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Should companies release server software once the MMO shuts down?

britocabritoca Berkeley, CAPosts: 1,484Member





This stuff needs to be talked about because eventually, all mmos will die off and become abandonware/obsolete.
So far that is normal, games die off, but with MMOS, when your game shuts down... it's over.

You will never be able to install the game and play it once again a few years down the road.

This is very important, because many gamers put a lot of effort and dedication into their characters and progression, and many even become emotionally attached to their game character.  If the game suddenly and drastically changes or if it closes down, well... everything ends right there and then.
All that effort and time gets stored (maybe) into a backup closet, somewhere in an office building, and you will never again have it back.
Believe me, it hurts. It happened to me, so it could happen to any of you as well.

I think that companies should start releasing their own official
server-side software/emulators so that users can [edit]buy the software (not proposing giving anything away for free)[/edit], still host and play the MMOs
(like a regular multiplayer rpg) once they close down or are permanently modified to newer versions.

Point is, they have ownership of their code, and they have the right to modify/close a game at any given moment.  What we, as a gamer community need to start waking up to, is that they should not have the right of ownership of our characters/progression/effort.  The time we put into our characters is not time worked for the gaming companies.  We did it, the result of this effort is ours, and we should start claiming it as such.

[further edit]
let me make it clear that in my question I refer to the following:

  1. a game or version of the game that has become extinct or obsolete

  2. the game company would SELL a copy of the required software, not give it away for free

  3. by being extinct or obsolete, the company has NO custumer
    support/content providing obligations to the purchaser of the copy of
    the software other than basic functional documentation (something like
    /help)

  4. the purchaser should be aware of the limitations/problems of the
    software and the terms of release of resposibility of support on the
    company's behalf

  5. the purchaser would not be paying the company any monthly fees.
    Read #3 again, there is nothing to pay for on a monthly basis. The purchaser only buys
    a copy, the means, the "tool" to convert his defunct mmo into a
    regular, user-hosted multiplayer game
    [/edit]






-virtual tourist
want your game back?
image

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Comments

  • aaddamaaddam derbyPosts: 83Member
    I kind of agree with some of what your saying but i still voted no, simple reason is,

    You would still loose everything because you would have to start again and for me this is when the bordem kicks in and i move on to something  new.


  • xIMPxxIMPx Southfield, MIPosts: 191Member
    "Yes" should be the only choice on the poll, anyone who chooses "no" shouldn't be allowed to have an opinion..on anything. 


  • britocabritoca Berkeley, CAPosts: 1,484Member


    Originally posted by aaddam
    I kind of agree with some of what your saying but i still voted no, simple reason is,

    You would still loose everything because you would have to start again and for me this is when the bordem kicks in and i move on to something  new.




    That is true, but you would not lose the game.

    I have some games on my shelves that are nearly 10 years in age.  Sometimes, once in a blue moon, I'll install one of them and just have a good laugh at the graphics, and enjoy the things that I had fogotten about and suddenly they pop back into memory out of nowhere.  It's nice, ya know? U spend a lot of time with thse things (games), and it's good to know u can revist a portion of your past like that.

    With MMOs.... it's over.

    -virtual tourist
    want your game back?
    image

  • aaddamaaddam derbyPosts: 83Member

    As i said though the  starting from scratch would put so many people off.

    Say eq1 shut down tomorrow and sony released the full server code(hell freezing over comes to mind there) . now i have got an end game char in eq1 and loved playing him but there is no way in hell i would go through all that again.

    I do agree with you on the being able to change content though  that would be sweet(and i dont mean making it easyer to lvl get items and the such) i mean like adding more lore making the worlds fuller adding stuff that we always wanted but could not get.

    Edit: hehe forgot to say what is the point in having a game you are not willing to put the effort back into , i nearly finished half-life 2 when my computer died and i had to format system, i have still got hl2 but i am not going all the way through it again just for the last bit.

    P.S eq1 was used just as an example it could be used for alot of the older slower type games
  • XpheyelXpheyel City, MDPosts: 704Member

    Its definently something for MMO companies to think about. That's got to be a positive for the people that it reaches in the eyes of publisher. Which people (seem) to be putting more stock into.

    image

  • TrindrasTrindras Ossineke, MIPosts: 173Member
    They should, but they won't.  There is no discussion about it.  There's always some excuse like "we may bring it back" or "we intend on using the engine in another game" but truth be told, there is NOTHING for them to gain by doing it.  Maybe Saga of Ryzom will buck that trend since they released their engine to the public already.
  • baffbaff swaveseyPosts: 9,457Member

    They should release it right at the launch too, so people have the choice of how they wish to play.

    Subscribe to an official server for £10 a month or host your own for nought but the price of the game.

  • britocabritoca Berkeley, CAPosts: 1,484Member


    Originally posted by Trindras
    but truth be told, there is NOTHING for them to gain by doing it. 


    Well, I have to disagree with that.  A company with a dead game sitting on its shelves gains nothing.

    A company selling server software for an extinct game makes money from the purchases of the fans who still want to dablle with the game once in a while.
    I think they would only gain more by doing it.

    Changing subject now. About the character progression problem.  That is a serious issue, I have to agree.  Having to start from scratch after building up a decent character would be a big setback. Maybe they could sell you the server software, the character data, and a character data transfer tool (something along those lines), so that you could not only play your old game, your old character, but you could save the character data and play in someone else's server by simply importing it.

    I know you'll say "but what about the buildings?".   Well, those would have to revert back into the inventory as well as other physical items.  Either that or u can't transfer them whatsoever.  If not, u can imagine people would run into trouble with building/object overlapping whenever a player imported his character between 2 servers. "woops, my house is on top of yours!"


    You are probably also thinking "what if all that stuff doesn't fit into the inventory?" then either expand the inventory capacity for transfer purposes only or have optional selection as to what buildings/objects to import with the profile.

    There has to be a way.

    -virtual tourist
    want your game back?
    image

  • paulscottpaulscott WI rapids, WIPosts: 5,613Member
    the question is why........  and why do you want to grind you know that all games are going to eventually end.  except runescape we're gonna be plagued with that game forever.

    I find it amazing that by 2020 first world countries will be competing to get immigrants.

  • FireburstFireburst SeafordPosts: 200Member

    One reason they don't sell is to protect the source
    code used within the engine. Even if a game is dead many parts of that source
    can and is used in other developments.


    They don't want competitors seeing this code and they certainly don't want the
    community getting the code as any flaws found could be used for game hacks
    against other projects using similar code.



  • britocabritoca Berkeley, CAPosts: 1,484Member


    Originally posted by Fireburst





    One reason they don't sell is to protect the source
    code used within the engine. Even if a game is dead many parts of that source
    can and is used in other developments.


    They don't want competitors seeing this code and they certainly don't want the
    community getting the code as any flaws found could be used for game hacks
    against other projects using similar code.





    Those are valid points, but wouldn't that apply to any piece of saleable software?

    I could substitute the words "the engine" and "game" by "MS Windows" and you basically would be stating that MS Windows would never get sold.  Or are games a different kind of coding altogether?

    -virtual tourist
    want your game back?
    image

  • RemyVorenderRemyVorender Riverside, RIPosts: 3,266Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by Fireburst

    One reason they don't sell is to protect the source code used within the engine. Even if a game is dead many parts of that source can and is used in other developments.

    They don't want competitors seeing this code and they certainly don't want the community getting the code as any flaws found could be used for game hacks against other projects using similar code.


    Bingo, nicely said

    Played: AA, AC1, AC2, Aion, AO, AoC, CO, CoX, DAoC, DCUO, DN, EVE, EQ1, EQ2,
    ESO, FE, FFXI, FFXIV, FF, GW1, GW2, Istaria, L2, LoTRO, MO, MxO, NW, Rift, RoE,
    Ryzom, SB, SWG, SWTOR, TERA, TSW, WAR, WoW, WURM...

  • FireburstFireburst SeafordPosts: 200Member


    Originally posted by britoca

    Originally posted by Fireburst






    One reason they don't sell is to protect the source
    code used within the engine. Even if a game is dead many parts of that source
    can and is used in other developments.


    They don't want competitors seeing this code and they certainly don't want the
    community getting the code as any flaws found could be used for game hacks
    against other projects using similar code.




    Those are valid points, but wouldn't that apply to any piece of saleable software?

    I could substitute the words "the engine" and "game" by "MS Windows" and you basically would be stating that MS Windows would never get sold.  Or are games a different kind of coding altogether?


    No. If they sold the game for someone else to host then they would need to supply the source code for bug fixing and game improvements. A MMORPG needs to evolve to continue to keep the players interested.

    The source code to any software is a very valuable commodity.
  • britocabritoca Berkeley, CAPosts: 1,484Member


    Originally posted by Fireburst

    Originally posted by britoca

    Originally posted by Fireburst







    One reason they don't sell is to protect the source
    code used within the engine. Even if a game is dead many parts of that source
    can and is used in other developments.


    They don't want competitors seeing this code and they certainly don't want the
    community getting the code as any flaws found could be used for game hacks
    against other projects using similar code.




    Those are valid points, but wouldn't that apply to any piece of saleable software?

    I could substitute the words "the engine" and "game" by "MS Windows" and you basically would be stating that MS Windows would never get sold.  Or are games a different kind of coding altogether?


    No. If they sold the game for someone else to host then they would need to supply the source code for bug fixing and game improvements. A MMORPG needs to evolve to continue to keep the players interested.

    The source code to any software is a very valuable commodity.




    Thanks, good points, but this is for game that is extinct.
    The company would not have any legal obligation to support anything that is extinct.  Being exctint, it can even be utterly broken.  There would be no game improvements.  No obligations whatsoever on the company.

    Basically, you'd be paying the company to provide you a software copy, broken or not.  Besides, this would be for veteran players of a game that doesn't exist anymore, I think any vet would be very aware of what he/she is paying for.
    All they have to state is "here is your copy of the now extinct/abandoned/terminated (pick your word) software.  Please be aware that as such we do not provide any suport for this specific software and only replicate it based on customers' requests."

    I would buy it, and I would not expect any help, as long as I got a copy of the server version I requested.  Especially if you could request specific versions, that is really important.

    Anyways, maybe you, anyone, think that selling the server emulator is not the right solution.
    If you have better ideas, then please do suggest them and I'll gladly get another poll going with those suggestions as well.

    The question remains though, how do I legally play a game I paid for and is now extinct?

    -virtual tourist
    want your game back?
    image

  • katriellkatriell UTC-8Posts: 989Member Uncommon

    Yes. Uru did this and it retained its community, as well as continuing to gain new players, on user-run shards until Cyan was able to revive the official Uru Live. ::::19:: It also opened the door to user-created content.

    -----------
    image
    In memory of Laura "Taera" Genender. Passed away on August 13, 2008.

  • b0rderline99b0rderline99 walworth, NYPosts: 1,441Member


    Originally posted by paulscott
    the question is why........  and why do you want to grind you know that all games are going to eventually end.  except runescape we're gonna be plagued with that game forever.

    god i loved runescape!! haha it was the only ever game that didnt take itself to seriously and was just plain fun i hope it is around forever
  • SvayvtiSvayvti Portland, ORPosts: 160Member

    Gamers are always going to say yes... they have nothing to lose. But it has to be looked at from the perspective of the company.

    #1 is pride. A lot of companies don't want to do it because they "own" the property and don't want you to be rewarded for their work even if there is no other cost to them. Sad but true.

    #2 more legitimately is that the source code itself can often be very valuable, but less so in much dated games. Can they sell the code or use it again in the future?

    #3 A company really needs to look at this from a PR, Marketing, and customer loyalty issue. Nostalgic games are actually quite boost and part of WoW's success are player's still nostalgic for playing Warcraft 2. It can be a big boost to the company reputation and future sales, not to mention how some people think of you in public.

    If #3 looks better than #2, then a company should release the code. #1 is just a stumbling block to more business success.

  • KenshuAniKenshuAni Casper, WYPosts: 851Member

    I have no problems with companies releasing their server software after they shut down a MMO.  However, I wouldn't be interested in putting it up on my computer.

  • tigris67tigris67 New York, NYPosts: 1,783Member
    I asked this exact question to myself once because I felt it was stupid to demolish games that took so long to create and could still entertain alot of people. for instance.. WISH was trashed and never even shown to the community. I wondered why they didn't release what they had because they did work so hard on it you know? The Dev actually got back to me saying that the engine and several aspects of the game were being used and based off of for a new game in development so that all the work they did on WISH was still valuable to them.

    Hi! My name is paper. Nerf scissors, rock is fine.
    MMORPG = Mostly Men Online Roleplaying Girls
    http://www.MichaelLuckhardt.com

  • MithrandolirMithrandolir The Deep Woods, NJPosts: 1,698Member Uncommon

    I would so play E&B if someone had it up and running. I'd even pay 20 bucks a month to play it.
    No... Eve is not the same for me :(

    Not that Eve is bad... I just really liked E&B. Me and one other person I think :)





  • AnofalyeAnofalye Quebec, QCPosts: 7,433Member
    In short, the answer should be something like:  Yes, unless they see this as competition for further projects.

    - "If I understand you well, you are telling me until next time. " - Ren

  • CillasiCillasi New York, NYPosts: 340Member


    Originally posted by Fireburst

    One reason they don't sell is to protect the source code used within the engine. Even if a game is dead many parts of that source can and is used in other developments.

    They don't want competitors seeing this code and they certainly don't want the community getting the code as any flaws found could be used for game hacks against other projects using similar code.


    Exactly right, and that's why you only buy a LICENSE to use software; you don't OWN the program.  Therefore, you have no protectable right to fiddle with the source code, etc.

    So, while a company may not sell the rights to a defunct game outright, they might be persuaded to license the game to a provider.  However, that would not give the provider the rights to enhance, change or improve the game, so I doubt you will see that happening very often either. 

    The Realm Online is one game that has changed ownership about 3-4 times over its lifetime, but its code is so obsolete that nobody else would want it.  I don't see any owner of a "modern" game selling their game outright unless they are getting out of the business altogether and are just interested in the cut and run.

  • FireburstFireburst SeafordPosts: 200Member


    Originally posted by Cillasi

    Originally posted by Fireburst

    One reason they don't sell is to protect the source code used within the engine. Even if a game is dead many parts of that source can and is used in other developments.

    They don't want competitors seeing this code and they certainly don't want the community getting the code as any flaws found could be used for game hacks against other projects using similar code.

    Exactly right, and that's why you only buy a LICENSE to use software; you don't OWN the program.  Therefore, you have no protectable right to fiddle with the source code, etc.

    So, while a company may not sell the rights to a defunct game outright, they might be persuaded to license the game to a provider.  However, that would not give the provider the rights to enhance, change or improve the game, so I doubt you will see that happening very often either. 


    This is the problem. Who would want to licence a game witout the ability to fix things. I can imagine the forum....

    player: woot I am lvl 300 finally but my new uber move don't work. Fix it GM.. I didn't work my ass off for this crap.

    GM: I am sorry you are having trouble but sadly we cannot fix game issues like this. This is why you only pay $4 a month. It is expected that you will face the odd issue which unfortunatly won't work. We are pretty sure that the new move you get at lvl 350 works ok so perservere and you will get your rewards :)

    player: WHAT!!!! It took me months to get from lvl 250 to 300 and I get nothing for it. You steal my money u thief. You all SUX. I hope this game dies AGAIN and I will tell my friends to never touch a game you host again!!!!

    GM: <sigh>


  • ZeausZeaus HuddersfieldPosts: 222Member

    If you want to release a game for free (any game not just MMOGs) then you do these simple steps.

    1) Round up a lot of donations

    2) Buy the IP and source code

    3) Release it all to under the GPL, Public Domain or some other license

    This is the only way you'd ever be able to "legally" do it. You could argue that its your right as a customer because now the software you bought doesn't work anymore (assuming you bought the game client) but there is probably some legal mumbo jumbo in the EULA that stops this and it'd only cost you court fees that could be better spent on making a deal for buying the game outright in the first place.

    -----------------------------
    Want to get into the game industry? Read the game business advice guide.
    Also read GameDev and Gamasutra
    Download Impulse - Like steam but only DRM Free Games

  • baffbaff swaveseyPosts: 9,457Member


    Originally posted by Cillasi
    Exactly right, and that's why you only buy a LICENSE to use software; you don't OWN the program.  Therefore, you have no protectable right to fiddle with the source code, etc.
    So, while a company may not sell the rights to a defunct game outright, they might be persuaded to license the game to a provider.  However, that would not give the provider the rights to enhance, change or improve the game, so I doubt you will see that happening very often either. 
    The Realm Online is one game that has changed ownership about 3-4 times over its lifetime, but its code is so obsolete that nobody else would want it.  I don't see any owner of a "modern" game selling their game outright unless they are getting out of the business altogether and are just interested in the cut and run.


    Wrong.

    This really is the oldest lamest boogeyman myth in gaming.

    You do not buy a licesnse you buy the software, you own it.

    In the US, the first sale doctrine, Softman v. Adobe  and Novell, inc. v. CPU Distrib., Inc. ruled that software sales are purchases, not licenses.

    In the EU this is covered by the Unfair Contract Act.

    Copywright Law still applies and reverse engineering the code for profit is not allowed without the copywright holders permission.

    You are allowed to fiddle with the code, you are allowed to adapt it to suit your purposes or reverse engineer it to learn how it works.

    You are not allowed to use it in another software without permission.


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