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Are vague release dates the next legal battleground?

Slapshot1188Slapshot1188 Member LegendaryPosts: 11,200
Massively has an interesting article about a German court’s ruling related to Coming Soon and pre-orders.  From what I can gather, the court is saying that companies that are accepting pre-orders need to give a “latest delivery date”.

This would certainly eliminate the recent stupidity of claiming to create full fledged MMOs in a few months, but I can also see the down side.  Overall, in my mind increased accountability is sorely needed. Not sure if this is the solution, but at least it’s a start to the discussion. Something has to change.  

https://massivelyop.com/2018/07/16/german-courts-rule-against-companies-using-coming-soon-marketing-for-preorders/

"I should point out that no other company has shipped out a beta on a disc before this." - Official Mortal Online Lead Community Moderator

Starvault's reponse to criticism related to having a handful of players as the official "test" team for a supposed MMO: "We've just have another 10ish folk kind enough to voulenteer added tot the test team" (SIC) This explains much about the state of the game :-)

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Comments

  • PemminPemmin Member UncommonPosts: 622
    edited July 2018
    the developers will just release the game on the "latest date" "as is" and pocket the difference. they will just have to be a little more careful on what features they guarantee and development verbage to avoid court enforceable refunds. 
    Moirae
  • MendelMendel Member EpicPosts: 3,420
    I think it will lead to a lot more games with bogus release dates rather than fewer.  I already see a lot of games on Steam where the Release Date on the product is today's date.  It seems to be a way around picking up the 'Early Access' stigma.

    I agree with you about increased accountability, but I think trying to legislate release dates isn't the way to go about it.  Good luck to the German government, at least they recognize the problem and are attempting to do something about it.




    KyleranLeiloniMoirae

    Logic, my dear, merely enables one to be wrong with great authority.

  • Slapshot1188Slapshot1188 Member LegendaryPosts: 11,200
    Mendel said:
    I think it will lead to a lot more games with bogus release dates rather than fewer.  I already see a lot of games on Steam where the Release Date on the product is today's date.  It seems to be a way around picking up the 'Early Access' stigma.

    I agree with you about increased accountability, but I think trying to legislate release dates isn't the way to go about it.  Good luck to the German government, at least they recognize the problem and are attempting to do something about it.




    Yeah... I’m not sure what the answer is.  Something needs to change though.

    "I should point out that no other company has shipped out a beta on a disc before this." - Official Mortal Online Lead Community Moderator

    Starvault's reponse to criticism related to having a handful of players as the official "test" team for a supposed MMO: "We've just have another 10ish folk kind enough to voulenteer added tot the test team" (SIC) This explains much about the state of the game :-)

    Proudly wearing the Harbinger badge since Dec 23, 2017. 

    Coined the phrase "Role-Playing a Development Team" January 2018

    "Oddly Slap is the main reason I stay in these forums." - Mystichaze April 9th 2018

    My ignore list finally has one occupant after 12 years. I am the strongest supporter of free speech on here, but free speech does not mean forced listening. Have fun my friend. Hope you find a new stalking target.

  • AmatheAmathe Member LegendaryPosts: 6,156
    Latest date is 2030. Now we have a meaningless number but the proposed rule is satisfied. 
    ScotKyleranLeiloni

    EQ1, EQ2, SWG, SWTOR, GW, GW2 CoH, CoV, FFXI, WoW, CO, War,TSW and a slew of free trials and beta tests

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 21,262
    The entire notion of a pre-order is that you're ordering a game that no one knows when it will truly be done.  A court order can't make that knowledge magically materialize.  To punish companies for guessing wrong would be an implicit tax of sorts on pre-orders, or perhaps force companies to nominally launch when the game is obviously not ready.  Nothing good comes of that.

    Then again, not much good comes of pre-orders, anyway.
    KyleranLeilonibcbully
  • ScotScot Member LegendaryPosts: 12,195
    New MMOs will have to set ridiculous latest dates to abide by this, I find it astonishing that they want to crack down on something indie devs find very hard to control, while gambling in gaming which they control directly seems to be fading from memory.
    Leiloni

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  • Slapshot1188Slapshot1188 Member LegendaryPosts: 11,200
    Scot said:
    New MMOs will have to set ridiculous latest dates to abide by this, I find it astonishing that they want to crack down on something indie devs find very hard to control, while gambling in gaming which they control directly seems to be fading from memory.
    I see both sides.  Maybe it just brings into question the entire concept of Crowdfunding such a product.
    Octagon7711Waan

    "I should point out that no other company has shipped out a beta on a disc before this." - Official Mortal Online Lead Community Moderator

    Starvault's reponse to criticism related to having a handful of players as the official "test" team for a supposed MMO: "We've just have another 10ish folk kind enough to voulenteer added tot the test team" (SIC) This explains much about the state of the game :-)

    Proudly wearing the Harbinger badge since Dec 23, 2017. 

    Coined the phrase "Role-Playing a Development Team" January 2018

    "Oddly Slap is the main reason I stay in these forums." - Mystichaze April 9th 2018

    My ignore list finally has one occupant after 12 years. I am the strongest supporter of free speech on here, but free speech does not mean forced listening. Have fun my friend. Hope you find a new stalking target.

  • ScotScot Member LegendaryPosts: 12,195
    edited July 2018
    Scot said:
    New MMOs will have to set ridiculous latest dates to abide by this, I find it astonishing that they want to crack down on something indie devs find very hard to control, while gambling in gaming which they control directly seems to be fading from memory.
    I see both sides.  Maybe it just brings into question the entire concept of Crowdfunding such a product.
    Well CF is a poor fit with MMOs, but some have no choice, so until something better comes up I think its a reasonable choice. If they get good investment though they should halt the CF, that puts them on a far better footing for fairness and they can still honour the CF up to that point.

     25 Agrees

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    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Now Doesn't That Make You Feel All Warm And Fuzzy Inside? :P

  • MadFrenchieMadFrenchie Member LegendaryPosts: 8,483
    edited July 2018
    It's at least a start.  I've pondered the same thing, but mostly in a sense of how companies can literally advertise any release date, no matter how unrealistic, to attempt to get folks to throw money at the project.  It's misleading of consumers who don't have the knowledge or expertise to really know better.

    Independent reviews of the claims being made during Kickstarter or crowdfunding in general seems the right way to go.  Someone who gets the level of access a true investor would demand prior to making a decision, then boiling the facts down to easily-digestible summaries for consumers.  That's unlikely to happen, because currently every party involved in crowdfunding save for the consumers are making money off of duping consumers into backing a project they don't understand and/or is misleading said consumers into thinking it's something it isn't.

    image
  • Octagon7711Octagon7711 Member LegendaryPosts: 8,871
    edited July 2018
    Some kind of date is better then no date at all.  At least a series of misses or a date set twenty years into the future will alert people and give them something to think about.  A lot more will probably wait a little longer before diving in if the release date is far in the future. It's a step in the right direction for more accountability. 

    "We all do the best we can based on life experience, point of view, and our ability to believe in ourselves." - Naropa      "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are."  SR Covey

  • KyleranKyleran Member LegendaryPosts: 34,509
    Scot said:
    New MMOs will have to set ridiculous latest dates to abide by this, I find it astonishing that they want to crack down on something indie devs find very hard to control, while gambling in gaming which they control directly seems to be fading from memory.
    I see both sides.  Maybe it just brings into question the entire concept of Crowdfunding such a product.
    In all fairness, the German courts are not tackling more intangible goods such as software deliver or crowd funding.

    The case in question deals with accepting pre order money for a new, yet to be released Samsung phone without providing a better date than "coming soon."

    Knowing how manufacturing cycles work the stores should be able to say within a quarter or less, or should consider not accepting preorders until they do.




    Octagon7711TorvalScotWaan

    "See normal people, I'm not one of them" | G-Easy & Big Sean

    "I need to finish" - Christian Wolff: The Accountant

    Just trying to live long enough to play a new, released MMORPG, playing POE at the moment.

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  • NildenNilden Member EpicPosts: 2,912
    Well currently any crowd funded release date is about as solid as a fart in the wind. With less consequences and accountability, tho.
    MadFrenchie

    "You CAN'T buy ships for RL money." - MaxBacon

    "classification of games into MMOs is not by rational reasoning" - nariusseldon

    Love Minecraft. And check out my Youtube channel OhCanadaGamer



  • KyleranKyleran Member LegendaryPosts: 34,509
    Amathe said:
    Latest date is 2030. Now we have a meaningless number but the proposed rule is satisfied. 
    Well...I have no objection to providing such a date before any money exchanges hands. 

    In the case of far too many crowd funded efforts the dates given border on ludicrous to outright lying.

    Worse, some titles are 3 plus years late, yet Devs don't feel beholden to provide any sort of new date, nor offer refunds, which is just plain wrong in my view.
    Slapshot1188Torvalbcbully

    "See normal people, I'm not one of them" | G-Easy & Big Sean

    "I need to finish" - Christian Wolff: The Accountant

    Just trying to live long enough to play a new, released MMORPG, playing POE at the moment.

    Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions. Pvbs 18:2, NIV

    Don't just play games, inhabit virtual worlds™

    "This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon






  • Slapshot1188Slapshot1188 Member LegendaryPosts: 11,200
    Kyleran said:
    Amathe said:
    Latest date is 2030. Now we have a meaningless number but the proposed rule is satisfied. 
    Well...I have no objection to providing such a date before any money exchanges hands. 

    In the case of far too many crowd funded efforts the dates given border on ludicrous to outright lying.

    Worse, some titles are 3 plus years late, yet Devs don't feel beholden to provide any sort of new date, nor offer refunds, which is just plain wrong in my view.
    I agree.  There are 2 parties to a transaction.  I expect both sides to reasonably complete their end of the bargain. When one side defaults,  there should be a penalty of some kind or some mechanism that allows the wronged party some redress.  It has always seemed fundamentally unfair that one side of the transaction can unilaterally change the deliverable (by years).  I don’t know if this is the answer, but I am glad that at least some discussion is occurring.
    KyleranTorvalMendel

    "I should point out that no other company has shipped out a beta on a disc before this." - Official Mortal Online Lead Community Moderator

    Starvault's reponse to criticism related to having a handful of players as the official "test" team for a supposed MMO: "We've just have another 10ish folk kind enough to voulenteer added tot the test team" (SIC) This explains much about the state of the game :-)

    Proudly wearing the Harbinger badge since Dec 23, 2017. 

    Coined the phrase "Role-Playing a Development Team" January 2018

    "Oddly Slap is the main reason I stay in these forums." - Mystichaze April 9th 2018

    My ignore list finally has one occupant after 12 years. I am the strongest supporter of free speech on here, but free speech does not mean forced listening. Have fun my friend. Hope you find a new stalking target.

  • GutlardGutlard Member RarePosts: 906
    I just saw an article about Dauntless releasing an expac of a game in Beta, so maybe some common sense needs to happen. Dev's could keep a game in EA/Alpha/Beta forever if they keep adding things to it, and never actually release a final game.

    I don't see why dev's don't make a plan of content, stick to that plan with all the resources they have, release the game, THEN work on adding new content. The games being released would be more polished that way... The expacs would be more polished, and they could churn out good work on a more regular basis.

    They could release meaty content instead of sparkly fluff....

    Gut *Sorry I seem to be in a whiney mood today* Out!
    MadFrenchie

    What, me worry?

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 21,262
    I have a solution.  If you don't like paying for games without knowing when they'll release, then don't.
    Gutlard
  • GutlardGutlard Member RarePosts: 906
    Quizzical said:
    I have a solution.  If you don't like paying for games without knowing when they'll release, then don't.
    But if they did that, then they'd be stuck never playing anything new ever, it seems.  >:)

    Gut Out!
    Kyleran

    What, me worry?

  • Octagon7711Octagon7711 Member LegendaryPosts: 8,871
    Kyleran said:
    Amathe said:
    Latest date is 2030. Now we have a meaningless number but the proposed rule is satisfied. 
    Well...I have no objection to providing such a date before any money exchanges hands. 

    In the case of far too many crowd funded efforts the dates given border on ludicrous to outright lying.

    Worse, some titles are 3 plus years late, yet Devs don't feel beholden to provide any sort of new date, nor offer refunds, which is just plain wrong in my view.
    I agree.  There are 2 parties to a transaction.  I expect both sides to reasonably complete their end of the bargain. When one side defaults,  there should be a penalty of some kind or some mechanism that allows the wronged party some redress.  It has always seemed fundamentally unfair that one side of the transaction can unilaterally change the deliverable (by years).  I don’t know if this is the answer, but I am glad that at least some discussion is occurring.
    That's the thing.  Money delivered based on information provided during initial presentation.  Development changes based on circumstances.  Is a refund offered to those who don't like the new direction?  Plus money given vs 'hope' that a project will be completed and completed in a way that the person who gave the money will be satisfied.  Things couldn't get any more one sided. Perhaps a total refund offer up until launch. 

    Crowd funding is basically a loot box.
    Kyleran

    "We all do the best we can based on life experience, point of view, and our ability to believe in ourselves." - Naropa      "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are."  SR Covey

  • blamo2000blamo2000 Member RarePosts: 964
    I really don't understand all the anger everyone seems to have towards crowd funding.  If it angers you, don't participate.  

    I bet the same people that get mad when a dev misses a release date would also get out the pitchforks and join the angry mobs when a publisher forced a dev to release a buggy game "early."

    I hate when there is no tentative release date for a game.  So much so I do not contribute to funding games that don't seem to have even a the ability to make a guesstimate (with a few exceptions).  But I don't want them taken to court or sued, or limit other people's ability to freely and openly make a decision to make a funding contribution or not.

    I really don't understand why people seem so hellbent on forcing their view on the world and how things should be on others.  If a game is asking for crowd funding and doesn't have a project management track record of being able to release a game within a reasonably competent frame of time and budget, just ignore it.  Problem solved.  Stick to only buying finished products or developers with proven track records of generally being able to release on time and budget - like inXile.  

    In Troika got back together and crowd funded a game I would throw money at them hand over fist knowing full well their track record.  Sometimes the higher risk is worth it for the possible reward.  Live and let live and stop trying to force the world and everyone in it to comply with how you think things should be.  Freedom to choose always trumps authoritarianism.  
  • MaxBaconMaxBacon Member EpicPosts: 7,119
    edited July 2018
    Vague release games on Pre-Orders and soon marketings sure can be regulated.

    Now crowdfunded titles can't be seen as pre-orders when it comes to obey by this because of their very nature, from the moment you actually fund it, all they can give you is a vague estimate of the release, there is no realistic way to provide something accurate. Unlike normal Pre-Orders that are usually just months away, Crowdfunding is years away.

    If you want them to give "accurate dates", then all you'll get are dates that will be delayed, same outcome one way or the other, a regulation will not magically make it so delays won't happen, and if imposed, it will just force devs to release what is not on a releasable state.
  • Slapshot1188Slapshot1188 Member LegendaryPosts: 11,200
    blamo2000 said:
    I really don't understand all the anger everyone seems to have towards crowd funding.  If it angers you, don't participate.  

    I bet the same people that get mad when a dev misses a release date would also get out the pitchforks and join the angry mobs when a publisher forced a dev to release a buggy game "early."

    I hate when there is no tentative release date for a game.  So much so I do not contribute to funding games that don't seem to have even a the ability to make a guesstimate (with a few exceptions).  But I don't want them taken to court or sued, or limit other people's ability to freely and openly make a decision to make a funding contribution or not.

    I really don't understand why people seem so hellbent on forcing their view on the world and how things should be on others.  If a game is asking for crowd funding and doesn't have a project management track record of being able to release a game within a reasonably competent frame of time and budget, just ignore it.  Problem solved.  Stick to only buying finished products or developers with proven track records of generally being able to release on time and budget - like inXile.  

    In Troika got back together and crowd funded a game I would throw money at them hand over fist knowing full well their track record.  Sometimes the higher risk is worth it for the possible reward.  Live and let live and stop trying to force the world and everyone in it to comply with how you think things should be.  Freedom to choose always trumps authoritarianism.  
    So you think there should be ZERO accountability for developers that publish a date, take money from customers,  have no refund policy, and then push back release dates by YEARS?

    It seems like a strange and one-sided way to look at things.  These transactions have TWO parties.  Both should have some accountability.

    "I should point out that no other company has shipped out a beta on a disc before this." - Official Mortal Online Lead Community Moderator

    Starvault's reponse to criticism related to having a handful of players as the official "test" team for a supposed MMO: "We've just have another 10ish folk kind enough to voulenteer added tot the test team" (SIC) This explains much about the state of the game :-)

    Proudly wearing the Harbinger badge since Dec 23, 2017. 

    Coined the phrase "Role-Playing a Development Team" January 2018

    "Oddly Slap is the main reason I stay in these forums." - Mystichaze April 9th 2018

    My ignore list finally has one occupant after 12 years. I am the strongest supporter of free speech on here, but free speech does not mean forced listening. Have fun my friend. Hope you find a new stalking target.

  • MaxBaconMaxBacon Member EpicPosts: 7,119
    edited July 2018
    So you think there should be ZERO accountability for developers that publish a date, take money from customers,  have no refund policy, and then push back release dates by YEARS?

    It seems like a strange and one-sided way to look at things.  These transactions have TWO parties.  Both should have some accountability.
    There can't be a level of accountability when the devs are giving ESTIMATES, crowdfunded titles start with an estimate.

    The push backs of years are common in the industry, with or without crowdfunding or pre-sales, accountability needs to go as far as what is reasonable within the reality of game dev and that on the specific reality of crowdfunding, the money WILL be earned at some point.

    If you do not want to endure the risks, you do not get into crowdfunding, it's even possible that what you backed will simply not even materialize, on cases where that happened and it was clear there was an attempt made from the devs and non-malicious intent behind it, then that's just the risks of crowdfunding, people shouldn't be expecting guarantees that are not there. 
  • MadFrenchieMadFrenchie Member LegendaryPosts: 8,483
    Quizzical said:
    I have a solution.  If you don't like paying for games without knowing when they'll release, then don't.
    Have you ever celebrated mother's day?  Father's day?  Had a dinner with your SO for Valentine's Day?  Worn deodorant?

    Then you've fallen prey to the same influences of marketing folks who buy into these EA/Crowdfunding titles have.  I've said elsewhere, giving it this reaction is essentially: "I don't feel it affects me directly, so I refuse to give it deeper thought."  That's your right, but it makes you poorly qualified to address the issue in general.

    The inequity of verifiable and straightforward information between consumers and producer in these instances is an issue.
    Torval

    image
  • NildenNilden Member EpicPosts: 2,912
    We will totally take your money and build this in a year...
    Image result for baby barn

    Five years later...not sure when it will be done...
    Image result for half built baby barn

    ...still taking money.

    Best Shed Building business EVAR!!
    Slapshot1188Scot

    "You CAN'T buy ships for RL money." - MaxBacon

    "classification of games into MMOs is not by rational reasoning" - nariusseldon

    Love Minecraft. And check out my Youtube channel OhCanadaGamer



  • MaxBaconMaxBacon Member EpicPosts: 7,119
    Then you've fallen prey to the same influences of marketing folks who buy into these EA/Crowdfunding titles have.  I've said elsewhere, giving it this reaction is essentially: "I don't feel it affects me directly, so I refuse to give it deeper thought."  That's your right, but it makes you poorly qualified to address the issue in general.

    The inequity of verifiable and straightforward information between consumers and producer in these instances is an issue.
    This is more on gamer entitlement than anything else.

    People need to know what to expect and what the risks are, and from then they should do their decision, crowdfunding is that, EA is also not much different. Unless there is malicious intent, where there is no attempt and/or intent made on delivering something or meeting a target, then you simply have ran into one of the risks of have getting involved with something actively under construction.

    It's like I said, people shouldn't be pretending there are guarantees on where they aren't, this is exactly why Paypal did stop "buyer protection" for crowdfunding, because it is speculative, not guaranteed. 
    MadFrenchieBarrikor
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