Thursday 14 June 2012

France threatens Blizzard with legal action on connection-issues

In France, the very serious “UFC Que Choisir” organization (focused on protecting consumers of all kinds of products) has received over 1500 complaints in 4 days from gamers about connect-ability issues and has asked Blizzard to have a permanent solution within 15 days and to communicate completely and transparently about problems encountered in due time.

They are also requesting that affected gamers be given damages for troubles they may have had, and, in a much broader but more official manner, are asking the DGCCRF to have a close look at online-only DRMed games and how they work, including economically. They basically feel that it’s wrong to assume that an entire nation (well, at least France) has equal internet quality and reception across its entire territory and hence, online-only seems are harmful for some (many?) consumers (which is who they’re trying to protect).


To be perfectly honest - I welcome these kinds of lawsuits. Lots of people consider this kind of action self-entitled and immature, but in my opinion immature would be to keep quiet and let it go. For too long videogame companies have enjoyed the leniency of consumer self-censorship and they need to be held to the same standard as any other. You wouldn't keep quiet if anyone else would fail to provide you the service you paid for. You wouldn't keep quiet if one day there would be no water in the tap, if your parcel was lost in the post office or if your food was late in a restaurant, so why would you now?

Gamers need to understand that companies don't own their games. Gamers do. If you have paid for a service - you have every damn right to receive it every single time. If Blizzard can't keep their end of a bargain - maybe they shouldn't have pushed always-on-DRM, and maybe - just maybe - they shouldn't announce their server maintenance after it has already started.