Bandai Namco Spits in the Face of Gamers
There are certain ways of acknowledging an individual when they have done one a substantial favour. One way is to thank them directly, while another is to at least obliquely acknowledge the existence of their contribution. If one is too shame-faced at being so thoroughly inadequate that such help was required and subsequently given, then they could at the very least be mindful enough not to fuck with the good work of their benefactor. Then again, one could be Bandai Namco, and simply slap their benefactor across the face with their erect penis.
When Japanese companies port their console games over to the PC it is sadly all too often the case that they are missing even the most rudimentary of PC game options – the games are essentially unfinished, and feature no greater customisability than their existing versions on fixed console hardware. Cue the thankless modders who’s task it now is to finish development on these deeply lackluster PC ports. One such modder is Peter ‘Durante’ Thoman, a man who has made a bit of a name for himself by fixing such popular Japanese titles as Dark Souls, Final Fantasy XIII, and Deadly Premonition. When these titles were released to PC they were locked to the typical seventh generation console standard of 720P and 30fps, as is common for many Japanese PC ports. When Dark Souls this week moved from the moribund Games for Windows Live platform to Steamworks DRM, Durante promptly released a version 2.3 update for his popular DSfix mod – sadly, this seemingly met with the ire of Bandai Namco, who promptly released a DMCA complaint against Durante to Dropbox, who promptly dropped their service to him.
“Hi Dropbox User,
We’ve received a notification under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) from BANDAI NAMCO Games Germany GmbH that the following material is claimed to be infringing:
Accordingly, under Section 512(c)(1)(C) of DMCA, we’ve removed or disabled access to the material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity.
As a result of this notice, public sharing on your account has been disabled. We will reinstate your account’s public links if you remove the file(s) listed above from your account.
Also note that Dropbox has a policy of terminating the accounts of repeat infringers. If you repeatedly use Dropbox to infringe copyrights, your account will be terminated and you will lose access to your files.”
It takes a special kind of shit to spit in the face of somebody who has worked completely free of charge to fix the sloppy porting job done with one of their games, whilst simultaneously taking a dump on the enthusiast community that bought the game and now rely on the existence of such user-created content in order to get decent performance from it. This unhappy little episode also highlights the insidious toxicity of the DMCA and the enforcement thereof, where the accusation is the proof until the user can wade through a sea of bullshit bureaucracy and prove otherwise. Such mechanisms are used by disgusting corporate entities like Bandai Namco to bully enthusiast content creators without requiring of them a single shred of proof. The patch does not contain one ounce of Dark Souls intellectual property, and Bandai Namco are complete shits with abject contempt for their customers.
Ubisoft Disgrace Themselves by Manipulating Assassin’s Creed Unity Victims
If Bandai Namco elected to slap consumers with their hardened shaft this week, then it can truly be said that Ubisoft have firmly clasped a cheek in each hand and have prised wide their buttocks in an effort to make customers wear their arse as a hat! After the abysmal farce of a launch that was Assassin’s Creed Unity, Ubisoft was forced to offer customers some free DLC by way of apology. This in turn had the nasty effect of devaluing the purchase of anyone who had put down the cash for an Assassin’s Creed Unity season pass.
Naturally Ubisoft were too cheap to offer season pass holders a full refund, as would have been the proper thing to do, and instead proposed to allow them a complementary download from a selection of old and/or shitty games. They made sure that this selection would take place well after the release of even the most recent game in their selection, The Crew, which by all accounts is an insipid mess anyway. The game is so awful in fact that many people have speculated that Ubisoft’s offer may have more to do with artificially bolstering the sales of a bad game than it has to do with reimbursing season pass holders. As it turns out however, this is not even the worst of it. It would seem that the offer itself is a poison chalice, as accepting it voids Assassin’s Creed Unity owners’ rights to seek legal redress for a game which is still of writing a bloody shambles.
“You hereby irrevocably and unconditionally RELEASE, WAIVE, AND FOREVER DISCHARGE AND COVENANT NOT TO SUE Ubisoft Entertainment S.A., and each of its past, present and future divisions, parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, predecessors, successors and assigns, together with all of their respective past, present and future employees, officers, shareholders, directors and agents, and those who give recommendations, directions, or instructions or engage in risk evaluation or loss control activities regarding the Campaign (all for the purposes herein referred to as “Released Parties”) FROM ANY AND ALL LIABILITY TO YOU, your assigns, heirs, and next of kin FOR ANY AND ALL CLAIMS, DEMANDS, CHARGES, LAWSUITS, DEBTS, DEFENSES, ACTIONS OR CAUSES OF ACTION, OBLIGATIONS, DAMAGES, LOSS OF SERVICE, COMPENSATION, PAIN AND SUFFERING, ATTORNEYS’ FEES, AND COST AND EXPENSES OF SUIT, KNOWN OR UNKNOWN, SUSPECTED OR UNSUSPECTED, ARISING OUT OF OR RELATED TO THE PURCHASE, ACQUISITION, RENTAL, POSSESSION AND/OR USAGE, AND/OR THE INTENT TO PURCHASE, ACQUIRE, RENT, POSSESS AND/OR USE, THE ASSASSIN’S CREED UNITY VIDEO GAME AND/OR THE ASSASSIN’S CREED UNITY SEASON PASS ON ANY AND ALL PLATFORMS, AND/OR RELATED TO THE CAMPAIGN, WHETHER CAUSED BY THE NEGLIGENCE OF THE RELEASED PARTIES OR OTHERWISE.”
One is not terribly fond of the often opportunistic nature of class action lawsuits, yet in this instance seeking damages for the purchase of a defective product would be the absolutely proper thing to do for any unsatisfied Assassin’s Creed Unity owners. That Ubisoft is trying to dodge their legal responsibilities to customers is an absolutely sickening thing, and that they are trying to do this by throwing old and unwanted games at them simply adds an additional slap in the face to the consumer.
Industry Insider Leaks Promising Projects
News from NeoGAF’s self-appointed industry insiders is a funny thing, especially when they come bearing some exceedingly good news. Basically, one wants to geek out like a fanboy, yet a degree of restraint is in order because the information is unverified, and may ultimately come to naught. Still, these insiders tend to be vetted by the NeoGAF administrators, and risk their accounts if their information is too often without merit. Moreover, NeoGAF proved to be an invaluable source of information gathering in the run-up to the announcement and subsequent release of the PS4 and Xbox One. With that in mind, NeoGAF’s Verendus unleashed the veritable motherload of game announcements this week.
First up is news that Konami has just begun work on a new Suikoden game, which Verendus heavily hints will be a Playstation exclusive. Before readers get too excited it is important to remember that the last two Suikoden games have been portable gaiden titles – they were released in 2009 and 2012 respectively, though the latter title was looked over for Western localisation, the point being that this could very well be a Vita project which never comes to American shores. In addition to this Konami are apparently also looking to resurrect one of their IPs which has lain dormant for about a decade – Contra and Zone of Enders come to mind.
Next up we have some HD ports. The big one is the much requested Final Fantasy XII HD port. This announcement is eminently believable on account of the fact that there exists a massive appetite for the game, so shelving plans for a HD port would be like turning down huge sacks of cash. There is apparently also a HD port of one of the Dragon Quest games on the cards, Verendus could not remember which installment it was, though it is almost certainly Dragon Quest VIII. Lastly, there will allegedly be a Xenosaga HD collection. There has actually been quite a lot of talk about such a collection floating about online recently, yet it is still quite difficult to see it being a commercially viable endeavour.
Finally, Verendus announced two additional projects which were of some note – there were others, yet they were either too vague or too boring to waste key strokes on. The first project is a spin-off Final Fantasy title that will be making its way to consoles. The title is not big budget, and will not be a traditional RPG. The other title of note will be a new entry in Sega’s Virtua Fighter series, which seems about due for a refresh. Honestly, if even half the information mentioned bears out then we are looking at about two very exciting years of game announcements.