It was a hot day in the station. People coming, people going, activity everywhere and all the time, day and night. It was the biggest station of it’s kind in the world. there were platforms for all kinds of companies. Everything from “Memes & Co.” to “Pet Pics R Us” to “NSFW Inc.” and their affiliate “NSFL Inc.”
On one fine day, even though the standard trains were receiving tons of passengers, a train that hadn’t been seen for a long time pulled into the station with a brand new coat of paint. It was the Steam Engine. As it pulled to a stop in front of the platform owned by “Games and Sons”. A merry little man in a uniform that suggested that he was, in fact, the conductor of the train, poked his head out of the door and yelled “All aboard the Karma train! We’re leaving in 5 minutes and we won’t be stopping for the next day and a half so be ready!”. The number of people that flooded into that train’s doors was staggering and nearly derailed it on the first turn of the track. Slowly, people began hopping off the train, and with a few friends, built other trains hoping to capitalize off of the success of the first, and it worked. Oh, and by the way, the name of the station is Reddit.
Of course, over the last few years, love for the platform as a whole has grown as it has ended up becoming a consistent, reliable and generally user-friendly platform for the purest form of gaming (sorry consoles…). Of course, there are still things to complain about (see my last article), but on the whole, when you can get ridiculously awesome games for ridiculously cheap along with pretty decent servers, great tech support and the ability to jump into a friend’s multi-player game at the touch of a button, it’s hard to complain.
Bad but not Ugly
On the other hand though, we have the “not so great” crowd. Companies like Ubisoft (with U-play) and Rockstar (with Rockstar Social) “highly recommend” that you create accounts with them and always sign in so that you can have more “added feature” (that is, data collection). They may be a little annoying, but you aren’t completely forced into doing anything if you don’t want to, they just really want you to. I think in this same category is Blizzard Entertainment. They have Battle.net, which isn’t bad and helps you manage your game purchases and other details, but they’re very exclusive. None of their games are available on other platforms and they’ve been like that for years. With the exception of the Diablo 3 launch, servers are pretty much always up and running well (unless you’ve got a crappy internet connection) and things generally seem to flow. Honestly, I would much rather Blizzard made Battle.net part of a larger service (i.e. Steam) so that one could have only 1 account for everything.
Just plain Ugly
Now we get to the bad stuff. The stuff that really pisses me off as both someone who plays games and would like to get into the industry some day. Origin. The crappiest platform on earth, and I don’t say it because that’s the popular thing to bash, I’ve experienced it.
Let me preface with this; EA, relatively soon after the launch of Steam, started selling their games on the platform. Things worked wonderfully. Multi-player worked, DLC worked, CD keys worked to add the game to your Steam library. Things were wonderful. Then everything changed when the Fire Nati…*ahem*
…EA got greedy. Only the GabeN, master of all 2 elements could stop them…*cough cough*
…sorry about that…
…But when gaming needed Half-Life 3 the most, he vanished…dang it brain! Why must you torture me?!
Back to the subject at hand. When you purchase the physical copy of games such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Mass Effect 3 and others, it requires, not asks, bur requires users to create a new account with their system. There isn’t any way to get around it at all. The games aren’t available on Steam to be circumvented that way, they require users to authenticate their accounts on the servers (again, refer to my previous article) and had openly said that game sales cheapen the value of video games, a statement that they quickly backed out on, but it’s still a load of butt-hurt.
All Aboard the Karma Train! Choo Choo!