If You Die Your Digital Game Collection Is Lost Forever
You know how when it was time to graduate into a bigger, better gaming experience, you would sometimes offload your old collection to a friend, a family member or give it away to charity so some poor little kid who could never afford to play Shadow of the Beast would get a chance to experience that historically grandiose piece of entertainment? Well, you can't do that with today's games...not the digital ones, anyway. In fact, one gaming journalist went so far as to contact big gaming companies about a right to transfer if he unfortunately bites the dust, and the response he receives from one of the companies is a bit unsettling.
As you know, we already pay an arm and a leg for games. I know, I know, game development costs are rising and all that jazz...but once you buy something you want the satisfaction of knowing you own it enough to give it away, when you want to. You can do this with clothes, tech gadgets, movies, furniture, heck you can even share your already-chewed-food with someone if you want to...assuming they're willing to eat already-chewed-food.
One thing that's interesting though, is that you can't give your digital games away...at all! Chris from Ctech World writes an interesting article about the right to transfer digital ownership. I mean, he paid for the game and if, for whatever reason, he buys the farm, he wanted a declaration clause in his will to transfer his ownership of digital goods to someone of his choosing. Thus, inquired of Microsoft, Sony and Valve if it would be possible for him to do so. Only Sony responded and you can read their response below.
Pretty dire strait, yeah?
If anything happened or, I don't know, you ever decided you wanted to give your Xbox Live Arcade, PSN, Origin or Steam game collection away guess what? You can't!
This very issue is being contested right now with the vzbv and Valve, as they feel that users should have the right to give their digital goods away just the same as they can give away physical goods. They also want to enforce the EU's law of enabling digital resale, which could theoretically make it possible for someone to transfer the right of ownership of their digital collection to someone else.
I know the constant defense on behalf of big business is that digital goods only grants users brief access to the licensed material and not full ownership rights. But simply complying with a change in the rules to suit corporations who will continue to make more money than the amount of women Steven Seagal has fondled inappropriately (and that hinges on innumerable), it does stand to reason that consumer rights should become a much bigger issue for gamers heading into the next gen, especially with Cloud gaming and digital goods becoming a primary method for acquiring content.
(Main image courtesy of Venture Beat)
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