the game seems cool and I’m certainly going to play it, this afternoon.

      • Unaco says:

        “Going into public and telling what we did would be a little more complex though, if you get what I’m going at. “

        Could you expand on that? I’m not quite getting what you’re going at.

        • Mordsung says:

          I believe the gentleman’s point may have something to do with a colouful bird perched atop his shoulder and his inferior depth perception.

        • Aedrill says:

          Let me help you. For them it’s the Game of the Yarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

        • Unaco says:

          So… Pirating the game, and (going by the ‘vote with our wallets’ comment) not buying it prior? I can see nothing wrong with those who have bought the game and are using the pirated/cracked version to get access now… But this release delay is a reason/excuse to pirate the game? Why? What good does it do? I assume, as he’s replied to Jim asking twits to tweet, that this is trying to get a message across to the devs/publishers by pirating… Is that the case?

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            Cinek says:

            How about just “not buying a game” at all?
            That’s exactly what I did.
            I did not pirated it, I didn’t bought it, I voted with my wallet.

          • Carr0t says:

            My store bought copy turned up yesterday. On quick VPN connection to the states later, and I was playing my legally bought game with no problems. I could have done the same with the downloadable version, but as my VPN connection doesn’t have much bandwidth that would have taken a lot longer.

        • The Random One says:

          Just buy it when it’s cheap instead of preordering. If publishers can make you wait three days they should be ready to wait three months and get one third of the cash.

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            Rikard Peterson says:

            This is a good response. If the publishers don’t want to sell their games on the release date, let’s wait for a sale to buy them.

            Using this as an excuse for piracy is just wrong.

      • VikingMaekel says:

        Did you buy the game? Are you planning on buying the game? If both are answered with ‘no’ you’re just seeking validation for stealing a game, plain and simple.

        If you did buy the game, I guess I have less problems with it…
        I personally am waiting until Friday to play XCOM, nursing my resentment over this.

        • mrmalodor says:

          Piracy isn’t theft.

          • Hmm-Hmm. says:

            It often ends up deriving people from money they deserve for the creation of a certain product, though.

            Which is remarkably like theft.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            Your argument is based on the flawed assumption that every pirate would have bought the game if they hadn’t have pirated it.

          • Lemming says:

            Yes it is. It is copyright infringement, which is a form of theft. Obtaining an extra copy of a game by unofficial sources you’ve already paid for, however, is not.

            So as has been stated above, if you’ve pre-ordered Dishonoured, then downloading it now is a positive decision. You aren’t making a political statement by just stealing a copy of a game that can be bought by legitimating means. You are, instead, making the following statement: “I am an entitled little prick.”

          • Edradour says:

            It still isnt theft, its illegal downloading if you want but not >theft<

            And its the same thing as copying music from vinyl or cd to a tape, something people have done since…well since cassette deck's were made available.
            You cant even reliably tell if media is copied more nowadays then it was back in those days, since it could very well just be the rise in population and more importantly the greatly increased amount of people who can afford the technology to copy it.

            I know for a fact that the ratio of bought to copied music my parents had was about 1 to 2.

            Oh and in most countrys youre still paying taxes on any device/digital storage that can be used for copying ( HDD, PC Components, SD-cards et cetera ) even though any legally bought media is drm’d to prevent you from copying anything. Those taxes were put into place as a remedy for lost sales due to tape-copying, but today these can only be used to copy pirated/cracked material.
            I say either remove the taxes or keep them and remove drm.

          • Milky1985 says:

            Not this again STOP ARGUING with the OP, they is right, piracy (in the online copyright infringement way) is not theft. Copyright infringment is a civil violation where someones copyright has been broken because it has been (unsurprisingly ) COPIED.

            The item is now in two places at once, it is only allowed to be in one.

            Theft – “A person is guilty of theft, if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it

            Note the boldened bit (i hope its bold, if not not the bit with the wierd html tags around it), that is important as with copyright infringment you are not depriving the other of it, its still there, you copied it.

            Piracy (in both senses) is wrong , simple as that, but stop saying its theft it is not, arguing with people who say it isn’t just gets away from the real points and makes you seem a bit silly. The reason they called it piracy was to get reactions like this as it doesn’t sound so bad when you say “my copyright was infringed”.

            Now piracy in the ohh arr and peg leg type, that does tend to be theft. You would be right if you were arguing that point, i suppose the OP doesn’t say which one they mean but i will guess they mean copyright infringment.

          • Edradour says:

            I dislike the term piracy aswell since piracy in its orignal sense means theft as well, but one conducted with violence and possible the murder of the person you steal from.

          • UncleLou says:

            I’d like to point put that comparing piracy to theft isn’t as stupid as some people want to make you believe. In fact, it can easily be argued that theft of a unique, irreplaceable object has less in common with theft of an infinitely reproducible, instantly replaceable mass market article than the latter has with piracy. Just saying. But then I am a lawyer specialized in IP law, so ignore my more dogmatic rather than colloquial approach.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            So to colloquialise your legal knowledge, you are saying that if I were to break into your home and steal your tv (a mass produced consumer item easily replaced with an identical item), this has more in common with me taping a song from the radio than if I were to break in and steal your custom made wedding ring.

            And a lawyer, trying to liken criminal and civil law, tell me, what would you tell your pupil if he or she told you he or she was about to do that in court. Would you give him your blessings and allow them to put your name to that, or would you start calling their BPTC Institution to check their certificate wasn’t downloaded from the internet?

          • VikingMaekel says:

            All right, then it’s piracy. Fact is, I’m not a lawyer and I’m not pretending to be one, so I used the wrong word.

            Doesn’t change the fact that is still wrong ;)

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            jrodman says:

            If you’re going to bother to trade in terms to be more accurate, call it what it is: copyright infringement.

            “Piracy” is propaganda, plain and simple. No one is boarding ships here. Theft is just plain wrong, without any propaganda involved. They’re equally incorrect.

        • S Jay says:

          I bought the game and I am using Spotflux to play it.

          It is a shame I have to risk my juicy game collection on Steam just because retailers are asses.

        • Spike88 says:

          My PS3 decided to YLOD the night before I receive my copy. So now I’m sitting with a useless copy until I buy myself a new PS3 on Friday. That’s my justification.

        • UncleLou says:

          @Sheng-ji

          Make that comparison with stealing one of several hundreds of identical games in a multimedia store as opposed to my custom-made wedding ring, and it might become a little clearer what I mean. The material value of thecDVD and it’s packaging is negligible, what makes it expensive is the content. And I am not comparing civil to criminal law: I don’t know about the UK, but in most countries, copyright infringement is a crime. I actually wish pirates weren’t such cowards and would steal their games in stores, then the insurance companies would pay in the end, and at least devs and publishers would get their money. :p

          Even if we stick with your example: the TV is replaceable with money. The custom-made wedding ring isn’t really. Even a replica won’t be *my* wedding ring. I am not deprived in an identical manner in the two cases.

          My point being: yes, it’s not literally “theft”, but it’s futile to discuss it every time someone uses that term when it’s clear what is meant and the two are very comparable in several respects.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            I still disagree with you. If you have a shop selling DVD’s and it has 30 copies of “Something about Mary” on it’s shelves, retailing at £5 each and you shoplift one of them, the shop has suffered a commercial loss of £5. This is theft, you have wilfully deprived the shop of it’s property resulting in a certain commercial loss (Even if the shop never sells a copy of the DVD ever again, the distributors offer buyback schemes to keep shelves constantly rotated with fresh stock.)

            If you walk into a shop, put that DVD into your portable DVD copier and make a copy on blank media you brought in with you (lets pretend this shop removes the plastic wrapper so no damage was done to the original) you have not stolen anything from the shop. You have not caused the shop, the distributor, the publisher, the studio, the actors or any of the production team any guaranteed commercial loss. This is because it does not follow that if you couldn’t pirate the DVD, you would have definitely bought it. Further more, when you illegally broadcast your copy of the film over the oilrig you work in, and your friends and colleagues love the movie so much they go out to buy a copy each, you have actually caused a commercial gain.

            Do you understand why speaking from a position of ignorance is so damaging to the debate. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I do not condone piracy. But to liken it to theft, to baselessly accuse pirates of costing the IP holder sales, to make statements of fact when in fact no peer reviewed research has ever backed up those facts is lunacy. You cannot hold a sensible debate on serious issues when you muddy the water with false statements and deliberately overly emotive terms. That is why, despite agreeing with the sentiments of many people decrying piracy as theft, I wanted to correct them.

            And yes, I do see how copyright infringement can be a little bit like theft, but I draw more parallels between assault and murder but you won’t hear me telling people I was murdered last night by my ex boyfriend. (I wasn’t assaulted either don’t worry!)

            And for evidence that I am not alone in this and that no matter how lawyered up you are, you are not in line with the US legal system. See Dowling vs United States.

            Incidently, copyright infringement in most civilised countries including all of Europe, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and every other Commonwealth member is only a crime (a criminal offence as opposed to a civil matter) if committed on a large scale for commercial gain – i.e selling dodgy copies of games or dvd’s.

      • Beebop says:

        Pretty sure RPS is clear about NOT wanting you to do what you just reassured them that you have done. Nice one.

      • captainparty says:

        I understand voting with your wallet and not buying the game because you disagree with how they’ve chosen to sell it, but that doesn’t give you any right to justifiably steal their product, if you don’t want it you don’t have to play it. I won’t be buying it because they spelt it wrong in the so-called localised trailer.

        • Sheng-ji says:

          Piracy is not theft.

          That being said, I agree with your sentiment 100%

          • RodHope says:

            Yes it is.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            theft is the taking of another person’s property without that person’s permission or consent with the intent to deprive the rightful owner of it

            If you pirate a game, you do not permanently deprive the owner of the game nor do you take their property. You copy their Intellectual property (IP is not considered property in law, this is why we have a separate law just for copyright called, wait for it, copyright law). This is why piracy is not a criminal offence, it is a civil offence.

            And no, you don’t permanently deprive them of money either, because you cannot steal your own money from someone else. Until you complete a sales contract with them, that money is yours and by pirating a game you do not enter a sales contract.

            Hashtag Lawyered

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            Surlywombat says:

            It’s not theft, but it is stealing.

          • mrmalodor says:

            Piracy is not theft and it is not stealing.

            Theft/stealing removes the original. Piracy simply makes an additional copy.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            Stealing is the act of committing theft. So no it is not stealing, nor is it thieving or filching or breaking and entering or assault or any other criminal offence you might want to dream up.

            When you pirate a game no crime is being committed, the pirate is not a criminal. A civil offence is being committed, and that civil offence is a breach of copyright.

            Think about it: extract your logic to every scenario –
            record a film on VHS or DVD = theft and makes you a criminal
            tape a song off the radio = an arrestable and jail-able offence
            Really?

            I’m not saying all this because I in any way condone piracy, but if we are to have any kind of sensible discussion on the subject, we need to be aware of the facts.

            You know that bit at the start of DVD’s for the last 10 years or so which so “helpfully” explains that piracy is theft – pretty much the same as those signs put up which read trespassers will be prosecuted. Nonsense, propaganda and lies designed to scare you from not doing what the copyright owner/landowner doesn’t want you to do. Also a good lesson in life that just because something is printed, written on a sign or placed in a fancy film or advert does not mean the information presented is truthful.

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            AndrewC says:

            How do you usually regard someone who resorts to lawerly language to support a position?

          • SiHy_ says:

            Ooh ooh! I think I know this one!
            You regard them as a lawyer, right?

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            AndrewC says:

            Yes, that is the correct answer, and will hold you in good stead in the future!

          • kud13 says:

            Piracy is not theft. It’s copyright infringement

            Theft/stealing results in the victim no longer having posession of the physical property in question.

            Piracy involves making a copy of the property, whilst the original owner retains possession of the original copy.

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            Vandelay says:

            Film distributors also told me that it funds terrorism. I am sure that is equally as true as piracy being theft.

      • JackShandy says:

        Not buying the game sends the message “I don’t like this game,” not “I don’t like the release date of this game.” It really is useless as a message.

        • S Jay says:

          True that.

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            jezcentral says:

            Yes, this was articulated by either RPS or Jim Sterling. Buy the game to register your support, but then complain like hell, vociferously.

            My apologies for using “articulated” and “vociferously”. I normally try to avoid being pompous, but it comes naturally, and I’m tired.

        • Archonsod says:

          Unless of course you don’t buy the game, and send an email to the publisher stating precisely why they aren’t going to be getting your monies.

          Although I’m with the poster further up – don’t buy the game, and send the publisher an email explaining that you’re going to return the favour of their staggered release date by picking the game up as soon as it’s heavily discounted in the Christmas sales.

          • JackShandy says:

            The email will send that message whether or not you buy the game.

            Publisher responses:

            1. The game makes a lot of sales. The publisher funds more games like it.
            2. The game makes low sales. The publisher will not fund any more games like it.

            I don’t think the second one is ever going to get a response of “Did we fuck up? Should we make more games like this, and publish them differently?”

    • Loopy says:

      Doing so now, it’s ridiculous really.

    • Alexspeed says:

      Doing that, its hard for me to formulate my frustration about this stuff without swearing tough… seeing all my buddies playing Dishonored and XCOM and i cant even tough i know i preordered way before they even knew those games where up for preorder.

  3. jellydonut says:

    Can you guys get a hold of Bethesda and actually ask them outright why they still do this? I would *love* to know what their actual answer is. If there is one.

    • Forceflow says:

      This, although I doubt you’ll get a clear answer from the PR folk.

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      Matchstick says:

      I’d also be interested if RPS contacted the retailers and asked them why they have to wait till a Friday and cant just put it on sale on a Tuesday ?

      They seem to manage selling the CoD games the same day as the US, just fine.

      • Kadayi says:

        That’s because Activision push for a worldwide release and given CoD games sell like hotcakes retailers are happy to oblige. Plain truth of the matter is though this is largely a highstreet retailer/physical distribution issue Vs an actual publisher issue. Physical media has traditionally been shipped to shops on certain days by distribution/logistics companies and unless there’s a very compelling reason for them to change up the schedule and bump other businesses work to different days (because after all they move boxes for innumerable indutries) it’s unlikely to change.

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          Matchstick says:

          AIUI it’s the retailers who demand that digital releases aren’t in advance of the physical release date so (if that’s true) they would seem to be the ones who need to justify a policy that penalises their customers.

          The excuse that it’s the way they’ve always done it in the past doesn’t cut it for me personally.

    • Stevostin says:

      Because if they don’t retail shops will loose sales. What you have to get is that the main business of those big shops is to fight to death for digits after the point. And their lever is that they have influence on sales, but don’t depend of one specific sale or the other as the publisher does. If they’re pissed off at a publisher, they’ll continue to sell its games but no big screen demo, no pile at the entry and your big dishonner PLV is keeped in the closets. This way they still get the money from the sales to the people already informed and wanting the game but get their ultra casual sales from another game they would have pushed instead. And while they would still sale dishonoured, they would really bash lesser title in Bethesda’s catalog etc. They can harm. They can be harmed, too, but there’s a war and it has consequences online because what those shops don’t want is to be damaged to hard by digital sales that can be released days before they can.

      So that’s where status quo is in the opposing strenght… for now. It will stop. If it was only for PC the shops would already had to comply to publishers because they’re not weighty enough anymore to oppose to digital sales lobby (ie Steam, really, which doesn’t feel the need to be agressive either… for now.). But there is the bigger picture, ie console market, and that’s where shops get their big levers in the talk (my guess).

      Now what will probably happen is that next console generation will be way more build around digital acquisition of games by design, and then those shops will collapse quickly. They all know that. That’s probably why this shops stay on a very hard line even now : not that much to loose.

  4. Barnox says:

    I agree with the article, but something bothers me about the “Launch” trailer (bar the fact it’s been out a full day already).

    It is for the UK. Yet still it misses a ‘U’.

  5. rapier17 says:

    Hear, hear!

  6. SandmanXC says:

    I am making superhuman efforts not to pirate the game. The only thing holding me is that sweet sweet moment you finally hit play on your freshly launched shiny video game.

    • jellydonut says:

      I don’t care. I’ve bought the god damn game! It’s been sitting on my hard drive since before the US release. Yet I can’t play it.

      I have zero qualms about playing this pirated copy. I *bought the fucking game*.

      • SandmanXC says:

        I agree, but for me it’s not about the morals. It’s about not “cheapening” the feeling of playing a game you’ve waited for. It’s a rather subjective and irrational thing.

      • TormDK says:

        I went with a HotSpotShield solution myself, in effect tricking Steam into thinking I’m a US recident. The game is sweet as hell!

        But as RPS notes (And you dear RPS Hive Mind Leaders should make more of a ruccus about this if you ask me) we shouldn’t need to in the first place!

        Not only do we pay more for the same product due to the bogus $ = Euro deal there is on Steam, but we are expect to wait three full days in addition to the higher price!

      • RodHope says:

        Did it not have a release date when you bought it?

        • jellydonut says:

          Yeah it did, Mr. Smarmy Pants. That release date was Tuesday. Region-locking is in fact so brain-deafeningly stupid I chose to tune it out.

  7. jalf says:

    “A guy on the internet told me”. Do you have the source for that? I think most people might be more willing to trust that if you had something more solid to go on. :)

    • woodsey says:

      Yeah, I was just looking back for them. Links are in the main post now.

  8. Ginga121 says:

    I want to smash something now! This is completely taking the piss! RAAAAAAGE!

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      I don’t really get what people are getting so worked up over. Sure it’s annoying if platform X gets a certain game earlier. It’s annoying if one part of the world gets a certain game earlier. And it’d certainly be better for publishers and customers if they would decide to release games simultaneously as much as possible.

      But still, in the end you’ll get it. It’s hardly as bad as extortionately priced dlc or atrocious voice acting for *insert language*. It’s an inconvenience at the most. Are some of you feeling that impatient? Or somehow as if the publishers mean to punish you?

      I dunno, I just don’t get why this of all things could be conceived as an excuse to pirate a perfectly good game.

      -edit- In hindsight this comment is probably better read on its own and not as a reply to one specific comment.

      • The Random One says:

        The problem is that publishers spend six months shouting at you that their game if THE MOST AWESOME THING EVER and you need to play it AS SOON AS YOU CAN and to make sure of that you need to PREORDER NOW! And after your money is in their wallets they’re like “eh, you can wait a few days right?”

        Preorders are a con, but this is like a con within a con. (Conception?) It’s like selling snake oil and then going out of your way to make sure every single bottle of colored water you’re selling as a panacea contains at least 5% rat urine.

      • Ansob says:

        It’s just really fucking daft especially when I am not and have no intention of buying the game from a retail store that doesn’t stock it in the first place.

      • harmlos says:

        I can tell you why I am annoyed – this is the last week of my vacation, which I would have loved to spend playing the new XCOM. Instead, I have to fight the temptation to watch other people playing it on YouTube. On a more philosophical note, it really pisses me off how we are always told how wonderful and necessary globalization is when some corporation offshores jobs or tax revenue, but when globalization would actually benefit the consumer, we suddenly have region locks, staggered releases and other such nonsense.

  9. MeestaNob says:

    XCOM will have been out 3 days before my Australian copy unlocks. Even with Valve’s hopeless content servers, it doesn’t take 3 days to download.

    It’s. Fucking. Bullshit.

    • atticus says:

      Totally agree! Same problem in Norway also.

      So yesterday, I took the chance and installet Spotflux to circumvent this bullshit delay. It was incredibly easy and worked like a charm in the space of mere two minutes.

      I second the other comments that RPS should try to get some hard facts from the publishers on this issue. What do they accomplish with this, other than pissing paying customers off?

  10. Desmolas says:

    Yeah, the most insane thing about it is that the publisher spends millions hyping up their game with trailers and marketing. Surely, all that effort is hamstrung by the fact that the game is released on different dates. You want to be able to say “Everybody in the entire world is going to be able to play our fantabulous game on this exact date! Yes! That includes YOU!” but they cant quite do that. So their marketing loses a bit of cohesion.

    They have to have separate trailers for different regions/dates too. What if i just watched the US trailer for the game saying it was released yesterday and my impulse buying habit tells me “Oh shit i want this now!” but i can’t get it because im a European. So with my short attention span i just go “Ah feck it” then forget about it altogether. Or worse, pirate it right there and then.

  11. endintears says:

    Valve should make simultaneous worldwide releases a condition of a game being on Steam

    • Premium User Badge

      RedViv says:

      They could use that power, true. In case of Steamworks games, I don’t think it would bother physical retail in the slightest.

      • Premium User Badge

        jezcentral says:

        The problem doesn’t lie with Valve, though. The publishers still need Retail for the console market, so they wouldn’t go for committing to Steamworks and simultaneous launches. Despite our problem being PC related, if this were to happen, the Retail peeps would stand around saying something like “Thinking of an early launch for your PC game? It would be a pity if something happened to your pretty console versions, wouldn’t it?”

    • Premium User Badge

      golem09 says:

      Gabedamn!
      THIS!
      DO IT VALVE!

      Who cares for valve hardware, if you really want to make another easy and cheap innovation that is admired over the whole world, DO THIS.

    • Stevostin says:

      Valve has a line of not seeming aggressive to publishers. In the culture of those, making a prior release condition to sell is very, very aggressive (because they’re idiots and can’t see the big picture but if they were really smart would they be doing sales in the first place ? Sorry sales people, just kidding :P ). Even if Valve was in position to impose it (which it’s not considering console market) the publishers would immediately decide that this Valve’s monopoly is a death trap to them and make big efforts to support competition. Valve peaceful giant strategy is probably an optimum for them to get as much market shares. On the long run, Steam’s destiny if sales keep doubling for 3 years is to just make one third of the industry get unemployed : shop keeper, distributors, a good deal of the sales persons.

    • JackShandy says:

      It’d be dumb for ebay to step in and tell you what price to sell things for. I’m inclined to believe the same logic applies to steam. Publishers are their customers, and they have to serve them – that’s just how selling things works.

  12. Tudor says:

    Couldn’t have put it better myself. It’s ridiculous that the majority of games get this staggered release, yet choice, select games are available worldwide on the same day, so it’s not exactly impossible to do.

  13. Unaco says:

    I still can’t get too riled up over this… It’s only 3 days after all. You say that it’s due to retail, but I don’t think that’s the whole of the story. My understanding is that it’s maintained due to Support… A dev/publisher doesn’t want the game released in all regions at the same time, in case there are issues with it (or even if there aren’t). They would be flooded with customers looking for fixes, general troubleshooting, etc.. By releasing in different regions in a staggered pattern, that can be alleviated. There isn’t as much pressure on the devs/publishers on ‘release day’, because that release day is spread out for different regions.

    • Premium User Badge

      AmateurScience says:

      Whilst the rational part of my brain is nodding in agreement, the over-excited nerd part of my brain is obsessively refreshing the XCOM and Dishonored Steam store-pages in case they’ve magically unlocked early through the power of positive/delusional thinking.

    • Kadayi says:

      A fair point tbh, especially when there are often things like verification servers involved. Personally I’d rather the States come in line with Europe because Tuesdays a work day, where as Fridays the weekend.

      • Premium User Badge

        Tom De Roeck says:

        If youre that anxious (aimed at everyone above), just try the VPN deal. As for my part, XCOM is running beautimously.

        • Kadayi says:

          I’d rather not risk losing my Steam account breaching Valves terms of service. Plus albeit it would be grand if games were available worldwide at the same time (assuming verification servers didn’t go into meltdown), I’m not going to lose sleep over the fact that Johnny Appleseed is playing a game before me (it’s not a race).

        • Axyl says:

          and risk my Steam account valued at close to £2000?!?
          You must be having a laugh..

        • Premium User Badge

          melnificent says:

          SSA says not to circumvent to block reporting of cheaters or is it the part under payments that people are worried about?

    • NathaI3 says:

      If that is the case then why not switch up and release different games first in different regions?

  14. Yosharian says:

    Soo stoked for this game. My copy should arrive tomorrow along with XCOM, but I won’t be able to play either til the Steam unlock hits. Not gonna do that VPN thing as I don’t wanna lose any access to games OR purchasing privileges.

    It’s pretty annoying to see everyone else playing it while we have to wait. If I was a less honourable person I would probably be inclined to pirate a copy.

    • Premium User Badge

      AlwaysRight says:

      I’ve heard (anecdotally) that Steam are only really concerned with the VPN trick if you are buying games, not unlocking your locally bought game early.

      I was playing Dishonored yesterday in the UK with no problems at all.

      Edit: checked the T&Cs

      A. Payment Authorization
      You agree that you will not use IP proxying or other methods to disguise the place of your residence, whether to circumvent geographical restrictions on game content, to purchase at pricing not applicable to your geography, or for any other purpose. If you do this, we may terminate your access to your Account.

      So it looks like it is against the conditions, and its up to Valve whether they act on it or not… I’ve gone a little pale now.

      • D3xter says:

        Which is utter bullshit too, especially since there are trade agreements in place for buying things in other countries inside the European Union, remember when Square Enix was scolded and threatened to be sued for trying to Region-Lock the UK version of Deus Ex: Human Revolution?
        http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/08/17/deus-ex-human-revolution-is-region-locked/

        Dishonored is ~£25 on Amazon.co.uk (which translates to 31€): http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bethesda-Dishonored-PC-DVD/dp/B0073POU7O/ and 50€ on Steam.
        Do they not WANT people to buy the games from their shop?

        All they’re doing is playing into the hands of an increasing amount of CD-Key shops and import-business. You’d think that making a box, printing stuff and burning a DVD, delivering it to a shop and then flying it over to mainland would be more expensive than a Digital Download, but it very often ain’t.
        For that matter, getting someone to gift you a copy ain’t forbidden, but using a VPN is, where is the sense in that?

      • Yosharian says:

        Yeah I’m wary of doing that kind of thing, I have wayyyy too much in my Steam account to risk doing that stuff.

        As far as prices are concerned, I paid £25 for Dishonored and £28 for XCOM, both from Shop-To. Picked them because I heard they deliver on time for release day.

  15. Godwhacker says:

    Valve seem to only have a problem with it if you start buying things from the US at a discount price. Unlocking things you’ve paid for via VPN seems to be in a grey area.

    Hence, don’t follow that guide above.

  16. Premium User Badge

    AmateurScience says:

    I may give the VPN thing a go then, because staring at the fully pre-loaded XCOM in my games list is driving me a bit mental.

  17. nblake42 says:

    It’s so frustrating when you’ve legitimately bought a copy of the game which has been delivered to you by a major store, but Steam won’t let you play it. I do love Steam, and I support it, but this is one of those times when I really wish I could just install and play a game without it.

  18. allanschnorr says:

    There is no such thing as unified retail release date for PC games in Brazil, yet sometimes we still have to wait for digital releases like Europeans. Dishonored is already available, but we have to wait for X-Com. It seems that some companies think we are part of Europe while others believe we are part of North America…

  19. danthat says:

    Is it too petty to suggest everyone ‘dislikes’ the youTube video, to send the message? While it’s young and fresh, RPS readers have a chance to get the ball rolling.

    I tend to be against that sort of behaviour because it’s not really very fair, but I’m so annoyed by this whole oceans thing I think it might actually be justified?

    • Axyl says:

      The video is hosted on RockPaperShotgun’s Youtube account, so it would likely not even get noticed by Bethesda.

      It’s a decent enough idea though. At this point, i’m thinking ANYTHING that gets attention over this subject.

    • Milky1985 says:

      The thing with the google search rankings is that dislikes make it mroe likely to be higher up (as its being noticed and acted upon) , so massivly disliking a video means more people see it.

      Bethesda probably won’t care on why its disliked, just be happy that they are getting free marketing :P

  20. Premium User Badge

    Gap Gen says:

    No oceans will be a blow for developers who still use C.

  21. Milky1985 says:

    Why don’t non american game companies release in europe etc on friday, then tuesday of the NEXT week in america.

    People in europe really don’t complain loudly, but americans do. Do this a coupel of times and the americans will be crying out for some sort of agreement to get games on release day , and the american publishers might actually listen for once, helping all of us!

    If its such a hassle to release on tuesday due to euro retailers how about the americans fall in line for once and join up with our retailers time :P

  22. db1331 says:

    It could be worse. At least you don’t have to deal with Honey Boo Boo.

  23. Persus-9 says:

    On the other hand it is good for consumers to be able to read reviews prior to launch. Particularly in this age of pre-order incentives. That is still terrible for the publishes themselves though. As I understand it the idea of pre-orders is partly as insurance against crappy reviews which they lose if there is still a chance to cancel your pre-order after the review embargo is lifted.

  24. Arathian says:

    I bought it, didn’t even bother to download it and then used the cracked, pirated copy.

    I don’t feel bad at all. Also, we must always remember than every pirated download is lost revenue cause I would buy the game twice otherwise.

    amirite.

  25. popej says:

    Completely agree!

    I paid for Dishonored last weekend (£17.50 on GMG with a £5 coupon and 25% off!), and X-com at full price on Steam over a month ago. Damned if I’m waiting. Edit: To clarify, I paid UK prices from the UK.

    Ironically, I’m not really going to be able to play either game until Friday now anyway!

    • Yosharian says:

      “£17.50 on GMG with a £5 coupon and 25% off!”

      Holy crap

    • Crowleyface says:

      Yep, XCOM (with Civ 5 and other pre-order bonuses) @ Green Man Gaming for £21.75, no £5 voucher for me though

      Discount code expired at 11:00 this morning though I’m afraid

      • Thiefsie says:

        I think you’ll find the only pre-order bonus from GMG is the customisation. Civ and the TF2 stuff are Steam only – even if you get the key for activation on steam.

  26. wild_quinine says:

    I see absolutely no moral imperative against my ‘pirating’ this game, given that my purchased copy is shrink wrapped and sitting on my shelf. Double benefit is that I can sell my shrink wrapped copy afterwards if I feel like it, and retain what charred fragments of my right of first sale remain.

  27. Premium User Badge

    Crimsoneer says:

    Question: how would Valve know you’re using a VPN?
    So, I log onto Steam from a US IP this morning. Then I go offline. How could they know I’m faking it? How do they know I’m not just on a US holiday?

    • popej says:

      As I understand it, they don’t know for certain. They presumably reach logical conclusions based on the fact that you keep appearing in the US a few days before the UK release date, coupled with repetitive transitions to ‘offline mode’ in Steam. Also if one was careless they’d likely see you logging on in the US and then in Europe a few minutes later.

      Their discovery of what you’re doing is probably collateral from their account protection/hijack precedure. Ie, like the procedure banks operate if they see your cash card being used to withdraw £300 on the other side of the country.

      • Premium User Badge

        Crimsoneer says:

        Okay, second question – has there been any confirmed reports of Valve actually warning/banning anybody for this practise? Even a forum post? Because I don’t think I’ve seen any ever.

        • Premium User Badge

          Tom De Roeck says:

          Nope, but you have to be smart about it. If youre in the UK, and they see you logging on from a NY IP soon after wards (especially one that belongs to a VPN service, which they can check in an instant) they will asume you used a VPN.

        • popej says:

          I’m in the same boat as you there. Apparently a Valve employee has stated at some point in the past that it contravenes their TOS but I’ve never seen the post.

          As someone else said above, to my knowledge there has not been any confirmed cases of any severe punishment (loss of account etc) being doled out because of breaching release dates.

          On the other hand, if they catch you using VPN to buy the game cheaper somewhere other than your country of residence there definitely has been confirmed cases of bannage. As the two processes (using VPN to breach release dates & using VPN to get the game cheaper in a different country) are so closely linked I’d be careful if you intend to do it.

          This is why it’s a grey area.

          To be honest I think it’ll change soon. There’s quite a bit of publicity about this now and as industry critics are joining the protesting ranks the retailers will hopefully take note.

          Logically, if it did change in the near future and someone did have their account banned for breaching a release date prior to the change, Valve would then HAVE to reinstate your service. Supposition I know.

          My personal opinion is that you should exercise caution but not worry about it too much. As long as you’re NOT using VPN fraudulently (to get a game cheaper) I don’t think Valve are too arsed.

        • Ilinx says:

          As I understood it, albeit from hearsay, Valve only care if you are using VPNs to naughtily pay American prices. So if you buy from EU and download from EU, but only use VPN to unlock from US, it won’t even blip Valve’s radar.

          Edit: So, basically what popej said.

        • zubbuz says:

          I was on holiday in the US during the last summer sale and went to buy a couple of games, but my payment kept getting declined.

          I ended up contacting Steam, saying that I was on holiday in the US until this date and that my purchases were being blocked. They said that it happened automatically since the UK has been designated my ‘home’ country and I was logging in from the US.

          They then activated my account for use (ie for purchases) in the US until the date that I was flying home…

          It was a pain, but at least they got back to me really quickly and resolved it for me immediately..

          • Advanced Assault Hippo says:

            Well, it would have been a top-priority support ticket – since it involved you wanting to pay them money for something.

            No surprise it got sorted in hours instead of days.

          • YourMessageHere says:

            I recall trying to buy GTA Vice City from Steam (years after release) while living in Japan. Although I knew for a fact it was available back in the UK, it wasn’t visible to buy on Steam or its webpage, presumably due either to licensing limitations or possibly the game’s not allowed there – I never did work that one out. I didn’t want it badly enough to try a VPN, though.

  28. Deano2099 says:

    Hmm, how come the comments about Valve locking instead banning accounts vanished? The article about it was here anyway: http://www.cinemablend.com/games/Valve-Updates-Steam-Account-Policy-You-Can-Now-Access-Your-Games-Banned-41650.html

    • Premium User Badge

      Harlander says:

      From the end of that article:

      Steam’s official support representative has stated that “Games registered to suspended accounts will no longer be accessible; even in offline mode.”

      So… yeah.

  29. Premium User Badge

    felisc says:

    It’s worth pointing out that the delay for the rest of europe makes even less sense as us frenches had the game released on the same day that USA. No idea why.

  30. Belsameth says:

    Took half a day off to play XCOM. I have it pre-ordered but also ARRRR!. Bastards.

  31. Jockie says:

    I used a VPN for Xcom, it was probably a dumb move, but the anecdotal evidence suggests no-one has been banned for it yet. I’d guess it’s not something they are too pro-active with pursuing and having people banned for buying into the hype they’ve been spewing all over the internet would basically be evil. I doubt many companies are willing to expend their time hounding their paying customers either.

  32. Nihilist says:

    The staggered release kind of defeats the idea of Preordering. I pay and have to wait, while others that pirate the game after the US Release pay nothing and have all the fun.

    Why should I pay in advance, when I can’t play the game at the first legally possible moment? If I don’t pay I would have all the advantages and no disadvantage. Is this how you motivate your possible customers to give you money? I don’t think so.

  33. Premium User Badge

    The Sombrero Kid says:

    I am of course playing both XCOM and Dishonoured despite my steam copies being locked away.

    I do think the console manufacturers are to blame though, the PC version can’t be seen to be superior and until the console versions and digital, the publishers have to cow tow to retail and it’s only remaining comodity – high street advertising, there’s no doubt that when consoles go digital the digital store feature will take the place of high street advertising and free us all of this nonsense. Another reason not to support the closed console game industry with your money imo.

  34. bansama says:

    As someone in Japan who has put up with delays of several months for games, even when the Japanese language version is ready at the US release date, I’ve long since learnt that two things can do wonders in this situation:

    1 – Taking a short “holiday” to the US (if you catch my drift)
    2a – A tiny, harmless, text file and desktop shortcut (if your Google powers are good, you’ll probably work out what goes in that file and what to name it).
    2b – In the absence of the text file, just go into Offline mode.

    Ultimately, it just seems rather silly to complain about waiting a few days when other regions are handed out surprise delays of several months (often these delays aren’t told to customers until the very second they were told the game was going to release). Even more so as there are already well known methods of bypassing the delays without resorting to donning eye patches and wooden appendages.

    Now I know moderators on the Steam forums like to say that Valve will ban anyone using certain methods to bypass these delays, but has anyone actually ever heard of someone who was punished for doing so and who didn’t attempt to purchase something at that time? I’ll go so far as to say no, given that I was once advised by someone working at Valve to do that very thing when they were having trouble locking down the release date of a certain game here.

    Sure if you choose to do such things, you’ll do so at your own risk; but if Valve could actually detect it, you’d hear of lots of people who suddenly lost access to their accounts. Just be smart about the service you select for your “holiday abroad”.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      Valve knows when you are using a VPN to simulate a “short holiday” because they know what IP address your data is coming from. You tunnel through to a VPN providers server and to valve it appears to come from there. They know it is coming from a VPN provider, however, to my knowledge, as someone who has been doing this since the very early days of steam, no-one has ever been banned for unlocking a game early.

      I have heard of lots of people being warned and banned if they repeat for using this service to access a different store to their region and pay in a different currency, even if that person pays more by doing so!

      • bansama says:

        They know you’re connecting to a different IP address in a different country, that much I will give you. But they cannot determine that it is a VPN just from that alone. You’re also right that people will get accounts disabled if they attempt to purchase while connected; I know someone who that happened to — but they were able to get their account restored. I’ve seen replies from support warning someone who remote dailed into their US based PC to buy a game while in Japan, when they complained that it didn’t unlock on the US date.

        But I have not once seen any firm proof that someone has had their account disabled for simply unlocking a game early that was not purchased with any IP trickery.

  35. clive dunn says:

    I VPN’ed. now I’m playing xcom with the added bonus of feeling a little bit naughty.

  36. Premium User Badge

    Stellar Duck says:

    At this point I kinda wish I could just return both Dishonored and XCOM and then buy them in a year for next to nothing. I feel like a damn fool for handing over my money to these idiots.

    But serves me right, I suppose, for actually breaking my rule of not buying games at full price (save for indie games and Paradox).

  37. Jorum says:

    I preordered XCOM, so can anyone explain to me why people in UK who have preordered can’t be unlocked same time as rest of world?
    They are waiting for boxed sets to arrive in supermarket just in case I suddenly feel need to go out and buy a second copy? It makes no sense at all.

  38. bwion says:

    And thus does my strategy of waiting 3-6 months to buy games makes me the winner once more.

    Or the loser.

    One of those.

  39. Azradesh says:

    The really annoying thing is that sometimes the game is in the UK shops a full week before it’s even out in the US! And it’s always there by Tuesday, they have no reason to ever wait till Friday.

  40. A Pair of Pliers says:

    “Yes, it would require some significant changes to when physical stores receive their stock.”

    My physical copy was shipped over on monday in EU, so I don’t think this is even a problem. Of course, the thing is good for nothing but being a paperweight since it’s still locked in Steam side of things…

  41. Drake Sigar says:

    I’ve never pirated a game in my life, but lately I’ve been seriously considering it.

  42. BreadBitten says:

    You think that’s bad? Try being one of the handful of people in a third world country, with some of respect for the medium, being made to wait a full two weeks for the game to be imported from a nearby country!

  43. Sheng-ji says:

    Theres another good, and up to date (borderlands 2) guide here which works well.

    http://forums.gearboxsoftware.com/showthread.php?t=148418

    You can also use spotflux too which is a bit less hassle than the one recommended in the guide above

  44. derbefrier says:

    wow, what a waste of energy. I cant believe getting a game a few days later than the US is that big a deal to you guys. so much so that some of you even use it as an excuse to steal? pathetic…

    I don’t mean to say there’s a good reason for it. I sure cant think of one but is this really worth the effort just to get a game release a day or two earlier? seems like this time could be better spent

    • TormDK says:

      I think most of us are grown adults that have already paid a higher price for the same product, and we simply don’t want to keep being treated as second rated customers due to where we live.

      Piracy without making the purchase isn’t cool, but I work in the software industry and I would have no problems using the Aaaar Me Harties! version of the game till it was out in my region if I did put down the money for it in advance.

      In essence the Publishers needs to grow a pair and stop treating their European customers any worse than their US customers.

    • SurprisedMan says:

      Three days for a careless tweet or post on the internet to spoil some plot twist for you.
      Three day headstart for people overseas to practise, if it’s a multiplayer game.
      Three days for people who are your overseas friends and want to talk to you about the game having to keep quiet because you don’t get to play it yet.

      And so on. Sure, none of these things are a catastrophe, but they all add up to a big bundle of annoyance. If there was some decent reason for having this 3 day gap, you could probably put up with it, but there isn’t. It’s a pointless holdover from a bygone era that has no place interfering with our lives now, even in the most minor way. If we don’t make it clear that we’re fed up with it, whenever it happens, nothing will change. In the last few years games are increasingly managing to get released worldwide on the same date. If we keep making noise, that can become the norm.

  45. Secundus says:

    the agreement only mentions VPNs/IP circumvention in the context of purchasing yall its at worst ambiguous unless your using it to buy games (and thus commit credit card fraud)

    • Jockie says:

      Erm.. yeah “You agree that you will not use IP proxying or other methods to disguise the place of your residence, whether to circumvent geographical restrictions on game content, to purchase at pricing not applicable to your geography, or for any other purpose. If you do this, we may terminate your access to your Account”

      Real ambiguous.

      • Sheng-ji says:

        Actually, it is in the section marked Payment Authorization.

        If you got banned you would have quite a strong case if you pointed out to a small claims court that you checked the user agreement just before doing it but skipped that section as you weren’t going to authorize a payment whilst using a VPN.

        • Dark Nexus says:

          No judge worth their pay would accept an “ignorance of the law” defence like that.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            Just because Valve have written it does not make it law.

            To be more specific, the law in question here, that we are not being ignorant of; states (in the UK) :

            “In relation to a contract term, the requirement of reasonableness for the purposes of this Part of this Act, section 3 of the M6 Misrepresentation Act 1967 and section 3 of the M7 Misrepresentation Act (Northern Ireland) 1967 is that the term shall have been a fair and reasonable one to be included having regard to the circumstances which were, or ought reasonably to have been, known to or in the contemplation of the parties when the contract was made.”

            See. Their contract is clearly and concisely invoking the no VPN clause only when authorising payments. To argue otherwise, given the heading is to attempt to breach this clause of the Unfair Contract Terms Act (1977)

            Any judge worth their pay knows when you head a paragraph of a terms and conditions of a contract “payment authorisation” then anything written in that paragraph only refers to circumstances in which you are trying to authorising a payment as defined in the contract.

          • Premium User Badge

            melnificent says:

            Firstly, Ignorance of the contract is a valid defence in the UK. It’s called good faith, and if you don’t deal with contracts every day you can assume the contents in “good faith”.

            Secondly, region locking is partially legal and really depends upon the country. Australia for example legally allows the bypassing of regional lockouts, as does Hongkong and a fair number of other countries (even the EU block understands free trade). It is mainly the US that has the DMCA that finds it illegal, which legally only reflects the US.

            Finally, electronic media is protected under copyright laws and region locking is against the international copyright treaty. Specifically that computer programs are recognised as protected literary works and therefore are granted the same rights as books. Which are subject to first sale and free trade regulations.

            It’s late and I’ve been playing X-com for two days (VPN woo) so I won’t be expanding more tonight.

  46. CletusVanDamme says:

    I’ve been playing XCom all day. Which is cool because my copy doesn’t arrive until Friday.

    Despite the fact that I’m still playing the game, though, I’m not generally a supporter of the means of which I’m playing the game. In short, I agree with this article.

  47. Caiman says:

    You might say “it’s only three days” but that’s a lifetime on the internet. Half the fun of playing these anticipated new release games is sharing your experiences with your friends online and in forums. Staggered release dates split the community, and frankly diminish my enjoyment of the game. It also results in lost sales, because knowing that I can’t play this awesome game everyone is talking about means I’m far less likely to impulse buy it. So Dishonored is waiting until a future Steam sale. For X-Com I foolishly pre-ordered it before realizing I’d get shafted like this. I won’t be making that mistake again. I won’t pirate this stuff because that’s a giant “fuck you” to the developers, and those guys are the last ones who should be getting the blame.

  48. Premium User Badge

    tobias says:

    Am I alone in my masochistic pleasure that I must wait until the work week is over before playing, and can therefore enjoy it (read: gorge myself like a filthy electronic pig), rather than play on a work night and have my enjoyment tainted by the impending doom of another work day?

    Don’t get me wrong, I fully support the principal, but I would at least rather that American’s move their release day to Friday, rather than the other way around (hah, likely). Friday just feels more conducive to celebratory occasions- such as highly anticipated releases- to me anyway.

  49. Greg Wild says:

    The XCOM launch is just as bad.

    I’ve been using a VPN to play XCOM myself. It’s a risk, but frankly, I’m in the right here.

  50. Nihilist says:

    Uh, where’s the problem? What is to be critizised gets critizised, but at the right time and when it’s about the right subject. There’s no reason why you can’t complain about everything that is wrong.