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  1. #1041
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    The thing is though: The product works. LOTS of people are playing it. There was the first week/week and a half where there were issues, but even then it was playable (if you managed to get a slot on the authentication servers).

    So yes, the customer has every right to request a working product. And they have it. And that makes the "I want a refund" a lot harder since it falls into the category of "Should I get a refund for something I didn't like?" which is a much murkier area.

    Like I said, I hope the guy gets a refund. But EA technically delivered the product and it looks like the EA TOS already covers this AND the specified european law may not apply due to the "consumed electronics" aspect.
    EA ToS mean nothing when they contradict a UK law. A countries law comes first, and THEN company 'policy'. In the UK I am entitled to a refund of any service or contract entered into so long as I request it within 7 days of commencement. I don't even have to specify a reason.

    Note this is a UK regulation, not an EU one.

  2. #1042
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Smashbox's Avatar
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    Absolutely right, contracts can't supersede laws.

  3. #1043
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    http://games.on.net/2013/02/the-war-...ustomers-ends/

    Steam have offered refunds for games that do not work or do not fit their advertised specifications or features.

    Note, Steam is not the publisher here. But the fact is, which company would you prefer to deal with? EA who offer nothing if you have a complaint, or Steam who sometimes do?

    It is all down to the individual customer and the seller. Do they perceive value? Was value delivered? Was the sale honest?

    If a customer is unhappy with a service, can they request a refund? If a customer is unhappy with a product can they request a refund?

    Is SimCity 5 a game that people are happy to play? Is it right for some people to not be happy? Or do they have to confirm to the thought police?
    Last edited by TechnicalBen; 15-03-2013 at 07:02 PM.

  4. #1044
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rakosi View Post
    EA ToS mean nothing when they contradict a UK law. A countries law comes first, and THEN company 'policy'. In the UK I am entitled to a refund of any service or contract entered into so long as I request it within 7 days of commencement. I don't even have to specify a reason.

    Note this is a UK regulation, not an EU one.
    Yes. But as the original post (on that subject) said, there is a bit of a grey area to begin wtih. And the TOS apparently specifically mentions the EU, so it is a safe bet to think EA is aware that Europe and the UK exists and that their lawyers already determined what they can do.

    Quote Originally Posted by TechnicalBen View Post
    http://games.on.net/2013/02/the-war-...ustomers-ends/

    Steam have offered refunds for games that do not work or do not fit their advertised specifications or features.
    Yes, I specifically mentioned they have done it, but it is almost always exclusively a case where "fraud" is credible.

    Yes, Steam have ahd better policies in the past, but I wouldn't call them a paragon to look up to in this regard.


    It is all down to the individual customer and the seller. Do they perceive value? Was value delivered? Was the sale honest?

    If a customer is unhappy with a service, can they request a refund? If a customer is unhappy with a product can they request a refund?
    Perception has nothing to do with it, what matters is if it was delivered

    And you can request anything, but that doesn't mean you will get it. I can request that Stana Katic come over to my place in naught but lingerie and constnatly say "moose and squirrel" with her native accent. Pretty sure that would just get me put on a federal watchlist.


    Is SimCity 5 a game that people are happy to play? Is it right for some people to not be happy? Or do they have to confirm to the thought police?
    Yes, it is perfectly okay for some customers to not be happy.

    If I buy a bad book, I don't get refunded
    When I bought an issue of Red Hood and the Outlaws to see the atrocity that was "whorefire", I didn't get a refund.
    If I buy a crap game, I don't get refunded.

    The fact of the matter is: The game is functional. It might not be what people want, but it works (more and more every day). Within a week or so, it should be "fully functional" outside of MAYBE cheetah mode. Yes, the core game mechanics still suck and may be "broken", but the game is functional. Ergo, it is a bad product, but not a broken product.

    It is not the responsibility of the government or "consumer protection" to protect you from bad games. That is YOUR responsibility.
    Last edited by gundato; 15-03-2013 at 07:29 PM.
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  5. #1045
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    Gundato, regardless of whether a service is functional or not, I am still entitled to a refund. EA only address EU law in it's ToS and has ignored UK law. Ignoring it doesn't make it invalid. I don't even HAVE to give a reason why I want my refund.

    Just got off the phone to a very nice customer support chap who rather exasperatedly was forced to keep admitting he is bound by EA instruction to not refund no matter what I said to them over the phone. I asked to be escalated to his supervisor, who also was a great guy with genuine knowledge of the game and its problems but also told me in no uncertain terms it is impossible to get a refund over the phone, even when I cited UK regulations. He told me that he hasn't got the training required to handle the matter for me from a legal standpoint but did direct me to accountdisputes@ea.com with my case number with the suggestion that they would be able to help me.


    A few minutes after the phone call ended he, very nicely, called back and gave me the address of EA's legal department so I can send them a letter too. I think he really did empathize with my position, and despite being unable to help me get my refund (which is incredibly frustrating) I know he did all that he could.

    So, I have an email to write and a letter to send as my quest for a refund continues!

    Bit of a joke this, EA. We do know our rights.

  6. #1046
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    "Perception has nothing to do with it, what matters is if it was delivered"
    Who dictates if it was delivered? The customer, the company or the law/regulator? This is the difference we seem to be meeting. As a gaming community, and gamers, we naturally see the gaming side. With Simcity, we expect a game. Developers and EA naturally expect profit. We have a conflict of interest there unless we find a way to work together. Most gamers are happy to deliver their side, and pay £65. Is the company happy to deliver the product?

    The only thing stopping me getting SimCity right now is I neither perceive a game worth the price, or a service I can trust EA to deliver for that price. I don't see a game that meets my desires as a customer (lifespan of product, useability, enjoyability). That's a very on topic subject of the game. No amount of buzz words, spinning of the "truth" or advertising would change that. I'd want to see changes in the game, or I may just wait till bargain prices.

    As EA don't discount Sims that heavily I'm not expecting a discount here. I'm also not expecting a change in online authentication requirements or simulation errors (the bugged multipliers on only some stats, not all, is a real problem in my eyes).
    Last edited by TechnicalBen; 15-03-2013 at 08:05 PM.

  7. #1047
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rakosi View Post
    Gundato, regardless of whether a service is functional or not, I am still entitled to a refund. EA only address EU law in it's ToS and has ignored UK law. Ignoring it doesn't make it invalid. I don't even HAVE to give a reason why I want my refund.

    ...
    Bit of a joke this, EA. We do know our rights.
    If you say so. I am not convinced that just "I don't like the game" is enough of a rationale, and time is running out on "The game doesn't work" being remotely applicable. Like I said, I wish you luck, but I am not optimistic.

    Quote Originally Posted by TechnicalBen View Post
    "Perception has nothing to do with it, what matters is if it was delivered"
    Who dictates if it was delivered? The customer, the company or the law/regulator? This is the difference we seem to be meeting. As a gaming community, and gamers, we naturally see the gaming side. With Simcity, we expect a game. Developers and EA naturally expect profit. We have a conflict of interest there unless we find a way to work together. Most gamers are happy to deliver their side, and pay £65. Is the company happy to deliver the product?
    Very simple test:
    Assuming you have a system capable of running the game (hardware spec wise, OS-wise, etc) can you play the game? Right now: Not easily. Within a few days: Yes. Was the delivered item remotely close to what was advertised: Outside of one or two PR snafus (that might very well be enough for a lawyer), yes.
    Ergo, you have your product.
    It is that simple.

    When I buy a comic book, I don't get a refund if It is a bad story. As long as the book itself has all the pages and none of them are damaged, I have no legal routes to say "DC! YOU RUINED STARFIRE!! I WANT YOU TO GIVE ME MONEYS!!". Instead, I just get to scream "DC!! YOU RUINED STARFIRE! I WANT YOU TO DIE IN A DILDO FACTORY IMPLOSION!!!!".
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  8. #1048
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Smashbox's Avatar
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    Honest question, and I don't mean to come off as a shitfucker, but what makes you spend so much time arguing these points, Gundato?

    Does it seem like people are unfairly demonizing EA? Or something else.

    Again, not trying to be rude.
    Last edited by Smashbox; 15-03-2013 at 08:21 PM.

  9. #1049
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    Quote Originally Posted by TechnicalBen View Post
    With Simcity, we expect a game. Developers and EA naturally expect profit. We have a conflict of interest there unless we find a way to work together.
    A free market is a conflict of interest? This is confusing, although perhaps it gets at the heart of much of the anti-corporate ranting aired this past week. I grant you that competition and oversight are important elements to maintain quality, but it seems odd to set producers and consumers as inherently antagonistic. (If you want to make a larger critique of capitalism based on that, that would be a good read.) You laid out your reasons for not buying SC5, fair enough - no dispute there. But to suggest that consumers have the right to set the terms for when compensation is due is not feasible. If anything, the governmental regulations need to be clarified to reflect the current digital marketplace.

  10. #1050
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smashbox View Post
    Honest question, and I don't mean to come of as a shitfucker, but what makes you spend so much time arguing these points, Gundato?

    Does it seem like people are unfairly demonizing EA? Or something else.

    Again, not trying to be rude.
    Boredom takes me to the forums, and just general interest in the topic at hand for the rest. So long as there are people making calm and semi-rational posts, it is a fun discussion. When people just act like asshats, I ignore them, so long as the discussion as a whole is still fun.

    Honestly, I think EA probably deserves most of the crap they are getting. I do find it a bit crap that they are being a scapegoat for the entire industry (and Maxis...), but whatever. You can't really expect the average Internet Person to see a topic beyond black and white/us vs them.
    To make it a bit more American media: It is like when OJ Simpson got arrested and thrown in prison for waving his gun around during a sting he set up without the cops. I don't think he was wrongfully imprisoned and I don't much care that he is, but I also (from everything I have read) suspect he wasn't given a fair trial and that the Judge and Jury (was it a Jury trial? I forget) essentially saw it as an opportunity to "right" a past "wrong".

    I do think I have a pretty different perspective on things than most people on the boards though. Not becuase I am a "shill", but because I am an engineer AND a cheapskate. And I am generally pretty good at detaching morality/ethics/"the right thing" from what the "correct thing" or even "legal thing" to do is. So I can generally see the logic behind what a company is doing, even if I outright disagree with it. Again, let's take modding. I love modding tools and I wish all games had them. But, at the same time, I think it isn't cost-effective to implement them for most games and that there may not actually be a point and that all the money would be better spent polishing (or even marketing to sell more).

    I mean, let's take SC5 itself.
    I don't like that it is always-online and I don't think this is the best genre for "social" gameplay. But, I can also see the rationale for wanting to push for a social game (and even that the vast majority of gamers may want it). I don't like the always-on DRM, but I am also able to acknowledge that it doesn't affect the vast majority of us outside of the first few days (or weeks, in this case). And all the "lies" EA allegedly told are very easily explained by PR people not paying attention to devs and devs not checking with PR people.
    Does that mean I want the game? Hell no. Does that mean I even agree with what EA did? Of course not. But I understand WHY they did it and I don't view it to be too far beyond what is currently accepted.
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  11. #1051
    Gundato, you must spend a lot of time analyzing UK consumer protection law to be arguing these legal points with brits--especially since you're an american and an engineer by trade. Or are you just talking out your ass?

  12. #1052
    Moderator QuantaCat's Avatar
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    that is it. the next one to talk shit will get the fucking thread locked.
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  13. #1053
    Lesser Hivemind Node TillEulenspiegel's Avatar
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    So, there's a new thing:

    http://www.ea.com/news/simcity-updat...wers-from-lucy

    Despite the claim of "straight answers", it looks like a complete non-response to any of the issues that have surfaced in the past week.

  14. #1054
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    Quote Originally Posted by X_kot View Post
    A free market is a conflict of interest? This is confusing, although perhaps it gets at the heart of much of the anti-corporate ranting aired this past week. I grant you that competition and oversight are important elements to maintain quality, but it seems odd to set producers and consumers as inherently antagonistic. (If you want to make a larger critique of capitalism based on that, that would be a good read.) You laid out your reasons for not buying SC5, fair enough - no dispute there. But to suggest that consumers have the right to set the terms for when compensation is due is not feasible. If anything, the governmental regulations need to be clarified to reflect the current digital marketplace.
    I said we (including both parties) have a conflict of interest if we do not work together. How is that against a free market? It's not against developers of EA or SimCity either. It's against EA saying SimCity offers one thing, or their service offers one thing, when it offers another.

    I agree that things are in the open now gundato. However at the time of purchase, those who had purchased were within their rights to ask for a refund if there was nothing delivered. It does not matter to me, as I'm careful with my purchases. Others though may have taken everything at face value.

    "And I am generally pretty good at detaching morality/ethics/"the right thing" from what the "correct thing" or even "legal thing" to do is." Thank you. This clears up your position. I will happily say I cannot discuss it further then. As the "correct thing" is not opposite to the "moral/right thing". It may just be a hard decision, it may just be less than economically profitable or it may be, for an engineering term, the less "efficient". But it is in no way less "correct". As said, and in agreement to you, it's not "us V them" or "us V EA". We should be looking to work together. Who is burning the bridges? The customers, players and news sites?

    RPS asking EA for comments, and EA not commenting? Is that against EA or trying to help them learn from this mistake? (It might be "correct" for their profits now, but will it be in 6 months time?)

    PS, love that Post from Maxis. It's been a while since I've heard speeches like that. Reminds me of the banking crisis (from the inside). :P
    Last edited by TechnicalBen; 15-03-2013 at 11:39 PM.

  15. #1055
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TechnicalBen View Post
    I said we (including both parties) have a conflict of interest if we do not work together. How is that against a free market? It's not against developers of EA or SimCity either. It's against EA saying SimCity offers one thing, or their service offers one thing, when it offers another.

    I agree that things are in the open now gundato. However at the time of purchase, those who had purchased were within their rights to ask for a refund if there was nothing delivered. It does not matter to me, as I'm careful with my purchases. Others though may have taken everything at face value.
    Yeah, there was a pretty decent argument for a refund during the first week or so. I would still (from a legal perspective) decline it becuase things still fell into the "rough launch" category (as in, there is precedent that by the time all the credit card charges and refunds clear, the game will be working), but there was a pretty good argument. Now? Now it is just "I don't like the game and/or you" which is a murkier position. On the one hand, I like the idea of getting refunded on a stinker. On the other hand, I know enough people who used to play the "This game didn't work" card in the days of dial-up internet.

    As said, and in agreement to you, it's not "us V them" or "us V EA". We should be looking to work together. Who is burning the bridges? The customers, players and news sites?
    I think it is a bit of both. Gamers have been "burning bridges" for years now. We keep saying "how dare X, they are going to alienate us and use up any good will!". I ask: WHAT good will? You do something amazing, gamers MIGHT tolerate you. The moment you have a single mistake or questionable choice, you are an enemy and everyone hates you again. I hate to say it, but EA and Activision and Valve probably have it right: "Ignore what the customer thinks and let's just do what we think will sell the most. Odds are that will make the customers happy anyway"

    RPS asking EA for comments, and EA not commenting? Is that against EA or trying to help them learn from this mistake? (It might be "correct" for their profits now, but will it be in 6 months time?)
    Actually, I think EA are making the right choice and not commenting to RPS. At least, not until they know John isn't going to be the person they talk to (Cara seems to be pretty neutral). You don't give exclusives to the people who want you to fail. It won't help you.

    And as long as EA continues their current trends, I don't see this affecting them at all in the long term. People already hate EA, so all this really did was possibly alienate some "casual" gamers. And "casual" gamers tend to not follow the politics and crap anyway, so they'll buy whatever they want to play. They apparently made quite a few sales of SC5 already and I doubt they were really expecting this to bring in AAA money. I think EA should probably be more concerned about Dead Space 3, since that kind of tanked.

    And its not like EA's (admittedly half-assed) attempts at placating the masses have really helped.

    EA: We apologize for the difficulties and are trying to fix things
    Gamers: FUCK YOU!!! YOU SUCK!! THIS IS FUNDAMENTALLY BROKEN!!
    EA: Here, have a free game
    Gamers: FUCK YOU!! YOU THINK ONE FREE GAME IS ENOUGH TO JUSTIFY US HAVING BOUGHT A GAME WE DON'T LIKE!!!!
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  16. #1056
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TechnicalBen View Post
    There is a reason Valve and others (Amazon etc) offer a quick refund and remove a product from the shelves when there is a complaint.
    Really?

    As with most software products, we do not offer refunds or exchanges on games, DLC or in-game items purchased on our website or through the Steam Client. Please review Section 3 of the Steam Subscriber Agreement for more information.An exception is made for games purchased during a pre-order period if the request is received prior to the games' release date.
    3. BILLING, PAYMENT AND OTHER SUBSCRIPTIONSALL CHARGES INCURRED ON STEAM, AND ALL PURCHASES MADE WITH THE STEAM WALLET, ARE PAYABLE IN ADVANCE AND ARE NOT REFUNDABLE IN WHOLE OR IN PART, REGARDLESS OF THE PAYMENT METHOD, EXCEPT AS EXPRESSLY SET FORTH IN THIS AGREEMENT.
    IF YOU ARE AN EU SUBSCRIBER YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO WITHDRAW FROM A PURCHASE TRANSACTION FOR DIGITAL CONTENT WITHOUT CHARGE AND WITHOUT GIVING ANY REASON UNTIL DELIVERY OF SUCH CONTENT HAS STARTED OR PERFORMANCE OF THE SERVICE HAS COMMENCED. YOU DO NOT HAVE A RIGHT TO WITHDRAW FROM A TRANSACTION OR OBTAIN A REFUND ONCE DELIVERY OF THE CONTENT HAS STARTED OR THE PERFORMANCE OF THE SERVICE HAS COMMENCED, AT WHICH POINT YOUR TRANSACTION IS FINAL. YOU AGREE THAT DELIVERY OF DIGITAL CONTENT, AND THE ASSOCIATED SUBSCRIPTION, AND/OR PERFORMANCE OF THE ASSOCIATED SERVICE, COMMENCES AT THE MOMENT THE DIGITAL CONTENT IS ADDED TO YOUR ACCOUNT OR INVENTORY OR OTHERWISE MADE ACCESSIBLE TO YOU FOR DOWNLOAD OR USE.
    There are two instances I can think of where Valve allowed refunds - that debacle over The War Z, and something to do with Ubisoft that I can't quite remember.

    Incidentally, it's also Valve's policy to suspend or ban accounts after receiving a chargeback, so EA aren't doing anything new or evil here. Let's get some perspective.
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  17. #1057
    Lesser Hivemind Node Shooop's Avatar
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    Latest article on SimCity by John, clarifying exactly why this matters and why it's not just about a game not working properly.

    Because certain people seem so hung up on simplifying and distorting the arguments to "We hate EA and will buy their games just to complain about them later" in their personal echo chambers.

    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013...pretty-wiggly/
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  18. #1058
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Cooper's Avatar
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    This recent change to /r/simcity did make me laugh:
    Quote Originally Posted by CROCONOUGHTKEY
    KING GEORGE IS A FROG
    le BANG~__-MICHEAL FUCK OFF~~__-INTERPOL KNOW YOU WELLBIENG~—
    OFF
    NOT RUSHMORE MOUNTAIN
    KILL WESTON KILL MUST KILLTHEWESTERNINMYHEADDOESN’TEXSIST
    TEXASISDEADINPARISHEWASAMAN..BINGBING.TETTOHEAD.SP ACEOK,TIMEDEADANDSTOPPED1920HOKKAIDO.UNDERSTOODAT1 ONE.
    UNDERSTANDTHISANDFUCKOFFPIRATEBAY.TIMEDOESNTEXSIST FORMEASIMPATEKPHILLPE.
    BANG

  19. #1059
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    Boredom takes me to the forums, and just general interest in the topic at hand for the rest. So long as there are people making calm and semi-rational posts, it is a fun discussion. When people just act like asshats, I ignore them, so long as the discussion as a whole is still fun.

    It is a remarkable advantage to have interlocutors who struggle to be polite despite any bluff or absurdity you say, isn't it?

    Honestly, I think EA probably deserves most of the crap they are getting.
    Why does it deserve it ? You argued against any EA fault, so why does it deserve "most of the crap" ?

    I do find it a bit crap that they are being a scapegoat for the entire industry (and Maxis...), but whatever.
    What did the industry so bad, you never mentioned and contradicted anyone saying such things. Scape goat for what?
    (and no, EA's penis, Maxis, will not be blamed separately)


    You can't really expect the average Internet Person to see a topic beyond black and white/us vs them.
    I read a very balanced thread until your posts seeing only EA's side of the story.

    I am generally pretty good at detaching morality/ethics/"the right thing" from what the "correct thing" or even "legal thing" to do is.
    Milgram experiment showed an extraordinary thing about humans: how fast (minutes) they could become monsters when acting on authority's orders (legal, correct), against their own moral / ethic judgement.
    Just saying.
    I can read your posts, I can see your correctness and legal point of view, I just can't see the authority that compels you, hence Smashbox's question. And others before him.
    No, you don't think/post monstrously, just very very very hard to justify. Did I say "very" enough times?


    So I can generally see the logic behind what a company is doing, even if I outright disagree with it.
    Not hard to do: EA knows it's interests ($) and acts to fulfill them, using any legal, factual or whatever means it might have.

    Then why do you advise customers to do exactly the opposite and not use any legal, factual or whatever means they might have? Because ?


    I mean, let's take SC5 itself.
    I don't like that it is always-online and I don't think this is the best genre for "social" gameplay. But, I can also see the rationale for wanting to push for a social game

    yes, they want to ride a market perceived as still in development, growing, again the interests and the acting to fulfill them.

    (and even that the vast majority of gamers may want it).
    It's already a saturated market by myriads of titles already, so you might see wrong.

    I don't like the always-on DRM, but I am also able to acknowledge that it doesn't affect the vast majority of us outside of the first few days (or weeks, in this case).
    Carefully forgetting the rest of the downsides, aren't we ?
    How can you be so careful and methodical and forget what everyone reading this thread knows, you included?
    Because ?


    And all the "lies" EA allegedly told are very easily explained by PR people not paying attention to devs and devs not checking with PR people.
    True. Yet not an excuse.

    Does that mean I want the game? Hell no. Does that mean I even agree with what EA did? Of course not.
    Consequences, gundato, consequences.
    What are the consequences of your disagreement with EA, cos I can't bloody see any ?


    But I understand WHY they did it
    ok

    and I don't view it to be too far beyond what is currently accepted.
    Beautiful avoidance of the "bad thing", again.
    There is something bad being accepted, and you honestly believe that the present "bad thing" is not much worse.
    Can you see any word "bad" or "crap" being accepted, in that proposition ?
    The next thing is to say that there isn't any, although it is accepted :)


    Admit it, you are trained to talk like that.
    Basically, despite seeing EA pursuing it's interest, you always advice people here to not pursue theyr own interest.

    You can see EA using any legal, factual or whatever means to their end yet you advice others not to use legal, factual or whatever means at hand.

    Should I repeat the word "very" again, gundato ?
    Last edited by tadada; 16-03-2013 at 03:03 AM.

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    *in b4 thread closure*

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